Friday, December 30, 2016

A Counterproductive 'Compromise' on the Minimum Wage

In an article for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Preston Cooper argues for The "Sub-Minimum" Wage: An Escape Hatch for Young Workers, which is already a small feature of Federal minimum wage laws. Cooper argues correctly that minimum wage laws disproportionately harm the low-skilled, especially the young:

Teenagers and individuals in their early twenties often lack the skills that make them valuable to employers. Therefore, they must learn these skills on the job, while not producing much for the businesses who hire them. When states (or the federal government) set high minimum wages, hiring unskilled young people will not make financial sense for most employers.

True. But I respectfully disagree that sub-minimum wage laws are the way to go—not if the goal is progress toward free (or freer) markets. While a legal sub-minimum wage may make practical sense in the short term, it still represents the outlawing of jobs. Economically, the same arguments against minimum wage laws applies to any minimum wage. Granted, a sub-minimum wage would open up more job opportunities for some, but at the cost of a terrible philosophical surrender.
Philosophically, it’s devastating to the case for free markets. The minimum wage debate is not fundamentally about economics. It is about liberty. Free markets rest on individual rights, freedom of association and contract, and freedom of choice. In regards to employee compensation, that means employers and employees/job-seekers must be free to negotiate their own arrangements without coercive government interference, including legally enforced minimums. As long as there is no evidence of fraud or breach of contract and the like, government should have no role in employer/employee relationships regarding wages.

There are times when piecemeal steps toward a fully free market are warranted: e.g., a flat-rate income tax, tax credits for education, or personal accounts within Social Security. In such cases, in my view, the political compromise advances liberty and restricts government controls. The goal for liberty champions should not be to make statist programs “work better.” The goal should be to reduce statism and advance liberty.

The sub-minimum wage is not a freedom-advancing compromise. Multiplying rights-violating wage standards just breaks the malignant cancer into multiple smaller tumors. It is a surrender to the statist principle that the government should have the coercive power to set minimum wages without any corresponding advance toward liberty. A better approach might be to call for eliminating the minimum wage for, say, those under 25 years of age. That would advance liberty, and represent a springboard for more advances. Under sub-minimum wage proposals, liberty is not advanced. Free market advocates shouldn’t waste valuable advocacy resources on such proposals.

Related Reading:

Minimum Wage Amendments Violate Rights and Subvert Proper Constitutions

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Racism is Alive and Thriving on the Left

Students of change

This heading and sub-heading, published in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, should tell you all you need to know about the content of the accompanying article, written by William H. Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a “population studies professor” at the University of Michigan.

The op-ed was originally published for the Los Angeles Times (12/29/15) under the title, “The new racial generation gap.”

“America needs to invest” means, of course, the government needs to seize your money through taxes, and spend it according to the politicians’ criteria. But that’s not the worst of it.

The message to the young of this explicitly racist article is: Your identity is not your self-made character or your chosen values, goals, ideas, actions, or accomplishments. Your identity is your racial tribe. You as an individual are irrelevant. You do not have an independent mind and the capability of exercising it. You are not capable of taking care of yourself. You are nothing beyond what is expected of you by your tribal leaders. Your destiny is tied up in your genes or your blood, not your personal moral character, choices, values, and dreams.

Welcome to the Left’s “diversity” movement.

And you’re entitled: The world owes you a living. You need government force to seize the wealth of others to “invest” in your “education”—i.e., to indoctrinate you in your tribal identity, your hopeless ineptitude, your inherent victimhood, and, above all, the idea that the government rather than the self-interested initiative of free individuals is the source of success, wealth, prosperity, the ”middle class.” “Investing in the success of today's diverse youth is critical for the entire nation, which needs a productive labor force and its attendant contributions to Medicare, Social Security and other programs,” states Frey in a thoroughly collectivist statement. Message to today’s young: Your goal is the good of the nation, not your own flourishing.

How do you replace a free society with an authoritarian socialist state? Replace individualism with collectivism as the culture’s dominant method of personal identification. Ayn Rand identified the nature and causes of tribalism, or collectivism:

What are the nature and the causes of modern tribalism? Philosophically, tribalism is the product of irrationalism and collectivism. It is a logical consequence of modern philosophy. If men accept the notion that reason is not valid, what is to guide them and how are they to live?

