We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, August 4, 2011

21st-Century Slaves: How Corporations Exploit Prison Labor

Click here to access article by Rania Khalek from AlterNet.
There is one group of American workers so disenfranchised that corporations are able to get away with paying them wages that rival those of third-world sweatshops. These laborers have been legally stripped of their political, economic and social rights and ultimately relegated to second-class citizens. They are banned from unionizing, violently silenced from speaking out and forced to work for little to no wages.
Whenever ruling class spokespeople talk about their concern for jobs, you know that they have something very different in mind. They hate jobs. They hate to pay people to perform jobs because jobs are costs that are deducted from their profits. Thus, they always search for new ways to eliminate jobs through efficiencies of operation, through investment in labor saving equipment, by pressuring people to work harder and longer, outsourcing jobs to cheaper locations throughout the world or to non-unionized subcontractors, and then there is this method.

In the past 10 years we have also seen immigrants criminalized by the ruling class and their servants in mainstream media and Congress in order to add more cheap labor to this burgeoning and highly profitable industry. When you realize that a considerable amount of public money has been allocated to police services rounding up immigrants to feed this system, it's clear that these corporations are also being supported by public money. 

This is a perfect scam for capitalists--using prison slave labor and public subsidies to enrich themselves. See this, this, and this. In addition to military related corporations in the US, the private prison industry is booming and highly profitable. See this.