let them work

In the spirit of Jonathan Swift, I was just thinking that it might be fun to take something that Brett mentioned the other day in the comments section and build on it to the point of near absurdity… Essentially, Brett, while conceding that there were problems with today’s labor unions, suggested that without them we might very well find ourselves traveling backward in time to happier, more innocent stage in our nation’s development when children were encouraged to work in coalmines. Well, this image of children working in coalmines has been with me for the past few days now, and I’m thinking that it’s an image that might be worth pushing into the mainstream. (Ever so often I think we all need to be reminded of the rich and wonderful heritage of the unfettered open market.)

So, here’s the idea… What if we put together a pamphlet from a fictitious right wing group that’s lobbying for “the rights of children,” like the right of children to work in mines?

“Who are we to say that children shouldn’t have the right to share in the wealth of this ownership society of ours?”

Maybe I shouldn’t have brought this up until after I finished the sales brochure for the Gannonbot, but I was afraid that if I didn’t post it tonight, I’d forget about it.

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  1. brett
    Posted March 18, 2005 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    That’s a really great idea. I wish I thought of it.

    Oh, wait, I DID.

    So why didn’t you credit me, asshat?

    Oh, wait, you did.

    Nevermind. As you were.

    P.S. -Give school vouchers a few more years to do their work, and make sure you portray the kids as love-able ragamuffins reminiscent of the cast of ‘Oliver’, and I think you can make the sale.

  2. Posted March 18, 2005 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    That’s excellent. A meme I’ll push!

  3. Teddy Glass
    Posted March 18, 2005 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I have in mind a spotlessly clean young man, rosy-cheeked, except for the slightest of coal smudges on his cheek, smiling and waving an American flag. Maybe the caption makes mention of the fact that all of the money he’s earning in the mines is going into an interest-bearing account that will help him pay for college.

  4. Posted March 18, 2005 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Sounds good to me.

  5. Posted March 18, 2005 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Teddy: Or possibly the account could be used toward his retirement.

  6. brett
    Posted March 19, 2005 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    (Transcript of Town Hall Meeting with President Bush in Cambria, Pennsylvania)
    Announcer: Next we have Eight Year Old “Oliver”, a local indentured servant owned by Exxon/Mobil.
    (Soot-covered child limps up to microphone, coughing)

    THE PRESIDENT: You alright, son?

    Master Oliver: ‘ello Guv’ner. (coughs) I’m fine.

    THE PRESIDENT: Good. Okay, Ollie, tell us about yourself.

    Master Oliver: Yessir, I’m an orphan, what works mainly in the mine locally, ‘n I been ill fer the past week with a touch ‘o the Black Lung.

    THE PRESIDENT: Fantastic. First of all, you’ve got the hardest job in America, being an orphan.

    Master Oliver: Thank you. (Applause.) Me Pa is still alive, somewhere, I reckon, but ‘e was put inna debtor’s prison what with yer new bankruptcy law ‘n such. I also ‘ad a pet canary, but ‘e died yesterday.

    THE PRESIDENT: Great. You and I are baby boomers.

    Master Oliver: No sir, I’m only eight. I was concerned about — that th’ system stays the same for me.


    Master Oliver: But I wants to see change ‘n reform for me fellow children because we will be in trouble down the shaft, sir.

    THE PRESIDENT: It’s an interesting point, and I hear this a lot — will the system be the same for me? And the answer is, absolutely. One of the things we have to continue to clarify to people who have retired or near retirement — you fall in the near retirement.

    Master Oliver: No, (coughs up blood) unfortunately, No. (Laughter.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, you’re only 50 years younger than me, and I’m just getting started. (Laughter.)

    Master Oliver: Okay, okay.

    THE PRESIDENT: I feel great, don’t you?

    Master Oliver: Yes, I suppose, ‘cepting for this black lung ‘n me gimpy leg I got from a suppport beam crushin’ it.

    THE PRESIDENT: I remember when I turned 8, I used to think 8 was really old. Now I think it’s young, and getting ready to turn 60 here in a couple of years, and I still feel young. I mean, we are living longer, and people are working longer, and the truth of the matter is, elderly baby boomers have got a lot to offer to our society, and we shouldn’t think about giving up our responsibilities in society. (Applause.) Isn’t that right?

    Master Oliver: Um..

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but nevertheless, there’s a certain comfort to know that the promises made will be kept by the government.

    Master Oliver: Yes.

    THE PRESIDENT: And so thank you for asking that. You don’t have to worry.

    Master Oliver: That’s good, seeing as I work three jobs, countin’ the mine, the textile mill, and chimney sweeping, and I feel like I contribute.

    THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

    Master Oliver: Three jobs, yes.

    THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

    Master Oliver: Not much. Not much. The coughing keeps me up most nights.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, hopefully, this will help you get you sleep to know that when we talk about Social Security, nothing changes.

    Master Oliver: Okay, thank you, Guv’ner. (collapses on the floor)

    THE PRESIDENT: That’s great.

    (end transcript)

    *if anyone isn’t familiar with it, I should clarify that I only made up half of the above text:


  7. mark
    Posted March 19, 2005 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I have a comic due this weekend for the next issue of the Ann Arbor Paper, but I promise that I’ll pick this idea up again shortly… In the meantime, if you’d like to be a part of this radical, new Republican think tank that I’m launching, let me know… Also, let me know if you have any name ideas. Right now, I’m leaning toward The It’s Mine Foundation, but I’m thinking that it should probably be more ominous and less overtly over-the-top.

  8. Posted June 1, 2005 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I like it I like it, its a win win. Theres a chance nobody will get that you’re kidding, in which case you can share the ticket with Cheney in 2008 and slip an icepick in his ear in the limo.
    What to call the front group? How about
    The Market Heritage Foundation,
    The Loving Losing Foundation, or
    The Capitalism for Children Foundation.

    Love your work MM, stay bent.

  9. mark
    Posted June 1, 2005 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s really weird that you should comment on this old post today… Over lunch, I was just sketching out some new plans along these same lines, and, I’m pretty pleased with them. Unlike most of my ideas, I think that this one’s got potential… I’ll keep you posted.

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