Obviously, they will seek to join some group—any group—which claims the ability to lead them and to provide some sort of knowledge acquired by some sort of unspecified means. If men accept the notion that the individual is helpless, intellectually and morally, that he has no mind and no rights, that he is nothing, but the group is all, and his only moral significance lies in selfless service to the group—they will be pulled obediently to join a group. But which group? Well, if you believe that you have no mind and no moral value, you cannot have the confidence to make choices—so the only thing for you to do is to join an unchosen group, the group into which you were born, the group to which you were predestined to belong by the sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient power of your body chemistry.

This, of course, is racism. But if your group is small enough, it will not be called “racism”: it will be called “ethnicity.”

Tribalism is as old as human history but, until recent decades, has always been foreign to American culture. Not any more. That’s what produced this article. What else would one expect from a “population studies professor?” That’s what we get, courtesy of government funding of higher education with our tax dollars.

And we have the “Depression- and World War II” voting generation to thank for that. The opening two paragraphs of The new racial generation gap read:

In the 1960s, a flip but still effective aphorism summed up the rebelliousness of youth: “Don't trust anyone over 30.” As it turns out, that admonition is a much more fitting bumper sticker for today's student activists than it was 50 years ago. Young people now — the post-millennials — face a far deeper generational divide than the one that separated baby boomers from their parents. And the nation faces a far more serious crisis if that divide cannot be bridged.

The wave of mostly white, mostly middle-class boomers that flooded college campuses in the 1960s got swept up in a variety of causes — Vietnam, civil rights, feminism. They questioned authority in ways their Depression- and World War II-era parents never did. Yet it could be argued that most of them had little reason in general to object to the status quo. They had benefited from post-World War II prosperity and government programs, such as the GI Bill, that allowed their parents to raise them in comfortable suburban homes and send them to free, decent public schools. Later, Great Society initiatives such as the Higher Education Act of 1965 enabled them to attend college in historic numbers at a reasonable cost, and there were jobs in the offing after graduation.

The “Greatest Generation” at work. Today, the chickens are coming home to roost, in the form of the tribal-minded, entitlement-demanding student college protestors, indoctrinated in collectivism and entitlement by old 1960s hippy professors.

Frey doesn’t identify it explicitly. But the “far deeper generational divide” of today is a divide between an increasingly collectivist/socialist-minded youth—as exemplified by young peoples’ overwhelming attraction to Bernie Sanders—and the remnants of individualism/capitalism still clung to by the older generation. And frey comes down on the side of collectivism/tribalism. “White boomers,” Frey argues, are too concerned with “smaller government with limited services and lower taxes,” rather than “a larger government that offers more services.”

But if these older remnants favor smaller government, we can’t count on them to counter the collectivist tide. After all, they gave us government funding of college and the Great Society and are very protective of their Social Security and Medicare. If the direction of the country is to be changed, it is the young, developing minds that need to be reached. Yes, they need to break with the older generation; the alleged champions of “smaller government with limited services and lower taxes” who started us down the road to “larger government that offers more services.” It’s hard given the Left’s dominance in higher education. Fortunately, we “liberal rightists”—as Craig Biddle aptly identified the pro-liberty side—have a philosophy perfectly suited to young formative minds, Ayn Rand’s radical philosophy of Objectivism. A philosophy of reason and individualism is the only antidote to the rise of tribalism in American society.

Related Reading:

Peter Schwartz’s chapters “Gender Tribalism” (p. 205) and “Multicultural Nihilism” (p. 245) in Return of the Primitive—Ayn Rand

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice—Craig Biddle for The Objective Standard

Monday, December 26, 2016

On the Question of a Private Business’s Right to Refuse Service to Whomever it Chooses for Whatever Reason

Chris Heasley posted the following question on his Facebook page Ayn Rand: Voices of Youth:

Chris Heasley's photo.

Heasley called it the Freedom of Association Principle. In speaking of rights, one must always remember that rights properly understood apply to everyone equally and at all times. With that in mind, I left this comment, edited for clarity:

Should consumers have the right NOT to patronize whichever privately owned businesses they choose without fear of legal action? One's answer to the above question must logically and morally apply to this one. My answer to both questions is, yes.

One problem I have with the above question is that the wording is wrong and misunderstands rights. The question asks if privately owned businesses should have this right. This implies that rights are grants of government. They’re not. Rights precede government and are inalienable; which means, private businesses already have the right to refuse service. I would rewrite the question as follows: Do you feel that the right of privately owned businesses to refuse service not mandated by prior contractual obligations to whomever they choose should be protected by law?

Related Reading:

Protecting Rights vs. Sanctioning Action

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas: In America, a Holiday for Everyone

Can non-Christians celebrate Christmas? Many do, and why not? I’m an atheist and I have no problem celebrating Christmas, even though it has no religious significance for me.

What’s great about Christmas is that it is both a religious holiday, being based upon the birth of the Christian icon Jesus, and a secular holiday as well. That makes it a holiday for everyone.

How can I say that? I am indebted to philosopher Ayn Rand for resolving that seemingly contradictory proposition. In answer to the question of whether it is appropriate for an atheist to celebrate Christmas, Rand observed:

Yes, of course. A national holiday, in this country, cannot have an exclusively religious meaning. The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property… of the Christian religion.

This makes perfect sense. A national religious holiday in a secular nation founded on the principle of separation of church and state (religious/conscientious freedom) is a logical impossibility. Since to have a secular government means to have one that is neutral with regards to the fundamental beliefs of all of its citizens, an American national holiday by definition cannot be religious. As the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

In fact, what we today call Christmas originally didn't have any connection to Jesus at all, writes Onkar Ghate in U.S.News & World Report:

Before Christians co-opted the holiday in the fourth century (there is no reason to believe Jesus was born in December), it was a pagan celebration of the winter solstice, of the days beginning to grow longer. The Northern European tradition of bringing evergreens indoors, for instance, was a reminder that life and production were soon to return to the now frozen earth.

The Romans celebrated the Winter Solstice with the holiday Saturnalia. In Northern Europe, the holiday was called Yule.

Indeed, as philosopher Leonard Peikoff observes over at Capitalism Magazine, the leading secular Christmas symbol - Santa Claus - actually contradicts some standard Christian tenets:

Santa Claus is a thoroughly American invention. ... In 1822, an American named Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem about a visit from St. Nick. It was Moore (and a few other New Yorkers) who invented St. Nick's physical appearance and personality, came up with the idea that Santa travels on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, comes down the chimney, stuffs toys in the kids' stockings, then goes back to the North Pole.

...Santa implicitly rejected the whole Christian ethics. He did not denounce the rich and demand that they give everything to the poor; on the contrary, he gave gifts to rich and poor children alike. Nor is Santa a champion of Christian mercy or unconditional love. On the contrary, he is for justice -- Santa gives only to good children, not to bad ones.

When Congress declared Christmas a National Holiday, Christmas ceased being a religious observance and became a secular holiday. So, regardless of your beliefs, go ahead and enjoy Christmas on your own terms.

On that note, let me extend to everyone a hearty wish for a joyous, safe, and thoroughly non-contradictory…


Related Reading:

How the Welfare State Stole Christmas, by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins

Was Jesus Really Born on Dec. 25?, by Andrew Santella.

Why Christmas Should be More Commercial—Leonard Peikoff

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Moral Lessons I Drew From the Christmas Movie ‘Elf

Elf’ is a 2003 Christmas movie with valuable life lessons. Superficially, the movie purports to show the “Christmas Spirit” as placing selfless spiritual values—like concern for others—over selfish material concerns like business and money-making. But the lesson drawn from the actions of the characters and the movie’s conclusion implies a different, opposite moral message.

Elf is the story of a human (Will Ferrell) adopted by Papa Elf (played by Bob Newhart), one of Santa’s elves. Upon growing up (physically, but still emotionally child-like), Buddy leaves the North Pole in search of his father, who doesn’t know his son exists. Buddy finds his father, employed as an executive for a publishing company run by a tyrannical, over-demanding boss who allegedly lacks “Christmas Spirit.”

