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No One is Against Child Labor

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No one is against child labor. Not really, when you think about it. There are kids working all over town, mowing lawns, babysitting, shoveling driveways, raking leaves, carrying firewood etc. No one bats an eye. I've never heard of someone, upon seeing some young teen mowing a lawn, running over and hugging them saying, "You poor thing! Who did this to you! Who made you do this!"

No one really cares about child labor. In fact you're more likely to see people, arms crossed, nodding in approval, exclaiming "it's good for 'em. Learn 'em the value of work." Instead of ashamedly hiding the fact that their children do labor, you're more likely to find parents bragging about the entrepreneurial exploits of their child, talking about how their daughter is CPR certified and making over $200 a month babysitting.

No one really is against child labor. What they are really against is child competition. They don't want children to compete in the labor market for jobs that pay better than shoveling snow or walking dogs. This is why it is no surprise that it was unions that lead the cause against child competition in the labor market. Unions' sole purpose is to benefit their members at others' expense, and children are an especially weak group of society and thus an easy target.

Of course there's the typical political lie about outlawing child competition for the benefit of children, but this lie is easily exposed by looking at the actual legislation. One notices that the most grueling and backbreaking type of labor--farm work--is excepted from the law. So while a 13-year-old can't take your movie ticket at the theater and show you to your seats, he can pick cotton.

For further proof one need only look to the context in which the law was passed--the Great Depression. There were many bad ideas about how to solve unemployment in those days, and one of the most prevalent was the idea that there was only so much work to go around, and the only question was how it should be divided up. Hoover cut down on immigration, thinking that with fewer immigrants there would be less people looking for the same number of jobs. FDR came up with work-sharing ideas, those being that more people could work fewer hours, thus splitting the work, and pay, between them. Outlawing child competition made perfect sense in this context. Cut a large number of people out of the labor market and voila! unemployment magically goes down. Of course this didn't work either, but the strengthening union movement sure loved it, so it was here to stay.

No one is really against child labor. If the old lady across the street hires a 13-year-old to move her couch, are you going to call the police? No. Because you're not really against child labor either.

Comments

ksriver2010 2 years, 9 months ago

I really don't see the reason for this blog posting. Starting each paragraph with "No one is really against child labor" is amusing. You correctly state that this, as well as many other issues/arguments ("the debt ceiling will mean that you won't get your Social Security checks!"), are emotionally based, and you show it by using emotionally stirring ("awww") pics of kids. But I'm not sure that I would have chosen this as the blog of the day.

In addition, "no one is really against clean air" either, except maybe the coal plant north of town. Lawrence, known as the "conscience" of KS", as many posters have said, and it has the badge of honor of a coal plant right next to the interstate exit.

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Jason Bennett 2 years, 9 months ago

Great post, Liberty_One. I agree with you 100%. I had to do ridiculous amounts of hard, dirty, dangerous work as a child - and it made me a better person. Also, it made me a person who values now working in an air-conditioned office.

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

LO: "If children are allowed to work, they don't have to sell sex to make money. Because people like you forbid them from regular jobs, they are forced to become prostitutes, criminals or starve."

Um, care to explain Thailand, as one example. Children as young as 13 are allowed to work by law. Yet I guarantee you can walk into a brothel in Pattaya Beach and get a 13, 14, 15, 16 year old prostitute. That right there proves your statement false.

Alas, people interested in exploiting children to perform various forms of "work" are the ones responsible.

I'm afraid your utopian view, where if there were no regulations and laws then somehow magically there would be no need for regulations and laws, is a false concept. However, stick to your desire to do away with laws protecting children if you wish. I'm glad to be among the vast majority of both conservatives and liberals that will make sure that never happens.

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

Nice to see you dismiss the importance of mandatory schooling on the number of youngsters available to do labor. You can't support it with something other than this vague idea that somehow people were no longer poor and needing to support their families. And during the 1930s? No more poor people? Silly argument.

As far as "people like me," try people like you who are fully willing to let all laws that protect children be dismisses so the underaged can be exploited under the ruse "work is work is work." Consider the fact that child prostitution and child pornography exists at all. Why? Because there are always adults willing to exploit children for their own selfish reasons. Loosen the laws and you will see more exploitation. Thank goodness we have legislation to protect them from being exploited even further.

Next

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

LO: "By the time FDR outlawed child labor, the percentage of children working, ages 10 to 15, had gone from 30% in the 1800s to 5.6%, and most of those were in agriculture, an area not touched by the law.

The average workweek had gone from 70 hours a week in the 1800s to 48 hours a week by the time the fair labor standards act was passed.

Proven."

Proven? Hardly.

Actually, what your argument demonstrates is the effectiveness of government regulations to protect children. By the 1930s, children were already required by law to attend school until the age of 14. When did this happen? 1918, hence the lower numbers of children available to perform labor in the 1930s. The age has gone up from 14 since then.

Now, if we consider your present views on child labor and combine them with your previous statements about how children shouldn't be required to attend school and only those whose parents could afford to send them should go, I am really getting the full picture of this Libertarian workplace you hold so dear in your imagination. It doesn't seem like a good place for children at all, or at least not a good place for children of parents who aren't wealthy. Poor kids -- look out! Pick yourself up by the bootstraps, or get to work!

Since we can't really base what might happen without laws protecting children in America as those laws are staying put, let us consider the places where children aren't required to go to school and where laws are not enforced against child labor.

You have refused to respond to these questions thus far, so here they are again: Are you saying that in countries where there are no child labor laws or those laws are not enforced that children don't work long hours in unsafe conditions? Are you saying that children don't do hard, physical labor, or work in unsafe sweatshops around the world? Or, are you saying that a child working in a sweatshop in India is fundamentally doing the same as a child doing chores around the house in America? I mean, they are both performing work after all, and "work is work is work," as you say, so it is virtually identical things, right?

Try proving you can answer those questions (or is my asking just too "hysterical" for you?).

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

Do you ever make a point with out distorting the position of others? You are a coward and everyone knows it.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

This goes beyond this thread, I don't care about this weeks LO garden variety blatant falsehood or out of context parallel.

I am saying my life proves you wrong but you recoil because you have nothing but your keyboard, books and thoughts. If my personal experiences did not contradict your BS, I would not give such a hard time.

You give no other basis other than what you think or what you have read. No experience, as far as I know.

Don't you think if I blogged under the heading "The garden spot" readers would expect me to have some experience other than having read and thought about it? So what do you have besides reading and thinking about "The free market" That readers can expect to give your knowledge wisdom? Have you ever produced a good and or service and had to compete?

Like I give a care about child labor laws so long as 9 year old poor kids are not being exploited and dead by age 20, like kids in coal mines 90 years ago. If the child labor laws are so terrible then tell us how we do away with them and keep something like what happened 90 years ago from happening again.

Like I said earlier either you don't get context, or you are aware and just like to start a fight using silly not comparable things (troll thread). Please spare us the intellectual curiosity BS. If you want to be taken seriously then try thinking of things like context and relevance when giving reason for your positions.

So which is it do you not get context or are you a ornery child? There really is no third explanation. Why is it so hard to state if you have a job or work for yourself? I mean really. What could possibly be the reason for not divulging unless you think it will weaken your position and or credibility?

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

LO, I wish you would stop repeating that no one has said why they disagree with you. Many have, including myself. We disagree because children doing chores around the house are not the same as having children work 8 or 10 or 12 hours a day six days a week in an industrialized environment. These are the things for which child labor laws were created. We disagree with your equating child labor with household chores.

There, I spelled it out for you.

Your comparison is beyond weak (see my earlier comparison of The Beatles with 4 guys blowing kazoos). You are calling chores "labor." That is the basis of everyone's disagreement with you, beyond the general dislike for libertarian utopian extremism. Every other rational and thinking person recognizes the truth of what real child labor is, and it isn't doing household chores.

There, I repeated why people are disagreeing with you.

Child Labor =/= Kids doing chores or odd jobs around the neighborhood.

There, I told you again. Now quit making untrue statements.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

What wrong is the truth just too much? Go on LO ask me questions I 'll answer them, why won't you? Go on, give just one real answer. I will settle for what is your involvement with the free market economy? Job? already set? entrepreneur/employer? To all eyes here you are bleeding, it may not be that way in your mind, but believe me your responses only show that you can not step up when called out.

So once again, other than your lopsided reading list what authority do you have? You can up and answer or you can go get the teacher, and tell her what a mean guy I am. Is it not legitimate to require some relevant back round character. If you were a family values guy, who discriminates against same sex couples, is it not the publics business to know when you cheat on your wife with a male prostitute?

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MyName 2 years, 9 months ago

What a pointless waste of bandwidth. Clearly the problem with our economy is that we don't have enough teenagers being allowed to work. Oh wait that's right, unemployment among teens is the highest it's been in decades because all of the old people are taking the jobs they would have done because they can't get anything better!

