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