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A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail

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A Tale of Two Americas: Where the Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
http://rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/a_tale_of_two_americas_where_the_rich_get_richer_and_the_poor_go_to_jail_sh




'This is the tale of two Americas, where the rich get richer and the poor go to jail.

Aided and abetted by the likes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions—a man who wouldn’t recognize the Constitution if it smacked him in the face—the American dream has become the American scheme: the rich are getting richer and more powerful, while anyone who doesn’t belong to the power elite gets poorer and more powerless to do anything about the nation’s steady slide towards fascism, authoritarianism and a profit-driven police state.

Not content to merely pander to law enforcement and add to its military largesse with weaponry and equipment designed for war, Sessions has made a concerted effort to expand the police state’s power to search, strip, seize, raid, steal from, arrest and jail Americans for any infraction, no matter how insignificant.

Now Sessions has given state courts the green light to resume their practice of jailing individuals who are unable to pay the hefty fines imposed by the American police state. In doing so, Sessions has once again shown himself to be not only a shill for the Deep State but an enemy of the people.

First, some background on debtors’ prisons, which jail people who cannot afford to pay the exorbitant fines imposed on them by courts and other government agencies.

Congress banned debtors’ prisons in 1833.'

Read More : A Tale of Two Americas: Where the Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail





Last Edit by Humphrey
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Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #1 on: Jan 08, 2018, 09:38:53 am »
 

2Revolutions

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Not only are U.S. citizens going to jail,  we are dying sooner.


Life expectancy in America has declined for two years in a row

http://economist.com/news/united-states/21733980-thats-not-really-meant-happen-developed-countries-life-expectancy-america-has

JUST as Americans headed home for the year-end holidays, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its annual report on mortality—which had no news to celebrate. According to the report, published on December 21st, life expectancy in America fell in 2016, for the second year in a row. An American baby born in 2016 can expect to live on average 78.6 years, down from 78.9 in 2014. The last time life expectancy was lower than in the preceding year was in 1993. The last time it fell for two consecutive years was in 1962-63.

Other statistics suggest that this alarming trend is caused by the epidemic of addiction to opioids, which is becoming deadlier. Drug overdoses claimed more than 63,000 lives in 2016. Two-thirds of these deaths were caused by opioids, including potent synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and tramadol, which are easier to overdo by accident and are becoming more popular among illegal drug users.

Read more at --->  https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21733980-thats-not-really-meant-happen-developed-countries-life-expectancy-america-has



Last Edit by Humphrey
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2018, 12:12:57 pm »
 

Al Bundy

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Not only are U.S. citizens going to jail,  we are dying sooner.


Life expectancy in America has declined for two years in a row

http://economist.com/news/united-states/21733980-thats-not-really-meant-happen-developed-countries-life-expectancy-america-has

JUST as Americans headed home for the year-end holidays, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its annual report on mortality—which had no news to celebrate. According to the report, published on December 21st, life expectancy in America fell in 2016, for the second year in a row. An American baby born in 2016 can expect to live on average 78.6 years, down from 78.9 in 2014. The last time life expectancy was lower than in the preceding year was in 1993. The last time it fell for two consecutive years was in 1962-63.

Other statistics suggest that this alarming trend is caused by the epidemic of addiction to opioids, which is becoming deadlier. Drug overdoses claimed more than 63,000 lives in 2016. Two-thirds of these deaths were caused by opioids, including potent synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and tramadol, which are easier to overdo by accident and are becoming more popular among illegal drug users.

Read more at --->  https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21733980-thats-not-really-meant-happen-developed-countries-life-expectancy-america-has



Last Edit by Palmerston

I saw on streets of Belgrade book of Moore, Michael wrote a book about that  "Dude, Where's My Country?". New York: Warner Books ( 2003 ). Black humor.
We believed in Michael Moore and his struggle for justice for poor . I hope so he is lost his moral authority in USA and UK. Thanks God, in Serbia there no more his movies, in book stores there is no more his books...



Last Edit by Humphrey
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2018, 02:13:27 pm »
 

poseidonlost

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How about going to jail for failing to pay child support? That's a nightmare for many. Sure a lot of them probably aren't good dads, but the court and the mothers come up with some figure including all kinds of things the man might not agree with paying for. Talk about modern day slavery. Don't like vaccines or formulas? Too bad. The perfectly innocent and righteous mothers and courts will force you to pay for them through a shitty j.o.b. (just over broke) And try getting better work while bogged down in the court system. I swear it's the root cause of half the crime in this country.



