MONEY AND PROBLEMS  5:30 pm June 23, 2012

Louisiana Leading Way in Prison Privatization, Rest of U.S. Catching Up

by Kris E. Benson

get it?A few weeks ago, we wondered if Louisiana had seceded from the Union or had been left to fend for itself, given that it has the highest infant mortality rate, the fifth-highest maternal mortality rate, the fourth-worst life expectancy rate, the fifth-highest violent crime rate, the second-highest poverty rate, and the fifth-highest obesity rate in the country, and on top of it all, seems to be eradicating public education. But nope, Louisiana, as it turns out, is as American as apple pie, running a gargantuan for-profit prison industrial complex that imprisons more people per capita than any other state in the country. All told, Louisiana spends $182 million a year to house inmates in local (overwhelmingly private) prisons, because private [anything] is better than public [anything] duh. Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes, and when all is said and done, the state spends anywhere between $200,000-$1,000,000 on prisons per parish depending on the scope and size of  operations. 

Inspired by the Times-Picayune’s eight-part series on Louisiana’s prison industry, the commie pinkos at ProPublica have done some reporting of their own and uncovered a lot of depressing statistics, the most depressing of which include the following:

1.6 million: Total number of state and federal prisoners in the United States as of December 2010, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics

Note that we have a total population of around 311 million people which means that about 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars. The good news: in 1980, there were around 40,000 people in jail for drug offenses and now there are approximately half a million, which means that our Job Creators have done a bang up job benefiting from the war on drugs, bless their hearts. Anyway, moving on….

66: number of facilities owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, the country’s largest private prison company based on number of facilities

$1.7 billion: total revenue recorded by CCA in 2011

$17.4 million: lobbying expenditures in the last 10 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics

$3.7 million: executive compensation for CEO Damon T. Hininger in 2011

Your Wonkette is no business titan, however, might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay. Also, the rest of the U.S. is doing pretty good, what with incarcerating 1 in every 100 people, but still falling behind Louisiana’s average of 1 in 85. We all have to make sacrifices to the Job Creators, people, so let’s get with the program.

[ProPublica]

 
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{ 208 comments }

Ryy June 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

If the Republicans really wanted to create jobs they'd go down to New Orleans, huff some glue and punch a cop.

Hypocrites!

Hera Sent Me June 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Willingly remaining in Louisiana is evidence you need to be confined.

OKthennext June 24, 2012 at 8:01 am

We just left. On vacation. Cause a storm's coming. Duh.

Anyway, we are in Lancaster PA and my daughter asks me "Why do we live in Louisiana? Why?" Add privatized prisons and voucher school, it's getting damn hard to answer her.

Hera Sent Me June 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

My father's family is from Louisiana. Redbones and Coonasses pepper that half of my family tree. The one thing they had in common is such an aversion to Louisiana that they moved to Texas.

(Insert snarky comments here.)

Barb June 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Those caging Cajuns sure do know how to make something work in their state, don't they? Between that and the men who capture alligators that were just swimming around, minding their own business, I kinda want to go there to get me some of that toothless Bubba lovin'.

starfanglednut June 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Barb, ewww.

Barb June 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I agree, Star.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm

New Mexico: fetus barbeque.
Louisiana: Cletus barbeque.

Barb June 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Thanks, that's some funny stuff, Flaming.

Fare la Volpe June 24, 2012 at 1:46 am

The easier way would be to just cold clock Jeffers in the jaw and hope ya get lucky!

Boojum June 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Those alligators were wetbacks, so it was their own damn fault!

AlterNewt June 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Oh yes indeed. A 'Confederacy of Dunces'.

scvirginia June 23, 2012 at 11:21 pm

And 'A Hall of Mirrors'. Read that about a year ago & was rather saddened by how current it still is…

valthemus June 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm

My most favoritest book ever!

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay

Jesus, Kris! Just mentioning that has now caused it to happen, retroactively. Expect some black helicopters, and a call from a collection agency, later tonight.

Groupshrug June 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Typical Liberals… Cryin' and bitchin' about a thriving free market system.

LastGasp June 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm

The growing prison population is a win-win for everyone — in the near future we'll all either work at a prison or be in prison. Either way, no need for anyone to ask silly questions like "How will I get by?" or "Will I have enough to eat?"

Beetagger June 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

That's my retirement plan. When I hit 65, I plan to punch a congressman in the nuts.

viennawoods13 June 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Choose carefully… you'd hate to waste that nut-punching on someone who didn't really really deserve it. There's Rep West, for instance.

