Monday, January 18, 2010

Americans Are Indentured Servants: The Immorality and Consequences of National Debt

From the very beginning of our country’s journey, officially begun in 1776, there’s something in the American spirit that has been revolted by slavery; and by all involuntary servitude, no matter what name it goes by; no matter what form it takes. Americans treasure their independence. It’s why they broke away from Britain.

At the time of the Revolutionary War, Americans, most of whom considered themselves good British subjects, revolted against being taxed without being represented in the British parliament. They saw correctly that if taxed without their consent for the expenses of the British Empire, their freedom was jeopardized; that they were instantly relegated to an inferior position and an inferior class–that of mere colonists, not British citizens. They saw the British empire had an agenda entirely apart from the people of the colonies; to whom the rulers of Britain were almost entirely indifferent except as the colonists met their demands and needs. Britain saw the colonists in purely exploitative terms, as serfs who worked to supply the coffers of an empire bent on expansion. Americans were seen as hewers of wood and water bearers; suppliers of raw materials--and of tax monies.

But typically, Americans did not see themselves as serfs who worked for the master of Great Britain. They saw themselves as citizens who were equal to, shared the privileges of those who resided within Great Britain itself. So they were infuriated. It wasn’t the size of the tax that mattered; it was the precedent, which once established, made the entire population of the colonies indentured servants, bound to pay off British debts they had no part in engendering and did not approve of.

It’s well to remember Americans of the time were intimately familiar with indentured servitude. While it was an established practice, free citizens wanted no part of it, for the abuses were known first hand. An indentured servant was merely a debt bondage worker, a laborer under contract of an employer. For three to seven years, the person who signed off his/her freedom had to work in exchange for their transportation, food, drink, clothing, and a roof over their heads–and that was the ideal situation.

We know the results of the British Empires attempts to tax their colonies without their consent: a whole people refused to become indentured servants, rose up and fought for the right to be free, to form a government which was to serve the people-- not the other way around. Americans decided against servitude in any form. And they have done so again and again.
Since the Revolution, the American revulsion toward servitude has manifest itself in may forms. Indentured servitude itself was eventually was banned as a practice banned by the US as inimical to freedom. As was slavery. As is human trafficking.

Time and again Americans have risen to free those whom the rapacious and cruel–always present in every culture--would enslave. To their credit, they have done so at considerable sacrifice of blood, sweat and tears. When Americans have awakened to the oppression of minorities in their midst–admittedly often far too slowly--they have risen to free the oppressed among them. The American Civil War, fought to save the union as well as to free slaves, cost the loss of 10% of our country’s population. The great civil rights movement of the 1960's moved mountains.

We Americans have even fought for others’ freedoms. WWII, as close to a perfectly righteous war as wars ever get, was fought in order that the world not fall into slavery imagined by the Aryan fanatics who saw the rest of the world as inferior, worthy only of servitude.

But in a vicious turn of fate, particularly over the two years of the Bush and Obama administrations, the American people and at least two successive generations have now themselves become indentured servants, slaves to the very government they elected to maintain the principles of the founding fathers of this great nation. Americans now work for the masters they have put in office.

How has this happened? A congress deaf to the voices of the very people who elected its representatives has enslaved generations of Americans to a unpayable debt. Without their even knowing it Americans very homes have become a debtor’s prison. Their freedom is an illusion. They are sold into indentured servitude. But their servitude does not end in two or three or seven years. Their servitude, just by order of the magnitude of the debt, is permanent.

Think about it. Up until a very short time ago, the average worker worked for the governments, federal and state, an average of four months of the year--January through May to pay the government. Thus he or she has been an indentured servant of the government for almost half of each year. But even that burden seems a halcyon scenario as the debt accumulated during the last part of the Bush administration and now by the Obama administration makes all taxes and debt that came before seem minuscule.

As of this July 6, 2009, the national debt was $11,503,557,424,736.83. The US population, at most recent count, is 306, 498, 146. If the debt is divided up among the population, each and every person in the US owes $37,532.23. This means a family of four owes $150,128.92. That’s just today’s figures, as the debt has increased 3.86 billions per day since September 28, 2007.

