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because we destroyed ourselves — Tremble the Devil

Posted on August 20th, 2014 at 11:35 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


Maybe it doesn’t mean much to you that the average black family has eight-cents of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by whites, that the the ongoing recession has doubled the wealth gap between blacks and whites, or that the unemployment rate of blacks is edging up on twice as high as the white rate – easily surpassing it when you count incarcerated blacks. After all, a black child in American is nine-times more likely than a white child to have a parent who’s locked up.

But let’s look into the data and the implications a little bit more.

The precise era that saw a drug-law fueled explosion in our prison population, the early 1970s, are the exact same years that the economic situation of blacks began to starkly worsen and that the gap between rich and poor is wrenched wide open. Beginning in those years and continuing into today, “the economic status of black compared to that of whites has, on average, stagnated or deteriorated.”

Up until 1973, the precise year the Rockefeller Drug Laws were passed, the difference between black and white median income had been closing. But then that year it changed course, and in “an ominous bellwether… the gap between black and white incomes started to grow wider again, in both absolute and relative terms.” Direct empirical research into incarceration’s economic effects weren’t done until recently, when a Pew Charitable Trusts research paper showed that prior to imprisonment two-thirds of male inmates were employed and half were their family’s primary source of income. Additionally, upon release an ex-con’s annual earnings were reduced by 40%

In the nearly forty years since America’s modern drug laws were passed, there has been a massive increase in economic inequality by any measure. In the early 1970′s not only did the income gap between black and white begin to widen again, it also becomes much more top-heavily favored to the very rich – who happen to be almost exclusively white as well.

  1. There is no doubting the evidence that blacks have been getting a raw deal, and the laws need to be changed. But, people have to adapt to the real world. They have to stay in school for a chance in this life. They have to jump through the hoops set up by the 1%. I have to take drug tests. It sucks, and it’s stupid. A wise man doesn’t take drugs when they know they’re going to have to take drug tests to keep a job.

    The reality is that the people that act incoherent and need to be drug tested are in Congress.

  2. So, how many incidents of any note (accidents, information leaks, thefts, anything) have been prevented by this testing policy at your job?

  3. None, we don’t have any druggies because of the testing (snark).

  4. It’s not about any of that any more, John. It’s all about liability insurance. The insurance companies insist on drug testing and background checks, whether they do any good or not. It’s about documentation.

  5. So the 1% controls the insurance companies which make money without risking capital (it’s your capital, not theirs). No wonder we didn’t get sanity, universal health care.

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