Poor whites in Alabama paid (modest) taxes to help support the government, whose main challenge was to control slave labour. Few poor whites probably realized it, but they were victims of involuntary servitude, too – forced to subsidise the slaveholders by paying some of the costs of policing their slaves.
Likewise, on the Barbary Coast a vast and confusing web of levies, fees, commissions and taxes was used to maintain the garrisons that kept slaves from escaping.
Do we have to spell it out?
In every industry, in every epoch, the regulators and the regulated – the parasite and the host – share the same goal: to connive against the public interest. Armed with the police power of the state, they don\’t take no for an answer.