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  1. Child Labor; why is it illegal?

    #394472012-09-26 11:03:16 *eterno said:

    I know most of you modern folks think that "Duh, of course!" but try to think a bit further, why was it ever legal in the first place? Know that the people who made it law are people with moral values like you and me.

    Now then, you might think that the laws are really old but in reality they weren't. While children had been put to work since the beginning of human civilization, the law itself was only put into place when factories went up and suddenly the childrens' work became more dangerous than tilling the soil or making horseshoes. Also, while kids can play on the farm, they certainly couldn't play in the factory.

    But today, we certainly don't need kids on factories because they are automated (and outsourced to China anyway). Children have become so spoiled nowadays that they become fat and their brain either rots or as is the case in Asian countries, focused solely on maths and social interaction also went kaput. proof<>^v

    So I was thinking, why not put them to work? Of course by work I don't mean exploitation but rather genuine, honest work that these kids might enjoy. And by work I don't mean schoolwork but rather real bona fide work.

    It's an interesting thought too that the fancy private school that my sister wished to attend had a rule that every student must work (by work here they mean internship to a real company (and by internship, they mean paid internship because they need to learn how to handle money or something, hence 'work'). Of course she bailed on it because seriously, wouldn't you? (The money is shit btw but to HS students they must have worth a fortune)

    But yeah, I don't think that modern working environment can kill children like they use to and education is pretty much just to get the college degree anyway. So rather than the college culture we have today (which is a total waste of time unless you're doing anything technical), we should have a work culture.

    Of course general education shouldn't be flat out ignored but rather integrated into the work. Put kids who are into science in the science labs, I know that there's even a middle-schooler master brain surgeon and we need people like him rather than the idiot doctors who are only in it for the money and botch his operation. Instead, that kid surgeon will have to wait 100 more years to get his MD and medical license while non-brain cutting people are around him and certainly not going to help him when he's cutting people's brains.

    What do you guys think? I know it has to be heavily regulated but flat out illegal? I mean, earning your own money could be one of the greatest rewards ever and is certainly better than getting free stuff from your parents. Not only that, kids are also spared from the silly stuffs like 'bills' and 'taxes' too.

  2. #394482012-09-26 11:50:35 *Ethereal said:

    I have to agree a bit that this would help. One thing I've noticed is that as we "progress" and move forward in life, people are getting on with their lives later and later. It used to be extremely young, then it became to about sixteen or eighteenish. While plenty of people still do by those ages, I feel overall people are getting started much later. Now it's not just even twenty years old, but I see many people get started as late as twenty-two.

    I think if children worked a little more, as you said perhaps thrown in with their education, that they would be able to get started in life much earlier and have an actual feel on how the real world works. I think this is definitely needed for our civilizations to progress rather than decline, which I feel is the direction we have been going.

  3. #394492012-09-26 12:36:55 *TokoyamiSenshi said:

    You start the moment you are born, not around twenties. The real world is dysfunctional and pushing people out there earlier will only help them into the mental mincing machine that is today's society. While I agree that education as we know it wastes way too much of our time, simply shoving children to work won't be a change for the better.

  4. #397672012-09-30 17:55:40Exerides-t-5 said:

    That is a lot of change to be done. You made some awesome points. I agree, but maybe it is my American side that makes me say that I don't like it just the TINIEST bit. It is a good idea, maybe it could work, but the kids...They might revolt, heh...

  5. #672042013-12-11 21:02:32mizlily said:

    I know mothers who bring their children to sweatshops to work along side with them. Child labor should be legal to a certain extent but that would just lead to more room for exploitation. What kind of "modern working environment" would hire children over adults anyways? I honestly don't want to live in a society that has middle school brain surgeons...

  6. #672132013-12-12 07:21:19Rinneko said:

    Child labour being made illegal probably had a lot to do with it being exploited. Cheap labour and the strength to work longer hours (of course, this is dependent on the exact age).

    the fancy private school that my sister wished to attend had a rule that every student must work (by work here they mean internship to a real company (and by internship, they mean paid internship because they need to learn how to handle money or something, hence 'work').

    Intriguing. It's a pretty good idea in the sense that it allows the students to get a feel of the working world and be integrated in to it slowly. I feel the transition from being a student to being a working adult is pretty harsh as of right now. You can see many students taking their education for granted because they have no sense of what working will really be like. So this will be a nice integration.

    Personally, I would like if they brought lower the minimum working age. I've been wanting to work since a while ago but hadn't been able to try it out because of the minimum age (which is 16 here). I think children being ready to work is not necessarily decided by their age but by their maturity. However, that cannot really be gauged.

