Low-Wage Workers Are Effectively Slaves

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#1 Edited by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

Typically, a slave's dwelling and sustenance are provided by their master. With the low pay that low-wage workers receive, they have just enough to afford a dwelling and sustenance and not much more, if more. Hence, low-wage workers are effectively slaves; they live to work.

As slavery is illegal, low-wage workers should be paid at least a wage that can allow them to live comfortably.

Discuss.

#2 Edited by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

No. The difference is that a low-wage worker is not forced to work and can quit anytime he/she wishes. A slave can't because that person is considered property and does not have any means of quitting.

#3 Edited by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

@leviathan91 said:

No. The difference is that a low-wage worker is not forced to work and can quit anytime he/she wishes. A slave can't because that person is considered property and does not have any means of quitting.

Note my use of the word "effectively." Also, though a low-wage worker can (technically) quit, they won't, because if they do, they'll have no way to support themselves or their family.

#4 Edited by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

Do you consider yourself a slave?

#5 Posted by Aljosa23 (25121 posts) -

95% of the posters here are corporate/capitalism apologists so get ready to get your ass handed to you.

#6 Posted by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

#7 Posted by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

Are you part of the 5% Aljosa r

#8 Edited by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

@leviathan91 said:

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

What you said sounds good on paper but isn't consistent with reality. Get your head out of the clouds, pal.

#9 Edited by SirWander (5176 posts) -

That's just one of the perks of capitalism. It creates a need for people to need to work, thus creating competition among the proletariat. The ones willing to work shit for wage will typically get the job, rather than the people that want: health insurance, job security, safe working conditions, and reasonable work hours, etc. Why else do you think so much of the manufacturing takes place in third world countries?

#10 Edited by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef:

Thanks for the rebuttal. A slave and low wage worker living in the US aren't anything alike and whoever thinks that is an idiot.

Also I said "hypothetically" and "depends where the person lives" so obviously it's not perfect but low wage workers aren't the same as slaves or anywhere similar.

#11 Posted by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

Hey blu, off topic from low wage but related to neo-slavery.

Currently undergoing a major transition to go for my Phd. This involves a major move to the North and getting everything set up there and resolving mostly real estate issues here on this end. Will this change just be part of the slavery process? Maybe high slavery

#12 Edited by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

Hey blu, off topic from low wage but related to neo-slavery.

Currently undergoing a major transition to go for my Phd. This involves a major move to the North and getting everything set up there and resolving mostly real estate issues here on this end. Will this change just be part of the slavery process? Maybe high slavery

I don't really follow your question; I don't see why the transition equates, literally or effectivlely, to slavery.

However, on another note, I'd say that anyone who spends a majority of their time working a job they don't enjoy is a slave, no matter how much they earn, because they rarely have the time to enjoy their earnings. Emergency doctors who don't enjoy being doctors are the saddest example because they work the most hours. Their masters are the deceased men whose faces are printed on the bills they work for.

Whores are the most vile example of slaves.

#13 Posted by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

What do you think should be done about prostitutes?

#14 Edited by RadecSupreme (4681 posts) -

@leviathan91 said:

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

The whole point is that no full-time job should be paying below 10 USD an hour. It's simply not possible to live a comfortable life that way. That is why there is such a huge gap between the rich and the middle class. The wealthy keep much money to themselves and let everyone else suffer their greed.

#15 Posted by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

Actually do enjoy the field I am going for.

#16 Posted by limpbizkit818 (15042 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef: "paid at least a wage that can allow them to live comfortably."

Define comfortably

#17 Posted by comp_atkins (31473 posts) -

define "comfortably"

#18 Posted by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

What do you think should be done about prostitutes?

Nothing, because men like me need them.

#19 Posted by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

economics. Also have a CS degree. Will likely not pursue further CS gains

#20 Posted by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

Actually do enjoy the field I am going for.

Then you are a free man.

#21 Posted by comp_atkins (31473 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef said:

@leviathan91 said:

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

What you said sounds good on paper but isn't consistent with reality. Get your head out of the clouds, pal.

#22 Edited by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef: do you have a contempt for the prostitutes that you need? Is this mostly born out of hatred of yourself for not having the qualities for a stable relationship?

Not that using prostitutes means that a person is a social outcast or anything like that.

Talking about you personally, based off of your last posts and history

#23 Edited by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

Do you enjoy what you do, blu?

More so are you content with it. Hard for most to find something that they love doing and actually want to be there. A rarity, but many are perfectly content with their job. And as long as they are happy and making a living that's all you can really ask for

#24 Posted by SirWander (5176 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

making a loving that's all you can really ask for

Prostitutes make a living out of loving, do you consider that an ideal field for employment?

#25 Posted by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

Making a living

#26 Posted by coolbeans90 (21305 posts) -

I mean, the ability to choose employers (AKA ditch one that REALLY doesn't fit your fancy), obtain welfare benefits that supplement low wages, and having the legal right not be physically/sexually abused by employers sort of makes a comparison to slavery little other than a trivialization of actual slavery. Then there is the fact that low wage workers generally do not work an obscene number hours (partially due to overtime), so there is definitely more to life than working. Standards of living also are considerably higher, and to an extent there is room for social mobility.

Could more be done to assist low-income workers? Yeah, but the comparison to slavery is still nothing short of absurd.

#27 Posted by SirWander (5176 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

Making a living

I know what you meant, was just poking a little fun.

#28 Posted by dave123321 (34139 posts) -

@SirWander: don't have any major issues with the idea of prostitution itself but obvs there are underlying issues with regards to conditions and reasons why some people get into it. So the theoretical aspects for me are fine, but in practice there are issues.

#29 Posted by BluRayHiDef (10839 posts) -

@dave123321 said:

@BluRayHiDef: do you have a contempt for the prostitutes that you need? Is this mostly born out of hatred of yourself for not having the qualities for a stable relationship?

Not that using prostitutes means that a person is a social outcast or anything like that.

Talking about you personally, based off of your last posts and history

No. In a weird way, I admire them (not the cheap ones). They get paid to get laid.

#30 Edited by SirWander (5176 posts) -

dave123321,

Don't forget that there is a large disparity between high-end prostitutes and those working the streets. The life of a whore isn't as bleak as conceptualized in the mass media. And as long as there is demand for the service, there will be those that take advantage of it.

I don't have any problems with prostitution either, it's largely harmless. Though it would be hard to guarantee the safety of a prostitute while on the job, some john could murder or mutilate 'em, given the level of intimacy involved.

#31 Posted by ad1x2 (5665 posts) -

If slavery still existed today I doubt the slaves would be allowed to drive, or would be allowed to have cell phones, or would be allowed to send their children to school, or would be allowed to verbally criticize the government.

You can question the fact that certain people are unable to get a job that pays more than minimum wage, but nine times out of ten it has less to do with the "man" holding them back and more to do with their own issues, such as a criminal record, lack of education, etc.

If you want to see what slavery might look like in modern times consider watching the movie CSA by Spike Lee. The story is based on what America would be like if the US lost the Civil War and slavery continued until the present day. Granted, some of the liberties Lee took were a little out there but you would get the picture.

#32 Posted by LJS9502_basic (151427 posts) -

Obviously you don't understand what the word slave means....

#33 Posted by Jimn_tonic (819 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

Obviously you don't understand what the word slave means....

of course he does

#34 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (7805 posts) -

No its not, this comparison needs to stop. I feel as if comparing low wage jobs to slavery is actually hurting the case for increasing the living standards and wages of said workers (which is actually a worth while cause to support). Ditch this rhetoric and you might be able to have a better and more productive conversation on improving the gap between the rich and poor.

#35 Edited by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

I should have used this:

#36 Posted by Toxic-Seahorse (4136 posts) -

@RadecSupreme said:

@leviathan91 said:

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

The whole point is that no full-time job should be paying below 10 USD an hour. It's simply not possible to live a comfortable life that way. That is why there is such a huge gap between the rich and the middle class. The wealthy keep much money to themselves and let everyone else suffer their greed.

That would awful. Not every company can afford that. You'd essentially be ruining a lot of businesses. Not to mention unemployment would skyrocket. Sure, the mega corporations could take the hit, but a lot of smaller businesses wouldn't be able to afford to stay open. Also, the larger corporations would just start firing employees to the bare minimum. Raising the minimum wage isn't an effective way to help ease poverty.

#37 Posted by HuggyBear1020 (456 posts) -

Pretty much my opinion on people who whine and bitch about not getting paid enough.

#38 Posted by Zelda99 (737 posts) -

I understand that people who work minimum wage jobs need more money. they have to live, pay bills and feed themselves and their families. but i cannot agree that they should get paid $10 and hour or more. I work a security job at a hospital with a connected psychiatric ward. when the patients go nuts and start attacking the nurses i have to put myself in harms way and restrain them. i've been bloodied and bruised, got into fist fights and witnessed crazy things. at the hospital, i work along side police, respond to what they respond to, and handle patients they bring in from the streets. now i'm not saying i'm a cop, but i can and have been injured at my job. guess what? i get paid $10 an hour. i cant condone the fact that i had to go through 40 hours of class to get my security license, train for my job for another 40 hours and train at the hospital for 40 hours to get my job. people at fast food restaurants should not get paid $10 an hour. i know this sounds thoughtless of me but they shouldn't.

#39 Edited by Barbariser (6724 posts) -

No, a slave simply means someone who is working involuntarily. The person's standard of living has nothing to do with it. A fast food worker who volunteered to work for minimum wage to survive is not a slave, whereas if you mind controlled a C.E.O. and forced him to run a company he didn't want to, it would still be slavery even if you gave him a beautiful office, 20 hour work weeks and $100 000 000 million in compensation every year.

#40 Posted by gamerguru100 (10647 posts) -

Technically it's not slavery since the workers willingly applied for the job and can quit at any time. A true slave is forced to work and is punished if they refuse to work, and, of course, they don't get paid shit. Although I would like a minimum wage that could support one person comfortably, say $15-20 an hour, the prices of everything would go up. Your Big Mac combo meal would cost $15 instead of $7.

#41 Posted by GazaAli (22979 posts) -

@leviathan91 said:

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

Wow this is comically delusional.

#42 Posted by GazaAli (22979 posts) -

@huggybear1020 said:

Pretty much my opinion on people who whine and bitch about not getting paid enough.

Yea, except that many many people who work minimum wage are by no mean of minimum skills and labor capacity. They still have to work minimum wage because 1) there aren't enough jobs out there, something that unregulated or not regulated enough capitalism significantly contribute to (contrary to the illusion that capitalism will on the long run yield a vital and healthy job market), 2) Capitalists and corporate interests control the legislative bodies and the administration of their respective home countries and its not hard to grasp that they would push for laws and regulations that would result in the least possible wages to maximize their wealth.

#43 Posted by LJS9502_basic (151427 posts) -

@Jimn_tonic said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

Obviously you don't understand what the word slave means....

of course he does

He didn't use the term correctly. I sense you have difficulty with it as well....

#44 Posted by thegerg (15451 posts) -

@RadecSupreme: Since when does everyone deserve to be equally comfortable?

#45 Edited by thegerg (15451 posts) -

@GazaAli: Forcing employers to pay wages that they can't afford it not the type of thing that's going to give employees more money. It's going to put people out of business. I am for the working man, the little guy. I'm not a fan of pricing labor further out of his budget. I don't think that making the price of doing business something that only the wealthy can afford is the best way to give the little guy a hand up.

#46 Posted by Renevent42 (5326 posts) -

@BluRayHiDef said:

@leviathan91 said:

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

What you said sounds good on paper but isn't consistent with reality. Get your head out of the clouds, pal.

I'm living proof that what leviathan91 said is true. I went from basically nothing working a shitty $10/hr job to now making over six figures with awesome benefits.

People who make minimum wages are not slaves...not effectively slaves either. They are for the most part simply display the least desirable attributes as a worker and a compensated as such.

#47 Edited by Barbariser (6724 posts) -

@GazaAli said:

@huggybear1020 said:

Pretty much my opinion on people who whine and bitch about not getting paid enough.

Yea, except that many many people who work minimum wage are by no mean of minimum skills and labor capacity. They still have to work minimum wage because 1) there aren't enough jobs out there, something that unregulated or not regulated enough capitalism significantly contribute to (contrary to the illusion that capitalism will on the long run yield a vital and healthy job market), 2) Capitalists and corporate interests control the legislative bodies and the administration of their respective home countries and its not hard to grasp that they would push for laws and regulations that would result in the least possible wages to maximize their wealth.

What kind of government policies in "capitalist home countries" actively reduce wages? And there is no incentive for "corporations" to take skilled, educated and productive workers and make them flip burgers. This labor mismatch situation exists in the West because of a deficiency in aggregate demand, something that capitalists and companies also detest.

#48 Edited by ultimate-k (2348 posts) -

Your a slave blurayhidef just like everyone else. You think that is air your breathing? That's just electrical signals being decoded by your brain.

#49 Edited by leviathan91 (7763 posts) -

I forgot to mention this as well: A low-wage worker can also join the armed forces which offer pay and benefits during and after a person's service. That is, provided the person doesn't have any serious medical or criminal issues before and during service and is physically fit. Of course, and from what I understand, it's not perfect but no organization will ever be "perfect" but it offers something substantial compared to other jobs.

@GazaAli said:

@leviathan91 said:

@BluRayHiDef:

The beauty of capitalism and competition is that a low-wage worker can get a different job from a different place that can offer better incentives. And then there's the government that can provide relief if the person is eligible. There's also community college and technical schools that a person can receive an education and/or training for a better job. Of course, there's also government relief and financial assistance for that as well, and both paths offer a long term advantage.

A slave on the other hand doesn't have those luxuries and his/her life depends on the kindness of his/her slave master.

Of course this depends on where the low wage worker is living. Point is, a low wage worker is not a slave because hypothetically they are afforded rights and opportunities that a slave lacks.

Wow this is comically delusional.

Enlighten me.

#50 Edited by Aljosa23 (25121 posts) -

@leviathan91: Probably because you think it's easy for a low-wage worker to do all that. As if fixing their situation is as easy as turning on a light switch. It gets even harder if they have a family to care of. Obviously they are different than a slave but don't pretend like someone near the poverty line is living in paradise or is significantly better off.

inb4 pull up boot straps or other conservative catch phrases