mass incarceration

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pages: 467 words: 116,902

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

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Yes, we may still manage to persuade mainstream voters in the midst of an economic crisis that we have relied too heavily on incarceration, that prisons are too expensive, and that drug use is a public health problem, not a crime. But if the movement that emerges to end mass incarceration does not meaningfully address the racial divisions and resentments that gave rise to mass incarceration, and if it fails to cultivate an ethic of genuine care, compassion, and concern for every human being—of every class, race, and nationality—within our nation’s borders, including poor whites, who are often pitted against poor people of color, the collapse of mass incarceration will not mean the death of racial caste in America. Inevitably a new system of racialized social control will emerge—one that we cannot foresee, just as the current system of mass incarceration was not predicted by anyone thirty years ago. No task is more urgent for racial justice advocates today than ensuring that America’s current racial caste system is its last.

Visitors to the Web site were urged to join the NAACP in order to “protect the hard-earned civil rights gains of the past three decades.” No one visiting the Web site would learn that the mass incarceration of African Americans had already eviscerated many of the hard-earned gains it urged its members to protect. Imagine if civil rights organizations and African American leaders in the 1940s had not placed Jim Crow segregation at the forefront of their racial justice agenda. It would have seemed absurd, given that racial segregation was the primary vehicle of racialized social control in the United States during that period. This book argues that mass incarceration is, metaphorically, the New Jim Crow and that all those who care about social justice should fully commit themselves to dismantling this new racial caste system. Mass incarceration—not attacks on affirmative action or lax civil rights enforcement—is the most damaging manifestation of the backlash against the Civil Rights Movement.

Jim Crow and slavery were caste systems. So is our current system of mass incarceration. It may be helpful, in attempting to understand the basic nature of the new caste system, to think of the criminal justice system—the entire collection of institutions and practices that comprise it—not as an independent system but rather as a gateway into a much larger system of racial stigmatization and permanent marginalization. This larger system, referred to here as mass incarceration, is a system that locks people not only behind actual bars in actual prisons, but also behind virtual bars and virtual walls—walls that are invisible to the naked eye but function nearly as effectively as Jim Crow laws once did at locking people of color into a permanent second-class citizenship. The term mass incarceration refers not only to the criminal justice system but also to the larger web of laws, rules, policies, and customs that control those labeled criminals both in and out of prison.


pages: 273 words: 87,159

The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy by Peter Temin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, mortgage debt, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, price stability, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, white flight, working poor

And it focused the anger of working whites at their economic troubles and social disruptions on African Americans in the form of white rage.6 African Americans are far more likely to be incarcerated than other population groups, and the New Jim Crow is an important part of the complex of measures designed to keep African Americans poor and politically marginalized in America. Bruce Western concluded from a careful analysis of the causes of mass incarceration that “law-and-order politics grew out of reaction to the gains of the civil rights movement and anxieties about rising crime rates among white voters.” Incarceration grew fastest in those states where jobless rates were highest. And while political parties were hardly identical, their actions were not so different that changing the results of some elections would have changed the outcome of mass incarceration very much.7 The costs of mass incarceration are not confined to the black community. It takes resources to process and house so many prisoners. States pay about $50 billion a year to support prisons. They pay about $75 billion for higher education.

Teamwork is a form of social capital—which is the key to preschool education for low-wage communities.34 Good education, improving both human and social capital, is a tall order for the low-wage sector, and it goes against the grain of politics in a dual economy. The threat of mass incarceration hangs over black and Latino communities, and the presence of hostile militarized police makes investments in social capital even harder. Far more resources need to be allocated to urban education to make progress, but none will be forthcoming soon. Instead, poor education will keep black and brown communities down, providing more opportunities for mass incarceration. And mass incarceration will contain the people operating without social capital in prison. The money that should go to schools will go to prisons instead. The abandonment of urban public schools has produced a growing education gap between rich and poor.

(Women are also at risk, but men are more frequently arrested.) To eliminate this pattern, we need to work on several fronts at the same time. We need to end mass incarceration and differential rates of arrests and convictions of black men by local and state police and judges. We need also to improve education for the children of felons and allow freed felons to rejoin the workforce. And we need to rethink our urban policies to pursue the integrated housing that has so far eluded us. The first two recommendations are two sides of the same coin. American education cannot be universal until mass incarceration is abandoned. And mass incarceration will not be an inevitable result of growing up in a poor neighborhood until urban public education equals the quality of suburban schools. These joint changes will benefit white, black, and brown Americans alike.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Whether ‘foreign hordes’ threatening the sanctity of the European border, or immigrant textile workers in Thailand being subject to hyper-exploitation and abuse, racial hierarchies are an essential component of the control of surplus populations.144 When the co-optation of the surplus into a disciplined excess workforce has failed, the state can always resort to simply locking up, excluding and brutalising large sections of the surplus population. Across the world, mass incarceration has been increasing as the size of prison populations rise in both absolute and relative terms.145 Moreover, there is a significant racial component to this – most notably in the mass incarceration of the US black population, but also of Muslims in much of Europe, Aboriginals in Canada, and the detention and deportation of foreign migrants around the world.146 These systems of mass incarceration must be understood to extend beyond prisons, as they encompass an entire network of laws, courts, policies, habits and rules that work to subjugate a group of people.147 Mass incarceration is a system of social control aimed primarily at surplus populations rather than at crime. For example, increases in manufacturing unemployment are associated globally with increases in police employment.148 As the reserve army grows, so too does the state’s punitive apparatus.

For instance, middle-class and upper-class black populations are largely left alone,151 and the vast majority of the prison population consists of the ‘working or workless poor’.152 Likewise, the disparities in incarceration between races are outpaced by the disparities in terms of class,153 and the rise of mass black incarceration coincides with the decline in employment for that same population.154 In fact, the racial nature of mass incarceration in America stems ‘exclusively’ from the wildly disproportionate locking up of lower-class black populations.155 Mass incarceration has therefore become a means to manage and control this surplus that has been excluded from the labour market and left in poverty. Spatially concentrated in inner-city ghettos, these groups became an easy target of state control. This intersects with race, of course, as the origins of jobless ghettos lie in the active exclusion of the black population of the United States.

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, ‘Globalisation and US Prison Growth: From Military Keynesianism to Post-Keynesian Militarism’, Race & Class 40: 2–3 (1998–99), p. 172. 153.Wacquant, ‘Class, Race and Hyperincarceration’, p. 44. 154.Derek Neal and Armin Rick, The Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress After Smith and Welch, Working Paper, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014, at nber.org, p. 2. 155.Wacquant, ‘Class, Race and Hyperincarceration’, p. 43. 156.Wacquant, ‘From Slavery to Mass Incarceration: Rethinking the “Race” Question in America’, New Left Review II/13 (January–February 2002), p. 42. 157.Ibid., p. 53; Alexander, New Jim Crow, p. 219. 158.Wacquant, ‘From Slavery to Mass Incarceration’, pp. 57–8; Rocamadur, ‘The Feral Underclass Hits the Streets: On the English Riots and Other Ordeals’, Sic 2 (2014), at communisation.net, p. 104 n. 10. 159.Jeremy Travis, Bruce Western and Steve Redburn, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2014), p. 258; Neal and Rick, Prison Boom and the Lack of Black Progress, p. 34. 160.The mechanics of getting unions and social movements to adapt to new goals must necessarily be worked out in practice and in the context of local conditions.


pages: 252 words: 72,473

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, carried interest, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Emanuel Derman, housing crisis, I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations, illegal immigration, Internet of things, late fees, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Sharpe ratio, statistical model, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor

Privately run prisons: Peter Kerwin, “Study Finds Private Prisons Keep Inmates Longer, Without Reducing Future Crime,” University of Wisconsin-Madison News, June 10, 2015, http://​news.​wisc.​edu/​study-​finds-​private-​prisons-​keep-​inmates-​longer-​without-​reducing-​future-​crime/. private prisons make profits only when running at high capacity: Julia Bowling, “Do Private Prison Contracts Fuel Mass Incarceration?,” Brennan Center for Justice Blog, September 20, 2013, www.​brennancenter.​org/​blog/​do-​private-​prison-​contracts-​fuel-​mass-​incarceration. Michigan economics professor: Allison Schrager, “In America, Mass Incarceration Has Caused More Crime Than It’s Prevented,” Quartz, July 22, 2015, http://​qz.​com/​458675/​in-​america-​mass-​incarceration-​has-​caused-​more-​crime-​than-​its-​prevented/. San Diego police used this facial recognition program: Timothy Williams, “Facial Recognition Software Moves from Overseas Wars to Local Police,” New York Times, August 12, 2015, www.​nytimes.​com/​2015/​08/​13/​us/​facial-​recognition-​software-​moves-​from-​overseas-​wars-​to-​local-​police.​html.

Without the Electoral College, by contrast, every vote would be worth exactly the same. That would be a step toward democracy. In this march through a virtual lifetime, we’ve visited school and college, the courts and the workplace, even the voting booth. Along the way, we’ve witnessed the destruction caused by WMDs. Promising efficiency and fairness, they distort higher education, drive up debt, spur mass incarceration, pummel the poor at nearly every juncture, and undermine democracy. It might seem like the logical response is to disarm these weapons, one by one. The problem is that they’re feeding on each other. Poor people are more likely to have bad credit and live in high-crime neighborhoods, surrounded by other poor people. Once the dark universe of WMDs digests that data, it showers them with predatory ads for subprime loans or for-profit schools.

For example, a model might be programmed to make sure that various ethnicities or income levels are represented within groups of voters or consumers. Or it could highlight cases in which people in certain zip codes pay twice the average for certain services. These approximations may be crude, especially at first, but they’re essential. Mathematical models should be our tools, not our masters. The achievement gap, mass incarceration, and voter apathy are big, nationwide problems that no free market nor mathematical algorithm will fix. So the first step is to get a grip on our techno-utopia, that unbounded and unwarranted hope in what algorithms and technology can accomplish. Before asking them to do better, we have to admit they can’t do everything. To disarm WMDs, we also need to measure their impact and conduct algorithmic audits.


pages: 464 words: 121,983

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks

The United States and Britain have become global leaders in the privatized prisons and detention industries, through which millions of people have passed without any deterrent effect on criminality. Needless to say, this system has enriched favored companies such as Serco, G4S, and Corrections Corporation of America. I investigate in both countries how lobbying, ideology, and a punishment ethos have colluded to produce one of the most destructive experiments in modern times: mass incarceration. Australia has privatized all of its detention centers for asylum seekers, which are now run by multinational companies. Few other countries have so comprehensively outsourced such facilities to such a small group of companies, and with so little government oversight or media scrutiny. In its remote facilities, I investigated the reality of this privatized world and its effects on refugees and staff, and what they say about a supposedly civilized nation.

Are the corporations capturing the politicians, or the politicians capturing the corporations? Does it matter? Paul Krugman, New York Times, 2012 America incarcerates a higher proportion of its population than any other country in the world. It operates a system that demonizes and stigmatizes African-Americans and immigrants on an unprecedented scale, resembling a social experiment in population control. In her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, US writer Michelle Alexander explained that the “war on drugs” had crippled entire communities. In thirty years, the prison population had soared from 300,000 to more than two million. Meanwhile, the globally expansionist and violent “war on terror” that followed 9/11 brought greater division and repression at home. The Obama administration made a small though welcome change in 2014 to allow around 50,000 nonviolent federal drug offenders to seek lower sentences; at the same time, however, a battle against immigrants surged—a battle that had forced millions of refugees to pass through detention facilities since the 1980s.

“The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid. In Washington DC, our nation’s capitol [sic], it is estimated that three out of four young black men (and nearly all those in the poorest neighborhoods) can expect to serve time in prison.”1 These facts are mirrored across the country. The Vera Institute of Justice released a study in late 2014 that found mass incarceration to be “one of the major public health challenges facing the United States,” due to millions of people suffering acute physical and mental problems both in prison and once they were free. “The land of the free has become a country of prisons,” Human Rights Watch noted in 2014, issuing a report that outlined the absurd number of Americans facing jail time for minor and nonviolent crimes.2 The New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik assessed that there were “more black men in the grip of the criminal justice system—in prison, on probation or on parole—than were in slavery [in 1850].


pages: 181 words: 50,196

The Rich and the Rest of Us by Tavis Smiley

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, F. W. de Klerk, fixed income, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, job automation, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, mega-rich, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, traffic fines, trickle-down economics, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

Universal Food Delivery System: No one, especially children, should go hungry in America. We need a food delivery system that ends hunger and food insecurity; promotes small regional farms; supports urban farming initiatives; and offers new employment opportunities through the growth, harvesting, and distribution of food. If we do this one right, America can demonstrate its ability to tackle and solve complex human problems. 6. Prisons & Mass Incarceration: Mass incarceration of minorities bankrupts the country; creates permanent, second-class citizenship; and locks formerly incarcerated individuals into on-the-street, economic concentration camps. Potentially salvageable people have been victims of the 20-year, race-based “War on Drugs” and a criminal criminal justice system. It’s time for a major overhaul of the prison industrial complex. 7. Privatization Versus Public Investment: The trend toward privatization of once publicly staffed and funded community enterprises means that, soon, all hospitals, schools, and prisons will be operated under the control of profit-driven corporations.

To be sure, we recognize that weak family structures often contribute to generations of poverty, but we also recognize that weak families are deeply shaped and molded by larger social, economic, and historical forces. You can’t put out a fire with gasoline. You can’t rectify an injustice with more injustices. As Michelle Alexander brilliantly illustrates in her award-winning work, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, a new racial caste and control system was designed as the criminal justice system after the elimination of America’s Jim Crow laws. The number of people behind bars has grown from 300,000 in the 1970s to more than 2.5 million today, and almost half—846,000, or 40.2 percent—of the prison occupiers are African American. As Alexander notes, there are more African American adults under correctional control today—either in prisons or jails, on probation, or on parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.

Of all the challenges this country faces—rich with fertile farm land and potential growing spaces in metropolitan areas—a new food delivery system should be the easiest to solve. A Universal Food Delivery System would support and work to expedite all local, national, and international efforts aimed at delivering fresh, canned, and packaged produce to the hungry and, in the process, create sustainable, living-wage jobs for Americans currently underemployed or unemployed. PRISONS AND MASS INCARCERATION There’s another injustice against the poor seems to be growing in America. A November 2011 Wall Street Journal report confirmed that debtor prisons are making a comeback.100 Borrowers who can’t or don’t pay their debts are now being sent to jail. Credit card companies have become very efficient at having arrest warrants issued for debts if the accused doesn’t show up in court. Many people who are consumed with debt and trying to survive have missed court dates and wound up behind bars.


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

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These policies have done far more to compromise the financial status of Black and Latino families, and it is within communities of color that the deepest service cuts have been inflicted. Moreover, the flip side of neoliberal economic policies that exile whole segments of the population from the formal economy has been an explosion of the state apparatus aimed at control and containment: militarized police, fortressed borders, immigration detention, and mass incarceration. The forty years since the neoliberal revolution began have seen the number of people behind bars in the United States increase by approximately 500 percent—a phenomenon, once again, that disproportionately affects Black and brown people, though whites are most certainly swept up in the system as well. It’s also important to note that Trump’s base wasn’t mostly poor; it was solidly middle-income, with most of his voters earning between $50,000 and $200,000 a year (with a concentration at the lower end of that range).

California provides a glimpse of where this is all headed. For its firefighting, the state relies on upwards of 4,500 prison inmates, who are paid a dollar an hour when they’re on the fire line, putting their lives at risk battling wildfires, and about two bucks a day when they’re back at camp. By some estimates, California saves about a billion dollars a year through this program—a snapshot of what happens when you mix austerity politics with mass incarceration and climate change. I Don’t Feel Hot—Do You Feel Hot? The uptick in high-end disaster prep also means there is less reason for the big winners in our economy to embrace the demanding policy changes required to prevent an even warmer and more disaster-prone future. Which might help explain the Trump administration’s determination to do everything possible to accelerate the climate crisis.

It was the collective memory of past shocks that made Spain resistant to new ones. 9/11 and the Perils of Official Forgetting When two planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York and another plowed into the Pentagon, on September 11, 2001, they hit a country which lacked the kind of shared memory of trauma that existed in Spain and Argentina. That’s not to say US history is unmarked by repeated traumas. The United States was founded in domestic state terror, from the genocide of Indigenous peoples to slavery through to lynching and mass incarceration; trauma has been ever-present right up to this day. Moreover, very frequently, shocks and crises have been handmaidens to the worst abuses. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the promise of land redistribution as economic reparation to freed slaves was promptly betrayed. The financial crisis of 1873, known as the Great Panic, further entrenched the excuse that the economy was too ravaged and the country too divided—and instead of reparations came a reign of terror against freed slaves in the South.


pages: 371 words: 110,641

On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman

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ghettoisation, informal economy, mass incarceration, payday loans, traffic fines, unemployed young men, working poor

Social awkwardness and identity confusion aside, driving to New Jersey a few times a week was in many ways a good thing. The hour-long ride gave me some distance from the chaos and emergencies of 6th Street, and a chance to think about what I was seeing. I was also learning for the first time about mass incarceration. With Devah Pager and Bruce Western both in the Sociology Department at the time, the corridors of Wallace Hall were a hotbed of activity on the causes and consequences of the prison boom. After muddling through a slew of topics and themes, I came to see, through Devah and Bruce’s influence and Mitch Duneier’s guidance, that my project could be framed as an on-the-ground look at mass incarceration and its accompanying systems of policing and surveillance. I was documenting the massive expansion of criminal justice intervention into the lives of poor Black families in the United States.

Wacquant’s theoretical and empirical work on the expanding US penal system and its significance for American politics and race relations was a significant inspiration for this volume, and can be sampled in “The New Peculiar Institution: On the Prison as Surrogate Ghetto,” Theoretical Criminology 4, no. 3 (2000): 377–88; “Deadly Symbiosis: When Ghetto and Prison Meet and Mesh,” Punishment & Society 3, no. 1 (2001): 95–133; Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008); and Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009). 11. Devah Pager, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007), 4–5. 12. Bruce Western, Punishment and Inequality in America (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2006), especially 191. 13. Of the 217 households surveyed by Chuck and me in 2007. 14. In these eighteen months of daily fieldwork, there were only five days in which I observed no police activity. 15. W. E. B. DuBois, The Philadelphia Negro (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press [1899] 1996). 16.

Here I have omitted my small interjections, such as “yep,” “uh huh,” and “sure is” as well as other unrelated comments, such as those directed at the cat that had jumped up on the table. 6. See the appendix for a detailed account of Chuck’s death. 7. I typed this conversation into my phone while it was happening—the quotes should be taken only as a close approximation. CONCLUSION 1. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2010); Loïc Wacquant, “Deadly Symbiosis: When Ghetto and Prison Meet and Mesh,” Punishment & Society 3, no. 1 (2001): 95–133. 2. Leon F. Litwack, Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (New York: Knopf, 1979). 3. Vagrancy laws have resurfaced recently in the form of “quality of life” policing. These laws lead to arrests for minor crimes such as panhandling, jumping turnstiles, sleeping in public places, and loitering.


pages: 277 words: 80,703

Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle by Silvia Federici

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Community Supported Agriculture, declining real wages, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, financial independence, fixed income, global village, illegal immigration, informal economy, invisible hand, labor-force participation, land tenure, mass incarceration, means of production, microcredit, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Occupy movement, planetary scale, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, the market place, trade liberalization, UNCLOS, wages for housework, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

In the United States, presumably the most successful example of neoliberalism, the welfare system has been dismantled—especially AFDC, which affects women with dependent children.15 Thus female-headed families have been completely pauperized, and working class women must now hold more than one job to survive. Meanwhile the number of women in jail has continued to increase, and a policy of mass incarceration has prevailed that is consistent with the return of plantation-type economies also in the heartland of industrialism. Women’s Struggle and the International Feminist Movement What are the implications of this situation for the international feminist movements? The immediate answer is that feminists should not only support the cancellation of the “Third World debt” but engage in a campaign for a policy of reparations, returning to communities devastated by “adjustment” the resources taken away from them.

In reality, the destruction of human life on a large scale has been a structural component of capitalism from its inception, as the necessary counterpart of the accumulation of labor power, which is inevitably a violent process. The recurrent “reproduction crises” that we have witnessed in Africa over the last decades are rooted in this dialectic of labor accumulation and destruction. Also the expansion of noncontractual labor and of other phenomena that may seem like abominations in a “modern world”—such as mass incarceration, the traffic in blood, organs and other human parts—should be understood in this context. Capitalism fosters a permanent reproduction crisis. If this has not been more apparent in our lifetimes, at least in many parts of the Global North, it is because the human catastrophes it has caused have been most often externalized, confined to the colonies, and rationalized as an effect of cultural backwardness or attachment to misguided traditions and “tribalism.”

Most significantly, we are witnessing the development of a homeless, itinerant workforce, compelled to nomadism, always on the move, on trucks, trailers, buses, looking for work wherever an opportunity appears, a destiny once reserved in the United States to seasonal agricultural workers chasing crops, like birds of passage, across the country. Along with impoverishment, unemployment, overwork, homelessness, and debt has gone the increasing criminalization of the working class, through a mass incarceration policy recalling the seventeenth century Grand Confinement, and the formation of an ex-lege proletariat made of undocumented immigrant workers, students defaulting on their loans, producers or sellers of illicit goods, sex workers. It is a multitude of proletarians, existing and laboring in the shadow, reminding us that the production of populations without rights—slaves, indentured servants, peons, convicts, sans papiers—remains a structural necessity of capital accumulation.


pages: 255 words: 75,172

Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

And the loss of her dad’s job quickly plummeted the family from “being working class to being super-poor,” Patrisse remembers. Instead of having access to private doctors and world-class care at Kaiser Permanente, she and her brothers now had to go to the public county hospital. Her dad was never able to rebound to his previous salary, instead relying on a series of low-paying jobs at auto-repair franchises like Midas. Cullors describes the connection between deindustrialization and mass incarceration as happening “fast, fast, fast.” Her neighborhood, Van Nuys, was poor in the 1990s, and right next door to the affluent community of Sherman Oaks, which made Van Nuys susceptible to gentrification and its black residents undesirable. “The neighborhood became super-surveilled and super-policed. I witnessed my brothers and their friends being harassed on a daily basis, stopped and frisked. They were eleven, twelve, and thirteen.

