Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Republicans Government United States Politics

RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance 523

Posted by timothy
from the pretty-words-all-in-a-row dept.
Bob9113 writes "According to an article on Ars Technica, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has passed a resolution that "encourages Republican lawmakers to immediately take action to halt current unconstitutional surveillance programs and provide a full public accounting of the NSA's data collection programs." The resolution, according to Time, was approved by an overwhelming majority voice vote at the Republican National Committee's Winter Meeting General Session, going on this week in Washington, DC."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RNC Calls For Halt To Unconstitutional Surveillance

Comments Filter:
  • by TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:20PM (#46067925)

    Hey, when you oppose everything the president does, it's gotta work in our favor sometimes!

  • Oh, the irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:21PM (#46067941)

    From the party that brought us the PATRIOT act.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:29PM (#46067999)

    And of course when a Republican gets back in the White House, they'll be repealing this and get back to passing oppressive laws like nobody's business. It astounds me how people keep voting for Kang or Kodos.

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:35PM (#46068057)

    Obama who is working very hard to end this

    [citation needed]

  • Realization Dawns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IonOtter (629215) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:36PM (#46068061) Homepage

    Back in 2002 or so, when people were really starting to rally against the PATRIOT act, the usual faces were all over the media, calling detractors "terrorist sympathizers" and worse. More than a few openly called for such people to be labeled traitors.

    Manifestly, there is no civil-liberties crisis in this country. Consequently, people who claim there is must have a different goal in mind. What else can you say of such people but that they are traitors? (source) [blogspot.com]

    And here's Paul Krugman with regards to Rush Limbaugh back in 2002...

    As far back as 2002, Rush Limbaugh, in words very close to those used by The Wall Street Journal last week, accused Tom Daschle, then the Senate majority leader, of a partisan "attempt to sabotage the war on terrorism." (source.) [nytimes.com]

    I can't remember where it happened, or who exactly said it, but someone confronted Rush Limbaugh about his words and said, "Imagine if Hillary Clinton were to become president, and she has the power that you want to give President Bush."

    Well.

    It would appear that has a very good chance of happening. And what was laughed off back in 2002, is now staining underwear in 2014.

  • Re:Nobody.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler (1955220) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:36PM (#46068067)
    Governor Perry of Texas was in the news this week backing the State's Rights side of Colorado's marijuana legalization,

    but I suspect the homosexual angle will be solely Democrat for some time to come because of the religious objections.

    The anti-surveillance stance reminds me of the rally against deficit spending by whichever Party is presently out of power.

    The roles in our two-trick pony show are amusingly interchangeable.

  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:37PM (#46068071) Journal
    These guys never take into consideration that you should never grant yourself any powers you wouldn't want your enemies to have...
  • Re:Oh, the irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:42PM (#46068107)

    From the party that brought us the PATRIOT act.

    You actually think there are two parties? They are two factions of the same party. It's your basic duopoly. If it were a marketplace, the average person would understand why that's bad. This is power, something even worse than money in terms of the damage it can do.

    The best analogy is the way all US wireless phone carriers overcharged for text messaging. None of their prices were related to the actual cost of delivering the service (zero for GSM-based phones). None of them wanted to try undercutting the competition because they all made more money that way. They each recognized it was in their interests not to rock the boat.

    That's what a two-party system is like. That's why the Founders warned against allowing one to develop. At the state level, it's the same two parties who write the election rules and neither has any incentive to make it easy for third parties to get on the ballot. Effectively, the two parties serve the same function as the trade guilds of old: to lock out competition.

    It's to be expected that they take turns being the bad guy. It's called good cop, bad cop, and it's a method of manipulating the voters by playing them in the middle.

  • Re:Oh, the data! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:57PM (#46068203)

    Who can you recommend?

    If you are mature enough to understand that most are not anarcho-capitalists, I'd recommend the Libertarian Party. They're the only ones I know of who are serious about reducing the size and power of government, which is badly needed right now. If that ever happens (ha ha!) I'd be open to other ideas myself.

    I could not in good conscience recommend either major party. I'd personally rather back the underdog that's not going to win, than be Satan's Little Helper, but that's me.

  • Re:Nobody.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bartles (1198017) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:57PM (#46068209)
    If the democratic party doesn't have abortion, same sex marriage, welfare, and racism, what do they have left? Their platform requires that the county be racist, misogynist, homophobic, and poor.
  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @03:57PM (#46068215)

    And of course when a Republican gets back in the White House, they'll be repealing this and get back to passing oppressive laws like nobody's business. It astounds me how people keep voting for Kang or Kodos.