Negropolis June 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Just make sure you do it in a place like Vermont and not Mississippi.

johnnyzhivago June 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm

OT, but I was just at Walmart buying a shovel and an eyeglass repair kit. I went to the pharmacy window and this older woman is in front of me talking to the guy at the counter…. "Oh how terrible it will be if this Obama is re-elected" – "Obamacare will ruin everything" — "turning this into a socialist country" – "worse than the depression and all his fault" ….

Must calm down, must drink heavily….

nounverb911 June 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Was she paying with her Medicare card?

LetUsBray June 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Sounds like a very dangerous moment to have a shovel in one's hands.

LionHeartSoyDog June 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Boycott Mall-Wart.

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Funny Walmart story: I was shopping for one of those LR-44 batteries. I asked the Walmart clerk where I could find watch batteries.

[Blank stare] "Whatchu want, honey?"

You know, those small disk-shaped batteries?

"Oh. You mean hearing aid batteries"

Sure.

"Yeah, they're over there. By the watches."

DocChaos June 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

You should have told her: "Thank God, when Romney is President they'll get rid of socialist medicare, and those freeloading seniors sucking out $3 in care for every buck they put in will finally have to pay the difference out of their own pockets."

viennawoods13 June 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I recommend Tequila. She obviously approves of Mexican imports.

Isyaignert June 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Don't shop at ChinaMart. Anywhere but Chinamart. Pleeeeeezzz.

Sharkey June 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

Exactly why do you need a shovel?

PuckStopsHere June 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Once again, you have neglected Michigan (The Vagina State) where we spend more money on "Corrections" than we do on higher education.

scvirginia June 23, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I thought Michigan was the 'No Means No' State? I just can't keep it straight.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

I think the've declined to the point of being the "no means" state.

Negropolis June 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

How much do you think Louisiana spends on higher education? Just sayin'.

Guppy June 24, 2012 at 12:11 am

Would that make Illinois the cervix?

OKthennext June 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

Yeah, but do you have **Voucher Schools**? Top that Michigan.

Pragmatist2 June 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

OK, Class. If there are 64 parishes and Louisiana spends between $200K and $1 million on prisons in each, how does it end up spending $182M a year on prisons.
Answer: Its accountants were educated in Louisiana!

nounverb911 June 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm

The Ponzi School of Accounting and Embezzlement?

Callyson June 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Assets – Liabilities = Fun for Everyone (who can cash in)!

Negropolis June 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Duh, "Jesus." "Jesus" is always the answer.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 24, 2012 at 11:48 am

The miracle of the loaves, fishes, and inmates was awesome.

nounverb911 June 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Do we get to vote on who to lock up?

jaytingle June 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm

As bad as this arrangement is, at least there's no racial element.

Doktor Zoom June 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Pro Publica may be just about the best thing to happen in investigative journalism in the last 20 years. They are actually doing the kind of digging that results in change, the kind of journalism that Aaron Sorkin's new TV fapfest only pretends to be about.

chascates June 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

But David Vitter isn't in prison yet, that's one of Louisiana's main problems.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 24, 2012 at 11:52 am

If Louisiana could just totally swap the prison population for the state's politician population, they'd improve things by an order of magnitude. With luck, Florida and Texas would be inspired by the success of the scheme.

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

It would be a hell of a lot cheaper, too.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 25, 2012 at 12:41 am

That might be the only noticeable difference, but it'd still be a good thing.

LibertyLover June 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Imagine what Louisiana might be like if they spent $200,000 to $1,000,000 per parish on their schools…

Dashboard Buddha June 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Stop with the commie talk.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

What? $200,000 pays, like, one teacher's salary!

Mittens Howell, III June 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm

at least their union dues.

Negropolis June 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Bwahahahahaha!!!

Rotundo_ June 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

The legislative and judicial and soon the executive functions of government will be privatized, so the prisons come as no surprise. I'm just waiting for those legendary savings we are all supposed to see come rolling in. Of course I have been waiting 40 years for the money to "trickle down" too so I think I might just be waiting a good while for my savings to come down from on high.

Dudleydidwrong June 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Some of Louisiana's legal system still hearkens back to the Napoleonic Code, so it is easy to break a law while in the state. Mardi Gras is a quick way to fill up the prisons so the private companies don't start complaining.

Maybe Bobby Jindal fancies himself as the New Napoleon. Hey, Bobby! I hear a song: "Waterloo, Waterloo…"

Antispandex June 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I'm sure that any thought of the possibility that someone might, say, imprison people, or keep them imprisoned longer, to make a profit, would be considered some form of a "conspiracy theory". I won't mention it then, because I have a feeling private asylums are next, and that scares me a little.

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm

private asylums are next, and that scares me a little.

Propublica is working on that, too. I guess they have to do everything.

