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The Spider and the Fly
Author: BobR    Date: 2015-03-25 10:51:00

Spiders are one of natures most magnificent creations. They have 8 eyes and 8 legs and create webs that look beautiful and capture the imagination. Those webs - seductive as they are - are also deadly. Should an insect become ensnared, the spider immobilizes and enwraps the prey, then sucks all the life blood out, leaving behind an empty husk, discarded and forgotten.

It's an apt metaphor for the Ayn Rand inspired economic web woven by the free market scheisters who entice those at the bottom of the economic ladder to vote against their interests. They point to socialism as the demon, while these voters work for sustenance and watch their hard-earned dollars float up to those at the very top.

Apparently, though, it's not enough. The DOJ report on Ferguson cracked open a door and shone a light on a practice that most Americans were not aware of:
The city’s practices are shaped by revenue rather than by public safety needs... A Ferguson woman parked her car illegally once in 2007. It ended up costing her more than $1,000 and 6 days in jail... Arrest warrants are “almost exclusively” used as threats to push for payments...

Yes, that's right - the city used the poor black community as an ATM to fund itself, sucking every last dollar they could from those who could least afford it, via tickets, penalties, court costs, with the threat of jail as the motivator. Forget working to just to keep up with bills - people are working just to stay out of jail. It's horrifying and disgusting.

What's worse - it's not just Ferguson. It' happening everywhere. John Oliver spent the better part of his HBO show on this topic. The shame is that because it's HBO it probably doesn't get the viewing it deserves, This should be required viewing by everyone. Do not let the length of this video dissuade you - this is well worth the time spent:

If that doesn't piss you off, there's something wrong with you. If this were anything other than the court system, it would be considered loan sharking or predatory lending. As mentioned in the video, this is as close to a debtor's prison system as you can get. How this isn't a violation of the 8th Amendment is beyond me.

Combine this with private for-profit prisons and you have a money sucking machine set up to bleed the poor dry, and lock them up - with all the money going to private interests, subsidized with taxpayer dollars. Far-fetched? Not when you consider the contracts involved with private prisons:
65 percent of the private prison contracts ITPI received and analyzed included occupancy guarantees in the form of quotas or required payments for empty prison cells (a “low-crime tax”). These quotas and low-crime taxes put taxpayers on the hook for guaranteeing profits for private prison corporations.

Occupancy guarantee clauses in private prison contracts range between 80% and 100%, with 90% as the most frequent occupancy guarantee requirement.

That's right - the contracts require the prisons to be full, and with debt collectors authorized to send them there, it's pretty much a guarantee it will happen. How long before some corporation controls both sides of this equation, and the "justice" system is completely outsourced, passing off "disposable" people to these spiders to suck them dry and discard their shells when they're done?

28 comments (Latest Comment: 03/26/2015 04:02:22 by Will in Chicago)
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