    By extension, Democrats are only for wholesale violation of constitutional rights as long as it can be used to keep them in office.

  • by causality (777677) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:06PM (#46068273)

    It's all about the targets.

    Republicans never thought the targets would be other American citizens.

    Obama has proven them wrong.

    Yes, for some reason there are still large numbers of people who need proof that something which happened every single other time (power being abused) is, in fact, going to happen again this time if you start with the same conditions.

    I generally call these people "idiots", but you may prefer such terms as "numbnuts", "morons", "imbeciles", etc.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:10PM (#46068291) Homepage Journal

    It's an election year.

  • by causality (777677) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:10PM (#46068293)
    Cue the highly emotional, belligerent, ignorant people who think anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism are exactly the same thing.

    On the other hand, if you have to make shit up in order to find fault with something, anyone with sense will recognize that you're paying a high compliment to it.

    The other problem with libertarian thought is that small-minded people are terrified of that degree of freedom, because it means others might do things they disapprove of, and the small-minded just love using government to tell people how to live.
  • Re:Oh, the data! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:16PM (#46068335) Journal

    Oh please. The government isn't run by the people you elect. It's run by the people who finance their appearance on the TV. And if all you people didn't play along, the velvet glove would come off. Power and privilege is never given up peacefully. The 'underdogs' are allowed to mouth off because nobody's listening.

  • by causality (777677) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:22PM (#46068395)

    Except that is really both parties. The parties come out against things like this, but they dont ever do anything about it.

    Yes, they have an amazing talent for speaking out against something, saying what they know you want to hear, but never actually doing anything about it. This is enabled by the short memory of the public combined with the media's desire to remain cozy with government officials so they can get those exclusive interviews.

    Meanwhile, no matter what is said, whatever the monied interests and the military-industrial-complex want is what will happen anyway.

  • Re:Oh, the irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:33PM (#46068481)

    Sort of. The Patriot Act is simply too large to have been drafted in the timeframe allotted, so we can start with the obvious truth that whoever really wrote it had it on the shelf awaiting an opportunity. That is chilling, and under-reported, enough.

    It's also worth noting that the two people in Congress who were capable of stopping it were exactly the ones targeted by the anthrax attacks--attacks which have never been solved. Isn't that convenient? Well, it certainly was if you were the Bush Administration anyway...

    Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of this unconstitutional law because the far right corporate media drumbeat was going to brand them as unpatriotic or worse if they even wanted to figure out what they were voting on. But hey, it was OK, because they were only going to violate the Constitution for a little while, right? Except that it keeps getting renewed, and renewed, and renewed even though it is very highly obvious that terrorism as an actual threat to the US is completely overblown.

    Time to end this idiotic war on the American people, end the TSA, end the wholesale harassment of absolutely everybody at the borders, and stop spying on everybody's Internet and banking activities.

  • by causality (777677) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:36PM (#46068505)

    But again, it was an unscientific study, and I have a libertarian bias as such my results may be biased as well.

    That you have the self-awareness to know this and the integrity to admit it lends credibility to your poll, unscientific though it may be.

    I too want most experience of government to come from the state and local levels, like the Founders intended. It was never intended that the average person would be affected very much by anything the federal government does, except in times of an actual, Congress-declared war (heh remember back when we did that?). The States are about the only entities able to stand up to the feds, and to do that, they first have to stop being addicted to the federal money that so many of their budgets have come to depend on. The Free State Project is, in fact, an effort to do exactly that.

  • Re:Oh, the data! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:45PM (#46068575) Homepage

    Greens are interesting too ... essentially libertarians with a greater willingness to ensure a social safety net and protect the commons (environment) from being abused by a few who profit at everyone else's expense.

    Honestly though, I'd vote for either. The DNC and GOP are so corrupted by and enslaved to their donors, I'd be happy to see anyone kick their collective elephantine asses.

  • by causality (777677) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:45PM (#46068581)

    The Christian Right still has a HUGE stranglehold on the party and that's why unless the Liberian leaning candidate is also for government control of sex, marriage, and reproduction (especially abortion), they will have no chance.

    Which is really hilarious considering that I've read the Bible, and I couldn't find "tell thy neighbors how they shall live" anywhere in it. I did, however, find a great deal about not judging.

    The religious right's only real interest seems to be using force and threat of force (police power of gov't) to demand that others live only in ways they approve of. They obviously have no real belief in the power of their Biblical message to convince, nor in their own ability to set a good example which works so well that others want to follow it voluntarily. It's just the name of Christ used as an excuse to control people. If they were true to their belief and had the love and forgiveness it demands, and attained the joy it promises, I believe the urge to control others is one of the first character flaws they'd overcome.

