Analyzing The Evils Of Children In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Starting in 1880, the evils of child labor were increasing fast. Children weren’t just working on their family’s farm; they were slaving in mills, sweatshops, and factories. Children were not only losing a chance at an education, but they were becoming ill, injured, and some were even being killed because of the dangerous working conditions they were slaving in. The dangers of children in the workforce are well-known, and many U.S. people disagree with the fact that children, most younger than eight, are able to work in such evil conditions. “That the evil exists; that certainly hundreds of thousands and more, probably over one million, children are even now either being killed or utterly destroyed for that citizenship on which this free …show more content…

After many things go wrong, including illness striking the family, them getting cheated out of their wages, and the disappearing of Jonas, the family decides to have their two sons go to work selling newspapers. The two sons came back empty after their first day of trying to sell newspapers, and continued for a few days. Finally, the boys got the hang of how the selling and trading game worked and were able to come back with money the next time. (“The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair; Chapters 7,12, and 13.)
“Credit constraints facing poor households result in excessive child labor and reduce children’s human capital. Child labor necessarily reduces children’s human capital. Human capital is determined by children’s study time as the only input in their human capital accumulation.” Basically, if children are out slaving in the workforce, then they cannot gain any human capital because they aren’t able to attend school and get an education. [ix]Fan, C. Simon. "Relative Wage, Child Labor, and Human Capital." Oxford Economic Papers 56.4 (2004): 687-700.

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