51 e) Still more issues and solutions (con’t)
Issue: Incarcerations, prisons, the tax payer rip-off. We seem to have a culture in this country regarding incarceration that is at odds with the rest of the civilized world and the tax payer is the real victim. The national average cost of incarceration is almost $40,000 per year!
Solution: The US has 5% of the world’s population, but incarcerates 25% of the all those in prisons worldwide. Do we just have more criminals than other countries? Perhaps we are just much better at catching the bad guys? Actually neither is true. The issue is that we would much rather spend more money jailing those who have broken laws as opposed to assisting them in becoming tax paying citizens. In Arkansas the typical person released is given $100 and a cell phone. With the majority of crimes committed being drug related you can imagine what the person released does with those two items! The proven solution is to help fund transition facilities that provide temporary housing, counseling, life skills training, transportation and employment access. Some attention is given to this, more funding needs to be allocated to assist with this process with the specific targeted goals of reducing recidivism and saving money. We can reduce the “revolving door” process that we currently experience in our prisons.
Issue: High Frequency Traders are ripping off the traditional investor. This is actually a “legal scam” which has been created through cooperation of the financial markets and the HFTs. The HFTs pay the markets to have nanosecond access to buy and sell orders. This allows them to see gaps between these order and place nanosecond buy and sell orders in the middle of the transaction. What happens is that for most orders there is a duplicate buy/sell transaction that the traditional investor never sees. It is true that the intermediate transaction may only yield the HFT a few cents per transaction, but when you multiply this the volume of transactions the total rip-off is enormous. It can amount to over $5 Billion in profits a year on just the NYSE!
Solution: Read the book “Flash Boys” and/or go to this site: http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/03/31/2014/you-can-avoid-high-frequency-traders
stay tuned for more issues and solutions next week