Ahoy! We All Be Slaves!

    December 21, 2012 at 4:00 am

    Okay, now that we have your attention, let us amend that to “ahoy, none of us be slaves.” But all of us face severe thought imprisonment without even knowing it, in the form of convoluted insurance, tax, and debt laws, and isn’t that a form of slavery? Again, the answer is, “no.” From what we’ve learned in school and from stand-up comedians, slavery is where you’re forced into a box to do nothing but row and poop, followed by a lifetime of backbreaking, rewardless labor. That’s not the “slavery” we’re talking about here, is there any way we can be clearer on this? Here are a clusteer of incredible ways we are all coerced into constantly performing acts against our will, without even knowing it. Unless you live a completely self-sustainable life entirely off the grid, there’s no getting around it:




    Car insurance, life insurance, health insurance, house insurance, flood insurance, renter’s insurance, pet insurance, property insurance.

    If you want a car, you’ve got to pay insurance. The only way to get around that is to rent a car, which is infinitely more expensive than buying a cheap one and will totally annihilate your bank account if you decline coverage from the rental company and get into any type of accident — even if it’s not your fault.

    Life insurance is less important; that’s more about benefitting the people you leave behind when you die (or, alternately, making sure they don’t get saddled with your enormous gambling and prostitution debts). But health insurance is essential. Without it, you may literally be left to die in the emergency room as patients who do have insurance are treated for minor ailments,just like Leslie Elder. Not only do people get completely ignored for not having health insurance, but those who do receive treatment are often hit with astronomical hospital bills they couldn’t pay off even if they dedicated the rest of their lives to doing so.

    It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t; doctors’ offices are a business. If you can’t afford high monthly payments for health insurance, prepare to be treated like a second-class citizen at the doctor — even if you’re a 10-month-old baby.

    And then there’s your home or apartment. Without property, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, there are no helping hands to pick you up after a robbery or natural disaster destroys your belongings. Hurricane Sandy is a great example of the way in which we are bound by the obligation to pay for insurance or be left in the cold: many residents, without flood insurance on their homes or vehicles, are left to suffer in the wake of the storm. Sure, FEMA is helping out a little — if you qualify. But despite desperately needing repairs or transportation assistance after the hurricane ravaged electrical lines, apartments and cars, some people are simply “not in the disaster zone” according to a clearly inadequate map or living in an apartment in a house belonging to someone else, and disqualified because the homeowner doesn’t claim the rented space as their primary living space. Technicalities like that can mean the difference between having heat, running water, and electricity.

    We are at the mercy of insurance companies; either pay up or be left to suffer. And sadly, many think this is fair. What kind of world do we live in when helping other people is frowned upon? A world without Canada, yes,  but think more deeply.

    Taxed to Live


    Renting is a reasonable concept. You want to live in someone else’s property, so you pay them a fee each month to do so. But even if you buy a house, you’re asked to pay a type of rent to the government — property tax.

    There’s no escaping it. Just when you thought you could buy a home and live rent-free, you’re hit with yearly taxes to own your own property.

    A lot of people don’t think this is a big deal, but it seems a little silly to be basically renting your own home from the government. Not only that, but your taxes are mostly contributed to the war in Iraq and the military (20% of the budget — $718 billion).


    The Scam of Public Debt


    There’s also the federal government’s interest payments on the money it’s borrowed… from its own government. If that doesn’t make sense to you, it’s because the concept of the federal government’s public debt is a convoluted maze of semantics and stocks designed to increase your taxes and — what? Yes, stocks. As in, about half of the US’ entire debt (which is over $16 trillion) is actually ‘owned’ by other countries.

    Debt holders want interest payments. The United States spends about $800 billion a year, much of which is dedicated to unnecessary warmongering. The ‘debt ceiling’, meant to prevent the country from falling further into debt, is just another make-believe concept since Congress has the power to raise it as they see fit.

    The United States does not want to forgive the public debt it owes itself because that means making less money off of you.

    Even Thomas Jefferson knew that a large amount of public debt meant the enslavement of the nation’s own people.


    College Tuitions and Loans


    So you don’t want to work at the DMV or manage a Taco Bell for the next 20 years. Time to go to college. Expect to pay an average of $27,293 a year at a private university or an average of $17,000 at a public one. That’s about twice as much as college students were paying a decade ago.

    Don’t have giant stacks of cash lying around? Not to worry; call up our good friend Sallie Mae, the largest student lender in the country. Often called a loan shark, Sallie Mae will pry the money you owe them from your parents if you should die.

    At an interest rate of 8.8%, you’re looking at approximately $23,376 in fees for taking out just a $20,000 loan — about one year of college. Multiply that by four and you’ll be making monthly payments for the next few decades unless you’re becoming a cosmetic surgeon or joining NASA.

    Sallie Mae can garnish your wages, suspend any professional license you hold, garnish your social security or disability income, or withhold your IRS tax refund just for missing a few payments.

    This is made even more absurd by the fact that the federal government guarantees your loan, and will pay Sallie Mae in full if you should fail to do so. Now you’re really in trouble. The government wants its money back. It hands your debt off to GRC, a collections agency… which is owned by Sallie Mae, and will now be charging you 25% interest on your unpaid loan. So Sallie Mae is paid in full and the government is now profiting off you plus a ton of interest.

    And graduation might not be such an exciting prospect once you realize that there were 17 million “underemployed” Americans with a college degree in 2008, the official employment rate of college graduates under 25 in 2010 was 9.3% and incomes for US households led by someone between the ages of 25-34 have fallen by 12%. And yes, that’s adjusted for inflation.

    But you want a good education, don’t you? Most professional occupations require a degree, you know.


    Illusion of Choice in Media and Food

    Illusion of Choice

    Maybe you don’t care about any of this crap. You are, indeed, a brain surgeon with a mansion made out of hundred dollar bills. Your exotic parrot shits out golden nuggets. You’ve spent thousands training your snotty children to be performers and they’re already raking in enough to afford a private jet; just think of the royalties you’ll be receiving for decades!

    You can choose whatever you want when it comes to vacationing, eating, drinking, and reading the news.

    It’s only too bad that only ten companies quietly own most of the food products available to you. And only six corporations own most media outlets.

    GMO foods, although many are banned in Europe for their clearly detrimental effects on the human body, comprise most of the American food market. About 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans and 70% of processed foods are GMO.

    You eat what Monsanto wants you to eat. You see what the few companies who own the media want you to see.


    Life Valued at Dollar Value


    If you don’t have any money, your life is simply not worth very much to anyone else. And by anyone I mean businesses, who are now considered humans in the government’s eyes. Besides the healthcare problem, there’s also the issue that you are most likely unable to eat organic, non-processed food unless you’re making a substantial amount of money. Between car payments, rent or mortgage or property tax, insurances, and student loans, it’s no wonder why people don’t go to the doctor because they fear the bill or opt for a $4 fast food meal as opposed to a more expensive, albeit healthier, option.

    In September of 2011, the poverty rate in America was 15.1% — that’s 46.2 million people.

    Foreclosure, the real estate market crash, unemployment, poor job prospects for graduating students, corporations who have a revolving door relationship with the government, a general lack of help and camaraderie in America.

    There’s a cycle here, and many Americans are enslaved within it.

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