Friday, December 5, 2014



*  Special thanks to "Google Images", "", "",
"", "The Los Angeles Times", "The New York Times" and ""

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA
12. 5.14

Did you make it through "Black Friday"?  How about "Cyber Monday"?  Beware how you spend for this years holiday shopping and festivities!  Inflation has risen 0.8 percent in 2014 compared to 2012.  What is the effect for the average American this year?  Pay checks will not but what they did in 2012!  

After a relatively cool period of low inflation over the past years President Obama and the Democrats have heated up inflation in an attempt to bring in more cash for the Federal Government. Even factoring in pay increases at the rate of 0.4 percent growth rate for this same period beware; your income is still less than 2012.  So what  the bottom line in all of this?  Be careful how you spend and be especially careful about taking on too much credit card debt this holiday season. Those bills will be coming in January and where will all of that "Yule Chere" be then?

This week we are undertaking the somewhat unclear concept of economic slavery.  While writing this article we discovered so many avenues which could have branched off into so many different directions as we look at the main issue of Slavery.  We found that we needed to stick very closely to our “” definition of slavery and keep to the point of our article.  However; we do cover a brief history to the end of slavery in the US and look at some other examples of historical slavery. 


the condition of a slave; bondage.
the keeping of slaves as a practice or institution.
a state of subjection like that of a slaveHe was kept in slavery by drugs.
severe toil; drudgery.

slave + -ery

Related forms
pre·slav·er·y, adjective, noun

1. thralldom, enthrallment. Slavery, bondage, servitude refer to involuntary subjection to another or 
others. Slaveryemphasizes the idea of complete ownership and control by a master: to be sold into slavery. Bondage indicates a state of subjugation or captivity often involving burdensome and degrading labor: in bondage to a cruel master. Servitude is compulsory service, often such as is required by a legal penalty: penal servitude. 4. moil, labor.


Most people today would not consider slavery to be real and happening in today’s world.  For the most part human slavery is only a groundless misconception or is it?  With the “Emancipation Proclamation” the United States Congress and President Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order which abolished human slavery.  We now turn to "" for further information:



Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demandcompensation. Historically, slavery was institutionally recognized by many societies; in more recent times slavery has been outlawed in most societies but continues through the practices of debt bondageindentured servitudeserfdomdomestic servants kept in captivity, certain adoptions in which children are forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, and forced marriage. Slavery is illegal in every country in the world, but there are still an estimated 27 million slaves worldwide; some opponents are hopeful that slavery can be eradicated by 2042.

Slavery predates written records and has existed in many cultures. The number of slaves today remains as high as 12 million to 27 million. Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations. Human trafficking is primarily used for forcing women and children into sex industries.
In pre-industrial societies, slaves and their labour were economically extremely important to those who benefitted from them. Slaves and serfs made up around three-quarters of the world's population at the beginning of the 19th century.

In modern mechanised societies, there is less need for sheer massive manpower; Norbert Wiener wrote that "mechanical labor has most of the economic properties of slave labor, though ... it does not involve the direct demoralizing effects of human cruelty.



The enforcement of this executive order took some time and effort on the Presidents part and led to the revolt of the Southern Slave States.  The “Confederate States of America” was founded.  This act by the south forced the hand of President Lincoln and the American Civil War followed with the Confederacy being defeated and surrendering to the Union in 1865.  Since that time human slavery in this country has been banned and illegal.   The end of the manacle and chains were over.

Many artists painted scenes like this one, where the oppressed appealed to Lincoln for help. 1861, Before the Emancipation Proclamation issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 during the American Civil War escaped slaves were protected as "contraband" of war.  and

Also; notice the clothing the slaves are wearing - clearly Africans were in much better condition and were improving their circumstances in America over those from which they had come in Africa.


History teaches us that President Abraham Lincoln was a great and wise man but I have to wonder.  Books such as “Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know About Dishonest Abe” by Thomas J. Dilorenzo and “Opposing Principals of Henry Clay, and Abraham Lincoln”  by John Hill paint an alternative to the popularly held  views of Lincoln.    He conducted the bloodiest war human kind has ever seen.  Could the US Civil war been avoided? 

