It All Starts With Those Who Police Us
If we are really going to have a society based on freedoms, then one of the first and most important truths we must embrace is that this society we were all born into was built upon, and continues to exist today on the base of enslavement. I have explained before how the 13th Amendment has an exception which allows for slavery to continue in America, if a person can be convicted of a crime. Look at how many Millions of jobs will be lost if we released all of the 1.6 million people who are in state, federal, and private prisons for non-violent drug/drug related offenses. NYPD simply pulled a work slow down, and the courts are about to collapse. All those clerks, bailiffs, bail bondsmen, judges, attorneys, etc.- those people would be out of jobs. Jailers, admin staff, vendors who service jails, and prisons, and then let us not overlook the fact that corporate profit is not limited to building and administering prisons. Whole industries now rely almost exclusively on prison labor.
Federal prisoners, who are among the highest paid in the U.S. system, making as much as $1.25 an hour, produce the military’s helmets, uniforms, pants, shirts, ammunition belts, ID tags and tents. Prisoners work, often through subcontractors, for major corporations such as Chevron, Bank of America, IBM, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Starbucks, Nintendo, Victoria’s Secret, J.C. Penney, Sears, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Eddie Bauer, Wendy’s, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Fruit of the Loom, Motorola, Caterpillar, Sara Lee, Quaker Oats, Mary Kay, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Dell, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin and Target. Prisoners in some states run dairy farms, staff call centers, take hotel reservations or work in slaughterhouses. And prisoners are used to carry out public services such as collecting highway trash in states such as Ohio.
These corporations, some of the nation’s largest, pay little more than a dollar a day to prison laborers who work in for-profit prison industries. Food and merchandise vendors, construction companies, laundry services, uniforms companies, prison equipment vendors, cafeteria services, manufacturers of pepper spray, body armor and the array of medieval instruments used for the physical control of prisoners, and a host of other contractors feed like jackals off prisons. Prisons, in America, are a hugely profitable business- and guess what? ALL of it spirals out from the discretion of individual police officers operating as revenue agents for the state, as well as Wall Street… which ultimately IS the state.