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Compare and Contrast Rational and Incremental Policy Making
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In this essay I intend to investigate both rational and incremental policy making, identifying the differences between them. Despite the notable differences I also intend to draw comparisons between the two in order to establish which is the more favourable method to use when introducing public policy. Rational models of policy making assume policy makers identify all problems, then gather and review all the data about alternative possible solutions and their consequences and select the solution that best matches their goals. The incremental model of policy making involves taking small steps which are based on previous policies or previous...
who may have different goals. Both models are developed to find the best possible decision available. Both Simon's rational model and Lindblom's incremental model are very different but both share a common goal and both methods can be effective under different circumstances. Using the rational decision making model, there is a high level of control over policy allocated to planners as opposed to the incremental which allows solutions to evolve over time. However, no single type of model can do everything, the rational model provides an ideal model whilst the incremental model provides a realistic view of the world.
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The idea that America is turning...The idea that America is turning fascist has been popular on the Left for as long as I can remember: in the 1960s, when antiwar radicals raged against the Machine, this kind of hyperbole dominated campus political discourse and even made its way into the mainstream. When the radical Weather Underground went into ultra-Left meltdown and began issuing incoherent "communiqués" to an indifferent American public, they invariably signed off by declaring: "Death to the fascist insect pig that preys on the life of the people!" Such rhetoric, too overheated for American tastes, was quite obviously an exaggeration: America in the 1960s was no more "fascistic" than miniskirts, Hula Hoops, and the rhyming demagoguery of Spiro T. Agnew. Furthermore, we weren"t even close to fascism, as the downfall of Richard M. Nixon made all too clear to whatever incipient authoritarians were nurtured at the breast of the GOP. Back in those halcyon days, America was, in effect, practically immune from the fascist virus that had wreaked such havoc in Europe and Asia in previous decades: there was a kind of innocence, back then, that acted as a vaccine against this dreaded affliction. Fascism "“ the demonic offspring of war "“ was practically a stranger to American soil. After all, it had been a century since America had been a battleground, and the sense of invulnerability that is the hallmark of youth permeated our politics and culture. Nothing could hurt us: we were forever young. But as we moved into the new millennium, Americans acquired a sense of their own mortality: an acute awareness that we could be hurt, and badly. That is the legacy of 9/11. Blessed with a double bulwark against foreign invasion "“ the Atlantic and Pacific oceans "“ America hasn"t experienced the atomizing effects of large-scale military conflict on its soil since the Civil War. On that occasion, you"ll remember, Lincoln, the "Great Emancipator," nearly emancipated the U.S. government from the chains of the Constitution by shutting down newspapers, jailing his political opponents, and cutting a swathe of destruction through the South, which was occupied and treated like a conquered province years after Lee surrendered. He was the closest to a dictator that any American president has come "“ but George W. Bush may well surpass him, given the possibilities that now present themselves. From the moment the twin towers were hit, the fascist seed began to germinate, to take root and grow. As the first shots of what the neocons call "World War IV" rang out, piercing the post-Cold War calm like a shriek straight out of Hell, the political and cultural climate underwent a huge shift: the country became, for the first time in the modern era, a hothouse conducive to the growth of a genuinely totalitarian tendency in American politics. The events of 9/11 were an enormous defeat for the U.S., and it is precisely in these circumstances "“ the traumatic humbling of a power once considered mighty "“ that the fascist impulse begins to find its first expression. That, at any rate, is the historical experience of Germany, for example, where a defeated military machine regenerated itself on the strength of German resentment and lashed out at Europe once again. The terrible defeat of World War I, and the injustice of the peace, created in Weimar Germany the cradle of National Socialism: but in our own age, where everything is speeded up "“ by the Internet and the sheer momentum of the knowledge explosion "“ a single battle, and a single defeat, can have the same Weimarizing effect. The Republican party"s response to 9/11 was to push through the most repressive series of laws since the Alien and Sedition Acts, starting with the "PATRIOT Act" and its successors "“ making it possible for American citizens to be held without charges, without public evidence, without trial, and giving the federal government unprecedented powers to conduct surveillance of its own citizens. Secondly, Republicans began to typify all opposition to their warmaking and anti-civil liberties agenda as practically tantamount to treason. Congress, thoroughly intimidated, was silent: they supinely voted to give the president a blank check, and he is still filling in the amount"¦ The intellectual voices of American fascism began to be heard in the land before the first smoke had cleared from the stricken isle of Manhattan, as even some alleged "libertarians" began to advocate giving up traditional civil liberties all Americans once took for granted. "It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes," wrote "libertarian" columnist and Reason magazine contributing editor Cathy Young, "perhaps there are no true libertarians in times of terrorist attacks," she noted, as she defended government spying on Americans and denounced computer encryption technology as "scary." As much as Young"s self-conception as a libertarian is the result of a misunderstanding, that infamous "anti-government" sentiment that used to permeate the GOP evaporated overnight. Lew Rockwell trenchantly labeled this phenomenon "red-state fascism," writing: "The most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. It is the dramatic shift of the red-state bourgeoisie from leave-us-alone libertarianism, manifested in the Congressional elections of 1994, to almost totalitarian statist nationalism. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing." This worrisome shift in the ideology and tone of the conservative movement has also been noted by the economist and writer Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury, who points to the "brownshirting" of the American Right as a harbinger of the fascist mentality. I raised the same point in a column, and the discussion was taken up by Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative, in a thoughtful essay that appeared in the Feb. 14 issue of that magazine. My good friend Scott sounds a skeptical note: "It is difficult to imagine any scenario, after 9/11, that would not lead to some expansion of federal power. The United States was suddenly at war, mobilizing to strike at a Taliban government on the other side of the world. The emergence of terrorism as the central security issue had to lead, at the very least, to increased domestic surveillance "“ of Muslim immigrants especially. War is the health of the state, as the libertarians helpfully remind us, but it doesn"t mean that war leads to fascism." All this is certainly true, as far as it goes: but what if the war takes place, not in distant Afghanistan, but on American soil? That, I contend, is the crucial circumstance that makes the present situation unique. Yes, war is the health of the State "“ but a war fought down the block, instead of on the other side of the world, means the total victory of State power over individual liberty as an imminent possibility. To paraphrase McConnell, it is difficult to imagine any scenario, after another 9/11, that would not lead to what we might call fascism. William Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation and a prominent writer on military strategy, argues that what he calls "cultural Marxism" is a much greater and more immediate danger than militaristic fascism, and that, in any case, the real problem is "abstract nationalism," the concept of "the state as an ideal." This ideal, however, died amid the destruction wrought by World War I, and is not about to be resurrected. And yet"¦ Lind raises the possibility, at the end of his piece, that his argument is highly conditional: "There is one not unlikely event that could bring, if not fascism, then a nationalist statism that would destroy American liberty: a terrorist event that caused mass casualties, not the 3,000 dead of 9/11, but 30,000 dead or 300,000 dead. We will devote some thought to that possibility in a future column." I was going to wait for Mr. Lind to come up with that promised column, but felt that the matter might be pressing enough to broach the subject anyway. Especially in view of this, not to mention this. If "everything changed" on the foreign policy front in the wake of 9/11, then the domestic consequences of 9/11 II are bound to have a similarly transformative effect. If our response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was to launch a decades-long war to implant democracy throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, what will we do when the battlefield shifts back to the continental U.S.? I shudder to think about it. The legal, ideological, and political elements that go into the making of a genuinely fascist regime in America are already in place: all that is required is some catalytic event, one that needn"t even be on the scale of 9/11, but still dramatic enough to give real impetus to the creation of a police state in this country. The legal foundation is already to be found in the arguments made by the president"s lawyers in asserting their "right" to commit torture and other war crimes, under the "constitutional" aegis of the chief executive"s wartime powers. In time of war, the president"s lawyers argue, our commander-in-chief has the power to immunize himself and his underlings against legal prosecution: they transcend the law, and are put beyond the judgement of the people"s representatives by presidential edict. Theoretically, according to the militarist interpretation of the Constitution, there is no power the president may not assume in wartime, because his decisions are "unreviewable." On account of military necessity, according to this doctrine, we have to admit the possibility that the Constitution might itself be suspended and martial law declared the minute war touches American soil. It wouldn"t take much. There already exists, in the neoconized Republican party, a mass-based movement that fervently believes in a strong central State and a foreign policy of perpetual war. The brownshirting of the American conservative movement, as Paul Craig Roberts stingingly characterized the ugly transformation of the American Right, is so far along that the president can propose the biggest expansion of federal power and spending since the Great Society with nary a peep from the former enthusiasts of "smaller government." While the Newt Gingrich Republicans of the early 1990s were never really libertarians in any but a rhetorical sense "“ Newt himself has always been a hopelessly statist neocon "“ the great difference today is that the neocons are coming out with an openly authoritarian program. David Frum and Richard Perle, in their book An End to Evil, advocate establishing an Orwellian government database and comprehensive electronic surveillance system that not only keeps constant track of the whereabouts of everyone in the country, but also stores a dossier, complete with their religious and political affiliations. If anyone had brought such a proposal to the table in the pre-9/11 era, they would have been laughed out of town and mercilessly ridiculed for the rest of their lives. But today, the neocon tag-team of Frum and Perle not only gets away with it, but these strutting martinets are lauded by the same "conservatives" who used to rail against "Big Government." The label "neoconservative" has always been unsatisfactory, in part because the neocon ideology of rampant militarism, super-centralism, and unrestrained statism is necessarily at war with the libertarian aspects of authentic conservatism the sort of conservatism that, say, Frank S. Meyer or Russell Kirk would find recognizable. Let"s start calling things by their right names: these aren"t neoconservatives. What we are witnessing is the rebirth of fascism in 21st century America, a movement motivated by the three principles of classical fascist ideology: 1 The idealization of the State as the embodiment of an all-powerful national will or spirit; 2 The leader principle, which personifies the national will in the holder of a political office whether democratically elected or otherwise is largely a matter of style, and 3 The doctrine of militarism, which bases an entire legal and economic system on war and preparations for war. Of these three, militarism really is the fountainhead, the first principle and necessary precondition that gives rise to the others. The militarist openly declares that life is conflict, and that the doctrine of economic and political liberalism "“ which holds that there is no necessary conflict of interests among men "“ is wrong. Peace is cowardice, and the values of prosperity, pleasure, and living life for its own sake are evidence of mindless hedonism and even decadence. Life is not to be lived for its own sake: it must be risked to have meaning, and, if necessary, sacrificed in the name of a "higher" i.e., abstract value. That "higher" value is not only defined by the State, it is the State: in war, the soldier"s life is risked on behalf of government interests, by government personnel, on behalf of expanding government power. These beliefs are at the core of the fascist mentality, but there are other aspects of this question "“ too many to go into here. Since fascism is a form of extreme nationalism, every country has its own unique variety, with idiosyncrasies that could only have arisen in a particular locality. In one country, religion will play a prominent role, in others a more secular strategy is pursued: but the question of imminent danger, and the seizure of power as an "emergency" measure to prevent some larger catastrophe, is a common theme of fascist coups everywhere, and in America it is playing out no differently. While Pinochet pointed to the imminent danger of a Communist revolution "“ as did Hitler "“ the neo-fascists of our time and place cite the omnipresent threat of a terrorist attack in the U.S. This is a permanent rationale for an ever escalating series of draconian measures fated to go far beyond the "PATRIOT Act" or anything yet imagined. Already the intellectual and political ground is being prepared for censorship. The conservative campaign to discredit the "mainstream" media, and challenge its status as a watchdog over government actions, could easily go in an unfortunate direction if Bin Laden succeeds in his vow to take the fight to American shores. Well, since they"re lying, anyway, why not shut them down? After all, this is a "national emergency," and "they"re not antiwar, they"re on the other side." The neoconservative movement represents the quintessence of fascism, as expressed by some of its intellectual spokesmen, such as Christopher Hitchens, who infamously hailed the Afghan war as having succeeded in "bombing a country back out of the Stone Age." This belief in the purifying power of violence "“ its magical, transformative quality "“ is the real emotional axis of evil that motivates the War Party. This is especially true when it comes to those thuggish ex-leftists of Hitchens" ilk who found shelter in the neoconservatives" many mansions when the roof fell in on their old Marxist digs. Neocon ideologue Stephen Schwartz defends a regime notorious for torturing dissidents, shutting out all political opposition, and arresting thousands on account of their political and religious convictions "“ in Uzbekistan. How far are such people from rationalizing the same sort of regime in the U.S.? At least one prominent neocon has made the case for censorship, in the name of maintaining "morality" "“ but now, it seems to me, the "national security" rationalization will do just as well, if not better. McConnell is right that we are not yet in the grip of a fully developed fascist system, and the conservative movement is far from thoroughly neoconized. But we are a single terrorist incident away from all that: a bomb placed in a mall or on the Golden Gate Bridge, or a biological attack of some kind, could sweep away the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and two centuries of legal, political, and cultural traditions "“ all of it wiped out in a single instant, by means of a single act that would tip the balance and push us into the abyss of post-Constitutional history. The trap is readied, baited, and waiting to be sprung. Whether the American people will fall into it when the time comes: that is the nightmare that haunts the dreams of patriots.   

