Many people mistakenly believe we've abolished slavery in the United States. It was certainly the impression I got in history class, so it's understandable if people don't realize this ugly truth. If you've read the 13th Amendment thoroughly, you will have noticed there are exceptions that allow slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime.
Once you recognize this reality, it becomes clear why we have more laws being written in one year than some nations have over their entire history. There are private corporations running prisons for profit, which also have a strong lobbyist influence with lawmakers. It's no surprise our incarceration rate is the highest in the world, there's a lot of money to be made.
It's quite impossible today to imagine a world where we did abolish slavery with the 13th Amendment, but I can't help but think the country would be much stronger, and have a much lower incarceration rate. We currently spend countless taxpayer dollars to incarcerate people for crimes, and if those crimes caused a victim it's money well spent. Unfortunately, we don't just prosecute people for breaching the common law, but pursue their legal persons and file charges against them for code and statutory compliance failures. These laws are meant for corporations, but since your legal person created at birth by the 14th Amendment is technically a legal fiction, a prosecutor will seek to establish joinder between your legal person and your body and then hold your body in bondage for the debt if you refuse to pay the charges.
This is how we ended up with the huge incarceration rate we have today, a system has been created to profit off of the practice. Further evidence the judicial system is more about money than justice was provided to us recently at a press conference where a Sheriff complained that justice reforms were causing him to lose the "prisoners that will work" and help keep his prison running.
https://youtu.be/B_yGDQyUyKU <----------------- Video removed by YouTube (ain't censorship great!)
It's a sad state of affairs, and an Article V convention to fix the 13th Amendment seems a longshot at this point. Lack of awareness about this issue is also a problem, and it wouldn't hurt us to acknowledge we do in fact practice slavery and indentured servitude in The United States. It'd be a start.