Chapter 8 

Where Do We Go From Here? 

q     Need to Think “out of the box”

q      Recognize existence of social inequality in all of its forms

q      Realize the vested interests ingrained in the crime control industry

q     Fighting crime is big business and “revenues” depend upon a steady supply of criminals and victims.  

 

New Study on race and wealth from Brandeis University found:

The Importance of the Economy 

         Case study of Green Bay, WI illustrates the importance of the economic system

         Closing of high-paying jobs replaced by low-wage jobs – including a casino (what does this tell us about our culture?)

         Anomie theory relates these kinds of changes to crime and crime control  

American-style Capitalism is the Real Culprit 

         Why should this be a surprise?

         The “relations of production” are marked by an almost total separation of the workers (i.e., producers) from the means of production.

         Workers are at the mercy of the owners

        Hence owners can get away with transporting jobs to 3rd world countries 

The drive for profit  

         “Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.  For on rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the rich supposes the indigence of the many.” – Adam Smith

         This stems directly from the power vested in those who own the companies 

Power and control  

         The desire to have power and control over others tends to permeate throughout the society.

        This applies to owners of large multinational corporations and leaders of drug gangs trying to maintain power and control over their local “drug markets.”

 Government assistance 

         The accumulation of capital, and hence great wealth and inequality, would not be possible without the assistance of the state.

         Instead of an “invisible hand” the state directly aids corporate profit making 

Growth of Surplus Population 

         This “reserve army” Marx referred to has grown and becomes susceptible to criminal activity and obviously arrest and imprisonment

         Contradictions of capitalism – conflict between owners and workers, with owners usually winning and workers being shuffled to the side

 European capitalism 

         While Europe is capitalistic, there are checks on the drive for profit, especially in the form of labor unions and other institutions

         This is one reason why Europe’s crime rate is much lower and also its incarceration rate 

Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed  

         Lived and worked with the “working poor” for a year

         Among her research findings include the fact that they could barely get by on the wages earned

         Constant struggle to find housing and affordable health care

        Over 40 million without health care today

        Poor housing market, as you all are aware of 

Transformation of the economy 

         Recent changes:

        Technological

        Globalization

        Movement of capital

        Shift from manufacturing to services. 

A “low-wage society”  

         More than two-thirds of all poor families with children included one or more individuals who worked in 2003.

         The average weekly wages, adjusted for inflation, in 2001 were still 13.3% less tan their peak value in 1972.

         Figure 8-1 tells it all http://www.demos.org/inequality/numbers.cfm 

What can I do, you ask? 

         I have made many suggestions for solutions on my web site, but before we do anything we simply need to confront inequality and figure out how to restore the American Dream

         I close this chapter with a parable.

         Imagine a large river with a high waterfall (read the last part of the chapter)

 

q     Need to Think “out of the box”

q      Recognize existence of social inequality in all of its forms

q      Realize the vested interests ingrained in the crime control industry

q     Fighting crime is big business and “revenues” depend upon a steady supply of criminals and victims.  

The Importance of the Economy 

         Case study of Green Bay, WI illustrates the importance of the economic system

         Closing of high-paying jobs replaced by low-wage jobs – including a casino (what does this tell us about our culture?)

         Anomie theory relates these kinds of changes to crime and crime control  

American-style Capitalism is the Real Culprit 

         Why should this be a surprise?

         The “relations of production” are marked by an almost total separation of the workers (i.e., producers) from the means of production.

         Workers are at the mercy of the owners

        Hence owners can get away with transporting jobs to 3rd world countries 

The drive for profit  

         “Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.  For on rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the rich supposes the indigence of the many.” – Adam Smith

         This stems directly from the power vested in those who own the companies 

Power and control  

         The desire to have power and control over others tends to permeate throughout the society.

        This applies to owners of large multinational corporations and leaders of drug gangs trying to maintain power and control over their local “drug markets.”

 Government assistance 

         The accumulation of capital, and hence great wealth and inequality, would not be possible without the assistance of the state.

         Instead of an “invisible hand” the state directly aids corporate profit making 

Growth of Surplus Population 

         This “reserve army” Marx referred to has grown and becomes susceptible to criminal activity and obviously arrest and imprisonment

         Contradictions of capitalism – conflict between owners and workers, with owners usually winning and workers being shuffled to the side

 European capitalism 

         While Europe is capitalistic, there are checks on the drive for profit, especially in the form of labor unions and other institutions

         This is one reason why Europe’s crime rate is much lower and also its incarceration rate 

Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed  

         Lived and worked with the “working poor” for a year

         Among her research findings include the fact that they could barely get by on the wages earned

         Constant struggle to find housing and affordable health care

        Over 40 million without health care today

        Poor housing market, as you all are aware of 

Transformation of the economy 

         Recent changes:

        Technological

        Globalization

        Movement of capital

        Shift from manufacturing to services. 

A “low-wage society”  

         More than two-thirds of all poor families with children included one or more individuals who worked in 2003.

         The average weekly wages, adjusted for inflation, in 2001 were still 13.3% less tan their peak value in 1972.

         Figure 8-1 tells it all http://www.demos.org/inequality/numbers.cfm 

What can I do, you ask? 

         I have made many suggestions for solutions on my web site, but before we do anything we simply need to confront inequality and figure out how to restore the American Dream

         I close this chapter with a parable.

         Imagine a large river with a high waterfall (read the last part of the chapter)