…and further, are they hurting the world? Even Keynesian Kook Krugman pointed out several years ago that in other, less civilized countries, labor laws don’t magically bring children to school and bring an end to poverty – instead, honest factory work is replaced with crime on the streets.
But the subject is this country, and I do share, with our friend Mr. Ron Swanson, that child labor laws are ruining this country. We have this idea that if it weren’t for child labor laws all children would be working in coal mines for twenty cents a day, and I think such a notion in our modern times, in the United States, is certainly unreasonable.
The biggest part of liberty – economic and personal liberty – is choice. Surely there is a great segment of students who aren’t taking school seriously and are nothing more – if you allow me to phrase it in such a way – a burden on the system. If these children would rather be working, doing reasonable jobs for reasonable pay at a reasonable age, I don’t think it is our place – and certainly isn’t government’s place – to object.
And further, working that is co-operative with school (such as during summers) is difficult to do legally before sixteen, but many kids would like to work before that time, say at age 13, 14, or 15. Of course, this would be up to the parents and the child, as it should be.
Of course I don’t think it should be entirely unregulated, but children should have the opportunity to work if they wish, especially if there is a need within the household. If not, no big deal either.
But this is quite impossible, thanks to a government which always likes to think it knows best for everyone.
Comments, welcome, as always.