Poor supervision, understaffing and worker training played a role in patient rapes, beatings, riots and suicides, state and federal inspection reports showed.

Dashboard Buddha June 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Are there mental hospitals any more? Maybe it was just Maine, but Pineland was shut down and the sick folks were sent to "less restrictive" communities and served by private social service organizations. Of course, I kid when I say "served". Under-supervised medication, safety issues, highly restrictive small group homes (one made her charges call her mother or mommy – yeah, no issues here). Things seem to be improved but it took nearly 20 years just to get here. Oh, and between the cost of the services provided and the cost of better inspection from the state, they're not saving all that much money any more. Yay?

BerkeleyBear June 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Doing away with state homes for the mentally disabled or long term chronic mentally ill (not acute psychosis/crises) is a matter of civil rights and the ADA. Yeah, it has issues, but it is a hell of a lot better than the prison like settings of large state institutions.

And it can save you money if you do it right, but it takes a lot more thought than a lot of places are willing to put in.

Limeylizzie June 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm

But their food is delicious.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Soylent nutria is PRISONERS!!!1!

RadioSlut June 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Some rainbow roast beef washed down with a glass of toilet hooch. Yummie.

Veritas78 June 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm

If you like gasoline-flavored shrimp with no eyes.

Ms_Anthrope June 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

"Theys boiled eyeless shrimp, fried eyeless shrimp, eyeless shrimp cocktail….." etc.

Negropolis June 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I bet prison kind of ruins the taste, though.

OKthennext June 24, 2012 at 8:08 am

And certainly correlates with the low life expectancy, so win-win.

Callyson June 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay

I have Joe Arpaio on line one to discuss the details…

M. Bouffant June 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

We are all prisoners, & don't you forget it!

RadioSlut June 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm

♫ ♬ Welcome to the Hotel Louisiana ♫ ♬

Guppy June 24, 2012 at 12:12 am

I am not a number! I am a free man!!

viennawoods13 June 24, 2012 at 1:13 am

We want… information

MosesInvests June 24, 2012 at 2:14 am

Who is Number One?

glamourdammerung June 24, 2012 at 2:34 am

You are, Number Six.

barto June 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Somehow prison industry and free market don't seem to belong in the same sentence.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 25, 2012 at 12:47 am

That's what happens when you quote Jefferson in support of Dickens. (Being a Republican really should be a lot harder than it seems to be.)

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

No snark: It ain't any better next door in Missippi.

RadioSlut June 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I wonder who they are going to vote for.

bikerlaureate June 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

If you can't trust an honorable man of integrity and sincerity such as former Governor Rmoney . . . . . .

cheetojeebus June 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Louisiana, America's taint.

RadioSlut June 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm

That would make Mississippi it's asshole and Texas it's herpetic hairy bush.

MumbletyRadio June 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

Then the next question becomes: which locale is conveniently situated to tongue-punch LA's fartbox?

LionHeartSoyDog June 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm

'The Battle of New Orleans.' ~
"We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down,
so we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls and powdered his behind,
and when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind."
-Jimmy Driftwood song.

There's a metaphor in there somewhere…

Goonemeritus June 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm

“$1.7 billion: total revenue recorded by CCA in 2011”

I find this hilarious, when was just a wee tike of an engineer I took a job with an unfashionable division of a Fortune 500. After a few months on the job I found out the corporations pet name on Wall Street was The Bomb Company. Turns out it got its start by three MIT professors who were doing tons of consulting work for the department of energy on nuclear weapons. A huge part of the corporation was still involved with it when I was there. The top line of the Corp. when I left was $1.7 billion. This leads me to believe the real money is in locking up brown people not blowing them up.

GeorgiaBurning June 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

"See ya later Kazakhstan," says a proud Gov. Bobby Jindal, "And North Korea, you're next!"

MilwaukeeKent June 23, 2012 at 7:49 pm

CCA and GEO are pernicious and anything but free market. For-profit prisons, run on the tax payer's dime, with guaranteed profits on the tax payer's dime, and buying conservative legislatures (w/ the tax payer's dime) who not only ensure their continued contracts but happily welcome "tough on crime" maximum sentencing, eliminating probation/parole, and the creation of whole new laws to break. are members of ALEC. Hopefully soon the only members of ALEC. Bringing back debtors prisons and workhouses are wet dreams for this crowd.
There is a very soft, tender and pettable underbelly that leaves them vulnerable, very vulnerable. This involves hitting Christian conservatives over the head, repeatedly, with the New Testament. again and again, using JC's own words against CCA, GEO and ALEC. The GOP base can be used to destroy this very GOP idea of for-profit prisons.

