Friday, December 6, 2013

Modern Slavery

Many developed countries look back on their history of slavery with a sense of shame. Yet, modern versions of that practice continue, most encouraged by the power brokers of our global economy.

Agricultural companies take advantage of immigrant workers who are willing to accept low wages, poor housing and no benefits.  Clothing retailers shop the planet for the lowest manufacturing costs, often overlooking the conditions in which their famous brands are produced.  Many industrial giants outsource both their service and assembly units, taking advantage of lower wages and avoiding taxes that are essential to the welfare of education in their own country.

Victims of these practices, many citizens of wealthy countries must settle for low paying jobs and whatever public assistance might be available; some work full time (or combine part-time positions) without exceeding the poverty income level.  Meanwhile, corporate executives enjoy outrageous salaries, benefits and bonuses, rewarded for maximizing profits by taking advantage of impoverished human populations.  Modern slavery is alive and well.