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I sold my soul to the company store…

28 March 2012

Boy, you don’t see one of these very often any more…

…thankfully.  Or do you?

It’s a 19th century Master Card:  while it’s a little more indirect today, the whole point of labor management relations in 19th century Mexico was to keep workers in debt.   This particular vale is for one load of firewood at the Hacienda Santa Cruz tienda del rey… meaning poor José Péon, probably received this in payment for working sunup to sundown, and — while he needed the firewood to cook his dinner, also needed to pick up beans and chiles at the tienda del rey… which, of course, he picked up on credit… at a “slight” markup to cover carrying costs … and then there was interest and compounded interest and… then as now “some restrictions may have applied”.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 29 March 2012 10:32 am

    Fifteen tons, and what did I get?
    Another day older and deeper in debt.

    Johnny Cash’s version will stick with me forever.

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