Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor

In John Bowe's Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy, Bowe describes the prevalence of slave labor in the United States through three case studies in Florida, Oklahoma, and Saipan.

I was struck by Bowe's thoughts on our interconnectedness in his interview on Treehugger:

Modern America and ancient Greece both articulated beautifully about freedom and democracy. But in order to do that, you need a leisure class, sitting around, pontificating, and in order to have that, you need a ton of other people doing the actual work work. I’m not just talking about Bush or neo-conservatives or free marketers or whomever. Look at the guys in that movie Knocked Up. None of them did anything all day but loaf. How many millions of similarly slacker-y twenty-somethings are there in the US? What enables them to slack, of course, is the fact that millions of people around the planet work for pennies an hour. I don’t wanna reconcile that, I want people to wake up and realize that if anything, globalization means that soon, we, too, might be working for pennies an hour.
This definitely captures my own recent realizations about work.

Via Treehugger