A Tale Of Two Americas: Where The Rich Get Richer And The Poor Go To Jail

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

This is the tale of two Americas, where the rich get richer and the poor go to jail.

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180104_rich.png

Aided and abetted by the likes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions—a man who wouldn’t recognize the Constitution if it smacked him in the face—the American dream has become the American scheme: the rich are getting richer and more powerful, while anyone who doesn’t belong to the power elite gets poorer and more powerless to do anything about the nation’s steady slide towards fascism, authoritarianism and a profit-driven police state.

Not content to merely pander to law enforcement and add to its military largesse with weaponry and equipment designed for war, Sessions has made a concerted effort to expand the police state’s power to search, strip, seize, raid, steal from, arrest and jail Americans for any infraction, no matter how insignificant.

Now Sessions has given state courts the green light to resume their practice of jailing individuals who are unable to pay the hefty fines imposed by the American police state. In doing so, Sessions has once again shown himself to be not only a shill for the Deep State but an enemy of the people.

First, some background on debtors’ prisons, which jail people who cannot afford to pay the exorbitant fines imposed on them by courts and other government agencies.

Congress banned debtors’ prisons in 1833.

In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the practice to be unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause.

Where things began to change, according to The Marshall Project, was with the rise of “mass incarceration” when we started to imprison more people for lesser crimes.

By the late 1980s and early 90s, “there was a dramatic increase in the number of statutes listing a prison term as a possible sentence for failure to repay criminal-justice debt.” During the 2000s, the courts started cashing in big-time “by using the threat of jail time – established in those statutes – to squeeze cash out of small-time debtors.”

Fast-forward to the present day which finds us saddled with not only profit-driven private prisons and a prison-industrial complex but also, as investigative reporter Eli Hager notes, “the birth of a new brand of ‘offender-funded’ justice.”

Follow the money trail. It always points the way.

Whether you’re talking about the government’s war on terrorism, the war on drugs, or some other phantom danger dreamed up by enterprising bureaucrats, there is always a profit-incentive involved.

The same goes for the war on crime.

At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, the flawed yet retributive American “system of justice” is being replaced by an even more flawed and insidious form of mass punishment based upon profit and expediency.

Sessions’ latest gambit plays right into the hands of those who make a profit by jailing Americans.

Under such a system, the plight of the average American is measured in dollars and cents.

This is not justice.

This is yet another example of how greed and profit-incentives have not only perverted policing in America but have corrupted the entire criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, the criminal justice system has been operating as a for-profit enterprise for years now, covertly padding its pockets through penalty-riddled programs aimed at maximizing revenue rather than ensuring public safety.

All of those seemingly hard-working police officers and code-enforcement officers and truancy officers and traffic cops handing out ticket after ticket after ticket: they’re not working to make your communities safer—they’ve got quotas to fill.

Same goes for the courts, which have come to rely on fines, fees and exorbitant late penalties as a means of increased revenue. The power of these courts, magnified in recent years through the introduction of specialty courts beyond your run-of-the-mill traffic court (drug court, homeless court, veterans court, mental health court, criminal court, teen court, gambling court, prostitution court, community court, domestic violence court, truancy court), is “reshaping the American legal system—with little oversight,” concludes the Boston Globe.

And for those who can’t afford to pay the court fines heaped on top of the penalties ($302 for jaywalking, $531 for an overgrown yard, or $120 for arriving a few minutes late to court), there’s probation (managed by profit-run companies that tack on their own fees, which are often more than double the original fine) or jail time (run by profit-run companies that charge inmates for everything from food and housing to phone calls at outrageous markups), which only adds to the financial burdens of those already unable to navigate a costly carceral state.

Ask yourself this: at a time when crime rates across the country remain at historic lows (despite Sessions’ inaccurate claims to the contrary), why does the prison population continue to grow?

The prison population continues to grow because of a glut of laws that criminalize activities that should certainly not be outlawed, let alone result in jail time. Overcriminalization continues to plague the country because of legislators who work hand-in-hand with corporations to adopt laws that favor the corporate balance sheet. And when it comes to incarceration, the corporate balance sheet weighs heavily in favor of locking up more individuals in government-run and private prisons.

It’s a vicious cycle that grows more vicious by the day.

