The History of History

The great thing about the Social Sciences is that no matter what you’re specialty, you almost always get lead to History. There are many different “flavors” to history, such as the history of warfare, or the history of politics. Either way, there is a history to the history.

A few words on my overall disgust on the idea that the Tea Party seems willing to have a national discussion on Slavery – in 2013. This story from Nevada is just the latest example of many.

Let’s take a look at facts, starting with GDP before and after the FIRST Civil War:

1830 GDP


The economy did better WITHOUT slavery (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis), despite slaves adding $588 TRILLION (1860 dollars) to the overall economy until 1860, according to this great paper that I dug out of UC Davis and Harvard (PDF). It also shows that the Gini Coefficient was as much as .60 in the southern states in 1860 (South Carolina being the worst).

Meanwhile, in the south, especially South Carolina, the UC Davis paper showed the top 20% held most of the wealth.

How much Surplus Labor is being extracted now? Enough to give us this poverty map from the Census Bureau.



This particular history, is really, really bad. If we’ve learned nothing else from history, it has to be that “states rights” is not in the best interest of humanity.

This entry was posted in Labor, Political Economy, Slavery. Bookmark the permalink.

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