Unbroken Chains


Slavery does not always come with chains

The sad practice to this day remains

Where the impoverished can never break

The bondage to the money they make


Employers swell in the profits they gather

Accumulated wealth is all that matters

And the tired hands that see the profits won

Do without when the long day is done


Success only measured by the stock price

Corporate greed becomes an accepted vice

But unchanged are the lives of our neighbors

Left so poorly rewarded for their labors


Just be happy that you are employed

Let that keep your spirits buoyed

Be glad there is a bus that goes this far

As you will never afford a decent car


They act if they are doing us a favor

By so undervaluing good labor

Each day they are put to full use

In a job they are scared to lose


But it does not have to be this way

Struggling for the pittance paid

And there within a minimal wage

Slaves they are in a gilded cage


20 Responses to “Unbroken Chains”
  1. beth says:

    so well said. and this is why people are rising up, quitting, and refusing to work for slave wages a moment longer

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Beth! It does seem that the labor force has begun to see its higher value and recognize the enormous profits taken by the few.

      • beth says:

        people are angry and asking why no one wants to work, calling them lazy, etc. – it’s only that they want to, and deserve to, make a fair living wage, like everyone else, nothing to do with being lazy or unmotivated

      • Brad Osborne says:

        I agree, Beth. It has nothing to do with work ethic and everything to do with being paid a reasonable wage. Workers are tired of being treated like medieval serfs.

  2. You have painted a precise picture of the evils of capitalism, the evil that allows the rich to get richer many struggle to make it to the end of the month. Although I do believe in capitalism, what I see happening today is not capitalism, it is an unjust distribution and a criminal control of riches by those who believe to be the “elite” and privileged. Good work my friend.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you, Francisco! I, too, believe in capitalism, but ours has been overtaken by corporate greed to feed the coffers of the few elites who sit in control. We live in what could easily be described as a classed social system. Those who have more than they could ever need, served by those who constantly do without.

  3. Such powerful and concise words and picture you make with them. I don’t blame people for not wanting to return to the work force after losing jobs due to COVID; for 2 years, everyone had to learn how to spend less at the same time realizing they were not being fairly paid for their work when they were working. And businesses are complaining that they are short-staffed, and some have had to alter the hours they are available to customers because of it, and it’s more profitable for them to sit in their plush office chairs and call people lazy than it is to hire people at a decent wage. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

  4. Jim Borden says:

    well said, Brad. such a sad state of affairs. While capitalism has done wonders, it could do so much better if people weren’t so greedy…

  5. petespringerauthor says:

    Meanwhile, the 1% keep getting richer by setting up a system exacerbates the problem.

  6. jonicaggiano says:

    I think it has all been said. Great piece Brad and said so poetically. The minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25 an hour. If you get tips the minimum is $2.13 an hour. This is below poverty wage. We live within our means and always have. We were paid well in Seattle and are blessed to have been able to retire young. I worry about how people will ever get a house now that people are paying almost twice what a house was worth just two years ago. I feel so sorry for young families starting out. Great piece Brad. Love Jonikins ❤️

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thanks, Jonikins! I feel for the younger people too. And war in the Ukraine is only going to make things worse for a while.

      • jonicaggiano says:

        So very true Brad. I saw a picture this morning of where the Polish women were leaving their strollers for the Ukrainian women who left with only their babies in their arms. It made me cry to know that their are people in our world who will help how ever they can. What a wonderful photograph that was indeed. Happy Monday my friend. Big hugs and love ❤️ Jonikins ❤️

      • Brad Osborne says:

        I can only hope we continue to see the triumph of the human spirit! Thank you, Jonikins! Much love to you both!

  7. See how your words stir people. Great piece.

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