Slavery Never Died

Kevin Putzier
5 min readMay 7, 2021

..it just got redefined

Photo by Remy Gieling on Unsplash

Warning: this is a polemic.

Recently, I read some… moron isn’t a strong enough word… posted that it is not an employer’s obligation to pay a living wage, and the further, it is incumbent on you to learn a “marketable skill”.

This is bullshit of the lowest order. If the job needs done, and you can do it, it’s a marketable skill. Full stop. That we have no enforcement, and no means of making “essential work” pay a living wage is where the problem lies.

Let’s have a look at some of these jobs that aren’t “marketable”. You draw you own conclusions as to whether somebody working these jobs “deserves” to make a living.

Server.

Call center.

Cook.

Grocery employee.

Construction laborer.

Warehouse worker.

Receptionist

I could go on, but that’s enough for the moment.

Now, you, dear reader, please tell me which of these jobs does not need to be done?

I’ll wait. I have time. I have to go work anyway, at a job that is “essential” to my employer. I have a decent employer. Damn good, in fact, for America. But it is a low wage job. It is in the category that the above deliberately nameless jackass considers “unmarketable”. I’m a customer service representative. I solve problems, both for my company’s customers and for the company. It’s an exhausting job, making money for someone else at a MUCH higher rate than I am paid. I’m one of the lucky ones. Were I single, I’d be making a decent wage. As it is, with a family, well…

My wife has to work. I make “too much” for public assistance, but not enough to afford adequate health care. I’m one of millions. By American standards, my company treats me very well. I’m viewed as a human being. When I had problems with my health and that of my family members, I was treated compassionately and with empathy. Most of these “low level” jobs don’t even give you that. You have a human frailty, you get replaced.

To call this abusive is to abuse the word. To call it exploitive is not even adequate.

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Kevin Putzier

I am a practicalist, which means I take political and social ideas from all sides and try to find what works. Mostly Progressive.