    The modern political arm of "Christianity" reminds me of what Gandhi (a Hindu) said. He said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians; they are nothing like your Christ."

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @04:50PM (#46068613)

    Yup. Even the most dimwitted Republicans have figured out that America's secret police do not discriminate. They spy on *everybody* who might need to be arrested or blackmailed (i.e. everybody), congress included.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @05:02PM (#46068673)

    Cue the highly emotional, belligerent, ignorant people who think anarcho-capitalism and libertarianism are exactly the same thing.

    While that's technically true, one of the problems is that in practice they are conflated by the people who call themselves libertarians. Especially in the tea party movement. For any political group there is an ever present risk that the difference between who they say they are and what they actually do is in contradiction.

    I have absolute and complete faith that there are are lots of true blue Libertarians in the group. The problem is all the others who are either wolves in sheep's clothing or just unprincipled "useful idiots" who simply don't have intellectual rigor to push back on the self-interested and well-monied anarcho-capitalist types who are working hard to co-opt the tea party groups.

    FWIW, I've come to the conclusion that the norquist "starve the beast" approach is a bad idea. It is too simplistic - it is the stick without the carrot. It needs a complementary "good governance" movement too. Else we get things like privatization of government services where any initial cost savings evaporates as the business owners end up with a practical monopoly on state contracts and jack the prices back up in a couple of years.

  • by rogoshen1 (2922505) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @05:11PM (#46068725)
    It would be nice if the GOP returned to something more like Goldwater Republicanism. A couple quotes:

    "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."

    Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.

  • by reve_etrange (2377702) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @05:28PM (#46068841)

    You don't know how social security works. It is an intergenerational assurance program in which the currently working give some of their current income to the currently retired.

    Social security is not funded by deficit spending. Indeed, social security has run a surplus over the lifetime of the program and is doing so now.

  • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsnNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Saturday January 25, 2014 @05:46PM (#46068973)

    What you miss is that the Republicans and the Democrats are only pretend enemies. They are actually allies. So their "enemy" getting the power they asked for isn't something that bothers them.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @05:46PM (#46068981) Journal

    They want something new. Libertarians are the new popular party to belong to. They believe in gay rights and legalizing pot and lower taxes and small govt and no surveillance or drone attacks. What's not to love?

    The problem is that most of the people who claim to want small government really mean: spend less on everything except the things that benefit me.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @06:01PM (#46069055) Journal

    Over 75% of the people I spoke with out of over 3000 said the number one thing they want is to cut spending, cut taxes, and reduce the reach of the federal government.

    Unless it involves cutting our absurdly bloated defense department and DHS. Anything to keep us safe.

    The GOP went along with the sequester and new budget, both of which cut the DOD and DHS more than any other cabinet-level department.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @06:08PM (#46069103) Journal

    Social Security is running cash-flow negative [ssa.gov], meaning it is spending reserves rather than living on current cash flow. And whilst, on paper, that looks like it doesn't add to the overall Federal deficit, those reserves are simply bonds from the Federal Government which must be redeemed out of current Federal revenues. And those Federal revenues are from a deficit plan.

    Saying SS isn't adding to the deficit is like saying your department in a company that is losing money isn't adding to the loss because you're still under budget - even if the products your department builds don't cover your budgeted costs.

  • by Goody (23843) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @06:56PM (#46069373) Journal

    I've always been puzzled when people say what the "Founders intended". The Founders lived in a time when it took days to get from one populated area to another, on horseback. They were wealthy land owners upset with being pushed around by a monarchy thousands of miles away. They did a fine job in creating a new country, but they created it for the times they were in and the technology they had. There's nothing sacred about the laws or structure they enacted. Undoubtedly some of the motivation behind a structure with states having power was due to the realities of a sparsely populated country and frontier, and recent bad experiences with a monarchy. There's certainly nothing magical about state and local government. Both can be just as wasteful and abusive as federal government, especially, as we've seen, when it comes to personal liberties and civil rights.

  • by Goody (23843) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @07:00PM (#46069403) Journal

    They believe in gay rights and legalizing pot and lower taxes and small govt and no surveillance or drone attacks. What's not to love?

    If they would stop there, it would be great. It's when they get into the libertarian utopia stuff where there are no regulations and corporations can do no wrong is that things go off the rails rather quickly.

