Value of a Lost Generation
By 1860 there were approximately 4,000,000 slaves in the United States, the second largest slave society—slave population—in the world. The only one larger was Russian serfdom. Brazil was close. But in 1860 American slaves, as a financial asset, were worth approximately three and a half billion dollars—that’s just as property. Three and a half billion dollars was the net worth, roughly, of slaves in 1860. In today’s dollars that would be approximately seventy-five billion dollars.
In 1860 slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America’s manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together. Slaves were the single largest, by far, financial asset of property in the entire American economy. The only thing worth more than the slaves in the American economy of the 1850s was the land itself, and no one can really put a dollar value on all of the land of North America.
Going through my book shelf I stumbled upon an old book “Roots by Alex Haley”. I was introduced to the book when I was a kid,by my mother, who read a translated version of the book. She would explain painstakingly about the evils of slavery and the emphasize the virtues of self respect, human rights and humility. The name of the book always remained embedded in me and was reinforced when I read Uncle Toms Cabin, as part of my English course in School.
Years Later I was given this book as a gift by a good friend and it stayed close to my heart and on by bookshelf. I saw the book again the same question came back. WHY?…… For the greater good of the world economic and industrial growth, we humans have sacrificed the smile of a whole generations. This is not limited to USA, we see this in Every part of the world. The mechanics may vary, but the concept remains the same.
We again face the same problem again, in the form of a financial crisis, for the greater good of an individual banks, the smiles of millions were gambled upon.