Slavery And Involuntary Servitude in America

It is a common conception in the US that slavery is outlawed in the US with the passing of the 13th amendment. It was, after all, what the Civil War and Republicans were supposedly fighting over. But there is something interesting that comes about when we look at the 13th amendment and the 5th amendment.

The 13th Amendment says:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The 5th Amendment says:

No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

It should be clear that if due processes of law is being applied to you, then the outcome of it could be of you become a slave, or involuntary servant, of the federal government. But this would also, by the  14th amendments application, hold with the states. Thus, both the federal government and state governments still allow for slavery or involuntary servitude, but this applies only to the class of people who were convicted under due process of law. This means that those people in jails are the slaves or servants of the government. You do what the government tells you, when the government tells you,  and how the government tells you. The government is now their master and they are now the governments slave or servant.

Those shows on MSNBC about what happens in some jails in the US, those prisoner guards are looking after and keeping in line the slaves of either the Federal governments slaves or servants or the State governments slaves or servants. The US has also risen to one of the countries with the most prisoners, i.e. slaves, in the world. We even, it appears, have more slaves than a communist nation like China or former communist nation like Russia.

Now say what you want, it is interesting whether you look at it as the people in jail, i.e. prisoners, are slaves/servants of the government or if you look at it as the people in jail, i.e. prisoners, are slaves/servants of the American people. Since it is “We the People” who run the government or are in charge of the government, then those are our slaves or servants. Which of these stands out more, that American Citizens become property of the government or the American Citizens become slaves of the People, or even property of the People?

Slavery, or serfdom, have not left America. But what is interesting is how some private corporations have moved in to taking care of the slaves of the federal or state governments, or taking care of the People’s slaves or property. The American government, or state government, pay private corporations to take care of their private property, which happen to be other human beings. What is even more interesting is that the American government happens to turn more black people into slaves than they do white people, at least based on the racial make up of jails in the US. So the 13th amendment gave “private citizens” slaves freedom, and yet the Federal government was still in the business of slavery and helped to make those who are decedents of the freed slaves to become slaves of the government instead of another private citizen.

 

 

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Petition for Texas to Secede from United States

Here is an interesting petition to the White House.

The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

The petition was started on November 9th, 2012, and as of November 12th, 2012, it has 48,335 signatures. Petitions have the necessary requirement to meet the signature threshold, which is 25,000 signatures as of when the petition was created. The signature threshold had to have been met by December 9th, 2012 to have a response from the White House. There would be some policy study done by the White House into the consequences of accepting the proposal of the petition.

Whatever anyone thinks of this petition, whether it is right or wrong, has no bearing on an analysis of the situation.

We already know what happened the last time a state, or some states, tried to secede from the Union, or the United States. This was known as the Confederacy, or the Confederate States of America. This ended up being known as the Civil War, and the Confederacy ended up losing. This was a huge costly war, both economically, socially, and numerical causalities. It also tore into the American psyche, in some sense. So we have at least one example of when multiple states seceded from the Union. They happened to build their own Confederacy of States like one before founding of new government with US Constitution, i.e. Articles of Confederation.

What is interesting is that Texas was part of those states that seceded from the Union in 1860 to join the Confederate States of America. So Texas has a previous history of seceding from the Union. Texas also seceded from the Mexico, or revolted against the Mexican government. After Texas won its freedom from Mexico, they were an independent nation and eventually did join the Union or the United States of America, and later seceded to join the Confederate States of America.

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, and shortly thereafter, some other states seceded from the Union. Now what is interesting is that the first state to secede from the Union was also the first state that “fired the first shot” to start the Civil War. History supposedly has it that the first state to secede from the Union started the Civil War. But let us assume that it is true that Texas does secede from the Union, then would it be true that it would be violent?

First, this brings up an interesting question about the state militia. The state militia responds to the orders of the Governor of the state, which happens to be Rick Perry. But, the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief, and so can take control of the state militia, i.e. national guard. This brings up interesting potential conflict in this situation, even though the line is clear with US soldiers that are non-national guard. These soldiers would be Union troops. With this in mind, it would appear that the United States would be able to, numerically, beat the Texas national guard in any potential military conflict. This is not assuming that other civilians in Texas join to swell the ranks of the Texas state militia, or national guard. But the US population is greater than that of Texas, and so the US can possibly gain more troops than Texas. A military conflict does not seem to be reasonable for Texas to want or to go through, let alone of the US. So Texas seems to have no incentive to want to have a military conflict.

