Republican Governor Pushing to Loosen Child Labor Laws

lepage1And the Republican march to return us to a society similar to that of the late-1800’s continues.  The latest move comes by way of the Republican Governor from Maine, Paul LePage, announcing that he will continue to push for the loosening of child labor laws through the new year.  He apparently thinks children as young as 12 should learn what it’s like to get paid a lousy wage gain some new perspective on life.

And yes, Governor LePage really supports allowing 12-year-olds to work.

“I’m all for not allowing a 12-year-old to work 40 hours,” LePage said.  “But a 12-year-old working eight to 10 hours a week or a 14-year-old working 12 to 15 hours a week is not bad.”

Well, I’m sure glad he’s against 12-year-olds working full-time jobs.  That’s a relief.  Though as ridiculous as the thought of 12-year-olds working jobs is, would it really be so far-fetched to imagine that “10 hours a week” could turn into 15, 20, 30 — you get the picture.

On, and there’s another caveat to this whole situation.  He’s been pushing for quite some time to install a new “children’s training wage” at somewhere around $5.25.   But this new $5.25 wage he’s been pushing for isn’t just for 12-year-olds — he wants it to be applicable for all workers in Maine under the age of 20 during their first 180 days of employment.

So not only is he advocating to allow 12-year-olds (otherwise known as middle schoolers) the right to work, but he also wants to undercut the federal minimum wage to open the door for businesses to hire people under the age of 20 at an even crappier starting wage.

And I’m sure businesses wouldn’t be tempted at all to “let go” of workers once they hit their 180 day mark.  Businesses are always looking out for the betterment of their employees, right?

This is absolutely ridiculous.  He’s literally advocating a return to the time when children were used for low-skilled and very low-paid workers.

How did this fool even get elected?   Granted, I live in Texas and Rick Perry is hardly the most intelligent individual to represent a state, but last I checked he wasn’t advocating for 12 year olds to become part of the workforce.

Republicans are really trying to do what no society in human history has done — regress to times that society has evolved from.  I really believe these conservatives long for the days of the late-1800’s or early-1900’s when women couldn’t vote, gays were kept in the shadows, minorities had few rights, African Americans were blatantly treated like second-class citizens and the only people thriving were straight, white, Christian males.

It’s absurd that in 2013 we have a United States governor actively trying to bring us back to the days of cheap child labor.

But when it comes to the Republican party (where satire and reality seem to go hand in hand), nothing really surprises me anymore.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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