In his new book, “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap,” journalist Matt Taibbi looks at the disparity in how the U.S. justice system treats wealthy people and poor people.
“It’s incredibly easy for people who don’t have money to go to jail for just about anything,” Taibbi told NPR’s Kelly McEvers in April.
“There’s almost an inverse relationship between the ease with which you can put a poor person in jail for, say, welfare fraud, and the difficulty that prosecutors face when they try to put someone from a too-big-to-fail bank in jail for a more serious kind of fraud.”
Here’s Taibbi’s interview with NPR’s Kelly McEvers.
Taibbi uses the example of HSBC, which admitted to washing over $850 million for a pair of Central and South American drug cartels. The bank paid a fine, and no one served a day in jail. He compares that to people who go to jail for having a joint in their pocket.
“I think there’s this weird psychological thing that we’re developing where we just sort of look at one kind of offender and we think that person is appropriate for jail, and another kind of offender we just don’t think that person is appropriate for jail, increasingly,” Taibbi told McEvers.
You can read an excerpt of the book here.
Taibbi was interviewed on the Daily Show in April. Here’s the first part of that interview.
Here’s the second part of Matt Taibbi’s interview on the Daily Show