Just so we’re clear on the subject, I don’t support a private prison system. Whereas the private sector invariably does things better than government ever could, in my view prisons fall into a gray area in which the the ethical problems of outsourcing criminal incarceration to a for-profit enterprise outweigh the market-driven efficiencies created by that model.
In particular, private prisons depend upon a steady supply of inmates to remain profitable—so the more inmates they have, the more money they make. This creates perverse incentives for the companies who run these prisons to lobby the state for harsher laws with longer mandatory sentences. It’s a lot like the red light camera scam that corporate scourges such as American Traffic Solutions run, with the cooperation of cities and towns all over the country: the objective isn’t to increase public safety, but rather to stuff the coffers of both the company and the politicians who benefit from their lobbying largesse. It’s predatory and disgusting and has no place in a civilized society—and if I had my druthers, good citizens everywhere would vote out the bums who allow these parasites to operate.
That said, I still get my hackles up any time I read about something like this:
All of the existing banking partners to private prison leader GEO Group have now officially committed to ending ties with the private prison and immigrant detention industry. These banks are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, Barclays, and PNC.
And just why might that be?
This exodus comes in the wake of demands by grassroots activists — many under the banner of the #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition — shareholders, policymakers, and investors. Major banks supporting the private prisons behind mass incarceration and immigrant detention [emphasis added] have now committed to not renew $2.4B in credit lines and term loans to industry giants GEO Group and CoreCivic.
Starting to get the picture here? Left-wing pressure groups have acted yet again to circumvent the democratic process, and co-opt the private sector to carry out their policy agenda. In this case, I think their concern is far less for inmates in the private prison system and far more of an attempt to undermine President Trump’s attempts to thwart illegal immigration. It’s part and parcel of what I wrote about before, detailing how Bank of America would no longer provide financial services to companies that house detainees at the border.
The problems inherent in this approach are legion—not least of which is that it gradually takes policy making out of the hands of duly-elected representatives, and increasingly puts it under the control of corporate boards that don’t answer to the American public at large. This marks the beginning of a subject familiar to dystopian science-fiction: the rule of corporate overlords. What Democrats can’t get done at the ballot hoax, they’ll simply outsource to giant, like-minded companies that are not only too big to fail, but too big for regular citizens to avoid doing business with. An added bonus, these companies also don’t have to worry about violating your Constitutional rights. As private entities, they can do whatever they want—and they will probably do so to with the support of a good chunk of the libertarian right.
Socialism is on the march. The idea has been firmly planted in the minds of the young by the school system, disguised as saving the planet by the environmental movement, and finally embraced openly by the Democrat Party and its front-runners for President—but as we’re beginning to see, it won’t be implemented by popular vote. More likely, socialism will be imposed by private sector players eager to secure their own dominant place in the new power structure.
How we stop it—that’s a frightening question. It’s also one we’ll have to answer very soon, before the question is settled for us.