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That's true, Scott. I don't keep slaves.

Per Smoking Gun, Yahoo and Albany Times Union:

Annie George, 39, of Rexford, is accused of inducing a woman from India to reside in the country and confining her at the mansion for nearly three years, a federal criminal complaint alleges.

The woman — identified only as "V.M." — worked from dawn to late in the evening seven days a week, cooking and cleaning and caring for George's six children, the complaint said. She is entitled to more than $200,000, but was paid far less and was forced to live in a closet, authorities said.

Annie George is the widow of Mathai Kolath George, who immigrated from Kerala, India in 1967 and became a successful real estate management entrepreneur. So successful, in fact, that he and his wife were able to afford to live and raise their children in a lavish upstate mansion, described as "34-room, 30,000-square-foot home, known as Llenroc mansion, which houses a helicopter pad, 15 fireplaces, marble flooring, 24-karat gold gilded ceilings and a glass elevator."

Not sufficiently successful, apparently, to pay the help. The Georges recruited "V.M." from Mathai's home state of Kerala, with the promise of $1,000 a month to care for their four children and maintain the house.

Far from the promised princely (sub-minimum) wage, "V.M." received a total of $29,000 in compensation over six years, which would average out to 85 cents an hour, had she worked 40-hour weeks, a doubtful premise for a servant forced to live in a closet.

If the picture painted of Ms. George seems unduly harsh, making the reader wonder if there were extenuating circumstances that might ameliorate her image as a slave mistress, the Gun offers a fuller picture with this detail:

George spoke three times with the woman’s son in India. During one telephone call, George suggested that the “son tell his mother to tell authorities that she was a relative of George’s family and was only staying at George’s house as a guest.”

During the conversation, which the son recorded, George warned, “if she says anything about working, it would become a big crime. They’ll start adding up all the taxes and everything, for all the time.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I confess I added the bolding.

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Comment Preferences

  •  These people are disgusting. (13+ / 0-)

    It's also the kind of America people like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum would like to create. You know, like Mexico, where George Romney was born.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat

    by commonmass on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:46:26 AM PST

  •  Figures the millionaire would threaten the son (10+ / 0-)

    with taxes.

    "Hello, do you want your mother to be a free woman or do you want her to pay taxes?"

    Because, you know, the worst thing in the world is to be taxed.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:55:19 AM PST

  •  So... (10+ / 0-)

    This is how trickle down works?

    "Now if people got problems and they got problems with people oh yeah I know what it is to be there." - DW

    by ScantronPresident on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:56:23 AM PST

  •  Two points. (10+ / 0-)

    1.  This was apparently criminal.  She should go to jail.

    2.  This is not representative of all of the 1%.  (That's a household -- often two incomes -- of about $340,000 and up.)  I know a lot of people in the top 1% who are very good, decent people. And I know some in the 99% who are not.  There are even some people here in New Orleans who are in the top .001% who are good and decent people.  Being rich does not automatically mean you are evil any more than (as some on the right believe) being poor automatically means you are lazy.

    I'm ok with condemning this outrageous, horrible, criminal behavior. I'm ok with arguing that the rich should pay higher taxes than lower income groups in a progressive tax structure -- I completely support a progressive tax structure.  I'm not ok with extrapolating a story like this to condemn an entire group with a title like "The Rich are Different from You and Me" -- any more than I would be ok with a story that finds a poor person who committed a murder and then titled the story "The Poor are Different From You and Me" as if that was emblematic of poor people.

    •  One point (11+ / 0-)

      and a very salient one: Very few people get that rich, and even fewer manage to get rich and stay rich by doing things like paying fair wages. The easiest way to get rich is by abandoning one's scruples and being willing, even eager, to exploit other human beings to the fullest extent possible. That's capitalism in a nutshell.

      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

      by drewfromct on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:04:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spare me. (5+ / 0-)

        It is wrong to condem an entire group of people by saying, in essence, if you $X dollars, you must be an evil person.  

        I know a lot of people in the top 1% who are not evil people.  Are they perfect?  Of course not.  Have I agreed with everything they've done? Nope.  But overall, a lot of them are good and decent people who have worked hard to get where they are in the 1% -- doctors, lawyers, small business owners.  My dad's heart doctor is probably in the 1/10th of 1% -- and he is one of the most decent human beings I know, working long, long, long hours and going the extra mile, taking time away from his family on a number of instances, helping to literally save my dad's life on a number of instances.  How can you possibly assume that, because he is in the well, well into the top 1%, that he must have "abandoned his scruples" and "exploited other people"?  That's stereotyping of the worst sort.  Even the "rich oil guy" here in New Orleans -- Patrick Taylor -- did a really, really good thing by using his wealth to found the Taylor Opportunity Program for Scholars (known as "TOPS") which basically allows any academically eligible student to attend a state university (including tuition LSU) tuition free.  Pat Taylor was far from a perfect human being; I've never known a perform human being.  But (1) he was rich; and (2) overall, I would not put him in a category with this woman in this story.  He probably (through TOPS) was the one Louisianian who had the most direct and positive influence on the most middle-class and low income Louisiana families in the past 50 years.  Under your view, he is simply a person who  "abandoned his scruples and exploited people." I know a lot of 1% types who are basically good people, but far from perfect.    But on the other hand, I know a lot of people in the 99%, and they are not perfect , and some of them have done some pretty bad stuff, too.

        It is fine to point out evil where it exists, like in this story.  I certainly applaud that.  Evil, unfortunately, exists at various income levels.  Criminals exist at various income levels. It is wrong, wrong, wrong to generalize about an entire group of people.  It is just as wrong to perpetuate stereotypes about "welfare queens" as it is to perpetuate stereotypes about the "evil rich."  There are some rich people who are evil, and they should be called out.  Just like there are some poor people who abuse the system, and they should be called it.  But it is wrong to condemn an entire group based on some stereotypical view.  

        •  Go back (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          luckydog, KenBee, joe joe

          and re-read the comment. I said few and very few, which leaves plenty of room for the rare execptions that prove the rule. Spare me your obtuseness and deliberate ignorance of facts.

          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

          by drewfromct on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:33:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your point is that "the rich are evil" is the rule (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, nextstep, VClib

            and decent rich people are the "exception"?

            What would you say to someone who said that "the poor a lazy and don't want to work, and the few poor people willing to work hard are the exception"?  

            I'd condemn that.  It's the exact same kind of thing you are doing.  

            •  Try and prove me wrong (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              luckydog, joe joe

              with real evidence as opposed to a few anecdotes about a handful of your "rich"* friends.

              * An honest and hardworking doctor bringing in a few hundred thousand a year is hardly in the same league as the super-rich who make tens of millions exporting tens of thousands of jobs to China.

              Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

              by drewfromct on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:47:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How absurd. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                campionrules, nextstep, VClib

                I can just as easily say  "Most rich people are really smart, really innovated, really hardworking, or a combination of those, and that's how they got rich.  Try and prove me wrong. "

                My point is, it's just ludicrous -- absurd -- to make generalizations like "the rich abandoned their principles and exploited people" or "the rich got that way by being smart and working hard" and say "try and prove me wrong.  Both statements are nothing more than opinion, based on (at best) anecdotal information about some "rich" people you may know something about.  We can both find examples to support us -- my "proof" that you are wrong is no better, or worse, than your "proof" that you are right.  In either case, the "proof" is only anecdotal stories about people who, in some aspect of their lives (perhaps not even the entirety of their lives)  fit that stereotype.  It is in no way "proof" that almost all people in a category are one way or the other..  Which is exactly why it is intellectually dishonest to make generalizations.

                Now, if you had some scientific data, some controlled study to support the notion that most rich people have abandoned their scruples and exploited people, I'd listen to you.  But it's just as absurd for me to "try to prove wrong" your generalization based on opinion and anecdotes as it is for you to "try to prove wrong" that generalization based on opinion and anecdote that I made above.  If you have something other than opinion and anecdote, let's have it.

