Its still going! I was at Old Town Artisans last night and they were setting up. The coordinator said they are doing the contest for the next few saturdays.
You are right in emphasizing the comparisons are extreme. We are by no means living in an oppressive, police state like Nazi Germany. My point, however, is whether or not the principle of non-voluntary labor is acceptable. I think the suggestion that Banks' proposal could be 'tempered by mercy' misses the point; if labor is forced on people, regardless of their legal status or criminal history, there is something dangerously wrong. We live in a country built on the principle of free contract, and Banks' proposal belittles this value, even if his proposal was tongue-in-cheek.
To give Banks' proposal merit, we should instead ask what type of practical compensation (monetary or non-monetary) could be offered to illegal immigrants in exchange for cleaning up the trash.
For the record, I did not choose the headline. That was the 'objective' work of the editorial staff at Tucson Weekly.
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