I was ecstatic yesterday morning when about $3,300 was deposited into my checking account. You see, I've been a slave for the past 10 years, and that's not a metaphor. It's true! Slavery is alive and well in America, it just functions differently. It all started in 2001 when I began college. The vast majority of Americans need college for a chance to acquire a job that keeps them above the poverty line. Like a typical, lower middle class American, I did not have the means to pay for an education, so I did what most people in my situation did. I took out college loans. When you take out a loan of any sort, you are essentially sacrificing a portion of your financial freedom until the debt is repaid. I began my life as a modern slave when I graduated in December of 2009
After college, I didn't find a good job right away, and I had the typical life expenses most people run into. I got married, I needed a car, I had moving expenses, ect. This eventually resulted in three maxed out credit cards. By this point, my net income was only the bare minimum to stay alive. I was working two jobs all day every day, and not enjoying any of the money I earned. Paying off my debts was impossible, as I could only afford to pay minimum payments, which are barely enough to cover interest charges. In this situation, you can't simply cut up the cards and stop using them, because if, for example, the car breaks down and you have no means to pay for repairs, your life will fall apart. You need a car for a job, you need a job for income, and you need income for survival and to keep appeasing your faceless masters.
I cannot see a difference between a man who goes into heavy debt paying for basic, necessary life expenses and a man who sold himself into slavery to pay for basic, necessary life expenses. Both labor away, and receive just enough to stay alive. Both serve masters that lord above them. Neither can leave their work, no matter how poorly the slave drivers treat them. Someone may argue here that it's possible to change jobs, but that's easier said than done when 5-10% of working age Americans are unemployed, particularly when you live in a rural area. Going into debt amounts to indentured servitude.
I am one of the lucky ones. With my new teaching job, I have a considerably larger net income than I've had in the past 10 years. I will not squander this opportunity. I intend to buy back my freedom as fast as possible. After that, I intend to buy my wife's freedom, so that we can live free together.