Thursday, October 6, 2011

Singing Along with that Star-Spangled Bomber

G'day to you, freaks and freakettes. Let's cut right to the action.

From Prisoners Help Build Patriot Missiles

I'll give that a minute to sink in.

This story from Wired is a little old, dated March 8 of this year. The only reason I found it is because shared the link with flavor text saying "file this in the 'in case you missed it' news cycle". And they were right. I for one sure as hell missed this.

Made even more relevant with the revelation of the profiteering involved in federal capital punishment unearthed with the death of Troy Davis, the article describes a corporation named Unicor involved in the system of federal prison labor. Previously called Federal Prison Industries, Unicor employs 20,000 federal inmates in over 70 prisons producing a veritable cornucopia of products ranging from clothing to office furniture, solar panels, and even military devices. *Cue Sesame Street's "One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others"*

That's right. The incredibly specialized process of assembling these earth-shaking guided missiles is being performed by federal inmates for mere pennies. Ironic, especially considering these inmates would never be able to get a job doing the same thing on the outside world once they were released, due to having a criminal record. But what makes this even more insulting is the number of unemployed law abiding citizens who could use this kind of job offer. Apparently if you can train a prison inmate to do that job, then I'm guessing you don't need a college degree to be trained at the art.

Of course, Unicor's involvement in military production is not limited to guided missile components. They also created a tidy profit from selling helmets to the military, but they lost that contract when over 40,000 units were recalled due to shoddy quality. Sure makes you feel safe.

Some folks are born silver-spoon in hand
Lord, how they help themselves

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