Jump to content

The politics of the United States, and where it is leading our nation.


Recommended Posts

Why? My career is based on computer security, I am an IT consultant who works for individuals and small business'. I can tell you with 100 percent certainty, based on my experience in the field, that the government with all it's resources would be quite capable of providing sufficient defense against confidential information being stolen without having to trample upon every citizens civil rights. Closed networks and really well programmed firewalls and communication lines are quite capable of providing adequate security without the need to trample upon every one's civil rights. I don't care what country or who you are if all the data is encrypted well enough it would be extraordinarily hard, if not impossible to decode such data even if it is compromised.

 

You neglect the fact that other governments, like China, actively seek to find holes and exploits in our systems. The methods of defense you are describing would be child's play for them. I mean, really, a firewall and encryption? Such basic modules are easily taken down. I agree with Brainteaserfan in his sentiments that there are some technologies the government needs to implement to keep national secrets safe.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 86
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

None of this is relevant to the discussion and is a personal attack, go back 100 years and you wouldn't recognize the USA either, go forward 100 years and i doubt you will either. Change has to happen

I agree with Toasty that the thing with doG and zapatos is a semantic thing, a personal choice, and a bit annoying/distracting from the core discussion. Yes, we're a constitutional republic. Yes, th

Also, you have no way to measure what promises were made in secret, and whether or not those were kept.   I neither was looking for your permission nor even need it to do so, but thanks all the sam

See the above posts, in each of them you are trying to insinuate the USA is in trouble because we are a democracy...

No, I am claiming we are circumventing the representative system by making it behave like a democracy. The passing of state laws to circumvent the intended design of the Electoral College is a good example.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry iNow, I don't think you quite answered the question here.

 

This is a matter of opinion. I'll share mine, as above I was merely trying to summarize large expansive points into a bullet-point form. Obviously, some precision will be lost in the process.

 

To respond, I see that the document was written during a time when the issues of today could not even be predicted. Using these centuries old documents to govern in the modern world is like trying to fix your computer using drawings on how to build a barn as your guide. That barn building document may express some useful principles and serve as a guide, but it simply cannot address the subtly, nuance, and complexity being faced. The principles IMO need to be expanded upon, and clarified more deeply.

 

As it stands today, if you ask four different people what are the basic principles of our founding documents, you will get four different answers. The situation is made worse by the fact that the words are being twisted and mangled to meet any passing need. Our society seems to have become less about basic principles, and more about how clever ones high-priced lawyer is... and how good they are at parsing text and presenting an argument.

 

The previous principles of protection of free speech, guns, and privacy are well intentioned, but were written during a time of muskets, coal heating, and a culture of farmers where the most advanced form of technology was an ox driven plow. The laws have some wonderful components, but are lacking in some profound ways. IMO they are ill-equipped to deal with a global society such as ours where information is free and spread thousands of miles in seconds... complete with all of the new problems and threats that come with that.

 

The model T was a great car, and changed the world. It kicked off a revolution, but there are probably some newer, better, more efficient cars out there which would better serve us today. I suggest this is also largely the case with our government, and a well-designed update could have some really important benefits.

 

All you've said here is pretty much a longer version of what you said already. You've just stated that it was old and didn't meet with our current situations. I was hoping to gain some insight as to what situations it was too outdated to apply to. You also mention free speech, guns, and privacy as previous principles. Huh? I would say those principles hold as true today as they did then. I don't believe the constitution kicked off a revolution. I believe it was the outcome and solution to the cause of revolution.

You also say that the laws have some profound components, but are lacking in some proficient ways. Laws can be mandated without a conventional rewrite. If they have missed aspect of modern day life in the constitution that we haven't already covered in amendments, I would like to know what people think who say that the constitution is outdated. And also maybe your thoughts on what benifits a well designed update might provide that the outdated version doesn't.

