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April
13
2019

April 15 Is Slavery Day
Paul Craig Roberts

(Editor's Note: Inflation is theft. A little inflation is a little theft, and a lot of inflation is a lot of theft. There is nothing natural about inflation. The Federal Reserve is the only cause of inflation in the U.S.A., and a major cause of inflation throughout the world. Everyone involved with the Federal Reserve are thieves. The IRS is the collection agency for the Federal Reserve. They, too, are thieves. Not one in a hundred working there realizes it. But that hardly matters. We are talking about thousands upon thousands of thieves. No wonder we are in such a mess. - JSB)

The Jews’ path to profitable victimhood was the Holocaust. For blacks the path is slavery. 

We hear endlessly about Slavery. Slavery is always the fault of white people, especially the Founding Fathers, the Confederacy, and Robert E. Lee. 

Slavery is never the fault of black Africans who engaged in slave wars against one another. Slaves were a status symbol. When slave wars produced more slaves than victors could afford to maintain, the Africans began selling each other to the Arabs. When the Europeans discovered the New World and needed a work force for the rice and sugar and later cotton plantations, they purchased Africans from the black Kingdom of Dahomey.

Before propaganda and the teaching of hatred of white people took over from education in American universities, the origin of the slave trade was well known. Books, such as Karl Polanyi’s Dahomey and the Slave Trade, described the facts of the African tribal slave wars. 

One would think that Polanyi’s book would be a textbook in black studies courses, but since the purpose of black studies is to demonize white people, today Polanyi’s book is regarded as racist. It is out of print. Amazon lists six used copies available at prices ranging from $121.37 to $208.23. Clearly, blacks are never going to learn anything factual from black studies.

Every race has been held in slavery. Everyone the Romans conquered and every barbarian tribe that crossed the Roman Lines could end up as slaves. Arabs raided all over Europe for white slaves. A good text for black studies would be New York University Press’s 2007 book, White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh. The authors are not talking about indentured servants, a form of slavery for a contracted period of usually five or seven years. From The Story of the Irish Race by Seumas MacManus you can learn that tens of thousands of Irish were enslaved and shipped to the West Indies to work and die on the sugar plantations. 

But people, especially blacks, don’t want to know this. They cling to their brainwashing and unique victim status like the Jews who won’t let anyone question the Holocaust. 

While blacks build their victim status, the real slavery today goes unnoticed. Let’s begin by understanding what a slave is. A slave is a person who does not own the products of his/her own labor. That is, a slave is a person who is taxed on his/her work. A person who does not own the product of his own work is exploited. In 19th century America, the tax rate on slaves has been estimated to be about 50 percent. The other half of the slave’s work product was necessary to maintain the slave and the owner’s investment in the slave. In the feudal era, the tax rate on serfs was limited to about 30 percent. The technology in the feudal era was less than in the 19th century, and the lower productivity of labor in the feudal era meant that the serfs could not reproduce if they were taxed more than a third of their work product.

Before the Reagan marginal tax rate reductions, middle class Americans were taxed at or above the rate of medieval serfs, and the rich with a 50% marginal income tax rate and a 70% tax rate on investment income were taxed at higher rates than 19th century slaves on Southern plantations. The invention of the income tax turned us all into government-owned slaves.

Many people confuse slavery with a lack of mobility. This is a mistake. Some 19th century slaves had mobility in America. Those with skills were leased to businesses in towns and cities. Deductions from the slaves’s pay was sent to the slave’s owner just as employers today deduct from the pay of employees and send the payroll tax to Washington.

Bloomberg Business Week recently reported on a new form of slavery that has risen in America. Students sell part of their future income to investors in exchange for their educational expenses. The article tells the story of a 23-year old woman who sold a piece of her future earning power for 8.5 years in an “income sharing contract.” 

When I was educated, tuition for instate students at state universities was nominal. Today students have to cover the cost by selling themselves into partial slavery. The work product of the woman who is the example in the Bloomberg Business Week article is partly owned by private investors and partly owned by state and federal governments. It is possible that her share of her work product is less than that of a 19th century slave. 

This form of slavery is acceptable to blacks and whites. What if 19th century plantations had treated slaves as a free work force earning a salary that was taxed at 50%? How would this be any different from the slavery we all suffer today?


Hon. Paul Craig Roberts is the John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. A former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service, he is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles and a columnist for Investor's Business Daily. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists.

He was Distinguished Fellow at the Cato Institute from 1993 to 1996. From 1982 through 1993, he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. During 1981-82 he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy. President Reagan and Treasury Secretary Regan credited him with a major role in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, and he was awarded the Treasury Department's Meritorious Service Award for "his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy." From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy.

In 1987 the French government recognized him as "the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism" and inducted him into the Legion of Honor.

Dr. Roberts' latest books are The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with IPE Fellow Lawrence Stratton, and published by Prima Publishing in May 2000, and Chile: Two Visions - The Allende-Pinochet Era, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen Araujo, and published in Spanish by Universidad Nacional Andres Bello in Santiago, Chile, in November 2000. The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America, co-authored with IPE Fellow Karen LaFollette Araujo, was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A Spanish language edition was published by Oxford in 1999. The New Colorline: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, was published by Regnery in 1995. A paperback edition was published in 1997. Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, co-authored with Karen LaFollette, was published by the Cato Institute in 1990. Harvard University Press published his book, The Supply-Side Revolution, in 1984. Widely reviewed and favorably received, the book was praised by Forbes as "a timely masterpiece that will have real impact on economic thinking in the years ahead." Dr. Roberts is the author of Alienation and the Soviet Economy, published in 1971 and republished in 1990. He is the author of Marx's Theory of Exchange, Alienation and Crisis, published in 1973 and republished in 1983. A Spanish language edition was published in 1974.

Dr. Roberts has held numerous academic appointments. He has contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship, including the Journal of Political Economy, Oxford Economic Papers, Journal of Law and Economics, Studies in Banking and Finance, Journal of Monetary Economics, Public Finance Quarterly, Public Choice, Classica et Mediaevalia, Ethics, Slavic Review, Soviet Studies, Rivista de Political Economica, and Zeitschrift fur Wirtschafspolitik. He has entries in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Economics and the New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance. He has contributed to Commentary, The Public Interest, The National Interest, Harper's, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, London Times, The Financial Times, TLS, The Spectator, Il Sole 24 Ore, Le Figaro, Liberation, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions.

Dr. Roberts was educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology (B.S.), the University of Virginia (Ph.D.), the University of California at Berkeley and Oxford University where he was a member of Merton College.

He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, The Dictionary of International Biography, Outstanding People of the Twentieth Century, and 1000 Leaders of World Influence. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: [email protected]

 

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