Debtor’s prison conjures up images of Charles Dickens’ England, and his famous novel Oliver Twist- not our current United States. Reboot your cerebral hard drive citizen-serf. Milton Friedman’s privatized corporatized neoliberal dystopian dream lives.
Huffington Post headline: This Mom Spent 35 Days In Jail For Bouncing A $29 Check
HuffPost goes on to report, “Nearly five years ago, Nikki Petree accidentally bounced a check for $28.93. Judge Milas “Butch” Hale ― the man behind a so-called “debtors’ prison” in Sherwood, Arkansas ― sentenced her to jail last month, even after she paid hundreds of dollars in court fines and had been arrested in connection with the case at least seven times. Petree, who is now unemployed and taking care of her father, says she was never asked whether she had the financial means to afford the thousands of dollars of fees the court wanted to collect in connection with that single bounced check. She is a plaintiff in a federal class action lawsuit filed last week by the Arkansas Civil Liberties Union and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.”
Kudos to Huffington Post for reporting this horrendous story. Problem is Verizon purchased Huffington Post, and the corporate news outlet can’t go too far with the whole journalism thing lest they risk pissing off their owner. Many of the folks who sit on the board of directors at Verizon also have ties to big Pharma, banks. and other criminal syndicates. Verizon– the corporation that helps the government spy on us, and overpays its CEO’s at the expense of its workers. So let’s take this debtor’s prison story to a level Verizon owned Huffington Post can’t go to.
As we devolve further into neo-feudalism, the Evil Empire is developing ingenious techniques to cash in on the growing class of have nots. To hasten the redistribution of wealth to the top, the neoliberals privatized jails, the judicial system, and medicaid. Prison beds must be filled, excessive legal fines must be collected by corporate loan sharks, and healthcare for the poor must be managed by insurers that pay their CEO’s hundred of millions of dollars. Worst part- the U.S. the taxpayer funds this crony capitalism corporate welfare system that devours the economically disadvantaged.
A simple bounced check or traffic ticket can ruin a person’s life due to added penalties, and potential jail time. As revealed in the Huff Post piece, many of our judges and prosecutors make their banana republic counterparts look like Oliver Wendell Holmes. Oh wait, we’re already a high tech banana republic- on the fast track to the Mad Max Dark Ages.
No drug user, minor traffic offender, hooker, or accidental check bouncer should ever see the inside of a jail cell. Prison should be reserved for murderers, rapists, home invaders- and especially for war criminals like Hillary Clinton, and society destroying economic swindlers such as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
Speaking of criminals, a portion of the Republican neocon false flag six trillion dollar Iraq War heist could have paid for a renewable clean energy high-speed rail line that connected towns and cities across the USA. Not only would that have massively reduced fossil fuel dependence, but the project would’ve also created millions of good paying jobs. How do you reduce poverty and crime? Provide folks with meaningful purpose driven employment that improves the planet.
Or we can continue to crowdfund our collective joyride to extinction by donating all our wealth and substance to corporate welfare parasites- like our corrupt privatized judicial system.