Need a Job? Go to Prison!

Approximately one-in-ten Americans are out of work right now, through no fault of their own. Many, many millions more are doing their best to get by on an impractical minimum wage, while taxpayers subsidize the labor costs of major corporations such as Wal-Mart. Why are there so many people out of work, why are so many people underpaid? It seems clear from examples like the following, that the American worker is destined to work for mere pennies a day, if they are to remain competitive.

Prison Industry Stealing U.S. Jobs

As if American businesses don’t have enough trouble competing with free traders, who exploit cheap labor in third world countries to make sizable profits, they are also fighting government-run corporations that pay prisoners pennies on the dollar to manufacture cheap goods and undercut private industry. 

Is it any wonder that the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the industrialized world? According to a recent report on cable news, the U.S. government is using federal prison inmates to steal business away from civilian manufacturers by producing comparable merchandise for pennies on the dollar.

At the very heart of this scheme is Federal Prison Industries, or Unicor, a U.S. government-owned corporation that employs 13K prisoners at slave wages to produce everything from windbreakers to solar panels. Although the agency is currently restricted to selling their products exclusively to the federal government, they still cut into a major slice of several industrial markets.

Michael Mansh, owner-operator of Ashland Sales and Service, a Pennsylvania apparel manufacturer that does contract work for the U.S. Air Force (USAF), recently spoke with this AMERICAN FREE PRESS reporter about the impact Unicor has on many small businesses.

“I make certain products, and [Unicor] makes the identical product,” said Mansh. “They get paid higher prices than commercial manufacturers even though their labor rates range somewhere between 23¢ and $1.15 per hour. They don’t pay workers compensation,they don’t pay taxes  and they don’t have to pay any of the benefits private enterprise has to pay—yet they get paid a higher price by Department of Defense than I do.”

Full article at link: http://americanfreepress.net/?p=5780 

This picture was posted by the California Department of Corrections to wish everyone a happy Independence Day, as these workers sewed flags for ten-cents an hour:

These inmates have a job, and you don't. These prisoners build Patriot missiles.

Also be sure to check out:

Analyzing a Practical Minimum Wage

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