Now you can shrug all of this away as a consequence of committing a crime, but that just doesn’t cut it. Especially not when average Americans are being jailed for such so-called crimes as eating SpaghettiOs (police mistook them for methamphetamine), not wearing a seatbelt, littering, jaywalking, having homemade soap (police mistook the soap for cocaine), profanity, spitting on the ground, farting, loitering and twerking.

There is no room in the American police state for self-righteousness. Not when we are all guilty until proven innocent.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is no longer a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

It is fast becoming a government “of the rich, by the elite, for the corporations,” and its rise to power is predicated on shackling the American taxpayer to a debtors’ prison guarded by a phalanx of politicians, bureaucrats and militarized police with no hope of parole and no chance for escape.

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Comments

HopefulCynical mayhem_korner Thu, 01/04/2018 - 23:44 Permalink

Trump had better well fucking understand something: There is NO future that finds the current oligarchy in control of the world. There is NO future that finds Jared and Ivanka ruling over the Earth as (((King and Queen))). That is simply not in the cards, and it never was. Ever.

If Trump's campaign was one big lie - all of them WILL wind up with their heads on pikes. And as I've often said, this is not a threat; I'm not going to be involved in any of it, SFAIK. I'm merely stating in plain terms what is coming, and this is non-negotiable.

The Tribe has been at this for thousands of years. They have never succeeded in bringing all of humanity under their rapacious control. They're not going to succeed this time, either. Their reach exceeds their grasp, as always.

They can either find a different hobby, besides attempting to own and operate the whole world, or they can get wiped off the face of it. There is no Door Number Three. Those are the choices.

In reply to by mayhem_korner

Escrava Isaura east of eden Fri, 01/05/2018 - 01:33 Permalink

Writer: Sessions has made a concerted effort to expand the police state’s power to search, strip, seize, raid, steal from, arrest and jail Americans for…………….

May I ask what did you expect from a conservative Republican?

Conservatives are even more intrusive in one’s privacy than a liberal.

Conservatives can’t help themselves. It’s in their DNA. That’s why religion has such hold with the conservatives.

Liberals are good indoctrinating the educated class and distracting the stupid class.

 

Wait, it gets better.

HopefulCynical: Trump better understand something: There is NO future that finds the current oligarchy in control of the world…….If Trump's campaign was one big lie

Cynical, did you just arrive from Mars? Or, do you have some pathological dysfunction?

Why do you think that Trump, after became President, got 38 patents/trademarks in China?

Let’s give it some thought: Maybe because Trump is a ‘global’ oligarch?

Second, isn’t Trump a pathological liar? Have you notice Trump’s inflammatory responses? Do you understand why people behave/act this way?

Let me guess: A conservative will think because he’s macho. A liberal will think it’s because he’s immature and stupid.

Gee, guess what? Both wrong.

Trump, as well as the Jewish and Christians Americans overshot their ability to encounter stress, because of all the complexities that’s built into the system. So, upon encountering a stressor, be that North Korea, Obamacare, what somebody said in a book, and so on Trump enters into the resistance mode phase, meaning in constant alert. Basically, one’s body overreacts. You can see this same behave here on the comments as well.

So, what is entering in the resistance mode mean?

It’s taking too much of your body, energy, and time that will lead to exhaustion, because is no longer worth/possible holding together lies, illusions, and weakness.

So, if these (3) stressors remain beyond this point, which they always do, the system/body is now facing death.

Got it?

 

In reply to by east of eden

bloofer Escrava Isaura Fri, 01/05/2018 - 09:35 Permalink

Conservatives are even more intrusive in one’s privacy than a liberal.

You are playing a word game.

Define "conservative."

Here are a couple of dictionary definitions:

"A person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics."

"tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions"

Define "traditional values and attitudes."

Define "existing views, conditions, or institutions."

Both of these definitions can mean anything you want them to mean. Is "the police state’s power to search, strip, seize, raid, steal from, arrest and jail Americans" a "traditional value"? Is it an "existing condition" that "conservatives" favor? Is the police state itself a "traditional" or "existing institution" enjoying "conservative" favor? 

On the contrary.

 

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

Pollygotacracker HopefulCynical Fri, 01/05/2018 - 06:39 Permalink

I had the time recently to watch a YouTube video which thoroughly documents the Jewish involvement in the African slave trade. According to statistics, in 1830 only 2% of Christian whites in the U.S. owned a black African slave. In contrast, 30-70% of Jews owned at least one African slave. The Jews were big slave traders. They owned and operated the ships and bought and sold the slaves. This has been hidden by the media, which is coincidentally, owned by and large by Jews.

