Economic Inequality, Prison Bankers, and More…

Today’s post starts with a great piece on economic  inequality, that I encourage you to read.  This is followed by the rip off of JPay and companies that gouge incarcerated people and their families. It really makes one wonder who exactly should be behind bars…

 

Why We Should be Seething with Anger Over Inequality
Paul Bucheit, Nation of Change, October 13, 2014

IncomeInequality101314Excerpt:
“It was recently reported that Americans greatly underestimate the degree of inequality in our country. If we were given proper media coverage of the endless takeaway of our country’s wealth by the super-rich, we would be infuriated. And we would be taking it personally.

“Each of nine individuals (Gates, Buffett, 2 Kochs, 4 Waltons, Zuckerberg) made, on average, so much from his/her investments since January, 2013 that a median American worker would need a quarter of a million years to catch up. For the most part it was passive income, new wealth derived from the continuing productivity of America’s workers.

(…)

On Average, Most of Us Got ONE DOLLAR for Every BILLION DOLLARS of New Wealth. A look at the numbers compiled by Us Against Greed shows how personal it really is. Out of that $5,350,000,000,000 ($5.35 trillion) made since the start of 2013, the bottom 80 percent of America took an average of less than $5,000 each. The richest 6 to 20 percent fared better, taking an average of about $65,000.

“Now it begins to heat up. From that $5.35 trillion, the richest 2 to 5 percent took an average of about $343,000. The one-percenters need to be split up into the rich, the super-rich, and the filthy-rich:

“—-The more common members of the one-percent (1,068,000 families) made over $1,000,000 each ($1,068 billion total)

“—-The .1 percent (108,000 families) made about $4 million each ($480 billion total)

“—-The .01 percent made about $40 million each ($480 billion total)

“The unimaginably rich Forbes 400 each took, on average, almost $1,500,000,000 ($1.5 billion) since January, 2013.

“That brings us to the Final 9 (Gates, Buffett, 2 Kochs, 4 Waltons, Zuckerberg). Each of them has accumulated, on average, over $13,000,000,000 ($13 billion) since January 2013. …”

***

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers
Inmates’ families gouged by fees
Daniel Wagner, Center for Public Integrity, September 30, 2014

***

Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up
Government gives no-bid contracts to Bank of America, JP Morgan
By Daniel Wagner, Center for Public Integrity, October 3, 3014

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series examining how financial companies impose high costs on the families of prison inmates. Part One,which ran on Tuesday, focused on the explosive growth of JPay Inc., a private company that performs money transfers for 70 percent of U.S. offenders.

***

Bank of America’s mission creep into federal prisons
Daniel Wagner, Center for Public Integrity, October 2, 2014

Excerpt:
“Bank of America’s original, no-bid deal with the Treasury Department was to manage federal inmates’ accounts and prison store inventory. It was worth $14.4 million. In 14 years, the contract has expanded to include electronic money transfers, phone technology and e-messaging.

“This timeline tracks how Bank of America’s contract was broadened and its compensation increased over the course of 22 amendments. Dollar figures reflect the total value of the contract as of that contract amendment.

“TRACK THE 22 AMENDMENTS TO THIS DEAL…”

***

Senator questions Bank of America’s no-bid prison deal
Daniel Wagner, Center for Public Integrity, October 6, 2014

Excerpt:
“A senior U.S. Senator is questioning the Treasury Department’s decision to award Bank of America Corp. an exclusive contract to provide technology and financial services in all federal prisons.”

 

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