A Case For Canada’s Indentured Slaves

Dear Mr. Stephen Poloz,

You, as the General of the Bank of Canada, are right, young people should work as your generation’s indentured slaves. We, I consider myself to be in that category, are in dire need of more unpaid work after years of professional education, training, or even real life, maybe paid or intern experience! What are a few tens of thousands of dollars in loans, in the long run? We should be grateful to not have the hyper-inflated tuition rates of our Southern neighbours bogging us down, right? Shouldn’t we be grateful for your generation, the one that we have been repeatedly preached about having picked themselves up by the bootstraps, worked their way through college or university and then built up a massive fortune to be able to pay the minimal wages of minimum wage? We have a lot to live up to, don’t we, so where better to start than as your indentured slave?

To describe the term “Indentured servitude,” I would define it as being when a person signs a contract in order to work as a slave. Now, Mr. Poloz, that seems silly doesn’t it? Slavery? In Canada? In the 21st century? Who on Earth has ever dreamt of such a harebrained, cockamamie thought? Well, my good sir, you did.

I cannot be a responsible citizen and lay the entire blame on you for making such a laughably similar statement or having such farcical thoughts, as the system is also to blame. This is an unjust system in which many corporations, such as yours (considered one, owned by “The Crown” or government), requires ample prior employment experience in order to be hired for a paid position. The subsequent and cyclical issue arises through the fact that relevant experience cannot be attained without being previously employed (this problem is also what causes such major wealth disparity among people of all ages, not just our unemployed youth.)

To recap that thought, in order to gain experience, one must have been employed, and in order to be employed (for the most part), one must have experience.

Now, Mr. Poloz, we are at a stalemate, you and I; rather, you and the working youth; or should I say you and the workforce of tomorrow; or even better and more accurately: you and your should-be-slaves.

How, in this world in which civil rights are such a relevant and prevalent issue at hand, do you expect those who have, in many cases, kowtowed to “overseers,” as interns for years, to do the very same for years more, when we are expected to be valuable, contributing members of society?

At what point did someone say that today’s youth have become more like chattel than George Milton and Lennie Small were in Steinbeck’s seminal work? I am not going to be so audacious and state that it was Tuesday, November 4, 2014; this has been too long of a time coming. You did not set back our young adults, those 20 somethings who may have completed numerous university degrees or diplomas or certifications, you just gave that reality a voice, one that has been swept under the carpet by those who take on interns (the noun associated with the verb branched off from the original one — the confinement as a prisoner.)

Well Mr. Poloz, we should be slaves, right? That makes sense, doesn’t it? With that invaluable experience, we will be able to buy ourselves out of that contractual servitude, right?

Wrong.

There is a problem with the system, one that is in dire need of overhauling. Maybe our government(s) should take a page out of Seattle’s municipal law, raising minimum wage to $15. Maybe we should mandate a similar law to Switzerland, in which the central bank (your peer) employs quantitative easing of debt and low interest rates, in essence protecting their people.

If Piggy didn’t survive the island, could I survive without income or experience?

Conversely, maybe we should encourage corporations (private and public) to cut young professional employment opportunities, tell the banks to raise interest rates and turn our wonderful, not socialist-enough society into a world that William Goulding once wrote about, into a society that would have scared the bejeebers out of a Hobbesian supporter or Leviathan subscriber, and into a society where we would need our own Harriet Tubman, scurrying us to safety. Hey, young professionals (who apparently shouldn’t even be employed but should be interned), maybe we should all go to South Korea or Switzerland, whose unemployment rates are both around 3.5%, I think they might have jobs for some educated, untested, yet most likely very talented intellectuals and workers.

Mr. Poloz, wouldn’t that be something, eh?

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Max Levine-Poch’s story.