  7. #672142013-12-12 07:46:31InsaneBoredGame said:

    If we're talking about the US, major child labor laws didn't go into effect till the Great Depression. Not cause of any moral standards (not saying that there weren't ethics based organizations against it, they just weren't very effective before) but cause adults couldn't get jobs.

    The cheap labor thing comes into effect here, too. Why should you hire an adult obligated to provide for their family when children are much cheaper?

  8. #672152013-12-12 08:29:20Taro_Tanako said:

    I originally thought this may have been trollbait but it's an interesting premise.

    But, if you think work could be good for children then first ask of what use is work? The majority of adults work to earn money to survive. What's the point for children?

    Is it truly beneficial for children to learn the skills of a modern workplace? However, it would be cool to revive some of those old practical skills like carpentry, stonework, etc..

  9. #672162013-12-12 08:43:27Rinneko said:

    @Taro_Tanako Well, work is essentially to ensure survival. The children will grow up to be adults who also need to earn money to survive, yes? If they need to do it in the end, I think it would be better to ease them in to it instead of flinging them straight in (assuming that the children are not simply exploited for cheap labour).

  10. #672172013-12-12 09:31:45TeruShinozaki said:

    I agree with Taro on this one. As a person living in a third world country, I have always been quite jealous of American teenagers who have part-time jobs to earn extra cash. But over here, unemployment rates are high. Netting extra cash and simply getting a feel of the work environment is not a strong excuse for me to take job opportunities away from adults who actually need the money to provide for their families.

    Sure, these children would grow up to one day become adults who would need money to survive, but that's a ways down the road and until then, they are being provided for by their parents. What is more important, the 'survival' of children in the future— and using the term 'survival' is already a stretch since it's not even a matter of life and death, but more of preparedness, or the /actual/ survival of working adults and their families now?

  11. #672182013-12-12 09:45:43Rinneko said:

    I agree. That's a valid point. Sadly, I don't see students taking the time to see things from that perspective and waiting out on part-time jobs.

  12. #672202013-12-12 10:01:15 *TeruShinozaki said:

    Take note that my viewpoint is based solely on the fact that I have known nowhere else but my country. I'm not trying to demonize the teenagers who work part-time jobs. It's not an issue in a country with a much better economic state than ours.

  13. #672212013-12-12 10:03:31Rinneko said:

    Okay. It differs based on situations. I think it'd be interesting if people thought about that perspective more though.

  14. #672232013-12-12 13:25:09Taro_Tanako said:

    Originally, I was commenting primarily based on experience in a developed county, but yeah its a different situation in a different economy.

    My initial point relates less to social contract and worth to the general adult public, with dependants, and more to the wellbeing and worth to children. Should we rush to embrace adulthood and adult work or is there any true non-fiscal benefit in having the freedom "to play" and develop in a more organic, creative, less responsible way?

  15. #672242013-12-12 14:11:29Rinneko said:

    I suppose there would be pros and cons to either way. I'm agreeable to what @Kip said below though. It's the choice of the kid, but probably under advice of adult figures.

  16. #672192013-12-12 09:51:12Kip said:

    In the state of New York it is illegal to employ anyone who is under the age of 12, HOWEVER from 12 - 17 there are a list of specifics for hiring each child that fits into the age groups of 12-13, 14-15, and 16-17. Child Labor laws are there to protect underage children from working in hazardous conditions, such as a factory or in construction.

    It is not illegal to hire a child, but there are rules that each employer must follow, and if any of these rules are broken it CAN be considered as child abuse and a violation of human rights, which he/she can be arrested for (of course, it strongly depends on what rules are being broken).

    If a 14 year old boy wants to work in his father's Pizzeria, it is not illegal for him to do that, but the employer who hired the boy will need to follow regulations for someone of that age working. He is not allowed to earn a certain amount of money, if any, and he is only allowed to work a certain amount of hours and is not allowed to work overtime. A lot of businesses that are family owned are like that, where a relative will hire a child to help.

    Child Labor laws also differ from place to place, so what laws we have here in New York might be different than somewhere like California or the UK. Each state and country has it's own views on it.

    If a child wants to work, and the conditions are safe, I say let him work. If a child doesn't want to, let him experience what it's like to not have responsibilities until he is thrown into the adult world and needs to learn his lessons the hard way.

  17. #672252013-12-12 14:14:21 *eterno said:

    Interesting points we have here. I guess as @InsaneBoredGame and @Taro_Tanako said, about adults having to compete with the children as well. But in my opinion, there's another side to this as well.

