Friday, December 18, 2009

Forced Labor

Whenever I drive through northern Georgia along the I-75 corridor, I’m always impressed by how pristine the sides of the road are. No bags, beer cans, or paper litter the sides of the road. I could it explain it by saying that in small town Georgia people take pride and ownership of their surroundings. And that may be true, but there are plenty of non-Northern Georgians traveling the interstate. Today I discovered the reason the roads are so clean—prison work detail. Twice today I saw signs announcing Prison Work Detail. Sure enough, prisoners in orange vests were picking up garbage. I can imagine the argument going something like this: “We’re not paying to feed and house these prisoners without them doing something to help pay back the state.” Makes sense to me. After all, I came from the state that put Martha Stewart in jail. The rumor is that her punishment included teaching other prisoners napkin-folding. Personally, I think they should have hit her with a heavy fine and made her pay restitution (though for insider trading I’m not sure who should get the money). On the other hand, maybe picking up some trash isn’t such a bad idea...Of course, I’m the woman who calls her children together for housework by yelling, “Time for slave labor”, so maybe I’m not the best person to make such decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment