Child Labor Is Now Legal in the US
By: STEVE FRASER
In 1906, a Native American chief visited NYC. Asked about his surprise, he noted, "Little children working.
Child labor, vital for early industrial America, exploited children due to cost, resistance, and simpler machinery.
Child labor declined due to Progressive movement, labor unions, and legal changes, now widely seen as repulsive.
Child labor resurgence alarms as lawmakers aim to weaken or repeal protections against child exploitation.
US child labor up 37% (2015-2022). 14 states weakened work rules, hours, dangerous tasks, and youth wages.
Iowa permits 14-year-olds in laundries, 16-year-olds in various labor, lifting restrictions on child labor laws.
Wealthy backers fund FGA, Koch Foundation to weaken child labor laws across states, impacting California.
Legislators offer weak excuses, claiming work will reduce screen time or empower parents, despite risks.
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