The US prison population now stands at around 2.3 million. This is around 800,000 higher than the PRC with around 1.5 million (with a total population of 1.3 billion) and around 55% higher than the number of prisoners in the USSR under Stalin, which peaked at 1,500,524 in January 1941.
The level of crime and the levels of inequality in a society go hand in hand, statistically you are more likely to commit crime the more oppressed you are*. These numbers should be a stark reminder of how polarised the United States is becoming.
Throwing more and more people in jail isn't a long term solution, tackling the causes of crime, such as crippling poverty rampant in many inner city areas in the US and shrinking the gap between rich and poor is. Many British politicians too, especially the Conservative Party should take note.
Americans should ask questions, why does a country with 4% of the world's population have 25% of the world's prison population?
Last year on the 1st of May millions of workers went out on strike, the actions of these people is the example all American workers should follow because only through their combined action can these problems be tackled. They can't be touched by voting in a different pro-business party, only by grass roots action with trade unions and a formation of a labour party upon them; with a radical program of social reforms, nationalisation and re-distribution of wealth can these issues be tackled.
*Unfortunately the crimes the capitalists (and Lord Brown) commit screwing the workers with pay cuts and the theft of thousands and tens of thousands of pounds per year per worker in unpaid wages isn't recognised yet as being a crime, just good business.