In a New York Times op-ed piece, “The Kids Are Not All Right,” writer Joel Bakan claims corporations are to blame for children being obese, over-medicated, addicted to electronics, and exposed to toxins. “Our current failure to provide stronger protection of children in the face of corporate-caused harm reveals a sickness in our societal soul.”
Bakan sees the problem as a clash between two sets of persons: children and corporations. First children were declared legal persons, and then “New laws recognized corporations as legal — albeit artificial — ‘persons.” The writer claims, “A clash between these two newly created legal entities — children and corporations — was, perhaps, inevitable.” The author of Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children, Bakan blames corporations for obesity (all that junk food), media violence, over-medicating, the “titillating roil of online social life,” and toxins in the environment.
Yes, toxins should be eliminated or lowered via regulation. If companies don’t police themselves, then it’s up the government to keep our earth, air, and water safe.
But blaming corporations for childhood obesity, drugging the kids, and over exposure to violence and video games? Who is buying the food, renting the movies, changing channels, and dishing out the prescription drugs? Where are the parents?
Newsflash: Corporations don’t raise children, parents do.
It’s odd that of all the risks children face today, Bakar never mentions the deadliest: abortion. Could it be that the “sickness in our societal soul” is that we don’t grant personhood to babies?
If Bakan truly wants to bring back the century of the child, he could start by writing How Abortion Targets Children.