The hockey-stick from hell: US incarceration per 100,000 people, 1890-today

It bothers me that the chart’s x-axis does not seem to be evenly spaced - the decades on the right seem closer together somehow.

that’s an interesting way you twist the call for progressive taxation.

the whole point of reining in the extremes of capitalism are so that investors and corporations aren’t sucking up the profits of the labor of others – and that includes the capital wealth extraction that has kept so many countries in poverty.

right now in the united states, people earning far more than your 48k are paying far less – not only percentage wise, but often in absolute sense.

note the connection here to mass incarceration, the drug war, and the new jim crow: it drives tax dollars into privately held corporations, it undermines the social fabric, and profits from a literally captive work force.

it saps the good work your tax money could be doing, and hands it to the 1% of your 1%.

really? if we can agree that furthering inequality is unethical, it doesn’t really matter how a guide to increasing inequality categorizes itself.

again, sticking to the point: the private prison industry points to all the good work it does – the jobs it bring to rural communities, and the tax dollars in diverts to state and local coffers, etc. – but, we can look at the totality and see what damage it is doing to the country.

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meanwhile, the far right is taking tiny portions of its wealth and having outsized influences on politics.

http://www.npr.org/2015/10/12/447911161/koch-political-network-takes-a-deep-dive-into-community-organizing

the hard part about getting rid of private prison industry, the bail bonds systems, and ending the war on drugs are the entrenched monied interests which have an outsized voice due to their outsized cash. it’s a self-sustaining problem.

ending the idea that money and speech are the same, ending the idea that corporations are people, re-establishing constraints on capital – these are all necessary pieces of the puzzle.

they require “top-down” laws which establish some sort of balance between personal power and corporate power.

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The guide does not talk about increasing inequality, it talks about threats to the current level (as well as predictions that the trends will continue). I fail to see an ethical distinction between that and a report indicating the threats to continued US prosperity that keeps America (and the West) mich richer than the rest of the world and thus a desirable market for companies.

Make no mistake, I am quite left in my views, but I cannot pretend I have the ethical high ground over the right wingers. I have my preferences - and my preferences are to reduce inequality that will make a significant difference to society around me without destroying my life style completely. But let’s face it, I have very little interest in reducing inequality in a way that would make a significant difference in a global scale but would reduce me to what I see an penury (and what the rest of the world sees as comfortably middle class.)

In that, there are very few in the West who are ethically different from the 1% of the 1%. As Western middle class, we’re obscenely rich, while not working harder than those who are far poorer, who we exploit for cheap labor. There’s some difference of degree, but not much.

Again, I stand with you in fighting for pretty much the same social change in society. But there’s no way I can claim ethical superiority over the “greedy” who, despite earning multiples of my income, don’t feel they’re rich. By any rational standard, I’m one of them. That doesn’t invalidate my actions and goals. It does invalidate my moral superiority over those I disagree with.

And coincidentally enough, once I don’t believe that they’re moral pygmies for not believing in the same redistribution that I do, I stand a much better chance of actually persuading them to adopt my preferences.

It’s why I consider the ‘demonize the right’ posts to be counter-productive. We shouldn’t need that sort of hypocritical crutch to do what we think needs to be done. It also helps bolster the idea that 300 million are helpless before a handful of billionaires, which is patently absurd. They spend what, maybe $10 million dollars, and that’s supposed to out weigh 10,000,000 actually spending time communicating and talking? Talk about learned helplessness!

Koch wants to go grassroots? Let him. He’s simply acknowledging the strength of democracy - that people’s votes count. And if I can’t persuade people face-to-face that my vision of the future is better than the Koch’s, then it’s me that has the serious problem.

It is evenly spaced, it just gains resolution towards the end. A likely product of the information age.

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Just face it. You are a nation of bad people. You deserve to be in jail.

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Every last one of us.

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Donald has the right idea. An Escape From New York wall around the nation. Everyone all in jail together.

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I got bad news if you’re holding out for a Trump win…

As an outsider, it would be hilarious.

