I just read an article on the web about human trafficking and I’ve watched a few movies on this subject. I recall one movie about a Russian woman thinking she was going to work as a maid just cleaning. Next thing you know she has given up her passport and is in a room along with several other women. She’s told that if she runs then her son and mother back in Russia will be killed. It’s the Russian mafia that has her and it’s very sad. She has to work as a prostitute to pay off her ‘debt’. Well sexploitation goes on right here in the United States. The article said between 300 and 500 girls are trafficked every day just in Seattle, Washington. The average age is 13 when this starts and there are a variety of techniques by which people get exploited. I say people because while the majority are female there are some males who also get exploited. It’s whatever the market demands. When I was in Oakland, California during my navy duty I had a 15 year old kid offer to sell me a 13 year old girl. This was at a McDonald’s. Thanks but no thanks. Other ladies would ask you if you were looking for a ‘date’. They would do this on foot or holler out their car window while you stood at the bus stop waiting for the bus.
We all must be aware of being exploited at all times. Your employer, the local government, and anyone else that you come into contact with can be an exploiter. I didn’t need Dr. Phil to tell me this but thanks anyway. One thing I’ve talked about is how local governments have exclusionary zoning that has taken away our right to simply live in a home of our own choosing. Home owner’s associations do this too and frequently get out of control with all kinds of 'restrictions'. This causes poverty. I want to maximize the probability that people can take care of themselves. I went from paying $3,720/yr in lot rent to a mobile home park to paying $662/yr (now $718/yr) in property taxes once I was allowed to move my singlewide mobile home out of the mobile home park and onto a residential lot. Why do local governments do this? They get paid from property taxes so the more they can collect then the more they can get paid. I think that is a very strong reason. And I think there is a middle class snobbery out there that wants to exclude those that are extremely poor. But this exclusion works to keep people poor and dependent. Then we hear complaints about people being takers and living lives of generational poverty and dependency.
I worked as a temp for a temp agency and you’ll see exploitation here as well. The temp agency pays you but gets more money for you from the employer client. And there is an ‘agreement’ that if the employer wants to hire you then they have to pay a fee to the temp agency or else you have to continue to work through the temp agency for a certain length of time. I had told the agency that I wanted to wait to see if this particular employer would call me back for another assignment and they told this employer that I wasn’t available. Just a mistake? I doubt it. I had wisely left a resume with that employer and they contacted me directly. So I did have to continue to work for the agency for 3 months before being hired. But at least I got hired.
That turned out well in the end because I worked for this employer for 20.5 years before the company was sold. This employer treated me very well. I stayed on and worked for the new employer for 18 months before they let me go. The new employer was an exploiter. They let a lot of people go and set a very hard quota. I just retired after losing that job. I was called in for a ‘meeting’ where they told me I was being terminated. They wouldn’t even let me go back to my desk and get my stuff. My coat and briefcase was gotten for me. They said they would go through my desk and send everything else to me via UPS ground. I was told not to ever return to the building without permission and then a big security guard escorted me to my car. The next morning they called and offered to pay a firm to help me find a new job. I told them that I would probably just retire and that I wouldn’t even apply for unemployment. This was back in Oct 2008 and I was 59. That ended the most profitable 22 years of employment that I had. Social Security uses your best 35 years to calculate your benefit. So when you average out my best 35 years it comes out to $19,714. My total lifetime earnings were $699,133.
I moved my singlewide mobile home 300 miles south to a quarter acre lot in June 2009. I am so glad to be retired. I did 3.5 years of active duty with the Naval Reserve back in my 20’s and that gave me an appreciation of civilian life. All the bad employers I had in my life have given me an appreciation for being retired. I just watched a movie about a North Korean who was born in a forced labor camp. Talk about exploitation. He was made to watch his mother and brother get executed. The brother was shot and the mother was hanged. His father cried but he said he felt nothing. They broke the rules, they knew the rules and this was the punishment. He and his father were just lucky that they only received some torture and weren’t executed as well. He was born into this exploitive system and it’s all he knew of life. You are required to snitch on anyone planning an escape or breaking the rules. His older brother didn’t go to work and he overheard the brother speaking with his mother. The mother was advising the older brother to escape. He overheard this and reported it. He eventually escaped himself when things got so bad that he couldn’t stand it anymore. He wonders if his father was executed for his escape because that is the rule. If anyone from a family escapes then the other family members get executed. The guards have complete discretion with the inmates. So there are women who get pregnant by the guards. The guards frequently then just execute the pregnant woman. As I said, talk about exploitation.
We used to have a draft in this country. I grew up during Viet Nam. This war went on while I was in high school and while I was in college. They switched to a lottery system and I luckily got a very high draft lottery number. But I eventually just volunteered to serve as an enlisted person and had pretty easy duty. The draft ended while I was in boot camp and Viet Nam wound down. I never left the continental US and served at NAS Alameda near San Francisco from June 1973 to June 1976 after completing 6 months of boot camp and A school in Millington, Tennessee near Memphis. But I was glad to get out after that enlistment. I still had a year and a half of weekend drills once a month as a part timer. Then I was on standby reserve for a year until Jan 1979 in order to complete my six year commitment. That’s why I feel we need world peace because war is the ultimate exploitation of everyone.