Kids & Cash

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

Illustration: Greg Clarke

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate