The New Social Contract: America's Journey from Welfare State to Police State

Synopsis

According to the Justice Department's National Crime Survey, the crime rate in the United States is lower today than it was when Nixon was in the White House. In spite of this, political leaders demand nationwide prison construction as a response to the "war on drugs" and to accommodate the results of the new "three strikes" law. At the same time, the gap between rich and poor is wider than ever and the needs of the "non-disruptive poor" are being ignored by the economic and political elites to the point of unprecedented homelessness. The author predicts this widening gap will prompt the return of 1960s-style civil turmoil which will lead to the end of the "war on drugs" and the emptying of hundreds of thousands of cells so the protesting poor can be plausibly threatened with incarceration.