I want to explain something to you about labor unions.
Labor unions didn’t fight for weekends and 40-hour work weeks because they were concerned with procuring you more leisure time. And they did not press for child labor laws because they believed that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Nope. Unions fought for these things specifically for one purpose and one purpose only: To restrict the availability of labor.
Why? Simple economics. If workers are available 168 hours a week, supply is up, and that labor comes way cheap. But, rule #4 of supply and demand sez this:
If supply decreases and demand remains the unchanged, then it leads to higher price and lower quantity.
Cut back on the amount of labor that is available, and labor costs more.
Child labor laws are not about children. They are about protecting the value of work. They are about wages. They are about helping to insure that your labor, yours, as an American laborer, is worth more.
Now. You might have heard, but Newt Gingrich, who is the current front-runner for the Republigoat nomination for the Presidency of these Untied States of America, thinks that child labor laws are stupid.
Promising “extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America,” Newt Gingrich said Friday that he would fire school janitors and pay students to clean schools instead.
Speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Republican presidential candidate and former speaker of the House challenged laws that prevent children from working certain jobs before their mid-teens.
Gingrich blames “the core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization” for “crippling” children.
“It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, in child laws, which are truly stupid,” he said.
”I tried for years to have a very simple model,” he continued. “Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they’d have pride in the schools, they’d begin the process of rising.”
To the average person, Gingrich’s declaration sounds somewhat distasteful, or, perhaps even just plain batshit crazy. But. Remember what I shared with you in part A of this blog entry, you know, the part about child labor laws actualy being a way to limit the supply of labor and therefore to make labor cost more. Then realize for a moment that the forces that support ol’ Newtie would probably prefer it if labor didn’t cost so god-damned much.
Of course Gingrich thinks child labor laws are “stupid.”