    Before we get to the point of 'kids taking adult's jobs', there is something I need to clarify. You see, as I have looked into this situation further, it seems that what @Kip has said regarding child labor laws is the norm and indeed, kids are allowed to work under specific regulations.


    This means that the initial assumption of the thread is gone due to factual errors. But is there a point to continue the discussion because of this? In my opinion yes, because the argument still stands.

    So, let me rephrase the argument:

    Should kids be allowed to work as part of their education?"

    Note that I'm putting an emphasis on 'education' here. Basically, do you think kids should have a real working experience as part of their education?

    Let's backpedal for a moment, our current society tends to discourage kids from working and focus on their studies instead. In effect, our current education system (which I think is pretty similar throughout the world), tend to focus more on preparing kids for the next grade to the next grade until they hit senior year of HS in which they focus on getting to a good college.

    Once they get to college, finally they get the chance to learn how to work. But there's a problem: not all college can readily accomodate their students for the working environment. In fact, on some level, they do have to compete with adults for work experience when they want to apply for internships or even McJobs.

    The result? Well, as everybody has seen: college graduates are out of work. So we finally get to the point about the adults trying to find jobs thing. However, the unemployment problem is a highly complicated problem and I doubt it could be solved by one or two simple solutions that are available, which is wrong.

    Now, let's take a moment to take deep breath, exhale... relax...; now... why are college graduates are out of work?

    Well, I'm not an expert in this so let me just quote from this article here:


    Job openings increase 7%—but why is unemployment still so high?

    The Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLT) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good forward indicator of the labor market

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (or BLS) compiles data from a random sample of private non-farm businesses. Job openings are one piece of the report. The other is hires versus separations. To be considered a job opening, the business must have a specific position in mind, be ready to employ someone in the next 30 days, and be actively soliciting candidates for that position.


    Job growth is the biggest driver of the economy right now, and the unemployment rate is driving the Fed’s quantitative easing program. The activity and decisions of the Fed are probably the biggest driver of returns in the financial sector right now.

    3.9 million job openings in August, up 6.9% year-over-year

    The 3.9 million job openings are roughly flat with the upward-revised July number but still above the 3.6 million average since BLS began compiling the index in 2000. In early 2000, the index peaked at close to 5.2 million, and it bottomed at 2.2 million in mid-2009. Most sectors reported increases in openings—even the government. There are still 3.1 unemployed jobseekers per job opening.

    Implications for mortgage REITs

    Given that unemployment is stubbornly high, and the labor force participation rate is the lowest since the Carter Administration, it seems strange to see higher-than-average job openings. One of the biggest features of the job market has been a mismatch between skills available and skills required. Part of this trend is due to education—factory workers need to be more tech-savvy than ever before. Another consideration is lack of mobility—workers can’t relocate to where the jobs are. Why? Negative equity. This traps workers in areas where there’s a surplus of labor available and depressed real estate values.

    Here's the tl;dr version:

    Job openings are increasing but no one's taking the jobs!

    Why? Reasons:

    1. Mismatch between skills available and skills required. Reason given for why this is, is because even blue collar workers tend to require more skills than ever before (more "tech-savvy" as the article put it).

    2. Lack of mobility -- workers can't relocate to where the jobs are. Reason given is because of 'Negative Equity'. That is, workers can't afford to move to where the jobs are and thus are trapped in a place where they are not needed.

    Again, as I've said before, this is a complex problem and there is probably not a simple answer to this. But here's why I think getting kids to work might help:

    To help with #1: As the article said, the reason why we don't see people getting employed off the street is because they are all unqualified. Why are they unqualified? It's not that they are unskilled, it's just that their skills don't match with the demand.

    So, where can they learn the proper skills? Well by getting the job experience in whatever job is available right? Or maybe they can go to school for it?

    But first, let's ask this question: Why do people work? I mean, sure that they need to put food on the table but why do you build a bridge even though all you need is your salary? Isn't it because people need your skill to build the bridge?

    This is why I think the current schooling system (and some college as well) is a huge waste of time. Because rather than actually teaching people skills by putting them in real work situations, the system instead teaches them by having them complete artificial assignments. In the end, the students are not accomplishing any real work, but rather, the only work they do is try to get a good grade.

    Thus, many people are graduating out of college without the required skills for work. Instead, they graduate with skills required to do college assignments. This then becomes a problem because employers often are faced with applicants who can't do basic problem solving in a particular work because they are inexperienced with the problem.

