Archive for the ‘US prisons’ Category

Neoliberal Globalization and Homlessness in the US

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

I recently received the following question from a reader of combatingglobalization.com:

“Would you mind giving me your opinion about the ways in which neoliberal policies & institutions perpetuate permanent/growing homelessness?”

This is a important question about one of the major consequences of neoliberal policies and institutions on communities across the US. The short answer is that the ongoing Reagan Revolution (the neoliberal era in US government) has sparked massive homelessness across the nation. Here is how it worked:

  1. The extensive offshoring of both manufacturing and service jobs has decimated the working class of the US.? An in-depth analysis of the neoliberal assault on labor can be found in The Evolution of Neoliberal Labor Strategy and the Decline of the American Working Class. Along with their jobs, many working people lost their homes, and some became homeless. This trend is continuing today.
  2. Historically, the working class of the US has carried the bulk of the tax burden. When workers lost their jobs and homes, states and municipalities lost much of their tax revenues and had to reduce their social services. A majority of states, including Texas where I live, shut the doors of their mental health institutions and dumped their patients in the streets. Many of these people ended up in state and county jails, and others became part of the permanent homeless population. (Cities passed no loitering and no camping laws to remove the homeless from public view. Regrettably, it worked!)
  3. The reckless lending practices of of unregulated financial institutions during the neoliberal era have created periodic economic crises, e.g. the saving and loan crisis in the 1980’s and the housing bubble that collapsed in 2008 leading to growing homelessness.
  4. Huge numbers of veterans of the neoliberal US wars in the Middle East have swollen the ranks of the homeless across the nation, adding to the surviving homeless veterans of the Vietnam war.

The phenomenon of permanent/growing homeless offers another reason to combat neoliberal globalization. Learn how to fight in A Primer for Civic Revolution.

Thank you, reader, for the insightful question.

Prisonhouse of Nations — How the Neoconservatives Made the USA the Biggest Jailer in History and What Can Be Done About IT

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Prisonhouse of Nations recounts how neoconservatives, in pursuit of their political agenda, made the USA the biggest jailer in the world and examines the social consequences of mass incarceration.  It is the tale of a juggernaut that continues to ruin the lives of millions of individuals and countless families and undermine the most vulnerable communities in America.  The article also identifies specific objectives for dismantling the system.

Read the article and post a comment about it.

Civic Revolution: “to alter or to abolish”

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

The neoconservative hijacking of US democracy that was initiated under the administration of Ronald Reagan is a modern manifestation of the despotism generated by monopoly that Paine warned the legislators and citizens of the newly established democracies about. Civic revolution is the only viable response…

Read the entire article and comment.

Dismantling the Prisonhouse of Nations II: The Treatment of Prisoners in the US — Comment

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

There are two key criteria for evaluating national incarceration policy: 1) the number of citizens that are incarcerated in a nation, and 2) the treatment of those prisoners. US incarceration rates — the highest in the modern world — and their causes, are thoroughly explored in “Dismantling the Prisonhouse of Nations: A Socialist Prison Reform Proposal”. http://combatingglobalization.com/articles/dismantling_the_prisonhouse_of_nations.html

The present article focuses on the treatment of prisoners in the USA.

Read and Comment on this article.

The Demise of the Death Penalty in the USA: the Politics of Capital Punishment and the Question of Innocence — Comment

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

The Killing Continues

Since the suspension of the death penalty in Japan in September of 2009, the US is the only developed nation in the world that continues to execute its citizens — but, perhaps, not for long.  The unmasking of the political agenda behind state sanctioned killing during the past 25 years and the growing number of exonerations of prisoners on death row could lead to the final demise of the death penalty in the USA.

Civil executions across the nation were halted temporarily 40 years ago and should never have resumed.  Understanding why the death penalty was restored opens the door for the campaign to permanently abolish capital punishment.

Read the article and comment.

Dismantling the Prisonhouse of Nations: A Socialist Prison Reform Proposal — Comment

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

The United States deserves the title, the Prisonhouse of Nations[i] :

 

  • The US is also a world leader in executing its citizens, following only the repressive political regimes of China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia in the number of executions in 2008.  The US and Japan are the only states in the developed world that continue to impose capital punishment on their citizens. (http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty)   

            Both of these repressive social practices — mass incarceration and the continuing use of the death penalty — are direct results of the reactionary US prison policies that have been in effect for the last 30 years.  This Socialist Prison Reform Proposal (SPRP) provides a starting point to reverse these trends of political repression and secure justice for working people in the US.

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The entire article, entitled Dismantling the Prisonhouse of Nations: A Socialist Prison Reform Proposal, is available online or as a pdf download at http://combatingglobalization.com.        

 


[i] The phrase “Prisonhouse of Nations” is borrowed from journalist and death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal’s latest book, Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners in the U.S.A. (San Francisco: City Light Books, 2009).  For a review of this important book go to http://combatingglobalization.com/articles/jailhouse_lawyers.html