Also: if under-18s can't vote, and under-21s can't enter contracts on their own, then what you have by trying to put them into a full-fleged labor market without being able to gain equal treatment under the law is a recipe for exploitation. But you seemed to have left that out and decided to focus on stupid social BS instead.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

I can read and regurgitate books I like too. What else do you do?

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

Afraid we will find out your personal life lends you zero credibility?

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Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

As usual, I am astounded at the number of people that go to great length in defense of government. I'll join you in defending America and a small constitutional government, but the constant excuses made for the huge oppressive government we have developed in the last 100 years are beyond belief.

Are you people really happy with having your lives run by bureaucrats and the professional liars euphemistically called politicians? Are you?

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

No one is against child "labor". People are against child "exploitation" for the sake of making a profit. There's a pretty big difference and I think you know that L1. Child labor laws are in place to protect minors from being placed in jobs that may threaten their health, interfere with their education or put them in a position of being exploited by their parents/guardians for the sake of making money. Even children working in family run businesses such as farms, restaurants and the like have limitations placed on that labor (i.e. they can't jerk the kid out of school to work the farm. Doesn't mean they can't work their a$$ off over the summer and after school milking the cows.). That doesn't mean that child exploitation doesn't take place in this country. Children of undocumented migrant farm workers are frequently exploited to work in the fields. They get away with it because they and their parents are illegals and thus not protected by child labor laws. The people who employ illegals know this and have no problem whatsoever doing it. Maybe if you educated yourself on child labor laws and why they were put in place in the first place you would have a little better understanding of things. Oh and don't bother bringing up "India" or other countries. US child labor laws were put in place precisely because we are a rich enough country to have a vested interest in protecting kids from this s**t. Believe me, if other countries were rich enough to do so those laws would be in place there too. The fact that even now there are employers who would be more than happy to exploit kids for the sake of a buck if those laws weren't in place says a lot.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

Curious LO, what is it you do yourself to participate in the free, yet not as free as you would like market? I think It is Important to compare the lifestyle characteristic to the ideology.

There are reasons for staying anonymous in profile I understand. I think it is possible assuming honesty, that certain things can be revealed that are pertinent to the subject matter. I am curious as to how close you live the ideology.

Do you have kids? I do, I make them do chores to. Are you currently not hiring at your movie theater because of stupid child labor laws? Do you have a job, are you already set up, or are you self employed? Do you make your living entirely by participating in the free market as a small entrepreneur? I do.
Have you created a job (albeit part time) in your business? I have.
I mean what is it besides your lopsided reading list that gives you all this authority?

My point is for you to have credibility there has to be some aspect of you that is living proof of what you expound. Unless you are living as close to a no government help libertarian lifestyle as me, then I will always consider you to be a joke.

I have a feeling most others feel a similar way. So put up or, well one can only hope.

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

LO, how many people are even close to agreeing with your comparisons of kids doing household chores and little jobs around the neighborhood with true child labor?

None? Not a single person? Oh, that must prove you are right.

After reading your comments here and elsewhere, all I can think is, "Thank goodness Libertarians remain on the fringes of our political system." Honestly. Thank goodness.

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verity 2 years, 9 months ago

jafs: "Of course, on this one, I have a relatively uncommon view - I don't think parents should be able to force their kids to do any chores at all, much less work the farm."

Would you please elaborate on your view?

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jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

This is interesting.

Most of us are against child abuse. Is a young teen mowing somebody's lawn an example of that? I'd say probably not.

On the other hand, a farm family forcing their kids to work long hours on the family farm would qualify, in my view. In fact, I know somebody that sued their parents for doing that. The need for family farms to use their children is probably why that was exempted from the laws.

Of course, on this one, I have a relatively uncommon view - I don't think parents should be able to force their kids to do any chores at all, much less work the farm.

The other reasonable concern is that of adults, who have all of the expenses pointed out, having to compete with children who do not have those. We see the results of something like this in college towns like Lawrence - the easy availability of students willing to work part-time jobs without benefits reduces the number of full-time jobs with benefits.

So it's good for students, who get to make some spending money, and good for restaurants, etc. who can hire them part-time and avoid paying benefits, but bad for adults looking for a job in Lawrence. This is why many people live here and work elsewhere, and vice-versa.

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Liberty_One 2 years, 9 months ago

verity (anonymous) says…

"I have, on occasion, as a thought experiment, tried to imagine what a world according to L_O would be like.

