One of Ronaldo Maximus’ Legacies in a Graph

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).”

Ugh.

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.”

From http://www.spectacle.org/0810/sy.html

UPDATE:

Drug use over time… one graph…from discussion in the comment section.

 

UPDATE:  1/8/15

NCJ and an article which relates to this topic on Prop 47 and an interview with our new DA Maggie Fleming.

http://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/IssueArchives?issue=2799210

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15 thoughts on “One of Ronaldo Maximus’ Legacies in a Graph

  1. Edith Smith says:

    Prison is cheap compared to drug rehab and getting prisoners the skills needed to lead a normal life.
    We have plenty of charities for lovable puppies and kittens but no one wants to shell out the dough for scary prisoners.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As pot gets easier to find with prosecutions for using/possessing it falling due the push to legalize Marijuana, has Eureka’s crime rate lowered? Do you think if the government stopped prosecuting murderers that the murder rate would go down? Are pot smokers evil? No. Does that give them the right to break the law – stealing, etc – to purchase more pot? It does not. Those individuals, regardless of race or wealth, that are a serious threat to members of society should be incarcerated.

    The accuracy of the chart is not being disputed, how it is interpreted is. Drugs are affecting a higher percentage of people now than in the past. The addiction is causing those people to commit more crimes. Thus the chart. The reasons for the non-linear increase can actually be attributed to liberal policies – more welfare, HUD, etc, – but that is a whole other discussion.

  3. Anonymously says:

    “The reasons for the non-linear increase can actually be attributed to liberal policies . . . ”

    Demonstrably false on it’s face. If you have facts, cite them. If you have links to academic, relatively objective, *primary source* documents, produce them.

  4. …ly, anon kinda has a point which I might not have noticed without your reply.

    I think what this chart brings up is one of the flash points of our culture wars that stemmed from 1960’s and early 70’s drug use. This, in addition to the civil rights legislation of the 60’s and the “night is day” shift in the party politics of the South allowed the populist conservative movement which began with Nixon, transmogrified to Reagan and allowed Rush.

    And let’s be clear, much of Rush’s anger is directed toward the hippy liberal and this is, in part, how he is able to marginalize the left. (along with his misogyny (femi-nazi), etc)

    Also…

    Do you think if the government stopped prosecuting murderers that the murder rate would go down? No.

    “Are pot smokers evil? No. Does that give them the right to break the law – stealing, etc – to purchase more pot? It does not.” Nor does it give them the right to be independent from our society including taxation, enforcement, regulation, etc.

    ” Drugs are affecting a higher percentage of people now than in the past. ” …ly is right, it is hard to find that data. I’ve added the best chart I could find that goes back over time to the post above. While I don’t think a chart to prove this exists, I also don’t think it is deniable that drug use did enter our culture at unprecedented rates beginning in the mid’60’s.

    I also think that it would have taken time for adulation of drug use to move from the largely white hipster subculture to the African American population where drug use will be criminalized to a much larger degree than in a largely white culture. (imagine for example HumCo’s take on enforcing drug laws if the “mom and pop” shops were African American).

    So, I think it is unfair to lay the blame entirely on Nixon and Reagan for our outrageous expansion of our prison population. However, I hope that we all agree that we are currently imprisoning WAY too many people and this prison population is WAY too dependent on race.

    One more thing…

    “If you have facts, cite them. If you have links to academic, relatively objective, *primary source* documents, produce them” Good luck with this. So you know, this or it’s analog is something the right pulls out from time to time (the analog is read the law – which is often 15,000 pages long). Also the academic study will be by definition a secondary source, a primary source will be getting the data itself.

    We need more people involved in politics and the discussion, not less. The above is an example of how the right (and some on the left?) tends to make people exclude themselves from participating.

    1. Anonymously says:

      Re: One more thing. . .

      Editing for clarity: “. . . academic, relatively objective, *and/or* . . . ”

      I disagree with the balance of your analysis, and stand by my comment. Suggest you lose the binary framing.

      1. ..ly I’m not sure where your general political interests lie, but if they are left of center, there is a concerted effort on the right to win debates and policy by any means necessary. I don’t think the left is capable of this.

        “Suggest you lose the binary framing.”

        I think we had as a society, put then let loose the dogs of war with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. Rush, the market and the right were there to fill the void. The left has tried, but for reasons that are above my pay grade, wether it’s boredom, unworkable business models (do you enough on the left supporting the advertisers you would see on FOX or KINS?), or ______, we don’t fill that binary void leaving the right to take the argument further and further to the right and moving common wisdom and the middle to the right with it.

        Matthew Owen, who had Reagan on the wall in his college room and is now a proud warrior for the Middle (when not flouting his D) is an example.

        Glenn Beck pulling out all the stops to support Louis Gormert for Speaker (OMG, btw) is an example.
        http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/glenn-beck-save-america-and-gop-electing-louie-gohmert-speaker-house

        The left loses the argument by forfeit if we don’t listen, understand and participate in our binary world.

