Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Slave Wages?

Talifaitasi W. Satele


To compare people who work at low wages to slaves does a great disservice to those who actually live or have lived in real slavery.

A real slave doesn’t get paid anything; he or she is forcibly taken against their own will, beaten and threaten with death if they don’t do as they’re told. Slavery is a real, sad and unfortunate crime committed against individuals to this very day, and no one should make a joke of the term by using it to describe what people working at the canneries are going through.

If anyone is close to being slaves around here, they are businesses. They are being forced to pay wages on a notion other than profit-maximization. That notion is simply the law. And in what ways are businesses compensated by the government for making these payments? None. Right now, businesses are paying for a government welfare program without even a word of thanks!

Slavery is a condition where one is subjected to another. Offering low wages to someone to perform a job doesn’t fall into that category. Wages, high or low, are offered to free men not slaves.

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