Last Edit by Humphrey
"Castles made of sand, slips into the sea, eventually." - Jimi Hendrix
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #4 on: Jan 08, 2018, 02:50:33 pm »
 

2Revolutions

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How about going to jail for failing to pay child support? That's a nightmare for many. Sure a lot of them probably aren't good dads, but the court and the mothers come up with some figure including all kinds of things the man might not agree with paying for. Talk about modern day slavery. Don't like vaccines or formulas? Too bad. The perfectly innocent and righteous mothers and courts will force you to pay for them through a shitty j.o.b. (just over broke) And try getting better work while bogged down in the court system. I swear it's the root cause of half the crime in this country.



Last Edit by Palmerston


To add to poseidonlost,  some states will not let you renew your driver's license if you fall behind on child support.  So if you get caught driving without a license, back into the system you go.

Oh and guess who was/is in the business of processing child support payments

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-10-09/business/1996283101_1_support-enforcement-support-collections-lockheed-martin



Last Edit by Humphrey
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #5 on: Jan 08, 2018, 03:18:14 pm »
 

poseidonlost

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To add to poseidonlost,  some states will not let you renew your driver's license if you fall behind on child support.  So if you get caught driving without a license, back into the system you go.

Oh and guess who was/is in the business of processing child support payments

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-10-09/business/1996283101_1_support-enforcement-support-collections-lockheed-martin



Last Edit by Palmerston

Lockheed Martin? What the? I gotta read that, but the link isn't working...

Think I found it, from 1998 though, not 1996...

Quote
From warfare to welfare Lockheed Martin wants to make huge profits from social programs
March 22, 1998|By William D. Hartung and Jennifer Washburn

By 2000, America's largest weapons manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, may be as familiar to social service bureaucrats as it is to the Pentagon's top brass. If the company's strategy succeeds, Lockheed Martin will not only be a major aerospace manufacturer but also a leading dispenser of public assistance to America's neediest citizens.

The company's split personality is already evident in Maryland, where a division of the company, Lockheed Martin IMS, operates the nation's largest privatized child support office in Baltimore (and another in Queen Anne's County).

In February, in a hearing before state legislators, company officials conceded that Lockheed Martin did not meet its first-year performance goals in Baltimore. The company blamed the problems on old city records and the extensive poverty and frequent moves of families. Despite the slow start, the company collected 15.6 percent more from Nov. 1, 1996, through Oct. 31 than state workers collected in the previous year.

Lockheed Martin is also poised to begin operating an electronic toll collection system throughout the Baltimore area under a major contract with the Maryland Transportation Authority.

Surprised? Lockheed made headlines when it tapped American taxpayers for $855 million to pay for a recent series of mergers that sent its stock prices soaring. Now, this king of corporate welfare turned free-marketer is trying to cash in on the drive to privatize welfare and boot poor people off the dole.

Already, Lockheed Martin IMS has been pushing to run full-scale welfare programs, worth several billion dollars apiece, in Texas and Arizona. Although public employee unions and social welfare advocates have managed to sidetrack these bids for now, a new welfare reform division is busy gobbling up contracts to run welfare-to-work programs (including at least two in Wheaton and Rockville, worth $1.8 million) and automated kiosks for the distribution of food stamps and cash assistance in dozens of states and localities.

Unfortunately, the move from warfare to welfare is not an exercise in beating swords into plowshares; rather it is part of Lockheed Martin's grand strategy to grab taxpayer dollars.

Today, the average household pays a "Lockheed Martin Tax"of about $200 a year to cover an array of military and civilian government contracts. Beyond the $12 billion it continues to rake in annually from the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin receives $6 billion to $8 billion in nonmilitary funds from federal agencies as diverse as the Energy Department and the U.S. Census Bureau.

And that doesn't even include the corporation's growing empire of state and local business. If you're a "deadbeat dad" in Florida, Lockheed Martin gets 12 cents from the government for every vTC dollar it collects from you. Get slammed with a parking ticket in Washington, and Lockheed Martin gets what could be as much as an average $3 cut.

Now that new federal welfare laws have ceded states control over an annual $17 billion in welfare funds, Lockheed Martin is betting that public assistance will be the next big prize.

So what's at stake here? Contracting out garbage collection, computer upgrades and other routine public functions is one thing. But what Lockheed is proposing would allow private companies to run entire government programs; in the case of welfare and Medicaid, moreover, these are essential government services, affecting the most disfranchised members of the population, who are least able to defend their rights. Such concerns become even more troubling when Lockheed Martin is the privatizer in question.

This is the company whose fondness for dolling out bribes helped Congress to pass the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977; the company whose multibillion-dollar overcharges on the C-5A transport plan made "cost overrun" a household phrase, and the company whose $250 million government bailout in 1971 inspired Sen. William Proxmire to coin the term "corporate welfare."

Lockheed and other privatizers boast that their technological expertise and innovation will cut governments costs so dramatically that they can profit and still save taxpayers money. But a close look at Lockheed's performance thus far raises serious questions about whether to rush to privatize is going too far, too fast.