Another fact about the Civil War which has been over looked in most cases by the history texts is the conscription of Irish immigrants to fight the Civil War as they disembarked the ships which brought them to the United States.  They were given a riffle to serve in the Union Army as their welcome to this land of opportunity.  The Irish were immigrating to the US to escape the “Great Potato Famine” in Ireland. 

The Irish were starving to death in their homeland.  In a sense these people were also enslaved by poverty and hunger.  In the novel “Far And Away” (motion picture by the same name), by author Sonja Massie documents the arrival of the Irish immigrants in America during this period.  It seems very cruel indeed of President Lincoln to conduct his war using one type of slave to free another type of slave.

If we also think about other alternative solutions for the Civil War,  President Lincoln could have certainly enforced the “Emancipation Proclamation” using far less brutal tactics.  Signs of the time were beginning to indicate that Slavery was falling by the way side.  It was the dawn of the “Industrial Revolution”.  Machines were being developed to do much of the labor intensive agricultural work for which the African slaves had been imported to America.  For many reasons the American Civil War was a tragedy of colossal proportions.  War always exemplifies the folly of human kind, especially this war, The American Civil War!  


The invention of the steam engine brought about a new mechanized type of industry and labor.  It is generally credited as occurring between the 1820 -1840's.  New industries promised and gave new advantages and benefits to those who worked in the new factories.  In the beginning these "sweat shops" practiced many intolerable employment practices which were abolished by the Government and the abilities of workers to form Unions and have the power to collectively bargain with their employers for better benefits, working conditions and pay.

Child labor was outlawed, the 40 hour work week was established, employees earned overtime pay when worked more than the 40 hr. week, factory safety standards were established. Unions collectively bargained for better benefits and pay packages Thur the years and more.  All this new power provided a new standard of living for the common laborer never seen before in the past.

Fueling the industrial revolution was "King Coal".  In the coal mining states of the US this story of prosperity was not the same as experienced by their contemporaries in the factories producing goods for use in this country and export to the world.  Pay remained low and the "company town" became a fact of life.  Employees in these coal towns fell victims to their employers.  With little earnings in these company towns employees purchased the necessity's of life from the so called "Company Store" which offered credit to their customers.  Eventually; employees said, "They owed their souls to the company store" because they fell further behind in debt and were trapped in this way of life

Today's slavery is similar to that of the "company store" in the coal mining communities of yester-year.  Although not bound with chains, people are not earning enough to keep pace with inflation and the unforeseen events such as recession or a catastrophe suffered by home owners in 2006 with the crash of the housing bubble.


Now we turn our attention to other forms of binding people in a “Contract” of indebtedness which more closely resembles what at one time was known as “Indentured Servitude”.  This kind of agreement was a business contract and any dispute had to be resolved in a Court of Law or by the US Government itself.  This is where out story begins today!

The word “bondage” has always been closely associated with slavery.  The binding of two groups to each other is seen throughout history.  Using Judaism as an example; we learn of the “Egyptian Bondage” and other instances of slavery such as the “Babylonian Captivity”.   Any contract weather it is a financial loan, employment agreement, marriage ceremony  and so forth is an agreement by two or more parties binding all concerned to a set of terms and obligations between each other for the mutual benefit of all concerned. 

This ancient illustration depicts slavery in Egypt during the reign of the Pharos and the slavery of the Jewish people.

Have you ever heard the expression, “My Word Is My Bond”?  We are bound by our obligations.  Sometimes these are voluntary but sometimes may become involuntary.  We are again calling upon “Wikipedia” to clarify and define this kind of “Bondage”.


Again looking to our “” definition of slavery we see the mention of other example and comparison – “he was kept in slavery by drugs”.  Drugs and financial debt are the shackles and chains which bind people into bondage today.  Drugs are not a new subjector of human kind nor are they a new tool for enforcing the will of a “master” upon those to be enslaved.  The Chinese were once dominated by the use of Opium – the largest nation on earth!

In the United States today we are quickly approaching the domination of our society by substance abuse – alcohol, pharmaceutical dependencies and street drugs.  Again we stress these are not new issues for human kind but are a growing problem in the US.  Once productive and prosperous lives have been diminished by the use and abuse of these substances.  If we look to history comparing our nation to the Roman Empire we see many similarities.  The US is ripe for a fall!  

