Thursday, October 21, 2004

The Case for Permitting Children to Work.

Over at the Sadly, no blog, there is a challenge to mimic one of the right’s trademarks, the contrarian “case for” piece. You know, the Case for Invading Brazil, of The Case for Outlawing Democrats, etc.

So here’s my entry.

The Case for Restoring Children’s Right-to-Work

In a perhaps over-zealous effort to infantlize the nation's youth, Thoedore Roosevelt, so-called Republican, gave in to the goo-goo crowd of his day and flat-out outlawed child labor. The harmful effects of this dubious decree reverberate to this day.

Consider the case of Marilyn O'Leary, a third grade student in Floral Park, a suburb of New York City. Marilyn would like to have some money to buy a new Barbie video game. But sadly, Marilyn's parents have not given her the money she needs, claiming that Marilyn needs to focus more on the left-wing agenda that passes for social studies at her local union-dominated school.

And because of this country's misguided labor laws, Marilyn has forfeited her right to work.

In a small building behind a Hess gas station, Eduardo Martinez has a small factory, affixing stickers to various promotional items, like a toy gas truck. Because of the small size of some of the items Mr. Martinez would dearly love to have children, preferably 10 and under, to handle the work. But his right to hire the best worker for the job, at a price that the market deems fair, is utterly and completely cut off.

The time has come in this country to abandon antiquated notions of paternalism, and join the rest of the world in competing with our full might. If Guatemalan children can affix designer logos to polo shirts, just wait til Mrs. Frossberger's third grade class at Floral Park Elementary School gets their hands on a needle and thread. Look out Indonesia: soon, we'll have polo shirts in Wal-Mart for just 99 cents.

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