                And you've never explained to my why your generalization, "With few exceptions, the rich got rich and stayed rich by abandoning scruples and exploiting people" is ok to do, if the generalization, "With few exceptions, the poor are poor because they are not smart and don't want to work hard" is wrong.  If you think that the generalization about the poor is wrong to do, then it is hypocritical to do the same kind of generalization about the rich.

                 My dad's heart doctor, who is also in a very senior position at a large hospital, makes well over $1 million a year, based on what I know about doctors' incomes in this area.  And Pat Taylor counts as super rich by any standards.  Should I go down the list of all the decent rich people I can think of, and you go down the list naming the evil rich people you can think of?  None of that proves that "most" rich people are one way or the other.  Both -- that most rich people are smart and hardworking, or that most rich people are unscrupulous and exploit others -- are unfounded and intellectually dishonest generalizations.  It is intellectually dishonest to take an few anecdotal examples and use those to stereotype an entire group.  

                •  OK, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe joe, Iron Spider
                  Now, if you had some scientific data, some controlled study to support the notion that most rich people have abandoned their scruples and exploited people, I'd listen to you.
                  Here you are.

                  Now I suppose you'll attack the methodology of the study, or claim that one study alone does not constitute irrefutable proof. Very well then. What I'd like to know is, other than inheriting it, just how does one go about accumulating vast wealth--we're talking hundreds of millions or tens of billions--without ruthlessly exploiting labor, consumers, and the environment? Can you explain that to me? I'd really like to know, because I'd like to be that wealthy, too. But not at the cost of my conscience. Which is what makes me different from the very rich.

                  Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                  by drewfromct on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:26:07 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If you read your own link, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    you would see it doesn't support what you are saying.  Even if I accepted the methodology (which is suspect for reasons that I assume you are smart enough to recognize).

                    Even if I accept the methodology, the study says that Group A is more likely to do x than Group B.  That is not at all -- not even close -- the same thing as saying that all of Group A, with rare exceptions, always does x.  

                    If you have 100 people in Group A and Group B, and 5 of the Group A does activity x, and 1 of Group B does activity x, then Group A is five times more likely than Group B to do the activity.  That's what the  study says.  That is what the study says -- that Group A (upper income) was more likely to do certain things than Group B.  It in no way supports the notion that, with rare exceptions, everybody in Group A does that activity.  I can say that heavy drinkers are more likely to get liver cancer than non drinkers (analogous to the study).  That is in no way support for a conclusion that, with rare exception, heavy drinkers get liver cancer (analogous to the conclusion you are making).  I presume you understand the difference.  

                    And this was interesting from your link:

                    The last study found attitudes about greed to be the most significant predictor of unethical behavior. Participants were primed to think about the advantages of greed and then presented with bad behavior-in-the-workplace scenarios, such as stealing cash, accepting bribes and overcharging customers. It turned out that even those participants not in the upper class were just as likely to report a willingness to engage in unethical behavior as the upper-class cohort once they had been primed to see the benefits of greed, researchers said.
                    It suggests that the upper classes are not so different after all -- just that they recognize the "benefits" of bad behavior more than middle class -- when the middle class saw the personal benefit of bad behavior, they were just as likely to engage in it.

                    As for your "explain to me" comment, I can explain to you how some of the rich people I know in New Orleans got uber rich.  Ronnie Lamarque, for example, grew up in a shotgun house in Arabi, Louisiana, dirt poor, one of a number of kids, went to public school.  He started selling cars at a car dealership.  He eventually got ownership of a dealership, then two, then more.  Now he's a zillionaire.  Al Copeland grew up dirt poor in a one parent household, living for a time in a housing project.  He never finished high school.  He worked in a grocery store and a donut shop.  He sold his car to buy an interest in a donut shop and got interested in franchising. He came up with a recipe for spicy fried chicken, and opened a fried chicken stand in Arabi (it was a tiny little shack).  Eventually, that became Popeye's Fried Chicken, and he became a zillionaire.  

