Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Distorted Capitalism

With all the terrible urban uprisings and murders,  There's been a lot of talk why such a huge percentage of young black men were filling up the jails for non-violent crimes.  Well, once again, I came to the conclusion, capitalism.  With the influx of privatized jails, there became a need to fill up the cells.  Now, clearly, I watch a lot of television and many law shows have shown the added corruption with kickbacks to help fill the jails.  I am not saying that's what is happening, but the corporations that own the private jails are making money hand over fist.  Jails are overcrowded and they have to keep building.  Is that the road we want to take?  Why in the world did anyone think that making jails a profit making business was a good path?  Isn't it antithetical to the desired outcome?  Don't we want less people in jails?  Are these jails helping anyone rehabilitate?  Get the inmates education?  Preparing them for their return?  Nah.  Just throw them back out on the street when their sentences are up and hope for the best.  It's a joke.  Seriously, a profitable business???  Hello?? Does that make any sense?

Another profit making business only good for the corporation...standardized test makers.  What a bloody racquet that is.  My kids have only had to take one test a year, but it wasn't really important to their progress in school because it's private school, but for all the kids that are in public's ridiculous.  The point is that the test making companies have found a huge well of money.  The students are getting robbed of a real education because more and more school districts and governments are relying on scores for a measure of learning and financial support.  It's a crime what is happening in schools.  It is restraining teachers creativity and students interest in learning.  

The other profit making tests?  The SAT and the ACT.  The must-do college entrance exams. Another joke.  I have no idea, unless you soar at standardized testing, how a 16 or 17 year old can do well on these tests without tutoring.  It is pouring so much money down the drain.  I never knew it was a billion dollar business until my nephews started going through the college process ten years ago.  All I could do is shake my head.  Colleges and universities should stop using them as a source of accomplishment.  It's not.  If you do great, that's great but it's after hours of studying and practicing, so what's that showing?  Isn't ones GPA and personal references more of a snapshot of the calibre of achievements?  What a waste of money.  I do know there are institutions that have stopped requiring the tests, but I would love to cut these companies at the knees and have all the colleges stop using them as a measure of success.  If your child goes to a bad testing site, that effects the outcome.  Not all sites are created equal, particularly in urban areas.  Some schools are old and have teeny desks, some schools are gloriously brand new with light and large desks.  It does matter.  So what kind of measure is it, really?  

These profit-making corporations are making money on the backs of vulnerable young people.  Does that make them heartless bloodsuckers?  Well, yes.  Why do we allow it?  There are so many companies making money on the vulnerable.  Don't get me started on healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.  Before anyone says it's Obama's fault, it isn't.  Healthcare has always been a problem once money got involved.  Pharmaceutical companies want to be repaid for all their research money invested.  That's fair, but isn't there a limit?  Maybe they should calculate all their expenditures and once repaid, costs can be reasonable.  I don't know. What I do know is that the older I get, the less pro-capitalist I become.  There has to be a better way, but I am not sure that we can put the genie back in the bottle (otherwise known as executives/shareholders).  You know how the song goes, "how you gonna keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen Paree?"   

Sidebars:  The Voice is getting down to the semi-finals.  And then there were 5.  It was a shocking ending to Tuesday's results show.  Before we got to the end, they brought back past contestants from previous seasons to perform.  Seriously, I have watched each and every season, but for the life of me I only recognized two and one of those was last season's winner.  What does that say?  Well, it's already been pointed out year in and year out, that The Voice hasn't produced any lasting stars like American Idol. What The Voice does is bring you into the process, so sitting at home you can really learn from the judges.  No stars created yet other than the judges.  Dancing With the Stars has become so over-produced.  They have added too many professional back up dancers that it often detracts from the "star" couple.  NBA playoffs continue on.  Rooting loudly for Golden State Warriors and the Clippers!!  Come on!!!  San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees must be surprising baseball lovers.  Both have started shockingly strong.  I know, I know, many more games until the post-season. Enjoy your day!  Don't take the ones you love for granted.

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  1. You are spot on! What's your take on all of this police brutality? I have grown obsessed with it all! I am finding that, when you really dig deeper, it's a huge issue, especially with disabled people who have autism or serious forms of mental illness. My daughter has occasional meltdowns with her autism and since moving from a very rural area in Missouri, to the middle of Downtown Kansas City, Ks. where no one knows us, I have decided that I will NOT be calling the cops for any reason whatsoever. In the past, I have needed assistance to get her to a psychiatric hospital for treatment, but I cannot take a chance on that assistance in the city. Some officers are way too trigger-happy and cannot be trusted. I hate to generalize, but that's how I'm feeling at the moment. Until recently, I have always had complete faith in our judicial system and a total respect for authority of all kinds. What's your take on all of it? We seem to think alike on a lot of subjects! I'm curious about your opinion. Thanks for writing the blog!

  2. Mitzi, thank you so much for both reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment. This is a very difficult situation. I don't know how things have gotten so out of hand. Maybe not having neighborhood police officers has made things more combative.
    Thank you again!