September 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton's unchallenged, illogical statement about private prisons.

In the middle of the impressionistic and meandering answers to Lester Holt's question "So how do you heal the divide?" — the "very wide and bitter gap" over "race relations" in America — Hillary said one thing that was simply illogical on its face. From the transcript:
I’m glad that we’re ending private prisons in the federal system; I want to see them ended in the state system. You shouldn’t have a profit motivation to fill prison cells with young Americans.
Government prosecutes criminals and obtains convictions and prison sentences. If government uses privately run prisons, it must pay these private businesses to house its prisoners. The entity filling the prison therefore has an economic incentive against putting more people in prison. The private business — the one with the "profit motivation" — has no power to create more prisoners. I can see opposing private prisons for other reasons, but Hillary's justification made no sense to me other than a random expression of disgust for business.

She zipped on to other race-related ideas, and Trump never called attention to this nonsense. So I'm looking for answers on the web today. I found this from last June at The Intercept:
After The Intercept revealed that the Clinton campaign had received campaign donations from private prison lobbyists, a number of activist groups confronted Clinton, leading her to announce that she would no longer accept the money and later declaring that “we should end private prisons and private detention centers.”
Oh! So perhaps Clinton doesn't really believe in ending private prisons at all, and the nonsense I heard was a dog-whistle to her old lobbyist friends in the industry. She premised her objection on the terrible "profit motivation" — thus also dog-whistling to the Democratic Party's anti-corporations base — but anyone who begins with economics and reasons from there will understand that private prisons are a way for government to save money.

And here's Politico, last February, noting that the Clinton campaign made $8,600 contribution to a women's prison charity after she was criticized by ColorofChange for getting contributions from lobbyists for private prisons:
Despite the refunds, Clinton campaign continues to benefit handsomely from the fundraising assistance of some closely connected to the private prison business. In another report filed Sunday night, the campaign disclosed that Richard Sullivan of Capitol Counsel—until recently, a Raleigh, N.C.-based federally registered lobbyist for the for-profit prison operator GEO Group—bundled $69,363 in donations for Clinton in the fourth quarter, bringing his total for the year to a whopping $274,891. That makes Sullivan the second-most prolific lobbyist-bundler for the Clinton campaign, beaten out only by D.C. lobbyist Heather Podesta, who's tallied up $348,581 so far.
Bernie Sanders used this issue against Clinton, as HuffPo reported last February.

Here's the way Hillary Clinton's own website explains her current position:
Hillary believes we should move away from contracting out this core responsibility of the federal government to private corporations. We must not create private industry incentives that may contribute—or have the appearance of contributing—to over-incarceration. The campaign does not accept contributions from federally registered lobbyists or PACs for private prison companies and will donate any such direct contributions to charity.
Ah, so it's really on the "the appearance of contributing" to over-incarceration that matters. Too bad Trump had absolutely no instinct to jump on this issue: She took contributions, Bernie and racial justice groups slammed her on it, she flipped her position for political appearance, and she doesn't see the need to talk straight about the economics of it; she says nothing about anything abusive happening in these private prison; her only reason is an economic point that makes no sense.

And check this out, from The Daily Beast: "Hillary Clinton’s Pitch to End Private Prisons Is the Surprise Hit of the Presidential Debate/A focus group in Pennsylvania loved Clinton’s attack on prisons that profit from inmates. Her position could help win a decisive victory in the state."

I guess that's good news for Trump: It's not about making sense. 

78 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Private prisons cannot get anyone sent to prison, but they could put things on a prisoner's record that would make them unlikely to be paroled, thus increasing the total prison population.

Of course, everyone running every government agency has their own empire to build, so federally run prisons have the exact same motivation as privately run prisons.

Sebastian said...

"The private business — the one with the "profit motivation" — has no power to create more prisoners. I can see opposing private prisons for other reasons, but Hillary's justification made no sense to me other than a random expression of disgust for business." Makes perfect sense. Business bad. Private business very bad. Private prison business very, very bad. Government aiding profit motive of private prison business very, very, very bad. But good politics. Progs don't do logic or consistency. I thought you knew.

"Trump never called attention to this nonsense . . . Too bad Trump had absolutely no instinct to jump on this issue." Back to faux surprise? Trump would have to know something. He'd have to have debating skills. He'd have to, you know, prepare and, god forbid, even read something.

