# 274 Capitalism and The US Prison System
In this episode: I am joined by Talk Hogan, Cannon, and friends from the Stereo app.
Taken from a Stereo talk on 1.25.22
We go deep in the episode discussing how capitalism does not work for the majority of people. We also discuss the US prison system and the existence of slave labor within it. Old Spice, Levis, Nike, and many other products are made by prisoners making $0.88 per hour on average. There is a trend toward privatizing prisons in the US, so they can be used to generate profit. You combine for profit prisons with ridiculous drug laws and the slave labor in prison and a clear picture emerges of a fascist state run by and for corporations.
In California 10% of the firefighters battling our ever-increasing wildfires are prisoners paid $2 per hour. This is disgusting. Not only are these prisoners risking their lives to protect others, but there is no path toward a career with the fired department when they are released. I would think they would be paid a living wage for their service, and that there would be an apprenticeship program with a path to a career when released.
Another example of the corporate fleecing of the US taxpayer is the privatization of public lands. For example, The Presidio in San Francisco used to be a military base, paid for with taxpayer money. When it was decommissioned as a military base it was auctioned off to for profit developers. This would have been a perfect place to house the homeless and create computer and job training programs as the military infrastructure was still in place with housing and many office buildings.
Instead of using this property to benefit the taxpayers that paid for it, it was sold to the highest bidder. There was no caveat that the housing needed to be low income, no homeless shelters, and no job training facilities. This was basically a complete transfer of property from the public to the private sector. The housing was all remodeled and rented at market rate, in a city known for its lack of affordable housing. This is a perfect example of how our government fails the taxpayer and bends over backward for corporations.
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