The Economist questions both the economic and moral justifications for the rising popularity of privately operated state and federal prisons. Contracting-out is not the same as privatization: "When we add to the mix the observations that America already puts a larger proportion of its population behind bars than does any other country (often for acts that ought to be legal), and that the US already spends an insane portion of national income on the largely non-productive garrison state, it is hard to see the expansion of a for-profit industry with a permanent interest in putting ever more people in cages as consistent with either efficiency or justice."