Go to YouTube and search 'Johnny Gat'. You will find his video. It has been blocked by YouTube from sharing. (No surprise there).

Also, look for videos by 'Professor Tony Hill'. The late professor was teaching a black studies class at Wellesley and was descended upon by a pack of angry Jews because he was attempting to expose the Jewish involvement to his students. Professor Hill was never able to find one example of a Jew involved in the abolitionist movement. In fact, Jefferson Davis had a confidant and top advisor named Judah Benjamin. It doesn't get any more Jewish than that!

Google 'Who Brought the Slaves to America' by Walter White. Read the list on page 20. Ask yourself if all the items in the list are a reality today. (Item 12 mentions the Fed as a method of controlling the goyim). This is information that the Jews do NOT want you to know about.

Where is the Jewish collective guilt for their involvement? There is none. They do NOT feel sorry for it. They have the means to hide it through their control of Hollywood and the media. Jews exploit their victim status. But, they are very guilty of exploiting others for profit themselves.

Any religion that would give the go ahead to enslave people for literally hundreds of years would have no problem screwing us all over today. Trump had better get his shit together. I have never been anti-Semitic, but I am getting there.

In reply to by HopefulCynical

Endgame Napoleon LetThemEatRand Fri, 01/05/2018 - 00:07 Permalink

That same Jeff Sessions is one of the few senators who ever stood up against the flood of welfare-supported immigration, undercutting American labor and making it less valuable. This is one of the reasons that most Americans have so little money and find themselves  living in dangerous neighborhoods and/or more vulnerable to heavy-handed tactics. Many innocent people probably do suffer from these things, but they will also suffer from less policing in dangerous neighborhoods. It is a lose / lose. either way, but hey, illegal alien parents get $1,400 more in child-tax-credit welfare in the new tax bill, making their maximum refundable tax credit go over the $6,444 max. That should help prevent underemployment among citizens and the crime, punishment and mayhem that accompanies it. 

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

LetThemEatRand Endgame Napoleon Fri, 01/05/2018 - 00:17 Permalink

Welfare is part of the control grid, to keep the status quo.  I give Sessions credit for trying to rein it in.  But he's being a complete idiot on other very important issues, and he has much more power now.   I'm not okay with him wanting to fuck over states rights (pot) and stepping up enforcement of civil forfeiture for people accused of (not convicted of) a crime.   And there's the whole recusal thing.  Do I have to like him because he did one thing I agree with many years ago?

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

Abaco LetThemEatRand Fri, 01/05/2018 - 08:03 Permalink

I don't give the fucker credit for anything.  He is part of the scam.  He rails against welfare and immigration but there is no MIC/Police state dick too big or small for him to suck. Just like the leftists shitheads who scream abut keeping the government out of the bedroom so they can abort babies but then demand that the government crackdown on someone who doesn't want to bake them a buggery cake.  Politicians take their public positions, wink and nod, and anything that expands the state's power get's passed.  Sessions is a phony.  Anyone who pretends to support the rule of law and the constitution but supports a standing army, asset seizure without a warrant, and putting people in cages because they use  plant in ways the rodent doesn't approve, is vermin that should be exterminated.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

Bemused Observer Endgame Napoleon Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:01 Permalink

How a politician feels about one issue is no guarantee he will 'toe the line' on other issues. And while I give credit where it is due, no one gets 'brownie points' on one issue because I like their views on another.

Now while Sessions may have done those things you like, has it occurred to you that he may not have done them because he actually shares your views on them? That he may have had other reasons?

I ask because if you look at those things he's done, it sure DOES seem like he shares the conservative views of those things. But one of the biggies as far as conservative thought goes is keeping govt. small and it's powers few, and that does NOT jibe with Mr. Police State/Asset Forfeiture Guy/Cannabis Warrior, does it? And what is his position on the trend of 'making a list' of legal cannabis users in order to take away their guns? Could such a thing EVER be spun as a 'conservative view'?

