The Dreadful Conditions Imposed Upon North Korean’s Who Work Abroad

North-Korean-money

Many North Koreans decide to work abroad but foreign work programs do not work the same way in North Korea as they do in the western world. Workers go abroad to places which will take them, with Russia and China being the primary location to migrate, and then work in industries which require cheap labor, typically in construction or factory work. Workers are forced to pay a mandatory fee to the North Korean state as crippling sanctions by the United Nations has hobbled North Korea’s ability to advance its nuclear program(s). This fee is referred to as “party duty” and is typically $300.00 – $900.00 per month which is why many workers end up giving up and returning home, often in debt. Workers are paid in a form of food stamps as all financial pay goes to the team leaders of the band of workers. These leaders arrange for part of the money to be paid to the worker, part of the money to be kept for themselves, and part of the money to be paid to the North Korean government. Workers have reported earning as little as 7% of their gross income after the immense fees which were imposed upon them. Many workers work during the day at their primary job, and then again during the night with private construction jobs which they acquire most often by bribing their team leader. The night construction jobs pay much better than the state sanctioned jobs because doing so is completely “off the books” meaning that no taxes or fees are imposed allowing workers to keep the entire payment for themselves and their families. These migrant workers are often referred to as “dollar heroes” within North Korean culture and there are approximately 40,000 of these types of workers in Russia alone. At its core, this system is essentially forced labor which is equitable to slavery. The North Korean state is dependent upon this system as many of its legitimate exports are now blocked from world trade making income generation substantially more difficult. The demand for North Korean labor is intense because Chinese laborers now earn enough that their wages are no longer competitive with North Korea. The Chinese government often sets up conventions which function as career fairs, placing perspective employers in touch with those looking for work. These work fairs are established so that North Korean workers can be brought to China to help meet the demand of laborers needed to build new projects, primarily in construction. North Korea has put laws in place so that employers and employees can never directly exchange payment for services rendered. Any employee demanding payment is dismissed and sent back to North Korea. Workers are closely guarded and watched by North Korean managers who report back anything suspicious to the North Korean government. China is North Korea’s most important trading partner and it is estimated that in China alone, North Korean workers earn hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Before workers are allowed to go abroad, they must pass an ideological examination which is essentially a background check of ones family. Workers are required to have 1 spouse and 1 child in North Korea before migrating for work so that those who go abroad cannot engage in rogue activities. The North Korean government leverages these families left behind to manipulate workers into complying with the harsh system setup abroad, as many are unaware just how bad conditions are until they arrive to their worksite for the first time. The United Nations estimates that North Korean workers earn over $1,000,000,000 ($1 billion) annually for the North Korean state. Reports indicate that there are approximately 150,000 North Korean workers working abroad in total with 100,000 in China, 40,000 in Russia, and the remaining 10,000 working in Africa, Cambodia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Myanmar, and Poland. The United Nations has predicted that because western sanctions have put such immense pressure upon North Korea and its future financial growth, Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader whose technical title is the “Chairman of the Workers Party”, will be looking to increase the number of workers North Korea sends abroad as well as ratchet up the pressure placed upon these workers to generate even more foreign exchange income. Because of the insatiable drive to fulfill ever lower wages, it seems the rest of the industrialized world is complicit in helping North Korea’s Supreme Leader fulfill his ambition

The Unfortunate Events Which Lead to the Discovery of Tutankhamun’s Burial Site

Tutankhamun

In 1890, Lord Howard Carter took the reigns of the Highclere estate but was rapidly running short of funds. Carter married the daughter of the wealthy banking merchant Alfred de Rothschild. de Rothschild’s daughter Almina came with an $800,000 dowry and Rothschild himself agreed to pay the castles debts of $200,000. Carter loved the invention of the automobile and favored driving as fast as he could. Carter had an accident in Germany and barely fully recovered. Carters physicians suggested he stay in a warm, dry climate which is what prompted him to visit Egypt. Carter eventually ended up bankrolling the discovery of Egypt’s most famous ancient tomb, the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Carter died 4 months after the discovery due to septicemia after being bitten by a mosquito whilst sitting upon the fringe of the Nile River. Media reports sensationalized this story as a curse due to the fact that as Carter laid dying in Egypt, his dog Susie howled and died at the exact same instant all the way back in England on the Highclere estate

Ethanol Energy Production 

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Henry Ford called ethanol which is alcohol made from a variety of materials, “the fuel of the future”. John Rockefeller seen ethanol as a threat to his oil monopoly and therefore used his influence to push prohibition of alcohol. Virtually any plant can be used to create ethanol making it a readily available resource worldwide. Most vehicles of any decade require a $150.00 modification to their onboard computer system to be able to tolerate ethanol. Yellow gas caps are indicative of flex-fuel cars which are cars which are adapted to accept and effectively utilize either gasoline or ethanol. Brazil has successfully instituted laws which have made every gas station offer both gasoline and ethanol which has boosted the Brazillian economy into the trillions and allowed Brazil to pay back all foreign debts

The Ancient Greek Ruler Draco and the Ancient Greek Reformer Solon 

ancient-Greek-law

Draconian laws which are associated with being especially unfair and cruel stem from the tyrant Draco who commissioned them in 621 B.C.. Draco forced farmers who couldn’t pay their debts into slavery and simple crimes like stealing a cabbage were punishable by death. The wise reformer Solon saved Athens by freeing all indebted slaves, eliminating the death penalty for all but extreme cases, and wrestling the political power out of the hands of noble bloodlines by establishing a council of 400 citizens to run the city, a bold step during its day, to untether governance from inheritance

The Forced Exploitation of Afghani Farmers By the Taliban 

Afghan-farmer

Not only does the Taliban force Afghani farmers into growing poppies for opium production by methods of intimidation and the threat of violence and/or death to the farmers and their families, they also incentivize these people by paying large loans in cash beforehand which is attractive to poor Afghan farmers who see the money as a quicker and more reliable method rather than farming the land to feed their family. This system is intentionally designed to ensure the farmers are monetarily indebted to the person providing the loan so that they must produce and yield a certain amount of crop in order to pay that debt back. Some opium farmers end up selling their daughters in an exchange to become debt free, having daughters as young as 12 marry drug lords who often acquire 4 or 5 wives because they have the income to do so. Over 1,000,000 (1 million) people in Afghanistan are addicted to heroin making the problem both localized as well as internationalized abroad. 90% of the world’s heroin production comes from Afghanistan. The Quran actually stipulates that it is against Islamic law to both grow as well as consume opium. While other crops take 3 – 5 years to reach their full potential in terms of yield each year, poppy crops are immediately fruitful after their first year