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The economy is in dire straits. Many adults can't find jobs. The government is lying about employment figures. So why would some politician try to repeal an existing law that would bring more people into the workforce? Does she understand that bringing more people into the workforce, especially people who would work for significantly less than what most people get paid, would further exacerbate the unemployment problem? Does she understand that bringing more people into the workforce would also decrease the price/cost of employees (e.g., salaries, benefits) because supply/competition would increase?

As you can see from who is specifically attacking this bill, the unions certainly understand that they will lose if these new participants enter into the market. And to add fuel to the fire, the additional laborers the politician wants to bring into the market are children. Is this a moral bill? Should parents who want their children to work be allowed to do so? Young people are nearly shut out of the employment market (by recession, regulation, minimum wage, and child labor laws) and, therefore, are having a harder time getting work experience. This is one of the reasons why 85% of college graduates are moving back home. People read this story and immediately think of child exploitation. Is there reason to be concerned over repealing this law or are there benefits?


Jane Cunningham (R - West County) believes Missouri kids need to improve their work ethic so she's sponsoring a bill (SB 222) that would repeal much of the state's child labor laws.

According to the bill's official summary, children under the age of 14 would no longer be barred from employment. They'd also be able to work all hours of the day, no longer need a work permit from their school and be able to work at motels and resorts so long as they're given a place to lay their weary heads each night. Moreover, businesses that employ children would no longer be subject to inspections from the Division of Labor Standards...

"My aim is to put back some common sense,'' Cunningham told the Beacon. "We're not doing students any favor by telling them, 'You cannot work.' "

Still, the bill is under attack from the AFL-CIO and other labor groups, who believe there's good reason that current law only allows children to work three hours on school days and no more than eight hours on non-school days.

State Senator Jane Cunningham Wants to Put Missouri Kids to Work


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Feb 17, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=472

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