Elizabeth Warren Virtue Signals About the Evil of Private Prisons, but Oh the Hypocrisy

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., winks as she jokes with other senators on the Senate Banking Committee ahead of a hearing on the nomination of Marvin Goodfriend to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Democratic 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren sure does like to virtue signal, and this time she may have signaled a virtue that she doesn’t have at all.

Back in June, Warren wrote a Medium post about how ways that the private prison system is horrendous and fair enough. Incarcerating people for profit isn’t exactly something many would consider an American ideal, and I don’t know many people on the left or the right who have defended it.

Fox News gives an excellent rundown of how expensive and horrible private prisons are if you’re curious.

After giving a spiel about her disgust, Warren notes “this is exploitation, plain and simple,” and that private prisons are “profiteering off cruelty.”

But while Warren is busy standing on a soapbox trying to sound like a crusader standing against all that is unjust, looking into her past investments tells us a different story. In fact, it tells us the exact opposite story.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Warren invested heavily in an organization that was one of the top shareholders in two of the largest private prison corporations in America:

Warren invested in Vanguard Target Retirement 2025—a retirement account run by the Vanguard Group, an investment management company—which in turn invested more than 30 percent of its money in Vanguard’s domestic stock index fund. Vanguard was the top shareholder of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), and one of the largest of GEO Group, both private prison companies, according to data from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Vanguard owned more than 12 million CCA shares and nearly 9 million GEO Group shares, which were worth roughly $456 million and $216 million, respectively, in March 2013.

CCA, now called CoreCivic, was already the country’s largest owner of private prisons in 2013, according to an annual report. The company owned or controlled more than 50 correctional or detention facilities in the country, “with a total design capacity of approximately 86,000 beds in 20 states and the District of Columbia.” GEO Group is also one of the largest private prison providers in the country with 66 prison facilities across the world as of 2013. The two companies also operate many Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities for illegal immigrants.

If you’re waiting for Warren to explain it, then plan to keep waiting. She was reached out to for comment by the Free Beacon and they never got a response back.

It could be that Warren didn’t know the Vanguard Group was so heavily entrenched with CoreCivic, but it’d be odd that a politician so hell-bent on exposing and eliminating corporate corruption wouldn’t have looked into them. If she didn’t, then she’s not exactly the best person to lead when it comes to fighting the corporations. She can’t even keep her own investments straight in keeping with her supposed “morals.”

This either hypocrisy or negligence. Which one is it, Warren?