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21st Century Slavery

As I’ve said before, I bounce back and forth in my mind and on this blog between a conspiratorial view of things and the attitude that the people in charge are just selfish and short-sighted. So I’ll attach the caveat to this post that I may be completely wrong about this, but I still think it’s worth considering.

It’s easy to see the Republican Party’s blocking of extending unemployment benefits in a conspiratorial way. The republicans are owned by giant corporations, and giant corporations tend to treat their employees—particularly their lowest-level employees—as slaves. They make them work as much as possible and pay them as little as they can possibly pay them to keep them from quitting and looking for another job.

But nobody’s going to quit in this economic environment, as you’d be insane to do so. There is only one job for every six job-seekers out there, and your odds of finding something that doesn’t pay less than you were earning before are slim to none. You’re pretty much trapped in your job unless you get yourself fired.

But you can’t do that either now, because you can no longer count on the buffer of unemployment insurance to keep your head above water while you look for a new job. Even if the democrats manage to fill Robert Byrd’s seat and break the republican filibuster, the psychological damage is already done. The American people know that unemployment benefits are only a layer of thin ice and that one of the two major political parties is aggressively hammering away at it. For all anyone knows, there won’t be any unemployment insurance at all in a few years.

The corporate masters are happy. Their republican minions have done their job well and instilled even more financial fear into the population. Low-level corporate employees better shut up and do what they’re told or they’ll be out on the street begging for food before they know it. They depend on the corporation for their very lives now. They are the slaves of the 21st century.

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