Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting Used to Those Bars.

Sounds like a blues song, doesn't it? But alas, it's the mantra uttered for many a poor soul languishing in prison.

Yes, the world's leading prison state must be stopped!

Who is this TL? China? Russia? IRAQ?!

Nay, good, friendly readers, it is none of the above.

Welcome to America. That "free-society" wherein 1 out of every 100 people is in prison. Hey, it's good to be number one in something in the world, right? Why not be the leading prison-state? It's all the vogue right now anyway!

And this is the shocker: most of that population are there for the sale and/or possession of drugs. DRUGS. Not murder, rape, or pillaging, but the sale and/or possession of drugs.

I mean, yikes.

So anyhoo, America also recently sent out a big admonition to China, Burma, and Russia for arbitrarily imprisoning too many of their respective politicians (14).


A.) I'm not going to comment on the hypocrisy. That's like declaring the sun is hot.

B.) I am going to say that once again we see the necessary result of statist intervention on the part of the federal government in terms of the DEA. It should be abolished. Yes, throw the baby out with the bath water. The DEA is a frightening ethnic cleanser, clearly targeted at specific demographics. One in 15 black men is in JAIL, people, and that's compared to 1 in 106 whites (Falk 14). We all know how many white people are out there, doped to the gills, but will never see jail time simply because of the skin color. This persists due to a collectivist outlook on society, in which people are put into groups together, and therefore their individual dispositions are broadly interpreted by the powers that be (news media, statist government, and then citizens) and so individuals become targets. Let us not forget the volumes of stories there are about black individuals with no record whatsoever, being stopped arbitrarily a lot more often than whites.

Now, I'm not here to preach about racism. I AM here to preach about a free society. This kind of society is dependent on individuals being free to involve themselves in drugs if they want to. It is dependent on individualism, so as to not create false demographics in which particular individuals of a specific color or creed are singled out by the prison-state as the dominant criminals, when in fact, we all know this to be false. Does that mean we wouldn't see states enacting regressive drug laws? Of course not, but what we would see is a movement toward a freer society in which the states that voted progressively in terms of drugs would see a drop in crime, and therefore a drop in prison costs, and therefore a boost to their respective economies. This model would eventually spread, as nobody really LIKES a crappy economy.

Get rid of the federal involvement in the complex social issue of drugs, and let us deal with it ourselves. The money saved by the removal of this federal tool of racism/imprisonment would save lives and money, as opposed to the rinse/repeat cycle of death and taxes.


Work Cited

Falk, William, et al, eds. "America, Land of the Unfree." The Week. 28 Mar. 2008: 14.


Libbi said...

The main problem I see here is that the privatization of America's prison system has made it an economic issue. The prison system is the fastest growing financial industry in the US. any time you buy a dell computer it was most likely assembled by near slaves in a privately run prison. New balance uses prison labor, as well. I don't believe drugs should be 100% uncontrolled and I certainly don't trust every one I know to self regulate their drug intake, but I think that prison is the most ridiculous solution to a problem that requires a great deal of sensitivity and care. However, until it's no longer about free labor and profit, you will see no such solution.
Jesse Jo

TL said...

That's very true. It is this scenario that is often confused and, rightly so, deplored as the free market.

When the government begins granting advantages to businesses, it creates scenarios like this. The companies get slave labor, and therefore higher profits, and can therefore contribute to some political campaigns, and lobby some votes.

In turn, they are granted continued advantages via money and labor from the federal government, who in turn tries to put ever more people in prison.

With a legal framework protecting competition, there is simply no need to get slave labor. But, again, for competition to be allowed to flourish, very rich and powerful people have to take pay cuts. And they will continue to manipulate the system to avoid a natural redistribution of wealth.