Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Do you agree with Quentin Tarantino that the War on Drugs is being used to institute legalized slavery?

Asked by ETpro (34247 points ) January 26th, 2013

Here’s the background information explaining how that charge might be true. What do you think?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Pachy's avatar

I don’t agree with him, just as I don’t on much of anything he blaters on about. Sorry to be so blunt, but I find him to be a loud-mouth who is far too full of himself. Most recently, he turned me off with his assetion there is no connection between violence in movies/games and gun shootings. I’m sure there will be plenty of people here who disagree with me on this, but I believe there absolutely is a connection.

flutherother's avatar

The 13th amendment of the US Constitution says this “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

And what is happening is this: there are huge numbers of black men in the prison system, many convicted for possession of trivial amounts of marijuana, that are earn 23 cents an hour working for defence contractors.

I don’t agree with what Tarantino said but I don’t entirely disagree either.

ragingloli's avatar

Yes. Quentin Tarantino is an unsurpassed genius without equal.

susanc's avatar

Of course I agree with him. Look at the statistics.

The additional downside to this situation is that, with the exception of for-profit prisons, which are death machines, housing convicted “criminals” leaches money out of the system.

poisonedantidote's avatar

If he means it as some kind of formal conspiracy, then no I don’t agree. However, the US prison system has had an element of back door slavery to it for a while.

The US has way too many prisoners for the amount of population. I think the figure is something like 2 million prisoners if I am not mistaken.

The prisons are mostly privately run, and you are forced to work. If you don’t work, you get solitary confinement.

Some interesting info

Linda_Owl's avatar

His movies do not appeal to me, but I do agree with him about the consequences of the ‘War On Drugs’. The United States has the most people in jail/prison than any other country in the world. And as @poisonedantidote said, the prisoners HAVE to work, because they are confined to a ‘For Profit’ prison system. So these inmates have no choice about working for the companies that they are contracted to by the prison authorities. Several Judges have been convicted of sentencing people to these ‘For Profit’ prisons so that they can get financial kick-backs. There is also a new trend in sentencing Students to do prison time if any of them disrupt class for any reason.

mazingerz88's avatar

What the fuck? I did not even know modern day prisoners work. As in like chain gangs?

ETpro's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room I’m sensing an ad hominem fallacy in your response. I would ask you to ignore who happens to be the messenger, and deal strictly with the message. Is the message true or false.

@flutherother Thanks. I find Tarantino tough to take too. But the statistics cited in the piece paint a clear and ugly picture.

@ragingloli Ha!

@susanc For-profit prisons cost us taxpayers plenty, and what “savings” they deliver to taxpayers, they extract from consumers—who happen to be the same set as taxpayers. Even disregarding the horror that the for-profit prisons have an incentive to drive incarceration rates ever higher in order to drive profits higher, their fully burdened cost to We the People is higher than state and federal run prisons. Private, for-profit enterprises do not make things free.

@poisonedantidote Yes, as @Linda_Owl points out, the US incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than even the most odious dictatorships. There must be a reason.

@mazingerz88 Sometimes in chain gangs, but more often in private, for-profit industry whose owners have strong connections with elected officials. A little taste of fascism, which uses an economic model involving a merger of corporatism and state power.

susanc's avatar

I bow to the greater wisdom of @ETpro, who makes Tarantino’s claim that we are (paying for) legalized slavery even
easier to agree with.

Paradox25's avatar

@poisonedantidote @ETpro If the purpose of the war on drugs is to institute slavery then I would have to ask a few questions of my own here:

1. Does the amount of money allegedly saved by corporations/contractors using slaves for slave wages offset the cost of the amount of money it takes to house them?
2. Does the amount of money allegedly saved by using slave labor, including housing and wages, offset the cost of the war on drugs itself?

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 Re your questions:
1     No. But the corporations profiting from the system see these as externalized costs. They don’t pay the bulk of them, we all do. For the most part, they just reap the profits.
2     No, but again, these are externalized costs.

It’s like manufacturing off-shored to China or Kaula Lampur. Does the manufacturing cost savings offset the costs of pollution and resource depletion in these offshore manufacturing centers? No, not even close. But what do US CEOs care about that? They have entirely externalized those costs, allowing them to extract greater profits from their operation and carry home multimillion dollar bonuses while peasants halfway around the world pay for their largess in unbreathable air and depletion of their vital resources.

Ron_C's avatar

The war on drugs and the war on terror are now overlapping. Drug gangs have become rich and powerful, anti-drug agencies have become rich and powerful, and terror organizations are using drug money, especially heroin from Afghanistan, are rich and powerful.

The only people that lose are the ordinary citizens of the countries involved. People that have no choice but to deal drugs end up, disproportionally, in jail. The leaders on all sides of these “wars” act brutally and illegally with impunity. I think that if you put the top half of the drug dealers and the top half of the anti-drug warriors in jail, the violence and profitability of the drug market would be greatly reduced.

burntbonez's avatar

It is institutionalized racism, pure and simple. White people have the money and social status to stay out of jail. Black people can’t afford lawyers and get locked away for offenses they commit at much lower rates than white people.

I disagree that it is slavery. Slavery is an economic engine. You get work out of slaves and you make money on them. The only people who are making money on black prisoners are those who run the prisons. They are passing those costs onto the rest of us. If conservatives were serious about reducing taxes, they would through all the black drug criminal out of jail, pay for their education, and give them jobs—any job at all. That would be far less expensive then the cost of keeping them locked in jail.

TheobromosHumper's avatar

Tarantino is right. The logical step to take is to legalize drugs. The murder rate would sink. I’m not sure about economic crime, because while the cost of drugs would go down, there would still be people incapacitated by drugs who would still mug people to get their next fix. But we could fix that by just setting up government centers where people could get their fixes free. Then we could limit the amount they get each day for free. They still might commit crimes to get more, but it would probably be less crime.

But conservatives like to waste money. They say they don’t, but their behavior belies their words. So they are racist and money wasters and just generally anti-social. They hate health care for all. They love guns. They like religions that shame their adherents. It’s just plain nuts.

ETpro's avatar

@burntbonez The for-profit prisons do get work out of their slaves. Listen to the full video, It explains this. Inmates either work in outside factories for a few cents an hour, or are assigned to solitary confinement for refusing to work.

@TheobromosHumper That’s a great idea. If some crack head did turn back to crime to supplement what he could get from the government center, his MO, prints, photo and identity would all be on file. Such a person would soon be apprehended.

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