Karin's Reviews > Childhood Under Siege: The Corporate Assault on Children and What We Can Do to Stop It

Childhood Under Siege by Joel Bakan
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's review
May 29, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: north-bay-library, non-fiction
Read in May, 2012

Baken's basic premise is that corporations have been enriching themselves by ignoring or blatently stepping on children's needs and rights.

Governments in America and even in Canada have allowed corporations to do self relulating assuming that they will do the moral or right thing. Instead, with the 80's and deregulation of government controls, corporations have been ignoring and actively defending their rights to fill the environment with toxic chemicals, violent video games, obesity-causing foods all because there is no 100% absolute PROOF that chemical substances in children's bodies, bad food choices and violence and lack of compassion in children's games are caused by the companies. They defend their right to free-market distribution and absolve themselves from any responsibilities.

I like how he used Canadian examples as well as American ones. I wish he'd thrown in more Canadian content. I don't think Canadian schools have quite the same problem American schools do with corporations taking them over. Not that i think all Canadian schools and teachers are wonderful. I do think we've kept out the advertising and media usage they seem to have in American schools. Maybe that's why he didn't add in as much Canadian content.

I was shocked when he said that BC lowered their child labour laws. With many adults trying to find work, let's not make it easier for them to find cheaper workers. Children are NOT supposed to be the breadwinners for the family (except under very sad and abusive situations where they are forced into this role).

I thot it interesting how at the beginning he has this big disclaimer about how he's not condemning anyone in particular, that corporations almost 'have' to act in this manner because their mandate is to make the most money they can. I'm not too sure whether to agree or disagree with him that the actual people can be nice, even while they are distroying kid's (and the rest of us, too)'s environments, values, educational rights, etc.

Maybe we all need to watch Robots a few more times,lol. In that movie they didn't spend too much time empathizing with the corporate bigwigs destroying robots to make money, just figured out how to bring them down.

Bakan does believe that with proper government regulations and watchdogs, we- or especially the youth- can bring in change for the better...for all of us.

An eye-opening read especially in the areas of pharmecuticals and education. The companies' self-absolvements of environmental damages, moral or physical damages done by their corporations were already quite well-known to me.
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