Liss’s goal for NVM is to create an active membership organization whose engagement goes beyond clicking on an email voicing an opinion on legislation. With twenty thousand people signed up on the email list, the organization has gotten a bird’s-eye view of the challenges it faces in bridging alliances across race. When it has sent out pro-immigration emails, it has gotten push-back from some members. When it has sent out emails about mass incarceration, it has gotten push-back from some members. But Liss won’t be deterred. In September 2015, New Virginia Majority brought together two hundred activists from across the state to ratify a common state agenda, which will provide alignment and shared goals across organizations working in Virginia. Over in Missouri, Ashli Bolden, the codirector of Missouri Jobs with Justice, is fighting to build power with the new working class.

CTA: What You Need to Know About the Challenge to Union Dues,” EdSource, October 20, 2015, at http://edsource.​org/​2015/​what-​you-​need-​to-​know-​about-​friedrichs-​v-​cta-​before-​supreme-​court-​on-​fair-​share-​fees/​89260. 43. John Kasarda, “Urban Industrial Transition and the Underclass,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 501, no.1 (1990): pp. 26–47. 44. Ibid. 45. Ibid. 46. Mary D. Edsall and Thomas B. Edsall, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (New York: Norton, 1992), pp. 12–13. 47. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness (New York: New Press, 2012), p. 52. 48. Ibid., p. 49. 49. Alexander, The New Jim Crow, pp. 49–50. During Reagan’s first term, FBI antidrug funding rose from $8 million to $95 million. Between 1981 and 1991, Department of Defense antidrug funding surged from $33 million to over $1 billion in 1991, and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s antidrug spending grew from $86 million to $1 billion—all while drug-treatment funding at federal agencies was cut by more than three-quarters. 50.


pages: 468 words: 123,823

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

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affirmative action, British Empire, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, Jane Jacobs, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, payday loans, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

These men (and, in growing numbers, women) are disproportionately black and Hispanic, less educated, drug- or alcohol-addicted, and poor and unemployed at the time of their arrest. Felons and ex-offenders inhabit their own sphere in the welfare state, and they are typically denied eligibility for public housing, food stamps, or, in some states, licenses to be bus drivers or hairdressers. As I’ve suggested, to comprehend the political economy of the ghetto we must consider the manner in which the mass incarceration of black men has removed potential fathers, partners, and wage earners from their community. Urban poverty cannot be understood without incorporating the prison. This was as true in our past as it is now, when the punishment for poverty—codified in an array of antivagrancy and anti-tramping laws in the North as well as the black codes of the South—was debtor’s prison, the work farm, or indentured servitude, just as jail or expulsion from the city is today punishment for loitering, begging, sleeping in public places, or other public displays of need.55 It is useful to remember that the Thirteenth Amendment did not abolish slavery: it explicitly retained involuntary servitude “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

Brown, Leslie Scheuler-Whitaker, and Shannon Collier-Tenison, “Welfare Reform on American Indian Reservations: Initial Experience of Service Providers and Recipients on Reservations in Arizona,” Social Policy Journal 1, no. 1 (2002): 83. 18 Mimi Abramovitz, “Challenging the Myths of Welfare Reform from a Woman’s Perspective,” Social Justice 21, no. 1 (spring 1994): 17–21. 19 Jodi-Levin Epstein, “Welfare, Women, and Health: The Role of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,” Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003. 20 Richard M. Tolman and Jody Raphael, “A Review of Research on Welfare and Domestic Violence,” Journal of Social Issues 56, no. 4 (2000): 655–82. 21 Devah Pager, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). 22 For an examination of these issues in the wake of 1996’s welfare reform, see Sharon Hays, Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). 23 Virginia E. Schein, Working from the Margins: Voices of Mothers in Poverty (Ithaca, NY: ILR/Cornell University Press, 1995), 88–89. 24 In Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein, Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work (New York: Russell Sage, 1997), 75–76. 25 Lisa Featherstone, “Down and Out in Discount America,” The Nation, January 3, 2005. 26 Jill Duerr Berrick, Faces of Poverty: Portraits of Women and Children on Welfare (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995 [1997]), 83. 27 Kathleen Mullan Harris, “Work and Welfare Among Single Mothers in Poverty,” American Journal of Sociology 99, no. 2 (September 1993): 317–52. 28 Mary E.

Few received public poor relief, although many unable to find shelter were sent to the workhouse. Henderson H. Donald, “Dependents and Delinquents,” Journal of Negro History 6, no. 4 (October 1921): 458–70; see also Stephen Pimpare, The New Victorians: Poverty, Politics, and Propaganda in Two Gilded Ages (New York: The New Press, 2004), chap. 6. 56 Marie Gottschalk, The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 199; David Cole, No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System (New York: The New Press, 1999). 57 David M. Oshinsky, “Worse Than Slavery”: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice (New York: Free Press, 1996), 39. 58 Jeff Manza and Christopher Uggen, “Punishment and Democracy: Disenfranchisement of Nonincarcerated Felons in the United States,” Perspectives on Politics 2, no. 3 (September 2004): 491–505; Angela Behrens, Christopher Uggen, and Jeff Manza, “Ballot Manipulation and the ‘Menace of Negro Domination’: Racial Threat and Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 1850–2002,” American Journal of Sociology 109, no. 3 (November 2003): 559–605.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Murray, Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980 (New York: Basic Books, 1981). 26. Oscar Handlin and Lilian Handlin, “America and Its Discontents: A Great Society Legacy,” American Scholar (Winter 1995): 15–37, at 34. 27. Katz, The Underclass Debate, 16–18. 28. Quadagno, The Color of Welfare, 178. 29. Horowitz, “New Deal to New Federalism,” 145. 30. Quadagno, The Color of Welfare, 162–163. 31. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2010), 48. 32. Jennifer Hoschchild, What’s Fair? American Beliefs about Distributive Justice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 278. 33. Ibid., 175, 253. 34. Ibid., 190, 255. 35. Maurice A. St. Pierre, “Reaganomics and Its Implications for African-American Family Life,” Journal of Black Studies vol. 21 no. 3 (Mar., 1991): 325–340. 36.

Jessica Pishko, “Locked Up for Being Poor,” The Atlantic, February 25, 2015, available online at http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/02/locked-up-for-being-poor/386069/, accessed August 10, 2015; Campbell Robertson, “A City Where Policing, Discrimination and Raising Revenue Went Hand in Hand,”New York Times, March 4, 2015, available online at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/05/us/us-details-a-persistent-pattern-of-police-discrimination-in-a-small-missouri-city.html?_r=0, accessed August 10, 2015; “A Modern System of Debtor Prisons,” New York Times, March 28, 2016, available online at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/28/opinion/a-modern-system-of-debtor-prisons.html, accessed June 18, 2016. 64. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2010), 147–148, 192. 65. Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, and Jamiles Lartey, “Black People Killed by Police Twice as Likely to Be Unarmed as White People,” Guardian, June 1, 2015, available online at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/01/black-americans-killed-by-police-analysis, accessed June 2, 2015. 66. David Zucchino, “In Funeral Sermon for Walter Scott, Pastor Decries ‘Act of Racism,’ ” Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2015, available online at http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-walter-scott-funeral-20150411-story.html, accessed June 1, 2015. 67.

Fraser, Age of Acquiescence, 305; Miller, “Distributive Justice,” 590; Frank Lovett, “Domination and Distributive Justice,” Journal of Politics vol. 71 no. 3 (2009): 817–830, at 820. 99. Robert Alexander Kraig, “The 1912 Election and the Rhetorical Foundations of the Liberal State,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs vol. 3 no. 3 (2000): 363–395. 100. Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil: Or the Two Nations (Aylesbury, UK: Penguin Books, 1981), first published 1845, 422. Select Bibliography Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press, 2010. Alstott, Anne, and Bruce Ackerman. The Stakeholder Society. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. Alter, Jonathan. The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006. Bailey, Martha J., and Nicolas J. Duquette. “How Johnson Fought the War on Poverty: The Economics and Politics of Funding at the Office of Economic Opportunity.”


pages: 271 words: 82,159

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, mass incarceration, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, RAND corporation, school choice, Silicon Valley

Anthony Doob and Cheryl Webster’s analysis of punishment studies is “Sentence Severity and Crime: Accepting the Null Hypothesis,” Crime and Justice 30 (2003): 143. The charts showing the relationship between age and criminality are from Alfred Blumstein, “Prisons: A Policy Challenge,” in Crime: Public Policies for Crime Control, James Q. Wilson and Joan Petersilia, eds. (ICS Press, 2002), 451–82. Todd Clear’s book on the effects of mass incarceration on poor places is Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse (Oxford University Press, 2007). You can find Clear’s hard-to-get-published paper “Backfire: When Incarceration Increases Crime” in the Journal of the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Research Consortium 3 (1996): 1–10. There is an entire library of studies on the effects of Three Strikes on California’s crime rate. The best book-length academic work is Zimring’s Punishment and Democracy, mentioned above.


pages: 246 words: 81,843

David and Goliath: The Triumph of the Underdog by Malcolm Gladwell

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, mass incarceration, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, RAND corporation, school choice, Silicon Valley

Anthony Doob and Cheryl Webster’s analysis of punishment studies is “Sentence Severity and Crime: Accepting the Null Hypothesis,” Crime and Justice 30 (2003): 143. The charts showing the relationship between age and criminality are from Alfred Blumstein, “Prisons: A Policy Challenge,” in Crime: Public Policies for Crime Control, James Q. Wilson and Joan Petersilia, eds. (ICS Press, 2002), 451–82. Todd Clear’s book on the effects of mass incarceration on poor places is Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse (Oxford University Press, 2007). You can find Clear’s hard-to-get-published paper “Backfire: When Incarceration Increases Crime” in the Journal of the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Research Consortium 3 (1996): 1–10. There is an entire library of studies on the effects of Three Strikes on California’s crime rate. The best book-length academic work is Zimring’s Punishment and Democracy, mentioned above.


pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

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airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

Hajjar stresses that the Israeli state’s description of the status of the West Bank and Gaza as sui generis, in order to assert that IHL does not actually apply, is legally indistinguishable from US claims that such law was inapplicable to the invasion of Afghanistan because it was a ‘failed state’.49 She also underlines that both the US and Israeli states have often argued that the statelessness of their enemies automatically means they have no rights whatsoever under IHL. In both cases, it is a legal trick that has been used to legitimize mass incarceration without trial. Moreover, both states have used national laws to authorize legal practices that contravene the norms and rules of IHL, a form of ‘domesticating’ international law for questionable purposes.50 ISRAEL AND THE ‘PALESTINIANIZATION’ OF IRAQ In late 2003, as the US military’s task in Iraq quickly morphed from the relatively simple challenge of destroying an infinitely inferior state military to the challenge of pacifying complex urban insurgencies, Israel’s direct involvement in shaping the doctrine, weaponry and military thinking of US occupying forces grew dramatically – with corresponding pay-offs for the Israeli economy.

In the Occupied Territories, ‘Palestinians enter [these areas] at their own risk and dozens if not hundreds have died doing so’.62 7.2 Captive societies: the West Bank (top) and Baghdad (bottom). Such partitioning of Iraqi cities and urban districts by US forces inevitably echo the erection of massive concrete barriers in the West Bank and the increasingly militarized borders and ‘shoot to kill’ zones in and around Gaza. Check-points, buffer zones, enforced identity cards, collective punishments, mass incarcerations without trial, imprisonment of suspects’ relatives, and associated bulldozings of landscapes and buildings deemed to be sheltering enemies – all smack of direct imitation of Israeli policy (whilst also echoing earlier counterinsurgency wars in Algeria, Vietnam, and elsewhere). Such similarities have not been lost on Iraq’s urban residents as they encounter these familiar but shocking new ‘security’ geographies.

Under these conditions, the work of an artist like Boeskov becomes a rare chance to actually play the governance game, by opening up a public space for refusing, contesting and challenging these new tracking and recording regimes’.74 COLLABORATION Finally, and perhaps most important, countergeographic strategies which attempt to undermine the new military urbanism must work beyond new assertions of cosmopolitanism or democracy75 They must engage and collaborate with, rather than merely speaking on behalf of, those on the receiving end of urbicidal violence, the ruthless imposition of neoliberal fundamentalism, and the spread of mass incarceration.76 It is necessary to work against the habitual silencing of the non-Western Other because, as we have seen in this book, acts of silencing are often combined with representations that legitimatize the power to penetrate and reorder societies en masse, from afar, through war, through ‘modernization (or, indeed, demodernization), or through the violent imposition of ‘democracy’ or ‘civilization’.


pages: 459 words: 123,220

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam

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assortative mating, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, full employment, George Akerlof, helicopter parent, impulse control, income inequality, index card, jobless men, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, school choice, selection bias, Socratic dialogue, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the built environment, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel, white flight, working poor

Children born in 1990 to high school dropouts were more than four times as likely to have a parent sent to prison as were children born that same year to college-educated parents. More than half of all black children born to less educated parents in 1990 experienced parental imprisonment.57 This period of exploding incarceration is precisely the period in which single-parent families became more and more common in the less educated, lower-income stratum of the population. Correlation does not prove causation, of course, but mass incarceration has certainly removed a very large number of young fathers from poor neighborhoods, and the effects of their absence, on white and nonwhite kids alike, are known to be traumatic, leaving long-lasting scars. They certainly did in David’s life in Ohio and Joe’s life in Oregon. Paternal incarceration (independent of other facts about a child’s background, like the parents’ education and income and race) is a strong predictor of bad educational outcomes, like getting poor grades and dropping out of school.

Jennifer Glass and Philip Levchak, “Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates,” American Journal of Sociology 119 (January 2014): 1002–46. 56. Nicole Shoenberger, “Young Men’s Contact with Criminal Justice System,” National Center for Family & Marriage Research FP-12-01, accessed April 24, 2012, http://www.bgsu.edu/content/dam/BGSU/college-of-arts-and-sciences/NCFMR/documents/FP/FP-12-01.pdf. See also Bryan L. Sykes and Becky Pettit, “Mass Incarceration, Family Complexity, and the Reproduction of Childhood Disadvantage,” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 654 (July 2014): 127–49. 57. Becky Pettit and Bruce Western, “Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course: Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration,” American Sociological Review 69 (2004): 151–69; Christopher Wildeman, “Parental Imprisonment, the Prison Boom, and the Concentration of Childhood Disadvantage,” Demography 46 (2009): 265–80. 58.

John Hagan and Holly Foster, “Intergenerational Educational Effects of Mass Imprisonment in America,” Sociology of Education 85 (2012): 259–86. On the effects of parental incarceration on children’s mental health, see Kristin Turney, “Stress Proliferation Across Generations? Examining the Relationship Between Parental Incarceration and Childhood Health,” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 55 (September 2014): 302–19; and Sykes and Pettit, “Mass Incarceration, Family Complexity, and the Reproduction of Childhood Disadvantage. 59. For a careful summary of these studies, see McLanahan and Percheski, “Family Structure and the Reproduction of Inequalities.” 60. Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994); Wendy Sigle-Rushton and Sara McLanahan, “Father Absence and Child Wellbeing: A Critical Review,” in The Future of the Family, eds.


pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

As veterans of the Civil Rights, Women’s, Peace, Environmental, LGBTQ, Immigrant Justice, labor rights and other movements of the last 60 years, we are convinced that Occupy Wall Street is a continuation, a deepening and expansion of the determination of the diverse peoples of our nation to transform our country into a more democratic, just and compassionate society – a more perfect union. We believe that the rapidly expanding and racialized impoverishment of our population, the rise of mass incarceration, the celebration of the culture of war and violence, all create the bitter divisions among the peoples of our nation and throughout the world. Indeed, we believe such developments among us ultimately diminish the quality of life for all humanity, beginning with our own children who watch as we lower the priority for their care and education. We applaud the miraculous extent to which the Occupy initiative has been nonviolent and democratic, especially in light of the weight of violence under which the great majority of people are forced to live, including joblessness, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty, inadequate healthcare, etc.

But even for someone as calm as me, I could barely finish expressing my concern because of the backlash that was unleashed as soon as I opened my mouth. One of my POC Caucus comrades eventually couldn’t take it any more and spoke out of ‘process’ to explain that raising these sorts of concerns is exactly why we exist as a caucus at spokes council. Because communities of color have suffered violence for generations – the violence of white supremacy, the violence of the police, the violence of mass incarceration, the violence of poverty. Again, no one listened to what she was saying but only put up their ‘point of process’ hand signs and rolled their eyes. I was talking about it with another friend from the POC Caucus on the phone the next day, and he felt like we have lost all good faith in the spokes council. We have no credibility whatsoever any more. Honestly, it’s been a tough couple of months of figuring out how to engage with this movement.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

It is, of course, possible that average productivity increased while marginal productivity did not. (This cannot, of course, happen in the Cobb–Douglas production function so beloved by macroeconomists.) But I have seen no evidence for this sudden change in technology—and no theory for why this might have happened. 40 America’s mass incarceration policies have also been an important instrument of discrimination. See M. Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, New York, The New Press, 2010. 41 For a recent account of this literature, see K. Basu, Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2010. See also J. E. Stiglitz, ‘Approaches to the economics of discrimination’, American Economic Review, vol. 62, no. 2, 1973, pp. 287–95 and J.


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24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary

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augmented reality, Berlin Wall, dematerialisation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invention of movable type, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, mass incarceration, megacity, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, V2 rocket

Similarly, the last thirty years or more have to be understood as a long phase of sustained counter-revolution. Obviously, the magnitude of the anti-systemic insurrections in Asia, Latin America, and the urban ghettos of the US demanded the massive use of interconnected forms of economic, penal, and military violence over this period—forms of violence that continue to evolve in the present, as a new wave of struggles and “springtimes” has begun to coalesce. For example, the current mass incarceration of millions of African-Americans has its origins in the aftermath of the urban uprisings of the 1960s. But a parallel counter-insurgency, taking shape in the late 1970s, was primarily ideological, although sweeping in scope. Its target was a tentative constellation of forms of sociality that needed to be destroyed or deformed to produce acquiescence in the face of the global shift to more brutal forms of finance capital and the expanding monetization of everyday life.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

He squashed organized labor (breaking the PATCO strike by firing 11,345 air traffic controllers and banning them from future employment in the federal government), weakened environmental protections, and cut funding to agencies tasked with ensuring worker and consumer safety. Feminist, civil rights, and environmental activists kept fighting, but the powers that be moved with a new, unified force to crush dissent: Organized labor was shaken and class-based movements were discredited. The War on Drugs, followed later by Bill Clinton’s Three Strikes law, fuelled an unprecedented trend of mass incarceration that overwhelmingly targeted black and Hispanic men; and the rise of the radical right brought women into direct conflict with each other, focusing feminist battles on holding ground already won rather than embracing more encompassing visions of liberation. The balance of power that had seemed, for a moment in the early 1970s, to favor working people shifted definitively in favor of capital.


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

3D printing, Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

Richard Redding, a University of Virginia law professor and advocate of the method, goes so far as to claim that it “may even be unethical” to use sentencing techniques that are not “transparent” and “entirely rational.”25 But the factors that can go into an evidence-based sentence, by Redding’s own account, include not just crimes a person has committed, but those they might commit in the future—the “risk factors” and “criminogenic needs” that “increase the likelihood of recidivism.” At this point these models of “future crime risk” start to come uncomfortably close to the dystopia of the Philip K. Dick story (and later Tom Cruise movie) The Minority Report, in which a “Precrime” division arrests people for crimes they have not yet committed. Today even some on the right are questioning mass incarceration, sometimes simply on budgetary grounds. But barring any effort to actually provide for either prisoners or the workers who benefit from the prison boom, what is to become of all these surplus populations? Sometimes, those who make it to prison are the lucky ones. Steeped in a culture that is quick to resort to violence, police forces routinely maim and kill those suspected of minor crimes or no crime at all.


pages: 388 words: 119,492

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, always be closing, Cass Sunstein, correlation does not imply causation, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, mass incarceration

Many thanks to epidemiologist Isabelle Sternfeld for years of help with these records. 21 violent crime was plummeting in Los Angeles County Countywide homicides reached a high of 2,113 deaths in 1992 and had fallen to 1,085 in 2006, according to statistics provided at the author’s request by Craig Harvey, Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Crime would, of course, fall much lower after that. 22 “progressives tend to avoid or change the subject” James Forman, Jr., “Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow,” Faculty Scholarship Series 3599 (2012): p. 128. 23 “The familiar dismal statistics” Randall Kennedy, Race, Crime and the Law (New York: Vintage, 1998), p. 145. CHAPTER 2 1 such calls, at least in this year, came more than once a day, on average There were 835 shooting victims in South Bureau in 2007, and 1,016 in 2006—Los Angeles Police Department, Crime and Arrests Weekly Statistics, Dec. 31, 2007.

Murphy, “Research and Statistics Note, No. 2014-01: African Americans: Description of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Participation and Benefit Levels Using the American Community Survey” (Social Security Administration, Official of Retirement and Disability Policy, Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, January 2014), p. 13. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness. New York: New Press, 2010. 2012 edition. Anderson, Elijah. Code of the Street. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. Ayers, Edward L. Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century American South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984. Berg, Manfred. Popular Justice: A History of Lynching in America. Lanham, Md.: Ivan R. Dee, 2011. Berg, Manfred, and Simon Wendt, editors.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

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3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

Matthew C. Sonfield and Robert J. Barbato, “Testing Prison Inmates for Entrepreneurial Aptitude,” May 19, 2004, Hofstra University and Rochester Institute of Technology. 2. Linda Anderson, “Troubled Teenagers Equal Entrepreneurial Success,” Financial Times, March 18, 2013, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/a8c08352-8c9b-11e2-aed2-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3IrN7GYCD. 3. Peter Wagner and Leah Sakala, “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie,” Prison Policy Initiative, March 12, 2014, http://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie.html. 4. Matthew C. Sonfield, “From Inmate to Entrepreneur: A Preliminary Analysis,” Hofstra University. 5. Raphael Minder, “In Spain, Jobless Find a Refuge Off the Books,” New York Times, May 16, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/world/europe/spaniards-go-underground-to-fight-slump.html?

