There is a way around every tabu, knock on wood—but just watch out that the wood doesn't knock back!
They pondered. The chairman fingered some papers.
"Here's a suggestion. The slaves have been petitioning for the right to own land. It seems to be the only thing they'll spend their money for."
"We could limit the holdings."
"And have the land subject to condemnation by the government at a fair price."
The chairman called for order. "Let's argue this out. Remember the slaves will need time to work their land. Since their work day is down to nine hours, we'll have to arrange something."
* * * * *
Jean had been complaining about the lumps in the mattress. When Laurent took them out, there was enough in galactic currency to buy a piece of land in his name and hers, plus a plot for each of the children, and a new mattress as well. Sam was suspicious.
"They're out to get what little we've been able to save, Laurent. They can take the land anytime--for what they call a fair price. Fair! Fine chance they'l
Kind of stupid, but different enough to be entertaining.
A wry story of an ethical galactic civilization which permits humankind to destroy itself then rescues the remnants to breed as slaves. The plan works better than they could have imagined.
The writing is workmanlike.