The idea that America is turning fascist has been popular on the Left for as long as I can remember: in the 1960s, when antiwar radicals raged against the Machine, this kind of hyperbole dominated campus political discourse and even made its way into the mainstream. When the radical Weather...

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The primary source of political information...The primary source of political information in America is the media. There is an extent to which one may consider this merely information, however; the facts presented and the way in which the story is written is not free of political bias. Certain publications and the articles which they contain are often presented to a certain audience, tailored to elicit specific feelings, and are written to force the reader to adopt the same political views as those contained in that publication. Of these publications, the New York Times, Newsday, and the New York Post all apply a consistent political orientation. The New York Times is considered the hub for all liberal journalism, Newsday adopts a considerably liberal orientation, and the New York Post is biased in favor of conservatives. The New York Times is the definitive liberal publication. Those who write for the Times, and thus those who control the Times, all seem to have a liberal slant. For some events that favor the left, the Times will cover them to the extreme, while they will downplay and simply breeze over those that favor the right. In an article dated February 20, 2006, columnist Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote about President Bush's authorization for the National Security Agency to monitor the phone calls of United States citizens. The article was crammed with quotes made by numerous prominent Senators. Although each quote illustrates a different notion, all of them favor the left. Moreover, each quote is merely a bash upon the legality of the eavesdropping program, and they are used in conjunction with each other to form a staunch liberal foundation. Stolberg quotes Senator Lindsey Graham, as he said ""¦[he is] adamant that the courts have some role when it comes to warrants"¦you need to get some judicial review." The article continues in this fashion; each quote that Stolberg presents regards the notion that the courts should play a prominent role in this matter. Lastly, Stolberg brings the article to a close by stating how Senator Arlen Specter ""¦insists the eavesdropping must be subjected to a rigorous constitutional review." In a more recent article, dated May 15, 2006, Bob Herbert constructs all-out denunciation against President Bush. It is titled "America the Fearful," and Herbert claims President Bush is aiming to force "ordinary Americans" to remain in a perpetual state of fear. Moreover, he boldly asserts the Bush is manipulating Americans' fear to steadily erode our rights and liberties, all to ""¦feed an unconscionable expansion of presidential power." Furthermore, Herbert claims this to be ""¦one of the worst administrations the nation has ever known." Even through the seemingly impenetrable fortification of his attacks on the eavesdropping, Herbert finds a way to weasel in "facts" regarding the War in Iraq. Herbert declares the eavesdropping to be nothing short of ineffective, and he states that, by doing this, Bush has "trampled all over the Constitution, the democratic process and the hallowed American tradition of government checks and balances." Not only do the articles and news reports slant towards the left, but also do all the editorials regarding this matter. In an editorial titled "An Ever-Expanding Secret," the author asserts that Bush claims he has the limitless power to intrude on the private communications of the American people. Ultimately, the author claims that there is ""¦more reason than ever to be worried"”and angry." Even the opinions of the readers are liberal"”one such reader demanded ""¦accountability now for an administration operating outside the law." The New York Times classifies this is serious news; the articles concerning this matter are placed near the front of the paper. Lastly, the ads in the paper display luxurious and expensive items"”all of which would appeal to the wealthy, and thus well-educated, citizens. Likewise, Newsday adopts a liberal bias. Its articles, editorials, and even cartoons all slant towards the left. In a recent article titled "White House Invokes Privilege in Spy Cases," writer David Caruso juggles the legality of the eavesdropping program. Caruso provides the reader with examples of activist groups declaring the administration's actions "undemocratic." Moreover, he also uses several quotes that favor his opinion. Caruso rounded his article up with a statement made by Shayana Kadidal, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights. Caruso presents the reader with Kadidal's declaration, "Can the president tell the courts which cases they can rule on? If so, the courts will never be able to hold the president accountable for breaking the law." Similarly, the beliefs presented in the editorials seem to coincide with those presented in articles. In one specific editorial titled "Not-So-Free Press," the author writes that the Bush administration is enamored with "keeping the public in the dark." Later in the editorial, the author noted that ""¦Bush and those around him have tapped American's overseas phone calls and e-mail without warrants or court oversight"¦[and] collected records of millions of innocent American's domestic phone calls." This editorial presents these facts in a method that urges the reader to adopt parallel views. Lastly, several political cartoons have the same goal. In one specific cartoon, the artist sardonically depicts an NSA representative explaining how they are "tapping your phones"¦analyzing your calling habits"¦and compiling data on all your personal info"¦to keep the bad guys from taking away your freedoms." A final note on Newsday is its advertisements. The products advertised are affordable items, which leads one to ascertain that the articles are written in a manner that is directed towards middle-class citizens. In contrast, The New York Post offers a conservative bias. One article"”"Wiretap Wimps "“ Dems in Rapid Retreat""”lambastes liberal Senators for their ineptitude as decisive factors in politics. The author declares the democratic Senators who oppose the eavesdropping program cannot even agree on what to disagree about. Moreover, he indicates how the liberal Senators who oppose the program don't even do so properly; at first, the Senators agree with the use of aggressive measures to win the War on Terror, but then they disagree on the President's initiatives and claim that he ""¦did it in the wrong way." Furthermore, the opinions in the editorials are all similar to those of the articles. In one editorial titled "Anti-Terror ABCs," the author asserts the duplicity of liberal congressmen, and he states that ""¦those on Capitol Hill"¦don't seem fully to remember what they meant when they authorized the president to use 'all necessary and appropriate force' to prevent another terrorist attack." Moreover, the author quotes Alberto Gonzales as saying, "It is hard to imagine a president who would not elect to use these tools in defense of the American people"”in fact, it would be irresponsible to do otherwise." Although the Post reports the same news as the Times and Newsday, their views concerning what news is differs. The Post generally relies on celebrities and social events to glisten up their publication. Several cover stories and cartoons depict pop singer Britney Spears, all of which were presented in the front of the paper, before the political issues. Lastly, the ads that are in the paper depict affordable products, which may lead one to deduce that this publication is directed towards the middle class. The primary source for which America citizens receive news regarding the nation is the media. Of the multitudinous media outlets, newspapers seem to be the most abundant. Although effective, the newspaper which one reads is often biased towards one end of the political spectrum. These biased views can not only be noticed in the articles themselves, but also in the editorials and political cartoons contained therein. Several publications that adopt a political bias are the New York Times, Newsday, and the New York Post. The New York Times is a liberal publication directed towards the upper class, whereas Newsday is a liberal publication directed towards the middle class. In contrast, the New York Post is a conservative publication directed towards the middle class. These three publications contain political leanings, and they are written in a manner that forces the ideas of the writers, and thus the entire publication itself, onto the reader.   

The primary source of political information in America is the media. There is an extent to which one may consider this merely information, however; the facts presented and the way in which the story is written is not free of political bias. Certain publications and the articles which they contain...

