Every year the United States imports over $125,000,000,000 from nation's that are known to use child labor under the age of 14. This is inexcusable. It should be American children generating this income. It is for that reason that I have approached Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) about creating a joint resolution to once and for all eliminate troublesome barriers to child labor in the United States.
The statistics are staggering. 8.9 million children are uninsured in this country. By getting them into the workforce, many of them would be eligible for employer funded medical care. When we have healthier young people contributing to their family's income then we have a happier and more productive country.
Mike Lee has long been a champion of the right of children to work and I look forward to working closely with him to end this longstanding discrimination against child workers. Child labor can be a win-win situation where young people learn a trade and their small size allows them to reach into machinery and tight places where an adult could never fit.
In Missouri, Jane Cunningham has courageously led a movement to eliminated child labor laws in that state. SB 222 ironically sharing a name with Karen Valentine's homeroom in an old television show about young people (Room 222), will allow young people the satisfaction of working and being productive citizens. We need to take this movement national if we are to regain our economic edge.
I know some people will look at child labor as a societal evil that must be destroyed, but understand I would never advocate a child under 11 work full time. I would reserve such a long work week for older children. However I see nothing wrong with a 9 year old working a 30 hour week or younger child working 20 hours. Many kids play video games for that many hours per week.
Please let your Congressmen know that you support the Lee-Kimble Resolution to reinstate employment rights for children. Please join us in standing up for those too young to stand up for themselves.