Daily Digest 8/28 - 'Prison Economy' Secretly Grows, Hurricane Isaac Gathers Force
U.S. ‘Prison Economy’ Secretly Grows (David B.)
This conclusion should hardly be surprising to informed readers. The U.S. warehouses more of its own population in prisons than any other Western nation by a vast margin. Canada is a distant second, and then there is a further drop-off once we move past North American “incarceration mania”. Furthermore, the Corporate Media itself has been gushing over the fantastic growth curves of U.S. Private Prison Corporations (Dick Cheney’s favorite investment).
“Sometimes the test leads you down a path, a therapeutic cascade, where you start to tumble downstream to more and more testing, and more and more invasive testing, and possibly even treatment for things that should be left well enough alone.”
During the current campaign, Mr. Romney has embraced the conservative view that government can best help the economy by getting smaller, and he has selected as his running mate Representative Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who is a standard-bearer for fiscal conservatism. But a review of the positions that Mr. Romney has taken on economic issues during his two decades in politics reveals a recurring tension between his political commitments and his private sector experience at Bain Capital, which he often cited earlier in his political career in advocating a larger government role in the economy.
U.S. Energy Policy Debate too Myopic (James S.)
Much of the politicking during the U.S. presidential campaign of 2012 has centered on energy independence and access to so-called tar sands oil from the Athabasca deposits in Canada. Incumbent President Barack Obama already suffered a setback with green initiatives in the wake of the bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra. That being said, oil production in the United States is at historic highs during an administration seen by its critics as shutting the door on domestic energy.
If the looming global oil crunch has been postponed for another decade or two as widely alleged, this is far from obvious in today’s commodity markets.
On the crude oil side, although crude stockpile has gone through four consecutive weeks of draw, it is still above the 5-year range (See Chart Below). Moreover, as we are heading into the slow demand season of the year, inventory most likely will start to build again.
The tracking forecasts reached a consensus by Monday night that the storm, which was a little over 200 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and on the verge of becoming a hurricane, would land overnight Tuesday somewhere around southeastern Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane.
Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50% on international markets since June, triggered by severe droughts in the US and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia. More than 18 million people are already facing serious food shortages across the Sahel.
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