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How slavery causes business losses is not a frequently asked question. Never the less, we can tackle it here. In order to function, a company must pay a salary that is at least high enough to pay for housing, clothing, food, and transportation of workers. Companies who kept slaves also had to incur these costs, plus the costs of guarding those slaves.

Companies that kept slaves thought they could avoid these costs by housing their slaves on their own land. But they failed to consider that you cannot install machines or plant cotton in places where slaves live and grow their food. As a result, keeping slaves caused missed income. Since it isn’t possible to process missed income in the accounting, this caused losses.

Companies that kept slaves ran into losses from the first day, whereas companies that did not keep slaves only incurred losses between the third and the ninth tax year. Even after three to nine years, the losses of companies that held slaves were always higher than losses of similar companies that held no slaves.

Europe and the northern US states did not abolish slavery because they were upstanding people; they did it because of the economic benefits. Countries that held no slaves had a stronger economy than slaveholding countries. Even if the American Civil War had not taken place, the South would have abolished slavery eventually because companies that used mechanical harvesters would have been profitable, while companies that kept slaves would have had to cut themselves back into bankruptcy.

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