The above article only scratches the surface. Ever since Ronald Reagan and his Trickle-Up Economics (masked as "Trickle-Down economics"), the USA has favored the "Divine Right" of the Wealthy Aristocrat.
The poor and the middle class get poorer, and their children go to jail, mostly because of the drug war.
And they pay for it too:
Info below from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Companies operating in the private prison business include the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group, Inc., Management and Training Corporation, and Community Education Centers. The GEO Group was formerly known as Wackenhut Securities, and includes the Cornell Companies, which merged with GEO in 2010.
Private companies which provide services to prisons combine in the American Correctional Association, which advocates legislation favorable to the industry. Such private companies comprise what has been termed the Prison-industrial complex.
 EmploymentIt is estimated that 1 in 9 state government employees works in corrections. About 17% of prisoners are employed by UNICOR
In 2005 it cost an average of $23,876 dollars per state prisoner. State prison spending varied widely, from $45,000 a year in Rhode Island to $13,000 in Louisiana.
In California in 2009 it cost an average of $47,102 a year to incarcerate an inmate in state prison. From 2001 to 2009, the average annual cost increased by about $19,500 in California.
In 2001 among facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, it cost $22,632 per inmate, or $62.01 per day.
Housing the approximately 500,000 people in jail in the USA awaiting trial who cannot afford bail costs $9 billion a year. Most jail inmates are petty, nonviolent offenders. Twenty years ago most nonviolent defendants were released on their own recognizance (trusted to show up at trial). Now most are given bail, and most pay a bail bondsman to afford it. 62% of local jail inmates are awaiting trial.
To ease jail overcrowding over 10 counties every year consider building new jails. As an example Lubbock County, Texas has decided to build a $110 million megajail to ease jail overcrowding. Jail costs an average of $60 a day nationally. In Broward County, Florida supervised pretrial release costs about $7 a day per person while jail costs $115 a day. The jail system costs a quarter of every county tax dollar in Broward County, and is the single largest expense to the county taxpayer.
In 2007 states spent an estimated 7 percent of their budget on corrections.Bondsmen have lobbied to cut back local pretrial programs from Texas to California, pushed for legislation in four states limiting pretrial's resources, and lobbied Congress so that they won't have to pay the bond if the defendant commits a new crime. Behind them, the bondsmen have powerful special interest group and millions of dollars. Pretrial release agencies have a smattering of public employees and the remnants of their once-thriving programs.
As of 2007 the cost of medical care for inmates was growing by 10 percent annually.
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"Welcome to America, home to 5% of the world's people & 25% of the world's prisoners."
Meanwhile, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer...
The rich and the middle class
a most prosperous period, the 1950s, the U.S. paid less total taxes as a percentage of GDP, but the rich paid a progressively higher income tax rate than they pay now. Progressive taxation. Roosevelt-Eisenhower progressive taxation and prosperity. Versus Reagan-Bush voodoo economics and middle-class bankruptcy and decline. For more info: