Quote Originally Posted by Raz
I don't know what to think of this article. It seems quite a leap to take convict labor of 75 to 150 years ago and link it to the plight of labor today.
A couple of notes:

1) The article explicitly notes that the institution of using convict labor was created in the North, not the South. In this sense this is a direct contradiction with the meme put forth in Hollywood movies like Gone with the Wind and Cool Hand Luke

2) While I do think (not know) that abuses of the convict labor system were more widespread in the South, at the same time I do not think that this is due to any fundamental cultural or racial issue.

My view is that parts of the South have corporatized politics more than the North, and that this is the reason. In a real sense, the abolition/Civil War conflict was largely fought over corporatized slave labor; the economic data certainly shows that the average Southerner was not a beneficiary of slave labor, with the outsized effect of large cotton plantation owners on Southern politics not to be underestimated.

Lastly the conclusion of the article fits in well with this theme of corporatized politics.