"And check this out, from The Daily Beast: "Hillary Clinton’s Pitch to End Private Prisons Is the Surprise Hit of the Presidential Debate/A focus group in Pennsylvania loved Clinton’s attack on prisons that profit from inmates. Her position could help win a decisive victory in the state." That's all the sense she cares about. I read somewhere that people are sensitive to what they see and hear. They hear what they want to hear. A little illogic goes a long way. Sense is overrated.

rehajm said...

It's disturbing to see Democrats wrestle with basic economic incentives. Like an emergency meeting of the flat earth society scratching their heads over why the ships keep coming back to port when we watched them sail off the edge.

rhhardin said...

It's not about making sense is right.

All debates are aimed at women and not offending them. Self-imposed PC.

Guys like to see PC trashed. They get PC from their girlfriends but it's the price of getting laid. It shouldn't be allowed to ruin the country. That's PC run amok.

rehajm said...

Hillary kept referring to 'trickle down' as if it's an established economic model. It's just name calling, the mental equivalent of 'poopiehead', yet she doesn't seem to recognize that.

DOuglas2 said...

"focus group in Pennsylvania", where a juvi-court judge who was on the take from the private prison company made sure that there were enough prison sentences handed down to keep it full...

David Begley said...

It just sounds good to liberals and blacks.

For liberals, the profit motive is inherently bad. For blacks, private prisons represents The Man making money on their wrongful convictions. Everyone in jail is innocent. It works for her base.

Laslo Spatula said...

Prisoner 84108-H117 says:

Having been incarcerated in both a Federal Prison and a Private Prison I have to say the prison rape is pretty much the same.

The size of the cocks forced in my ass: about the same.

The physical force of the cocks roughly pushed in my ass: about the same.

The staying power of the cocks in my ass: about the same.

I appreciate you all having this discussion over who should run prisons, but I kinda wish you'd spend a little time instead making prison rape more infrequent and gentle.

I know, I know: you all think that rape is just an expected part of prison life, and even worthy of jokes.

Just know that when I DO get out I'm making someone on the Outside My Bitch.

I look forward to meeting you.


I am The Replacement Laslo.

Bob Ellison said...

Incorrect, Professor.

One does not run a business in order to do away with the customers. In this case, the customer is the society that wants to imprison people. We've done away with imprisonable crime! Hooray! Let's shut the business down!

You run a business in order to provide, at a profit, a service or product. In the prison business, that means you want prisoners. In statist capitalism, you want more and more of them, because that makes you more powerful and increases your profits (though it may decrease your profit margin).

AReasonableMan said...

Althouse ignores kickbacks and revolving doors between business and government. Of course there can be perverse incentives to do stupid expensive shit. The military-industrial complex almost only ever does expensive stupid shit.

Bob Ellison said...

Your argument confuses profit margin with profit.

tim in vermont said...

She's not very bright, neither are a large number of her voters.

"focus group in Pennsylvania", where a juvi-court judge who was on the take from the private prison company made sure that there were enough prison sentences handed down to keep it full...

I guess that explains why they were giving money to Hillary. It makes perfect sense though to not come straight out against government corruption and payoffs from various industries that depend on government favors to politicians, because, then Hillary wouldn't be so goddamn rich!

PB said...

Gee, why pick on just that one? I thought Hillary did a competent job of repeating Democrat talking points with an artificial smile on her face. Unfortunately so many of those are fallacies or outright lies that it's hard to know where to begin as they came fast and furious. Robin Hood was a myth not a useful policy prescription.

tim in vermont said...

The military-industrial complex almost only ever does expensive stupid shit.

Their job is go keep us in a position of military superiority whenever our soldiers are on the battlefield, which they pretty much always do. It's the stupid politicians, like for example Hillary, Kerry, and Obama in recent years doing the really stupid shit.

ndspinelli said...

Tedious, thy name is Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not "ignoring" anything. I'm looking at what Hillary said and how it doesn't make sense. If there is additional argument that COULD HAVE been used, then she should have been pushed to use it. Does she want to accuse judges of having a bribery scheme? The listener can't invent and plug in facts like that to cause her argument to make sense. Her argument doesn't fit together on its own. She needs some other argument. Let her say it then. I'm complaining that no one even demanded that she make sense.

tim in vermont said...

The listener can't invent and plug in facts like that to cause her argument to make sense

That's how Obama got elected!

tim in vermont said...

Tedious, thy name is Althouse

As I understand it, there are literally millions of blogs. Somebody make you come here?

MayBee said...

How is this different than the incentives the powerful prison guard unions have to keep people incarcerated?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Private prisons cannot get anyone sent to prison, but they could put things on a prisoner's record that would make them unlikely to be paroled, thus increasing the total prison population."

