Socialism for the rich, slave labor too

Colorado is using prison labor to work the fields at large private farms. Inmates are paid a mere 60 cents a day. Recent repressive immigration laws there caused thousands of undocumented workers to leave the state. This caused a labor shortage (well, duh) which the state wants to rectify by using prison (AKA slave) labor.

Thus, a few wealthy farmers will get even wealthier because they get to use slave labor at ultra low cost to them, costs that are subsidized by taxpayers whose money built and maintains the prisons.

The prison-industrial complex focuses on mass incarceration of working-class people. This provides the capitalists with a way to create a new layer of workers: those who legally work for much less than minimum wage.

  • Slave labour in prisons is an issue over here in the UK. Here the prisoners work for multi-nationals at a fraction of the minimum wage and have no union rights, have no option but to work and if deemed to be working below full effort can have privileges removed and/or lock up for 23 hours, plus the fact they are not covered by the “Health and Saftey Regulations at Work” This means that if a prisoner is injured at his forced labour he as an individual has to take the prison service to court and prove negligence before he can have any claim for his injury.
    This type of slave labour is just one of the many degrading and humiliating aspects of the capitalist system.

  • Here’s the question I have with respect to the U.S. and the U.K. programs mentioned. News reports from Colorado, for example, say the prisoners will be paid 60 cents an hour. But they make no mention of what the farm owners will be paying the prison system. It is possible, for example, that the farm owner is required to pay minimum wage to the prison system, of which only 60 cents is turned over to the prisoner. If that were true, it’s still an abomination, but it isn’t actually saving the farm owner any money. Of course the same question applies to all prison labor which is contracted to outside employers.

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