Slavery was prohibited by most nations prior to our 1861 civil war. Technology had made slavery too expensive. The cotton gin was more competitive.

Slavery can be explained as a means to gather fruit from a plant owned by a master. The plant must be cultivated, weeded, and shielded from pests in order for the maximum production of fruit. Applying these measures, especially the picking and care of the fruit, can be expensive. Slavery involved the purchase of the slave plus maintaining slave productivity. The slave, land, plant and the fruit belonged to the master. All the slave received was housing and health care and hopefully benevolent respect.

Machinery was most productive thus more competitive than the institution of slavery. An old system of controlling productive laborers was proposed. Peonage was the answer. The master still owned the land and the plant. The laborer must be convinced that the land and the plant could be his as a reward for exceptional consistent fruit production. The peon who thought that he might eventually be an owner worked hard in the cultivation, weeding, and pest extermination in order to maximize fruit production owned by the master but the peon being subject to a share in the reward. In essence, peonage was the payment of a debt through forced labor where the expense of labor was born by the laborer who grew and picked the fruit.

Peonage was prohibited after the civil war. Sharecropping sounded like consent.

Peonage was re-introduced after the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall act. The Kansas State Supreme Court identified over 60 million peons today who are paying monthly amounts as renters. The peon is led to believe that he is not a peon, but instead a potential owner of the home with ownership to be transferred to him after the final mortgage payment is made. The peon renter, thinking that he is a potential owner, embraces readily the payment of all taxes, insurance, and cost of maintenance. A mortgage loan is never made to the peon, but he is supposed to pay as if there were one. In reality the bank bought a worthless transformed check. The peon unknowingly sold himself to the purchaser of his signature on a promissory note that the lender turned into a check to advance trade. The stand-alone check in trade had no security instrument.

Four million slaves were emancipated by Abraham Lincoln. Today, no one has stepped forward to free sixty million peons from bondage. The peon’s master is “too big to fail”. Public education might be propaganda spouted for the Prince’s comfort. When will today’s bridge be crossed?

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