For those of you who may becoming more interested in politics – which I hope is all of us – here is one of several you may run into that illustrate the amazing changes Reagan conservatism brought to our Shining City on a Hill.
Reagan was elected for his first term in 1980. A previous version of this wiki graph points specifically to the 1971 “War on Drugs” begun under Nixon and the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act as two of the major changes that changed this graph from a linear one to an exponential one.
I think what one can take out of this graph is a graphic representation of the work Democrats are going to have to do to return our country to what we were pre-Reagan. President Obama can turn change the direction of policy, but it will take decades to fix what is broken. We can do this, it just will take time.
Here are some facts if you ever find yourself in a LoCO thread or a conversation with someone who thinks we can blame all crime on prop 47, “tweakers”, homelessness, the DHHS, liberal policies, or whatever the “other” of choice may be. From Wiki…
a) “In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population.”
b) “While the United States represents about 5 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.”
c) “Imprisonment of America’s 2.3 million prisoners, costing $24,000 per inmate per year, and $5.1 billion in new prison construction, consumes $60.3 billion in budget expenditures.”
d) For stats wizards… The US has the “second-highest per-capita incarceration rate, behind Seychelles (which has a total prison population of 786 out of a population of 90,024).”
But wait there is more mind-bogglingness. If you are paying attention to liberal causes such as inequality, you know that race is a significant determinant to wealth. You probably also know that race is a significant factor in our prison population – so much so that I think we can ask does our society find ways to criminalize based on race.
There is no question that the South found a way to do this after Reconstruction. From http://klenbortproject.com/2013/11/18/on-mass-incarceration-third-times-the-charm/
The establishment could not handle this broad and diverse coalition (northern white guilt–ridden liberals, poor whites, and all ..blacks) so they dismantled it by relying on the eventual apathy of white liberals to ensue, intentionally driving a wedge between poor whites and blacks, and changing State laws. Sharecropping was one of the most vicious examples of the reversal of Reconstruction and a return to de-facto slavery. Blacks were forced to pay for the lands they lived on by serving indefinite amounts of times on these plantations. Sharecropping laws were basically slave laws in which blacks had little political and legal rights. All over the south and even the north, Black codes or de facto black codes were made the law. The 1896 Decision of Plessy v. Ferguson ensured for 60 years that blacks and whites really were not equal under law, despite the Constitutional amendments.
Which, if you don’t believe was greatly expanded by Nixon and Reagan, (and continued by Clinton) here is a map of incarceration rates today. If you don’t know, see if you can guess the general vicinity of our former Confederacy?
Ronaldo Maximus = Ronald Reagan via Rush L.
“In Rush Limbaugh-ese Reagan is Ronaldo Maximus—simply the greatest.”
Drug use over time… one graph…from discussion in the comment section.
NCJ and an article which relates to this topic on Prop 47 and an interview with our new DA Maggie Fleming.