PuckStopsHere June 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Christian Conservatives don't give a fuck what Christ said. I've yet to see one turn the other cheek or do anything else remotely "Christ-like".

MilwaukeeKent June 24, 2012 at 1:27 am

True that but, among the allies in this fight would or should be the same council of Bishops that the Right is trumpeting as champions of Conservatism, the pointy-headed dudes who are giving Obama such grief on birth control for 2% of female congregants. They're usually bending the long arc toward justice on a handful of social issues (poor/prisoners,etc.) despite being 100 years lost on love and sex. Also, if they're publicly owned, odds are some investment group like Bain owns a big chunk, but it turns out almost every time that the biggest stakeholder in that group is something like the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. There's always a way in. Shit can be done. Hey, in this world the Koch Bros are in bed with an ACLU lawsuit against two clauses of the Patriot Act. Things happen. I mean, the NRA wakes up in a strange hotel room, looks at the face drooling on the next pillow and thinks, "Oh my God! Did I just sleep with Earth First!? What HAPPENED last night?" and sneaks out to find a cab home.

BerkeleyBear June 24, 2012 at 12:02 am

And the best part is that if they do get caught breaking the law, the state winds up on the hook for the civil rights violations as the company just walks away chortling.

Or if the state can't afford the population the contracted for, and has to release prisoners to relieve overcrowding/patch the budget? The company typically has clauses to ensure their profits are still locked in.

Oh, and in a final kick to the law, they hire so many lobbyists that in a lot of Midwestern states the top firms are barred from taking cases for prisoners alleging any sort of issue with prison conditions. Which helps further ensure nothing changes.

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm

OT: PZ Meyers shouts out Wonkette as the expert on all things Ron Paul.

MumbletyRadio June 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

OT again: intensedebate won't let me reply to your other comment/ other thread about wsj on education. ("del'd by admin", twice)
I was trying to link to this insightful commentary.
As you were~

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm

That's great. The animation style is reminiscent of those stupid UPS ads, which were stupid because they were ads, not because of the animation style. The style was great, it's just a shame that it had to be squandered on a UPS ad. I'll finish watching/listening later, after dinner.

It was only a matter of time, statistically, until those random strings of characters in youtube links violated the text filters.

RadioSlut June 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm

You know who else is an educational theorist? That's right, Bill Ayers.
But srsly, that was pretty cool. But come Monday it's back to feelings and emotions for me. Intellect for Dummies.

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 1:22 am
RadioSlut June 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

Oh no, not that Dewey!

MumbletyRadio June 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

From the lecturer in the RSA Animate link:

"How do we square that circle?"

Inquiring eggs® want to know!

scvirginia June 24, 2012 at 1:04 am

Very nice!

bikerlaureate June 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice said something nice about our Wonket and Josh's coverage of Joe Williams:

Josh Fruhlinger at Wonkette points out (since this is Wonkette’s niche in the journalistic ecosystem) that the emperor is actually stark naked:

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Every once in a while, some brave blogger will persevere, past all the poop and dick jokes, and see the unique brilliance that is Wonkette writing.

wonkettkinkster June 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I have it on good authority that Rachel Maddow has an intern combing through the poop and dick jokes for Real News®.

Dashboard Buddha June 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

OT but just wondering: If and when the US slips into another civil war, where do you think the geographical boundary will be? Back along the Manson/Nixon line? East vs West? Scattered red and blue enclaves?

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm

If Glenn Beck is to be believed, it will look like this. I see many, many Berlin Airlifts in our nation's future.

bikerlaureate June 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm

It's definitely low-hanging fruit, but the first seven words of your post just caused a minor causal loop here…

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Oh, good. That was meant to be intentionally jarring.

Glenn's map isn't actually all that different from LionHeartSoyDog's prediction, although Glenn no doubt overstates the redness of the map.

LionHeartSoyDog June 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

? The Left Coast and the North Eastern states + New Mexico
vs The Flyover States ?
This is just rough conjecture from looking at a map of projected Electoral votes.
What do Wonketers think?
(i think decent, civilized people greatly outnumber the sociopaths in Murka-usa#1!, but the wingnutz are much more dangerously vicious).

Dashboard Buddha June 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Along those lines, I'm reminded of a Nietzsche quote I read today.

I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws."

Of course, this is from the same dude that hectored us about staring into the abyss. Still, it might be a good time to grow some claws…you know, just in case.

M. Bouffant June 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Scattered red and blue enclaves would be my guess. Suburbs/exurbs vs. cities. 'Though you could figure south of the line would go loon.

LetUsBray June 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm

My guess is that it will look like Bosnia on too many levels. Or maybe RMoney and the Rethugs will sweep in the fall, and we'll be like a theocratic and more militarily aggressive China. Really, there's all sorts of awesome possible futures.

scvirginia June 24, 2012 at 1:28 am

I agree that the divide is already less about geography & more about educational & economic status.

People all over the country are increasingly isolated- whether voluntarily or not- into communities where there isn't much diversity. Group think is a little too easy when you're living in a place where everyone in your neighborhood looks like you, is in the same tax bracket as you & consumes the same media as you… So, yes- scattered red & blue enclaves.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

No geographical boundary. The next civil war will be fought on the internetz, and the youngz will annihilate the conservaturds, and Wonkette will win a glorious victory over Breitfart and RedState, with rusty chainsaws and cheese graters, sideways, and WITHOUT VOTES. I'll be hiding in my basement playing my 115,000th game of Free Cell solitaire.

Fare la Volpe June 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

the youngz will annihilate the conservaturds

We're workin' on it, we're workin' on it.

BoatOfVelociraptors June 24, 2012 at 2:04 am

True. Geography becomes less relevant as ip/namespace becomes more relevant.

Guppy June 24, 2012 at 12:15 am

The next civil war will be fought on the internetz

Smells like Paultard…

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

If the divide is along the Manson/Nixon line again, I hope this time we show them the true meaning of "Union thugs".

glamourdammerung June 24, 2012 at 2:38 am

If only Sherman had been allowed to continue the good work, then maybe these traitors would have learned their lesson the first time.

MilwaukeeKent June 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Well, since Arizona and Texas are slowly (OK, very slowly) turning Blue, I see a kind of trifurcated nation, with the Prairie States and the South as Red States separate from the rest of US. We need some kind of safe corridor, maybe through Canada, between the Rocky Mountain and Pacific States and the East/Midwest.

Fare la Volpe June 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

The Blues could always merge with Canada and create a new head-crab shaped nation suckin' away on the empty noggin of the Reds.

Dashboard Buddha June 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Oh…you're referring to the land of cool versus Jesusland?

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Canuckistan vs. Dumbfuckistan

viennawoods13 June 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Sadly, much of Western Canada would fit in just fine with the Reds.

MilwaukeeKent June 24, 2012 at 12:11 am

I smell a trade.

Negropolis June 24, 2012 at 12:24 am

I thought it was the Donna Dixon line.

LionHeartSoyDog June 24, 2012 at 1:35 am

I thought Donna Summer was fine.

Negropolis June 24, 2012 at 1:37 am

I loved Donna in the Summer, when she sizzled…

Tribbz June 24, 2012 at 1:57 am

Scattered like this: http://prisonmap.com/

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 8:30 am

Sweet.

glamourdammerung June 24, 2012 at 2:37 am

It does not matter. How long are Republican areas going to last without sweet, sweet "blue state" welfare money going to them? How is a hospital system based on creationism going to work out? We would simply need to wait a couple of weeks for them to take themselves out when that got rid of those socialist food and water safety regulations.

sewollef June 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

As far as I can recall [the last time I checked the statistics], every single southern state — every state — is a net recipient of federal tax money, i.e OUR money.

That would put them in a serious bind if any devolving of the Union were to take place. What it boils to, with the possible exception of Texas and Florida, is a choice between raising taxes on a below national average income level workforce to replace the funds lost from the federal government, or cancelling the tax-free holiday they give to companies to attract business to the south.

Both of those options are pretty certainly doomed to failure, for obvious reasons.

Added to that is the whole issue of infrastructure financing. For example, the massive cable hubs for transatlantic communications [phone/internet] into and out of the United States make landfall in blue states [Rhode Island/New Jersey], or Nova Scotia/Newfoundland. Same obviously applies across the pacific, since they make landfall in California. And, er, all satellites are owned by the federal government.

How are those devolved states going to communicate with the outside world after we cut their pipelines?

Edit: Since the advent of fibre-optic cables, most cables now make landfall at four locations: Lynn, MA; Green Hill, RI; Long Island, NY; and the New Jersey coast, from where they connect to legacy communication systems. These landing stations carry absolutely massive networks and bandwidth — up above the 3.5 Tb/s range. NONE are in the south.

In all locations on the Eastern seaboard, the south is fucked. We could turn them into the dark ages almost with the flick of a [rather large] switch.

Chichikovovich June 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

What it boils to…is a choice between raising taxes on a below national average income level workforce to replace the funds lost from the federal government, or cancelling the tax-free holiday they give to companies to attract business to the south.
Both of those options are pretty certainly doomed to failure, for obvious reasons.

You forgot one. If they leave the union they won't have that pesky 13th amendment to interfere with their traditional institutions.

