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March 23rd, 2014, 13:55
I just read the Wikipedia article on "Sixteen tons". It sounds horrible.
Apparingly there was a "wage slavery" going on with mines and their workers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slavery and "debt-bondage" and something called a "truck system".

Astonishingly the English-language Wikipedia article tells almost nothing about the background. The German-language article does this much better.

Even the English-language article doesn't even mention mine wages slavery at all.

According to the German-language article, miners were paid mainly with credit vouchers which were only useable in the mine company's stores, which had prices which were extraordinarily high; so high, in fact that getting into debts was inevitable. This the "owing my soul to the store". These mine company store were an steady income of money for the company, which thus gained profits through

- the mined goods
- paying low wages
- getting most of the wages back through the company's stores.

The German-language article alsop mentions (unlike the English-language article) that politicians often co-operated with the mining companies because they profited from them as well,
and that not only politicians, police and even the army helped them in quelling unrest, but also that lawyers and the judiciary members were helping in destroying strikes and unrest.

To me, this is the worst form of capitalism. I hiope that something like wage slavery, debt bonding and the like never occurs again.
But - in some countries it seems still to exist, like in India, for example …
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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