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Tad Dufelmeier

English 2010 TR
Gary Howard 11:30-12:50
Final Portfolio: Modern Day slaves
SLAVE. Whats the first thing that comes to mind when you hear or see
that word? The first thing that comes to mind when I see that word is a person
regardless of race or religion, in shackles being forced to do unwanted labor
without receiving much, if any benefits for doing so. That imagery of slavery
has since been over for quite some time, but what remains is the fundamental
principals that make slavery what it is. Although some people would see this
are far fetched, when a closer look is taken its pretty shocking to see that in
one way or another almost everyone is a slave to the society they live in.
Firstly what is the definition of a slave? There are two definitions that
come up; a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey
them and as a noun, someone who works excessively hard. Anti-slavery.org,
states that if anyone one conditions exists, slavery is present, this includes
forced to work - through mental or physical threat; owned or controlled by an
'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property';
physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of
movement. The thought is that we live in free world where its illegal to own a
person and that is very true, but what people fail to realize is that it may not be
blain tally obvious as owning someone but there other things that very much
resemble being owned. These things come in the form of contracts,
agreements, rules, guidelines and so forth. What do all things have in common
with each other? They are all what you would find at any sort of working
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environment.
The minimum wage in America is $7.25 per hour, 50 years ago that
wouldve been nice sum of money, in this day and age to live off of those
wages would very hard to do because money simply doesnt go as far as it use
to. So a much bigger emphasis is put earning money then in the past, because
50 years ago you can get by in one way or other, but its very clear that to
survive in the society that we live in today you need to have money to do so.
An ideal life in my eyes would be, to do as I please at even given
moment, living in a place with nice weather and surrounded by friends and
family. Now I feel as though I speak for a majority of people who would have
the same interests or something similar. But we all know that, the life described
is a luxury reserved for very few people in this world. In this day and age you
need money to survive and how is money earned, by working.
We spend much of the younger years of our lives preparing ourselves
ultimately for work, trying to figure out what career path wed like to take,
often going down career paths that we arent necessarily interested in, but it
offers the salary we would ideally like. Take my parents for example, both are
elementary school teachers now, and both value the job and like the salary
they are making, but neither of them had teaching as there ideal career path.
My Mum wanted to be the first female baseball umpire or the first female
Nascar driver and my Dad wanted to be a professional basketball player, which
he was for about 10 years of his life, but even whilst doing that he always had
another job. They settled for these career paths because of the same reason
many other working class citizens do. Because the career they originally
wanted, either didnt pay well, werent available or had very little job security.
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How this relates to slaves is that at in any job you think of, there is
always someone above you, someone who is pulling the strings, setting the
rules and regulations for what you can do whilst working, but all the while is
making a large some of money off of the labor you dont want to be doing but
have to in order to survive. This may seem like it only applies to middle to
lower class jobs, but in actual fact this applies to anyone in the work force,
even those people making large sums of money, yes even the millionaires, the
accounting firm CEOs, the entertainment stars and especially sports stars all
have there masters. The masters come in the form of team owners,
managers, board members, people who buy controlling interest in companies.
These are the masters of the world they are the ones who make large
donations to political parties and company kick-starters. These masters hold
control over the lives of people. They are the ones who raise the cost of living
and make massive job cuts just to make themselves that much richer and keep
anyone under them as a slave, indirectly or directly.
The opposing argument to being slaves is that, it simply isnt true, I love
my job, Im willing to work and put in the time to earn the money Im making,
the job Im doing is essential to moving society along and keeping it going.
Then there are the naturalist people who live off the land with little to no
ecological footprint, and surviving off of natural resources and say they dont
need material things. While these are very valid points and in some case stump
the argument I have. Then let me ask you this. To those that love their job, are
you allowed to do whatever you like to accomplish what you want in your given
field? Is the income exactly what you want or is it even enough to live off of? To
those willing to put in the work, is the work youre putting really being returned
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to you in your salary and do you have enough time outside of work to fulfill
what you want? To those who work jobs that are essential to society, firstly I
applaud you, but then I ask you, if your work is so essential to society how
come your salary doesnt reflect that? A prime example of this can be seen
with nurses and teachers, both essential to moving society along, but both are
thoroughly underpaid practices. Finally for those who dont need material
things and quit there jobs to move away from society to secluded areas and
are living off the land. What happens when you are those close to you suffer a
tragic accident or sudden illness, how will you cover the medical bill?
The days of slavery and long over now, but without it being too obvious
the master and slave have transformed into the almighty rich and powerful
and everybody else. Although there are no longer whips, guns and life threats,
but these things too have transformed into contracts, taxes and threats of
affecting peoples working careers if they dont comply. This may seem a little
conspiracy like to suggest that we are all slaves, but just take some to really
dissect how society works and if you really are in control of your own life. After
doing that it may not seem like such a crazy suggestion after all. People need
to realize this so they can REALLY bring power to the people and live the lives
that WE deserve.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bales, Kevin. "Disposable People." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
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"Comparing the Inflated Cost of Living Today from 1950 to 2014: How Declining
Purchasing Power Has Hurt the Middle Class since 1950." My Budget 360
RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015
"Definition of Slave in English:." Slave: Definition of Slave in Oxford Dictionary
(American English) (US). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
"Forty Million Dollar Slaves." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
Goldstein, Review Warren. "Unfair Play." The New York Times. The New York
Times, 22 July 2006. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
Raul. "This Animated Map Shows the Rising Cost of Land in the Past 40 Years."
HowMuch. N.p., 14 July 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.
"What Is Modern Slavery." Anti-Slavery. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

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Dufelmeier