“America’s prisoner population exploded—the U.S. incarceration rate now is nearly four times what it was in 1980, more than five
times the world average, and the highest in the world—overcrowding tossed urban state prisons into turmoil.”
-Americans Face Guantanamo-Like Torture Everyday in a Super-Max Prison Near You
Why has Obama done nothing for the incarcerated? How can the people of this country rationalize the high level of incarceration.
It pains me to agree with the Tea Party crazies. Obama is part of a machine. He is a figurehead in a meaningless charade. This machine is commited financially to the labor market remaining in a perpetual surplus status. The demand for jobs is greater than what the companies are willing to provide. They would rather invest in globalism. That leaves a good tenth of our population unable to find work. Ideally, the turnover is such that people take turns not having a job. The argument is made that these disenfranchised among us, the ones who have lost their shine for the wage slave routine, that they turn to crime and that’s how they end up incarcerated, at the mercy of the state.
But reason tells us that police go after the unemployed, disproportionately. It’s like a profiling thing. This society doesn’t trust you if you aren’t working. Most of the country is standing by watching helplessly, telling ourselves it’s the cycle of history, swinging from one end of the spectrum to the other. There are certauin things the American people are not supposed to stand for. The Tea Partiers say it is taxes, I say it is social services.
During World War !!, the draft was a good way to get soldiers to lay down their lives. The US went ahead and drafted black men instead of deferring them. I imagine people thought it was about time that the country be brought together across class and race lines. The war at home to get war production up and running with a labor force unused to the opportunities that were suddenly presented.
America has always lied about the American Dream. We tell the world, our imported labor force, and our poor children that if they work hard they can be anything they want . It is a pleasant fantasy. But it has never been true and every year it becomes less true.
America still needed labor, companies were big and unwieldy but they weren’t poised for international conglomeration. The world’s economy was made up of separate companies which operated in a wide array of distinct industries, marketing their product to a specific section of the consumer base.
When the economy crashed, the big companies didn’t have the international market to which they could escape. The important thing was to get consumers back in the black. Full employment was suddenly the only way to recover from the collapse. Cheap labor wasn’t as important as bodies to run the factories. Although the same people were in charge ultimately, African Americans and women were even promoted within middle management. The war at home may have been the time in our history when we came as close as we ever have to the American Dream.
So the companies and our the federal government found a way to profit from the war in Europe. They passed out contracts to the big companies and they opened their doors to anyone who could work. Groups which had little to no hope of ever having a living wage and benefits were now the beneficiaries of a great capital investment. The federal government took steps to make everyone feel a part of the war effort.
They had already negotiated federal protections of the unions.