Author Topic: The Modern American Slave  (Read 689 times)

Offline Semnae

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The Modern American Slave
« on: September 25, 2016, 05:18:07 pm »
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.

Offline Ixarku

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2016, 07:13:03 pm »
I'm one of the lucky ones too.  I paid for my mistakes, some of which were my own and some of which were inflicted upon me.  It took me 7 years to climb out of debt.  Then I acquired a larger debt by purchasing a home, but that, at least, is an investment that I got something out of.  I'm well on track now to retire in 19 years and have a decent income to live off of, without having to compromise my standard of living in the meantime (assuming that the stock market doesn't collapse, or that some other catastrophe doesn't strike me down financially).

It is much more difficult now in the U.S. than it was when I was in school 20 years ago for the typical working-class student to get through a college education of their choice without ending up with high amounts of debt from student loans and other expenses.  The system is clearly broken when education expenses become a profit center for schools and banks.


Sem, I will add this:  stay focused on your goal of financial freedom, but don't sacrifice too much for it either.  Don't pass up too many opportunities for life-experiences in favor of saving money.  In 20 or 30 years, you're not going to remember that it took 6 months longer to pay off a particular bill, but you ARE going to wish that you had taken that fun trip with your friends or done that fun thing when you had the chance.  Don't squander your financial future, but don't squander your youth working endlessly either.
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.

Offline Ozzaharwood

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2016, 06:48:46 am »
As each year passes by, we get closer and closer to the dystopia George Orwell imagined more than 60 years ago. I suppose Huxley predicted many elements as well, but I feel like 1984 is better suited to today's society. It really is a scary time to be alive.

I know there are plenty of places/times in history that were much worse to be alive in than today, but it is scary today because of globalization; corruption and control has never been so widespread.

Offline Nikkoru

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 11:43:37 am »
Honestly I don't know how you people sleep at night. Until Sem gets reparations from the White Man can we truly say there's justice in this world?

The healing needs to begin now!
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Online metro.

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2016, 11:46:59 am »
Honestly I don't know how you people sleep at night. Until Sem gets reparations from the White Man can we truly say there's justice in this world?

The healing needs to begin now!

it's 3am and im stressed the fuck out and i just literally rofl'd at this.

ty you saved my heart im sure

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Offline Stridar

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 02:06:04 pm »
Debt slavery, less brutal, more sophisticated and severe.

Offline kitamesume

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2016, 03:10:29 pm »
collage is a death trap, and so is employment.
once you've stepped into it's cycle you're bound to become a zombie.
it is the case where "i live to work" or "i work to live" becomes blurred.


i wonder if any of you ever thought of starting your own business?
i've seen some success in buy and sell, but the best ones seems to be translation services.



i've got into an argument with a friend of mine about a related topic.
the topic was whether taking collage or just working after highschool is better.

Quote
the pros of collage is easier employment and better pay.
while as the cons of collage is high capital cost on top of long-term schooling.

the pros of working after highschool is less capital cost and you can start earning earlier.
while as the cons of of working after highschool is harder employment and less pay.
me and my friend both agreed that the collage route would be better, so long as you don't incur a huge debt.

there is an alternative route to this however, instead of seeking employment you can start your own business.
in this case, this is where the argument started, do you really need a collage degree to start your own business?

Quote
on one side, my friend said that the things you've learned in collage can be used for the business, specially if you took management class.
while skipping collage means you'd lack certain knowledge and experience in social interaction.

while on the other side, i've advocated that the budget that would be used for collage can be used for starting up a business.
while taking collage doesn't really guarantee you into a successful business establishment.
but there are ways to get to know how to get things going, like seminars of business and accounting which are sometimes free.
add to that self-studying and apprenticeship, like take a part-time job at your ideal business.

so me and my friend took a compromise about this, and we've agreed that "some-collage no-degree" would be good.
specially if you can chose which subjects you can enroll on, and skip the unnecessary parts to reduce cost.
language, accounting, management, business, economics and laws are quite useful in this case.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 03:30:44 pm by kitamesume »

Offline surdumil

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 03:36:47 pm »
A co-operative work/study program helps quite a bit, unless you are irresponsible with your paycheck and you end up directing your money in everything except tuition and debt pay-off.  I don't know if that kind of program is offered much in the states, but it was a huge help for me in Canada.

When I completed the program with a degree, I ended up with a small debt-load and practical work experience that was a huge help in finding a job in my field of study.  Once I am forced into retirement, I might be able to use some of that co-op work experience to pursue a different study/career path.

Offline Ixarku

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 11:28:05 pm »
i wonder if any of you ever thought of starting your own business?

Personally, I'm not interested.  I don't have the ambition, the willpower, or the vision to run my own business.  My goal is to work less, not more, and the opposite is usually required to succeed at your own business.


