With our prisons overfull there has been considerable effort to keep nonviolent criminals out functioning in society. Yet in the case of the politicians, financial traders, and mortgage salesmen who have just screwed us over, public sentiment runs high that we should find something more entert - appropriate than mere community service. Individual service – the opportunity for taxpayers to lease these scofflaws from the government – seems deeply satisfying on an emotional level, and provides further income for the national treasury as well.
Q: Isn’t this slavery?
A: No, no, not at all. It’s more like indentured servitude except…okay, yes, it’s darn close.
Q: Is that legal?
A: We’ve struck plea bargains with the lawyers involved who are going to work that out for us. Apparently, it matters more what you call something than what it actually is.
Q: Great! Is it going to be expensive?
A: We expect so. It will be a supply-and-demand thing, so certain categories will cost more than others.
Q: Could you give an example?
A: Younger women are scarce in this bunch, so we’re figuring they’ll go seven figures for a year’s contract.
Q: You mean, there could be, like, sex involved?
A: We didn’t figure folks have a lot of cotton that needs to be picked.
Q: Are these people attractive, then?
A: Well-dressed and well-groomed would be closer to the mark. Some of the finance people are good-looking. The politicians have silver hair.
Q: Wait a minute. Aren’t these people going to object and get lawyers of their own to contest this?
A: Most of them haven’t noticed any difference from their previous jobs. The terms of service are a little different, but they’re all in familiar territory.
Q: I don’t think I have much need for an actual slave. What can they do?
A: They’re mostly for show. It’s not like they’re any good at yard work or changing the oil. Some people use them as chauffeurs. They know how to drive expensive cars, they know where the best restaurants are, and they look good in those suits.
Q: I can dress ‘em up, then?
A: Some people lease two or three so they can put them in livery. African-Americans like to give them lanterns to hold.
Q: Really? You’d think that previously oppressed – what’s so funny?
A: Wealthy young AA’s are our target demographic.
Q: All those rich young athletes and entertainers, you mean?
A: Surprisingly few. Black professionals get more of a kick out of this. They like lending them to their parents or grandparents for a week or two.
Q: Aren’t some of these, uh, servants black themselves? Don’t they object?
A: We offered to exempt them, but these dumabasses sued to get treated like the others.
Q: Is it possible to set up a shorter-term contract, like just for a weekend?
A: No, a year’s lease is the minimum. It takes that long to break their spirits. And frankly, people want to return them after a few days, which doesn’t go anywhere toward rehabilitating them.