In November, California canceled its contract with Lockheed to build a statewide computer system to track child support collections when Lockheed's problem-ridden system, originally projected to cost $99 million, escalated into a $277 million debacle. Lockheed's contract limits its own liability to just $3 million - a legal sleight of hand that could put California taxpayers on the hook for the bulk of the system's $170 million-plus cost overrun.

Similarly, last summer, Connecticut terminated a $14.3 million computer contract with Lockheed to handle the state's foster-care programs after the system nearly delivered $8 million in overpayments.

While bidding to privatize Texas' welfare system, Lockheed Martin became mired in allegations of improper lobbying.

That same summer in Washington, the company was linked to a $26 million parking contract that sparked a federal investigation of 12 former officials of Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr.'s administration.

If Lockheed's past performance is any indication, Maryland would do well to keep a tight rein on its public system.

Otherwise, taxpayers and people who rely on public benefits could end up paying a high price to finance corporate profits.

This article was adapted from a longer piece that appeared in the March 2 issue of the Nation magazine. The authors are based at the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research in New York.

Pub Date: 3/22/98



Last Edit by Humphrey
"Castles made of sand, slips into the sea, eventually." - Jimi Hendrix
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2018, 03:23:28 pm »
 

EvadingGrid

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Lockheed Martin? What the? I gotta read that, but the link isn't working...



Last Edit by Palmerston

Because the link was https://

I edited the link to fix it
Because you pointed it out.
So all is well that ends well.

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-10-09/business/1996283101_1_support-enforcement-support-collections-lockheed-martin





Last Edit by Humphrey
We are all running on Gods laptop.
The problem is the virus called the Illuminati.
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #7 on: Jan 08, 2018, 06:29:30 pm »
 

EvadingGrid

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As for re: earlier in thread, it sounds like extortion and racketeering to me



Last Edit by Humphrey
We are all running on Gods laptop.
The problem is the virus called the Illuminati.
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #8 on: Jan 09, 2018, 07:09:00 am »
 

2Revolutions

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Because the link was https://

I edited the link to fix it
Because you pointed it out.
So all is well that ends well.

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-10-09/business/1996283101_1_support-enforcement-support-collections-lockheed-martin





Last Edit by Palmerston

Thanks EG



Last Edit by Humphrey
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #9 on: Jan 11, 2018, 06:10:06 pm »
 

2Revolutions

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Florida Prisoners Are Preparing to Strike Against Unpaid Labor

https://nakedcapitalism.com/2018/01/florida-prisoners-preparing-strike-unpaid-labor.html


By Michael Arria, who covers labor and social movements. Follow him on Twitter: @michaelarria. Originally published at In These Times; cross posted from Alternet

People incarcerated throughout the state of Florida are planning a January 15 work stoppage to protest their conditions, and they say they are prepared to continue the protest for more than a month.

Prisoners in eight prisons are expected to participate in the effort, which they refer to as Operation PUSH. The strike, which was purposely scheduled to coincide with Martin Luther King Day, is designed to advance three major changes: a reduction of canteen prices, payment for labor and parole incentives for prisoners serving life sentences. It is not immediately clear how many incarcerated people intend to participate.

News of the action spread after a statement was posted on SPARC (Supporting Prisoners and Real Change), a Facebook page used by Florida prisoners and their families. The statement was compiled from a series of messages sent by prisoners to the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee’s Gainesville chapter and the national Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons.

“Every institution must prepare to lay down for at least one month or longer,” the statement reads. “Our goal is to make the governor realize that it will cost the state of Florida millions of dollars daily to contract outside companies to come and cook, clean, and handle the maintenance. This will cause a total breakdown. In order to become very effective, we must use everything we have to show that we mean business.”

The prisoners’ statement claims that cases of soup purchased in the prisons cost $17—well above their cost outside of the prison. “This is highway robbery without a gun,” says the post. They’re also asking for payment for their labor, “rather than the current slave arrangement.” Despite a few exceptions, Florida is one of only six states where prison jobs remain unpaid.



Last Edit by Larry
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #10 on: Jan 11, 2018, 08:56:10 pm »
 

poseidonlost

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Florida Prisoners Are Preparing to Strike Against Unpaid Labor

Unpaid labor in prison is not unconstitutional...

Constitution FOR the United States, Amendment XIII.
Sec 1. "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."

Not saying it's good or right or not, but right now this is perfectly constitutional. I keep seeing reports of prison strikes over this, but no one ever mentions this part of the 13th amendment.



Last Edit by Humphrey
"Castles made of sand, slips into the sea, eventually." - Jimi Hendrix
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #11 on: Jan 16, 2018, 05:20:36 am »
 

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Tory posters ‘stigmatize all homeless,’ suggest beggars want money for drugs



RT - Russia Today


Tory posters ‘stigmatize all homeless,’ suggest beggars want money for drugs
http://www.rt.com/uk/416023-homeless-poster-gloucester-beggars/




'A Tory council is facing a backlash for “demonizing” rough sleepers by urging the public not to give money to homeless people because they might be faking their impoverished condition.