Dashboard Buddha June 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

Well, my guess is that since the military is run by Taliban analogues and the rank and file trend right, they won't have to worry about running out of blue state resources. They'll have the firepower to take what they need. With God's blessing, of course.—

owhatever June 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

You just convinced me to open a military surplus store on line.

Biel_ze_Bubba June 25, 2012 at 12:50 am

Just north of Staten Island, near as I can tell.

Monsieur_Grumpe June 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm

My mother worked with mentally disabled newborns in Louisiana. I visited the home she headed as a social worker and was just overwhelmed by the number of kids. She seemed to love the work. Being my MOM she “talked” me into performing some tunes for the whole facility. Best audience ever.

Mom told me several times times that she felt the excessive amount of mentally disabled in Louisiana was due to the chemical companies dumping without regulation and inbreeding. I never questioned my mother on that.

Guppy June 24, 2012 at 12:17 am

Yeah, I've got my own anecdotes about the surprisingly large population there.

Has Nate Silver confirmed it?

OKthennext June 24, 2012 at 8:10 am

Thank your momma for helping.

starfanglednut June 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Leave CCA alooooone! They're creating jobs. For license plate pressers.

bikerlaureate June 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

The good (non-blah) people have nothing to fear, obvs.

Don't want to be lost in CCA's gulag? Just keep your head down and your mouth shut and get out of the path of your betters.

Serolf_Divad June 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I hate to be "that guy" especially since math was never my strength*, but if we've got 1.6 million in prison out of a population of 311 million that means that roughly 1in 200 Americans is in prison, not one of every 100.

*(If math had been my strength I'd point out that it's about 1 in 194, but fuck that, math is for nerds and losers and braniacs and stuff and I'm none of those things).

Monsieur_Grumpe June 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Mr. Divad,
I am one of those nerds with math skills-N-stuff but I will always be in jealous awe of anyone with your writing skills.
MG

Serolf_Divad June 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

In all seriousness, though: I'm at least as jealous of your math skills as you may be of my ability to string a few worlds together to make a sentence. Being able to write is nice and all, but being able to add is where the real $$$ is these days. Putting together a mathematical model that allows your software to beat the market by a few milliseconds 51% of the time will let you retire rich at age 40.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm

The post said one in 100 adult Americans. Assuming slightly more adults than younguns in the population these days, it's pretty damn close to KeeeeRECT!!

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Sounds like we need to start incarcerating more children.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm

See my earlier post about Missippi.

not that Radio June 23, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I said more children.

Boojum June 24, 2012 at 1:23 am

Adult population is 234 million. Sorry, but the math is just wrong.

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 8:24 am

Yes, but prison population is closer to 2.3 million, including those in local jails. Back to 1:100.

Boojum June 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

Well, isn't that convenient. Very good, carry on.

sewollef June 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Wait, wait… I thought the children of the poors were all working as janitors and such these days… so they'd count, right?

ps. Don't ask me to do the counting, since my maths skills rank lower than a snake's belly. And that's pretty low.

Serolf_Divad June 25, 2012 at 5:32 am

Goddamit, now I'm back taking the SAT again. Trick question, sir… trick question!

viennawoods13 June 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Ah.. so when the Canadian gummint under (All Hail) Stephen Harper asked advice of Texas about their reforms of the criminal code (201 pot plans= more time in jail than raping 5 yr old), they should have gone next door to Louisiana.

Negropolis June 23, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Harper worries me, and so long as the left-wing in Canada remains divided and doesn't find some smart way to co-operate, he'll be able to continue to do irreperable harm.

Guppy June 24, 2012 at 12:18 am

Ineptitude among the left-leaning seems to be a common trait between our two countries.

viennawoods13 June 24, 2012 at 1:11 am

YES. Liberals and NDP must unite to defeat the Cons. It's getting very scary.

rocktonsam June 23, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Rmoney/Jindel/2012

RadioSlut June 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I was thinking Rmoney/Hininger '12

MissNancyPriss June 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Out of Union, now.

seppdecker June 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

If Louisiana is so worried about creating jobs, why haven't they legalized prostitution?

iburl June 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Did you read the article? Crime pays (private corporations).

Guppy June 24, 2012 at 12:19 am

Because threatening them with jail time is the only way Vitter can keep 'em quiet.

Negropolis June 24, 2012 at 12:22 am

Because, then there would be a publically available client list?

owhatever June 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Some of my best friends own prisons.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Next step: Some of my best friends own prisoners.

Antispandex June 24, 2012 at 1:21 am

Well, corporate prisons are people too.

