QOTD: Paul Craig Roberts on Slavery

A slave is a person who does not own his own labor. Therefore, the product of his labor, or some portion of it, is not his. For medieval serfs the maximum tax rate was 30%. Given the technology of the time, a higher tax rate so dispossessed serfs that the population could not reproduce, and the sefts would revolt.

19th century slaves worked with better technology, and their higher productivity meant that 50% of their work product could be taken by their owners. This was not all profit as owners had to pay handsomely for the labor, but instead of paying the laborer, the slave owner paid the slave merchant who paid the black African king of Dahomey who captured the black slaves. 

In contrast, prior to the 1981 Reagan tax rate reduction, the maximum tax rate on investment income was 70% and the maximum tax rate on wage and salary income was 50 percent.

Today every Western taxpayer is a slave in the same economic sense as slaves in prior times. Today the Western citizen does not own his own labor. He owns only a part of it. The rest belongs to the slave master, that is, the government. The enslavement of the entire working population of the United States occured in 1913 with the enactment of the income tax. This enslavement is color blind.

One response to “QOTD: Paul Craig Roberts on Slavery

  1. brucerwilson

    First of all, not only slaves don’t own their own labour — all workers don’t own their own labour. Marx 101. The employer owns their labour, and their product. They get a wage in return, and alienation (Marx, 1844)

    The slave master is not the government; it is the corporation that hires the worker. Although their tax rate is higher than that of the worker, they are easily able to slide out of paying taxes (look at Trump) and the burden then rests on the workers. The more you make, the more they take and the tax havens aren’t as available to the merely well-off.

    So you’re saying we can do without taxes? Maybe in some dystopian alternative universe, but not here.