                    Of course, I know that not everybody who works hard, has a real knack for salesmanship (Lamarque) or comes up with a unique idea (Copeland) is going to become a zillionaire.  Life is not fair like that.   I work hard, and I do well (I'm a lawyer) but I'm not a zillionaire.  That's not in the cards for me.  But I don't think that Ronnie or Al (both of whom I know/knew personally) have abandoned their conscience and are evil people.  They are certainly not perfect (I could go into their faults), but they are not evil people who only got rich because of how evil they were.  


                    •  Sooooo.... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      joe joe, Iron Spider

                      you demand that I offer "scientific proof" of my position, I deliver it, and you respond with....yet more personal anecdotes about your zillionaire friends. Uuuumkay. But let's look at your pal Al. I'm sure he worked very hard to get where he is. But what about the people who work for him? (After all, he doesn't do every job at Popeye's himself, does he? He must have had a lot of help along the way.) I wonder what kind of pay is offered to Popeye's employees. How many do you think are classified as part-time, and paid minimum wage? Would it be fair to say, the majority? How far do you think one would have to climb up that steep corporate ladder in order to make a decent living, let alone join the ranks of the 1%? Question: Would you work at a Popeye's? Could you get by on what the average employee makes there?

                      Now to your cherry-picking the study:

                      It turned out that even those participants not in the upper class were just as likely to report a willingness to engage in unethical behavior as the upper-class cohort once they had been primed to see the benefits of greed,
                      As far as I'm concerned, that bit of data merely reinforces my contention that it's very helpful, if not downright necessary, to shed one's scruples in order to get very rich. And bear in mind that if a preponderance of the rich are unscrupulous, how greedy and underhanded must one be to compete one's way to the top in the Darwinian, survival-of-the-fittest "free" market? My point has more to do with the kind of mentality necessary to get and stay rich than with the personalities of a few isolated examples who just happen to be nice to you to your face.

                      Fast food workers are notoriously overworked, underpaid, and exploited by huge corporations. I was going to use such examples of McDonald's and BK before you brought up Popeye's. I wonder, how much of his wealth would your friend  be willing to give up in order to pay his employees a living wage?

                      Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                      by drewfromct on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:05:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So people who hire others are evil (0+ / 0-)

                        and people who own a business that hires workers are evil, because they make a profit from having others work for them, and it's evil to hire others and make a profit from their work.  Capitalists, in other words, are evil, because capitalism, by its nature, is evil.

                        Well, at least I understand where you are coming from.  

                        •  There's nothing necessarily evil (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Iron Spider

                          about hiring other people to help you run a business, nor is it inherently evil to make a profit from their labor. But it is very morally dubious, to say the least, to make excessive profits from the labor of others while paying them poverty wages. Get it?

                          Now, one can always quibble over the details of how much profit is "excessive" and how low a wage must go before one can call it a "poverty wage". And certainly that's a topic over which honest, reasonable people can disagree. But I notice that you ducked the questions about how you'd feel about working your ass off in a hot kitchen for minimum wage, and how much your "nice guy gazillionaire" buddy would give back to fairly compensate the folks who's labor  helped make him so wealthy. Is that really all I need to know about where you're coming from?

                          ps--The nature of capitalism is one of permanent, perpetual growth. How long do you suppose we can keep up such a scheme on a single planet with finite natural resources? Please think about that when you're defending the "free" market from cranks like me.

                          Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                          by drewfromct on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:09:18 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  I deal with a lot of phenomenally wealthy people (4+ / 0-)

          in my job (I work for a high end interior designer).  We have a couple of billionaires among the clientele, and several with a net worth of well over $100 million; almost all are part of the 1%.  Some of them got their $$ via inheritance, others built their fortunes by building businesses.  Some are jerks, most are very nice.  We deal with their household staffs, and they are usually paid well and treated fairly.  Over the twenty years I've been here, two have asked if they could avoid sales taxes on things (the answer is a firm no), but the vast majority are entirely honest on that point.

          All of this is to say, I know there are some really shitty, sleazy, greedy, cheating dirtbags among the very wealthy.  I also know that most of them aren't.  Some of them are clueless, some of them fail to appreciate their good fortune, some are demanding or entitled or otherwise annoying.  But most aren't actually evil. Lots of them would rather pay less in taxes (who among us wouldn't) but they pay what they're required to pay and don't cheat.

