In Reply to: Re: slaves and discount rates? posted by Melissa McCormick on October 7, 2001 at 15:03:52:
: : can anyone explain to me why it is that a high discount rate for slaves, treated as capital, could lead them to being worked to death?:
: Well i think it might have to do with the fact that they don't have to pay that much for the slaves therefore they are very easy to replace. It doesn't matter if you take care of them becuase if they die then you can just replace them. The goal is to get the most profit possible out of them, and that usually involves working them as much as possible, often so much that it leads to death.
: I agree with this. It was shown in the movie, A Respectable Trade, that the slave owners would work the slaves as much as possible to gain the most profit from it. The man who lived in the Caribbean, would take the slaves that he purchased in England, and work them to death to gain the most profit. He, in turn, was very wealthy because of this. But, also, I think that the owners had to be conscience about the fact that they had to pay for the slaves, so they didn't want to go through them too fast, because they would not be getting their money's worth (so to say). But the fact that the slaves were almost always available for purchase made a difference on how they were treated on the plantations, or wherever they were held to work.
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