 

Their desire to help the populace is not a problem. As I stated previously, the problem comes from looking to provide that help and assistance using unsustainable means. Calling them socialist and dismissing them is intellectually lazy, divisive, and rather often inaccurate. Focus on the fact that they are unsustainable and seek ways to sustain them. Don't cast them aside as being "socialist" or for being some form of the overused aspersion "class warfare."

iNow

I didn't mean to imply that they were socialist, just leaning to provide social programs. Even though alot use the term social justice.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say those principles hold as true today as they did then. I don't believe the constitution kicked off a revolution. I believe it was the outcome and solution to the cause of revolution.

Like I said. It's really a matter of opinion. Largely, I think the language of our governing documents needs to be made more precise, some of the thousands of laws that have been added in the past few centuries trimmed away and consolidated, and the approach to rights and freedoms supplemented somehow to accommodate the international and technological nature of our current existence.

 

Unfortunately, I'm not yet at a level of commitment to this discussion thread right now where I really feel like digging much deeper and walking you through point by point all of the specifics that should be changed or left alone like you seem to be requesting. I recognize that's not entirely fair, and that your question is a good one. I'd like to hear from others on this question as I continue to evaluate my own position.

 

 

 

You neglect the fact that other governments, like China, actively seek to find holes and exploits in our systems. The methods of defense you are describing would be child's play for them. I mean, really, a firewall and encryption? Such basic modules are easily taken down. I agree with Brainteaserfan in his sentiments that there are some technologies the government needs to implement to keep national secrets safe.

I would also add to this that the nature of the enemy today brings with them a different threat. The types of threats we are facing today can generally only be prevented by active surveillance of content, then piecing bits and pieces of that intelligence together to form a cohesive picture... and that this must happen preemptively. Where the boundaries are especially fuzzy for me is in deciding who is a legitimate target of preemptive surveillance, what are reasonable searches and seizures, and who should be empowered to weigh the options to make these decisions. Not only is it entirely subjective, but our enemies don't exactly wear different colored jerseys or wave a specific flag, and that alone causes each of us to be equally considered valid targets of the watchers.

Edited by iNow
Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, after conferring with other Staff members, I've decided to participate. Our rules prohibit a Mod with prior involvement in a thread from moderating that thread, but if I give up any further Staff action I shouldn't be in conflict.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I aim the blame for many of our current problems at the corporate sector, but it's our politicians who allowed them too much control over the regulations that restrict them, and we're the ones who voted for those politicians. So I know the real blame is ours, the voters, but I think I know how to fix it and that's the only thing we should be really focused on.

 

Corporations just want more profit. It's what they do, the nature of the scorpion. It's a great thing if you're an investor. It's different if you're a competitor, or an employee, or an ordinary citizen. You have recourse against unfair practices at every level, you just need to exercise them. And we have to understand, we absolutely HAVE to understand, that regulations are the necessary checks to balance out the power corporations have in our society, and we absolutely HAVE to understand that corporations will fight HARD to make sure those regulations have as minimal an impact on their profit as possible.

 

The corporations will argue that they won't be able to survive. They will argue that they are being strangled by unfair government regulations. They will do this because success means more profit. And if they don't succeed, they will continue to do business here. There are too many examples to list where big business claimed they would die if something wasn't done to help them out, and we didn't fall for it, and they did just fine. Just as there are too many examples to list where they demanded and we caved in, and we now regret that we were so weak and stupid and forgetful.

 

Most of the privacy violations from big business are aimed at making more money. Most are fairly innocuous, cookies to tell them more about what we like. If we privatize prisons and law enforcement, expect those privacy violations to be turned into ways to make money by putting us in jail. Expect to be painted as a violator, a criminal, a perpetrator. The government has a different agenda, but since so much of our government is directed by our businesses, the public and private agendas can often overlap. The solution to all of this is to regulate both businesses and politicians, take back some of the control we've lost by being complacent and letting "the professionals" handle everything.

 

Big Business will call it un-American. They will call it unfair and stifling. They will kick and scream and at a certain point, when it becomes unprofitable to continue the tirade, they will claim they supported the measures all along, and that it's the best thing for the country. Hopefully they will look elsewhere for more profit for a while, but they will continue to try to get us to relax the regulations in any way they can get away with.