And, truthfully, my gig is pretty good.  My salary is well above the average for Florida, I get plenty of paid time off (33 days of my own choosing plus 7 major holidays), it's extremely rare for me to work more than 42 hours a week, I'm well-respected at work, and I'm doing stuff that's generally interesting and/or challenging.  And my company and my job are stable, which is highly important to me.  I have a decent amount of spending money, time to travel, health insurance, and my retirement is funded.

I'd have to be a grade-A fool to walk away from my job.
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.

Online metro.

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2016, 11:33:52 pm »
Honestly to start your own business you need to be fairly delusional as the stats say you WILL fail.

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Offline Ixarku

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2016, 11:38:42 pm »
Honestly to start your own business you need to be fairly delusional as the stats say you WILL fail.

The people I've known who started their own businesses largely did so because they liked being in charge of their own destiny.  And there was certainly some ambition about making a lot of money.
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.

Offline kitamesume

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2016, 04:16:14 am »
Honestly to start your own business you need to be fairly delusional as the stats say you WILL fail.

The people I've known who started their own businesses largely did so because they liked being in charge of their own destiny.  And there was certainly some ambition about making a lot of money.
thats where it failed, i'm not making fun of them though but aiming too high from the start will obviously cause it to fail.

their first step and first goal is to lay a solid foundation, and make sure it doesn't collapse in it's own weight...
for example, the net cafe on my area started off as a no-name small coffee bar with only two tables.
later on he took a franchise of dunkin's and built a 80PC net cafe in it.
it got so big i heard his yearly revenue was close to a quarter million.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 04:22:59 am by kitamesume »

Offline Ixarku

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2016, 11:13:01 am »
thats where it failed, i'm not making fun of them though but aiming too high from the start will obviously cause it to fail.

their first step and first goal is to lay a solid foundation, and make sure it doesn't collapse in it's own weight...
for example, the net cafe on my area started off as a no-name small coffee bar with only two tables.
later on he took a franchise of dunkin's and built a 80PC net cafe in it.
it got so big i heard his yearly revenue was close to a quarter million.

I never said their businesses failed.  Out of 3 people I knew, though, one's business did fail, but largely because he was an idiot and made poor decisions.  The 2nd guy was technically a contractor who owned 2 different small businesses, whose contract for one of his businesses was terminated by the company he worked for, so his choice was to become a FTE for them or do something else.  Not sure what happened to him (this was 18 years ago), but it wasn't through any mismanagement on his part.

The 3rd guy I know owns a cross-fit gym that he started up about 5 years ago.  I believe he's doing well.  But he's also a smart guy, college-educated (unlike the other two guys), and was a project manager for IBM for ten years.  He has the know-how to actually run a business.
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.

Offline kitamesume

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2016, 11:50:48 am »
i wasn't implying that they all failed, i was pointing out the reason why it would fail.

on a side note, if all people were to just simply seek employment, then each business available will end up becoming saturated.
we need more employers, not more employees, this is why job hunting now a days are becoming brutal and bloody.

Offline Saras

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2016, 06:12:25 pm »
It depends on the business. Stuff like bars/restaurants/cafes are much, and I mean much higher risks than a you effectively doing a trade people need and for which there isn't that much competition.

But generally, yes, being the boss usually means that you're on the clock 24/7. At least for profitable enterprises. Still, it might be a good idea to do it. That usually depends on how far from the money your position is =p. If it's really far, the hands in the middle might be taking a slightly higher cut than is reasonable.

Offline halfelite

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2016, 08:16:23 pm »
i wonder if any of you ever thought of starting your own business?
i've seen some success in buy and sell, but the best ones seems to be translation services.


I can tell you when you run a business its more stressful then just being a worker. If you are the owner and only employee sure its better but once you take on employees its then not only your lively hood but everyone that works for you that depends on you. The decisions can weigh heavy on you. 

on a side note, if all people were to just simply seek employment, then each business available will end up becoming saturated.
we need more employers, not more employees, this is why job hunting now a days are becoming brutal and bloody.

This is the second problem people lacking ambition. I have seen employees turn down management positions because they are happy where they are at. They are not looking to move up or move forward they just want to do a little work get paid and be happy with it.  You get more employers by people being middle management they work a job as middle management see where their version differs from upper management and they decide to go off and start a business how they think it should be done. 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 08:21:17 pm by halfelite »

Offline Saras

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2016, 07:18:00 am »
on a side note, if all people were to just simply seek employment, then each business available will end up becoming saturated.
we need more employers, not more employees, this is why job hunting now a days are becoming brutal and bloody.

This is the second problem people lacking ambition. I have seen employees turn down management positions because they are happy where they are at. They are not looking to move up or move forward they just want to do a little work get paid and be happy with it.  You get more employers by people being middle management they work a job as middle management see where their version differs from upper management and they decide to go off and start a business how they think it should be done.

Management for X is not doing X.
I'm an engineer, if someone is a coder, architect, doctor... whatever else, all of us are being paid to do what we're good at and what we like to do.
I like doing research and I like solving engineering type puzzles. If I go up to middle management I no longer get to do that.

