by Tim Young
Has public education been thrown under the bus? According to a recent poll in Time magazine: 67 percent of respondents said public schools are in a crisis, and 76 percent said that teaching doesn’t pay enough. With a base income of only $32,000, teachers are definitely underpaid and unappreciated. Adding insult to injury, many have been terminated due to budget cuts.
Students, parents and educators have begun protesting: NO MORE JOB CUTS! NO MORE TUITION HIKES! In spite of these passionate pleas, public education has taken a back seat to the prison industry. Case in point, the California Department of Corrections is projected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new Death Row. Meanwhile, schools all across the state have been forced to close.
The defunding of public education can be attributed to globalization. In 1994 Democratic President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into existence. “Cha Ching!” The ruling class had hit the jackpot! To them this was the next best thing to slavery (slave wages).
Faster than you could say “unemployed,” American companies fled south of the border, setting up shop in places like Tijuana, Mexico. Companies such as Nike and Pepsi no longer had to pay American workers a living wage. And why would they? They now had international sweatshops to profit from, and they could slave drive their “international workers” for less than $2.00 a day!
American companies have done this very thing all throughout the world, and the U.S. government has aided them in every capacity. This is how “globalization” works, and to the rest of the world America is its face.
The fallout caused by NAFTA has been evident: The job market was emasculated, thereby crippling the economy. The national unemployment rate reached double digits – 16.5 percent for African Americans. Also, between 2008 and 2010, over 1.5 million homes were lost to foreclosure. To a betting man, it would appear that the folks on Main Street are headed for poverty.
Despite these calamities, politicians will keep right on protecting and promoting the interests of the elite. As they see it, fewer jobs … fewer reasons to educate the working class.
By slamming the doors on public education, the road to incarceration becomes a major highway. Unlike any other highway, this one merges into a pipeline aptly described as “the preschool to prison pipeline.” This proverbial “pipeline” can be found throughout the ghettoes of America.
It has siphoned a multitude of men, women, and children into the criminal justice system – thus explaining why Blacks make up 13 percent of the American population but account for nearly half the prison population. This statistic begs the question: Is the mass incarceration of the underclass a coincidence or a conspiracy?
Prisons are a form of modern day slavery, and the prison industrial complex is one of the most profitable businesses of the new age. This may explain why the U.S. imprisons more people than any other nation and why they eviscerate public education. No coincidence then – if you are not one of them, the powers that be would rather incarcerate you than educate you!
Send our brother some love and light. Write to Tim Young, F-23374, San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin CA 94974.