 

Scorpions are necessary, even vital, but if we aren't careful with how we treat them, aren't WE to blame if they sting us?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Phi,

 

And we have to understand, we absolutely HAVE to understand, that regulations are the necessary checks to balance out the power corporations have in our society, and we absolutely HAVE to understand that corporations will fight HARD to make sure those regulations have as minimal an impact on their profit as possible.

What type of regs are you talking about here? Any kind? Or a new kind that is put in place to check a corps power? I think it is also important to remember that a corporation is made up of everyday average workers, so some of that arguement may be valid when it comes to their jobs.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Phi,

 

What type of regs are you talking about here? Any kind? Or a new kind that is put in place to check a corps power? I think it is also important to remember that a corporation is made up of everyday average workers, so some of that arguement may be valid when it comes to their jobs.

 

I don't think Phi is talking about regulating the guy who makes 30 grande a year drilling oil for Exxon mobile. I am sure he is talking about executives and such. The average day worker rarely has a say in which direction his or her respective company is going.

 

You neglect the fact that other governments, like China, actively seek to find holes and exploits in our systems. The methods of defense you are describing would be child's play for them. I mean, really, a firewall and encryption? Such basic modules are easily taken down. I agree with Brainteaserfan in his sentiments that there are some technologies the government needs to implement to keep national secrets safe.

 

Really, you think one can decrypt an encrypted hard drive that uses a 128 bit encryption key or better yet a 256 encryption key? Provided the key is always secure, it would take longer than the age of the Universe to decrypt a 128 bit encryption key using a brute force technique.

 

http://www.inet2000.com/public/encryption.htm

 

And tell me how does someone hack into a closed network, provided the network is truly closed. I never said that the United States shouldn't protect such national secrets, I simply stated that there are technologies that allow for the defense of such secrets without having to trample upon everyone's civil rights.

 

I guarantee if I chose to encrypt secrets on my hard-drive no one man or country could de-crypt that information provided I never release the key. As with 128 bit encryption there are 2^128 possibilities.

 

This is also trivial, I fail to see why if a foreign power is attempting spy on the United States, even if effective, we should allow our government to spy on the American People. I mean in the nuclear age, and with the fact that we are most likely spying on them, I really fail to see the HUGE security threat from such espionage. If any real conflict began between China and the United States, espionage would be useless, provided both countries can destroy the world.

 

And its not that I don't think that we cannot do anything about it, it is just that this is continual breach of civil rights will lead to one of two basic conclusions. A totalitarian/ shadow government or violent revolution. Neither of which seem all that awesome to me.

Edited by toastywombel
Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think Phi is talking about regulating the guy who makes 30 grande a year drilling oil for Exxon mobile. I am sure he is talking about executives and such. The average day worker rarely has a say in which direction his or her respective company is going.

This is where I always get caught up. Who's going to do the picking and choosing on who gets the shaft? Is it going to be those who make a certain amount annually no matter how they got to be in their position or what they do with their money? And whose to say that if you do cut the profits of the higher ups in the corporations that they won't pass it down to the average worker with cuts in pay, cuts in benifits, lay offs, and relocation alltogether? They are in business to make money in the first place. If you take that away, then they will ultimately find a way or place that they can. Not to mention that it would be a blaitant disregaurd for private property and personal freedom.

 

And on another point I think the average worker wants their company to grow and turn a profit. If the company didn't, the workers future would start looking pretty bleak.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Phi,

 

What type of regs are you talking about here? Any kind? Or a new kind that is put in place to check a corps power? I think it is also important to remember that a corporation is made up of everyday average workers, so some of that arguement may be valid when it comes to their jobs.

Corporations are people, is that what you mean? Corporations love it when people conflate the collection of individuals that make up any business with corporate personhood. That way they get to become "We, the People", in ultimate authority over every office and position in this country, over every congressperson, executive and Supreme Court judge.

 

The fact is that corporations aren't liable in the way people are, that's why they're set up the way they are. Corporations are given charters to do business within limited parameters. They can go bankrupt without affecting the assets of the owners. Corporations can't go to jail. But lobbying has allowed corporations to spend undisclosed amounts on advertising that affects election outcomes. It is flat out wrong to let corporations enjoy all the freedoms and power of personhood with none of the responsibilities and consequences. The Constitution is all about keeping government's influence in private lives to a minimum, but corporate charters are all about government oversight into the dealings of business. Corporate personhood is a HUGE conflict of interest.

