The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

The Economy Drives a Desperate Man to Seek Prison

Oct 16, 2006

If anyone still tries to say the economy is looking up, they need look no further than the case of Timothy J. Bowers.

Bowers, 63, had not been able to find a regular job since losing his job three years ago when the company he worked for closed down. With several more years remaining before he could collect Social Security, he carried out a desperate plan to support himself until then: rob a bank and go to prison.

Bowers walked up to a bank teller in Columbus, Ohio, said he was robbing the bank and demanded money. After receiving $80, he turned around and handed the money to a guard. He then waited for the police to show up and take him to jail.

In court, he pleaded guilty to robbery, and asked for a three-year jail sentence. The judge, Angela White, gave it to him, saying, “It’s unfortunate you feel this is the only way to deal with the situation.”

Unfortunate! It sure is. It’s “unfortunate” that this system throws Bowers and countless others like him on the trash heap when they’re done using them, with no way to feed, clothe and house themselves. “Unfortunate” that a man like Bowers needs to get himself thrown in prison in order to survive.

Unfortunate? It’s not just unfortunate; it’s criminal.

This economic system is criminal–and Mr. Bowers is one of its victims.