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The Land of the Formerly Free



February 29, 2008 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: GLD

Post take from Vox Day' blog, he is a Christian Liberterian. As the economy slows and more jobs are loss, the prisions will become even more crowded. The US has the worlds highest per capita incarceration rate. I think it is a direct consequense of the warfare and welfare state the US has become.  It is amazing the issue is never discussed in the presidential debates. 

The Land of the Formerly Free

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that this has occurred at a time when American liberties are under direct assault:

For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report tracking the surge in inmate population. The report, released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said.

Using updated state-by-state data, the report said 2,319,258 adults were held in U.S. prisons or jails at the start of 2008 -- one out of every 99.1 adults, and more than any other country in the world.

Look for that percentage to continue to grow, most likely at an increasing rate.

6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 29, 2008 at 8:53 AM, leohaas (29.34) wrote:

"Christian Libertarian"? Isn't that in the same category as "Military Intelligence" and "Jumbo Shrimp"?

But more to the point, how has the incarceration rate have anything to do with a warfare state? Or a welfare state, for that matter? Do we become more criminal BECAUSE we are going to war? Or BECAUSE our government is helping the poor? And isn't helping the poor the calling of any Christian? WWJD?

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#2) On February 29, 2008 at 10:02 AM, abitare (29.97) wrote:

leohass - thank you for the reply 

A true Christians should believe in free will and the freedom to make your own choices. Hence Christian Libertarian

Deuteronomy 30:15 "See, I have set before you today life and good,

death and evil, 16 "in that I command you today to love the Lord your

God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes,

and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your

God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 "But if

your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and

worship other gods and serve them, 18 "I announce to you today that

you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong [your] days in the land

which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 "I call

heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, [that] I have set

before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose

life  But more to the point how has the incarceration rate have anything to

do with a warfare state? Or a welfare state, for that matter?

The size and scope of government is the issue. The government keeps increasing it's role over peoples' lives eliminating the role of free will, to the point that they are incarcerating record numbers of people. In DC 80% of all children are born to single parent homes. The government provides welfare to these single parents and the man’s role or as provider is undermined or eliminated. The incarceration rates are very high in these fatherless house holds.  "if you raise a man with out a trade you raise a thief" an old Jewish Proverb.

The government is now bringing "democracy" by force of arms to an Islamic country even though it is very foreign to Islam and it has NEVER worked.

Do we become more criminal BECAUSE we are going to war?

I support the Just War doctrine there it lists four "strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force”.” War is good for the economy" President Bush. The choice to go to attack vs defend is an ethical choice.   

Or BECAUSE our government is helping the poor? 

It depends on how you define “help” establishing a codependence on government largess “help”? The poor would be better off helping themselves, instead of relying on the largess of the productive. Ultimately it will end or decrease, as the US going bankrupt, those "on the dole" will lose out. 

The US government is way over extended. That is why we borrow $2 billion a day. The government has way over promised and the US dollar is reflecting the over extension.

And isn't helping the poor the calling of any Christian? WWJD?

Yes, but the role of helping the poor should be at the most local level. Where the success can be monitored and adjusted more closely.

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#3) On February 29, 2008 at 1:14 PM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

Yes I believe the report but I didn't see the breakdown of how many of the inmates are U>S> citizens and how many are from other countries around the world that came here and broke the law         ( murder,drug dealer and drunk drivers that kill our children.) How much does it cost us to hold these people? But then again why would you let them go because we have a revolving door that let's them right back in to do the same thing all over again. Besides we don't have a gov. we have bankers that came about the 1910's so its an illusion that we have a choice. Besides didn't our current group bushchaney and old rumsfeld and c.rove intern and work in the nixon administration?I know it felt like history repeating its self again>

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#4) On February 29, 2008 at 1:34 PM, leohaas (29.34) wrote:

Huh? I don't understand your Bible quote. What I read in that quote is an imperative to follow Gods commandments. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but having to follow commandments at the threat of perishing if you don't is quite the opposite of freedom. Hence there is no such thing as Chistian Libertarianism.

Going back to your rant against welfare. So if we eliminate welfare, people stay in bad relationships for none other than economical reasons, and that leads to fewer criminals? Boy, what are you on? I agree that it is better for a kid to be raised by two parents, and that an absent father leads to problems, but welfare is not to blame.

And yes, welfare is help (notice, no quotation marks). It really is. Just ask anyone on welfare. Have you ever done that? Have you ever heard a recipient of welfare say something like: "I wanted to live an honest life, but that welfare thing really screwed me up!" And how exactly is someone with no money or means supposed to help himself?

Using the Just War doctrine you can argue that our current government is ethically challenged. But how does an ethically challenged government lead to more crime? I don't see any government officials in prison yet!

Finally, what kind of Christian argues against government help for the poor? Must be a Libertarian Christian, the kind that does not exist...


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#5) On March 01, 2008 at 12:03 AM, abitare (29.97) wrote:


If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.  Quote attributed to Churchill

I am not trying to be insulting, but you seem detached or far removed or you are a kid? Do you still live with your parents? I can understand how someone in their youth may not see the destructiveness of these programs on the poor. 

The quote is God giving Man the CHOICE of "life and good death and evil" ie free will or liberty. Vox has written on the subject here.

The US welfare system is extremely flawed. We now have third generation on welfare.  Are you so far removed or have not witnessed how flawed the welfare system is? How can you support such a system?

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”

The government has been giving away "fish" for 30 plus years. Now the US is broke. We have to borrow $2 billion a day and most welfare families will be unprepared if there is hyper inflation in commodities or if the US dollar collapses.  

I worked with a lady, she owned 10 rental homes. Eight were rented my single Mothers the government was paying the rent and paying  for food some had four or more children. Most did not get married because they did not want to lose their benfits. I talked to the teenage daughter of one, she had just gotten pregnant in high school and was getting a free house like her mother. She wanted to buy a $600 puppy, but was not sure if it was allowed in her lease. SHE WAS ON WELFARE AND THE GOV WAS PAYING HER RENT.

what are you on? 

We have more government welfare and largess then ever before and we have more people in prision then ever before. 

but welfare is not to blame.

A significant part of the problem.  

Single mothers caught in welfare trap, says study

Staying Single
The Effects of Welfare Reform Policies on Marriage and Cohabitation

You can ask Jamila Akil a 23 year-old black woman from Illinois. A single-mother:

The Welfare State: Shredding Society

Government programs have not only created dependency, but have allowed people to escape the social norms that were the result of centuries of successful social behavior. The welfare state put in place a series of incentives that broke people free of the restraints of personal discipline.

But how does an ethically challenged government lead to more crime?

'A fish rots from the head first.' People will emulate the "leaders" at the top. If the citizens believe the Federal Government is lying and stealing from them many will adopt the same ethos at the expense of the rest of us. This problem can cause some very systemic problems. I witness this in Sicily where "everyone is on the take", anytime you can get money from the government you go for it, because the Italian government was believed to be very corrupt. 

what kind of Christian argues against government help for the poor?

Robbing Peter to pay Paul? Taking from the productive tax payer to give to unproductive social services.  

Please prove how welfare is helping society. Again, DC has 80% of children born to single family homes. The largess of government is growing and so is the prison population. 

Where is your successful welfare stats?

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#6) On March 02, 2008 at 6:33 PM, leohaas (29.34) wrote:

No, I am not insulted. After all, I responded to your blog. I could have just left your rant unanswered, but by commenting I opened up the chance that you would. I kinda expected it, having read most of your blogs on CAPS. But for the record, my parents live 3657 miles away, and I only wish I were still a kid.

Thanks for quoting Churchill. Even though I am a liberal (and proud of it), I always enjoy reading about what Sir Winston did and said. I admire him greatly, but he was more than a little biased on the Conservative-Liberal thing... 

Your bible quote says to follow the commandments or perish. If that is free will to you, I believe we will have a hard time to agree on anything that matters. It is, for instance, what the Inquisition told people who did not subscribe to the then-current religious views in Spain.

I know the welfare system is not a good system. I also know there is abuse. And it is not right that generations can stay on it, or that it is an incentive to stay single. I would want to see the system changed so that the focus would be more on education. Considering your "teach a man to fish" quote, maybe we can find some common ground here.

Your oginal rant argued that welfare resulted in higher incarceration rates (actually, you used the term "a direct consequense"). That is plainly not true. Just look at western european countries. Their welfare systems are more generous than the one here in the US (people llike you usually call the old world "Socialist"), yet they have considerably lower crime and incarceration rates.

Your response to my "What kind of Christian argues against government help for the poor?" is most telling of your true opinion about welfare. It clearly shows that you don't want to pay taxes to support welfare recipients. I disagree with that kind of thinking, but I have no problem it. I guess you are more of a Libertarian than a Christian after all. Did I tell you that those are two mutually exclusive religions?



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