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David Simon on America as a Horror Show

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

On one of my favorite political talk shows, Bill Moyers on PBS, David Simon has made it so beautifully plain how America treats those losing out in this economy that’s become more and more detatched from any social goals or responsibilities. In short: America does not care about its worth-less people. He talks about how the legislative process has been bought, how not only Obama, but any president, no matter how well-meaning, faces a rigged game, and how those earning minimum pay or below may soon become too many, and so their lives will end up being destroyed. And this is where the war on drugs comes in…

By all means, do watch the entire interview, but the section from 20:00 onwards packs too much punch, I wanted to print the transcript here below. (Video and transcript from billmoyers.com)

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DAVID SIMON: I am so aware of what– at this point of having covered it for so many years of what the drug war means in terms of being effectively a war on the poor. That’s all it is. It has no meaning in terms of narcotics or anything like that. That’s the shell game.

BILL MOYERS: But you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t connect that, would you, to the power of capital to buy the legislation.

DAVID SIMON: It’s the power of capitalism–I don’t know if I think it’s that much of a plan, I’m not that much of a conspiracist. I think there are a lot of extra people left over when the factories all go to the cheapest labor. And you know, if you’re going to move to the manufacturing base to the Pacific Rim and to Mexico and wherever else– you’re going to have a lot of extra people. And that’s going to make you nervous. And those people are not going to have– well, you’re either going to have to pay them to be extra, which we don’t have– we’re not that selfless. We’re cutting back on welfare.

You’re either going to have to pay them to be useless, you’re going to have to find a way to completely reorient them and place them in the service economy in ways that they are not now relevant for. And that’s a lot of money, we don’t want to spend that money. Or you’re going to have to hunt them, hunt them down. And that’s what the drug war became. You know, we left one last industry in places like West Baltimore and North Philadelphia and East St. Louis; we left one last factory standing. We left the drug corner. And it was very lucrative and very destructive. And then we made that illegal and then we made the laws against that so draconian that we could basically destroy lives. And then to make it even more laughable as a capitalist enterprise, we started turning over the prisons to private companies. And so they can, certain people with the contracts can find a profit metric in destroying these lives.

Part two of the same interview can be found here. As always, insightful and stirring.

Short link: http://wp.me/p1DZIc-nd

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