In our research for this article we discovered this interesting article online regarding financial debt from this Virginia law firm. If a lawyer is taking the time to give us this advice then it would be wise to consider their warning seriously.  They charge very high fees for their consultations.

Debt Bondage: Modern Economic Slavery Alive & Well

There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
~John Adams

In a very rudimentary definition, which does not incorporate the emotional and physical horrors, slavery of the 16th century was based in part on obtaining the economic production power of a human for free.

With the decline and ultimate end of this human and economic exploitation in the United States in the 1800′s, unscrupulous businessmen sought other means of economic exploitation in order to subjugate human production for economic benefit.  One of these was the “Tommy” or “Truck” system, which was immortalized in the song “Sixteen Tons” about the life of a coal miner, first recorded in 1946 by singer Merle Travis.

You may remember some of the lyrics, like: “another day older and deeper in debt” and “I owe my soul to the company store”, referencing the scrip system used by coal mining companies.  Instead of being paid cash, workers were paid in non-transferable credit vouchers which they could exchange for goods sold at the company store.  The system undermined workers being able to save cash.  The system was ultimately put to an end in the mines with the growth of unions.

Both examples have something in common, which is the control of the individuals earning power to harness it to the economic benefit of the controller.

And today this unscrupulous goal continues with high-interest money lenders like payday lenders, buy-here-pay-here car sales, and compounding, high-interest charging credit card companies.
They seek to enslave your earning power.  Commit to becoming debt free.

Home » Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer Blog » Debt Bondage: Modern Economic Slavery Alive & Well


China has come a long way since the 1970's and their Communist past under Mao Tse-tung and even further since the countries national Opium addiction of the 1800's.  Today China is a booming haven for industry and companies from many nations are beating a path to China's door step taking advantage of cheep labor and other government sponsored advantages given to company's who relocate to the Chinese mainland.  

There are questions however about employee compensation and labor in the new China leap to capitalism.  One unusual law which the Chinese have had thrust upon them by their government is China's mandatory ruling concerning families.  One child per couple or household.  This has come about because of China's growing population problems.  As mentioned earlyer in this article, slavery is cruel in many ways.  As we "Google" slavery we uncovered the following article from "The New York Times".

NY Times Investigation Confirms That Apple’s Factories In China Are Basically Slave Labor Camps

Written by The Cajun Boy / 01.26.12
Reports the Times:

The day after Apple announced that it had doubled its profits last quarter on the strength of iPhone 4s sales, the New York Times has published a bombshell of a report on the conditions inside the Chinese factories that produce all the gadgets Apple fanatics crave, and it’s not pretty. In short, your iPhones, iPads, iPods, etc., are essentially being produced in slave labor  camps. 

Reports the Times:
Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.
More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.
“If Apple was warned, and didn’t act, that’s reprehensible,” said Nicholas Ashford, a former chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a group that advises the United States Labor Department. “But what’s morally repugnant in one country is accepted business practices in another, and companies take advantage of that.”
Even more troubling is that Apple executives know about what goes on in the factories, but turns a blind eye to it because doing something about it would likely stem the tidal waves of cash that continue to roll in.
Some former Apple executives say there is an unresolved tension within the company: executives want to improve conditions within factories, but that dedication falters when it conflicts with crucial supplier relationships or the fast delivery of new products…Executives at other corporations report similar internal pressures. This system may not be pretty, they argue, but a radical overhaul would slow innovation. Customers want amazing new electronics delivered every year.
“We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on,” said one former Apple executive who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. “Why? Because the system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”
“If half of iPhones were malfunctioning, do you think Apple would let it go on for four years?” the executive asked.
Another alarming confirmation is that Apple is engaging in business tactics similar to that of Walmart, where the company puts the squeeze on suppliers to delivery products to them as cheaply as possible.
Every month, officials at companies from around the world trek to Cupertino or invite Apple executives to visit their foreign factories, all in pursuit of a goal: becoming a supplier.
When news arrives that Apple is interested in a particular product or service, small celebrations often erupt. Whiskey is drunk. Karaoke is sung.
Then, Apple’s requests start.
Apple typically asks suppliers to specify how much every part costs, how many workers are needed and the size of their salaries. Executives want to know every financial detail. Afterward, Apple calculates how much it will pay for a part. Most suppliers are allowed only the slimmest of profits.
So suppliers often try to cut corners, replace expensive chemicals with less costly alternatives, or push their employees to work faster and longer, according to people at those companies.
“The only way you make money working for Apple is figuring out how to do things more efficiently or cheaper,” said an executive at one company that helped bring the iPad to market. “And then they’ll come back the next year, and force a 10 percent price cut.”
If I didn’t know any better I’d say that Apple appears to be pushing and pushing and pushing to see just how much they can get away with before a tipping point is reached and people become so genuinely disgusted that they flat-out refuse to buy Apple products any more. Of course, it doesn’t help that most of Apple’s competitor’s products just don’t stack up, making the decision to boycott an especially painful one. With seemingly so few legit alternatives to turn to, Apple might have to start actually murdering workers before that sort of breaking point is reached.
Anyway, go read the full story when you have a few minutes free. It’ll at least give you something to think about next time you’re in the market for something Apple sells.

