[R-G] Poverty Up, Americans Go To Jail
garyrumor2 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 17 11:47:07 MDT 2010
Poverty Up, Americans Go To JailSeptember 17th, 2010
The more things change, the more they stay the same. That saying seems to be
doubly true here in the USA. We have a black president and more blacks are
being incarcerated. It just goes to show that Capitalism creates wealth
discrepancies and money in this society is the key to social position. Racism
seems to be ingrained in the fabric of the American experience. Given the
propensity for the police to go after minorities and the darker the skin, the
more likely you are to be busted.
There are certain cultural attributes that go with wealth, but as a general
rule if you don’t have the money, you don’t have access in this society where
wealth is king. There is a trend to rewarding the well educated also, as long
as your education is in an area that is paying off financially. We have a
combination of a racist plutocracy with elements of a meritocracy where the
most brilliant of the underclass are able to rise up. This helps to prevent
rebellion. If the most gifted of the underclasses were prevented from having
access to the rewards of serving capital faithfully then there would be more
leaders for a revolution.
One in Seven U.S. Citizens Sinks into Poverty
By Amanda Bransford
NEW YORK, Sep 16, 2010 (IPS) - Poverty rates in the United States have climbed
to their highest level since 1994, according to a report released Thursday by
the U.S. Census Bureau.
“In 2009, 43.6 million people – 14.6 percent of the population - were living in
poverty in the U.S., up from 13.2 percent of the population in 2008. The United
States currently has the highest number of people in poverty it has ever had
since the government began counting in 1959, although the percentage of people
this represents is lower than it was then.
Poverty increased most among African Americans, followed by non-Hispanic white
For the rest of the article
“U.S.: Money for Prisons, Not for Social Services
By Haider Rizvi
NEW YORK, Sep 16, 2010 (IPS) - Many of those who have lost their jobs and homes
in the United States due to the lingering economic recession are ending up in
jail, according to a new study released by an independent think tank Thursday.
There is a strong link between poverty and incarceration in the United states,
according to the report, “Money Well Spent: How positive social investments
will reduce incarceration rates”, by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI).
The report’s findings on the relationship between poverty and the justice
system suggests that more and more people from poor and low-income communities
are being arrested and jailed, even though nationwide, crime rates have fallen.
“What we have seen in this research is that there is less focus on safety for
the poor and more on policing and arrests,” Tracy Velázquez, executive director
of the Washington-based JPI, told IPS.
The report notes that as prison populations have grown, so too have racial
disparities in the justice system.
“This is especially evident in arrest and incarceration patterns for drug
offences,” said Sarah Lyons, National Emerson Hunger Fellow and primary author
of the report, who added that without adequate funding for social services, it
is less likely that people will be able to succeed and avoid contact with the
Despite comparable usage of illicit drugs, in 2008, African Americans, who make
up 12.2 percent of the general population, comprised 44 percent of those
incarcerated for drug offences, according to the report.
Researchers say that disproportionate enforcement of drug laws in communities
of colour destabilises families and communities and decreases the likelihood of
positive outcomes for children and other family members left behind.
Due to the prolonged economic meltdown, many states are now making drastic cuts
in funding for social services - such as health, education, and public housing
- but not on policing and prison improvement and expansion.
There are nearly two million people behind bars in the U.S., most poor whites
and people of colour, making the United States the number one country in the
world in terms of the imprisonment rate.
The report notes that about 16 percent of incarcerated people also experienced
homelessness before being arrested.”
For the rest of the article
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