Capitalist Punishment

by Verity on 21 Agustus 2021

Capitalist Punishment - Prison Blues

Slavery is still legal in the United States. Section 1 of the 13th Amendment says, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Capitalist Punishment

With the US prison population reaching 2 million people - the largest incarceration rate of any industrialized nation - prison/slave labor is often more profitable than outsourcing the work to developing countries. According to this article on Alternet.org, “many prisoners… earn about $60 for an entire month of nine-hour days.”

For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment, health or worker’s comp insurance, vacation or comp time. All of their workers are full time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if prisoners refuse to work, they are moved to disciplinary housing and lose canteen privileges. Most importantly, they lose “good time” credit that reduces their sentence.

And with the prison population growing, especially among Blacks and Latinos…

Prison analysts say contract prison labor is poised to become one of America’s most important growth industries. Many of these prisoners are serving time for non-violent crimes. With the use of tough-on-crime mandatory sentencing laws, the prison population is bursting at the seams. Some experts believe that the number of people locked up in the U.S. could double in the next 10 years.

This may bode well for corporations who are looking for sources of cheap labor, but there is nothing good about it at all for the American people. Good paying jobs are disappearing, spending on education is down, college tuition rates are going up and affirmative action is under attack.

This will leave poor kids with two options: Go to prison or go to war.

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