Whatever will we do without child labor?
Posted Wed, Mar 3, 2006 at 4:45 am
In October, Mark Krikorian of CIS testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary about "Comprehensive Immigration Reform II" (cis dot org/articles/2005/msktestimony101805o.html). As their recent actions show, they weren't paying attention:
Lobbyists for business will disagree of course, but their claims of doom and gloom are nothing new. Forty years ago, for instance, California tomato farmers said that their industry would cease to exist if the foreign-labor program of the time – the Bracero Program – were ended. Instead, farmers invested in harvest machinery, causing output to quadruple and the real price of tomato products to fall.There's a whole series of propaganda articles that bring yesterday's child labor into a modern context starting in "The Guardian: American crops rotting in the fields".
Fifty years before that, the textile industry predicted disaster if child labor were ended: in fact, at a Senate hearing in 1916, one mill owner said that limiting child labor would "stop my machines"; another said "investors would never receive another dividend"; while a third said that ending child labor would "paralyze the country."
America's economy has done just fine without child labor, and it'll do just fine without more foreign labor...
...It's time to try something new: Attrition through enforcement.