Walter (James Caan), Buddy’s father, reluctantly takes Buddy into his home with his wife and their approximately 10-year old son Michael (Daniel Tay). But Buddy comes to feel unwanted by his father, and runs away. Upon finding Buddy’s runaway note, Michael rushes to his father, who is at work trying to complete a book project on Christmas Eve at the commandment of his boss. Michael walks into the meeting and tells his father that Buddy had run away, and asks for his help in finding his half-brother.

Walter now faces a decision; go after Buddy immediately or finish the project as demanded by his boss. Initially, Walter chooses to put off looking for his runaway son, to the chagrin and anger of Michael, and instead stay and satisfy his boss, who threatens to fire him if he doesn’t complete the project by the end of that day, Christmas Eve.

At that point Michael, himself feeling somewhat neglected by his father’s generally excessive focus on his work, rebels, accusing his father of “always thinking only of yourself.” (Earlier in the movie, Michael had accused his father of “caring only about money.”)

At this point, important questions are begged. Is the pursuit of money and success an end in itself, or a means to an end?  Was Walter really thinking “only of himself”—acting in his rational self-interest—by hierarchizing his job over his family? Or were his priorities screwed up, leading him down a personally self-destructive path?

Michael’s rebellion is like a slap in the face to Walter. He must decide what values are most important in his life; his job or his sons. But Walter’s dilemma does not involve the choice implied in this scene; to choose between his family or the pursuit of money. The actual choice is; his family or his stressful job working for a jerk boss. This is the choice Walter faces. He is on the spot between his particular job and his sons, and must now decide what his most important values are—the most selfish choice he’s ever had to make.

Walter chooses his family, thus losing his job. It’s the “right” choice, because he has put concern for others above selfishness. But, did he? Is it a choice between selflessness and selfishness? The choice Walter ultimately makes point to some important life lessons, albeit perhaps not the lessons intended by the movie’s producers. The obvious message one is supposed to draw from the movie is that when faced with the choice between selfless concern for others or the selfish pursuit of money—between the spiritual and the material—we must choose the former, which allegedly embodies the “Christmas Spirit.”

By forsaking his job for his family, Walter supposedly made the correct, selfless choice. But was it really selfless? Are spiritual values the embodiment of selflessness, and the material the embodiment of selfishness? This narrative applied to the moral dilemma Walter faces is rooted in a false premise; an alleged dichotomy between your mind and your body; between the spiritual and the material. Interestingly, whatever the producers’ intentions, the movie itself refutes this false narrative and premise. There is no such choice or dichotomy. The moral choice is between selflessness and selfishness. But not in the way seemingly meant in the movie, or as almost certainly taken by most viewers.

The most important lessons (or moral messages) that I drew from this heart-warming movie are not explicitly drawn out and demonstrated to the viewer. But the lessons are there, nonetheless. The movie doesn’t explicitly answer the questions posed above. But the implicit answers embedded in Walter’s choices say something important about money and values. Money is a means to serving one’s happiness and spiritual well-being, not an end in itself. One must not pursue money, whatever the cost. Indeed, to pursue money at all costs is not only not selfish. It is self-destructive. And one does not have to. The pursuit money and success and to pursue love and the nurture of family are both important, selfish values. Human beings are a unified whole of mind and body. There is no conflict there. To achieve a flourishing life, one must integrate one’s values—all of them, spiritual and material—into a proper hierarchy, and act accordingly.

Yes, Walter gives up his crappy job for his family. Keeping it for so long at the expense of his family life was very unselfish; meaning, not in his rational self-interest, as he comes to learn. But he doesn’t choose his family at the expense of the pursuit of money. In the end, Walter achieves both material, money-making business success—he starts his own publishing company with a successful book launch—and a good family life, sacrificing neither to the other. His ultimate choices and motives are thoroughly, and properly, selfish. Therein lies the lesson of Elf: Both spiritual and material values are crucial to a flourishing life. On the issue of the spiritual vs. the material, it’s not either-or. But you must integrate and hierarchize your values rationally, and choose wisely—i.e., long term—because you can have neither spiritual nor material flourishing without the other.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On 'Deserving' a Higher Minimum Wage

The two most powerful New Jersey Democrats, State Senator Stephen Sweeney, President of the New Jersey Senate, and Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, argued in a New Jersey Star-Ledger guest column for a much higher state minimum wage, even though NJ voters just three years ago amended the NJ Constitution to raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation. In Sweeney and Prieto: N.J.'s workers deserve a higher minimum wage, the two legislators wrote:

Too many of our fellow New Jerseyans go to work every day, some to two jobs, and do not make enough money to put food on the table, pay the heating and electric bills, and clothe and put a roof over their children's heads.

For too long, the ranks of the working poor have been growing, the middle class has been shrinking, and more and more of the wealth of our society has been flowing into the pockets of the richest 1 percent.

That is why we have joined together to put New Jersey at the forefront of the "Fight For $15" movement by introducing legislation to raise the minimum wage from the current $8.38 an hour to $10.10, and to establish a schedule that will provide all of our state's workers a living wage of over $15 an hour five years after the new measure takes effect.

Sweeney and Prieto acknowledge that Governor Chris Christie will likely veto the minimum wage hike if it passed the legislature. If so, they say, “we will put it on the ballot as a constitutional amendment for the voters to decide.” They go on to add:

To condemn hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens – many of them children – to live in poverty in one of the richest states in the nation is morally wrong.

I left these comments:

The premise implied in the above statement is that wealth is a collective product owned by the state as representative of the collective, to be distributed according to the politicians’ dictates. But since wealth is created by individual effort, the implication of collective wealth controlled by the state is that the individual’s life belongs to the state, to be disposed of at the will of government officials. This is not moral. This is the essence of tyranny, which is where the whole idea of collectivism in any of its manifestations leads.

New Jersey is not a rich state. NJ is a geographical area with a diversity of achievers. Only individual producers create and own wealth, before the tax men and regulators get their hands on it. A minimum wage doesn’t transfer wealth from “one of the richest states” to employees. It forces individual employers to pay more than they judge the employee to be worth to the productive process his business is engaged in. Minimum wage laws, like all forced redistributionist schemes, transfers individual wealth, not collective wealth.

People who oppose the minimum wage are not “condemning hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens . . . to live in poverty.” We oppose forced redistribution of wealth, because when the state forcibly takes money from one person to give to another for no other reason than economic inequality or need, it does not lift anyone out of poverty. The state is merely making a slave out of one person and a moocher out of the other. Rising from poverty must be earned.

What’s morally wrong is for government to forcibly take from one person and hand it over to another. The word “deserve” implies justice. In justice, no one deserves to be forced to turn over his wealth to another against his will. When politicians vote to forcibly redistribute wealth, they are engaging in legalized theft. No one deserves wealth forcibly confiscated by politicians from another. When someone gains wealth by such means, they are essentially receiving stolen goods. No one “deserves” any level of income apart from what they earn, and what a person earns can only be justly determined by voluntary agreement between employer and employee. We who oppose legally mandated minimum wages have the moral high ground.

If the politicians really wanted to address the high cost of living, they should look to the ever-increasing burden imposed on production and trade—in the form of taxes, regulations, and government spending—and the ever-shrinking incentives to work that the welfare state fosters. The $15 minimum wage is a perfect example of this. It makes it less economical to employ people even as it relieves low-wage workers of the incentive to gather the experience, character, productiveness, and skills that actually makes them worth 15 bucks.

Toward the end of the article, Sweeney and Prieto offer this in support of the minimum wage:

As Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich said when asked why he did an end-run around his own legislature to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor, "When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he's probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer."

This is our answer: Let's join together and raise the minimum wage.

If you don’t yet understand why Republicans keep losing the battle for limited government, reread Kasich’s passage. If you agree with that moral sentiment, never ask for whom the bell of socialist poverty and tyranny tolls: it tolls for you.

Related Reading:

Star-Ledger letter: Raising the minimum wage to $15 would cost small businesses dearly—A businessman’s dissent against the minimum wage increase.

