The Politics of the Prison Industrial Complex

iberal Voting by Race, Gender, and Employment in the Military/Prison Industrial Complex

Liberal Voting by Race, Gender, and Employment in the Military/Prison Industrial Complex

As I continue to plot my next move, I’ve been thinking about the intersections between occupation, socialization, and interests. Of key import in all of that is how the Military Industrial Complex has supported itself by creating subindustries based in policing, prisons, firefighting, security, and other he-manly activities that give strong preferences to the employment of people who served in the military—and which embrace the fascist values of those institutions. Or do they? Notice, an alternative would be that people go to the military, learn some skills, and come back to ordinary life as regular citizens whose interests are no different from any other American.

Above I chart rates of voting for the “liberal” political candidate in the General Social Survey since 1988 by race, gender, and whether or not a respondent had a job in policing, prisons, firefighting, or the military. You know, those REAL AMERICAN HEROES, who deserve to have raises and good jobs, unlike those fucking commie teachers who should be at home barefoot and pregnant. We don’t need no education from a bunch of commie lesbos! But, I digresss. These occupations hold the employment of 1.6% of white men and 1.9% of black men, and .4% of white women and 1.1% of black women—-and I’m pretty sure I’ll up that total once I do another scan of the census codes. I sure hope Mike Hout gets that grant to integrate the census occupational codes in the GSS before all NSF funding is eliminated for the social sciences….

As you can see, employment in the Military-Prison Industrial sector has a significant negative impact on liberal voting for white men, white women, and black men. Black women appear to be smarter. Indeed, the voting difference for white men is over 10%—despite the fact that the vast majority of people workings these jobs are in the public sector—and voting Republican or for Ross Perot would hardly be in their material interest. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes with the impending legalization of marijuana and  decriminalization of many drugs. As we finally begin to reduce our mass incarceration society to something resembling that of a civilized society—what will those who benefitted from the mass lockup of the brown people and hippies do? Join the Teabaggers? Grow weed?


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