Private Prisons: The new hospitality industry?

How many of you have read the recent reports that the USA has not only one of the highest percentages of our citizens in prisons, but that the average sentences are some of the longest on Earth?

In this blog, I will compare the needs of the hospitality industry with the needs of the private prison industry.  What will shock you are the similarities.  Of course, after reading this post, the average person will recognize that the private prison industry has significant advantages over the hospitality industry,

The hospitality industry exists to provide a choice of a temporary home away from home.  There is risk as to whether or not they will be paid for their service and accommodations.

The private prison industry exists to provide a mandatory long term home away from home… and no worries to the proprietor if the guest’s credit card will exceed its available limit or the check will bounce.

The hospitality industry benefits from a high occupancy ratio, that it must achieve by building a comfortable place to stay, great service, and the normal free market competitive environment.

The Private prison industry benefits from a high occupancy ratio, that it can achieve by lobbying for more laws which result in criminal charges and bribery of judges.

The hospitality industry makes money from creating food service menus with offerings that are tasty, and cater to the gastronomic preferences of the largest number of potential customers.

The Private Prison industry makes money by providing a large volume of food, in which quality, choice and taste is irrelevant because its customers are a captive audience.

The hospitality industry only gets business as a result of the creativeness, thoughtfulness, and service capabilities of its staff, combined with marketing that outshines the competition.

The Private prison industry gets its business from actual criminals, overzealous courts, bribes, and lobbyists who push for more exposure to business from the laws and the courts.

People say that the privatized prison system saves money.  I disagree.  If there are 1 million violent offenders that should be imprisoned in a public prison, versus 2 Million people that are manufactured as criminals to support the private prisons, the result is more money paid by the taxpayers to the private prisons for victim less crimes than the amount that would be paid for public prisons for actual crimes that affected another person.

If the point of private prisons is to save the taxpayers money.. guess what?  In the end, not only do they take away rights and freedoms of more people, they also cost the taxpayers more money.  This is a lose-lose proposition and any interpretation that there is any benefit to the public is simply flat out wrong.

Imprisonment should be only for the safety of the public.  If a person represents a threat to the safety of the public, this is the purpose of prisons.  Taking away the freedoms of others is not an economic decision, and prison should never have anything to do with profit.  Today, this is what is happening.

As an investor, investing in a hotel chain is speculative at best.  Investing in a private prison provider is the closest thing to a sure thing that exists. If you were looking to invest in one or the other…  which would you choose?  Ignoring the obvious answer…  should government create the corrupt situation that results in an investment return that benefits investors from the elimination of rights and freedoms from people who do not pose a threat?

My resounding and definitive answer is….  NO!


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