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Chilean Miners Putting Out Line of Souvenirs

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Do you remember these guys?

Actually, I’m referring to the man in the middle of those Elvis impersonators. He’s one of the 33 Chilean miners who were rescued two years ago after being trapped underground for 69 days. After the rescue, the miners were celebrated around the world. They appeared on a CNN special. They were given trips to just about everywhere (like Vegas). A Chilean billionaire gave them each ten thousand dollars (a nice gift, to be sure).

But time passes…

…people lose interest. And life goes on. The BBC reports that some of the former miners are receiving pensions, but most of them are hurting for cash.

The solution? A line of souvenir t-shirts, mugs and commemorative medals. The miners, under the name “The 33 of the Miracle,” agreed to endorse the items in exchange for the proceeds. This coming weekend, the rescued miners are expected to gather at the site of the mine collapse to commemorate the second anniversary of the event — and probably, one expects, to officially kick off the souvenir campaign.

I don’t begrudge them the money. But couldn’t Chile have just given them all a pension, instead of forcing them to try to profit from their near-death experience?

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