Read more:

The new company store?

Since its first store opened in 1962, Walmart has grown rapidly from its roots in rural America to urban and suburban communities in the US and abroad. Delivering on a basic promise to provide every day low prices has made Walmart the most successful retailer in the world. In order to stay in front and become more relevant to a broader audience, Walmart determined it was necessary to undertake a massive initiative to revitalize its brand.

Needless to say, or maybe we should say; China's biggest retailer in the US is Wallmart. The company has helped so many American jobs leave the US.  People are beginning to talk!  On more than one occasion I have heard people say shoplifting at the super store is not a crime because Wallmart has helped steel away so many jobs from America!  Now we would like to present a story from "The Los Angeles Times" explaining why the Ford Motor Company is now moving American Jobs to China.

Ford Plays Catch-Up In China's Growing Auto Market

Workers assemble automobile parts at the new Changan Ford Mazda automobile… (Associated Press )

The company opens its fourth assembly plant in an attempt to compete with GM and VW in China, the world's leading consumer of car

February 25, 2012|By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Chongqing, China — Ford Motor Co.'s new factory in this smog-shrouded boomtown is the size of 17 football fields and cost nearly half a billion dollars. It's also the latest major push by a Detroit automaker in one of the global auto industry's most important battlegrounds.
The facility, which opened Friday, is Ford's fourth assembly plant in China and part of an effort to catch up with rivals, including General Motors Co., which now sells more cars in China than it does in the United States.

How Ford responds to the China challenge could help shape the company's future. The world's No. 1 car market, China posted vehicle sales of 18.5 million last year, compared with 12.8 million in the U.S.
"Now is the time we really need to set our sights to accelerate," David Schoch, head of Ford China, said in Chongqing on Friday.

Whether Ford is arriving too late to the party remains to be seen. The company's first passenger car wasn't launched in China until 2003, when VW and GM were already selling hundreds of thousands of units.

"Ford is trying to play catch-up with the big boys," said Namrita Chow, a Shanghai-based analyst at IHS Automotive. "They started much later and need to ramp up capacity and offer a much larger product line."

The good news is that Chinese consumers love foreign nameplates, even if most of those Fords, Chevrolets and Buicks are assembled in China. That's a rare success for U.S. companies looking to crack the China market. Foreign brands, which account for about 70% of sales, are considered to be of higher quality and more prestigious than homegrown Chinese vehicles.

"In China, cars are like rolling trophies," said Bill Russo, a Beijing-based senior advisor for Booz & Co. and Chrysler's former chief in China. "You have more face driving a foreign brand....This is a country where economic success is communicated by what you buy."

But Ford first must deliver more cars and showrooms for customers to find them. Ford sold just over a half-million units in China last year, well behind GM's 2.6 million and Volkswagen's 2.3 million. GM has nearly six times the number of dealerships.

Chongqing resident Alan Zhang was determined to buy a foreign model, concluding that a Chinese car "doesn't give me any status." His first choice was a Volkswagen Golf. But he gave up after a VW dealer told him he had to wait five months and pay $3,000 to join a waiting list.
Instead, he strolled to one of GM's 2,700 showrooms recently and plunked down $16,000 for a Buick Excelle with buttery brown leather interior.

