Upton Sinclair and Labor Laws

1361 Words6 Pages
Imagine a workforce without labor laws. Massive companies would still be in control of the major products, creating a nightmare for the American people. Workers would be drastically underpaid for their exhausting labor; children would still feel forced to work to help support their families. Now imagine a world without food safety laws. Meat packing companies could put ingredients in the product without labeling. They could even include toxic chemicals without any major government and legal repercussions. Not many people realize it, but these two simple laws are taken for granted. Barrack Obama displays this perfectly: “It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour workweek, the minimum wage. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label.” While the Union played a large part in securing labor laws and food safety requirements, there was one person who gave the much-needed monumental push for even more human rights. That person is author and human rights activist, Upton Sinclair. Without Upton Sinclair’s literature the United States would not have the same human rights as today. Upton Sinclair lived in a problematic world as a child. He was born during the 1870s in New York, which was the time of the Long Depression. As referenced from its name, the Depression was long, but was not as economically catastrophic as the Great Depression (Long). The Depression had a horrendous impact on the Sinclair family. Poverty continuously plagued them, threatening to push them off the brink of starvation (Simkin). There was another pressing issue the family had to deal with: Sinclair’s father, Sinclair Sr., was an alcoholic (Simkin). Sinclair Sr. had trou... ... middle of paper ... ...tion. Without him, the reaction would never have started. He was also the first person meat packing companies and their quality of product (Upton). Without Sinclair’s investigative work, the discoveries could have been discovered much later, meaning more outrageous uncleanliness could have developed. Sinclair was of utmost importance in his time. Upton Sinclair’s impact on society was so immense, human rights and food regulation would not be the same without him. There was no author like him in his time. He had to go against his society. He stood up for his opinions, even when people were telling him they were no good. Think about it: if Upton Sinclair had not voiced his opinion, there could still be inadequate standards of human rights and food preparation. Never take those for granted, because a major advancement can always happen from a minor decision.
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