-- That's a problem with government oversight then, just like if a drug company lies about the effectiveness of their drug and the government just believes them.

rehajm said...

tim in vermont said...
The listener can't invent and plug in facts like that to cause her argument to make sense

That's how Obama got elected!


Yes, that's a recurring and often successful strategy- supply an empty vessel and allow voters to fill it with their own dreams and wishes.

Take Back Vermont

CStanley said...

I think to make her argument make sense you have to think of it in the same way that Democrats favor "campaign finance reform".

Basically they consider it impossible for a politician to simply do the right thing and serve his or her constituents instead of special interests and donors, so they rail about the need to pass laws or change policy to prevent the donors, lobbyists, or other interest groups from giving them money.

I am always reminded of my son when he was about 4, getting scolded a few times for playing with the car's automatic window button and then asking us to lock it so that he wouldn't get in trouble.

MayBee said...

I can't stand Trump, but all of Hillary's positions and arguments for those positions are awful.

Private prisons are only going to be as bad as the Federal Agencies that over see them let them be.

Other awful, economically ridiculous things she mentioned last night:
Debt Free College
A higher ($12? $15?) federal minimum wage
Taxing the rich more to create more government jobs (I think this is her jobs plan)
Investing more more more in green energy because some country is going to be first

TreeJoe said...

Ann: I don't think Hillary's statement here were unreasonable. Quick and un-nuanced? Sure.

Private prisons are independent organizations with an incentive to maximize their bed usage, which winds up encouraging both prosecution and avoidance of early parole. I have no idea why a private prison should be allowed to accept prisoners from local jurisdictions - the opportunity for corruption is to great. But there it is.

The flip side is that government run prisons have pretty much the same incentives (for different reasons) and a similar history of corruption. And while it's very easy to build a movement against a corporation or private business, it's very hard to effect change in governmental institutions.

I don't understand Trump last night. Either he was sick, tired, or otherwise totally off his game. The number of times he could have taken Clinton to task and stripped away more of her base and voter enthusiasm - and didn't - was startling.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
I'm not "ignoring" anything.


You are ignoring context. Incarceration rates, like everything else, are functions of public opinion, political incentives and financial incentives. There is no objective 'Law' that stands apart from any of this.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Debt Free College"

-- Is perfectly doable if people didn't try to rush it in four years if that was beyond their means to pay and if society did not look down on people who didn't have degrees and black list them.

Rob said...

There is a certain logic to Hillary's position. If private prisons are more cost-effective than government prisons, getting rid of private prisons raises rhe cost of incarceration, thereby disincentivizing government from incarcerating people.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Illogical? The "entity" saving money can thereby afford to house more prisoners. I'm really curious how this works as a dog whistle "to her old lobbyist friends in the industry." They hear the whistle and ...

Joseph Angier said...

When a state contracts with a private prison company, there's a boilerplate clause that guarantees a certain occupancy rate that ranges from 90 to 100 percent. So whatever economic incentive the government might have had to limit the number of prisoners is off the table almost from the start. Since private prison company is going to get their money no matter what, you could make the case that since the prison beds are paid for, it looks better when they're actually filled with prisoners. And aside from the notorious case of the Pennsylvania judge taking kickbacks for every young person he sentenced to prison, there are well-sourced stories of private prison companies working behind the scenes to promote three-strikes laws, and to promote incarceration over deportation for illegal aliens. As for the argument that private prisons save money over state-run prisons, that's been almost thoroughly debunked, other than one study done in Tennessee that was mostly funded by a private prison company.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The number of times he could have taken Clinton to task and stripped away more of her base and voter enthusiasm - and didn't - was startling."

-- He was playing nice -- Well, Trump Nice -- this round so he could at the end say: "Look, I tried with the kid gloves. I held back from getting nasty. What did that get me? Called racist. Called sexist. Called incompetent. Well, that wasn't nice. Two can play that game."

I imagine he's going to get as nasty as we expected him to get, and then say, "Hey, she started it. I'm just punching back twice as hard." That was the point of his closing statement, I think.

Hagar said...

The government sentences people to prison; it must take the responsibility for operating the prisons. It is a duty that cannot be farmed out.

hombre said...

Most of her stuff about criminal justice reform is nonsense. The prisons aren't full of non-violent offenders. Blacks are proportionately, not disproportionately, incarcerated, if levels of offending are considered. Etc.

Criminal justice reform means only one thing to government officials: Reduce the prison population even if it will endanger the citizenry.

