Wednesday, March 01, 2017 by Ethan Huff
Slavery officially ended in 1865 and became a relic of the past, thanks to the enactment of the 13th amendment — or did it? Despite what many people have been led to believe about disenfranchised Americans being freed from the shackles of having to work for someone else for free (or for pittance) at the end of the Civil War, the truth of the matter is that slavery is still alive and well, and it is taking place in prisons all across America on behalf of large corporations.
The modern system of slavery is known as “insourcing,” and it involves using prison labor to produce consumer goods on the cheap. In essence, individuals who have been incarcerated are tasked with producing things like plastic cutlery for fast food chains, and cheap clothing for big box retailers, as part of their “punishment” — a way for multinational corporations to offer “Made in America” goods for pennies on the dollar.
As some Natural News readers already know, the United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, some 2.4 million people in the U.S. are currently behind bars, and many of these individuals are being taken advantage of to perform labor for anywhere between $.23 and $1.15 per hour, a mere fraction of the minimum wage amount required by law as pay for hourly work.
In other words, prison inmates are being “hired,” a.k.a. forced to work as part of their sentence, to perform all sorts of duties on behalf of companies like Microsoft, Nike, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market, and Walmart to help manufacture products for next to nothing so that, when consumers later purchase these products from store shelves, the corporate bigwigs can make a hefty profit rather than have to pay workers a fair wage.
It was reported by VICE back in 2015 that Whole Foods Market was using forced prison labor in the state of Colorado to farm-raise tilapia fish that was being sold to customers for $11.99 per pound. According to that report, these inmates were making a mere $.74 per day to raise this fish, allowing Whole Foods to rake in massive profits on the backs of these prisoners.
Walmart was exposed for doing the exact same thing by using a prison inmate program that took advantage of prisoners who were forced to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to vendors throughout the U.S. for pennies on the dollar. These inmates were paid as little as $2 per hour to work long hours on the farm picking weeds, thinning plants, boxing produce, and performing other taxing duties, even when they were not physically fit enough to do so.
Microsoft, Nike, GlaxoSmithKline, Verizon, Starbucks, Pfizer, and many other companies all do the same thing, it turns out. Modern slavery really is a thing, and it does not simply occur overseas in Third World countries — it takes place every day in the country with the largest prison population in the world, out of sight and out of mind of the average person who thinks he or she is getting a deal at the grocery store or mall.
“With 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population, the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world,” explains Return To Now. “No other society in history has imprisoned more of its own citizens. There are half a million more prisoners in the U.S. than in China, which has five times our population.”
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