Why Don’t Most Americans Get that Government Wealth Redistribution is Theft?

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy, American Indians, and American History

The Dakota Access Pipeline, an 1172 mile oil pipeline that is complete except for a 1 mile disputed section, has become a fierce battle involving some, but not even close to all, members of the Standing Rock Sioux and their environmentalist allies. (On 12/5/16, CNN reported that “the Army Corp of Engineers announced it will look for an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline.” Donald Trump has said he will review the decision. Bloomberg, citing a Trump spokesman, reported that “President-elect Donald Trump backs the Dakota Access Pipeline and will review a decision by the Obama administration to deny a permit for the project.”)

I’m not going to dive into the specifics of the pipeline issue, which involves property rights and Federal Government permitting of the 1% of the pipeline route under federal jurisdiction (The other 99% is on private land). I don’t know enough about it at this point, although I oppose reactionary environmentalist obstruction of projects that deliver reliable energy.

What I do want to focus on is a New Jersey Star-Ledger editorial backing the American Indian opponents of the pipeline. The Star-Ledger anchored its position in a historical context which essentially promoted primitive tribal dictatorship over constitutional government.

Leaving these people [American Indians] alone would be nice for a change. For centuries we've done the opposite: We've betrayed them, slaughtered them, broke treaties, reduced them to abject poverty. Per capita, Native Americans are even more likely to be killed by police than any other racial group. What else can our government do to them exactly?

Since 1776, the U.S. has seized 1.5 billion acres from its native people. That's a dozen Spains. We don't often think of that grave injustice. Most Americans cannot identify the Trail of Tears or Wounded Knee. Most don't consider those events important to our history.

But the relentless dispossession of Native American land - much of it through genocide - made the U.S. a transcontinental power. And the events in North Dakota make you wonder whether there will ever be an end to this appalling forced deprivation.

First of all, these protestors were not victims. They weren’t even around during colonial times. That said, the idea that the so-called “Native Americans” (I don’t like that term) can claim ownership over a continent is based on a racist premise; that a race can own a continent to the exclusion of all other races. Nothing can be further from the truth. Only individuals, separately or in association with other individuals, can own property. The American Indians—or indigenous people, if you prefer—had no right to exclude settlement by other people of the world on the North American Continent any more than today’s so-called alt-Right can claim America should be a white nation.

As to legal jurisdiction, if the American government were a dictatorship, there might be some plausibility to the claim that our government stole the Indians’ land. But America is not a dictatorship. It is a nation Founded on the moral principle that all people of all races and national origins, as individuals, are equally free before the law. That those principles were slow to extend to all people does not change that fact. Change is slow. It takes more than a statement of principles in writing. Extending freedom and political equality takes continuous action by courageous activists. Women, blacks, American Indians, and homosexuals all had to wait for their political equality. But get it they did, thanks to America’s founding principles stated in the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Yes, American Indians were sometimes treated horribly by white settlers. But the reverse was also true. That said, we need not excuse the atrocities committed against the American Indians to recognize that the replacement of tribal rule with American constitutional government, often against fierce and bloody resistance from the Indian tribes, was a great advance for human political progress. The overriding of tribal jurisdiction was justified by the fact that tribal rule doesn’t recognize individual rights while American constitutional governance does. If individuals have rights, then only a rights-protecting government can legitimately claim jurisdiction over a territory.

The European settlers starting with Columbus found a land mired in a stagnant Dark Age of superstition, poverty, and dictatorship. What the Europeans brought to the American continent was a New World of Enlightenment and scientific progress. The alleged American “seizure” of 1.5 billion acres from its native people was not an act of aggression but a giant leap forward in the moral/political development of mankind—the principle that all individuals anywhere on the globe possess inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that government’s only purpose is to secure these rights through just powers based on the consent of the governed. To think otherwise would be to hold to the age-old belief that the average person was born to be subservient to an ruling elite born with the inherent right to dictate—and that that should never change. That view is a repudiation of America.

Related Reading:

Was America 'made possible by stealing Indian land and the labor of slaves?'