        And I’m sorry, but politics is binary on a macro level. Analog exists, but to get there you will have to become invovled in one of the two parties and/or your hobby/life’s work/means to living/ etc.

        1. Anonymously says:

          ” . . I’m not sure where your general political interests lie . . ”

          Then I’ve made at least part of my point. If I advocate building “tiny houses” for the homeless, but insist on putting the project(s) out to bid, am I left or right? If I advocate – forcefully – to leave the USPS sorting facility here am I left or right? My voter registration is decline-to-state, so am I left or right?

  5. Maybe you are independent? I don’t know, but if you want to advocate for policies that are not reactionary, policies that may not have added fuel to the fire that lead to where we currently are with the USPS or policies that would work to try to solve problems that lead to still unjust shelters such as “tiny houses”, then you will have to pick a side.

    The sides have been there since 1860 ish so you have some history to study, but if you care to do the research it’s all there for you to understand in red and blue.

    Whether you are left or right is more difficult than D or R or DTS. It’s a good question. I’m actually quite right or conservative on many issues such as understanding that authority exists, something the 60’s left seems to want to ignore.

    I would say one way of deciding if you are left or right in American politics right now is if you think the private sector percent of GDP should be increased or decreased from it’s current percentage.

    That’s would be my first attempt at setting up a fundamental threshold to answer that analog question digitally. Maybe not the most valuable question to answer for an individual, but it’s important to understand how that question is currently being answered as a society. And we’ve moved way to the right on where the left/right interface exists in the common wisdom of the day.

    1. . . . ly says:

      “Maybe you are independent? . . . The sides have been there since 1860 . . . understand in red and blue.”

      Yes, absolutely; I’m aware of our political history; and the Country is, and always will be, *purple*. (See Vanderbei’s map* and tell me where you find clear boundaries at any level). We are simply too complex an organism to be reduced to an “us/them” body politic. You wrote it yourself: “I’m actually quite right or conservative on many issues . . . “.

      These days there are simply too many labels without meaning, planted on too many people, over too long a time, without so much as a millisecond of thought. Like I’ve written before, I don’t bother reading, or listening to, and/or watching those who haven’t had an original thought since Christ was a corporal. I recommend the same for everyone. Besides, it helps to lower the blood pressure.

      ======================

      *http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2012/

  6. “I don’t bother reading, or listening to, and/or watching those who haven’t had an original thought since Christ was a corporal.”

    “It keeps the blood pressure down b/c in a way you’ve given up participating in the debate. ”

    That should be an option, but I don’t think that it is given what team red is doing. I guess the politics of red and blue will vary, much like one of those late nighties chaos theory images, depending on how close you zoom in or out.

    No doubt we are complex, individually or as a country. But that definition of purple is always up for grabs. One of the ways red has moved it from blue to magenta from where Eisenhower from team red worked with a 90% marginal tax rate is by finding ways to keep people otherwise occupied.

    One successful method is to make the debate so shrill that people would rather just tune out.

    Somehow they were able to do this despite the high levels of education we had after the Cold War and the dawning of the information age. It’s really been remarkable.

    “and the Country is, and always will be, *purple*”

    Really? Check out and compare 1938’s election results to 1984’s.

    People could power this country if we wanted to. Money has decided, it’s really not a good idea to allow this. Most of us really don’t care one way or another and that is due more to K street than us thinking critically for ourselves. Sadly, and imho.

  7. . . . ly says:

    ” . . . given what team red is doing. . . One successful method is to make the debate so shrill.”

    The *most* successful method is to use trusted sources to educate and inform.

  8. The *most* successful method is to use trusted sources to educate and inform.

    *slams fist on table* Absolutely.

    So what if team red is doing all it can to create “trusted” sources to educate and inform which are a sham? If you disagree with reality, why not create your own.

    a) Universities such as Liberty and Hillsdale (not to mention the charter school movement)

    b) Think tanks such as Heritage and AEI

    c) Right wing media.such as conservapedia (it really exists), Rush, Drudge, FOX.

    I’m not saying both sides don’t do this, I am saying they are separate and unequal and it’s creating a society squarely in Reagan’s magenta purple instead of FDR’s periwinkle.

    MSNBC can never be FOX in content b/c the left is reality-based, the right is not. It cannot be because it is serving the interests of the few while selling the opposite to it’s folks.

    It’s why we have the age of american unreason and why we are destined to live with stories like the following for the next 2 years.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/01/gops-first-priority-2015-paying-wall-street

  9. . . . ly says:

    “I’m not saying both sides don’t do this, I am saying they are separate and unequal . . .”

    Why? C’mon now, think. You are asserting that a national organization, with literally hundreds of millions of dollars to spend to get their message(s) out, is being beaten in the public square by ignorant bullies. Well ya’ know, it turns out that’s not very hard to do. All they have had to do over the past 10 or so years is get the “other side” to pimp their cause, as you’ve done here. Or do you not recognize the irony of complaining about the ‘right’ while linking to an article that – however framed – *advertises the GOP agenda*???

    That tactic has worked to Pavlovian perfection for too many years to count, and is now the norm. Sit Ubu, sit. Good dog.

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