The primary factor of any undertaking is labor. You can have as many ideas as you would like but there must be someone to make it a physical reality. Mr. Webster defines labor as: “The physical and mental activity that provides or produces the goods and services in an economy.” This one expense can either make or break an undertaking.
My grandfather on my mother’s side was born hearing and speech impaired. He also had a brother who was born the same way. His mother was born a few years after the Emancipation. When I was a child I loved to see him tell us how he saw Walter Reuther getting the auto workers together to form a powerful union to bargain for better working conditions and other benefits. The way he would sign the words out to us as his grandchildren, left a lasting impression on me. He talked about the many skirmishes he personally witnessed during this time. Men fighting for their rights that they felt were due them from the auto companies. The look on his face gave one the impression that he was reliving this in his mind. To him the laborer was worth his hire. The auto companies, no doubt, felt this was taking more of their profits and did not like the idea of labor unions.
My Grandfather – James Shephard 1895 – 1975
I know we all have heard about companies using sweat shops as a better means for labor. We are also familiar with the term ‘outsourcing’ or sending American jobs overseas for cheaper labor so as to realize larger profits. Enslavement made practices such as these unnecessary. Slaves were property. They were owned by their masters. They could breed and have children who would also become slaves. This was considered the best form of labor. You owed them nothing.
After the Emancipation of slavery there was a move to keep the slaves servitude—share cropping, that evil and underhanded way of keeping the slaves subservient; and also the use of Jim Crow laws relegating them to second class citizens. This nation could not have evolved without the skilled and unskilled labor of the black slave.
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“Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.” Deuteronomy 25:4
“And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire…” Luke 10:7