The posters have been scattered around the city of Gloucester. They appear to discourage the public from giving money to the homeless, as they may be better off than they appear.

The posters pose the question: “Are you really helping homeless people?” and add: “In some cases, the people you see sleeping rough are not homeless.

"They are in accommodation, receiving support and benefits.”

Below is a picture of a man in a grey hoodie bearing a placard reading:

“Change is more than coins. Think before you give.”

The poster recommends contacting homeless outreach workers or donating funds to an established charity.

Matthew Knight, who works for the Gloucestershire-based Elim Housing Association and helps house homeless people, hit out at the posters on Twitter.'

Read More : Tory posters ‘stigmatize all homeless,’ suggest beggars want money for drugs





Last Edit by Humphrey
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Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #12 on: Jan 16, 2018, 03:04:30 pm »
 

2Revolutions

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Unpaid labor in prison is not unconstitutional...

Constitution FOR the United States, Amendment XIII.
Sec 1. "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."

Not saying it's good or right or not, but right now this is perfectly constitutional. I keep seeing reports of prison strikes over this, but no one ever mentions this part of the 13th amendment.



Last Edit by Gladstone

This definitely something that needs to be highlighted.  How many states have quotas to keep prison population at certain levels to perform work for corporations for no compensation or pennies on the dollar.  Prison labor is also a way to suppress wages.    Even those that do get paid are not paid much.  It is no accident that United States has highest prison population.  Every part of the US "justice system" has been monetized. 

https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2017/04/10/wages/
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #13 on: Jan 17, 2018, 07:33:49 am »
 

EvadingGrid

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Strange that Obama never tried to end what amounts in practical terms to slavery.



Last Edit by Humphrey
We are all running on Gods laptop.
The problem is the virus called the Illuminati.
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #14 on: Jan 06, 2020, 08:54:46 am »
 

2Revolutions

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Rural America Turning to Grocers, High-Fee ATMs as Banks Leave

https://yahoo.com/news/rural-america-turning-grocers-high-120000595.html?guccounter=1

Quote
Lee Harley-Fitts, a 60-something town councilwoman, has modest wants for herself and the roughly 9,000 people in surrounding Allendale County, where the median household income is $23,000 a year and 30% of the population is below the poverty line. People are excited about a coming Dollar Tree store, she says, while luring a McDonald’s is still a dream.

That’s why local town and county officials, including the school superintendent, all rallied recently to try preserve something as seemingly mundane as a small credit union.

Town and county leaders caught wind earlier this year that one of just two financial institutions in the area, North Augusta-based SRP Federal Credit Union, was considering moving to another small town 30 miles north called Williston. SRP’s Allendale branch wasn’t much -- a portable building with a few parking spots and a cash machine. But the impoverished community valued its low fees, and with Social Security benefits now transmitted electronically, many people visited to take out cash loaded onto their benefit cards.

“I would wager that some of their people would have been unbanked before they established a branch here,” says Wilbur Cave, who heads a local nonprofit that develops affordable housing.

Representatives of SRP didn’t respond to multiple messages from Bloomberg News.

‘Deeply Affected’

The Federal Reserve’s November report notes that roughly 800 rural counties lost 1,533 bank branches in the five years ended 2017, or 14% of their total. Urban counties lost a more modest 9% of their branches as people migrate to online banking, because of industry consolidation and other reasons.

Allendale County is among 44 “deeply affected” counties that lost at least half of their branches, according to the report, which focuses exclusively on banks as opposed to credit unions like SRP. Allendale had lost a small community bank in 2014 after it failed, leaving it with a single traditional bank, called Palmetto State, as well as with SRP.

One proposal made by regulators last week to boost the flow the credit to poorer communities by updating the 1970s Community Reinvestment Act. Under the measure, lenders could see an increase in the $250 billion they have to spend annually to meet U.S. requirements for doing business in lower-income areas.

Distressed about losing yet another institution, town and county leaders here say they lobbied SRP’s executives to stay by meeting with credit union officials and by offering them a more desirable location in a better part of Allendale.

Ultimately, SRP pulled out of Allendale County in May, according to a local news report, creating one more hardship in a town with plenty already.



Last Edit by Gladstone
 

Re: A Tale of Two Americas: Rich Get Richer and the Poor Go to Jail
« Reply #15 on: Jan 07, 2020, 06:37:12 am »
 

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As I've been saying for many years, anti-Georgist tax policies and debt-based monetary policies are the two primary reasons why there's so much poverty in a world overflowing with abundance.



Last Edit by Gladstone
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