Thursday, March 31, 2011

Putting Kids To Work

You can’t accuse Republicans of hiding their agenda. This would be funny if it didn’t stand a strong chance of passing:

Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill through the Maine Legislature that would rollback child labor laws enacted by the state in 1991.

The bill, LD 1346, establishes a “training wage” for employees under 20 years of age at $5.25 per hour for their first 180 days of employment and increases the amount of hours minors can legally work. The proposed “training wage” is over two dollars less than the state’s current minimum wage.

The bill also would eliminate the maximum hours a minor over 16 can work during school days and allow minors to work over 50 hours a week when school is not in session.

Another bill, LD 516, is headed to the Senate floor for a vote after being passed along party lines by a Senate committee, with Democrats voting against the measure. It would allow minors 16 years and older to work up to six hours a day and until 11pm on a school night.

If you’re eating or drinking something, swallow right now and put your glass down so you don’t choke: supporters of the bill say it will help kids save for college. $5.25 an hour! Yeah, Harvard here they come. And you thought conservatives didn’t care about jobs and education.

How long before they suggest not paying teens at all on the grounds that work builds character? It discourages sedentary lifestyles and can even prevent type II diabetes, doncha know. If this goes through, watch every Wal-Mart in Maine shitcan everyone over 20, hire a bunch of teenagers at “training wages,” and then advertise it as a public-spirited program that helps the youth of America.

If they start to lag on the job, they can be fortified with radiocative milk that California dairy farmers will now be looking to unload at cut-rate prices. Wal-Mart can deduct it right out of their paychecks.

What a great time this is for us history buffs. We’re going to get to see just what it was like to live in 1900.

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