America’s Bread and Circuses — Schools and Jails
by Greg Perry by Greg Perry
Although not always considered a bastion of 100% reliable knowledge, the Wikipedia offers a definition for "Bread and Circuses":
"…government policies to pacify the citizenry"
America’s bread and circuses are easy to spot: public schools and jails.
(Some might argue that America’s bread and circuses are food stamps and war. It would be difficult to argue against that. Our nation has multiple instances of bread and circuses. Don’t you feel blessed?)
I’d like to offer an observation of the school and jail bread and circuses that I doubt you’ve noticed. First, a quick review of the fundamentals.
The Schools Are Not Failures
Those who view government schools as failures haven’t done their homework. The government schools are highly successful. The stated and unapologetic goal of public school founders was to separate children from their parents at the taxpayer’s expense.
Those public school founders had no desire to educate children in the 3 R’s: reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic… they wanted the children’s minds. The way to control society was to grab the kids. They succeeded.
Readers of LewRockwell.com generally understand how evil the government schools are. The government has neither the ability nor the right to educate children. Many of us here have written extensively about the evils of this system.
The government schools should be closed immediately and the teachers left without jobs. (Unlike teachers, I don’t blame the parents for bad schools… I blame those who TAUGHT the parents.)
If you Build Them They Will Come
I think a slightly smaller number of LewRockwell.com regular readers understand the evils inherent in a prison system. Many understand but probably a smaller number than those who accept the truth that the government school system is wrong.
Is there an outcry for more prison space in your community? There is in mine. There is in the county to the right of me. There is in the county to the left of me. There is in the counties on the other side of both of them and ad infinitum. Everybody seems to want more jails.
Liberals (meaning most Democrats and Republicans) want more jails. Democrats love them because more jails mean more government jobs and more government spending. Republicans love them because more jails mean more government spending and they have this fantasy that jails reduce crime.
(Jails do not reduce crime. They delay crime.)
Therefore, both sides of Congress — I’m speaking about the liberals in Congress and that is why I say both sides — cry for more money to build more jails.
I have a simple question that absolutely no jail proponent has ever answered when I’ve asked: If jails worked, wouldn’t we need fewer jails and not more jails?
Have you noticed that every time we build a jail it immediately fills to capacity? They’re like homeless shelters. An acquaintance of mine likes to say this about both jails and homeless shelters: if you build them they will come. Jails are schools for criminals. Nobody comes out rehabilitated — that myth was disproved decades ago. Criminals come out better-educated criminals than before they went in.
Liberals say we shouldn’t put violent murderers and rapists to death. They say we should be humane. They say we should lock them in cages like animals.
I ask: how is that humane? Those same liberals gripe when they see actual animals locked in cages.
The truth is that jails are not cages anymore. Jails are: free health care, free dental care, free HBO, free books, free pornography, free air conditioning, free heating, free conjugal visits, free exercise facilities, free trade schools, free showers, free beds, free laundry service, and lots of free time to hone their criminal trade from fellow inmates.
All that is free only to the inmate. The family that the inmate devastated when he raped and murdered their little girl is the one who pays his bills with their taxes. And this is called "justice"?
Don’t get me wrong. If jails were harsh environments I still wouldn’t support their existence. Jails are miserable failures the same way that the government schools are.
This Isn’t the Place for Solutions
It’s not my goal here to offer solutions. Well, okay, I’ll tell you the solutions because I don’t want you to think I don’t know what they are. But I won’t justify them. This tiny section will generate more questions than I want it to. Justification is best saved for a different time and perhaps a different place.
The solution to the education of our nation’s children is to close the government schools tomorrow by 8:00 am. Families need to understand they have the ability and responsibility to educate their own children. Until 125 years ago everyone did it. It’s even easier today with self-paced homeschool curricula such as the amazing Robinson Homeschool Curriculum. Cost: $16.25 per year for 12 years. Don’t believe the lie that only someone with an education degree can educate your children because the opposite is true. Education degrees ensure that Education majors will be the least qualified to give your child a proper education.
The solution for crime starts with closure also. Close all jails tomorrow by 8:00 am. That won’t stop crime by itself; it’s step one of a two-step process. Step two is to implement one of three punishments upon conviction of any crime:
- Capital punishment
- Corporal punishment
(I may have just lost a lot of good Libertarian readers I’m afraid. I hope not. I hope they wait until I get to my main point.)
Why They Are Our Bread and Circuses
A few years ago, thanks primarily to Gary North, we moved to the middle of nowhere. We love it. One must drive over a mile of dirt roads to see our house.
For years I promised I’d never live in the country. How inconvenient! After living here for a few years, I’d never live anywhere else. With today’s online world, if I want something it’s on my doorstep tomorrow morning. Who needs the city?
I can (and I do) step out onto my front or back porch and shoot. I can shoot pistols, shotguns, carbines, and long-range rifles. Nobody cares. It’s the closest thing to utopia one will find on earth.
We live in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has two wealthy areas, Tulsa’s and Oklahoma City’s metropolitan areas. Most of the rest of the state’s 75 counties are poor. Extremely so.
This is where it gets interesting though. When we drive through the poor towns that flood our state, and into the poor towns of neighboring states such as Arkansas and Kansas, we notice something about the schools. We notice something about the jails. These facilities are often the nicest buildings in the whole town!
Look for yourself. Actually, it’s often the case that the only building nicer than the school classroom buildings is the school administration office.
You won’t find all the jails in all the towns to be as nice as the school facilities but they’re working hard to catch up. If you can, the next time you travel through a few rural, poor towns look for yourself. You’ll see that as a rule of thumb, the nicest buildings are, in order: school administration, school classrooms, and jail facilities. The grounds will all be well-kept, the paint will be new, the railings and windows and roofs will all be attractive and modern, and if not modern at least maintained to sparkle.
Here’s the real kicker: to the left and to the right of these buildings, especially the schools, are houses falling apart. Not houses exactly — homes. Homes where families live and try to survive this day and age of massive government taxation and intrusion. What percentage of property taxes do these poor folk pay for the beautiful school and jail in their community? It’s huge.
Why don’t they care that they struggle to put paint on their own homes they worked their whole lives for when the government buildings thrive? They’re doing it for the children of course. (And for the inmates, nothing but the best!)
Only they’re not really doing it for the children. They don’t understand that because they grew up in America where such knowledge is hidden as much as possible. They’re doing it for the nation’s socialists who want to control every mind from pre-kindergarten up. Their money is also being taken away to pay for jails so criminals can learn better how to steal more from them.
Come to think of it, jails are one of the only places where the socialists don’t know what damage they do to themselves. When jailed criminals get out and use their newfound skills to steal more from the community around them, the poor victims have less money to pay their taxes.
A Jail By Any Other Name is Still a Spa
I predict over the next decade we will see the jail proponents working overtime to build more jails and to renovate the jails they have. They’ve got to catch up to the schools. Time will tell if I’m correct.
So the jails are working overtime to keep up. That’s why you see so many jail bond votes recently and why you’ll see more in the future.
But the next time a jail vote comes up, listen to the words your Mayor (or in Tulsa’s case, the Mayorette) and other leaders use to sell new jail bonds. They will actually use the term jail. This is the only time they will ever do so in their entire public speaking career. Whenever they use the term in any other context outside of money-groveling they’ll use the term correctional facility. They know nothing gets corrected but they don’t like the term jail. It’s too harsh. The word jail sells well to the poor victim voters who want something done about crime. That’s why jail is used in that one instance.