Saturday, 26 April 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014 -

Corporate Justice

by Guy Spencer
Published: Mar 27, 2014
Words: 19,720
Category: general
Orientation: mixed
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This story is set several decades into USA's super-conservative future, and there have been many changes. The middle class has continued its decline until its near disappearance. So, rich people have become that much richer, and the rest of us... are workers.

Most workers are poor. Car ownership is rare, neatly eliminating gas shortages. On the bright side, mass transportation is finally a reality. Flagship government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are a fond memory, traded in for more tax cuts for the rich and for more empty promises of 'trickle down' prosperity for the rest. Hospitals are for the rich. Most health care is delivered through employer-owned clinics. Retirees can afford little health care, but their life expectancy is mercifully short.

The balance of power turned in the early 2000s when a series of carefully scripted Supreme Court decisions gradually granted corporations the privileges of full-fledged citizens (actually, the privileges of very rich, very important citizens! ) About the same time, the sainted Rupert Murdoch showed the world that mass mind control could be accomplished through corporate media control. Now corporations had all the tools they needed to take control.

So now the USA is a 'worker's paradise' effectively controlled by a loose collation of huge corporations who managed to totally co-opt the conservative movement, distorting it to serve their own needs.

Government has gotten much smaller, and its interactions with citizens are now more basic and efficient. For example, one biometric ID card serves as passport, driver's license, pay book, bank card, credit card, and everything else. The government no longer prints nor allows money. All earnings and all transactions go through that single card, making every transaction totally transparent and easily taxed. The underground economy is forbidden because it's regarded as unfair competition to legitimate corporations.

The changes to criminal justice and corrections are another example of the efficiencies necessitated by smaller government. The whole criminal justice system was shrunken by repealing most laws regulating non-violent behavior, and replacing them with identical administrative rules. Now, rather than courts and juries, violators face Administrative Rule Adjudicators (ARAs), who are low paid but efficient bureaucrats replacing an army of high paid judges, clerks, prosecutors, public defenders, etc. Even jails now stand mostly empty, thanks to the substitution of corporal punishment based corrections for most non violent violations.

ARA's can sentence violators to three main correction modes:

1) Quick Correction (QC). A QC facility is usually co-located in the courthouse along with ARAs. It does just what the name implies. It can apply up to a severity 3 punishment immediately after the subject has been found guilty of a violation. (One-stop shopping!)

2) Overnight Correction (OC) An Overnight Correction Facility (OCF) receives violators after their workday, applies up to a severity 5 punishment and then keeps them overnight for observation and corrective retraining. They are released in time to report to their job the following morning.

3) Seven Day Prison (7DP) is the maximum punishment that an ARA can sentence a violator to, although guidelines may allow multiple sessions.