Einstein said that compound interest was the eighth wonder of the world.
If it works in your favor, it can be a wonderful thing. 2 dollars turns to 5 dollars, then to 10 dollars, and then to 100, and so on.
If you are on the debt side of this equation it is almost impossible to get out. However, consumer debt isn’t the only debt system we have created over the years. There is also intellectual debt.
Intellectual debt is this idea that we trust the system that has been built once we have seen how it works and ignore why it works. And like any other debt system, it grows exponentially. So, if you are not paying attention you can get lost in the noise rather quicky.
So, what is going on right now? What do people mean when they say that the system is working exactly how it was designed to be?
Let’s go back a couple hundred years when the 13th amendment was ratified after the Civil War. It states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Emphasis is mine. That’s sentence is a problem though because once we introduce this into the structure you now have a loophole that policymakers can exploit. And that is what has been happening for a long time keeping the cancer of slavery alive.
Since 1865, we have moved from slavery to convict leasing to disenfranchisement to Jim Crowe and to the modern problems of today. Mainly, declaring the war on drugs as a criminal problem instead of mental health issue, the prison industrial complex and the militarization of police forces.
The data is completely clear. 1 and 3 black Americans will be incarcerated in their lifetime. By contrast, 1 and 17 white Americans will be incarcerated.
The gap is simply too large for anyone born without advantage to ever catch up anymore. We may not have built the system but too many of us have benefited from it.
We cannot stand in ignorance any longer. We have to see why the system is working this way in order to change it. Now is the time.