Chaos breaks out quickly."

You have no imagination. Regardless, you don't have to imagine. Nothing I've ever proposed hasn't already been tried and succeeded. The thing is they just haven't all been tried at once.

Oh, and just the opposite happens. Order breaks out. You see commerce is beautiful order. People going shopping at beautiful, well-kept stores inside of which there are amazing products all lined up in neat and orderly rows. When you fly in a plane and look down at all those squares of farmland, all in wonderful, crisp rows that's what my world looks like. Yours looks like a battlefield.

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verity 2 years, 9 months ago

I have, on occasion, as a thought experiment, tried to imagine what a world according to L_O would be like.

Chaos breaks out quickly.

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tange 2 years, 9 months ago

Hmm... I was going to say something back up the page, there, but then my phone rang and I had to don the tights and cape for some episodic hip-knuckling. Anyway, at about this point in the game, I'm just ready for a warm dip. And, so, I thought I'd share something I learned from a little fish...

with your feet on the air and your head on the ground try this trick and spin it <—yeah your head'll collapse if there's nothing in it

Tutorial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8YNgrg9Vus

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

Yep, every other person on here is wrong and angry, and you are right and apparently happy.

LO, the simple truth is that you set up this thesis by which you equate young people working around the house or in the neighborhood with child labor. Before child labor laws were passed, children worked hard labor, sometime in coal mines or in factories around dangerous machinery, six days a week, up to 10 and 12 hours a day. There is no reason why we should believe that without child labor laws children wouldn't be doing equally difficult jobs today, as they do in other countries.

Yes, everyone gets that your examples are forms of "work," but your examples are so far removed from the work that actually is done today in countries where child labor laws are not enforced that we all see your descriptions of child labor as a joke at best, and cruel and insensitive at worst. We get that you are describing "work," but the comparisons you present are nonsense.

It would be like wanting to have a serious discussion on music and starting it off by comparing The Beatles with four guys blowing kazoos. You know, both are examples of "music," so what could be wrong with that comparison?

LO, you are being disingenious through your images and descriptions of child labor. That is what everyone here is pointing out. No anger, no shame in doing so, just the truth. The thesis is nonsense and you are simply wrong, proving once again why Libertarianism is scoffed at by virtually all rational people.

Keep fighting those wind mills out on the fringes. Someday you will prove everyone else wrong.

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Liberty_One 2 years, 9 months ago

At the beginning of this thread I posted about how there are going to be hysterical people who have a mythology about what child labor is and cannot discuss it rationally.

Look at how many of you are proving me right.

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verity 2 years, 9 months ago

http://www.truth-out.org/14-propaganda-techniques-fox-news-uses-brainwash-americans/1309612678

I thought this was a fascinating article that some of you might be interested in reading---it is specifically about Fox News but applies to any attempts to obstruct or falsify information and how that degrades democracy.

Reminds me of a few posters/bloggers on these boards (not naming any names).

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh LO, I am not angry that you compare child labor with household chores. Rolling my eyes at such nonsense, sure, but not angry. Nor am I closed-minded simply because I find your comparisons to be absurd. All other comments on here support my reading on this, so it isn’t just me as you would like to suggest.

Child labor is a serious topic and when it is trivialized as you have done then yes, you will be called out for it and that is all. It would be like having a discussion of slavery by first comparing it with a pro-ball player who is "stuck" in his multi-million dollar contract. There are just some comparisons that are silly beyond the point of discussion, and you have reached beyond that point.

The fact that it comes from you, someone who in the past has made statements against existing child labor laws, tells me that you don’t really understand the reality or the seriousness of the topic. It also speaks to how out of touch with the rest of America the full-blown Libertarian view really is.

Get back to us when you want to be taken seriously.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

"There's such an emotional meaning in the term "child labor" for some that they cannot discuss it rationally."

Project much?

Step one: Find a topic or term that really erks me, but is not really a controversial or hottest emotional topic. Step two: Make a ridiculous unrelated comparison designed to make people react, if for no other reason than its juvenile absurdity. Step three: Accuse them of being too emotional to talk rationally about it.

We can call this technique; The liberty one emotionally bothered bait and project technique.

Although he is not the first to use it, He owns it here.

Consider the possibility that people don't just disagree with you do to their brain malfunctioning based ideological grounds, or because they can't handle the truth you want to tell them. Maybe some people just find others, who think they are smarter than they really are, annoying.

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beatrice 2 years, 9 months ago

Not surprising that LibertyOne, in his fantasy belief of a utopian Libertarian work place regulated only by profit, would attempt to belittle the issue of child labor by showing kids doing choirs around the house and learning basic work skills at their father's side in his story on child labor. Why not use some of the pictures from the early 20th century, of children working in coal mines or on huge machinery, children hired because their little fingers could easily fit into the highly dangerous machine works. How about a picture like this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=6642451&mesg_id=6642581

Do you think that just maybe the child in this photograph grew up with hearing problems?

If LibertyOne really represents true Libertarian views, then apparently Libertarians are in favor of child labor. If this is true, I believe most rational people see the error of such a world view. This is partially why the Libertarian Party is nothing but a fringe political group in America today that will never be taken seriously, not even in a pro-business, right-of-center nation like ours.

"In fact you're more likely to see people, arms crossed, nodding in approval, exclaiming 'it's good for 'em. Learn 'em the value of work.'"

Not only is LibertyOne attempting to confuse child labor with childing doing household choirs clueless in his assault on legislation forbidding child labor in the workplace, he also apparently feels most people are ignorant rubes unable to speak proper English. "Learn 'em"? Honestly, who talks like that?

Sorry LO, but you have now officially lost all credibility. It wasn't really necessary, but I guess somebody needed to take the place of the Grey Goose.

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Gandalf 2 years, 9 months ago

Are you sure calling him a troll is not a "vicious personal attack"?

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Roland Gunslinger 2 years, 9 months ago

Liberty_One (anonymous) replies… "You assume I'm trying to be successful at debating. If I was trying I'd be a lot nicer, stick to easier issues, try to find middle ground, do less trolling and state my positions in much less extreme terms. My purpose is to try and provoke people into proving me wrong. I take more and more extreme positions so that you people can find the weaknesses and point them out for me." June 27, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.


Y'all posting in a troll thread.

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overplayedhistory 2 years, 9 months ago

Dude what is your point? Was there legislation being discussed that I missed that is relevant to your monologue? Who are they? and did They ever suggest child labor was bad? Are you arguing that kids should be allowed to get a w-2 job when they are younger than 16? I got mine at 15, but I think we bent the rules a little if memory serves. If younger than 16 how young? I think 13 is ok, but you got me scarred the Jimmy Hoffa is going to crawl out of his unmarked grave and unleash his rage.

Hint: being coy about what you are driving at is not going to bring anyone over to your Anarchy camp. If you made your arguments without leaving huge holes in context and scale you might have more luck, But then that would not fit your emotionally derived ideology, what ever that is.

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Kirk Larson 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm not against kids working, but I oppose a lot of the conditions that were ongoing when child labor began to be regulated. Long hours, dangerous conditions, no going to school. A lot of what the labor unions did was to alleviate these conditions for adults as well.

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been_there 2 years, 9 months ago

When my boys were young my ex decided he was not paying one cent of child support because I would just blow it. While I was worring about food to eat, he was losing $5,000 in Vegas. When they got old enough to drive, there was absolutely no money for Drivers Ed, a car, or car insurance. If they wanted to drive they had to pay for it and any other things like video games, music, hanging out etc. Those jobs at Wendy's, Taco John's and such paid for those things. If they had to go to summer school, they had to pay for it. Some kids have to work if they want the things the richer kids take for granted.

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Gandalf 2 years, 9 months ago

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Gandalf 2 years, 9 months ago

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notanota 2 years, 9 months ago

With such obvious and logical arguments, you've convinced me. I'm really afraid that kids will outcompete me in the job market, and that's why I'm insisting they stay in school. I could be easily replaced by a 13 year old with an advanced degree and a decade of experience.

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tange 2 years, 9 months ago

The performing of incidental chores around one's home or for a neighbor in no way approximates the child-labor realities facing some...

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7366906n

/ you'd think that gold coin might afford a clue

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Wadde 2 years, 9 months ago

It's really good for them it's really conditioning them to become economic slaves a condition from "the recession generation"

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Liberty_One 2 years, 9 months ago

"If the old lady across the street hires a 13-year-old to move her couch, are you going to call the police?"

Then again, some people might:

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Lemonade-Stand-Busted.html

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Liberty_One 2 years, 9 months ago

Of course there's always the hysterical people who really believe that if child competition was allowed that kids would be headed to the mines after kindergarten. There's nothing that can be said to these people, as they are likely the same ones who think that the TSA needs to grope children's private areas or whatever other statist nonsense they'll fall for.

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