Since the first writing of this article in the fall, the debt has increased exponentially. It is hard to say just how much each person owes, as the amount of debt and debt service has become a runaway figure that only goes up, up and away.

It is a fact of life that debt represents work and productivity. It is Americans’ work, Americans' productivity, that are hijacked to pay off our national debt. Unless, of course, the Federal Reserve prints more money to pay off the debt, in which case you will wind up paying it off anyway in the form of inflation.

As noted above, one of the most horrific things about our government’s behavior is that it is imitating a savagely cruel practice of ancient and even modern times. It is enslaving future generations–America’s children. Each American child who is born is born an indentured servant, saddled with debts he or she neither knew or approved of–enslaved by feckless and rapacious governments, federal and state.

Did anyone ever dream our country would resort to such a practice? Just think of it: We and generations after us have been sold into slavery to our own government. Our wages present and future are permanently garnished--stolen. A yoke of taxation is fixed on our necks as securely as if our necks were in stocks.

But there is another factor to consider. Americans are not just slaves to their own government. They also have been sold to another people. Our country’s debt is largely owned by the Peoples Republic of China, whose ruthless government will extract every possible concession from the United States. Our debt puts us in the power of a government which is inimically opposed to the foundational beliefs of our country. China, whatever its concessions to a runaway capitalistic sphere may be, remains communist and is run by draconian authoritarians who have little to no empathy for their own people, much less hated foreigners.

All one has to do is to take a look at Communist China’s human rights record in order to know just what the Chinese government thinks of freedom of speech, religion and dissent. It is well to recall the consequences of the Tianamen Square revolt. The government of China is ruthlessly repressive, and pays little heed to the international community’s pleas for human rights. Does anyone seriously think the Chinese government will be as generous as Americans concerning debtors? Does anyone think there will be debt forgiveness? Or drastic consequences should America try to escape debt by inflating the currency or by defaulting?

Since ancient times, no greater fate befalls a free people than to be handed over to a repressive government. Yet such is the government to which the American people have been sold. What greater cruelty can a government commit than that of selling its own people into debt bondage to those who repress their own people?

Exaggeration? No. Debt hands control over to the lender. Recall what happens to an ordinary U.S. citizen who gets into debt. He becomes a bond servant to those to whom he owes money. Suddenly he finds himself under the control of his creditors. He is automatically subject to control and oppression, harassed by calls and threatened by legal proceedings. His possessions are no longer his own. His work is no longer for his own benefit. In short, he is no longer a free man, but a man who has become another’s indentured servant.

Even so, a nation which is indebted to another is no longer a free nation. It and its citizens are now obligated to a task master who makes the rules. The American people have become indentured servants to China.

While American citizens will no doubt escape the fate of ancient peoples who were summarily carted off to exile when they refused to pay tribute or taxes to a given empire, our indebtedness will supply China leverage to extract concessions from us while it freely expands its sphere of influence over the far East, intimidating even our most loyal allies such as Japan, its old enemy. The U.S. will be powerless to protest, especially as its indebtedness is being matched with deliberate vitiation of its armed forces by the current administration.

Of course, indebtedness and its consequences will show up as weakness elsewhere, for inevitably, an indebted nation loses its power on the entire world stage. Mikhail Gorbashev recognized that fact, and it is one of the chief reasons he began his policy of glasnost. He knew a nation with unsustainable expenditures and debt automatically lost its primacy among the nations. A similar fate awaits the United States if drastic action is not taken.
It is time to wake up.

The government for the people and by the people is perishing from the face of the earth as we watch ourselves and our fellow citizens shackled by a government determined to expand an already vast bureaucracy and to enrich themselves, their cronies and global institutions–all the while crushing and enslaving the great American middle class and America itself by unsustainble debt. The sovereign future of the United States is at risk domestically and internationally.

Americans must rise up and throw off the yoke of debtors’ slavery by protesting peacefully en masse by marching on Washington and state capitals, for it is probably too late to write letters and to petition.

It is time for a united, peaceful revolution; for yet more million man marches and protests.

It is time to throw out the task masters who have sold us and generations after us into bondage and to replace them with fiscally and morally responsible representatives.
Fay Voshell

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