I would decriminalize drugs in a heartbeat. I would put all the interdiction money, all the incarceration money, all the enforcement money, all of the pretrial, all the prep, all of that cash, I would hurl it, as fast as I could, into drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the equivalent of the urban CCC, if it was New Deal-type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome, where we’re basically treating our underclass. The drug war is a war on the underclass now. That’s all it is. It has no other meaning.
David Simon (via paxamericana)
Pennsylvania ended cash assistance today for very poor residents who cannot work and don’t qualify for other assistance, joining many other states that have scaled back or eliminated their General Assistance programs even as the need has grown. Roughly 60,000 childless adults (and the adult heads of some families) whom the state considers unemployable because of a disability or for certain other reasons — they are elderly, escaping domestic violence, or caring for a disabled family member, for example — got about $200 a month from the program.
In the new American ghetto, the nightmare engine is bubble economics, a kind of high-tech casino scam that kills neighborhoods just like dope does, only the product is credit, not crack or heroin. It concentrates the money of the population in just a few hands with brutal efficiency, just like narco-business, and just as in narco-business the product itself, debt, steadily demoralizes the customer to the point where he’s unable to prevent himself from being continually dominated.
Matt Taibbi, Griftopia (2010)
reading this book now. a lot of it is ‘facepalm’ obvious, but still smart and witty unlike freaking Thomas C Friedman, whom I would pay good money to STFU.
There is a war going on in this country, and I am not referring to the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am referring to the war waged by the wealthiest people in America on the shrinking middle class of our country. The nation’s billionaires are on the warpath. They want more, more, more. Their greed has no end, and they are apparently unconcerned for the future of this country if it gets in the way of their accumulation of power and wealth.
An impassioned call to action from the U.S. Senate’s lone independent, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders. Read more … (via utnereader)