Growing up in the South, you’d often hear stories about how kids in rural areas had to get up in the morning and help around the family farm before heading off to school and hitting the books. While those stories aren’t as frequent now that the agriculture industry has declined, this is still somewhat the case in many places in the United States.
But due to child labor laws, the Department of Labor is weighing a ban on kids working on their family farms:
A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.
The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.
Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”
“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”
Rossie Blinson, a 21-year-old college student from Buis Creek, N.C., told The Daily Caller that the federal government’s plan will do far more harm than good.
“The main concern I have is that it would prevent kids from doing 4-H and FFA projects if they’re not at their parents’ house,” said Blinson.
“I started showing sheep when I was four years old. I started with cattle around 8. It’s been very important. I learned a lot of responsibility being a farm kid.”
Lashing out at the tea party movement this weekend, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis called them “teabaggers,” a favorite term from the Left to describe the protesters that have been a headache for the Obama Administration and Democrats:
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis embraced the derogatory term used to describe members of the tea party in an appearance at the Florida Democratic Convention over the weekend.
“I’ll be darned if I’m going to set that aside now because a few tea baggers want to somehow muzzle my voice,” she said, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. “We don’t have to sit back and allow a minority in the Congress, known as the tea party, to dominate the discussion in our households.”
This story is just getting picked up in the national press, so expect to hear more about it in the coming days — perhaps even a call for an official repudiation from the White House.
Maybe it’s me, but this sort of childish rhetoric seems beneath a public official. You don’t have to agree with the tea party movement, but they’ve proven to be a formidable obstacle for Democrats both at the ballot box and in implementing policy. And just because you are sitting at the top doesn’t mean you’re entitled to have your agenda forced through, which is where this frustration is coming from.
Seriously, if you want the discourse to change, as President Obama has said before, then he needs to start with his own administration.