Will robots free people from slavery?

Even if automation makes human trafficking economically inefficient, that alone won't end this unethical practice.

  • Robotic automation may one day make slavery economically inefficient, but automation does not spring forth fully formed.
  • An interim period of piecemeal coverage may leave many at-risk, low-skilled workers in danger of exploitation.
  • Nor can automation sate the political and social motives for slavery found in some societies.
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How can felons be rehabilitated when prison labor is good for big business?

Until the use of prison labor is banned, many stakeholders will be incentivized to prevent felons from being rehabilitated.

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  • The Thirteenth amendment prohibits slavery in the U.S. except as punishment for a crime.
  • A considerable number of public institutions, private companies, and individuals benefit from prison labor.
  • Is true prison reform possible when some many stand to gain from this legalized form of slavery?
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5 ways of valuing a human being

Ever wondered how much you're worth?

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  • Most of us like to think the value of a life is priceless, but numerous institutions have put a price on human beings in the past.
  • These estimates vary depending on the scope.
  • From just $90 to nearly $10 million, how much is a human being worth?
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Why, in India, female farmers are paying to become 'womb-less'

In one Indian farming district, many women are paying for expensive and medically unnecessary hysterectomies in order to be more productive at work.

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  • In the Beed District of the Indian state Maharashtra, a disturbing number of women are getting their wombs removed.
  • The majority of these women work as sugar-cane cutters, employed by and in debt to contractors.
  • In order to pay back their debt and avoid fines, many women opt to pay for a hysterectomy rather than miss work due to their periods.
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Joyless economies: Slavery, feudalism, and unregulated capitalism

Modern capitalism is a "very silly" way of organizing life, says Yanis Varoufakis.

  • Wealth inequality in modern capitalism creates a joyless economy for both the rich and the poor, says Yanis Varoufakis.
  • Wealth inequality in a time of economic abundance makes society less civilized. More evenly distributed resources allow humans to create the literature, art and intellectual works that make human life richer.
  • The universalized depression and stress caused by inequality is "incongruent with our fantastic advances at the technological level," says Varoufakis. "It's a very silly way of organizing life."
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