Friends, one of the most important books I’ve read in years: The Divide by Matt Taibbi. I highly recommend it. If you read nothing else, the introduction to the book alone is worth the price of the book.
This ambitious book documents America’s unequal administration of justice to rich and poor.
Some quotes from the book:
“Obsessed with success and wealth and despising failure and poverty, our society is systematically dividing the population into winners and losers, using institutions like the courts to speed the process.
“For a country founded on the idea that rights are inalienable and inherent from birth, we’ve developed a high tolerance for conditional rights and conditional citizenship. And the one condition, it turns out, is money. If you have a lot of it, the legal road you get to travel is well lit and beautifully maintained. If you don’t, it’s a dark alley and most Americans would be shocked to find out what’s at the end of it.”
“Twenty-six billion dollars of fraud: no felony cases. But when the stakes are in the hundreds of dollars, we kick in 26,000 doors a year, in just one county.”
“Our prison population, in fact, is now the biggest in the history of human civilization. There are more people in the United States either on parole or in jail today (around 6 million total) than there ever were at any time in Stalin’s gulags. For what it’s worth, there are also more black men in jail right now than there were in slavery at its peak.”
“The great nonprosecutions of Wall Street in the years since 2008, I would learn, were just symbols of this dystopian sorting process to which we’d already begun committing ourselves. The cleaving of the country into two completely different states—one a small archipelago of hyperacquisitive untouchables, the other a vast ghetto of expendables with only theoretical rights—has been in the works a long time. The Divide is a terrible story, and a crazy one. And it goes back a long, long way.”
~ Matt Taibbi, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap