More Inmates today in US Prisons than in Stalin’s Gulag

John Seiler:

Incredible. America now has more people in its stuffed prisons, 6 million, than were stuck in Stalin’s gulag prison system. Reports Fareed Zakaria on

“Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and –Britain – with a rate among the ­highest — has 153….

“This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent. In 1980 the U.S.’s prison population was about 150 per 100,000 adults. It has more than quadrupled since then. So something has happened in the past 30 years to push millions of Americans into prison.

“That something, of course, is the war on drugs. Drug convictions went from 15 inmates per 100,000 adults in 1980 to 148 in 1996, an almost tenfold increase. More than half of America’s federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession….”

Yet, even in California, it’s hard to pass even the partial legalization of marijuana during a time of massive budget deficits. And new initiatives are failing this year.

People would rather go bankrupt than stop putting pot pushers in prison.

Meanwhile, if you want to, you can go to your local grocery or liquor store, plop down $5 for a fifth of Ol’ Skull Popper vodka, and really get wiped out.

I’m not advocating the use of marijuana, any more than I am saying people should get blotto on vodka. I’ve never sued illegal drugs myself.

But government bankruptcy is serious. It costs around $50,000 a year to keep a petty dope dealer in the klink. Don’t we have better uses of that money? (My favorite: cut taxes.)

Maybe the ongoing national and state financial disasters, which are only going to get worse, finally will push at least partial legalization of drugs.


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  1. beelzebub
    beelzebub 26 March, 2012, 02:15

    It’s a national disgrace to incarcerate 760 of every 100,000 when most other developed nations incarcerate less than 100. A national disgrace. Shameful.

    Write a bad check and JoeSixPack does time. Mr. Bankster can swindle the consumer and taxpayer out of billions and never sees the inside of a slammmer.

    Reply this comment
  2. Bob
    Bob 26 March, 2012, 23:13

    Mr. Bankster can swindle the consumer and taxpayer out of billions and never sees the inside of a slammmer.

    And Dick Cheney can murder over a 100,000 brown people and he gets a new heart.

    Our rulers steal us blind with taxation and inflation and 0 interest rates on our savings and run up ruinous government debt and make endless enemies for us with their illegal wars and other foreign meddlign while treating us all like potential terrorists and criminals.

    Amerika, whadda country!

    Reply this comment
  3. Mike
    Mike 27 March, 2012, 08:38

    This is what unabashed capitalism looks like. The wheels of profit must keep turning – no matter how many people get crushed beneath them.

    Reply this comment
  4. beelzebub
    beelzebub 27 March, 2012, 09:49

    “And Dick Cheney can murder over a 100,000 brown people and he gets a new heart”

    What a sham that was, eh bob?

    Mr. Evil himself gets a new heart @ 71 yoa and no doubt on the taxpayer’s dime.

    When I heard that I revoked my consent to all organ donations. I simply would not take a chance that a pig like Cheney would end up with one of my body parts.

    And why would anyone give their body part away for free? Do the surgeons, the nurses, the lab techs, the hospitals, the pharmaceutical companies, etc.. provide their services and products at no charge when transplanting a heart? So why should the poor guy who provides the main ingredient of the transplant not collect a dime to pass along to his heirs for his body part? Is that the American way? Once again, the little guy gets screwed royally.

    You’re one of the guys on this board who really gets it, bob. I really commend your knowledge and your ability to see what’s going on behind the iron curtain.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ryan
    Ryan 17 November, 2012, 07:20

    Mike, this is not capitalism. I guess you were educated in a state sponsored institution? This is government meddling in the privates lives of certain citizens in order to increase the profits of another certain few citizens. I’m at a loss as to how one could blame the police state on capitalism.

    Reply this comment
  6. CoreySpenner
    CoreySpenner 3 March, 2014, 11:07

    It is capitalism. Capitalism always leads to rich folk controling government, which they make bigger in some areas, whilst rampantly deregulating others.

    Reply this comment

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