Jason said...

That corrupt Pennsylvania judge on the take? Democrat.

Funny how that never seems to get a mention in the media.

GWash said...

i think trump will spend more time preparing for the next event... his lack of preparation for this debate showed to the point that he is now accusing the event of purposely giving him a bad microphone... i guess it left out part of his statements... on the other hand all of the doomsayers on this blog about hilary's health were proven wrong. she looked strong and composed... it seemed to me that trump had the sniffles, the sweats and dry mouth...how does that play in to the art of the deal? it's pretty hard to stand up there in front of the world, knowing everyone is watching and each phrase will be dissected ad nauseum.. i think they both did a pretty good job...including Holt...

Francisco D said...

Hillary cannot be wrong. She is the smartest woman in politics.

Why did she fail the DC Bar Exam? It must have been sexism. What percentage of Yale Law graduates fail the exam?

In my field )Psychology), about 30% fail the licensing exam on their first try. The failure rate comes mostly from the professional (Psy.D.) schools, not the more prestigious public and private Ph.D. programs. I suspect it is horrendously embarrassing for a Ph.D. to fail the exam. Does Hillary ever feel embarrassed?

MayBee said...

Yes, Hillary looked strong and composed after taking off 6 days to do nothing but prepare for this event.

Michael said...

It is a common view among progs that private prisons are filled up by their evil operators. No amount of education can change their minds on this one.

As you see in the comment of ARM, above.

Good grief.

GWash said...

MayBee.. perhaps that's what it takes to be president.. you can't wing it and hope that it all comes out the way you want...its going to be hard for trump as prez to threaten to sue china and have them give in to him... that's one of his trademark moves that clinton failed to mention last night when she was talking about all the 'little' people he 'stiffed'..his response was 'that's called business'.. really?

Jon Ericson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael said...

ARM

Please explain this "public opinion" context that leads to more prisoners in private prisons. How is it different than a "public opinion" on government run prisons.

Curious

Ann Althouse said...

Jon Ericson, raise your standard. You are about to end up in the always-deleted category, along with only small handful of others whom I regard as trolls, meaning that they are here for the purpose of ruining the blog. I might be wrong in seeing you that way, but I'm tired of bothering to read the things you are saying. I will give you a few more chances, but if you fail, you will become a person whose comments are deleted without my reading them at all.

Ann Althouse said...

Joseph Angier said... "When a state contracts with a private prison company, there's a boilerplate clause that guarantees a certain occupancy rate that ranges from 90 to 100 percent. So whatever economic incentive the government might have had to limit the number of prisoners is off the table almost from the start. Since private prison company is going to get their money no matter what, you could make the case that since the prison beds are paid for, it looks better when they're actually filled with prisoners. And aside from the notorious case of the Pennsylvania judge taking kickbacks for every young person he sentenced to prison, there are well-sourced stories of private prison companies working behind the scenes to promote three-strikes laws, and to promote incarceration over deportation for illegal aliens. As for the argument that private prisons save money over state-run prisons, that's been almost thoroughly debunked, other than one study done in Tennessee that was mostly funded by a private prison company."

Thanks for bringing some dimension to the problem. I would like to see Hillary begin to explain herself in terms like this. She began by taking money from this industry and has only adjusted her position because of the criticism. So I'd like to see what she is actually willing to say about the problems in the private prison approach (which I haven't supported myself, and I remember decades ago when arguments were made that it was unconstitutional).

Jon Ericson said...

Imagine there's no gangbangers.
It's easy if you try.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael said...
Please explain this "public opinion" context that leads to more prisoners in private prisons. How is it different than a "public opinion" on government run prisons.


You are a weak liar. Reread what I actually said and come back with an actual argument.

EDH said...

Here's a plot from Showtime's Billions:

Lonnie (Malachi Weir) delivers the insider knowledge on Judge Wilcox to Chuck. It turns out that Chuck's judicial nemesis doesn't just have skeletons in his closet — he has a whole cemetery. Wilcox has been issuing a series of deeply racist judgments because he's an investor in a company called Baldinger Prison Systems, which charges $1 per phone call for inmates. More inmates, more money. He's building an atrocious business from the bench. Oh, and he's sleeping with his Dominican housekeeper. Not long after he gets this dirt, Chuck drops the hammer on Wilcox. The judge will resign for "undisclosed personal reasons" and stride off into private practice. Is that it? It can't be. Chuck is the guy who forced a stranger to pick up dog shit with his bare hands; there's no way he'll let Wilcox walk away from this.

