Friday, September 24, 2010

Indentured Servitude – the Future of American Children

            American life in my generation has required the use of loans to purchase big-ticket items, like a home or car, which was then paid for over an agreed upon time period.  Then came the credit card, and we began to buy everything using month-to-month “mini loans,” which often grew to unmanageable proportions.  We truly began living in debt during the latter half of the 20th century. 

            War debt after World War II encumbered the current and subsequent generations, but America was making things of value, and we were able to retire our national debts through massive production of goods.  Many manufacturing jobs have left, however, for lands with low labor costs, and the “Arsenal of Democracy” has lost the sounds of factories and mills operating at full capacity.

            America and many colonies throughout the world relied on the use of indentured servants to do much of the work involved in daily life.  Now, these were not slaves, because they were people who worked for the owner of their contract for a given number of years, and then their contract was fulfilled and they were free to carry on with their lives.  Slaves were owned entirely, with no set future of release from bondage.  Have we come full circle?

            Now we see a future for our children and grandchildren of indentured servitude, being born with a debt of over thirty thousand dollars.  In a country that has lost a great deal of its ability to “produce” to countries with low labor costs, how will our progeny get out of debt?  Unless we take drastic measures, the only solution might be total socialism, as took place in the Soviet Union, where everyone works for the state.  The state will control production, meter out utilities, provide everyone with a guaranteed pay check, and manage whatever “profits” are left over. 

            Why haven’t the people in our government learned from the example of the Soviet Union?  When there is no incentive to excel and work harder, production stagnates.  Why knock yourself out when the slug next to you gets the same pay?  In this system, the only people who rise to enjoy the perks in life are those in government itself, who control everyone else.  They’ll be the ones enjoying the state-owned vacation homes, beluga caviar and fine wines.  As throughout history, they are the people with vast fortunes and those with political power.  Their only motivation is to maintain their family’s status without regard for everyone else.

            Drastic measures are needed to return America to sound footing.  We must face the fact that government cannot continue taking our incomes and redistributing it to others.  We need to increase the number of producers in this country and reduce the number of people on the receiving end.  Economic collapse is a hard way to learn this lesson.

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