    The reason why this is, is problem #2. Because people can't afford to go to where the jobs are, they have to apply for anything that is available where they live to survive. The fact that not all college are located near where the job are is also a major issue.

    And this is my opinion on this: If people are being put into work earlier, as kids, wouldn't they be able to take the jobs that are available in where they live?

    What I mean is, by allowing kids to work at an earlier age as part of their education, they then would be able to take on the available jobs when they grow up to be adults because now they have the experience and the skills to work according to what the market demands. This is accomplished by giving them jobs that nobody is taking or qualified for. Also, given the fact that kids don't demand as much as adults in regards to salary, this means that despite employing skill-less kids, the companies won't lose as much as not having anybody filling the position

    Also, I know that this won't immediately solve the unemployment problem within one generation but I believe that it will have a positive effect in the future. Because, as these kids matured they now have the right experience and skills to work in what is demanded where they live. Not only that but also it's probably a good way to introduce kids to many kinds of jobs and the working world earlier in life.

    In conclusion, I believe that our current schooling system doesn't teach people how to work and with it, the necessary skills to do the work. Thus, by allowing kids to work in jobs that are available locally as part of their education, we are properly preparing the right people for the work that are available. Lastly, I also think that it may have a positive effect in alleviating the unemployment problem in the future.

  18. #672262013-12-12 16:20:54Kip said:

    @eterno brings up some good points for discussion,

    I do believe that kids should take some kind of class in school that explores the working world more in order to prepare them, however, many students I went to high school with already had jobs of some sort.

    In college, there are College Jobs that are listed usually at the main entrance that actually PAY to help with tuition or to help with job experience, and some job offerings are actually relevant to a person's current major, like art, music, literature, etc... It is a great way to put yourself out there by applying for these jobs and get a taste of what working is like. I hear that these jobs are usually good for kids who are dorming, because commuting is easier and more convenient.

    As for internships, you normally have to be in your Junior year of college and, unfortunately, companies only take a handful of interns under their wing. You need to have a strong academic background, so they are pretty fair when choosing who they would rather teach. If you're a slacker, they aren't going to choose you. If you have trouble organizing yourself and finding time to get work done, then they DEFINITELY won't choose you. Internships are for students who are willing to give 100% into what they love and want to do, and have their lives in order. If you can show them that you are dedicated and organized, you have a better shot at getting the position.

    However, as everybody knows, almost all internships are UNPAID and in some cases can even cost you MORE money (people who are going to school to become doctors, for instance). So, in reality, the student isn't taking a job from an adult. It is part of their learning process.

    I compare internships to field trips. On a field trip, a child would learn about whatever area they were in and the history of it and unique things about it. Most of the time, field trips had some interactive part where the child would get to participate in an activity that people who work in the area get to do, or have done. Example; I once visited an old Catholic school house when I was younger for my classes field trip, and for our activity we learned Calligraphy. If you were bad and disrupted class, you had to stand in front of the room holding a log for 5 minutes.

    Most kids who complete their internships manage to get jobs in their careers after, based on their performances and if their references have given praise about them to other businesses.

    An alternative to attending Public or Private school for teenagers would be Trade School, where they will take courses similar to College courses, and learn only about the career they are interested in while also getting their general education in. I have two friends who have attended Trade School, one for carpentry and one for architecture. Both of them get a hands on experience with what they want to do, which will make getting a job in those areas easier than someone who has only taken 1 year of training (depending on their grades, that is).

    A lot of parents don't like Trade School because they think their child isn't going to get a proper education. I honestly believe that schools should only teach groups of kids subjects that they WANT to learn. If someone is going to be a musician or artist when they grow up, do they really need to learn how to do calculus? It seems rather silly. I am taking a career in art, and I've never once had to rely on my math skills to finish an animation or an illustration. If schools prepared children more for the jobs and careers they wanted to take, we would have less people applying for jobs and not getting them due to lack of experience.

    Job openings are increasing but no one's taking the jobs!

    Why? Reasons:

    Mismatch between skills available and skills required. Reason given for why this is, is because even blue collar workers tend to require more skills than ever before (more "tech-savvy" as the article put it).

    This is a perfectly good example as to why jobs aren't being taken, despite the fact that there have been more openings for people!!!

    The problem isn't children taking adult jobs, it's because most people are not qualified for these jobs. Fast Food chains never have issues with finding employees. Reason being that most of their workers are young children from ages 16 - 20 who have no experience at all and are looking for places that are close by and easy to get in to. The qualifications to get a job at McDonald's are little to none. All you need to know is how to use a microwave and ask someone "Would you like to super size for an extra 25 cents?"

