Kids & Cash

What we spend (or don’t) on children says a lot about American priorities.

Illustration: Greg Clarke

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In August, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that, due to rising obesity rates, doctors check the blood pressure of kids three and up.

To pay for a 10-year-old’s college education, parents will need to save $82,000 for in-state public college, $176,000 for private college.

In 2000, American parents named 353 newborns “Lexus,” 164 “Nautica,” 21 “L’Oréal,” 7 “Courvoisier,” and 1 “Xerox.”

Twice as much is spent on marketing to kids than in 1992.

The average public school teacher spends $521 of their own money to buy supplies for their students.

In 2003, Coca-Cola gave a million-dollar grant to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

30% of all children under the age of three have a TV in their bedroom.

13 million children live in households suffering from hunger or food insecurity.

In 48 states, daycare for a four-year-old costs more than tuition at a four-year public college.

Only 49% of child support is ever collected.

Bush’s No Child Left Behind initiative has been “authorized” for $17.2 billion more than it has actually received.

For Christmas last year, Mattel made seven Barbies with a shopping theme, including Let’s Grocery Shop! Barbie.

2 in 3 parents think their kids define their self-worth by their possessions.

Until it went bankrupt, FAO Schwartz sold a functioning kid’s ATM for $20,000.

Posh Tots will provide children with an exact replica of their parents’ home for $40,000 or less.

3/4 of public schools are in need of repairs, renovations, and modernization.

63% of whites think that black and white children get equal educational opportunities. Only 31% of blacks agree.

70% of public schools participate in a “business relationship” with corporations.

40% of the homeless are families with children.

89% of uninsured children are children of color.

1/3 of California public school students do not have the books necessary to do their homework.

Hillsborough, Fla., public schools got $50 million for agreeing to only sell Pepsi Co. products.

A child’s “pimp daddy” costume from brandsonsale.com costs $57.95.

Public schools in the wealthiest neighborhoods win state team championships at more than twice the rate of poor school districts.

Burger King runs 24 “academies” for dropouts.

On average, states spend almost three times as much per prisoner as per public school pupil.

According to Harvard’s Civil Rights Project, 75% of whites, 50% of blacks, and 53% of Latinos graduate high school on time.

Teen and “tween” boys buy more than $2.1 billion in beauty products a year.

Each week, the typical American teen consumes a full work-week’s worth of commercial media.

8 in 10 Americans say “it is very difficult for a middle-class family to afford a college education.”

The average 18-year-old has seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence on TV.

The U.S. has twice as many shopping malls as high schools.

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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