Keiser Report: Government 'stupidity' driving elders to life of crime

© Kim Hong-Ji
On the latest edition of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacey discuss how governments are using "crime and stupidity" to shape their economic policies which are increasingly leading to pensioners being jailed in the hope of securing a better standard of living.

A study detailed in the FT shows that in Japan 35 percent of shoplifting offenses are being committed by elderly people as their living costs are around 25 percent higher than the state pension.

People can find themselves put behind bars for two years for stealing a $1.75 sandwich, costing the taxpayer around $75,000.

This is juxtaposed with the governments using quantitative easing measures to give the banking system “free money” to make sure they’re keeping themselves afloat.

“Prisons are an inefficient way to manage the [welfare spending] problem but it’s highly profitable for the people who run prisons,” said Keiser. “This is the neo-feudalism they see in Japan and elsewhere around the world… degrading the overall lifestyle.”

This is causing a “crisis situation” for Japan as the government are exhausting their bond savings and are facing a situation where they can’t afford these prison expenses, but yet are failing to address the obvious solution whereby if they increase the state pension accordingly, the elderly crime rate, and associated prisons costs, would decrease.

This echoes previous findings too with a similar problem rife in South Korea where there was an overall increase in elderly crimes rates of 12 percent between 2011 and 2013.

Staggeringly, it was violent crimes that increased by nearly 40 percent, with rape and sexual assaults rising at the fastest pace, the Korea Times reported, with rising poverty seen as the primary cause with 45 percent of people over 65 living below the poverty line.

A study in the UK in 2010 also found that on average, 40 pensioners per day are being arrested for committing criminal offences with a whopping 44,321 arrested between 2007 and 2010.

A 2012 report from Human Rights Watch found that in the US between 2007 and 2010, there was a 63 percent increase in the number of prisoners sentenced at the state and federal levels aged 65 and older.