Slavery did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation. While chains, whips, mutilations, forced separation of families, human-branding, and forced labor are horrific, the new form is more permanent and sustainable. We have allowed those we deemed powerful to dictate the playing field, and with that, we have consented to slavery and indentured servitude.
On a recent Politics Done Right show I described how our Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner is attempting to circumvent the will of Houstonians who voted to increase the pay of firefighters. He is pitting his municipal employees and the police against the firefighters to prevent paying them their due. A municipal worker called in and proved an important point. I blogged the call in a post titled “Workers: Stop accepting false choices from corporations & politicians” that everyone should read, watch, and listen to for the complete context.
Firefighters in Houston Texas much like they are throughout the country have been fighting for a raise comparable to police officers. The city denied them that honor for years. To add insult to injury, to help sure up the pension fund, each firefighter lost over $100,000 in their pensions. Since they could not reach a deal with the mayor and the city, they went directly to the voters who approved their wage increases, parity with police officers.
Sadly and selfishly the police union came out against the pay hike mimicking the mayor’s narrative of municipal workers losing their jobs to cover the pay raise. In other words, the mayor and the powers on the top started to pit worker against worker. Instead of doing the right thing, going back to the voters and ask for a small tax increase to pay for their services, the timid politicians and their Judas-like police officer union created dissension among employees.
Worker financial abuse is an all too familiar scenario. Why is that? The employer scheme indoctrinated the employee into believing that they are more worthy than the worker. The reality is very different. There is a symbiotic relationship between employer and employee. They are exchanging services. And when one side feels less worthy than the other, we get a society that supports vast inequality. We make the immorality of huge profits from one’s excess labor acceptable.