Saluting the hard-working, soda-drinking little children of the mining district

If you follow this website, you know that, on occasion, I like to remind our Libertarian friends that there was a time in America’s not too distant past when we had children working, and often dying, in coal mines. It’s an ugly little part of our nation’s not so distant history, and, when confronted by people who adamantly believe that we should limit the ability of our government to oversee the activities of our voracious CEO class, I like to remind them that we’ve seen what unfettered Capitalism gives us, and it isn’t the pretty. And, with that in mind, I’m always on the lookout for instances in which American popular culture takes up the cause and, whether overtly, or in some less immediately perceivable way, brings our attention back to child labor. Well, in looking over the marketing materials created in support of the next installment of The Hunger Games series, I came across the following propaganda poster and wanted to share it with you… I think it’s brilliant.


At least she has a respirator, right?

Speaking of the danger that our most vulnerable face at the hands of industry, I also happened across something else today that I thought you might find of interest. It comes from the newspaper Beijing Today.

When last year’s earthquake shook apart Sichuan schools, the tobacco companies were there to fund new buildings for primary education.

But the China National Tobacco Corporation may have entered like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. One school built with its tobacco money is now branded the “Sichuan Tobacco Project Hope Primary School” and its walls adorned with pro-nicotine messages like “Work hard for society; Tobacco can help you become an achiever!”

Experts worry the constant exposure to pro-tobacco propaganda may influence the children to become future smoking addicts. Some question the legality of such sponsorship…

To be fair, this doesn’t just happen in China. Here in the United States, an estimated 80% of public schools have contracts with either Coke or Pepsi. “Starting in the early ’90s,” Mother Jones reported in 2012, “cash-strapped public schools began selling exclusive ‘pouring rights’ to one or another Big Soda company, which would then supply all the beverages sold in on-site snack bars, stores, and soda machines as well as at sports events. Along with sugary drinks, of course, the companies also stuffed the schools with plant of advertisements.” And, as you might expect, the results have been disastrous for American kids… But shareholders are happy, which I suppose is all that really matters.

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  1. Dan Richardson
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I think I remember hearing that the School Board in the district where I teach fought the principal of my school when he tried to get rid of the soda vending machines. They simply generate too much money to easily say no too. The compromise was that they took all but the diet sodas out. No more sugary drinks – now just cancer-causing, addictive, toxic, totally non-nutritious fluids! So it goes.

  2. Dan Richardson
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    typo above – wrong “to”

  3. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    But I heard from the single source of information that I am attuned to that it was ‘islamomarxism’ to not force children to become diabetics/morbidly obese by addicting them to endocrine disrupting chemical solvents, solely for the profits of an elite group of cynical billionaires. Our only existential duty as Americans is to provide the lives of children for capitalists to suck surplus value from. We have to all do our part to serve the aristocratic imperialism of godless plutocrats, it’s the American Way (TM) after all. Pediatric diabetes generated via enforced solvent consumption is just another revenue stream for our masters, therefore it is not just good, it’s manditory.

  4. John Galt
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    What do you have against freedom? What do you have against self-determination? If a child wants to opt out of government school to learn a trade, why shouldn’t they be allowed to? If they want to become a sex slave servicing an old man who can mentor them while being suckled upon, what’s it to you? It’s all about freedom. This is America, not Soviet Russia.

  5. Elf
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Someone needs to show that kid how to eat an apple.

  6. idea man
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of coal mines owned by McDonalds and Coke and worked by kids taken from mothers who were told that they couldn’t abort their pregnancies.

  7. Mr. X
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile in England.

    “UK doctors push for permanent ban on sale of tobacco to anyone born after 2000 in a bid to make the country smoke-free by 2035”

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Let’s enjoy the fruits of their labor while we can, because God knows we’ll see kids working in coal mines again in our lifetimes. To do otherwise, after all, would be […]

  2. […] Let’s enjoy the fruits of their labor while we can, because God knows we’ll see kids working in coal mines again in our lifetimes. To do otherwise, after all, would be […]

  3. […] Let’s enjoy the fruits of their labor while we can, because God knows we’ll see kids working in coal mines again in our lifetimes. To do otherwise, after all, would be […]

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