“Today slaves are cheaper than they have ever been. The enslaved fieldworker who cost the equivalent of $40,000 in 1850 costs less than $100 today.
“… In India today you can still buy slaves as well as farmland and oxen, which remain the essential ‘tractors’ that keep farms going. But when we compare the price of a slave to the modern prices of land, labor, or oxen in India, the slave costs, on average, 95 percent less than in the past. This precipitous collapse, unprecedented in all of human history, has dire consequences for slaves. If you buy a fully equipped, band new car for $40, do you think your relationship to your car would change? If your car were that cheap, you would begin to treat it as something to be used and then discarded. Why event fix a flat tire if the whole car cost less than the repair? Most slaveholders fee that way about slaves today.”
—Kevin Bales, Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves (page 12)