Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Ominous Prediction from the Past

A decade ago, Jerome Miller coined the term "Gulag State" to describe what he saw as an increasing trend towards privatization in corrections, and how the profit motive that underrides that push would continue to supercede any concerns for human rights or abuses within private prisons.  He feared that the drive for profit in corrections would lead to extremely strict sentencing laws that disproportionately affect the poor and minorities, creating a systematic method of social control cheaper to maintain and seemingly more benign than slavery.  The title link goes to a reposting of an old article that describes how the major private prison companies of today have come into such great success, despite an already-failed venture into the industry during the 19th century and the modern players' failure to operate facilities up to the same standards as government-run institutions.  But mostly it demonstrates how our political and economic system is geared towards profiting the already super-wealthy and empowered at the great expense of the large majority of society. 

So today, I hate all of you who have profited so dramatically from human pain and suffering, the founders and executives of not only the private prison companies that are destroying countless millions of lives, but the companies like American Express and GE who invest in them, the private contractors and vendors who exploit the tax dollars being pumped into this black hole, the private transport companies and weapons manufacturers that thrust our society perpetually deeper into a militaristic police state.  But most of all, I hate the politicians and their lobbying cronies who, in the face of dramatic evidence demonstrating unimaginable abuses and reports showing that the promised costs savings of privatization rarely if ever materialize, continue on with their political games and BS, extending old contracts and signing new ones with companies that, were they in any other industry, would have been so overwhelmed with complaints and lawsuits that they couldn't possibly survive, but because they happen to house prisoners have the luxury of an apathetic American public they carry on, so that they can continue to exploit the American people in more ways than they could ever possibly imagine.

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