People often ask me about APV and why we are an “omnibus” organization, why we don’t concentrate on one issue like so many other groups do. My answer is that there is no “one” issue, they’re all connected: A private prison industry needs more prisoners if it’s to meet its quarterly profit estimates, those prisoners have to come from somewhere, hence the drug war (and the largely low income, non violent offenders who end up in jail), which has been militarized along the lines of the global war on terror (or whatever they’re calling it this week), which leads to ever expanding defense budgets and the use of private contractors and the ever-closer embrace of the government and big business. One place this can be seen is the revolving door at federal agencies that are literally captured for the use of the same businesses they are supposed to regulate… for instance in regards to say, the environment… and when the environment inevitably gets polluted or destroyed it’s the poor who suffer most… but of course there’s always those private prisons to fill up… These kinds of connections can be made with healthcare, education, immigration, energy, foreign policy, you name it.
I don’t mean to make it all sound so simple, or to point too knowingly at this or that, as if this skein of interconnections and symbiosises can be easily teased apart. I am saying that when you pull on one thread, it is remarkable how the whole fabric of our modern world shifts, and that’s why we don’t just work on one issue. Here for instance, David Sirota looks at trade policy in Salon.com… and job losses and globalization and multi-national corporations and the collapse of the middle class and campaign finance reform (or the lack there of) and on and on. Actually, he just talks about trade policy… the rest is just the soft whisper of threads moving in unison.
Nice read and a good article, Scott. Thanks.