Letters to the Editor

Slavery—Back In Style

By George Damasevitz

By the time they are in 6th grade, most Americans have been taught that slavery was abolished in the U.S. A closer look at the U.S. economy today can challenge that lesson and persuade us otherwise.

Many Americans are currently a class of slaves that labor unwittingly for the benefit of their masters. These toiling people are very talented, productive and hard working. Among their numbers are liberals, conservatives, democrats, republicans, soldiers, pacifists and a host of others. They all enjoy liberty and will fight to maintain it. Yet none of these people will ever truly reap the rewards of their efforts. They will be shackled to a life of unrelenting taxation and economic oppression at the hands of their corporate owned government. Their legacy will be a huge deficit to be paid by their children and grandchildren, to say nothing of the needless deaths caused by senseless military actions.

These slaves are called the middle class and they are subjugated by capitalism. The burden they bear is enormous. They are financing war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. They are paying for bailouts for insurance companies and Wall Street billionaires. They make regular payments from their paychecks into a fund to pay for their retirement and medical care. And yet they allow their sticky-fingered slave-masters to funnel the fruits of their labors into their own pockets. The slaves of the middle class need to work ever harder to finance the profligate lifestyles of the wealthy.

Those who argue that government spending should be tamed have taken the first step connecting the many dots that form the complete picture. Reckless government expenditures for wars of convenience to capitalism are as much a threat to our economic well being as any enemy, real or imagined. Spending for valuable services however, must not be curtailed. This includes Medicare and Social Security on which many citizens depend. To abridge these programs in the interest of budget balancing is to tighten the shackles on American slaves even further.

In principle, capitalism should afford many economic opportunities to every citizen. But over the years, it has morphed into a system of slavery in which many citizens have been ensnared.

Some Americans have embraced capitalism because they are told that it affords choice as a distinct advantage over other economic systems. Choice of television channels and soft drinks seem to be all that is left of meaningful choices. Choice of how to spend tax dollars is not within our power. Even choice of politicians is like a deciding between Coke and Pepsi: they’re both corporate run, bad for you, overpriced and taste pretty much the same.

The only invisible hand of capitalism at work right now is the one choking the middle class. It is time to abolish slavery once again.