The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery? – Global Research

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24-02-19 10:00:00,

This incisive and carefully researched article was first published by Global Research eleven years ago in March 2008.

Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.”

The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

What has happened over the last 10 years? Why are there so many prisoners?

“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”

The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street.

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Health Care Industry Spends $30 Billion a Year Pushing Its Wares

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12-01-19 05:14:00,

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Health Care Industry Spends $30 Billion a Year Pushing Its Wares

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Hoping to earn its share of the $3.5 trillion health care market, the medical industry is pouring more money than ever into advertising its products — from high-priced prescriptions to do-it-yourself genetic tests and unapproved stem cell treatments.

Spending on health care marketing nearly doubled from 1997 to 2016, soaring to at least $30 billion a year, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA.

“Marketing drives more testing. It drives more treatments. It’s a big part of why health care is so expensive, because it’s the fancy, high-tech stuff things that get marketed,” said Steven Woloshin, co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. His study captured only a portion of the many ways that drug companies, hospitals and labs promote themselves.

Advertising doesn’t just persuade people to pick one brand over another, said Woloshin. Sophisticated campaigns make people worry about diseases they don’t have and ask for drugs or exams they don’t need.

Consumer advocates say that taxpayers pay the real price, as seductive ads persuade doctors and patients alike to order pricey tests and brand-name pills.

“Whenever pharma or a hospital spends money on advertising, we the patients pay for it — through higher prices for drugs and hospital services,” said Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president of the Lown Institute, a Brookline, Mass., nonprofit that advocates for affordable care. “Marketing is built into the cost of care.”

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High costs ultimately affect everyone, because they prompt insurance plans to raise premiums,

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Oil Industry Spent Millions to Defeat Carbon Tax in Washington State

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07-12-18 04:41:00,

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Climate change appeared on the ballot in numerous states during the 2018 midterm elections, an indication of the growing concern among average citizens about the catastrophic effects of fossil fuel burning. But the struggle for regulations on emissions was repeatedly blocked by the money machinery of the oil industry. Record amounts of money were spent trying to derail the efforts of activists and labor unions fighting to save the environment. One such instance was over Initiative 1631 in Washington State where the oil industry spent more than $30 million trying to sabotage the struggle for a better world. In this exclusive Truthout interview, Jeff Johnson — who led the fight for the passing of Initiative 1631 — reflects on the lessons activists nationwide can draw for the future from the climate change struggle in Washington State.

C.J. Polychroniou: Jeff, share with me the background of the movement you led in Washington State for climate change and Initiative 1631.

Jeff Johnson: For the record, I am one of seven leaders representing communities of color, the environmental community, tribes and labor that came together to form the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. The Alliance spent three years building a climate justice movement based on principles of equity and giving assistance and voice to those most disproportionately impacted by climate disaster. Initiative 1631 was a product of this work.

I-1631 created a carbon fee of $15 a metric ton on carbon pollution and would have used the resulting $2.3 billion generated over five years to invest in clean energy, clean water and healthy forests – creating tens of thousands of family wage jobs and pulling 20 million tons of CO2 out of the air every year.

I-1631 would have codified a “Just Transition” for our communities in the following ways:

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Industry Studies Show Bias and Misleading Conclusions on Widely Used Insecticide

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19-11-18 12:06:00,

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Researchers who examined Dow Chemical Company-sponsored animal tests performed two decades ago on the insecticide chlorpyrifos found inaccuracies in what the company reported to the US Environmental Protection Agency compared to what the data showed.

And, according to internal EPA communication, agency scientists also had issues with the study interpretations, yet the agency approved the compound for continued use anyway.

“EPA staff scientists and staff were telling management there were problems,” said Jennifer Sass, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, who was not involved in the current study but has worked on issues related to toxics, including chlorpyrifos, for decades.

“And management disregarded it.”

Those 20-year-old industry studies are still used by regulatory agencies such as the EPA and the European Food Safety Authority in approving continued use of the controversial insecticide, which is used on beans, citrus, corn, cotton, wheat and soybeans.

“Exaggerated trust in the reporting” by regulators led to a “failure” of both US and EU authorities to act on red flags, the authors wrote.

The results, published yesterday in the journal Environmental Health, are timely: The EPA is appealing a court decision that would mandate a ban on chlorpyrifos residue on food (which would effectively mean a ban on farm-use); and the European Union is considering a ban as well.

The Obama Administration’s EPA in 2015 proposed a ban of the chemical on food (that would have likely taken effect in early 2017), but President Trump’s former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed the decision.

In August, however, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban the chemical. The EPA has appealed the decision.

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How the War Industry Corrupts the U.S. Congress | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

How the War Industry Corrupts the U.S. Congress | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

08-06-18 04:23:00,

Former President Jimmy Carter has called U.S. politics a system of “legalized bribery” in which powerful interests spend billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign funding to ensure that members of Congress pay more attention to them than to the general public. With the upcoming midterm elections, we will see the full force of this tsunami of cash washing over our electoral system.

The human cost of this corrupt system has been searingly rammed home since the Parkland school shooting, as grieving high school students determined to curb America’s gun violence have found themselves in a pitched battle with the “gun lobby,” led by the National Rifle Association (NRA), one of the most entrenched and powerful interest groups in the country.

The gun lobby has already spent over $12 million on lobbying and given at least $1.1 million to members of Congress in this election cycle, 98% of it to Republicans.  The gun lobby also wields power over Democrats through lobbying and public relations, and the threat of targeting individual Democrats who take a public stand for gun control.

But what about the even greater violence of America’s wars and the record military budget that makes them possible?  U.S. weapons makers spend far more money on lobbying and campaign contributions than the domestic gun lobby: $162 million on lobbying and tens of millions in direct funding for members of Congress so far in the 2017-18 election cycle.

There is a strong correlation between campaign contributions from the companies that build America’s warships, tanks and warplanes, and critical votes in Congress to keep the guns firing, the missiles flying, the bombs falling and the cash flowing to the military-industrial complex.

When an evenly-divided Senate voted to confirm Gina Haspel as CIA Director, six Democrats joined 48 Republicans to vote for her confirmation.  But it was not just any six Democrats. In the 2018 election cycle, those six – Senators Nelson (FL), Donnelly (IN), Manchin (WV), Heitkamp (ND, Shaheen (NH) and Warner (VA)– have received an average of $170,220 each in campaign cash from the war industry,

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The Vaccine Industry’s Biggest Threat? | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

The Vaccine Industry’s Biggest Threat? | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

23-03-18 01:24:00,

Here’s why vaccines are unnecessary: They are merely given purportedly to immunize against or shall it be said ‘prevent’ certain diseases, most of which are rarely fatal in first world countries. These are mostly transitory viral conditions. There are safer, less invasive answers.

Wild oregano oil is the key alternative. If it is from a truly wild source, then, it can be taken aggressively: as much as needed. Yet, for the typically immunized conditions only a modest amount is necessary, for instance, for chicken pox, measles, and mumps: like a few drops several times daily.

Wild oregano oil can also be rubbed topically on the feet, shins, and upper chest. It can even be used topically on newborns and infants. Babies and toddlers can take a tiny amount internally, like a drop or two twice daily. In this regard it is far safer than all standard drugs, like antibiotics, cough syrups, and even infant vitamins. – Dr Cass Ingram Researcher, Speaker & Author of  34 books

Yes, some very big claims are being made here, and when we have been told for so many years that diseases are only prevented by vaccines, this may be incredulous to believe.

However, could there be a lot of truth to this?  Are vaccines the only answer for keeping infectious diseases, viruses, bacterial infections and super bugs at bay?

The industry is predicted to be worth 61 Billion – and that is regarding its profits – by the year 2020.

Could there be something far more effective, which is safe when used correctly and doesn’t cost much money? Could there be something we can use at home that has zero risk of death? Vaccines certainly don’t offer us that, as death is actually a listed possible side effect on vaccine inserts.

We must also ask, with all of our medical ‘advancements’ and the amount of drugs that people are taking, why then, is our world full of incredibly sick adults and children, who are predicted to not live as long as their parents do today ?

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We can now easily say that most people today do not have ‘real health’ so what we are doing for most on the planet today,

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