Monday, February 24, 2014

You might be living in a plutocracy if...(part 5 of 10)

(WPA workers building a school in Maryland. Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland College Park Archives.)

You might be living in a plutocracy if...

...Corporate America paid politicians to create the largest prison industrial complex in the world, and continues to pay them to keep it that way.

See, for example:

"This Is How Private Prison Companies Make Millions Even When Crime Rates Fall"

"Private Prisons Contribute Thousands To Oklahoma Political Campaigns"

"Private Prisons Spend $45 Million On Lobbying, Rake In $5.1 Billion For Immigrant Detention Alone"

"Private Prison Companies Want You Locked Up"

"Prisoners of Profit: Private Prison Empire Rises Despite Startling Record Of Juvenile Abuse"

"Private Prison Profits Skyrocket, As Executives Assure Investors Of ‘Growing Offender Population’"

"Pennsylvania Judges Get Kickbacks for Placing Youths in Privately Owned Jails"

"U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations"

New Deal policymakers were very interested in providing Americans with plenty of work, education, and training opportunities, and less interested in incarcerating them. For example, for every new detention facility the WPA built, it also built 32 new schools. Unfortunately, the story is quite different today. Corporate America pays our political "leaders" to keep incarceration rates high so that wealthy executives and investors can get even more wealthy.

This is plutocracy.

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