I read these two articles yesterday with my teeth gritting. It seems that the corporate world no longer just want your house, your car and your blood, sweat and tears, no, no, they now want to put people in debtors prisons with common criminals. They want to lock up honest people who have done nothing wrong but but fail to pay their mortgages and car payments and credit cards because they are laid off and can't find a job in what even the President of the United States has said is the worse economy since the Great Depression. This is an outrage!(Originally posted by Scanner on Open Salon, March 28, 2011, more details below)
This is what AIG of all companies, did to a man in Indiana.
In September 2009, Jeffrey Stearns, a concrete-company owner, answered a knock at the door from a Hancock County, Ind., deputy sheriff. The deputy was holding a warrant to arrest Mr. Stearns for not paying $4,024.88 owed to a unit of American International Group Inc. on a loan for his pickup truck.
After being handcuffed in front of his four children, Mr. Stearns, 29 years old, spent two nights in jail, where he said he was strip-searched and sprayed for lice. Court records show he was released after agreeing to pay $1,500 to the loan company. "I didn't even know I was being sued," he said, though he doesn't dispute owing the money. "It's the scariest thing that ever happened to me."
They are now in the process of training new judges in Florida in the proper way to jail people who cannot pay their debts. "Before we take a person's freedom away, we want to make sure there are procedural safegaurds" a state judge in Palm Beach County, Fla is quoted as saying. So now, not only are the prisons so overcrowed that there are lines of people waiting to get in, non-violent people, but we are going to put citizens in jail for owing a few hundred dollars on their credit cards. That are behind on a couple of house payments.
This country spent billions bailing out these same companies that now want to lock up debtors. How many of these scumbags went to jail for bankrupting their companies? Not only did they they not get locked up, they were sent away with "golden parachutes" worth millions and millions of dollars that our tax dollars paid for. Now, we have to lock up law-abiding citizens for doing something that is minute compared to these very companies. If President Obama and his Justice Department let this happen, then he is as guilty as any one of those bastards.
Wall Street Journal:
More than a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who can't or won't pay to be jailed. Judges have signed off on more than 5,000 such warrants since the start of 2010 in nine counties with a total population of 13.6 million people,
In 1833 the Federal Government did away with debtors prisons. States soon followed. In the United States, it is now unconstitutional to put someone in jail for not paying a legal debt. I know when I lost my house, my credit went in the crapper for the next seven years. I can't buy a pencil on credit and I agree, I shouldn't be able to. Just because my wife and I were unable to work, these companies deserve their money. They took my house, why should I now have to go to prison. I put thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours labor into my house.They seem to think a person is trying to screw them and this is just wrong.
It also looks kind of funny that Corrections Corporations of America, or CCA, the weasels that run a lot of the prisons in this country, are up to their necks in this. The building and the running of private prisons is now at an all time high and they are cramming people in jails already full to make more money. This company has over 60 prisons with over 90,000 beds and business is good, very good. This is the company that had to settle lawsuits for improper care and letting people die. For a fucking credit card bill. WTF~
More than a third of the states right now are letting this happen, with prison and corporate lobbyists in every state capital pushing for more. You cannot get blood out of a turnip, no matter how hard you squeeze. How does a person pay a debt back while they are in jail;. How do they get a job when they get out with a prison record. This my friends is going on right under our noses, yet we do nothing. We are letting these corporations get away with murder, literally, by locking up honest citizens who cannot pay their bills because there are no jobs.
There is something incredibly evil underneath all of this. I am not saying that it's a good thing to walk away from debt, but it seems to me that in a time when people are barely clinging to the barest of necessities, when unemployment rages on without an end in sight and unemployment benefits are being cut by states, and when the banksters got off with not so much as a slap on the wrist and most of our savings, it's a really, really bad time to be throwing people in jail for an unpaid credit card which was probably issued with usury interest rates and fees that exceed the credit limit (which triggers yet more fees).
A Live Weasel Talking
(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)
Originally posted at Debtors Prison WTF~ although it won't be available there much longer it can be confirmed by those who have access to Google archives or other archives.
Kenneth Sibbett posted under the user name, Scanner and was one of the most popular people on Open Salon. It will be a loss for his work not to be available to the public along with a lot of other good articles that are coming down soon. This is one of my favorites of his and I hate to see to go, even if I can't attract the attention to it that he did. Hope he's doing well.