Second, this brings up an interesting question about how would the President respond. Would the President take military action, since the President is the Commander-In-Chief of the military, which means not even Congress? Texas would, in a sense, be at the mercy of the President choosing to go through a 30 day war, until President goes before the Congress to ask for a deceleration of war or money to continue to finance military actions (like Iraq and Afghanistan). Texas would appear to be at the mercy of the Presidents decision, since US appears to have greater military power relative to Texas.

Assuming that it is true that Texas secedes from the Union, then Texas would not have a violent secession (like South Carolina). But assuming that it is true that Texas does not have a violent secession (like South Carolina), then would the President take military action or no military action? This is a decision for the President to make. The US or Union would appear to have more of an incentive for violence than Texas.

Now the person brings up some main ideas with secession, and one of them is economic. It points out that the state of Texas, on its own, has the 15th largest economy in the world. So Texas would have some economic power or stability. Being part of a Union with other states, the problems of one state affects another state. One consequence is standard of living. Texas could have a high standard of living, but other states in the Union have a low standard of living, so this comes to affect the state, and people, of Texas. Texas would appear to be able to economically compete with other foreign nations. But the loss of Texas would also mean that it affects the economy of the US, or the Union. The Union would lose a major money maker for the US economy and for other poorer states and people in other states.

Another main idea for secession that the person brings up is civil liberties. They specifically state the NDAA, which I am assuming that they mean the portion of “indefinite detention”. This issue has actually gone to federal court and an Obama appointed judge said it was unconstitutional, but the Obama administration is appealing this decision. One of the main problems is that this is a violation of the 4th amendment, which is protection from the federal government and thus a civil liberty. The government would, and by the Patriot Act, are still allowed to for unconstitutional search and seizure of people and their property. You also have the President having deprived people of their 5th amendment right by being deprived of life or liberty without due processes.

So there are at least two arguments for secession. There is the economic point of view and there is the civil liberty point of view.

One thing that should be made aware is what happened with the Confederate States of America. One state left and others followed. California might be one state to take a look about secession if we accept the economic argument (since they supposedly have around the 9th largest economy in the world), and the civil liberty argument would apply to California as well. For example, the civil liberty argument applies to all states in the United States, or Union. But the economic argument would not apply to all states in the United States. Some states benefit from more economically powerful states being in the Union. Weak economic states benefit from being in a union with strong economic states, but it hurts the strong economic states, in some respects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Regulations Help Big Banks

JP Morgan, one of the largest, if not the largest, Banks in the world is now going to be allowed to do a “stock buy back” plan. The federal government, when it gave money to private banks to keep them from collapsing, the federal government also bought stock in those private banks. JP Morgan was one of those private banks that had some of their stock bought from the private bank. Now JP Morgan was given the okay to buy back their stocks from the federal government.

Here is a video on that story from NBR (Nightly Business Report):

banking-analyst-looks-at-jp-morgan-buyback-plan-nov-8-2012#.UJxqvIYgITY

Now I want people to try to remember back to 2008 and 2009. Around these times, some of the largest private banks in the world and which operated in a global market, happened to hit into a financial crisis. There were some bad investments that the banks took on or were holding, which no rational actor would have chosen. The federal government wanted to prevent a “financial meltdown” from happening and gave tax payer money to those private banks to keep them from collapsing. At the same time the federal government took stock on those companies. The private banks, once they got through the “financial meltdown” would be allowed to buy back the stock options in the bank that the federal government owned.

Some people were made about the banks and wanted to institute regulations to keep these “too big to fail” banks that helped to cause the financial meltdown. Laws were passed and executive orders were given, and banks had more restrictions placed on activities they cannot do. People were very angry at the big private banks and wanted these big banks to fail. But something interesting appears to be happening with wanting the private banks to pay that helped to cause this situation, by institution “more” regulations on these private banks that helped to bring about the financial storm.

The person being interviewed in this story happens to bring up something very interesting. These private banks did not want Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren to be elected. They did not want them to be elected because of these “regulations”. But what happened because of these “regulations”? They helped to expand the market power, or how much of the piece of the pie they have, and kicked out some of their competition. These regulations helped “small” private banks go under. But this “big” banks that helped to cause the financial problem can afford these regulations and they can obtain more market power since they have one less potential rival for your money. So “small business”, as “small banks”, are not being helped with the regulations. Instead, these regulations allow for there to be less competition between these “too big to fail” private banks.

How about that? You try to hurt someone and it only makes them stronger. Are they Goku?