2. Slavery and the Economy
Southern macro-economics was suffering tremendously from slavery, for a variety of reasons. While the individual plantation owner could very well prosper and earn veritably high profits, the economy in general was hurt in the most extreme way. Apart from being morally wrong, slavery and production methods modeled to suit the availability of slave labor are also against sound macro-economic planning.
King Cotton succeeded to enrich plantation owners, and it was successful as the backbone of Southern economy. However, a monocultural approach constitutes a major danger not only to the economic infrastructure but also to a future economic development. A monoculture may succeed in producing profits over a short-term period. However, once a new competitor enters the market, it isn't only one branch of economy which gets challenged but the entire structure of production may break down. Relying only on one major export good is not a sign of strength but rather one of fundamental weaknesses.
Cotton production demanded for large plantations, which were found to be easier worked on by black slaves more resistant to Southern climate than the frail European colonists. Poor white immigrants have no place in such a culture, and small white farms are a lost cause in a society developing pseudo-aristocratic structures.
Slavery, slave labor, serfdom or any other kind of forced labor disturb this working equilibrium - they introduce a stable element into a formula which is fueled by instability, which is fueled by chaos. Forced labor and any kind of meta-plans originating from outside the economy create an environment which will become predictable and stable over the long term, which are both just euphemisms for stagnation. Economic upswing cannot be meticuously planned, it is a chaotic system. This system may cause some social friction on a short-term basis - for which the state has to supply solutions - but through constant re-invention and re-definition, fueled by competition, the economic system will be able to overcome stagnation - as a whole. This doesn't mean that individual firms or enterprises will be saved from extinction. They won't, and the best example for something like that is the termination of PAN AM Airlines. But the market isn't aimed at subsidizing each and every enterprise, it is order out of chaos. What rises, may fall down. What is down, may go up.
If the market is supposed to prosper, it has to be built upon two guiding principles: One is represented by the dichotomy of supplier/buyer, the other by the pair employer/employee.
Supply and demand can only work if free cash flow is available, if the market is allowed to regulate itself. Competition is essential to spur the market, but competition can only work if all participants in the market are free to make their own decisions - in accordance with the law. But what is supplied, has to be able to be demanded for. What is being demanded for, has to be supplied - again, in accordance with the law, with a law providing equal opportunities for all. Production is pointless if there is no market - and the first market available should always be the home market. But how is a home market supposed to be working without potent buyers? Excluding the workforce from the market by either denying them adequate and high wages or by enslaving them and thus depriving them of their ability to participate in the market - all of this will drastically impede the market over the long term.
Again, this does not mean that there won't be any profit in slavery. Slave owners may very well profit from this peculiar institution - but the overall economy of the country will stagnate as wealth is just created and consumed, not re-invested and re-entered by making it available to the general public and ignoring the immense possibilities a home market is providing for.
In addition to these rather abstract and long-term deliberations, slavery can also very visibly hurt the economic infrastructure of the country.