 

What type of regulations am I talking about? The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 is a good example to use. We're trying to improve the financial regulatory system that allowed our current crisis to happen, but the Dodd-Frank Act is over a year old now and most of the changes have yet to be put in place. We have new rules but policymakers are dragging their feet (perhaps at the urging of their campaign financiers?) about issuing those rules and implementing the changes we desperately need to start meaningful reform.

 

Relaxed environmental regulations throughout the Bush II era didn't create more jobs, even though corporate executives claim that's what would happen now. In fact, regulatory jobs were lost in both public and private sectors. The savings went straight into the pockets of investors and executives. Bush II did a lot of damage to environmental regulations in his last year before he left office, like reducing the time the public has to contest the use of public lands for things like uranium mining to a mere 15 days, essentially removing all Congressional authority to make emergency land withdrawals, and pulling the teeth from the Federal Land Policy Management Act.

 

This has all happened before. Twice in US history, the people have sought to curtail special interest influence in our government. Andrew Jackson's opposition to the National Bank was famously hailed as removing the unfair influence of private concerns over our government. The 20th century progressive movement, arguably begun by Republican Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin, challenged the corrupt President Taft's special corporate interests with his National Progressive Republicans League, made famous by Theodore Roosevelt. Special interest corruption by corporations intent on changing laws in their favor is a cyclical dilemma, one we can overcome only with constant vigilance and oversight.

 

And now is the perfect time for reform, when crisis is upon us, the economy is in peril and the need for correction is so visible. This is the time for We, the People, to demand that this unfair influence be stopped, that our government be realigned with OUR needs, not the needs of chartered businesses, lobbyists and robber barons. It will only get harder the longer we wait, the more we listen to corporate advertising telling us they have the answers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Corporations are people, is that what you mean? Corporations love it when people conflate the collection of individuals that make up any business with corporate personhood.

 

Are you saying that they are not? That downgrading a companies profit wouldn't directly affect it's workers?

 

 

The fact is that corporations aren't liable in the way people are, that's why they're set up the way they are. Corporations are given charters to do business within limited parameters. They can go bankrupt without affecting the assets of the owners. Corporations can't go to jail. But lobbying has allowed corporations to spend undisclosed amounts on advertising that affects election outcomes. It is flat out wrong to let corporations enjoy all the freedoms and power of personhood with none of the responsibilities and consequences. The Constitution is all about keeping government's influence in private lives to a minimum, but corporate charters are all about government oversight into the dealings of business. Corporate personhood is a HUGE conflict of interest.

I agree here. I always get tired of seeing corps and unions advertising for polititions. They do it in the name of their employees and members but have no clue as to how the majority of their employees/members might lean. Even if the majority do agree it still isn't fair to those who oppose who can't even have a say in it. If these are the type of regs you are talking about I'm all for it.

 

 

What type of regulations am I talking about? The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 is a good example to use. We're trying to improve the financial regulatory system that allowed our current crisis to happen, but the Dodd-Frank Act is over a year old now and most of the changes have yet to be put in place. We have new rules but policymakers are dragging their feet (perhaps at the urging of their campaign financiers?) about issuing those rules and implementing the changes we desperately need to start meaningful reform.

 

Maybe the names in the act give it less influence. I haven't heard too much about this so I'll have to do a little more reading befor I can seriously make any comments.

 

Andrew Jackson's opposition to the National Bank was famously hailed as removing the unfair influence of private concerns over our government.

I'll have to brush up on my history here, but didn't a private banker out of New York bail out the entire country around this time. Maybe it was sometime after. I'll have to look it up now out of sheer curiousity.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saying that they are not? That downgrading a companies profit wouldn't directly affect it's workers?

Corporations are made up of people, but the entity itself should not be given the rights of a person because they are excused from many of the consequences a person is subject to.