It's also not the case that "doing a job" is always the less stressful enterprise. I work far more than 40hr/week. I don't know of any senior engineer, doctor, lawyer or whatever else that doesn't either.

Also, I disagree with the statement that more employers is always good.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 07:21:24 am by Saras »

Offline kitamesume

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2016, 07:30:23 am »
on a side note, if all people were to just simply seek employment, then each business available will end up becoming saturated.
we need more employers, not more employees, this is why job hunting now a days are becoming brutal and bloody.

This is the second problem people lacking ambition. I have seen employees turn down management positions because they are happy where they are at. They are not looking to move up or move forward they just want to do a little work get paid and be happy with it.  You get more employers by people being middle management they work a job as middle management see where their version differs from upper management and they decide to go off and start a business how they think it should be done.

Management for X is not doing X.
I'm an engineer, if someone is a coder, architect, doctor... whatever else, all of us are being paid to do what we're good at and what we like to do.
I like doing research and I like solving engineering type puzzles. If I go up to middle management I no longer get to do that.

It's also not the case that "doing a job" is always the less stressful enterprise. I work far more than 40hr/week. I don't know of any senior engineer, doctor, lawyer or whatever else that doesn't either.

Also, I disagree with the statement that more employers is always good.

there is one of my former boss, hes the owner of the business but works like an employee.
he simply hired a manager for his business, so all he had to do as the owner was read and sign papers once a week.
i was quite nervous at first with things like *dafuk is my boss doing labor with me!?* going in my mind.


too much employers can actually be bad, one is that opening for unskilled worker actually drops due to increasing price offering.
their reasoning is something like *i'm paying x times higher, might as well hire a skilled worker*.
although pay can increase as demand increases, its just similar to how the market works.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 07:36:15 am by kitamesume »

Offline halfelite

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2016, 03:23:23 am »

Management for X is not doing X.
I'm an engineer, if someone is a coder, architect, doctor... whatever else, all of us are being paid to do what we're good at and what we like to do.
I like doing research and I like solving engineering type puzzles. If I go up to middle management I no longer get to do that.

It's also not the case that "doing a job" is always the less stressful enterprise. I work far more than 40hr/week. I don't know of any senior engineer, doctor, lawyer or whatever else that doesn't either.

Also, I disagree with the statement that more employers is always good.

Sure passion always plays a role in what you want to do/be but doesn't always make for the better decision. If you like what you do and you can get by with the pay then thats a fine goal you have set for yourself. But sometimes I think you have to overlook your passion if you want to move up in life. By your standards if someone is passionate about art and they like to paint but doesnt make a dollar off of it then its ok because they are doing what they like.  Maybe I was raised different I look at work as you go 100% and you make your way as far as you can go never settle in the middle to lose out on an opportunity that could take your further in life. While I agree to some degree that you have to like what you do I think far to many people get themselves stuck and can never move out of the rut. I also think its way the wage gap has grown considerably you have people no longer willing to sacrifice a little to move up a little.

Offline Ixarku

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Re: The Modern American Slave
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2016, 12:29:57 pm »
Sure passion always plays a role in what you want to do/be but doesn't always make for the better decision. If you like what you do and you can get by with the pay then thats a fine goal you have set for yourself. But sometimes I think you have to overlook your passion if you want to move up in life. By your standards if someone is passionate about art and they like to paint but doesnt make a dollar off of it then its ok because they are doing what they like.  Maybe I was raised different I look at work as you go 100% and you make your way as far as you can go never settle in the middle to lose out on an opportunity that could take your further in life. While I agree to some degree that you have to like what you do I think far to many people get themselves stuck and can never move out of the rut. I also think its way the wage gap has grown considerably you have people no longer willing to sacrifice a little to move up a little.


Depends on entirely what your goals are.  I know experienced developers with 20-30 years of coding experience who are perfectly happy coding, but with shifts in our IT organization, they now have to spend more of their time checking work done by offshore contractors and telling those contractors what to do and how to do it.  These are developers in their 50s and 60s.  Advancement to higher positions isn't on their mind (and for that matter, such jobs aren't available).  So now they're doing less of what they like and more of what they don't like, for reasons that benefit the company but which don't serve them in any way.  They're already at the height of their careers; their goal is maintaining the status quo until retirement.

There's nothing wrong with ambition or lack of it.  Some people are only cut out for certain jobs and don't see ongoing material gain as the path to happiness.  Other people can't imagine a life where they're not continually pushing themselves for advancement and personal improvement.  It's all good, as long as people don't forget that success is often (but not always) tied to hard work.


I don't think the wage gap in the U.S. has grown because of lack of ambition.  Listen to the stories of people who have gotten out of college within the last 10 years.  A lot of opportunity has dried up.  The balance of power has shifted to employers again, and education costs have ballooned out of control.  When the game is rigged against you before you even realize that you're playing, success becomes a lot harder to achieve.
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.