What the Prison System should teach Americans
This article/editorial/opinion isn't about our standard topics. Most people writing from the inside of our nation's state-of-the-art incarceration system speak of an us/them form of class struggle, of democracy and the feeling of being disempowered. I have never felt like I was disempowered as I have never consented to my ultimate rights as an American. Others will tell you that they feel that prisons overwhelmingly discriminate against certain ethnic groups and that is partially true, yet that message misses the mark on what one should feel about being in prison as an American citizen.
For me, prison is the future of my country. I am a full blooded, native born, dyed in the wool capitalist. It is my birthright to espouse the ideals of Republicanism, not Democracy as soo many of my fellow inmates think. The difference is marked as Democracy in the end leads our country down the "road to serfdom", as Hayek so eloquently stated it in the same named book. I am not a [drinker?] of the new ideals of American political thought. I see what 'universal healthcare', 'fair share', and the meaning of 'equality' truly mean in a socialist economy.
I know what they mean precisely because I am living in a socialist's dream! I have the so-called 'universal' healthcare.. which is code for triage and limited medications.. no truly valuable vitamins or proper medical care is available, even though on paper it is listed as provided. There is no freedom of choice, no option to find another medical provider; in fact, the attempt to do so results in being deemed non-compliant and risk possible punishments as you inevitably result in using the 'black market' of the prison for what is needed.
The term 'fair share' here is also what your political leaders wish to give you. Here, the quality of inmate work suffers b/c good workers are given a disincentive to produce quality... you are paid the same wages if you do good or bad.. so why work hard? You can not get overtime, or better pay rates b/c everything is capped and regulated under the ideal of 'fairness'. The result is that everyone does the bare minimum, save a few souls who work hard simply to take their minds off being in prison. If you truly want to earn your real 'fair share', you have to work in the black market of prison, where you can be a jailhouse lawyer, a tailor, an artist, tutor, laundry cleaner, bookie, tattoo artist, protection, lover, storage, typer, you name it if it's in demand.. you will be paid whatever the market demands, often magnitudes higher than what the 'fair share' of the government would dictate.
So imagine yourself in that great socialist economy of the future America! You'll have exactly what we have in prison: universal healthcare, equality of station, your fair share, access to free education.. All of it the lowest quality and forced upon you, to be a free market capitalist, to want to be more than the bare minimum, to want to improve your living conditions is outlawed! This is what you will receive in spades if you promise things that you can't afford, if you create massive social welfare programs (we get welfare too..).
Or, you could go out and read about your founding fathers, about why the government wasn't meant to do what we have now, let alone more. Read about being free, and embracing the responsibility to use it wisely. Do not let our nation become a socialist prison... fight to restore it to it's intended form. Be free, be a capitalist like me!!
Transcribed in 2017
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