  • by inode_buddha (576844) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @07:03PM (#46069429) Journal

    It would be nice if I could find a non-statist, who is *also* not a corporatist. Unfortunately all the non-statists I've ever heard of are devout corporatists.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @07:32PM (#46069597)

    Unfortunately these "libertarian" leaning Repubs also have a penchant for rallying to the CUT TAXES! flag while doing nothing to cut federal spending to compensate.

    Havent you been paying any attention since the democrats lost the House? Many budgets have left the House with significant spending cuts, but then the Senate refuses to even discuss them.

    This is how the process used to work: The House drafted a spending bill, the Senate then Amended the spending bill and passed it back to the House, who then either Amended it kicking it back or passed it themselves.

    Now the popular claim by Democrats is that the Republicans are obstructing normal process, but it is the Democrats that have not been doing their duty in amending spending bills and sending them back. They don't amend them. They don't bring them to a vote. They just bury them. But its all the Republicans fault, right?

  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @07:36PM (#46069623)

    They believe in gay rights and legalizing pot and lower taxes and small govt and no surveillance or drone attacks. What's not to love?

    If they would stop there, it would be great. It's when they get into the libertarian utopia stuff where there are no regulations and corporations can do no wrong is that things go off the rails rather quickly.

    I don't know where you're getting your ideas of what libertarians think, but believing corporations can do no wrong and that there should be no regulation isn't in the mainstream of libertarian thought. Maybe it seems that way to you because libertarians push back against the more insane and intrusive stuff that government does in those areas, so it appears that we hate it all in toto, but that's not the case. We just want to limit government to a sensible role, not the all-encompassing, all-seeing no-sparrow-falls behemoth that it's become.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @07:40PM (#46069655) Homepage

    because it means others might do things they disapprove of

    Well, yes. I disapprove of people and organizations who murder, rob, rape, beat up, poison, cheat, and steal. Government is a check on all that by having an organized way of penalizing people who do those things. And it turns out that this is generally successful: There are a lot fewer murders, robberies, rapes, beatings, poisonings, and thefts in places where there is effective government than when there isn't (and yes, I'm considering people murdered by the government in unjustified shootings).

    There are 2 points of real disagreement I have with libertarians:
    1. They oppose government efforts to intervene when one person's activities are demonstrably harming somebody else. For example, most libertarians I've encountered believe environmental regulations are unnecessary and intrusive, but countries without environmental regulations have people dying of various water-borne and air-borne poisons every day. Most libertarians I've encountered disapprove of government efforts to ensure that products available in stores are what they say they are, but historically and in modern times private industry has demonstrated that it cannot regulate itself, nor can consumers organize lawsuits well enough to correct the market.

    2. They oppose government doing what government can and has done more efficiently than private industry. That is in large part because their philosophy is predicated on the idea that government is always less efficient than private industry, so when some egghead quotes statistics that say that (for example) government-run health care gives better health care for less money than privately-run health care, the assumption is that the egghead is just making it up.

  • by fche (36607) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @08:31PM (#46069937)

    "There's certainly nothing magical about state and local government. Both can be just as wasteful and abusive as federal government, especially, as we've seen, when it comes to personal liberties and civil rights."

    One difference is that one can vote with one's feet much easier in leaving a backward town or state, than leaving one's nation. The other is scale: the closer to the voters the representatives work/live, the more likely mutual respect.

    Both factors make feedback cycles more rapid & precise. I wouldn't be surprised at all, if evidence existed that those poor backward horse-riding founders could conceive of this.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @08:48PM (#46070017)

    Unless it involves cutting our absurdly bloated defense department and DHS. Anything to keep us safe.

    Huge DOD spending is largely a consequence of having so many troops overseas, and Democrats and "progressives" favor that, because they think they can fix the world. In fact, people who suggest that we may not want to bomb others into democracy are frequently denounced as "isolationists" by Democrats.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @09:02PM (#46070109)

    While that's technically true, one of the problems is that in practice they are conflated by the people who call themselves libertarians. Especially in the tea party movement

    The Tea Party itself advocates for reducing the national debt, spending, and taxes, nothing more. The fact that that attracts unsavory elements like Christian conservatives doesn't change the goals, nor the fact that even people who hate each other's guts can cooperate politically on a common goal.

    The reason you hate the Tea Party so much is because both Democratic and Republican politicians have seen a threat their ability to hand out vast sums to their cronies in industry and special interest groups, and so they figured that destroying the reputation of the Tea Party would be the best defense. And they were right.

    I've come to the conclusion that the norquist "starve the beast" approach is a bad idea. It is too simplistic - it is the stick without the carrot. It needs a complementary "good governance" movement too.