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Oh it’d be funny for a couple days here, too.

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I fail to see an ethical distinction between that and a report indicating the threats to continued US prosperity that keeps America (and the West) mich richer than the rest of the world and thus a desirable market for companies.

so true. and pretty much my point. to dive into your issues with taxes and the super-wealthy would probably be best for another thread.

It’s why I consider the ‘demonize the right’ posts to be counter-productive.

which post was a demonizing the right?

cory documented some ways in which the private prison industry has increased their profits at the expense of both individual prisoners and society at large.

incentivizing policies which cause harm will lead to greater harm. ( you can even see this with police forces who – as they get more and more strapped due to an increasingly limited tax base – turn to using tickets and civil forfeiture to seize assets. )

is seeing that connection a left vs. right issue?

again: their money enables tools which you cannot afford. you’re correct it doesn’t guarantee policies which favor them will always win, it simply makes it much more likely.

you only have to look at rising inequality, rising incarceration, and even rising temperatures to see it already has.

other than taking issue with your word “preference” – i agree with you. it’s really important to keep individual issues separated, while still seeing the big picture.

monied interests have done an amazing job of weaving together: tough on crime policies, conservatism, religion, patriotism, and economics into a single package.

that’s what happens when you can pay for a decade or two worth of focus groups.

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I don’t quite see it that way. There’s money in the prison industry, and I find it horrifying (and don’t get me started on self funding via confiscation - that’s had a 2,500 year history of catastrophe!), but I consider the lobby an opportunistic carbuncle that falls out from “tough on crime” policies that some politicians used to get elected rather than a driver for such. I see the mass incarceration as far more an appeal to voter’s venality than a concerted grab for lobbyist’s money.

I suppose my problem is more Cory’s phrasing, rather than the very useful information Cory brings. It just leaves me feeling that he’s telling us that if we shut down the lobbyists, we’d have justice, and to be honest, at least in this field, I don’t think it’d make any policy difference. The corruptive effect of the prison industry’s lobby is felt far more in implementation than in overall policy direction.

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I was gonna say, @doctorow has a pretty odd idea of what hockey sticks look like, especially for a Canadian.

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I see the mass incarceration as far more an appeal to voter’s venality than a concerted grab for lobbyist’s money.

that is no doubt how it started.

wikipedia, for instance, traces the start of modern privatized prisons to 1984 – about 10 years after the upward swing in the graph.

and, yes: the war on drugs appealed to many groups: racists, tough on crime folks, and everyday families worried about drugs.

The corruptive effect of the prison industry’s lobby is felt far more in implementation than in overall policy direction.

perhaps here’s the core of where we disagree – on the question of the market principles.

in general, i think the pressure to privatize comes from a belief that government is bad, and privatization is good. in truth, it’s a case by case basis.

in this case, the problem with paying a corporation money for the humans it incarcerates generates an economic pressure where we want none.

I don’t think it’d make any policy difference.

it could because i don’t think it’s possible to implement implement private prisons humanly. the profit motive – exactly like the judge cory mentioned who was accepting bribes for funneling children into prison – will corrupt.

the more entrenched it gets, the more money we give it, the more it works against our own self interests.

i’d say this is a strong reason why the huge numbers of incarcerated people havent yet been mitigated – despite efforts by various administrations to do so. the fight against things marketing machines, representatives with money flowing to their districts, and yes, also: lobbying – is a difficult one.

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But if we don’t lock people up for using drugs, the terrorists have won!

Good thing we have all of these guns to help with all of those criminals!

Oh, so who is the anti-prison candidate I should vote for in my elections?

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Bernie Sanders introduced a bill last month that would prohibit the federal government from entering contracts with private prison corporations.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/09/17/3702659/bernie-sanders-prison-bill/

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And, as I’ve stated in a number of other threads, if he’s on the ballot, I’ll vote for him. He’s not likely to be on the ballot though.

He’s certainly not scum like Diane Feinstein who, unfortunately, seems to permanently represent me.

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