 

Are you saying it's OK for corporations to have unfair advantages because compliance might affect their workers? That we should accept excessive levels of pollution or privacy invasion because it would create more jobs? There is no real correlation between a company's profit and how many jobs it creates. That's more of a market influence.

Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no real correlation between a company's profit and how many jobs it creates. That's more of a market influence.

Yes,but doesn't a company's profit also reflect the market therefore creating considerations for it's growth, stagnation, or downgrading?

 

Are you saying it's OK for corporations to have unfair advantages because compliance might affect their workers?

That would have to depend. Solutions have consequences too. For instance,I wouldn't push a regulation that would cause job loss in the middle of hard economic times. But I haven't heard anyone mention regulations that would affect a company in this way yet. Sure, someone could argue that environmental regulations might create a loss in profit, but I would have to consider the reason for the regulation and the effect that it had on those involved. And it would have to have undeniable proof of harm to people or environment before I could back a regulation that would create job loss under a hard economy. But as far as regulating lobbying and demanding personal liability, I don't see that being a burden to the average worker in any way. And I believe it is something that needs to be done. I wasn't saying a corporation should be given the rights of a person. I was saying that those people that make up a corporation shouldn't be taken as lightly as I hear talked about. I haven't heard a whole lot about the large amount of people that are apart of those businesses. Businesses that put food on the table for a whole lot of people in this country. Not to mention the other businesses that do thrive off of services provided to big businesses. I was just saying if you stifle the business you stifle the people that it feeds. But so far it is a pointless arguement since I have heard no one state any regulations that might harm job markets.

 

 

Sorry if it seems drawn out, I didn't have much time to put my thoughts together.

Edited by JustinW
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes,but doesn't a company's profit also reflect the market therefore creating considerations for it's growth, stagnation, or downgrading?

Not necessarily, and even when it does it doesn't have to mean growth of US jobs. Cisco is doing very well as a company but has been laying off US workers this year, I believe over 6000 at last count. I've found it very difficult to find out what percentage of US-based Cisco's 70,000+ employees are US citizens.

 

For instance,I wouldn't push a regulation that would cause job loss in the middle of hard economic times. But I haven't heard anyone mention regulations that would affect a company in this way yet.
I was saying that those people that make up a corporation shouldn't be taken as lightly as I hear talked about.
I was just saying if you stifle the business you stifle the people that it feeds. But so far it is a pointless arguement since I have heard no one state any regulations that might harm job markets.

I don't know what types of regulations you're talking about here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, after conferring with other Staff members, I've decided to participate. Our rules prohibit a Mod with prior involvement in a thread from moderating that thread, but if I give up any further Staff action I shouldn't be in conflict.

I love it when those in charge change the rules for their own convenience... :P

 

Only joshing Phi, a thread like this needs your opinion and insight much more than it needs you on the sidelines with a rule book. As with moderation and many other things honesty and integrity are much more important than a theoretically possible but practically unreachable state of disinterest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As with moderation and many other things honesty and integrity are much more important than a theoretically possible but practically unreachable state of disinterest.

If I had posted as a member first, my judgement as a Mod would be suspect. Posting a modnote first about a general rule (as opposed to an argumentative style or fallacy use) didn't really set up a conflict that would have required me to recuse myself. If, at any time, ANYONE seriously thinks I've compromised myself with this action, I'll remove myself from the discussion, no questions asked. I won't risk the integrity of the Staff just because I sometimes can't keep my mouth shut. ;)

 

 

 

 

Spying on our own citizens for terrorism may seem justified to some, but what happens when we start privatizing more prisons? When those for-profit prisons decide they want to expand their business, how difficult will it be for them to get hold of information collected by the government that hires them to house criminals? I know it's a slippery slope argument but when corporations are buttering up the slope with incremental changes that benefit them, the argument gains strength. I sometimes feel like the frog in the pot of water that's being slowly heated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Spying on our own citizens for terrorism may seem justified to some, but what happens when we start privatizing more prisons? When those for-profit prisons decide they want to expand their business, how difficult will it be for them to get hold of information collected by the government that hires them to house criminals? I know it's a slippery slope argument but when corporations are buttering up the slope with incremental changes that benefit them, the argument gains strength. I sometimes feel like the frog in the pot of water that's being slowly heated.

