Corporatism and Convict Leasing in the American South

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Marcus M Witcher & Patrick Schmucker

“We have spent the last two years doing a deep dive into the convict leasing system in Alabama from its inception following the Civil War to its repeal in 1928. What we discovered was a corporatist scheme in which state governments partnered with private business to increase revenues, increase profits, and industrialize the South while criminalizing blackness and restoring (to the extent that they could) the racial hierarchies of the Antebellum South. Unlike capitalism (or free enterprise), which encourages competition in the market with minimum government intervention, corporatism is a system whereby the state picks winners and losers by granting subsidies, granting special privileges, or by establishing regulations that develop cartels within industries.” (09/17/23)