They Hate Us For Our Prisons

Tyler Durden's picture

There was a time when US schoolchildren, a few short years before they were loaded up with $60,000 a year in unrepayable federal debt (used mostly to purchase various iTrinkets) to pay for community college, were taught that all those people outside the continental US hate its residents "for our freedoms." It must then come as quite a shock for all these kids to learn that what they really meant is that "they hate us for our prisons."

From Max Raskin, Bloomberg:

The U.S. has the world’s highest incarceration rate, with Department of Justice data showing more than 2.2 million people are behind bars, equal to a city the size of Houston.


The CHART OF THE DAY shows that, with a rate of 730 people per 100,000, the U.S. jails a higher proportion of its citizens than any other country, according to data from the International Centre for Prison Studies, an independent research center associated with England’s University of Essex.


“The model is, if you build it they will come,” said Daniel D’Amico, a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans. “Because we have all these prisons and all of these other resources funneled into our criminal justice system, we have this ability to enforce things that would otherwise be unenforceable.”


“That includes the drug war, but it’s also including everything from the Martha Stewart types to immigration policies,” D’Amico said. “The scope of things that are now criminal in corporate law is exponentially higher than it was merely twenty years ago.”

Well, how about no longer "building it" then? But for that to happen two things would need to change: either a member of the ruling Wall Street financial oligarchy would finally have to be thrown in maximum "pound me in the ass" security prison (to quote Matt Taibbi), something which as has been patently demonstrated, can never happen in the US; or, prisons are no longer the equivalent of a fully inclusive, taxpayer funded room and board vacation, where a certain subsegment of society can rest indefinitely for the most meaningless of transgressions.

Since neither of these two events will occur, it is probably safe to replace the the bald eagle on the Great Seal with a photo of Alcatraz and be done with it.

h/t Carl

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AlaricBalth's picture

Where is Snake Plissken when we need him?
Snake Plissken: I shut down the third world, you win they lose. I shut down America, they win, you lose. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

Anyone else here find their tweets don't appear in followers' feeds?

My tweets in reply aren't seen by anyone.

Searching "All" for phrases and hashtags in my tweets returns nothing.

I follow @ZeroHedge, @Wikileaks and @lemetropole so I guess I had it coming to me.

And now I am told "Twitter is over capacity" with a fail whale picture. Is it just me?

max2205's picture

Add no interest seniors on home detention who don't eat as well but then don't worry about dropping the soap, and we really lead the world

Lore's picture

"Twitter is over capacity"

Am I the only one who finds that amusing?  Like people who panic because they can't log into Facebook?

UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

LOL try searching in "All" for a phrase in one of my recent tweets "Herald Sun duped" - no results. Now search "All" for a phrase from same period, any phrase eg "New front in the culture wars". Many results. My tweets are being excluded from search results. Why is that?

sangell's picture

Our prisons are first rate it is our inmates that are the world's worst.

toady's picture

I'll agree our prisons are first rate, hell, the 3 hots & cot, cable tv, free medical, dental, optical ... they sure as hell hate us for our prisons. Our prisoners live better than 90% of the worlds population!

Disagree on the prisoners. Just a bunch of dope smokin' drunks, with a handfull of hardasses.

Bear's picture

The Mexico bar needs to incorporate at least 30% of the US bar since we are doing the bulk of their incarceration for them

sangell's picture

True, the US not only has to imprison the dregs of our society, we have to import large numbers of the dregs of the rest of the world. Bet we have an inmate from every member state of the UN in our prisons.

oc's picture

Fuck it. I'm moving to Iceland.

prains's picture

The Kiwi's must be growing some pretty magic weed to be number 5 right behind Mexico

New_Meat's picture

"(used mostly to purchase various iTrinkets)"

au contraire, meathead.

How 'bout SNAP, EBT, and fraudulent mortgages.


- Ned

Pseudo Anonym's picture

the list is incomplete.  i doubt russia imprisons fewer than iceland

prains's picture

it's only for the G 69 countries





although it's hard to hear anyone speak, it's always quite muffled

Zgangsta's picture

This seems like an awfully selective list.  Where's Russia?  China?  Singapore?

Dr. Engali's picture

That makes it better..... "Sure we are bad but look at those other guys."

I think you miss the point.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Per capita. Also, China and Singapore are much keener on executions........

Seer's picture

They probably don't allow the BIG criminals to hide behind corporate masks, which... when corporations can be executed, THEN is when it could be considered them to be "persons."

SgtSchultz's picture

While this study is from 06 the per capita stats are probably still pretty close.  We are still number one with Russia being number two.  We have about seven times the number of prisoners per capita than the EU.


BeetleBailey's picture

Not members of the OECD for one thing.

Both Russia and China lag the US per capita as well, however.

pods's picture

Well our prison made shit ain't gonna make itself!


a growing concern's picture

Somebody's gotta make license plates to replace the ones that went up in flames on Chevy Volts across America.

AlaricBalth's picture

License plates? Not even close. Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR) had close to $1 billion in revenues last year. Inmates earn from US$0.23 per hour up to a maximum of US$1.15 per hour.

"UNICOR has 109 factories in federal prisons, producing about 175 different types of products and services, including clothing and textiles, electronics, fleet management and vehicular components, industrial products, office furniture, recycling activities; and services including data entry and encoding."

pods's picture

Foxcon North America LLC.


prains's picture

everyone likes the guy who shows up to the party with a giant red dildo

DavosSherman's picture

“Our” fine country holds less than 5 percent of the world’s populous but a quarter (25 percent) of the world’s entire prison population.

hedgehog9999's picture

and that does not even count the Corzines' and others within the bankers, government and executive criminal class!!!

sangell's picture

But we could easily imprison 2 or 3 times that and not get all the scum off the streets. You have to commit a major felony or multiple lesser one's before our courts finally lock you up. Last night a guy who had been arrested for 4 misdemeanors and 2 felonies so far this year was picked up again for robbing a guy on a scooter at knifepoint. He'll be back on the streets soon enough too because he didn't kill the guy.

DavosSherman's picture

Who gives a fuck?

Did the scum of the streets kill 37,000 people in 2009?  No!  The banksers did.  In the Great Depression the suicide rate was 22 per 100,000 people, in the Second Great Depression it is 10 per 100,000 people.

Who the fuck caused it?  The scum of the streets or the banksters?

sangell's picture

To be honest I'd rather have Jamie Dimon living next door (but I can't afford his neighborhood) than Trayvon Martin but then I'm not insane.

riphowardkatz's picture

the victim cares. 


oooh the banksters. what an ignorant term. you sound like a 8 year old pointing fingers. 

your fellow citizens elected the presidetns, the congressman who put the laws in place. look in the mirror jackass, Americans caused this not banksters. They just happen to be smart enough to use the insanity to their advantage, dont hate the players hate the game.

also eat it. suicide is caused by the individual no one is to blame but the person. loser


DavosSherman's picture

Bullshit.  Suicides are worse in recessions and God aweful in depressions.  Also there are 2 laws in America, the elected can steal and inside trade, those that elect them can't.

riphowardkatz's picture

we should put the cheating wife/husband on trial as well. isnt that shira law? she cheated on me and caused me to kill myself. or mabe since she is causing it I can kill her? makes no sense. man alive the ignorance displaying in these comments is astounding., 

duncecap rack's picture

But no bankers amongst the incarcerated.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Imagine what the rate would be if they actually prosecuted FINANCIAL crimes.....

wouldn't be enough room - even with all those newly built privately run prisons

hedgehog9999's picture

Penile enlargement reduces crimes!!!!!

Wakanda's picture

Plenty of room for banksters, politicians, corporate hoes, and alphabet agency employees once the innocent are sprung.

The Second American Revolution, unfolding now in a neighborhood near U.

booboo's picture

Two words: Jury Nullification
They can indict a ham sandwich with all Of their chicken shit laws but all it takes is one hold out to throw a wrench in their grand plan. Get on a jury and wreak havoc with a state attorneys future political career.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Actually seeing this in the Bronx - but the elected prosecutor is teh one taking a stand against unwarranted arrests.  You had some jury nullification but now the DA is refusing to prosecute a lot of questionable cases - like 'trespassing' in housing projects where those arrested are residents or invited guests (NOT criminals).  He aloso pissed off a lot of cops by prosecuting them for ticket fixing.   About time IMO, the connected get off while the rest get screwed.   Know too many NYC cops who abused their position and were far from 'unbiased' in their enforcement of laws.

venturen's picture

Sadly those other countries have extremly homogenous ethinicities. If you look at percent of certain races in pretty much is stereotypical. Look at african countries and you will horrific crime. Cultural some people accept more crime than others.

The big unzip's picture

Death Penality for traffic violations,  that would cut down on the prison population!

ebailey5's picture

17-19% of all inmates have a mental health diagnosis.  Since the reason for their incarceration is often a product of anti-social behavior as a consequence of mental illness, you have a rationale for a significant driver of the base societal rate of locking people up.  Other countries (with lower rates of incarceration) manage this population differently--residential treatment facilities, day care centers or other alternatives to prison.  The actual percentage of criminally insane is a small minority of the locked up mental health population.  The US solution to treating mental illness by incarceration makes us look bad to the rest of the world and creates incredible barriers to effective care for the mentally ill in those locations.  This is not the whole reason for the incarceration rate being what it is--law and order judges and legislaters have a hand in the process too.  And most recently, the meth epidemic spiked the numbers (presently abating somewhat).  Editorially:  who is really being punished by the high incarceration rate?  Certainly the individuals--tragically in some cases but also the payor of first and last resort, the taxpayer.

max2205's picture

SSI would skyrocket if they let those retards out.

Downarrow please, I am going for the record (395)