Stef (firecat) wrote,

Small linkspam

21st-Century Slaves: How Corporations Exploit Prison Labor

Not only do they get laborers they can underpay (state prisoners receive "average pay of $0.93 to $4.73 per day"; federal prisoners receive up to $1.25 per hour), but they also get tax breaks for hiring them. Excerpts:
Michelle Alexander points out in her book The New Jim Crow that more black men are in jail, on probation, or on parole than were enslaved in 1850. Higher rates of black drug arrests do not reflect higher rates of black drug offenses. In fact, whites and blacks engage in drug offenses, possession and sales at roughly comparable rates.
the federal government subsidizes the use of inmate labor by private companies through lucrative tax write-offs. Under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), private-sector employers earn a tax credit of $2,400 for every work release inmate they employ as a reward for hiring “risky target groups” and they can earn back up to 40 percent of the wages they pay annually to "target group workers."
There has also been a disturbing reemergence of the debtors’ prison....According to the Wall Street Journal more than a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who can't or won't pay to be jailed.
In Wisconsin, prisoners are now taking up jobs that were once held by unionized workers, as a result of Governor Scott Walker’s contentious anti-union law.
A couple of links on the subject of persuasion:
(Site is NSFW for language)
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
The general idea that a minority of strong believers can influence what the larger population believes I find sound, but the "just 10 percent" and "always" don't make sense to me. What happens if 10 percent hold one belief and a different 10 percent hold an opposing belief?

This entry was originally posted at, where there are comments.
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded