Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Economics of Prison Labor: A Dirty Little Secret Legacy from the Left

I follow Robert Reich on Facebook, This morning I saw this article posted by him from the New Orleans Times Picayune: Bernie Pitches Louisiana Dems on His Presidential Bid (with audio).

Of course Robert Reich does not control the content of the Times Picayune. But the events that follow not only raised more questions, but raised the hair on the back of my neck.

The Time Picayune article covered Bernie Sanders's speech and covered some of his positions, But the obvious omission from the article was Bernie's statements about Sandra Bland and the unemployment rate and economy of African Americans,

I was compelled to post a comment because of the omission. My question was simple and not rhetorical: "What is the economic impact of prison slave labor?"

Immediately, within minutes I got two "likes" and the response comment "Good question, Fred."

Later, I saw the red notification dot and checked the responses There were some from another comment, on a different post, but the notifications about my question completely vanished. That never happened to me before.

I went to my activity log and looked for a record of my posting the comment, and that too was erased from my activity log. I went to Robert Reich's Facebook page to find the article again so I could see if my comment-question was there, and it was gone as if it never happened, along with the responses to my comment from the other users.

Clearly something was up. The deletion of my comment and my activity on Facebook suggests that someone reported my question as offensive or spam. It could be anyone. On some of my comments on past posts, some people have misconstrued in their responses to my comments that what I was writing was racist, but that didn't result in my comment and activity being deleted

What Happened to my comment on Robert Reich's post was extraordinary. So I looked into my own question. "What is the economic impact of prison slave labor?" Here is a list of some enlightening Google search results?

Oh, I can't leave out one dissenting opinion about this which was picked up by CounterPunch: The Myth of US Slave Labor Camps in the US. I have CounterPunch on my list of sources, but I question whether or not to keep it.

Anyway, did something catch your eye? Something in the second article listed? The link to Global Research? An obscure reference to a law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996?

Solitary Watch: Two Clinton Era Laws That Allow Cruel and Unusual Punishment (redux).

Who was Bill Clinton's Economic Adviser at the time? Robert Reich.

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