Slave Labor and The Prison Industrial Complex
There is a new game in town and it is called the Prison Industrial Complex. It is a system that is designed by the rich and for the rich. It is a growth business and they are seeking more and more customers. It is not hyperbole to say that slavery has indeed returned to the United States and that the 13th Amendment is now null and void.
There has never been a country in the history of the planet that has jailed as many of its people like the United States is doing. Increasing the prison population is like a sport to Wall Street, with the only goal of making more money. More prisoners means more money.
My wife used to run the corporate McDonald’s restaurants as the executive director in Arizona for almost a decade. The goal of every one of her stores was to create return business. .
The present privatized prison system operates on the same principle and it is quite effective. The average person is sentenced from 5-7 years in prison. There is no rehabilitation, only the prison life which produces a more hardened criminal. When the convict is released, they find it virtually impossible to get a job because of their ex-con label. Within three years of release from prison, 70% of all prisoners return. Can you imagine if every restaurant had a 70% return rate from its customers? If my wife could have enjoyed these kinds of numbers, she would have been the executive of the year, each and every year.
According to the Pew Center in their study The Long Reach of American Corrections (March 2009), it costs nearly $79 per day to house an inmate which is 20 times the cost of putting someone on probation. Wouldn’t it make sense to sentence nonviolent offenders to probation and save the taxpayers’ money? Of course it would, unless you are Vanguard Investments, the largest owner of privatized citizens in the form of the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), GEO (2nd largest private prison company), Wackenhut, Viacom, AOL Time Warner and they are all controlled by the Vanguard family of funds. You remember Vanguard don’t you?
This is the same Vanguard that moved money prior to the Gulf Oil Explosion in a manner which made massive sums of money for key investors in the same manner as did Transocean, Goldman Sachs and Halliburton. And one of those insiders that benefitted from the Gulf Oil Explosion was President Obama as he was vested in Vanguard I and Vanguard II. The late Bob Chapman reported on this Obama conflict of interest as did I in an earlier article. Obama’s corruption is not limited to his investors having and acting on foreknowledge of the Gulf Oil Explosion, he is an active investor in the slave labor motivated Prison Industrial Complex.
Overt Slave Labor
Many of Wall Street’s giants have been invited to the party and are reaping huge profits. The following is a list of the corporations that contract with CCA and GEO to produce American slave labor goods. They include Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, 3Com, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin. Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, Target, and countless more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison slave labor and most actively lobby for mandatory sentencing.
Generally, prison inmates in state run penitentiaries generally receive minimum wage for their work. In Agenda 21 controlled Colorado, they only receive about $2 per hour, well under the minimum for state run prisons. However, Colorado inmates are rich compared to inmates in privately-run prisons where they can receive as little as 17 cents per hour. This is worse than Walmart slave labor in China! The highest-paying private prison run by the CCA pays 50 cents per hour for “highly skilled positions.” I am not sure how this is even legal as I remember reading something about the 13th Amendment.
Time Off for Good Behavior
In these normally overcrowded prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any violation of prison rules, they get 30 days tacked on to their sentences. This translates into more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost their “time off for good behavior” at an 800% higher rate than inmates in state run prisons. CCA’s prisons are notoriously understaffed and this under-staffing leads to more acting out by the inmates which in turn leads to longer sentences resulting in more profit.
Rockefeller Scams the System in Search of Profits
In New York, Nelson Rockefeller’s heralded anti-drug law, initiated in 1973, provided for a mandatory prison sentences of 15 years to life for possession of four ounces of any illegal drug. Fifteen years to life for possessing four ounces of marijuana? Mr. Rockefeller, what could possibly be the motive for such strict drug laws? Answer, the same motive on why Obama has his money in Vanguard.
Besides Nelson Rockefeller, the privatized prison system has enjoyed having low friends in high places for a very long time beginning with Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” and her husband’s War on Drugs program. Ironically under
Reagan, his CIA traded guns for drugs in the Air America Iran-Contra Affair. Enter former president, George H. W. Bush, and an ex CIA director, and things only got worse. Bush helped fuel the growth of the industry during his presidency. And upon leaving office, he became a player in privatized prisons.
Under Reagan and Bush, Federal drug laws became more draconian. Presently, Federal law mandates five years’ imprisonment with no hope of parole for possession of five grams of crack or 3.5 ounces of heroin. Further, Federal law provides for 10 years imprisonment for possession of less than two ounces of crack. A sentence of five years for cocaine powder requires possession of 500 grams.There can only be one outcome from this trend curve, more slave labor and a lot more smiling faces on Wall Street.
Since the advent of privatized prisons in 1984, America has witnessed the passage of laws that require minimum sentencing, without regard for any extenuating circumstances. Our prison system is experiencing a much larger percentage of work by prisoners, thus creating profits for Wall Street which in turn motivate the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time. And privatized prison corporate investors make happy campaign contributors. Therefore, you can bet that the proverbial poop rolls down hill to the cops and the push is on to incarcerate more and more. Some argue that is fine, but when one of the fastest growing segments of our prison population are children, we all need to sit up take notice and take action. This is the subject of Part Three.