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Should America Re-Invent the Victorian Era Workhouse?

  1. kirstenblog profile image77
    kirstenblogposted 5 years ago

    I have just been watching a show about victorian london, and one of the topics it touched on was the workhouse. The argument for it according to the values of the time was that if you were poor it was your own fault and the workhouse was designed to scare people out of poverty, using methods as extreme as human values would permit. The argument for them reminded me very much of some of the ideas people have here when discussing poverty and the need for social systems that support the 'welfare queens' et all. I got to thinking, its not hard to imagine it actually happening, an extension of the prison system would easily legitimise it, arrest people for vagrancy and bam, you got yourself some workhouses hmm

    So I guess I am wondering, could you see a new modern version of the old classic victorian workhouses? and would you welcome the idea?

    1. classicalgeek profile image89
      classicalgeekposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I suggest you read about the privatized prison system.

      1. kirstenblog profile image77
        kirstenblogposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I have had the dubious pleasure hmm
        What I don't get is the support there is for the private prisons. I have read many comments saying that prisoners should be forced to work, serves them right! Why should I have to pay for them having 3 square meals a day?, etc.

  2. knolyourself profile image59
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    " arrest people for vagrancy and bam, you got yourself some workhouses"
    That's a tradition in the south. It's called a chain gang.

    1. kirstenblog profile image77
      kirstenblogposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Not hard to take that next step then is it?
      One thing I can say is that the Victorian Workhouses are not well remembered, they are considered one of the great shames in the british past as far as my experience tells me, not a mistake to re-make but....... hmm

  3. knolyourself profile image59
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    "not a mistake to re-make"
    We seem to be moving back toward the middle ages. Used to be accuse someone of being a witch/wizard and steel their property. Not it is catch someone with drugs or prostitutes and steel their property as only one example.

    1. canadawest99 profile image61
      canadawest99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Not much use for them in the U.S. when everything is being made in china.

      1. kirstenblog profile image77
        kirstenblogposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Do you really think that is going to last?
        How is their economy anyway?

        1. canadawest99 profile image61
          canadawest99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          We are building out china's manufacturing infrastucture and their wages will be low for a long long time, so those factories aren't coming back.  For now, we will get cheap products from china but as their wealth increases, they eventually will start consuming their own products and prices will go up.

          The only advantage we have on the chinese is raw materials.  They don't have enough and we do, at least in Canada anyway.

          1. kirstenblog profile image77
            kirstenblogposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I don't know about Chinese workers continuing to work for low wages, I have heard conflicting reports on that, that the price to get stuff made in China is already going up and big business is looking for the 'new china' where they can pay the lowest possible wage. There is something that is a serious factor that I am not sure everyone knows about/realises as a problem and thats the counterfeiting that comes out of China. If you run a business and manufacture goods you have to be very careful about outsourcing to china because the risks of your products being ripped off by counterfeiters is almost a guarantee and counterfeiters account for huge huge losses for most all major companies around the world. Prison labor is likely to be both safer and in the long run cheeper then the risks of being counterfeited.

    2. kirstenblog profile image77
      kirstenblogposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      And there will be those who say, blame the prostitute or drug holder, shouldn't have been doing that, no need to feel compassion for them. Jesus wouldn't blame me wink

      Those who profit of the private prisons (the share holders!) have no reason to stop ludicrous laws being passed that will keep prisons full. But they worked for their money, right? By sitting back and letting prisons make money through their prison labor.

 
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