May 16, 2009

The Company Store

If you've ever "owed your soul to the company store", then you know what Mr. Ford was saying when he sang Sixteen Tons back in 1955. This smash hit ruled the charts for eight weeks as the #1 hit back in 1955.

Sixteen Tons is a heartfelt song about working the coal mines for low pay and going into debt to the store that was run by the company that owned the coal mine. The stores were always willing to give store credit to the families that worked for the company, but the catch for such credit was that you were indebted to the company and never managed to get ahead.

If you want a modern day example of the company stores, then you need only look at credit card companies or payday loans to see just what it might be like to "owe your soul to the company store" and never be able to escape the clutches of debt.