this is a 1906 photo (click to enlarge) of child laborers in a glass factory in indiana, taken by lewis hine for the national child labor committee, which formed after the 1900 census revealed that about one in six children between the ages of 5 and 10 were gainfully employed. hine's photos of children working in industrial settings resulted in a wave of popular support for federal child labor regulations put forward by the NCLC.
we've come a long way since then. and we have a long way yet to go. the u.s. version of capitalism, with its emphasis on monumental profits for CEOs and stockholders at the expense of the very workers who make those profits possible (low wages, abyssmal health benefits, restricted paid holidays, gruelling working conditions) ........ sucks. compared to the nations of europe and other progressive parts of the world, we are pathetic.
so beware the flag-waving hype, and remember how readily those in power will take advantage of those who toil to make a living. something like 95% of the nation's wealth resides in the hands of fewer than 5% of its citizens. this is enlightened democracy? these are the fruits of american capitalism? tell me that reforms are not needed, and i'll call you the world's most gullible fool.