The AP reports that child labor is on the cards across the U.S., with state lawmakers–mostly Republicans–calling for youngsters to be put to work to fill “labor shortages”, even in bars, even on schoolnights.
Lawmakers proposed loosening child labor laws in at least 10 states over the past two years, according to a report published last month by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Some bills became law, while others were withdrawn or vetoed. Legislators in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa are actively considering relaxing child labor laws to address worker shortages. Employers have struggled to fill open positions after a spike in retirements, deaths and illnesses from COVID-19, decreases in legal immigration and other factors. Wisconsin lawmakers back a proposal to allow 14-year-olds to serve alcohol in bars and restaurants. If passed, Wisconsin would have the lowest such limit nationwide, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
It’s alarming to watch them turning up the dial, realizing they can get away with almost anything because most media will both-sides it on an increasingly-imaginary spectrum while resistance is muted by gerrymandering, gerontocracy and general indifference.
Republicans dropped provisions from a version of the bill allowing children aged 14 and 15 to work in dangerous fields including mining, logging and meatpacking.
That the plain physical impossibility of “children, logging” was under consideration at all should be more controversial! It’s “public life has become an unhinged media simulation” bonkers.