It's the damn phone calls!

Michael K said...

"For liberals, the profit motive is inherently bad. "

Yes. Business and profit is always bad and government should always nationalize any business if possible.

See Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Student loans and ARM for evidence.

Boxty said...

Maybe,

Among the economically ridiculous ideas Clinton posed, you forgot to add building solar panels all across America. Any engineer will tell you that won't meet our energy needs and any decent economist will tell you that the subsidy programs for "green jobs" actually cost more jobs than they created. And each job cost something like 20 times more than they actually paid in salaries. Somebody's pockets were getting lined but it wasn't the workers.

robother said...

The tell here is Hillary's unstated assumption that private prison corporations, like other government/industrial complex players will have disproportionate influence (through campaign contributions, lobbying and revolving door arrangements with government executives) on the demand for their services. I yield to her greater experience in such matters.

traditionalguy said...

The profit motive ran the State Department under Hillary, with Bill and Chelsea being her bagmen.

Now she signals that she will run the US Presidency the same way. Which is the only way it's done...The Arkansas Way of giving the winning bidder whatever Government franchise she is offering for sale.

Comanche Voter said...

Tim in Vermont: our host is doing what's called "digging in their sh@t". Hillary comes up with something that makes no sense--unless you go back to the way back where Hillary earlier said or did something that explains the load of codswallop Hillary delivered on that point.

Hillary, when she is not lying, does what ever good political whore will do--she satisfies the paying (I emphasize the word "paying") customers. In Hillary World, nobody rides for free. Sometimes the payoff is a bit delayed.

Chuck said...

Brilliant, spot-on post, Professor. Kudos!

MarkW said...

Private or public, the incentives work the same way -- the California prison guard union (COPA) has fought A) for prison expansion, B) against sentencing reforms, and C) against Marijuana legalization.

Jon Ericson said...

Sounds like the teacher's unions.
Increases the Borg.

Bob Boyd said...

This is another example of Hillary's MO, she reaches into her own britches, slings her shit on somebody else then says, "You stink!"

The Clintons pushed and signed the '94 Crime Bill. "Super-predators" and so forth.
Prison populations skyrocketed.
Private Prisons became a way to deal with the numbers and the cost.

Danno said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...Jon Ericson, raise your standard.

I'm glad that it is not only me who struggles to understand what he is commenting about or who he is replying to.

cheddar said...

The incentive to be concerned about is not whether private prisons lead to more people entering prison. The issue is how for-profit prisons treat inmates while they are there. They do have an incentive to keep them in there. Will for-profit prisons create environments where prisoners will be released for good behavior or will there be an incentive to write up the prisoners for any trivial violation?
Researchers in business schools have long studied for-profit vs non-profit provision, for example in nursing homes. In for-profit nursing homes, there is a concern that the quality of care tends to be lower.

Maguro said...

I'm personally unconvinced that the problem that abolition of private prisons purports to solve - over-incarceration - is really a problem at all. Every time I read about some local crime story and they go over the guy's record, my thought is "Why isn't this asshole in prison?".

Bob Boyd said...

Maguro said...'Every time I read about some local crime story and they go over the guy's record, my thought is "Why isn't this asshole in prison?".'

I have the same thought every time I read some story about Hillary.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: she is too economically ignorant to be able to talk straight about the economics of it...

FIFY.

MarkW said...

"They do have an incentive to keep them in there."

ALL prison operators (public or private) have that incentive. For public bureaus of prisons and guard unions, more prisoners means higher budgets and greater headcounts.

pdug said...

As far as I can tell, we contract with private prisons to imprison a certain number of people. They need to know they will have X people, because they will get x * Y dollars for the people. if the government doesn't sent them X people, they have contract that say you still need to pay us x * y money so we don't go out of business.

(this gets translated in bad FUD web articles as "private prisons are SUING the government for not sending them enough prisoners!!!!11!!!")

There was apparently some outlier case where a judge was taking bribes from a lobbyist to send more ppl to prison. But i think the 'profit motive' argument is tenuous.

Bricap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Char Char Binks said...

There was only one guilty man at Shawshank.

DavidD said...

"[P]rofit motivation"?

Isn't "profit motive" the proper expression in this context?

Smartest person ever to run for President, indeed.

cubanbob said...

The things you learn on this blog from certain commenters. Who knew that private cops were arresting people at random so private courts could fulfill their contractual obligations to the private prison corporations?

Michael said...