    As for the transportation issue, this also falls back to the whole people not having the required skills subject.

    The people who are actually qualified for the job are too far away, and there is nobody around locally that meet any of the requirements, unfortunately.

    Allowing kids at a younger age to experience what it's like to work or to at least understand what the working life is like and expose them to their career would make a huge difference. So many kids go through this bullshit 12 year program of learning the same Math, Writing, Science format and never learn what they really want. Then they get to college and go through this internal crisis of what major's they what, what they want to do with their lives, the panic of not knowing how they're going to do it, etc... It's terrible!

    In conclusion, I believe that our current schooling system doesn't teach people how to work and with it, the necessary skills to do the work. Thus, by allowing kids to work in jobs that are available locally as part of their education, we are properly preparing the right people for the work that are available. Lastly, I also think that it may have a positive effect in alleviating the unemployment problem in the future.

    I agree 100% with this. I can't even tell you how many times I've seen people finally get the jobs they've dreamed of and then QUIT because the working life was too difficult and they had no idea how to handle it.

  19. #672272013-12-12 17:05:25Taro_Tanako said:

    Yes @Kip and yet..

    You seriously think maths and english (or another primary language dependant on geography) in not useful to EVERYONE regardless of you chosen profession? I'm not talking calculus or Middle English here but underpinning elements of these (algebraic logic, trigonometry, grammar) are sooooooo useful as simple life skills.

  20. #672292013-12-12 19:09:21Kip said:

    You seriously think maths and english (or another primary language dependant on geography) in not useful to EVERYONE regardless of you chosen profession?

    Allow me to do you a favor and spare you from reading my post again by pointing out that nowhere in it did I say that basic education is useless and unnecessary, so don't put words in my mouth.

    I said that it is silly that the educational system makes children go through the same format of classes for 12 years and barely gives them freedom to learn what they really want when they begin preparing for their college years. As I said before, I would have preferred to take more art classes because I have a career in art. I do not need fucking CALCULUS to illustrate a picture. When did I ever say that math was useless??? Exactly. Double check what you've skimmed over before you reply to something, please.

    Also, where I live, only kids who have made it into advanced classes are allowed to take courses relevant to their career choices that give them college experience, and in our last two years of school we are allowed to participate in a two year program called BOCES, which has limited spaces available for students who want to take those classes but the courses allow you to be up in personal with your interests, such as veterinarian care or computer technology. However if you've taken a class and found that you didn't exactly like it the first year then OH WELL you're stuck with taking it again.

    The classes are usually difficult but they still don't give you working experience, WHICH IS THE TOPIC OF THE THREAD NOW. So even though they are useful to helping you learn they do nothing to help you prepare for working face to face with people in a proper working environment.

    Again, how you managed to come to that conclusion is beyond me and I have read my post over and over and still can not figure out WHY you would think I said education is useless.

    If nobody took writing classes then the grammar on this fucking site would go even farther down the shitter. If nobody took language courses then most of us wouldn't even be talking to each other because we wouldn't understand one another.

    We would also be illogical as fuck because we wouldn't have logical thinking skills from mathematics. Although I'm convinced that despite most of our users having some form of basic education they are still stupid as shit and have no common sense.

  21. #672382013-12-12 23:55:11 *Rune said:


    Interesting... I know that some people say that learning a programming language is similar to, well... learning a real language

    In fact, I have a pretty cool video here showing famous programmers and their history of learning how to program. In the beginning of the video, you immediately get Bill Gates saying he was 13 when he first got access to a computer and then other successful programmers also notes how they started at a very young age. I think there might might be a correlation between children's language acquisition skills and learning programming.


    Now, imagine that applied to other fields such as medicine or art. As we all know, every field has their own working language. I think that by getting kids to know these 'working lingo' early, they will be able to take advantage of their hyper language acquisition skills to grasp concepts easier than when they have matured and in college.

    And again, usually the best way to learn a language is to use it frequently. Thus, the best way to get these kids to understand the language, they should be able to use it in situations that are relevant. Hence, why they will benefit more from a real working experience.

    There's a theory about this called the "Pedadogy" theory. Here's what Wikipedia says about it

    Students learn as they internalize the procedures, organization, and structures encountered in social contexts as their own schemata. The learner requires assistance to integrate prior knowledge with new knowledge. Children must also develop metacognition, or the ability to learn how to learn

    Basically, teaching kids to learn how to learn. Which is essential in problem solving in a working environment. If we have more people graduating with just the right amount of being able to learn things by themselves, wouldn't we have more versatile people in the job pool as well?