Down on the farm

The geniuses who think you are too dumb to tie your own shoes are at it again. In a nanny state gone wild, the U.S. Department of Labor is seeking comments on a proposed expansion of child labor regulations — on the family farm. This has not gone unnoticed by farm state officials

What makes these proposed regs so egregious is not their goal, which is admirable: protect from accidental death children working on farms. What is egregious is that the regs would apply to the children of farmers who are working on their families’ farms.

What is the problem, one may ask? That is, how dire is the problem? Let’s consider some numbers. Firstly, an estimated 300 children die each year in farming accidents, in a population of about 1.7 million, i.e. 17.6 per 100,000.

Bad enough, but does this rise to the level of the government telling families what their children can and can not do on their own property? Stated differently, how bad is the problem, how bad is this rate of accidental death?

Not that bad, at least when compared with many other things that cause the deaths of children. According to this data, child suicide accounts for about the same death rate. Strokes (yes, strokes in children) cause almost five times as many deaths. Stomach cancer is almost as deadly.

The point is, we are a frail species, and many things can kill us before we are ready. Life on the farm can be harsh, but is it really more dangerous than living in a drug-infested inner city neighborhood? In fact, it’s a lot safer, and, here’s the kicker: if we regulate “child labor” within the nuclear family, where, if anywhere, does government stop telling you how to live your life?


One thought on “Down on the farm

  1. You do realize that Romney would sign legislation this type of legislation if it hit his (Presidential) desk, right? As would Santorum.

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