What Kind of Creatures Are We? (Columbia Themes in Philosophy) by Noam Chomsky

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, liberation theology, mass incarceration, means of production, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Turing test, wage slave

On women, see Linda K. Kerber, “Why Diamonds Really Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Another American Narrative,” Dædalus 141, no. 1 (2012): 89–100; and Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975). On African Americans, see Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (New York: Doubleday, 2008); and Michelle L. Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, rev. ed. (New York: New Press, 2012). On aliens, see Rasul v. Myers, Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, January 2008, April 2009. On corporations, see sources in Noam Chomsky, Hopes and Prospects (Chicago: Haymarket, 2010), 30–31; and David Ellerman, “Workplace Democracy and Human Development: The Example of the Postsocialist Transition Debate,” Journal of Speculative Philosophy 24, no. 4 (2010): 333–53. 29.


pages: 261 words: 78,884

$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, clean water, ending welfare as we know it, future of work, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, impulse control, indoor plumbing, informal economy, low-wage service sector, mass incarceration, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, The Future of Employment, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

. [>] reduced as a result: Lambert, Haley-Lock, and Henly, “Schedule Flexibility.” [>] identifiably black or white: Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, “Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” American Economic Review 94, no. 4 (2004): 991–1013. [>] relative to whites: For descriptions of both studies, see Devah Pager, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). [>] wildly inaccurate: Persis S. Yu and Sharon M. Dietrich, “Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses” (National Consumer Law Center, Boston, April 2012), http://www.nclc.org/images/pdf/pr-reports/broken-records-report.pdf. [>] average low-wage job in America: Andrew Leigh, “Who Benefits from the Earned Income Tax Credit?


pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens

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4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, commoditize, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, intangible asset, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, selection bias, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

We already discussed "mad mob" narratives such the reduction of politics to tribal grandstanding; the hype of emotional issues like marriage equality and abortion; the tight focus of the media on stories that do not matter, with silence on real issues. These all conspire to make society collectively stupider. It is the theory of cults, applied nationwide. However, there are also deeper shifts in society that will take decades to recover from. The war on drugs is perhaps the worst case. The War of Drugs In the name of public health, drug policy has allowed mass incarceration of the poorest men, pumped up the prison system into a new form of slavery, funded the militarization of the police forces, corrupted law enforcement, and turned recreational drug users into criminals on demand, living in constant fear of arrest. The damage on US society is broad and deep, and it is damage done by bad laws, not damage done by drugs as such. And in Central and South America, the drug war is burning democracy alive, just as the continent is recovering from decades of genocidal right-wing dictatorships installed, funded, and aided by the US.


pages: 341 words: 89,986

Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made by Tom Wilkinson

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, experimental subject, false memory syndrome, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, housing crisis, Kitchen Debate, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, megacity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

Beggars, vagrants, the idle, the infirm, the insane, epileptics, the venereally diseased and young women who had fallen or ‘seemed likely to fall’ into debauch – fully one per cent of Paris’ population – were locked up in the hospitals at Bicêtre and Salpêtrière. Inmates of the latter hospital were finely graded following a policy of what John Thompson and Grace Goldin called ‘divide and conquer’: each idiot, each maniac and each melancholic had his or her cell, which – because of the building’s low-lying site – periodically filled with Seine water and sewer rats. This mass incarceration, which Michel Foucault called ‘the Great Confinement’, was repeated across Europe: for example, in England there were houses of correction and later workhouses. In the Bethlem Royal Hospital, which under its nickname Bedlam became a byword for insanity, inmates were subjected to the stares and laughter of the paying public: advertising the attractions within, a statue on the gate represented ‘raving’ madness bound in chains.


pages: 285 words: 86,174

Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Chris Hayes

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, carried interest, circulation of elites, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kenneth Arrow, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, mass incarceration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, Vilfredo Pareto, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Hertz notes that race is a crucial factor in mobility, particularly for those in the lowest income bracket. “The gap between median black family income and median white family income hasn’t changed in twenty years,” he told me. “That is not a society moving toward equality. It’s a society that’s reproducing inequality by race.” Part of this is likely due to the rise of the war on drugs and mass incarceration, which disproportionately impacts African Americans. A report based on the research of Bruce Western and Becky Pettit, published by Pew, looked at the effect that our criminal justice policies have on social mobility. It found that incarceration dramatically reduces earnings after release, as well as the prospects for children of those incarcerated. The report notes that “1 in every 28 children in the United States—more than 3.6 percent—now has a parent in jail or prison.


pages: 271 words: 83,944

The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty

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affirmative action, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, El Camino Real, haute couture, illegal immigration, Lao Tzu, late fees, mass incarceration, p-value, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, telemarketer, theory of mind, War on Poverty, white flight, yellow journalism

Racial vortices like the intersection of Florence and Normandie, where misbegotten trucker Reginald Denny caught a cinder block, a forty-ounce, and fucking centuries of frustration to the face. Chavez Ravine, where a generations-old Mexican-American neighborhood was torn down, its residents forcibly removed, beaten, and left uncompensated to make room for a baseball stadium with ample parking and the Dodger Dog. Seventh Street, between Mesa and Centre, is the vortex where in 1942 a long line of buses idled as Japanese-Americans began the first step toward mass incarceration. And where would Hominy be most happy but on the #125 bus rolling through Dickens, a racial vortex unto itself. His seat on the right-hand side, three rows from the front door, the spinning epicenter of racism. The signs were such good replicas, most people didn’t notice the difference, and even after you “read” them, your comprehension tricked you into thinking the signs said what they’d always said, PRIORITY SEATING FOR SENIORS AND THE DISABLED, and although it was the first, the yogi’s complaint wouldn’t be the only one Marpessa fielded that day.


pages: 637 words: 128,673

Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mass incarceration, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, single-payer health, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen

Robert Kagan and William Kristol (San Francisco, 2000), as cited by Bacevich, The New American Militarism, 86. 18. The New York Times reported that the then head of CNN “made a public show of meeting with Republican leaders in Washington to discuss CNN’s perceived liberal bias.” According to the Times CNN subsequently became more conservative. April 16, 2003, B-9. 19. See Marie Gottschalk, The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 2, 15, 19. See also Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn, From Noose to Needle: Capital Punishment and the Late Liberal State (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002), 166–68, 173–74. 20. During the Katrina disaster the federal government suspended minimum wage requirements for some businesses under contract for the cleanup operations. 21.


pages: 503 words: 131,064

Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier

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airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K, zero-sum game

Beck (1997), “Lifetime Likelihood of Going to State or Federal Prison,” Special Report NCJ-160092, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Heather C. West, William J. Sabol, and Sarah J. Greenman (2010), “Prisoners in 2009,” Report NCJ 231675, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Bruce Western and Christopher Wildeman (2009), “The Black Family and Mass Incarceration,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 621:221–42. increasing shoplifting Kerry Segrave (2001), Shoplifting: A Social History, Mcfarland & Co. fewer bicycle riders Maxwell H. Cameron, A. Peter Vulcan, Caroline F. Finch, and Stuart V. Newstead (1994). “Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Use Following a Decade of Helmet Promotion in Victoria, Australia: An Evaluation,” Accident Analysis & Prevention, 26:325–7.


pages: 513 words: 141,963

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari

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Airbnb, centre right, failed state, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, mass incarceration, McJob, moral panic, Naomi Klein, placebo effect, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, Steven Pinker, traveling salesman, War on Poverty

Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1973. Heather, Nick, ed. The Essential Handbook of Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2004. Hentoff, Nat. At the Jazz Band Ball. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2010. ———. The Jazz Life. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 1961. Herivel, Tara, and Paul Wright, eds. Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration. New York: New Press, 2007. Hickman, Timothy A. The Secret Leprosy of Modern Days: Narcotic Addiction and Cultural Crisis in the United States, 1870–1920. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007. Hillman, D.C.A. The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008. Holiday, Billie, with William Dufty. Lady Sings the Blues. London: Penguin UK, 1984.


pages: 465 words: 134,575

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces by Radley Balko

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anti-communist, call centre, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, desegregation, edge city, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, moral panic, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan

For a comparison with Connecticut crime rates, see US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Reported Crime in Connecticut.” 25. Kit Miniclier, “Critics Say ‘No-Knocks’ Dangerous, Unnecessary,” Denver Post, January 27, 1995. 26. Egan, “Soldiers of the Drug War Remain on Duty.” 27. US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, “Department of Justice and Department of Defense Joint Technology Program: Second Anniversary Report” (February 1997). 28. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2012), pp. 141–145. 29. The ABC World News Tonight episode, which aired March 28, 1996, is summarized in Peter Kraska and Victor Kappeler, “Militarizing American Police: The Rise and Normalization of Paramilitary Units,” Social Problems 44 (1, February 1997). 30. 18 USC § 3109. 31. Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 US 927 (1995). 32. Richards v.

Year 501 by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, long peace, mass incarceration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor

Pew Research Center, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp /2014/12/15/that-big-cia-torture-report-americans-just-shrugged/. Other polls had similar results. 6. See the seminal study by Edward Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books, 2014). For the post-slavery era, see among others Donald Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name (Anchor, 2009) and Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness (New Press, 2010). The trilogy should be required reading for Americans who wish to understand their country. 7. Barack Obama, “Statement by the President on Cuba Policy Change,” press release, www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/17statement -president-cuba-policy-changes. 8. Nicolas Kristof, “Welcome Back, Cuba,” NYT, Dec. 17, 2014.­­ http:// www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/opinion/nicholas-kristof-welcome-back -cuba.html?


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

We’re really struggling against just a really massive surveillance-military-prison-industrial complex. The ACLU looks really good, but we punch above our weight. We’re a relatively small organization. There aren’t really very many organizations doing the work we do, as far as cutting across the digital and [physical world] boundaries.” Indeed, the ACLU’s slate is a full one, tackling cases and policies related to anything from mass incarceration to drone strikes, the drug war to immigration, LGBT rights to CIA torture. Despite any limitations it might have in terms of funding or number of personnel, the ACLU is well served by this expansive portfolio, particularly when its representatives, such as Crockford, acknowledge that many of these issues remain interconnected. For example, addressing government surveillance inevitably involves considering issues of corporate surveillance and data collection, the so-called war on terror, and civil liberties.


pages: 444 words: 138,781

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

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affirmative action, Cass Sunstein, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, dumpster diving, ending welfare as we know it, fixed income, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jobless men, late fees, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, payday loans, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, statistical model, superstar cities, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, working poor, young professional

Eviction reveals people’s vulnerability and desperation, as well as their ingenuity and guts. Fewer and fewer families can afford a roof over their head. This is among the most urgent and pressing issues facing America today, and acknowledging the breadth and depth of the problem changes the way we look at poverty. For decades, we’ve focused mainly on jobs, public assistance, parenting, and mass incarceration. No one can deny the importance of these issues, but something fundamental is missing. We have failed to fully appreciate how deeply housing is implicated in the creation of poverty. Not everyone living in a distressed neighborhood is associated with gang members, parole officers, employers, social workers, or pastors. But nearly all of them have a landlord. PART ONE RENT 1. THE BUSINESS OF OWNING THE CITY Before the city yielded to winter, as cold and gray as a mechanic’s wrench, before Arleen convinced Sherrena Tarver to let her boys move into the Thirteenth Street duplex, the inner city was crackling with life.


pages: 580 words: 168,476

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, declining real wages, deskilling, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jobless men, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, London Interbank Offered Rate, lone genius, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, obamacare, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” American Economic Review 94, no. 4 (September 2004): 991–1013; and J. Braucher, D. Cohen, and R. M. Lawless, “Race, Attorney Influence, and Bankruptcy Chapter Choice,” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (forthcoming). 50. See D. Pager, “The Mark of a Criminal Record,” American Journal of Sociology 108, no. 5 (2003): 937–75; and Devah Pager, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 20007). 51. Center for Diseases and Control, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2009,” National Vital Statistics Reports 59, no. 4 (March 2011): 16. 52. In 2009 a typical Hispanic had wealth of only $6,325, while, as we noted in chapter 1, a typical white had $113,149. Four years earlier a typical white household had “only” ten times that of blacks. About a third of Hispanics (31 percent) and blacks (35 percent) had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared with half that number (15 percent) for whites.


pages: 558 words: 168,179

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor

Koch Industries had a representative on ALEC’s corporate board for nearly two decades, and during this time ALEC produced numerous bills promoting the interests of fossil fuel companies such as Koch Industries. In 2013 alone, it produced some seventy bills aimed at impeding government support for alternative, renewable energy programs. Later the Kochs presented themselves as champions of criminal justice reform, but while they were active in ALEC, it was instrumental in pushing for the kinds of draconian prison sentences that helped spawn America’s mass incarceration crisis. For years among ALEC’s most active members was the for-profit prison industry. In 1995, for instance, ALEC began promoting mandatory-minimum sentences for drug offenses. Two years later, Charles Koch bailed ALEC out financially with a $430,000 loan. In 2009, the conservative movement in the states gained another dimension. The State Policy Network added its own “investigative news” service, partnering with a new organization called the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity and sprouting news bureaus in some forty states.


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The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

Parsons, Patrick R. (1996). “Two Tales of a City: John Walson, Sr., Mahanoy City, and the ‘Founding’ of Cable TV,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 40, no. 3: 354–65. Patton, Phil. (1995). “How the Internet Began,” Popular Science, June, p. 85. “People & Events: Selma March” (2000). PBS Online. www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/wallace/peopleevents/pande08.html. Pettit, Becky. (2012). Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Pew Research Center. (2013). “Home Internet Access.” http://www.pewresearch.org/data-trend/media-and-technology/internet-penetration/. Pew Research Internet Project. (2014). “Mobile Technology Fact Sheet,” Pew Research Internet Project. www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/. Phelan, Rev. J. J. (1919).


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Within hours of the gendarmes abandoning their posts, that famously safe city was hit with six bank robberies, twelve arsons, a hundred lootings, and two homicides before the Mounties were called in to restore order.160 But the case that the incarceration boom led to the crime decline is far from watertight.161 For one thing, the prison bulge began in the 1980s, but violence did not decline until a decade later. For another, Canada did not go on an imprisonment binge, but its violence rate went down too. These facts don’t disprove the theory that imprisonment mattered, but they force it to make additional assumptions, such as that the effect of imprisonment builds up over time, reaches a critical mass, and spills over national borders. Mass incarceration, even if it does lower violence, introduces problems of its own. Once the most violent individuals have been locked up, imprisoning more of them rapidly reaches a point of diminishing returns, because each additional prisoner become less and less dangerous, and pulling them off the streets makes a smaller and smaller dent in the violence rate.162 Also, since people tend to get less violent as they get older, keeping men in prison beyond a certain point does little to reduce crime.