We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, June 16. 2010
The US Labor Department is going after employers of children age 13 and under.
I started working at age 5, sweeping the sidewalks in front of stores, dusting stock, shoveling snow, and the myriad of other jobs I could find in the neighborhood. Twenty-five cents for an afternoonís work was big bucks to a poor slum kid. More important, I learned work habits. Friends raised in rural areas worked in the fields at age 5. They learned work habits. We all feel better off today for the learning.
No one is in favor of putting kids in sweat-shops for 16-hour days, or such, as my grandparents were in the early 1900s.
But, next time you hear anyone complaining that kids donít have work habits, or donít value the money they have or the comforts, thank the types who feel that childhood and adolescence should be a skate or so protected as to deny kids and teens the opportunities to become adults with better work habits and self-responsibility.
Tracked: Jun 16, 20:16
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Remember, each underage child you employ steals a job from an illegal immigrant. This message is brought to you by the INS.
When I was 13 I worked all summer in my uncle's printing shop. Damn adressograph machine.
When I was 13 I worked the summer with my dad - mowing lawns [big corporate lawns]. I had to use the push mower to trim around the trees, etc. while Dad mowed with the Big Mower [tractor]. I like to never survived the first day.
God bless him for it. He taught me how to love physical labor and owning your own business regardless of the risk.
I started mowing the neighbors lawns when I was 10 using dad's mower. I used to push that mower all over Fort Riley main post to mow the lawns of the officers who had too young boys or all daughters. Used to make $100/week.
Got a job in Newport RI at 13 with a paper route. Made big bucks.
Hey, and no busts on the officer thing. I mowed yards anywhere on Cavalry Parade, Artillery Parade and anyplace in between. Main post was, as far as I know, officer housing. There were five camps around the place where the rest of the division lived but they were way way to far away to push a mower.
What a totally stupid law.
All of you who have posted on this above are proof that folks we would now consider as children-too-young-to-work had great learning experiences at an early age. I worked summers until I was 16 in the Red Cross office in our town, as well as doing [unpaid] contract work for my parents, such as cleaning out the basement, etc. When I was in college, I worked every summer at things like switchboard work for one company, ward aid work [six days a week, $70 a month]in a hospital [to earn the money to buy my guitar].
I remember the neighborhood boys mowing lawns in summer, delivering papers year round, doing useful things which taught them responsibility, and the fact that success is predicated partly on turning up every day.
Now, some school districts in our country are paying [!!] under-performing students to attend classes on Saturdays.
What a bunch of wusses we are raising.
P. S. And this 'spring break frenzy' that today's college students indulge themselves in didn't exist, so we didn't get murdered, as Natalie Holloway did. Or pregnant.
I wonder where they find the money for it. Should my daughter phone home for money to go to Cancun for spring break......NO.
My brothers and I all worked at whatever from 7 or 8 years old: paper routes, shovelinng or mowing, selling iced lemonade to the construction workers at a new housing project, etc. By the time we were 12, we were scooping ice cream, scraping paint, helping out in a neighbor's office (answerig phones, filing, typing invoices, hauling boxes of product), or tutoring younger kids in "new math" and other subjects. At 15 we starting working as caddies or in the teen departments at local clothing stores or as camp counselors or lifeguards. A job was something you created by your ingenuity to meet a need, so there was no end to our opportunity to earn something, no matter how little.
And my kids did the same starting at the same ages. You know why? It was the best darn experience for what we were going to face later on and it helped us decide what to study in college.
Whether it's the Feds or "helicopter" parents, the kids in my neighborhood don't work anymore...and it has nothing to do with the present job market. Ten years ago I couldn't find anyone.
BTW, government programs that pay outlandish sums to teens in the poorer neighborhoods aren't doing those children any favors. The kids are ending up with an exaggerated opinion of their skills and expect ridiculous wages when they're turned out into the marketplace. When they find the money isn't there, it's very tempting to turn to drug dealing. As one goofnut told me, "Short hours, big bucks."
So, cracking down on illegal child employment: some is still legal.
I do wonder what is still legal, and if minimum wage applies. I do recall that in the late 1950s a 13-year-old classmate had a special license to drive a delivery van during daylight hours.
Kids should be in school, not working in factories.
Another thing that should be cracked down on, hard, is those baby beauty peagants and things like that.
That's just plain old child abuse, for no other reason than the vanity of the parents.
That's right, there are very many examples in of children working in factories all over the US. :)
Tell the Feds the address of such a factory where you live, JT Wenting, and get the ball rolling. While you're at it, tell us at Maggie's Farm.
J. T. Wenting ... I don't see that any of the commenters to this thread have recommended "working in factories" or sweatshops. They described their own entrepreneurial efforts in their youth to earn money during school vacations, or before or after the school day ended. Quit trying to shift the ground of the discussion here. No one in my generation or their generations said 'they deserved' to lounge at the sea shore or in the vineyard eating grapes.
But growing into a worthwhile adult is hard work, and it should be. It's a lengthy learning process. And life is too damn short for all of us to be Lotos-Eaters. Who would pay the incredible debt that's being piled up for our children and grandchildren by the present Administration?
I did my own lawn mowing as a kid, nothing wrong with that as long as it's small scale and leaves the kid time for homework and play.
Problem is, where do you draw the line?
And how do you police that, control it?
If a kid is working in a shop filling shelves, what hours is he allowed to work? And under what conditions?
How do you control if it's voluntary or if the kid's forced to do it against his wishes?
IOW, how to ensure a kid's a kid and not a slave for his parent or caretakers?
BD is right on. "WE" do not have to draw the line, police it or control it. It is purely and only a matter for the individual family to deal with. The bloody government is into way to much of our lives as it is. I do not know how old you are but at my age it almost makes me cry to see how more & more socialist and controlling the government has become.
That "where do we draw the line" argument hits the nail right on the head. Because some families are incompetent to prevent their children from being exploited into a fulltime job in a factory, the government must assume the responsibility to monitor every child's work environment. In other words, if there's a problem in an area of private life, the government must assume control of the entire situation, even the parts where there is no problem -- because we can't think of a principled place to "draw the line."
It's not really that hard to draw the line at the place where it becomes child abuse. If it were otherwise, all the children would have to be raised in state nurseries. How else to draw the line to prevent some children from being malnourished or beaten?