I had a nice chat with an Uber driver this week on my way to the airport. What started off as a conversation about the crumbling infrastructure that we were seeing along the I-110 turned into one about the November election. We both wondered how California, which according to Business Insider is the fifth largest economy in the world, looks so sad--the roads we drove under covered in the tents of our homeless.
Naturally, or at least naturally for me, our convo turned to the economic divide that seems all too visible by the number of people on the streets. From there, we spent the next thirty minutes talking about Proposition 22 (Prop 22)—the ballot initiative that if passed will classify ride-share and delivery drivers as independent contractors.
The nonprofit organization Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has a storied history of collecting and supplying statistics for research and/or academic purposes. Check out its site and its Wikipedia page to learn more about what the organization does. According to a 2012 PRB article, “Since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world. Although prison populations are increasing in some parts of the world, the natural rate of incarceration for countries comparable to the United States tends to stay around 100 prisoners per 100,000 population. The U.S. rate is 500 prisoners per 100,000 residents, or about 1.6 million prisoners in 2010.”
Worldpopulationreview has the 2020 numbers at 737 prisoners per 100,000 people.
Safe to say this year hasn’t been the best for a lot of people.
I’ve seen family members die from COVID while other loved ones have denied the seriousness of the virus. Fires burning up and down the west coast has taken the air from its cleanest at the height of social distancing to terrifying Air Quality Index (AQI) graphics.
Close to half of the country will be outraged come the November elections, and every day we become a more divided America.
This week my brother-in-law and I were reflecting on our summers and the year so far. During the lengthy heatwave that California faced during the tail-end of the summer, he and his family endured a day-long power outage. With sweltering heat and long lines at the gas s…