Newt's right: child labor laws are "truly stupid"

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Newt's right: child labor laws are "truly stupid"

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Dick Dayton's picture
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Wed, 3/24/10
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Teen Work

My first paid job was to mow lawns. I learned to keep track of the need, and to do the very best. It helped that I started mowing for free at home, where my father expected very straight lines, no misses, and the edges trimmed by hand. (This dates me, doesn't it ?) My first job working for someone else was a general purpose worker at a summer fishing lodge. We worked 6 1/2 days a week. In a sense, another job I had growing up was studies, again done under the watchful eye of both parents.
I agree that we have overvalued the college education. Not everyone is cut out for that, but the lack of the formal training does not make soneone less of a person. (I say this as someone who was in a PhD program in physics). In fact, if you honestly ask "What are the most important jobs ?" we will find that it is the "common" job that is most essential. I greatly appreciate our public works people who plow the streets, pick up the garbage, and keep our community neat, the laborers and technicians who make sure our water is clean and the electricity is on. I would even venture to say that those at the "bottom" are more important than those at the top. I have done both kinds of work, and know the factory would quit working if the time clock punchers did not do their jobs, but we could get our work done whether the foreman came by or not.

We should provide a safe workplace, but we have gone overboard on "rights" with little regard for "responsibilities."

Dick Dayton

Susan R's picture
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Work permits

There are several hoops one has to jump through to get a work permit for a teenager. Even as homeschoolers, we have to go to the local high school to fill out the forms and get approval, and then there are all kinds of restrictions that are geared to make sure that a child is in school during school hours, which does not apply to a homeschoolers. Seriously. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused002.gif[/img ]

Apprenticeships can be a very valuable part of a young person's education. Our firstborn was able to work for an HVAC company while in jr. high and high school, and also doing a math curriculum called http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Trades-8th-Robert-Carman/dp/0132321025 ]Mathematics for the Trades . Why the system would make enjoying such opportunities so difficult is beyond me.

Dick Dayton's picture
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Farm Work

My wife grew up on a farm, and they all worked hard. The values our farm kids learn about diligence adn responsibility are great. Our kids grew up in town, but did do some work for a local farmer. Our son enjoyed (I am not sure why Smile ) putting up hay. It is hot, heavy work, and he learned to work hard.
As our children reflect upon their childhood, they now see the value to household chores, such as cleaning their rooms, helping wth dishes and laundry, weeding the garden (Their least favorite). When we get together and talk about those days, they express appreciation for the lessons of diligence.
As city people, we may have to be more creative about finding meaningful jobs for our kids, but it is worth it.

For farm kids, there is a lot of work out there. In the interest of overreaching government control, the legislators are seeking radical restrictions on teens workng in agriculture. That will ultimately result in fewer family farm units, and pave the way for massive factory farms who care about profits more than people.

Dick Dayton

dcbii's picture
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Work hours for children

Susan R wrote:
There are several hoops one has to jump through to get a work permit for a teenager. Even as homeschoolers, we have to go to the local high school to fill out the forms and get approval, and then there are all kinds of restrictions that are geared to make sure that a child is in school during school hours, which does not apply to a homeschoolers. Seriously. http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php ][img ]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused002.gif[/img ]

This is much easier in NC. Until they were 16, my kids could not work more than 3 hours on a school day, but those hours could be at pretty much any time of the day (not past 7 or 7:30). My younger is still in school, but now she is much less limited in even how much she can work on a particular day, and now she can work all hours.

Maybe the difference has something to do with Ohio being a big union state, and not wanting kids to compete during normal business hours...

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture
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@ Bro. Dave

I don't remember who we talked to... someone at the Dept of Labor maybe? it's been too long ago, but we were able to make allowances for Seth to work whatever hours he was needed as long as he was still fulfilling his required school hours. There were a few weeks in the winter he worked as much as 50 hours.

Isn't it sad when the law says that a kid can't work more than 3 hours on a school day, but they are free to watch 6 hours of TV a night?