The wealthy elite, especially in the southern United States, recognized during the late 18th Century in America that they were outnumbered by enslaved people at a ratio of about 9:1. There was also an additional populace of white indentured servants and natives that were abused or not paid as well.
The elite feared an uprising was imminent and they would be overrun. The plantation owner’s and power elite’s solution was this: Create a system of indentured service where some people gained and others did not.
Some people after some time would be given freedom, paid for their labor, given some land an ox, tools, and such, and others would not. Some would be able to sell their crops and goods for one price and others would get paid less. This would create competition and unfair levels of income between the “haves” and the “have nots.”
The real diabolical train of thought here is that it was a social idea planned and executed by the rich and powerful of that era. It worked. It created a form of “racism.” This is where we are today with the minimum wage debate, immigration and credit. The debate is largely between the people who don’t have much and the people that have a little bit more. Sound familiar? It keeps us feeling superior to one another and most importantly, focused on each other, which is where the power elite wants us looking, not at the little man behind the curtain and certainly not working together. After all, that was the fear in the 18th century south. If the working classes united the power elite would have been overrun. That is always the government’s fear. Once we open our minds and understand concepts like this, we will start to gain compassion for other people, (and we’re talking about many children here), that have had their country blown up, been traveling on subsistence for months and are now homeless halfway around the world. We will also gain compassion for the people that are already here and living in substandard conditions. We certainly don’t want to put our social safety at risk and allow violent groups to infiltrate our society. But if we think broader and together we can find solutions that will work for all of US.