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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by STEVIEBOY1, Jun 18, 2011.
+1 On THAT! LOL!
It is vile....lol!
Yes, you will see some "elected" official on a talk show, or some entertainment show....and you see the promotion of some "special status" freely given to that person (or even the same that comes to some performers as such like actors/actresses) that what they say is to be worshipped as if God himself mutter the words or opinions....as if we need to hear about anything to do with the problems of today or news of today from someone that is famous, but also as dumb as a bag of hammers....
Or its bastard cousin, "The replacement of low-income housing/working-class businesses with another high end boutique/restaurant/art gallery will stimulate the tourist/creative economy."
Meet the new boss (commercial "gentrification") same as the old boss (urban renewal).
Let's add that of the 7 new jobs, none will have benefits and only 3 will pay a decent amount over the poverty line.
And it even has the Supreme Court's stamp of approval because several years ago they ruled in Kelo vs City of New London that cities can invoke eminent domain on behalf of private developers in the interest of economic development which the Supremes interpreted as falling under the definition of "public use," i.e. more property and business tax revenue.
Rome did indeed fall, as did many others.
Pretty much. My town is a showpiece for the advocates of the "creative economy," and upper middle class white people from Connecticut do very very nicely here. But one out of every five children in this town lives below the poverty line. The "creative economy" not only isn't doing squat for them, it's actively harming them when all mom or pop can find for work is waiting on tables or wiping up chardonnay spills, or selling pot and cocaine to upper middle-class white people from Connecticut.
That was just stupid. That decision along with ridiculous Redevelopment Agencies have screwed up cities all over the country. They redefined blight as anything that wasn't making the local government enough money.
With luck their Hipster kids will find the town "boring" and go infest Brooklyn, Seattle or any of the other hipster meccas around the country.
I used to mock the fact that "rural development" for Upstate NY appeared to consist of building prisons to house inmates from downstate NY.*
Then we started to get Walmarts.
I'd (almost?) rather have the prisons. At least those jobs pay better and don't require a person to be on public assistance to support themselves in basic ways. Of course, having whole small town economies depend on incarcerating people doesn't sit well with me either- I don't like an already marginalized portion of our society depending upon the misfortune of others. It doesn't sit well with me morally for so many reasons.
(*There's a lot more people who live downstate than upstate, so hence more downstate prisoners than upstate prisoners. Prisons tend to be upstate for a host of reasons, but economic development is often cited. Also, there is no true line between up and downstate so it depends on if you are talking to an upstater or downstater.)
I don't equate requiring school for children with involuntary forced labor for adults, no. Not even a little.
We had the State Prison the next town over from me up until about twenty years ago, when they moved it to another town further up the road. I know a lot of people who've worked in both places -- guards, cooks, nurses, etc -- and as distasteful as the work can be, it pays better than just about anything else here unless you want to drive fifty miles to work at the shipyard, so there's always a lot of people looking to get hired there.
My favorite prison worker was a gal I knew back in the '90s who had a great way of dealing with inmates who got out of line. She'd pop out her glass eye, toss it up in the air, and say "you think you're tough?" Settled them right down. Now *that's* creative.
Most of the inmates here are in prison for crimes that, one way or another, can be traced to alcohol. It bugs me to no end that just about every place on Main Street that isn't an art gallery or a boooteeek is a booze hole, excuse me, Fine Drinking Establishment. I guess upper middle class white people conceal their addictions better than Joe Gravelpit does.
The staple of many a trashy novel: The outwardly dutiful "Stepford" wife who turns out to be a secret drinker.
Here in California the prison guards union is a very powerful political force that prison guards here even get paid for "walk time": The time it takes to walk from their car out in the parking lot to their work stations.
Good Times Ahead
Lets hope we are like The Roman Empire! The Western part lasted 500 years before it fell, and the Eastern Byzantine Empire, lasted another 1000 years. Either way, we have some more great centuries ahead of us!
We are the Roman Empire! And New York is Rome itself
And the prison system here in the U.S. is just as corrupt as any other large organization. One of their favorite "tricks" is to concoct a reason to "lock down" the prison (i.e., keep the prisoners in their cells) so that they can justify keeping the staff in the facility to "work" more hours and get paid exorbitant amounts of overtime. Tommy Chong spoke of this in interviews about his phony-baloney incarceration, and a good friend of ours told us the same thing occurred regularly while he was incarcerated in Arizona for two years.
Down here there are privatized prisons. There are still state run prisons, but there are also privately owned and operated prisons, located mainly in Louisiana, which contract with some of the neighboring states to take in certain offenders. This is "industry" in the truest sense of the term, and if anything skirts "questionably constitutional", then this does. Not only are prisoners being punished in a state other than that which should be punishing them, but employees are being stripped of benefits they would otherwise be entitled to as state employees. And make no mistake, the taxpayer is still footing the bill. The last governor here in AL also opened up state parks, again taxpayer funded, to privately owned hotel chains to operate in. We, the taxpaying public, are now supporting big business to make a profit.
I worry about how this impacts legislation too. I understand that I have a very idealized way of viewing how the world should work, but I would hope we would consider the crime, the threat of harm to society, and the chance of rehabilitation first in determining sentence ranges and not allow those sentencing ranges to be lobbied for by companies that house prisoners. I don't want to house people forever if they can be rehabilitated and turned back into society to be productive members.
I'm also concerned about if these places focus on rehabilitation and training. (They very well could.) We as a society shouldn't have to just end up paying to put the person back in prison after they are released because these for-profit prisons didn't try to rehabilitate.
I hope that there is some sort of agency that oversee's these things in these states and looks at recidivism rates and not just the bottom line of "it's cheaper to send this prisoner here for a single sentence." Because it might actually be more like "penny wise, pound foolish" if they aren't watching this carefully. Again, I have no idea, but I hope they're not just housing.
The only thing with more potential for absolute corruption than a for-profit prison is a for-profit hospital.
Concerning "for-profit" hospitals:
Both armed-robbers and doctors wear masks and say " Your money or your life."