Thursday, March 02, 2017 by Daniel Barker
Everyone knows slavery was officially abolished in the United States in 1865… or was it?
Under the terms of 13th Amendment, slavery is prohibited in the United States, except “as a punishment for crimes” – a loophole that has allowed legal slavery in America to continue, and now on a greater scale than ever before.
In fact, according to ReturnToNow.com, there are currently “more (mostly dark-skinned) people performing mandatory, essentially unpaid, hard labor in America today than there were in 1830.”
But how is this possible in the “Land of the Free” and why haven’t we heard anything about it?
The important thing to understand is that America is not the Land of the Free, but rather the land of the incarcerated – there are more prisoners in America than anywhere else on the planet.
“With 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population, the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world. No other society in history has imprisoned more of its own citizens. There are half a million more prisoners in the U.S. than in China, which has five times our population. Approximately 1 in 100 adults in America were incarcerated in 2014. Out of an adult population of 245 million that year, there were 2.4 million people in prison, jail or some form of detention center.
“The vast majority – 86 percent – of prisoners have been locked up for non-violent, victimless crimes, many of them drug-related.”
This incarceration boom has provided a vast supply of cheap labor for American corporations, who can pay prisoners as little as 23 cents per hour – or in some cases, nothing at all – while receiving millions of dollars in tax breaks for doing so.
The contracting of prison labor to large corporations is occurring in both state and federal prisons. Prisoners are forced to perform jobs ranging from sewing McDonald’s uniforms to manufacturing high-tech electronic components for Patriot missiles, and it’s happening at prisons throughout the country.
UNICOR (formerly known as Federal Prison Industries) is a “quasi-public, for-profit corporation” run by the Bureau of Prisons that contracts labor in federal prisons. According to Global Research, UNICOR “is now the U.S. government’s 39th largest contractor, with 110 factories at 79 federal penitentiaries.”
In some prisons, the work is optional, if low-paying, and many prisoners take the work out of sheer boredom or just so they can buy small day-to-day personal items – although many end up leaving prison in more debt than when they arrived.
In other prisons, the work is mandatory and often is carried out in unsafe, unregulated conditions. Prisoners who refuse to work are placed in solitary confinement, or even beaten, according to some reports.
It’s interesting how much talk there is these days about the outsourcing of American jobs overseas, but how little is mentioned regarding the insourcing of jobs to slave labor facilities (i.e. prisons) located here in our own backyard.
As America edges ever closer to becoming a corporate/fascist state, the fat cats are taking full advantage of its overcrowded, run-for-profit prison system.
Virtually every large American corporation benefits from prison slave labor, but some of the biggest offenders include the Pentagon’s favorite military contractors, such as McDonnell Douglas/Boeing and General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, J.P. Morgan & Company, Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s, and scores of others.
A century and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery continues to exist in America and no one seems to care. It may be hard to believe, but there’s no escaping the fact that prisoners in America are being forced to perform work against their will – the textbook definition of slavery. (Related: Learn more about which of your rights are being eroded at Policestate.news.)