Peter Edelman (Georgetown) on "Not a Crime to Be Poor"....

Peter Edelman (Georgetown)

Peter Edelman (Georgetown)

Professor Edelman explores policing for profit and the criminalization of the poor.  His book provides helpful analysis and data concerning 21st century Debtors’ Prisons, in which poor people are taxed out of their income and whatever savings to fund law enforcement itself.  To show how poor people are economically oppressed, he identifies fines and fees and surcharges and asset forfeitures and money bail forfeitures and probation fees and collection fees and interest and driver’s license suspensions and child support penalties.  Professor Edelman clearly identifies the racial dynamics at play.

not a crime to be poor.jpg

Unfortunately, Professor Edelman stops short of describing how these regressive and racist taxes are often designed also to support local government generally.  They are not just neo-liberal, they are neoconservative in that they are designed to entrench poverty.  Professor believes those with wealth are rejecting high taxes because they are unwilling and irresponsible.  While this may be true of a significant segment, there are policy makers who purposely designed such a tax system to ensure that “old money” can rely on an impoverished servile, cheap workforce.

This work is a great complement to my upcoming book, Cant Breathe:  Race and Taxes in 21st Century Amerika, or How Starving the Beast Created the Black Lives Matter Movement.  - DreSmith

Distributed CostsAndre Smith