I can see how slavery lasted so long in the United States. Most people in the US didn’t own slaves, though most everyone benefited indirectly, so is the case of the migrant worker.
I like to call migrant workers PC slaves, since people can pretend as if they aren’t doing anything wrong by casually buying clothes, food and other products that people produce who are paid virtually nothing.
I know many people will whine and bitch about how it’s migrant workers choice, but I don’t think you have a choice if you’re a human being in regards to whether you live or die.
And in order to buy food and shelter you need money and that’s not a fact that is up for debate, correct?
So why would anyone say you have a choice in regards to working? Do migrant workers have trust funds? Are they slumming? They have to work to live.
I was reading one of my most favorite rags, the Economist. That’s pretty much the only way I can find out what kind of nastiness the US economy is actually in, since over here in the states people are insistent that there are signs of a recession, but refuse to say the “R” word. It is as if they think it’s a racial slur or something.
“A CAMPAIGN to improve the low wages and awful labour conditions of tomato pickers in Florida has notched up a substantial victory over farm owners and their biggest clients, the fast-food chains. After one embarrassment on top of another, Burger King backed down last month and reached a ground-breaking agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, representing mostly seasonal farmworkers from Mexico, Central America and Haiti. The Miami-based company agreed to pay them one cent more for every pound (450g) of tomatoes they pick, and to improve their working conditions.” From the Economist, The Price of a tomato. June 26, 2008.
This is the kind of country that we live in, where assholes will fight so that they won’t have to pay a person one penny extra, not a dollar, not a quarter, but one bloody penny. But it’s not just that the guy will fight to not pay that one penny, but the fact that in America that’s all we will fight for. That’s all we’ll help someone fight for.
We will fight for one penny (or half of one percent ) and get slapped down and keep working, because we don’t want to seem unreasonable.
Then if we get the one penny, we think it’s some kind of victory.
Making less than minimum wage isn’t a victory. Getting exploited in any form is not a victory. Making less than minimum wage (and the minimum is what you need to not go into the negative) is called not getting paid, which means it is called slavery, but you know the thing about PC slavery, it actually costs less than the vintage form of slavery.
If migrant workers were slaves companies like, Florida Tomato Growers Exchange would have to provide them with shelter and food, by getting migrant workers to “volunteer” to be slaves, they get to work AND pay for their own shelter and food and companies like Florida Tomato Growers Exchange get to say, “Well we’re paying them more than they would make in their country.”
Hey didn’t they say that about black slaves? Remember how people said how happy black people should be since they got the privilege to in live in America, because even if they were slaves it was better than where they came from, for god sakes Africa is a jungle.
The fact that no one backslaps the spokespeople from these huge amoral corporations when they try to justify their behavior with these kinds of statements shocks me, but I guess actually physically hitting someone would be a little unreasonable.
Working someone like a dog: That’s civilized American business.
Bitching and smacking someone upside the head because they work you like a dog and do not want to pay you: That’s anti-American uncivilized unreasonableness.
“Some companies, led by Taco Bell, had agreed as early as 2005 to pay the extra cent the farmworkers were demanding. McDonald’s followed suit last year. But the powerful Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, which represents 90% of the state’s producers held out. It threatened to fine anyone who paid the extra cent a whopping $100,000.”From the Economist, The Price of a tomato. June 26, 2008.
If you go to the Florida Tomatoes Growers Exchange website, they call themselves progressive and nice guys.
The online world is a scary place. It seems so much easier to lie on line. So many fake blogs, by fake citizen journalist but real marketing assholes, pretending that they are not being paid or monetarily benefited from the things that they are “randomly” talking about.
And we thought the beef industry was evil.
So McDonald’s with it’s support of the UNCF and HSF and various other we care about the little children nonprofits, don’t really care so much about people, but possibly McDonald doesn’t think people who aren’t American are people.
“The extra cent a pound is the first pay increase workers have received in 30 years. Even with it, a picker would have to fill 15 32-pound buckets an hour to earn Florida’s minimum wage of $6.79—a tall order in the broiling sun.”
“The coalition is still on the warpath. It wants other big buyers to pay the extra cent. It is targeting Wal-Mart, as well as the Subway sandwich store chain, Chipotle restaurants, and Whole Foods supermarkets.”From the Economist, The Price of a tomato. June 26, 2008.
Whole Foods, that’s pretty amazing. Whole Foods with its organic goodness, their goodness does not apply to people. Though I am being a little unreasonable with my assessment, I think in Whole Food land people would only apply to those who have an American Express card, a platinum one.
It amazes me these places that go out of their way to carry food that treat animals humanely seem to care very little about the people who pick the food for their table, sew the clothes for their back and clean the floors of their establishments.
This is why I celebrate Juneteenth.
I don’t think the 4th of July applies to dark people, non-US born people, people who have too many consonants or too many vowels in their last names, but I’m a bit unreasonable.
I guess this means my future presidential run will be unsuccessful…
by Browne Molyneux