The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Prisons Instead of Schools

Sep 5, 2016

Over the last three decades, state and local spending on prisons and jails increased more than three times faster than spending on public schools. This is the same period when the jobs for working class children that might provide a decent life have increasingly dried up. And that is no accident.

The capitalists who run this society are only willing to educate people to the extent that they can exploit them – that is, to the extent that they need educated workers. But since the 1970s, the capitalists have done everything they could to increase profits by reducing the number of workers they need: speeding people up, laying them off, forcing people to work overtime, putting in new technology.

The result? A huge portion of the population, disproportionately but not only black people, are left with few job prospects. And the capitalists increasingly find a thousand and one ways to steal the money that should go to educate that same layer of the population.

Because society is set up to serve the capitalists’ pursuit of profit, instead of providing an education that leads to a job, this society offers a future of prison to millions of its young people.