 

 

This has already happened, in Pennsylvania, a Judge was disbarred, but i don't think convicted, for being in collusion with a local privatized prison for juveniles. It turned out he was sentencing juveniles to this prison for just about anything, spitting on the streets is not too much of an exaggeration for the trivial things this judge was sending kids to prison for and the judge was getting kickbacks from the owners of the prison for sending them juvenile offenders...

Link to post
Share on other sites

This has already happened, in Pennsylvania, a Judge was disbarred, but i don't think convicted, for being in collusion with a local privatized prison for juveniles. It turned out he was sentencing juveniles to this prison for just about anything, spitting on the streets is not too much of an exaggeration for the trivial things this judge was sending kids to prison for and the judge was getting kickbacks from the owners of the prison for sending them juvenile offenders...

Not convicted?! They treated him like a BANKER?!?! :angry:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you saying it's OK for corporations to have unfair advantages because compliance might affect their workers?

 

I don't know what types of regulations you're talking about here.

I this first quote was what made me start thinking that way. But if you notice in the last sentence of my last post I caught myself. So I really wasn't talking about a specific regulation. I was reffering to it more in a general way.

 

I've heard you talk about this privatization of prisons before. I don't remember when I heard this but it was a while back. Has anyone been talking about it recently?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Spying on our own citizens for terrorism may seem justified to some, but what happens when we start privatizing more prisons? When those for-profit prisons decide they want to expand their business, how difficult will it be for them to get hold of information collected by the government that hires them to house criminals?

Perhaps a lot of this could be resolved through an overhaul of that system, too. IMO, far too often we use prisons to punish and exact revenge instead of to rehabilitate and renew... We're not treating any problems with the current approach, we're creating new ones.

 

When you get right down to it, we're essentially sending mediocre criminals into an institution where they're forced to become PhDs in crime. In much the same way that a moderately good tennis player will improve drastically by playing against Pete Sampras, minor criminals become schooled in a much deeper culture of crime by being shoved into zoos with other more prolific law breakers.

 

Worse still... then we release them with all of these new counter-cultural "skills" and the problem is magnified... so what do we do? We build more prisons and employ more guards and more food service personnel and more laundry specialists, etc. Yes, prison is big business... and I'm unsure we can successfully change that... But what if we at least changed the nature of the business from one of punishment to one of rehabilitation? What if we shifted the incentives so the jobs went to counselors, vocational programs, and civics courses... Instead of to abusive officers, corrupt judges, and emotionally exhausted corrections personnel?

 

For anyone interested, I actually wrote about this in some length a while back here: http://thescienceforum.org/topic187.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a lot of this could be resolved through an overhaul of that system, too. IMO, far too often we use prisons to punish and exact revenge instead of to rehabilitate and renew... We're not treating any problems with the current approach, we're creating new ones.

 

When you get right down to it, we're essentially sending mediocre criminals into an institution where they're forced to become PhDs in crime. In much the same way that a moderately good tennis player will improve drastically by playing against Pete Sampras, minor criminals become schooled in a much deeper culture of crime by being shoved into zoos with other more prolific law breakers.

 

Worse still... then we release them with all of these new counter-cultural "skills" and the problem is magnified... so what do we do? We build more prisons and employ more guards and more food service personnel and more laundry specialists, etc. Yes, prison is big business... and I'm unsure we can successfully change that... But what if we at least changed the nature of the business from one of punishment to one of rehabilitation? What if we shifted the incentives so the jobs went to counselors, vocational programs, and civics courses... Instead of to abusive officers, corrupt judges, and emotionally exhausted corrections personnel?

 

For anyone interested, I actually wrote about this in some length a while back here: http://thescienceforum.org/topic187.html

 

If you have a felony record and served no time in prison, but simply received parole as your punishment, you will have great difficulty finding a job, renting an apartment, getting credit, or even a bank account. With the background check industry there is no paying your debt to society. Your felony record stays with you for life. Crime may be your only way to survive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

iNow,

 

Before I read your link I will say, although you might already cover it there, I think it's important that we differentiate between mediocre criminals and those who deserve punishment and revenge. I believe that some crimes are unforgivable and should be treated with a level harshness that fits with those crimes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard you talk about this privatization of prisons before. I don't remember when I heard this but it was a while back. Has anyone been talking about it recently?

