Today's economic situation in the United States is distressing. Despite Washington's best efforts, the nation's rate of unemployment continues to hover around eight per cent with millions more uncounted after having given up the search for work. If the number of unemployed continues to rise, the social safety net will be strained beyond capacity.
It's hard to believe that such a situation should exist at all. After all, America is the wealthiest nation on earth and many of its citizens continue to enjoy great wealth and privilege. Surely there must be an answer to the increasing divide between the haves and the have-nots.
Rather than increase taxes on the rich, I think there is a better solution. I propose that we reimplement the concept of slavery in the United States.
Some might argue that this would be an impossible task given that all the infrastructure and administrative apparatus necessary to maintain a slaveholding society have long since been dismantled. Although it would not be an easy matter to reinstitute slavery, if Americans make it a national priority they can accomplish that goal in short order.
Legally, all it would take is the revocation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Once slavery regains legal status, it would be available on a non-discriminatory basis to alleviate the poverty of millions of American citizens of every race and creed.
Rather than fruitlessly seek jobs, the unemployed could offer their services permanently to those of means. Assuming that appropriate exemptions from minimum wage statutes are in place, the unemployed, the working poor and those on social assistance could offer themselves in servitude to any well-to-do citizen who requires work to be done either domestically or institutionally.
Society could provide two new classes of employment, what might be called the house slave and the field slave. To avoid any negative historical connotations and to stress the non-discriminatory nature of these new classifications, they could be more accurately named the domestic servant and the workplace servant.
This reimplementation of slavery will be a win-win-win situation for the poor, the wealthy and the politicians. The poor will no longer live in fear of going without as their room and board will be provided for in perpetuity. The rich will be able to take on far more workers since they will be unencumbered by such economic burdens as wages, health benefits, pension plans and safety regulations.
Finally, politicians will be pleased to note that the elimination of the Thirteenth Amendment will revitalize the Three-Fifths Compromise embedded in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution and thereby provide countless opportunities to reorder the tax base and number of representatives in every state of the union. Although slaves or servants would only be counted as three-fifths of a person for these purposes, they would still enjoy the full rights of citizenship including the right to vote and to serve in the military.
Admittedly, my proposal might not appear popular to some. But that's because they are blinded by the negative connotations associated with the old concept of slavery. Once they fully understand the modern version with its non-discriminatory application and full citizenship rights, they will embrace it wholeheartedly and make America great once again.