Another Republican for Child Labor

[Content Note: Child exploitation; class warfare.]

Joining the illustrious ranks of Newt Gingrich, Ray Canterbury, and Jack Kingston, Republican Maine Governor Paul LePage says that children should be allowed to work, because failing to support child labor is "causing damage to our economy."
"We don't allow children to work until they're 16, but two years later, when they're 18, they can go to war and fight for us," LePage said. "That's causing damage to our economy. I started working far earlier than that, and it didn't hurt me at all. There is nothing wrong with being a paperboy at 12 years old, or at a store sorting bottles at 12 years old."
Sure, there's nothing wrong with it. Except for how lots of kids who do have jobs while they're still in school are constantly tired and/or don't have enough time for their schoolwork.

This is, naturally, also an issue of privilege. A middle- or upper-class kid who wants to do a paper route, or mow lawns, or whatever, for a little extra pocket money is in a fundamentally different situation than a kid who takes on whatever work zie can get out of necessity, because hir basic needs aren't being met, because hir parents have been out of work or can't find a job with a livable wage and their government is failing them with a catastrophically underfunded social safety net.

Is it really not letting kids work that's "causing damage to our economy," or garbage conservative policy and bootstraps bullshit that's doing the job?

And, listen, I don't know what the deal is in Maine, but I can tell you that in Indiana, a 12-year-old who wants a paper route is shit outta luck in a lot of places, because they're already taken by adults who are trying to make ends meet. I can't even think of the last time I saw an actual teenager bagging groceries.

Governor LaPage was 12 years old in 1960. Things have changed.

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