Newsflash: Our prison population over the past two decades has soared to a record-bursting 2.4 million. Almost one out of every 100 Americans is currently incarcerated. (Personally, I blame Hollywood celebutantes Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Justin Bieber for much of the overcrowding problem.)
The USA has more people in prison than any other country in the world – yet one more achievement about which Americans can proudly shout We’re #1. The cost to house all these charming folks is staggering. Check out these startling statistics:
- The average annual operating cost in 2012 was $28,000 per inmate.
- Housing the approximately 500,000 people in jail awaiting trial costs $9 billion a year.
- The cost to put my two daughters through four years of college would be enough to house the entire prison population of Wyoming for four months.
- An ant can carry 50 times its own body weight.
- Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.
As these alarming statistics clearly demonstrate, we need to do something about the runaway costs of housing our inmates – not to mention cracking down on Donkeys Gone Wild.
Life is pretty stressful at times. When I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, I like to find a comfortable couch, close my eyes and listen to a relaxing sound. And no sounds are more soothing to me than the rhythmic sound of ocean waves crashing into the shore or the gentle gurgling of a babbling brook or the soothing hum of 35,000 rabid South African soccer fanatics at the FIFA World Cup, blowing their lungs out with their plastic 4 dollar and 95 cent vuvuzelas. If you still haven’t heard of a vuvuzela (pronounced “Voo-Voo-ZAY-Lah), it can mean only one thing: You’re an American.
Surely by now you must have seen and heard a vuvuzela. Click here to listen to its soothing sound. Now, wasn’t that relaxing? Now just imagine that soothing humming sound TIMES 35 THOUSAND …. for an hour and a half….. non-stop…. without commercial interruption. Originally used to summon distant African tribal villagers to attend community gatherings, the vuvuzela has become synonymous with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, with its distinctive nonstop, deafening, monotone buzzing sound. The vuvuzela may come in 275 different colors, but they all come in just one note: B flat.