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David Cole wrote, "our criminal justice...David Cole wrote, "our criminal justice system affirmatively depends on inequality" 5. Cole has substantial grounds for making this statement. Race and class have long been issues in the criminal justice system, but does the system "affirmatively depend on inequality?" Does the criminal justice system depend on the disparities of the people that it serves? American justice is supposed to be blind. Despite this there have been many disparities in the justice system due to racial, social class, and economic reasons. "Absent race and class disparities, the privileged among us could not enjoy as much constitutional protection of our liberties as we do"¦" Cole 5. The case of Gideon v. Wainwright can be used to illustrate this point. Cole summarizes the case: Clarence Earl Gideon, a penniless Florida man, down on his luck and charged with breaking and entering a poolroom, claims that although he can't afford a layer, he has a constitutional right to have a lawyer appointed by the state to defend him. When the Florida trial court denies his request, [Gideon] represents himself, and is convicted. From prison, [Gideon] sends a hand-written note to the Supreme Court asking it to hear his case. "¦Abe Fortas [is appointed] to argue Gideon's case, and then [the Court] rules that the Sixth Amendment guarantees indigent defendants the assistance of a lawyer in all serious criminal trials. On retrial, with a lawyer paid for by the states, Gideon is acquitted. 63 The Gideon v. Wainwright may not appear to support the previous statement: "Absent race and class disparities, the privileged among us could not enjoy as much constitutional protection of our liberties as we do"¦" Cole 5. The outcome of Gideon requires government to provide a lawyer to a defendant, "[b]ut as long as the state provides a warm body with a law degree and a bar admission, little else matters" Cole 64. Even though the state provides indigent defense counsel, most are "underpaid, overworked, and given insufficient resources to conduct an adequate investigation and defense" Cole 84. Cole states that in 1990, "[t]he national average per capita spending on local and state indigent defense was $5.37" 84. Cole also points out other facts about the ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright: One of the most remarkable facts about the constitutional right declared in Gideon v. Wainwright is that it was not a constitutional right for the first 184 years of our Constitution. The Sixth Amendment guarantees that 'In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right"¦to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.' But for most of our history, this right applied only to the approximately 10 percent of criminal trials that take place in federal court, and even there is meant only that defendants who had the money to do so could hire and attorney to defend them. 65 What this establishes is the inequalities of defense in the legal system. Those defendants that cannot provide their own council are at a disadvantage since the council they are appointed is often inadequate. The judicial system has come to rely on this fact to produce convictions. The affirmative dependence of our justice system on inequality can be illustrated another way. If our justice system were based on equality, then the reversal of racial and social roles would not affect the system. But the system is dependent on inequality, Cole shows this: Imagine what kind of pressure legislatures would feel, for example, if one in three young white men were in prison or on probation or parole. Imagine what the politics of the death penalty would look like if prosecutors sought the death penalty 70 percent of the time when whites killed blacks, but only 19 percent of the time when blacks killed whites. Or imagine what our juvenile justice policies would be like if white youth charged with drug offenses were four times as likely as black youth to be tries as adults, and twice as likely to be placed outside the home. On this is certain: the nation would not accept such a situation as 'inevitable'. 151 Cole illustrates how our judicial system is dependent on inequality. Cole brings to our realization that if the roles of inequality were reversed, the judicial system would change drastically and in doing so would point out its own dependence on those inequalities. The inequalities of the justice system can also be shown in the evolution of laws. When laws begin to affect large numbers of white middle- and upper-class people, the laws begin to change. An example would involve the spread of marijuana use. Strict laws of the early and middle part of this century prohibiting the use of marijuana were imposed because the majority of users were lower-class minorities. But during the 1960s and 1970s, the use of marijuana spread though the youth of white middle- and upper-class America Cole 152. This spurred changes in the judicial system to ease the laws affecting marijuana use. Cole summarizes the situation: "When the effects of a criminal law reach the sons and daughters of the white majority, our response is not to get tough, but rather to get lenient" 153. The American justice system has never been truly equal because it has always depended on inequalities. The system could easily be changed to eliminate those inequalities, but that will not likely happen. So long as there is a majority dependent on the disparities of a minority, the system will maintain its current sanctity. In doing so, the system will affirm its dependence on inequality.   

David Cole wrote, "our criminal justice system affirmatively depends on inequality" 5. Cole has substantial grounds for making this statement. Race and class have long been issues in the criminal justice system, but does the system "affirmatively depend on inequality?" Does the criminal justice system depend on the disparities of...

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