February 27, 2023- And still they must toil, without consideration for health, education or even safety. They, in this case, are people between the ages of 11-16, minor children under the law, compelled to work by such companies as Kellogg and Hearthside Food Solutions (the purveyors of Nature Valley Granola), Ben and Jerry’s, Ford and General Motors and Fruit of the Loom. They are in such situations because they came across the border, into the U.S., had nothing and fell into the waiting arms of those who regularly take advantage of the dispossessed. These entities have the tacit blessing of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which cries being overloaded with the cases of undocumented minors. Here is a full report on the matter: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/25/us/unaccompanied-migrant-child-workers-exploitation.html?unlocked_article_code=SVuPZ_k5mnCmX9ylJCWxHoVqkzNZRpyijLQA8GF3ZEUxLKxoBLvKy91J_-sXauaSQ3wRSn_0udjRAz0V4cXBuJg-5uXELguP1jgR-Y-Y7dusQh6qBwc1uWvPCNFCYb-v6Bwf7HwKNoeHrNAM8yL0iIBicQxenjWAwEjzZ8lOqLWes-fNe2DJvyRl_tmzyxSgLDbpfxKQCHoRYJpOQG7cfSXFBXc1CLghHZmQbg2q7IZHutwH9qmUvZ5wwsB8jL3T9SnbM7RbChKU6NlzzLWkXFWCb_eOa5HWp_rpsCKWtKJGgGMJEWRaab1a1MTppSRDs3VBzWEzKOxUak9P2R_NRlOMQMNaokWNmwGhD9OaNljVlpiuYw&smid=url-share&utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email
Upton Sinclair and Frank Norris, among others, exposed similar outrages in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Then, those who were subjected to exploitation were the children of legal immigrants and rural Americans coming into the cities to work. Their plight, and the muckraking journalists, led to President Theodore Roosevelt crusading for, and obtaining, Child Labor Laws. States followed suit, and by the 1950s, systems of work permits and limits on evening hours were in place, with respect to the employment of people under the age of 18. Sixteen-year-olds can work in most non-farm capacities, in most states, for a maximum of 36 hours a week.
The urge to take advantage of youthful, expedient labour, however, has never gone away in some circles. The swell of immigrants, both legal and undocumented, has given those seeking to cut the cost of employment the perfect opportunity to revive sweat shop and near sweat shop conditions-not only in places like Thailand, Bangladesh, and many parts of Africa and South America, but all over the United States-as mentioned above.
The solutions are multi-faceted: Increasing attention to unsavory working conditions and evidence of exploitation of children and youth; discernment on the part of consumers buying everything from auto parts to ice cream to “health foods”; stiffer penalties for national and multinational companies that are found to be actively involved in such exploitation-and ongoing efforts to aid in the generation of economic opportunities in the undocumented immigrants’ countries of origin. Companies can upgrade, and enforce, their own codes of ethics and crack down on the more nefarious among their management.
The lingering grind does not deserve the support of the public.
It all seems to be another example of shameless corporate greed! With each solution you mention, there is a price, whether in additional labor, penalties, etc — and with each of those there is an uptick in inflation.
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There is a trade-off in everything we do. If inflation is our only concern, where are we as a species?
Inflation is NOT our only concern — I thought hard before using that word to convey meaning, and apparently it was the wrong one — not inclusive enough. Perhaps “cost” would have been better, in that it is less specific, and includes such things as the quality of life, freedoms, etc.
Yes, there is a cost to everything. We give something to get another, from waking to sleeping.
awful. I agree with Janet!
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As Thomas Sowell once wrote, there are no solutions, only trade-offs. At least, that will be the case until the Kingdom of God on Earth is established. That won’t be in the next several lifetimes; so on we go.