Strange but true — slavery is still legal in America. You see, whilst the 13th Amendment supposedly abolished it throughout the USA in 1865, it left one handy little loophole; slavery would remain legal where it served “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”.
Ever since then, successive American administrations and private companies have exploited that loophole to the full. And why not? I mean we’re talking a great commercial opportunity here! After all, America sends more people to prison than any other country. The potential labor pool is huge — 2.3 million people in fact (disproportionately Black and Latino, by the way — but in the land where ‘walking whilst Black’ is a crime that’s punishable by summary execution, would you really expect anything else?).
And these people are prisoners, right? That means you can make them do anything you want. And if they don’t…well, you can deny them privileges, parole, extend their sentences for being ‘uncooperative’. In fact, you can make them work long hours and in dangerous conditions for virtually nothing. Wow! Kerchhhhiiiing!! $$$$$$!!
The exploitation of prison labor (with hourly pay rates of cents per hour) goes on in federal prisons, private prisons and at state and national levels. It involves the federal government, local government and private companies — anybody who wants to make a quick and immoral buck, basically. Prisoners plant and harvest crops, sow uniforms, build weapons, roast potatoes, cut meat, sow knickers…you name and it, and prisoners probably do it and they do it cheap, cheap, cheap! The government agency in charge of the official US federal prison slave labor industry — which calls itself UNICOR and which turns over a whopping $500m a year — describes its prison slave labor facilities in its own reports as (I kid you not) ‘factories with fences’. Factories with fences, huh — you just gotta love it!
Elsewhere, private companies operate similar prison based slave labor schemes. Their contribution brings in the total take for the American Prison Slavery Industry (Inc.)at over $1 billion a year.
Of course, one little commented upon side-effect of prison slave labor is that it takes away opportunities for working people to get gainful employment. I mean, hey, why pay somebody a decent wage to do a job when you get a prisoner to do it for cents on the dollar? That, to the psychopaths who rule us, is an irresistible thought.
Among the companies who have benefited from prison slave labor you’ll find household names like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, McDonald’s, Walmart, Macy’s, AT&T, Wendy’s — all of them as American as apple pie…just like…ermm…slavery!
What if those psychopaths who rule us got what they really deserved? If you like the idea of that then you’ll like my new book of short stories, ‘When Karma Bites’:
What if there was a world parallel to this one that was ruled by bad people?
What if these bad people had created a system that richly rewarded their bad behaviour?
What if these bad people put their need and greed, their perverse desires, before anything?
What if these bad people regarded you, your life, hopes and dreams as worthless?
What if these bad people were, in reality, psychopaths?
What if you too could be a bad person, not by your actions but by your inaction?
What if, in this parallel world, fairies and trolls existed, tasked with upholding the Universal Laws of love and justice?
What if, sometimes in that world, Karma bites back…
17 curious tales from the mythical land of Anywhere (a place very, very similar to where you live…) about bad people, for once, actually getting what they really, really deserve.