Negropolis June 23, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Does the sheriff's department in your area charge for jail stays? I hear they are going to do that around here, now. I guess they're taking pointers from the airlines.

RadioSlut June 23, 2012 at 11:46 pm

See body cavity searches upon entering, food, leg room and bathroom privileges.

LibertyLover June 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm

You get to bring luggage to jail now?

smashedinhat June 24, 2012 at 12:09 am

Sandusky is allowed 2 pairs of shoes, six changes of underwear and a bible. So yes.

I assume the bible is so he can make a paper mache' gun and shoot himself.

Fare la Volpe June 24, 2012 at 12:51 am

I'd prefer if he slit his own wrists with a million agonizing paper cuts.

flamingpdog June 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Charge for staying at dirty, dumpy jails? What a rip! Our prisoners-of-war in North Vietnam stayed at a Hilton, and there was no charge!

EDIT: Jeebus, don' strikes me down for sayin' what I jus' said.

LetUsBray June 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm

I'm not sure what that will accomplish beyond increasing bankruptcies and recidivism. And no doubt government bailouts when jails say, "Oh noez, look at all this money owed us that we can't collect!"

Negropolis June 24, 2012 at 12:15 am

Some quotes concerning what I was talking about:

GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — Facing a $17.6-million deficit, the county Board of Commissioners is considering charging inmates for their stays in the county jail.

"When you go to the hotel, you pay. They get three meals a day and we're paying," said Commissioner Omar Sims, D-Flint. "It's time that the criminals of this town pay."

Sims asked Sheriff Robert Pickell to report back to the county board about the feasibility of the idea, and Pickell said he was already looking at some kind of pay-to-stay proposal.

Okay, even being generous here and conceding that a lot of the folks that come through the jail aren't exactly in the position to be paying local property taxes, ummm, WTF? Seriously, with that comparison? Really He then goes on to say what we already know, and it's that this isn't likely to generate any revenue.

This nation is so going to hell.

flamingpdog June 24, 2012 at 12:24 am

I remember this same idea being tossed around in various places across the country in years past, but I'm not aware of any place it has actually become policy. Like you said, it's kind of silly, really. Kind of like winning a $40 million civil lawsuit against some homeless person who murdered your spouse and who has also been sentenced to life in prison.

MilwaukeeKent June 24, 2012 at 12:41 am

That could open a nice wedge toward debtor's prisons on down the line, and Hell, why not give 'em a chance to work off the debt in one of the new workhouses or a period of indentured servitude, sold by the State at auction. The Free Market is full of opportunities…

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 1:00 am

I suppose the bill for the lovely 3 meals and accommodations, which apparently the "criminal" chose to incur, will not discriminate against those who are wrongly arrested. Just as present prison conditions do not discriminate against those who are wrongly incarcerated.

Negropolis June 24, 2012 at 1:31 am

The sad thing is that these are Dems advocating this shit. If they aren't capitulating, or actively working against their own ideology, they're being dumb as a box of rocks. We're screwed.

You know, I know Flint is hard up (most violent city in the nation), but this is ridiculous. Maybe Commissioners Sims would be better using his time trying to find some jobs for Flint, methinks, instead of dreaming up ways to further victimize the often victimized who often victimize others, themselves, when times get rough. Flint is a town that has eaten itself because it was left with nothing else to eat.

Boojum June 24, 2012 at 1:14 am

Increasing recidivism is a feature, not a bug. See private, for profit prisons.

BarackMyWorld June 24, 2012 at 12:50 am

OT, but Mitt's not waiting until after the election to do do the reach-arounds.

Major Romney donors rewarded at lavish Utah retreat: Top contributors to the Mitt Romney presidential campaign spend three days at what is billed as a 'senior leadership retreat' in Deer Valley.

Billed as a "senior leadership retreat," the three-day gathering in Deer Valley was a reward for the wealthy GOP donors who have fueled Romney's fundraising, giving at least $25,000 each or raising at least $100,000 by June 18. Many of the more than 700 who attended had donated much more.

$25,000? That exceeds the campaign donation limits for federal office, doesn't it? Unless they're giving to a SuperPAC (and coordination between the SuperPAC and the campaign is illegal), the donation limit is a lot less.

scvirginia June 24, 2012 at 1:35 am

None of those guys are very coordinated- have you ever seen them dance?

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 1:39 am

Karl and Willard make Navin Johnson look like Gregory Hines.

Tribbz June 24, 2012 at 2:08 am

Louisiana's returns are very diminished.

BarackMyWorld June 24, 2012 at 2:26 am

Is it Rove's PAC these people are donating their $25000 and that Romney's rewarding?