          The simple fact is that the wealthy control the levers of power in our country.  If we want to change things, we need to have some of them working on our behalf (like Buffet pushing for greater tax fairness).  Painting them all with the same brush as evil, heartless bastards doesn't help the cause.

    •  Representative of nothing, I think (4+ / 0-)

      I don't know anyone raised in the U.S. who would not be appalled at this situation - and I know some pretty sleazy people who were raised in the U.S. ...

      Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

      by Clem Yeobright on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:05:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Okay, point taken. (10+ / 0-)

      On the peonage part.

      On tax cheating?

      Tax evasion for the income category that includes capital gains and private equity partnerships, the IRS calculates, ran at an 11-percent rate in 2006, ten times the evasion rate for wages and salaries.

      The new IRS report doesn't break down the new tax evasion data by taxpayer income class. But five years ago, the last time the IRS released a major tax evasion analysis, two analysts — IRS economist Andrew Johns and the University of Michigan's Joel Slemrod — went through the raw IRS data and did just that.

      Americans who make between $500,000 and $1 million a year, the pair found, underreport their incomes by a whopping 21 percent, triple the 7-percent "misreport" rate of taxpayers making between $30,000 and $50,000, and more than 2.5 times the 8-percent cheating rate by taxpayers making $50,000 to $100,000.

      I have been unable to locate stats on people who underpay their employees.

      Overall, I agree that the majority of people in any class are likely to be regular folk.

      I don't vote in your church; don't preach in my government New video: "Undertaker"

      by Crashing Vor on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:10:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ... (5+ / 0-)
        I have been unable to locate stats on people who underpay their employees.
        I'm betting the percentage of people who make under 30k that underpay their employees is pretty close to zero ... Seeing as they generally don't have employees at all.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:23:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. (4+ / 0-)

        And I'd be really, really willing to bet that most of the armed robberies, burglaries, and auto thefts in this country are done by people at low income levels.  Because they need the money, which means they have the most incentive to commit those types of crime.  Just like most of the tax evasion (i.e., under-reporting income) is done by the people who HAVE the income -- which means they have the most incentive to commit those types of crime.

        The rich commit crimes.  So do the poor.  Even if the types of crimes are different.  I'm sure you wouldn't approve of people pointing out the statistics of how much more of some types of crimes are committed by the poor if they tried to use that statistic as a way to paint the entire group of people with a single brush.  I certainly would not approve of that.  

        •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          luckydog, KenBee

          "And I'd be really, really willing to bet that most of the armed robberies, burglaries, and auto thefts in this country are done by people at low income levels."

          You just said above that you do not approve of generalizations yet, see your own words quoted just above.

          Also, there is a HUGE range of white collar crime other than
          tax evasion committed by persons whose income is in the upper brackets because they have the biggest opportunities
          to commit these sorts of crime, which you conveniently failed to mention.

          You have destroyed a good argument for being careful not to generalize and not to rely on personal prejudice by your own generatlizations and what, appears to be, personal prejudices.

          Also, I would bet a lot that burglaries and auto thefts are committed by rich kids who are bored.  

          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

          by rubyr on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:25:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  However, while both rich and poor will murder, as (5+ / 0-)

      it goes (and, so, that is not a distinguishing characteristic), were a poor man to keep someone in a closet and manipulate them into slavery over the course of years, that poor man would not only be jailed -- the resulting mediastorm would have him and his family name pasted on the tongue of every water cooler wag as they pilloried him from TMZ to Drudge, to Time, to TruTV to footage on the evening news.

      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

      by Murphoney on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:27:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our nation is not being stolen by the lower (5+ / 0-)

      incomes, and it's not being stolen by left wingers. And I think that this qualifies as fact, and not just a generalization.

      (Oh, and Jack Abramoff is out and selling books and speeches. And I personally served time with guys who got life for first time drug convictions. So there really is that whole "double standard of justice" thing.)

