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We have no desire to earn online paralegal degrees … so the website www.online-paralegal-degree.org would seem to hold very little interest for us.

Well … except for the fact this site has posted an amazing infographic this week entitled “Prison, Inc. – The Secret Industry” highlighting how our nation’s correctional system has become yet another victim of crony capitalism.

According to the infographic, 2.3 million Americans live behind bars – costing this country’s taxpayers $55 billion annually. ¬†Of course the real story isn’t the cost to taxpayers, it’s how “privatized” prisons have become quota-driven sweatshops for major corporations like Starbucks, Boeing, Victoria’s Secret and McDonald’s – providing cheap labor (for as little as 93 cents a day).

Amazing …

First, let’s take a look at the graphic itself …

(Click to enlarge)

Private Prison Industry

Graphic: Online-Paralegal-Degree.org

Now, let’s discuss …

While this website is a consistent advocate for privatization of non-core government functions, we have consistently maintained that core government functions – i.e. cops, courts, roads, bridges and prisons, to name a few, should be owned and operated by the government.

Crap like this is why …

While we have no problem with the notion of private sector firms contracting the management of government-owned prisons (assuming such an arrangement provides value to the taxpayer), prison labor should never be used for anything other than the furtherance of core government functions – with these carefully supervised inmates receiving compensation commensurate with the prevailing private sector wage for similar tasks.

Anything beyond this reeks of corruption …