In Economic Consequences of the U.S. Convict Labor System, UCLA economist Michael Poyker uses data on prisons and their surrounding areas from 1850 to 1950 to examine the role that free/extremely low-waged forced convict labor had on wages.
Poyker concluded that forced labor slowed manufacturing wage growth by 16% and lowered labor-force participation by 20%; it also drove automation because the firms that couldn't use slave labor had to replace their workers with machines.
Globalisation means that convicts stitching Victoria’s Secret bras compete as much with Chinese workers as with locals. But many make items, such as military uniforms, which by law still have to be made in America. As a result, Mr Poyker says, the crowding out of free labour by prisoners still occurs today. In 2012 Tennier Industries, an American military-clothing firm, fired 100 workers because it could not compete with rivals employing convicts.
How convict labour increased inequality [The Economist]
(via Naked Capitalism)
"Letterlocking" is a term coined by MIT Libraries conservator Jana Dambrogio after she discovered a trove of letters while spelunking in the conservation lab of the Vatican Secret Archives; the letters had been ingeniously folded and sealed so that they couldn't be opened and re-closed without revealing that they had been read. Some even contained […]
Jerry Merryman, who co-invented the handheld electronic calculator in 1965, is dead at 86. Merryman told NPR’s “All Things Considered” in 2013, “It was late 1965 and Jack Kilby, my boss, presented the idea of a calculator. He called some people in his office. He says, we’d like to have some sort of computing device, […]
The Tiny Type Museum is a limited-edition handmade box set of traditional printing tech, including hot metal and wooden type, custom-made linotype slugs, plate molds, phototypes, plates, Monotype matrixes, other stuff besides, and a book about six centuries of reprographic technology that fits nice and kentucky in a slot.
Big companies want automation on a big scale. Doing that means diving into the tricky world of machine learning and data science. And no matter what platform you’ll be implementing it on, you can learn how with the Machine Learning & Data Science Certification Training Bundle. In 48 hours and through eight courses, this bundle […]
Big systems need tight security – and the experts who can implement it. Cisco Networking Systems are the go-to providers for network infrastructure, but maintaining it takes a lot of up-to-date knowledge. If you want that knowledge right from the source, there’s an online course that can get you certified painlessly: The Foundational Cisco CCNA […]
Computer slowing down? There are a ton of reasons why that might be, especially if your unit has a few years on it. Junk files and programs can accumulate over time, some even left over from otherwise uninstalled software. This virtual debris can slow your PC down dramatically, but there’s a surprisingly quick fix. Lauded […]