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:35:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, do you mean financial crimes or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        property and physical crimes?

        Financial crimes are being committed by some bad people who are rich and in the financial industry.  I think it is not debatable that there are some very bad rich people.  That doesn't mean that all -- or even most -- rich people are criminals.  

        Other kinds of  property crimes --  armed robberies, burglaries, thefts, etc. -- are usually committed by people who are poor.  I think it is not debatable that there are some very bad poor people.   That doesn't mean that all -- or even most -- poor people are criminals.  

        •  No, I mean people like the Koch Cabal stealing (0+ / 0-)

          our very ability to still have a nation in anything like that concept has historically been understood. Ultra rightwing billionaires are commiting crimes against our humanity in ways that did not really even exist until those folks invented these methods to accomplsh exactly that objective. And the whole system exists solely because of the ability to commit billions of privately owned dollars at the objective

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:00:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  what's your deal? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Iron Spider

          1.  You haven't explained how people making $100+ million without exploiting labor, the environment, tax law, etc.  

          2.  It sounds like you're making a classic "both sides do it" dodge.  

          3.  You're confusing the spirit and letter of the law.  Whether it is legal to vastly underpay someone or not, it is still criminal to vastly underpay someone for spending the majority of their life on earth making you money.  Rich criminals have lobbyists that make horrible crimes legal, like slavery or trans-vaginal probes.  

          I don't know what your whole dance is about, but the rich don't need your help (though you may 'need' their money)

          Also, the rich may be hapless folksy folks 'just like you and me', but their accountants and lawyers are not.

          What bridges the gap between endless greed and materialism and 'normal, nice people' is obscurantism of the sort you seem to be peddling.  

          •  adding... (0+ / 0-)

            You seem innocent to the obviousness of the difference in ethicality between a poor person stealing something they need and a rich person bilking millions or billions of dollars, ruining people's lives, enslaving people or paying others to enslave.  

            •  and again... (0+ / 0-)

              that the rich seem to be able to get away with a lot of reprehensible stuff and still have an air of respectability.  More, the culture worships them.  The poor are assumed to be shiftless.  So the push back is a desire of people to see the rich held accountable.  And also, that, whether or not a person has the ability or desire to become rich, they still have some autonomy and can get by without scrubbing yachts for $8/hr or frying fucking chicken for less than that.  

      •  Make that HUGE "double standard of justice". (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckydog, KenBee, Iron Spider


        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:27:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I consider being passed over ample confirmation, (0+ / 0-)

      and any forthcoming disdain as an earmark of discomfiture.

      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

      by Murphoney on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:56:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So what is the potential punishment here? (5+ / 0-)

    Maybe I missed it, but I am curious to know what is the max jail time/fine if convicted of this crime?

    Personally, I think they should lose everything and get tossed in jail for a long, long time. A cell no bigger than the closet the poor woman was forced to live in.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:25:27 AM PST

  •  I hope this is a wake up call (8+ / 0-)

    for anyone else doing this.  From the Department of Education site:

    "According to U.S. government estimates, thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked to the United States for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country primarily for sexual servitude and, to a lesser extent, forced labor"

  •  This is not as uncommon as you might hope (7+ / 0-)

    Check any coverage about human trafficking. Most of the time people think of sex workers when that subject comes up, but there are plenty of examples pretty much identical to this story you've shared.

    Here's a general overview:

    Labor traffickers use violence, threats, lies, and other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will in many different industries.  Common types of labor trafficking include people forced to work in homes as domestic servants, farmworkers coerced through violence as they harvest crops, or factory workers held in inhumane conditions with little to no pay.  In the United States, these forms of forced labor are more prevalent than many people realize.  However, Polaris Project and others working in the human trafficking field are learning more on a daily basis about the different types of labor trafficking that exist amongst us.  In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines labor trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.”

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:45:26 AM PST

  •  I hope she sues her captors and receives (5+ / 0-)

    double back pay plus millions for pain and suffering.
    How awful and this is probably one story in a million.

    Thanks, CV, for making people aware.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:30:36 AM PST

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