Currently, according to this Wikipedia article, "Private companies in the United States operate 264 correctional facilities, housing almost 99,000 adult convicts." Despite the studies (which I've shown elsewhere) that show these facilities cost more than publicly funded prisons, despite federally mandated requirements for cost-savings, AND despite the fact that these for-profit prisons only house the least troublesome inmates (they kick the costly ones back to public facilities), more are being built. Gosh, I wonder what's fueling this demonstrably inefficient use of taxpayer funds?

 

Perhaps a lot of this could be resolved through an overhaul of that system, too. IMO, far too often we use prisons to punish and exact revenge instead of to rehabilitate and renew... We're not treating any problems with the current approach, we're creating new ones.

 

When you get right down to it, we're essentially sending mediocre criminals into an institution where they're forced to become PhDs in crime. In much the same way that a moderately good tennis player will improve drastically by playing against Pete Sampras, minor criminals become schooled in a much deeper culture of crime by being shoved into zoos with other more prolific law breakers.

 

Worse still... then we release them with all of these new counter-cultural "skills" and the problem is magnified... so what do we do? We build more prisons and employ more guards and more food service personnel and more laundry specialists, etc. Yes, prison is big business... and I'm unsure we can successfully change that... But what if we at least changed the nature of the business from one of punishment to one of rehabilitation? What if we shifted the incentives so the jobs went to counselors, vocational programs, and civics courses... Instead of to abusive officers, corrupt judges, and emotionally exhausted corrections personnel?

I don't know what they call it in the prison system, but in business we call that the Recurring Income Strategy. Set up your service so the customer just pays on a recurring basis to solve their problem until it becomes part of their budget, like a health club membership. And if you're really smart, you do everything you can to keep the problem flourishing, like putting your health club near some fast food places.

 

If you have a felony record and served no time in prison, but simply received parole as your punishment, you will have great difficulty finding a job, renting an apartment, getting credit, or even a bank account. With the background check industry there is no paying your debt to society. Your felony record stays with you for life. Crime may be your only way to survive.

This bothers me as well. While there are some criminals who will never change, how can we expect the rest to change when their "debt to society" follows them around even after it's supposedly been "paid"? Sex offenders have it even worse under the present system. We punish all of them for what the worst of them do, and they have to "register" themselves publicly even though they've done their jail time.

 

I believe that some crimes are unforgivable and should be treated with a level harshness that fits with those crimes.

Be careful you don't throw a general blanket over the crime that fails to take the criminal into account.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Be careful you don't throw a general blanket over the crime that fails to take the criminal into account.

Agreed. It was not meant to be a generalization. If you could put in place a system of rehabilitation for lesser crimes it would be step in a possitive direction. But for the more heiness crimes I think would have to be judged on more of a case by case basis so that the level of magnitude can be determined by the judges discression.
Link to post
Share on other sites

When the criminal justice system becomes a profitable business, the system becomes corrupt and they end up having the tax payors pay for many lawsuits of prison immates who die due to prison guards brutality when it wasn't provoked by the immate. I live in Arizona and our criminal system is so corrupt that our prison system allows their employees to commit murder and are above the law so no punishment is given or sometimes a week off without pay. Az has tougher sentences for victimless crimes and it is those individuals that make up the highest percentage of immates.

 

There is absolutely no rehabilitation and there never was in the justice system. Once a felon, you are branded for life and hardly anyone wants to hire a felon, rent to a felon, on your credit report and nevermind all of the costs involved to get your case closed. We have the dumbest laws with very harsh sentences and if you ever had the opportunity to sit in a courtroom and listen to a judge, you wonder how this person got the position to be a judge who absolutely makes no sense when deciding the verdict.

 

Luckily, I have not had the misfortune to be subjected to this corrupt system but I know many individuals who have and I would sum it up to pure insanity. It amazes me that the public allows our justice system to behave without justice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.