    Then you have missed the point. Governance is never "good"; it is sometimes necessary, but when it is, it is a grudging compromise.

    You think of government as an animal that you can reward and punish and that will learn and improve over time, but that's ridiculously naive.

  • by ichthus (72442) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @09:09PM (#46070145) Homepage

    but have no hesitation to stick their noses into a woman's health care decisions.

    Or, maybe we just think we shouldn't be obligated to pay (via tax dollars) for a woman to murder her unborn child. Rights have nothing to do with it. For some of us, it's a money thing. For others, it's a morals thing. For some, it's both.

    History shows us what happened when free enterprise took care of (or, all to often, did not) everything, and it wasn't pretty.

    SpaceX, Virgin Galactic
    UPS, Fedex
    Private schools
    *cough* Yeah, I can see your point.

  • by cmdr_tofu (826352) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @09:25PM (#46070235) Homepage

    I for one feel like the Federal Government benefit me by me being able to vote and eat in formerly "whites only" restaurants without being beaten due to Jim Crow. Also I went to public schools received financial aid, have driven on and received goods that travelled along interstate highways, did not get assaulted and robbed by old people because they have social security to keep them out of desperate poverty. O yeah I didn't get poisoned from food I bought at the grocery store because FDA said it was illegal to sell. I didn't get cancer because my drinking water was poisoned thanks to EPA regulations.
    I've taken trains, realized the moon was not impossible, used the Internet, benefitted from countless federally funded research projects.

    Honestly saying that very little of the money the federal government spends benefits most people (presumably citizens of the US) is utterly ludicrous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25, 2014 @09:45PM (#46070311)

    You are confusing women's health rights with who gets to pay for it. Libertarians object Planned Parenthood stuff because it is funded by the government, i.e. taxpayers money. A woman has a right to do anything she wants with her body. But she doesn't have a right to do it with my money, regardless of the excuses (too long to drive, too poor, etc.). This is the key distinction that you, progressives, have a hard time understanding.

  • by Patent Lover (779809) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @10:17PM (#46070449)
    A budget that can't be passed by the Senate and won't be signed by the President is not a real budget. It's a hope that they can still get reelected in their gerrymandered districts and still remain relevant.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @10:27PM (#46070483)

    You think of government as an animal that you can reward and punish and that will learn and improve over time, but that's ridiculously naive.

    That's funny ... I think you are the one being ridiculously naive. You think government is a monolithic entity defined by a single parameter -- incompetence. You make your perception reality by giving up any expectation of competence and leaving it all in the hands of those who wish to use it for the worst purposes. When you abdicate your role in a participatory democracy, of course you are going to get worst possible version of governance.

  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @11:01PM (#46070619) Homepage
    That's because the House budgets all included the elimination of the national healthcare mandate: that wasn't a legitimate budget, that was their way of claiming they were just looking for compromise.

    That's the equivalent of a Democratically controlled House passing a budget that eliminates all military spending. I'm sure the Republican Senate would amend it and send it back rather than tell them to pound sand. Right?
  • by atriusofbricia (686672) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @11:09PM (#46070639) Journal

    A budget that can't be passed by the Senate and won't be signed by the President is not a real budget. It's a hope that they can still get reelected in their gerrymandered districts and still remain relevant.

    Sorry, no. That logic would only apply if the budget were insane and passed by the House specifically to fail. In any case, if the Senate thought the budget was crazy they should have taken it up and voted it down. Instead they simply said "meh" to their Constitutional duties and ignored the budget for years and years.

    Their bloody job is to take it up, vote it up or down and/or amend and return it. Not to bloody ignore it so they can avoid going on the record.

  • by dryeo (100693) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @11:37PM (#46070773)

    Actually the invention of the horse collar pretty well ended slavery in most of the civilized world. A horse that wasn't strangling itself is much more productive per unit of food then a human slave. Even in America at the time of the War of Independence, slavery was on the way out with the price of a slave having dropped to $50.
    England was having court cases where slaves were using habeas corpus to gain their freedom while in the States the cotton gin was invented and the rich landowners people needed cheap labour but did not want more white trash in the form of indentured servants and such and the use of slaves picked up in response to the need for cheap labour with no political rights.
    Remember that the USA was the last of the western nations to ban slavery, only finally banning it in 1867 though it was on the way out as the slave economy could not compete and the South was failing economically when competing with cotton growers in other regions that were paying a wage for labour, especially as the (mostly English) factory owners considered slavery immoral and preferred buying cotton that was more ethically produced.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

Working...