Incarceration Country

Decades past, certain USA entrepreneurs became alarmed at a growing underclass of mostly minorities who were uneducated, undisciplined, unproductive, often enough ill, challenged, jobless, homeless.

In a brilliant maneuver, the larger, productive society was made convinced of their real or imagined need for ever greater security in the face of this impoverished underclass.

As a result, more taxes were raised to house this underclass, often in jails and prisons, rarely in institutions which might be used to remedy deficiencies of these non-producers.

People housed, largely unwillingly, suddenly required vast expenditures for buildings, maintenance, staff, services, policing, paroling, probating. Productive citizens paid ever higher taxes to support an ever expanding industry, all in the name of security.

Those housed went from being nonproductive members of society to being highly productive of economic activity, where a single individual might generate expenditures of $20,000-$70,000 per annum. Jobs became ever more abundant, ranging from professional classes to workers.

The end result, now largely decried by thoughtful citizens, is that the USA has far and away the largest number of incarcerations in the world. Yet, demands grow for ever larger, ever newer, ever more effective warehousing of citizens our country has made underprivileged.

We in Santa Barbara County are programmed to fund a state-of-the-art New North County Jail. The Board of Supervisors is set to decide the matter momentarily. Let’s don’t be duped by a failed incarceration industry, regardless of the obsolete promises of its promoters.

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