Archive for May, 2012
That is the question posed by the website io9, with predictable results in a society where Americans increasingly lack the basic critical reasoning skills to force the government to do what is best for everyone’s future. (I’m looking at you, tea baggers.) You might be better off embezzling from a bank or committing some other non-violent federal crime, rather than waiting to see what our me-first society has in store for you:
Wasting away at home is a tragic possibility and government funded retirement homes might only be an option once your assets are depleted. Would you be better off committing a crime and going to prison where you receive food, clothing, and medical care? We decided to find out.
Regardless of your state, province, or national government, going into old age and needing care while holding little or no individual assets is a dicey situation. Would you be better off in a prison than a retirement home if you lack financial assets or family?
The Pros of Prison
Let’s look at some of the positives of incarceration. Prison is cheap (if not free), provides a steady supply of food, a relatively high level of healthcare, and some social interaction. In the best situations, you could take classes for college credit, learn a new trade, or spend your days catching up on television.
While standards and settings can change from prison to prison, if you find yourself in a minimum security Federal prison, your quality of life will be pretty good. While you can’t pick your roommate or the denizens of your cell block or leave, your status as an elderly individual (and hopefully your lack of violent crimes) will likely land you amongst criminals of a similar threat level (i.e., low). Depending on the facility, you might even be able to roam park-like portion of the grounds. Policies do exist to accrue inmate housing costs from personal finances, but if you lack assets, this will not be a problem for you.
Federal prisons, at least in the United States, are a much safer place than state prisons. Federal prisons are often home to white-collar, non-violent offenders, and violent attacks occur at less than half the rate of state prisons. These prisons are typically located on or near military installations (like FPC Montgomery on the grounds of Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama), where prisoners can work in clerical positions and even take in a movie at the serviceman’s theater on the grounds of the base.
You can read the rest here, and it ain’t pretty.
No posting for the four days I was in Montreal, one of my favorite cities in North America. New posts below.
I love Montreal. It’s like being dropped into a little bit of Europe just a few hours north of Boston. Stayed at a B&B called Sir Montcalm, which is as charming as it is reasonable. It’s also just a half block off Rue Ste Catherine, the pulsing heart of all things gay in the city. Plus the hosts make excellent breakfasts every morning. The interior garden and patio themselves are worth the stay (see pic below).
Then, on the way back, we stopped at the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Vermont (or, one of them, anyway), where they charge you four dollars for quite possibly the shittiest and most disappointingly lame factory tour ever devised. It’s an hour of stupid cow-and-dairy puns, with very little of it having to do with actually touring the plant itself.
I love the company, don’t get me wrong. But their tour is rip-off. Don’t bother.