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

I don't know enough about campaign finance law to know specifically what's wrong with this arrangment, except to know in a general sense that everything is wrong with it. Why do these people donate 10 x the legal limit? Is it because of the PACs? Who knows. We're getting into "distinction without a difference" territory, here. But it does seem to be the case that Karl Rove et al. have found the necessary loopholes to skirt any law that might restrict the flow of money into Romney's campaign, and the details of whether money went directly to the campaign or came in through a PAC door are largely irrelevant.

BarackMyWorld June 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I'm not ready to asume they've even found a loophole. Someone really needs to be digging into this.

Comrade Wingtardd June 24, 2012 at 7:39 am

There's less reasons to live here (New Orleans) everyday. It isn't cheap anymore, the flood of hipster gentrifiers has fixed that. There's still aren't any decent paying IT jobs, unless you're willing to work for DHS or the Navy, the cops still arrest anyone and everyone as fast as they can, and the government has gone completely batshit. Where the fuck do I go? Houston? HOUSTON?

James Michael Curley June 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Houston? Too Close to New Orleans …
New York? Has got the ways and means …
But just won't let you be.

HistoriCat June 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Why the hell not come to Houston … although if you're smart you'll look just a little further west and try Austin. Houston's not bad considering that it's in Texas but Austin is far better.

We were driving back from Florida yesterday and noticed that everyone dropped down to a crawl whenever they saw a cop on the highway (seriously – like 30 mph). Apparently driving near the speed limit will get you arrested in Louisiana?

DahBoner June 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

They could use a Republican, like Booby Jindal to lead them further down the path to Third-World statistics.

He knows nothing about volcanos. Perfect!!!!

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 8:32 am

I am reminded of this, a state whose economy depended almost entirely on the availability of prison labor, and whose laws were structured so that the supply might never be depleted.

RadioSlut June 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

You know who else ran for-profit prison camps?

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

CCA?
Sheriff Joe Arpaio?
Louisiana?
Wackenhut?
Xe?
The NM Governor's Husband?

Comrade Wingtardd June 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

For further elucidation on this topic, please see Governor Piyush Jindal's policy paper, BEATING A DEMON: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

Holy shit. Rhodes Scholar, huh?

Comrade Wingtardd June 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

Is that surprising? The Rhodes Trust was set up to fund colonials' education so they would return home and rule in British interests. Now it's the G8 instead of Britain, but it seems to be functioning perfectly. There is a reason that whenever you see a Rhodes Scholar, you see someone from an exploitable backwater ruling in the interests of the very Upper Class.

Dashboard Buddha June 24, 2012 at 9:54 am

Backwater? Wasn't Bill Clinton a Rhodes Scholar? Oh wait…Arkansas, got it.

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

Indeed, but so was Rachel Maddow, so now I'm confused.

hippie13 June 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

This way there will be plenty of jobs for the fired public school teachers…for some students it will be like they never left school for prison….except for less jeebusing and more rape…and even there I may be wrong.

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 9:28 am

OT

Mugged by Moroni: Joseph Smith's failed 1844 Presidential Run (and what that could tell us about a Romney presidency)

mavenmaven June 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

of course, Allen West doesnt see any problem with this situation.

ttommyunger June 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm

This activity is very old news. Did you know the Trail of Tears was contracted out to a private company? Injecting the profit incentive always adds a bit more evil to the mix.

MilwaukeeKent June 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Unless their pilots refuse to take off. "You see that mob approaching the plane, Boss? I'm with them."

grandinquisitor June 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Why don't we just offer grants for those who are smart enough to leave LA? It seems like the humane thing to do.

TribecaMike June 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Considering how many Louisiana politicians end up in the jug, I'm surprised it's not $5,000,000 a year per prisoner. As Huey Long said, "Every man a king."

dennis1943 June 24, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Maybe now the Pinkertons can get back to their old tricks………

Estproph June 25, 2012 at 9:57 am

"Your Wonkette is no business titan, however, might we humbly suggest that the enterprise be further monetized by getting inmates to take out Stafford loans to subsidize their stay. "

Prisoner…student loan debtor…there's very little difference as it is.

flamingpdog June 24, 2012 at 12:18 am

My bad. Now if you had said moar children, I might have understood.

Dashboard Buddha June 24, 2012 at 12:36 am

I'll take Canuckistan any day.

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

We can't alter the population of the country (well, not without getting our hair mussed), but we CAN alter the number of incarcerated people, to make the numbers work out. Glass half full!

Boojum June 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

And profit!

flamingpdog June 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

And this to back up not that Radio. I blame it on Kris Benson to make us ALL feel better. MATH IS HARD!!

not that Radio June 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

It took several collaborative iterations, but I believe we finally got it! These numbers are solid.

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