So, is Sessions really a conservative, or did he just stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

 

Or seriously, are ANY of these idiots really what they claim to be? It is my belief that most, if not all of them, merely 'play a role' in the ongoing Political Opera. They themselves are neither left nor right, but will assume either role depending on what their voters seem to want. And voters convince themselves that their guy is the right guy because he did that one thing they approved of, while ignoring all the other crap he isn't supposed to be doing if he really WAS the kinda guy they thought he was. We have to stop giving these jokers a pass because they adopt one or two positions we like, and start taking a closer look at the OTHER shit they are doing behind our backs.

We are being played by both sides.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

Gerrilea Bes Fri, 01/05/2018 - 07:25 Permalink

The militarization of the police started long before Trump.  IN fact, it went full throttle under Clinton.  Asset forfeiture started under Reagan.

What did all the POTUS before Trump do?  Jack Shit.

The false claims that Obama ended it, are just that false propaganda.  Asset forfeiture went from $2 billion a year to over $5 billion a year under Obama.

http://thefederalist.com/2017/07/20/civil-asset-forfeiture-skyrocketed-under-obama/

The article should have touched on the Supreme Court and their criminal conspiracy refusing to take on the issue.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170610/14044137558/supreme-court-sees-criminal-asset-forfeiture-can-be-abused-too-almost-does-something-about-it.shtml

 

In reply to by Bes

Lordflin peddling-fiction Fri, 01/05/2018 - 06:57 Permalink

In Idaho a percentage of the money the courts takes in goes directly to fund retirement for the local judges. Justice here is on a profit basis, with a family counseling center (family counseling one of the many court directed schemes here) or an attorneys office on virtually every street corner in town.

Try getting a divorce in this town. You will have half a dozen court appointed parasites attached to your case, none of which can be removed except by the court, and all of whom are protected by law from law suits no matter how criminal their actions. For example, in my case, a court appointed so called advocate for my children was accepting bribe money from my ex. Still one my custody battle and gained full custody of my kids, but a case that could have been resolved in six months went on for six years instead.

I was pulled over for an illegal lane change and charged with a criminal misdemeanor for negligent driving. The day I went into court two hundred people sat in that same court room facing the same charge. One by one each copped a plea deal to avoid jail. When it came my turn I demanded a jury trial. The judge was pissed. I wasn't playing the game. After several more rounds of threats of jail the charges were dropped.

Same thing when neighbors allowed their dog to roam and my Anatolian Shepherd attacked it (doing its job). I was the one charged for having a dog at large. I was told this was because I had the larger dog. Once again there were several rounds of threats of jail before, again, the charges were dropped.

There was a local pedo ring that apparently centered itself in Spokane, the nearest major city to me. It went all the way up through the mayor of the city. So far as I can tell it is still in operation, and officials from prosecutors to judges in this town were rumored to be involved.

No third world shit hole has anything on us.

btw... while miraculously I still do not have a criminal record I have been charged with nine separate criminal misdemeanors in the past 14 years (most deriving from my divorce where I made the mistake of getting divorced and battling for custody of my children while being male).

How many times had I trouble with the law before moving here? Zero times in 50 years. Justice is the leading industry here in Coeur D Alene.

In reply to by peddling-fiction

Refuse-Resist Lordflin Fri, 01/05/2018 - 08:27 Permalink

Congratulations on your victory and I can tell you for sure that the same type of shit is going on here in my little corner of Appalachia.

Here we have Magistrates.  A woman can go to the Magistrate and "take out charges". All she has to do is say "he hit me" and bam: A dvpo is issued, a warrant for the accused, and he goes to jail on her words alone. No probable cause is required. It happens so often.

The Magistrates make $30k a year and have HS diplomas. They have massive power.

If you know the Magistrate or are related you're in like Flynn.

I've seen men's lives ruined over false charges from a scorned woman. We even have a law here called "Assault on a Female". It's a worse crime than Assault. And if a woman beats another woman's ass, it's not Assault on a Female. Only men can be charged with that.

I once witnessed a 260 lb black bull dyke beating the shit out of her petit white girlfriend. Assault on a female? Nope.

We will not vote our way out of this.

In reply to by Lordflin

Lord Raglan Thu, 01/04/2018 - 23:36 Permalink

and where poor and middle class white and black people get killed by violent incorrigible niggers, fueled in their hatred by 7 years of Leftist race-baiting......

Parrotile Thu, 01/04/2018 - 23:37 Permalink

How long have there been "Private" (i.e. for-profit) prisons?

That is when this "programme" got underway.

Look up Corrections Corporation of America. Their first fully-private "Institution" was opened in 1984.