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View Diary: Death of the American Dream is marked by the weakest social safety net & largest prison population (176 comments)

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  •  Slavery (11+ / 0-)

    You do not expand the point, but whole industries in the USA depend on prison labor. You are, for example, very unlikely to be able to buy any US made paints or white goods (fridges, washing machines etc) that are not made by prisoners.

    The other juicy fact is that to bolster that "prison industrial complex", the USA now has roughly the same number of prisoners as there were slaves just before the Civil War.

    "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 09:15:34 AM PDT

    •  8-O (0+ / 0-)

      Links?  

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:42:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure (6+ / 0-)
        According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.
        At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom's, Revlon, Macy's, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum. And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call "highly skilled positions." At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous. There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.

        2008 data            The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?

        "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:28:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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