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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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You touched on the answer: Whole 3rd world countries are enslaved, instead. You might say shipping improvements have allowed slavekeeping to be oursourced. Why chain them here when their government will keep them chained there, and only send over their excess value?

Why bother enslaving or enserfing others? The answer is pretty much this: It is nearly always cheaper to provide the bare necessities than a living wage.

The real question is, why do people let themselves be enserfed or enslaved? A moment of desperation, one with only inferior options, for example starvation or extermination. Or an imperceptible descent, think sharecropping or "the company store". There may be asymmetrical information. It seems like a good idea at the time. Economists should model those those dynamics, that choice.

And it is a timely problem.
We are in the position of the consumer who thinks believes he is beating the company store by being a little deeper in debt at the end of each year.

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