Sunday, 25 March 2012

There Are Now More Americans In Jail Than There Were In Stalin's Gulag Archipelago

There are now more Americans in jail -- 6 million -- than there were in Stalin's Gulag, reports Fareed Zakaria, in a column called "Incarceration Nation." And it's not just a relative population thing.

The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens.
How does that compare to other countries?

It's 7X-10X as high:

>Japan has 63 per 100,000,
>Germany has 90 per 100,000
>France has 96 per 100,000
>South Korea has 97 per 100,000
­>Britain has 153 per 100,000

And it's also a relatively new phenomenon: In 1980, the U.S. only had 150 prisoners per 100,000 citizens.
What's to blame?
The "War on Drugs."

http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.fr/2012/03/there-are-now-more-americans-in-jail.html

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, March 25th, 2012.]

3 comments:

steven andresen said...

spook,

I want to question this "war on drugs" argument.

It is understood by its critics that the "war on drugs" has failed. Maybe the "war on drugs" like the "war on terrorism" should be understood as a useful lie.

As poverty increases and people on the bottom start to complain and organize themselves to protest and complain, the powers that be have planned the "war on drugs" to make sure the poor communities have other things to worry about.

So, it's not about drugs but about forced impoverishment.

If you are the FBI tasked to undermine social unrest, then don't you set up street gangs to fight among each other and suck up the lives and attention spans of young men in poor communities?

s.

Spookypunkos said...

S,

I think you are right that the war on drugs is about control.

It definitely serves the interests of the Police State rather than the people.

Spook !

steven andresen said...

spook,

The United States used to argue that in their competition with the communists the United States and capitalism turned out to be a better system because there were better outcomes. There was more opportunity. Fewer unhappy people. There were more fun parties. yadda yadda. But now, the U.S. isn't making any such boasts. They surely can't say that there are fewer guys in prison.

Maybe they could say that because there are all these guys in prison the streets in the United States are safer. But, I don't think they can say that either. At least, that argument is not made when discussing these prison statistics.

I don't believe there is any argument anymore about whether capitalism is any good or that you should go capitalist instead of communist because the outcomes are so good.

There isn't anyone who is now in a position to raise this question. It's not a question that seems discussed because there don't seem to be any alternatives. You can't say that the United States and capitalism are better than the Muslim world because they Muslims are all ruled by dictators the U.S. supports.

Maybe the only competition is the BRICS countries. But they aren't challenging the U.S. with some non-capitalist nonsense. They just have slave labor. The U.S. may say that it's better than slave states, but this couldn't go far because it's so obvious that the U.S. wants badly to be a slave state like them.

s.