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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Only Fair – Prelude

Street Child by Lewis Hine, New York City, Circa 1910

Have you heard the saying, "The only 'fair' is laissez-faire."

Boy Studying by Lewis Hine, Circa 1900

No? 
Well if you fell asleep during 5th grade economics (and who didn’t?) Laissez-Faire is a political hands off policy because an unregulated capitalist is a happy capitalist. 

This post started with a combination of a few events. 

Josie age 6, Bertha age 6, Sophie age 10  
Maggioni Canning Co., So Carolina, 1911 

1 - Lewis Hine 
I came across a photo on one of the historic photography websites. Wow! I looking up info about photographer Lewis Hine. 


Lewis Hine photographing tenement children
New York City, circa 1900 

“Perhaps you are weary of child labor pictures. Well, so are the rest of us, but we propose to make you and the whole country so sick and tired of the whole business that when the time for action comes, child labor pictures will be records of the past.” 

Lewis Hine (1874 to 1940, Photographer and primary force behind child labor reform by taking thousands of photographs of laborers.) 

J.P. Morgan, attacking a photographer 

2 - Sycophants 
I am fed up with Mitch McConnell’s lap-doggery-boot-lickery for the Keystone Pipeline.


Millie, age 5, picks eight pounds of cotton a day
 Houston, Texas 

“History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.”

James Madison (1751 to 1836, “Father of the Bill of Rights” and 4th President of the US) 

Glass works, midnight shift, Indiana, 1908

3 - Sunshine? 
Netflix offered The History Channel’s The Men Who Built America. (What did I do before Netflix, NPR podcast, Upworthy and The Daily Show!?! I can’t recall but it probably involved sunshine and outside.)


J.P. Morgan, looking stern and important, circa 1900 

My favorite bits from J.P. Morgan (1837 to 1913, Industrial Tycoon, Robber Baron Extraordinaire, Banker and Financier, Founder of General Electric, Monopoly Aficionado of US Steel by acquisitions including Carnegie Steel through Carnegie’s business partner Charles Schwab, known for having enormous daddy issues and indirectly responsible for the electric chair. ) 

Delivery boy, New York City, Circa 1910

“If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it.”  J.P. Morgan

Young Coal Miners, responsible for cart ponies,
West Virginia, circa 1900 

“Well, I don't know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell how to do what I want to do.”  J.P. Morgan

Picking through trash, West Virginia, circa 1915

“I owe the public nothing.”  J.P. Morgan

Girl, age 5, "Too tired to work" by Lewis Hine
Biloxi, Mississippi, 1911

“A man always has two reasons for doing anything -- a good reason and the real reason.”  J.P. Morgan



Cotton Mill worker, age 10
Rhodes Manufacturing, Lincolnton, No Carolina, 1911 

4 - Boring!
My 14-year-old’s refusal to listen to anything that is, “SOOOOO BORING”, forcing me to look for alternative expression of outrage. 

Cotton Mill Workers, Georgia, 1911 

“The first and continuing argument for the curtailment of working hours . . . was that education was necessary in a democracy and working children could not attend school.” 

Grace Abbott (1878 to 1939, Social Worker who improved both the rights of immigrants and children through work force regulation.)

JP Morgan headquarters in New York City, September 16, 1920 
Anarchist bomb explosion, killed 38 and injured over 400

5 - The Nazi State!
The rabid, spittle frothing, debate of extremism, which is closing any rational ability for a functional decision. 

You know . . . 
ALL governmental regulations are the equivalent of the Nazi State.

There is NO other way to manage airport “safety” than shoe removal and nudie photos. 

(Feel free to include your own.)

Girls tending a paper stand, Canal Street, New York City, 1910

“Capitalism tries for a delicate balance: It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.” 

George Carlin (1937 to 2008, comedian and if you don’t know who he is, you are beyond my level of assistance.) 

Oyster Shuckers, age 8 and up, 1911
Five days a week, the shuckers work four hours, attend school for four hours 
and then work another three hours. 
Saturday, the shuckers work eight hours starting at 4 AM. Lewis Hine


6 - The only 'fair' is laissez-faire” 
Question from the internet: what does, The only 'fair' is laissez-faire” mean? 

You might guess how this unfolded, but my favorite? 

“Oh yeah, it worked so well. Remember how high the average standard of living was during the industrial revolution? And remember how big business never exploited workers?”

A young and dapper Cornelius Vanderbilt 

“What do I care about the law? Ain’t I got the power?” 

“Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt (1793 to 1877, Self Made Shipping and Rail Road Tycoon, known for bitter rivalries and destruction, financial or otherwise, of any challengers.) 

John D Rockefeller
The annual media event of presenting an unfortunate child with a dime

7 - Gazillionaire  
The ubiquitous delusion that YOU, yes YOU, can become a Gazillionaire - if you work very hard, are both daring and plucky, engage in pious living, wear clean underpants and fight with all your patriotic heart against any government regulations. 

Breaker Boys, "supervised" while sorting coal, Pennsylvania, circa 1910 

“In the long run wealth only comes to the moral man, (making the man) sweeter, more joyous, more unselfish, more Christ like.” 

Andrew Carnegie (1835 to 1919, Rags to Riches Steel Industrialist and Philanthropist with a moralist ideal of cultural support including libraries and religion but not including child health, safety, nutrition or any level of other substance.) 

Donald Mallick, age 9, Newsie, Wilmington, Delaware, 1910

So see if you have a bit of political déjà vu because evidently we need to continue to debate the virtues of laissez-faire governmental practices. 

Just keep in mind, this is not a discussion about workplace safety or medical leave or mandatory lunch breaks or minimum wage. 
It’s an argument against what most people would agree is reprehensible. 

Well, maybe not Halliburton or Goldman Sachs or Comcast, but you know those with a any moral compass.

Manuel, age 5, Oyster Shucker and Shrimp Picker, Biloxi, Mississippi 

“When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.” 


Shirley Chisholm (1924 to 2005, First African American women elected to congress, represented New York for seven terms from 1969 to 1983.) 


Nannie, "looper" in a hosiery mill

From the 1900 US Government Census 
1,752,187 children age 5 to 10 were recorded as employed in “gainful occupations.”

J. S. Farrand Packing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1909 

That, my fellow bleeding-heart liberals, is 1 in 6 US kids, age FIVE to TEN, who were employed in an urban factory setting, you know the Industrial Revolution playgrounds of human development? 


Laura Petty, 6-years-old, Jenkins Farm, 
Rock Creek, Maryland, 1909
  "I'm just beginnin'. Licked two boxes yesterday." Gets 2 cents a box.
Photograph and interview by Lewis Hine

That isn’t counting kids  UNDER 5 (well they weren’t in day care) or child labor in rural or other areas. Go Team Trickle Down! 

Digging coal from snow covered mine refuse
Scott's Run, West Virginia, 1936 

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” 

John Maynard Keynes (1883 to 1946, British Economist and influential in creating the economic policies of government.)


Little Fattie, age 6, St. Louis, Missouri, 1910

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