J Thomas wrote: Karilyn wrote:
Kaylakaze wrote:Capitalism relies on deprivations, prisons, and death camps. Do you not know the US has the highest imprisonment rate per capita in the entire "civilized" world? Can you turn on your TV and NOT see capitalist based depravity?
The highest imprisonment rate per capita is due to the idiotic war on drugs. An overwhelming majority of the people in our prison systems are non-violent drug users. I believe the number is somewhere around 80%, though I do not have a citation for that, and could find it if you want.
This particular link does not cover people waiting trial. About 60% of drug offenders were held without bail, and then the large majority of them are released on probation. This fits the Obama halfway measure -- they are currently pushing for fewer drug prisoners and more drug treatment. They claim to now be spending more money on treatment for drug offenders than on incarceration.
My number may be inaccurate. It was intended to be the percentage of all people incarcerated during the course of a year, including those jailed and released over a brief period of time. Not the specific percentage at any one time. If, for example, the average jailtime for a person who was found in possession of drugs was 1 month, then this would mean that the actual number of all people who were incarcerated for drug usage during the course of a year is actually about 10-12 times higher (slightly lower than 12, due to repeat offenders not being counted twice ideally) than would be seen at any specific point in time. If only only look at one point in time, you are failing to count the majority of inmates.
I want to let you know I appreciate the statistics you gave me. <3
J Thomas wrote:I have a suggestive statistic that around half of some group of drug prisoners were for trafficking. And probably a large fraction of the ones for possession were plea-bargained etc down to that. If it's true that most prisoners are in fact dealers, could that suggest to you that perhaps capitalism has something to do with it after all? Ideal duke-of-queensbury ethical capitalists would not dynamite their competitors' factories or try to get their competitors jailed. But not all real capitalists are so fastidious.
While I agree with that concept in principle, might I propose an alternate model? I would propose that drug trafficking is primarily caused by the artificial inflation of the value of drugs due to their illegal status, and as their value is artificially inflated, this encourages violence to occur around it since there is very large sums of money at stake.
Furthermore, if drugs were legal, and produced for recreational use by companies like tobacco and alcohol, this would utterly devastate the value of drugs, and bring the more in line with legal substances. Marajuana (according to a quick google search) sells between $100 to $600 per ounce, and it is one of the most inexpensive illegal drugs. A similar google search indicates that tobacco sells for between $1 to $2.50 per ounce. The price of marijuana, if not illegal, and permitted to function according to normal laws of supply and demand, would likely plummet to a price comparable to tobacco, and other more expensive drugs, would still probably fall under $10 per whatever unit that drug is measured in.
That would cause the illegal drug trafficking market to crash almost overnight, and greatly reduce the violence surrounding these drugs, so that not only do we stop incarcerating non-violent drug offenders, but there are also there also virtually no violent drug offenders remaining, meaning the only people who are incarcerated are those who are "driving under the influence" in the same manner that a person drinking alcohol would be.
J Thomas wrote:Also, lots of business owners prefer that their employees not have access to drugs that can make their employees less effective on the job. Caffeine is fine, nicotine maybe, but not much more. They don't want their employees jailed, they want their employees' dealers jailed. And that's what happens.
I would propose that it is better that this is handled on the private level as opposed to the public level. Already it is legal for an employer to refuse to hire someone who fails an alcohol blood test while on the job, or to fire an employee for drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco while on the job. I see absolutely no reason why other recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine could not and should not be handled the same way. Why does marijuana and cocaine need to be illegal when an employer can simply fire the person if it's against company policy for the person to be under the influence of those drugs while on the clock?
J Thomas wrote:I made a start at finding those simple statistics. Maybe you'll carry on and get the right numbers?
And oh my fucking god I am so fucking tired, I just spent the past two hours transcribing numbers into a spreadsheet. I'm so tired, that I'm close to tears. Please don't make me find sources right now. I fully acknowledge my number may be inaccurate, however, even your 25% number would significantly reduce the number of inmates per capita in the United States.
J Thomas wrote:I saw various claims that the big increase has not been drugs (which has stayed steady around 50% of federal prisoners for a long time) but "public order" crimes -- notably guns and immigrants.
I would not be entirely disinclined to doubt that. But ugh don't get me started on the immigrants thing. I had a friend last year who was a 100% legal immigrant, and was on the path to citizenship, and had been working in this country regularly for 8 years legally. He was stopped for a minor traffic violation, and for some reason was unable to locate his green card. He was arrested and deported, and it took him over a month to prove his identity and get back into the country to his family and his job. It was utter bullshit, and shows how broken the system is right now when it comes to handling immigration. Luckily his employer was understanding and didn't fire him, and he was able to resume his job when he got back.