As for Ford?

"Ford's not bad," said Zhang, a 28-year-old copywriter. "I just don't see that many dealerships."
In response, Ford plans to introduce 15 new vehicles into China over the next three years and boost its dealerships by nearly half to 680 showrooms. Many of those are planned for China's lesser-known cities, where competition and growth are more favorable.

Ford is not alone in seeking to boost China sales.

Chrysler Group, which sold only 23,000 vehicles in China last year, is also planning to scale up its presence in the world's second-largest economy, with plans to boost sales of its Jeeps and SUVs.
Meanwhile, GM, whose success in China has helped it regain its crown as the world's largest automaker, added an entry-level brand in China last year called Baojun to bolster a lineup that already includes the hot-selling Buick and Chevrolet.

"China represents the future growth for all automakers, including the Detroit three, whereas markets like Western Europe are mature and little growth is expected," said Michelle Krebs, an analyst for "Even North American growth won't be huge. Other emerging markets like Brazil, Russia and India are also important but based on sheer size and a constant trajectory upward of sales, China is the most important."

Had Ford beefed up its presence in China sooner, it might have reaped the full rewards of two years of staggering sales in China — 2009 and 2010 — when the total number of vehicles sold grew by 46% and 32% respectively.

The Chinese market cooled markedly last year, with vehicle sales up only 2.5% compared with 2010. But Ford's Schoch isn't fazed.

"It's not the torrid pace we saw in 2009 and 2010, but nevertheless there's very good growth opportunities," he said.

A big step came Friday with the introduction of the new Ford Focus. Assembled in the new Chongqing plant, the plucky sedan with a hatchback option also features a voice-activated control system designed to recognize some of China's many regional accents.

The car will probably sell for $17,000 to $24,000, depending on the options. It's aimed at first-time car buyers, a group that makes up 65% of the Chinese market, according to Ford.
"Ford cars are very practical," said Zhu Xiaoyan, 28, a proud owner of a black Ford Focus in Chongqing, explaining why he bought his first car. "I pay attention to the price and quality."

Ford hopes the Focus will seize ground in China in the crowded segment for small sedans, which was led last year by the Toyota Corolla, Buick Excelle and Volkswagen Lavida, according to IHS Automotive.

Despite its late start, Ford is still in a more enviable position than foreign automakers that have yet to launch operations in China, an enterprise that requires a joint venture with a local manufacturer.

Concerned about overcapacity, China's central government recently made it more difficult for its domestic automakers to partner with an international firm. That could stymie the likes of Subaru, Renault and Fiat. It also complicates Ford's plans to break free of its three-way partnership with Mazda and its local manufacturer, Changan.

"At least they're past 'go,' " Russo of Booz & Co. said of Ford. "They know what they need to do. They just have to keep investing. They're in the game."

Nicole Liu in the Times' Beijing bureau contributed to this report.


Debt if not controlled can also be a cruel task master if not controlled.  Even financial obligations which have been carefully planned in advance can become a burden through unforeseen circumstances.  The “Great Depression” of the 1930’s wiped out fortunes and Bank Accounts.  Some of the most prosperous people of the day walked away from the Depression penny less with only the clothes on their back.

Other conditions which could enslave us are as follow – some are voluntary and some are involuntary:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Poverty
  • Commitments
  • War
  • Government Policy's
  • Debt

The Housing Market Crash of 2007 was the worst housing crash in U.S. history. The Housing Market Crash of 2007 was the cause of the financial crisis. This nearly caused the U.S. to experience another depression like the Great Depression. There are a number of things we can look at to determine how the housing bubble occurred and what happened to cause the bubble to collapse.

The collapse of the “Housing Bubble” which began in 2006 illustrates again how unforeseen circumstances are able to affect our wealth and financial planning.  Another area of great concern for us today should be the $$Trillion$$  dollar deficit in Washington DC.  If the President and Congress do not come to terms with this colossal debt it could have devastating consequences for us all in the not so far away future.  One tip for avoiding financial slavery is to keep away from what is called “Creative Financing”.  Also avoid heavy credit card debt and using credit to finance our happiness and dreams.  Too bad Lincoln could not have abolished indebtedness!  This has been Felicity with over a few thousand words on slavery today.

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