ARM
"You are ignoring context. Incarceration rates, like everything else, are functions of public opinion, political incentives and financial incentives. There is no objective 'Law' that stands apart from any of this."

Since the subject of the thread is private prisons the noted comment above can be read as a comment about private prisons and the impact of public opinion upon the occupancy levels of private prisons. No?

I asked you to explain how said "public opinion" would impact private prisons disparately.

And you replied ad hominem with a misuse of the word "liar."

RPM57 said...

I'm glad I found this website and discovered I'm not the only one that picked up on this. It was a missed opportunity for Trump to point out her foolishness.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael said...
And you replied ad hominem with a misuse of the word "liar."


No, you quite clearly lied in a failed attempt to build a stronger argument. Otherwise you have no can have no sensible argument with what I posted.

William Chadwick said...

If they thought logically, they wouldn't be "liberals."

OGWiseman said...

I'd say the missing link from your chain is that quite often, when government signs contracts with private prisons, they guarantee minimum occupancy rates. They have to lock up people or they are in breach of contract. The idea that they're disincentivized from locking people up because more prisoners means more dollars they have to pay out is not a reflection of the actual economics, in most cases.

There's also the political feedback loop: Private prisons (and prison guard unions) spend lobbying dollars on mandatory minimums, keeping weed illegal, etc in order to keep prison populations at maximum.

I think the strongest argument against private prisons is actually a moral one: If we empower government to remove people's freedom, we should attach the responsibility to pay out to make sure those people are housed safely and humanely. However, there's a legitimate argument about profit incentives to be made also.

Rhythm and Balls said...

This is the reason you didn't study (or teach) economics. If you can get a better price for something, you might well do more of it. How do you explain the rationale of buying in bulk? The government has a vested interest in appearing "tough on crime," and therefore, to incarcerate. Cost is a disconnected consideration - with few interests (if any) powerful enough to prioritize it. It will take advantage of lowered costs to incarcerate by hoarding on the industry offers it in low pricing. You actually think that the government has an interest in doing less of something that becomes cheaper for it to do? In what theory of consumer psychology is this ever true? I think you are honestly losing it.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Danno said...
Blogger Ann Althouse said...Jon Ericson, raise your standard.

I'm glad that it is not only me who struggles to understand what he is commenting about or who he is replying to.
9/27/16, 9:45 AM

Hey, at least he got a warning.

Jon Ericson said...

Yeah, I think my biggest fault was implying that this a truly hilarious humor site/blog.
She thinks it's serious.

Jon Ericson said...

that this is a

SteveBrooklineMA said...

Rob 9/27/16, 8:01 AM said ... "There is a certain logic to Hillary's position..." This analysis is spot on, though it made me laugh out loud.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

This is an interesting issue in the light of swing states with large African-American populations. Trump is unique in raising the question: why should African-Americans vote Democrat when decades of Democratic office holders, including Obama, have overseen the inner cities descending back toward being Third World hell-holes? Trump's solution seems to be that restricting immigration and re-negotiating trade deals might help the lowest paid and lowest skilled workers, including the chronically unemployed, in the U.S. I haven't heard him say anything about schools--charter schools for example.

Hillary's solution? Gun control and do something about training the police, raising consciousness, etc. Pay the teachers more, as if that alone will improve schools (it hasn't worked so far).

Possibly many African-Americans think that government is still more to be relied on than the private sector. Democrats stand (generally) for big government spending, which traditionally means jobs for blacks (and disabled veterans). Government running big institutions like prisons might be indifferent, slow to address problems, etc., but their tendency toward wasteful spending might have some pay-off for quite a few inmates. On the other hand, the private sector running prisons might be fairly efficient at grinding down costs, and this might give rise to real hardship for inmates.

If blacks are inclined to think the whole criminal justice system is flawed, and specifically biased against them, they may pin their hopes on government, and Hillary may benefit from that thinking even if she doesn't have anything practical to say about any actual issue in the lives of blacks.

prairie wind said...

From a Justice Department Office of the Inspector General’s report:
“We found that, in most key areas, contract prisons incurred more safety and security incidents per capita than comparable BOP (Bureau of Prisons) institutions and that the BOP needs to improve how it monitors contract prisons in several areas.”

Bad Lieutenant said...

pdug said...

There was apparently some outlier case where a judge was taking bribes from a lobbyist to send more ppl to prison. But i think the 'profit motive' argument is tenuous.

9/27/16, 10:16 AM

Pennsylvania. She wants to win PA. Pure vote bloc pander. That is all.