American Symmetry

Today’s New York Times contains a piece reporting that:

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

In other words, our rate of jailing is generally equal to our rate of hogging and squandering the Earth’s natural resources.

The Times’ explanation of this shocking, disgusting, embarrassing, massively wasteful and evil incarceration rate is utterly stupid, of course: all speculation about culture, and zero consideration whatsoever about our equally shocking, disgusting, embarrassing, massively wasteful and evil levels of class inequality.

The Great Jail Experiment

The “Reagan Revolution” proposed giving corporate capitalism a fresh go at making the society work. This experiment, the inverse of the New Deal idea, has had a nice, clear run since 1980. Has it worked any better than the supposedly “failed” welfare state programs that, truth be told, never had anything like this kind of elite support?

Check out this graphic from today’s New York Times: