Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Headline turns my stomach

Actually it was not the headline but the subhead, reprinted in full below:

The nation's 2 million inmates and their keepers are the ultimate captive market: a $37 billion economy bulging with business opportunity

Business 2.0 December 2006, p. 62

The USA is the world leader in the number of prisoners with 715 per 100,000. Instead of acknowledging the shame of leading the world in holding people captive, Biz 2.0 cavalierly describes the inmates and their keepers as "the ulitmate captive market", one "bulging with business opportunity.


My ancestors came from Norway. The USA has 7 times as many prisoners per 100,000 as Norway.

For some reason or other I hear an echo from tha economic engine from our nation's past--slavery.

In fairness to the author of the Business 2.0 story, the story features a former prisoner who has started a business offering reduced collect call rates for prisoners. Collect calls that average four times the cost of regular collect calls is just one typical way that someone is making money off the "ultimate captive market."

I'm a big fan of nonprofits learning from the most humane practices of progressive businesses but some business practices should be avoided like e coli.