Read this the other day when it was published. The Gilded Age is alive and well in North America, unfortunately.
It’s really sad how human beings will treat each other for profit.
What Capitalism Wants, Part Umptybillion.
If story’s like this don’t offer some kind of hope for our involvement, some way for us to help effect a change then they have little value. To know that people are subjected to brutal slave like conditions is disturbing, it produces anger and without some way to make a difference it then emasculates us. Helpless to do anything but shake our heads and make uncomfortable mutterings. How can we intervene? Shall we write pained letters to our incoming crop of republican lawmakers? Can we rattle priests and ministers into making congregations into activists. Are there names and address’s of people who need the living shit stomped out of them for their callous cruelty. Should I just fire up my pipe and head back to some delusions of the 60’s. Damn this is frustrating and I am grateful for learning about it but I want more.
Man … the world is such a depressing place sometimes. Is it all about making sure we can buy $5 footlongs?
Folks, this happens right here in the U.S. and on a grander scale. Undocumented workers pick your lettuce in Texas, your oranges in Florida, and your avocado in California. They are paid slave wages, often are not paid, kept in shanty towns, given no healthcare, police protection, or social services, and we are told that without them we would have to pay $5 for a head of lettuce.
There are people who seem to think we need an underclass (aka slaves) in the U.S. to keep things running smoothly (as in high profit margins for corporate farms). If you meet one of these slavemasters run, don’t walk, run away. They are the reason there is little positive movement on immigration.
The problem isn’t the immigrants, it’s the employers who abuse them and let’s be clear, if you pay less than the minimum wage, you are abusing people.
Look, everybody knows that only the Free Market can decide what a person is worth. Rest easy and keep shopping, Consumer; it has decided that the answer is “not much”.
If anything, further deregulation of their employers and abolishing Big Government oversight of this [and all] industries will improve the so-called “plight” of these so-called “abused” so-called “workers”.
Besides, if these employees wanted better conditions, they should’ve been Job Creators instead. Or pundits and apologists, like me, for their Job Creating employers.
In any event, do you really want to pay more for stuff?
Lastly, worker’s so-called “rights” is Socialism*.
Indeed. I think buying local and organic, and finding out what and when we can about where are food comes from, are good starts. And if there’s a food co op nearby, shop there, and get involved in helping the store make it as clear as possible that the food sold there really is “fair trade.”
I’m sure, too, that these workers kick themselves daily for missing the many chances they had to be born into richer families.
I agree, visiting your local farmer’s market or researching CSAs is a great start for supporting local food systems. There’s also Good Eggs, if you happen to be in SF, LA, New Orleans or Brooklyn.
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