Robert A. Teegarden's Blog

April 27, 2012

Farm-Ruling See-Saw by Obama Administration

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Robert @ 12:46 pm



In this short piece, the Department of Labor has apparently withdrawn its efforts to extend child labor regulations onto the American farm… at least for now.  Admittedly, the see-saw by Secretary Solis and Mr. Obama is due in no small part to the news going “viral” via the Internet, a medium and media Mr. Obama does not yet control.  But one still has to wonder why? Why American small farms?  Why these youths?  And why the see-saw now, in a pre-election period?

This political teeter-totter is an odd duck, but not new to this administration. The unambiguous voices of Americans rose up and said “no” once the news got out.  But why back down now if it was important enough to bring up in the first place?  Didn’t they consult with farm folks before even suggesting such regulations?  Didn’t they measure the response before issuing this edict?  Apparently not.  Was that simple oversight or an attempt to sneak something through before folks found out about it… just because they thought they could?

But what was the need in the first place?  Are these kids missing school?  Apparently not.  In fact, they’re probably among the better achieving students in America’s schools.  Early-to-bed, early-to-rise seems to work!   Are these kids missing toes?  Apparently not.  In their own reporting, the government noted a substantial drop in injuries due to farm accidents between 2001 and 2009.  But they did note the need for “federal oversight.”  They wanted to replace the FFA and 4H safety programs with a required federal version.  The local programs were obviously working.  And the government wanted to replace them with…?  That’s like asking the US Postal Service to help Fed Ex out of a jam.

I’m reminded of something Ayn Rand once quoted in Atlas Shrugged. “There’s no way to rule innocent men.  The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.  Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them.  One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.”

Part of the iconic American dream was saved this time.  But these are pre-election days and votes count.  Without the constraint of an election, however, who’s to say what kind of wedge might be driven into the heart of the American family.


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