Detroit: Jail is America's version of a safety net

You have to wonder if Detroit is just the first city to experience this.

One measure of how tough times are in the Motor City: Some of the offenders in jail don’t want to be released; some who do get out promptly re-offend to head back where there’s heat, health care and three meals a day.
“For the first time, I’m seeing guys make a conscious decision they’ll be better off in prison than in the community, homeless and hungry,” said Joseph Williams of New Creations Community Outreach, which assists ex-offenders. “In prison they’ve got three hots and a cot, so they commit a crime to go back in and come out when times are better.”

It's a crying shame that America can't bring itself to do better for its citizens than this. It resembles a 3rd world nation more than a 1st world one.

He worries that despair and frustration may take a toll as Detroiters see more manufacturing jobs vanish and get no short-term answer when they ask, “What next?”
“Somebody needs to hear us before we begin to see a rise of social upheaval,” Vann said. “I hate to say that. It’s a God-forbid reality.”

Given the direction we are going, perhaps social upheaval is the better scenario.

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I can believe it

considering even with food stamps you cannot even have enough to eat, jail provides food, clothing and shelter. Considering the winter weather, sounds like a plan to at least get out of the cold.

This is just a crime. I was watching the "Ed Show" and talking about the royal screw job on the middle class but what never ever comes up and this is my issue with the left, the established left, is they will not examine a host of policies which are causing this.

i.e. trade, labor arbitrage, outsourcing and age discrimination...

I mean there are a host of policy recommendations that if implemented could really turn it around for the U.S. middle class/working stiff and they never touch on these.

Detroit unemployment is now 50% unofficially, yet believe this or not, the whole tech market in that area is loaded with foreign guest workers and offshore outsourced.

And there are people who think income inequality

doesn't matter. Income inequality creates huge economic inefficiencies in terms of allocation of limited resources to unproductive projects AND huge potential for social unrest.

Nothing has change in terms of economic policy. Any recovery without significant changes will not matter. Just look at the graph in A Decade of Lost Jobs - see the trend - lower job growth by decade.

We are quickly becoming a caste system. - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

John McCain to Detroit: Tough Luck!

I remember when John McCain campaigned for the presidency in Detroit and had the nerve to tell the suffering people that "these jobs are never coming back" AND provide no viable alternative.

McCain could have said he'd fight for a level international trade playing field for the people of Detroit and the US - that he wouldn't tolerate currency manipulation by China and the importation of goods make by slave labor and environmental polluters.

Instead, John McCain went to Detroit and rubbed salt in their wounds and spat in their face ... and left .. to return to one of his 7 or so private homes.

Detroit imported the Asian Emerald Ash Borer

Detroit is also the Great Lakes port through which the Asian Emerald Ash Borer entered the United States through pallets on Asian freighters.

The Emerald Ash Borer has gone on to destroy millions of ash trees throughout the midwest because it has no natural predator.

At the same time Feds are spending billions bailing out Wall Street, midwest states are having difficulty getting a few million Federal dollars to combat this infestation that is a direct result of Federal trade policy.

But doesn't the US have inspections and regulations to prevent this? It appears not. It seems the US has rules and regulations for US pallet makers - e.g. the wood must be chemically treated to avoid infestations - but no regulations on pallets made by Asian importers.

This is yet another example of the harm that United States trade policies have caused its citizens and businesses. Millions of ash trees destroyed. Regulations on US industry (e.g. pallet makers) that is not applied to Asian importers. Millions of lost jobs.

Detroit is the poster child of United States trade policy. Congress wants to stay in its ivory tower and ignore it.

sure is

and you mention one of those rarely talked about issues with freighters, international trade, the risk of bringing into a local region something that can destroy the local environment.

The next time someone tries to run the "racist xenophobe" card when one complains about bad trade deals....(trying to claim those other nations need our jobs and by not enabling that somehow it's all racist) ....think of Detroit.

The area has one of the highest minority, diversity populations, a huge percentage are African American. So, we have very obvious signs in the United States right now, that U.S. domestic diversity is being hurt badly by globalization agendas....

So much for that "race card" being played when it comes to jobs.