Arkansas recently rolled back its child labor laws so that children under sixteen do not need a work permit. Looking at the huge smile on Sarah Huckabee Sander’s face while signing that document surrounded by children who looked ashen by the decision made me cringe. She believes this eliminates the parent’s burden on getting their child a permit to work. Did she decide that after the Labor Department found over a hundred children working in a few hazardous Arkansas facilities or before?
We should all be asking ourselves why. Is it that many red states’ unemployment rates are lower than the blue states? California, not shocking since it is the size of a country, has the most robust economy.
Our borders are lined up with people leaving their countries for a better life. There are countless reasons. We have more immigrants in the United States than any other country. There will always be some evil characters, but I want to believe most of these people want to work, get their children educated, and feel safe.
We have a worker shortage crisis. There are plenty of immigrants ready, willing, and able. Many industries have had a massive loss of workers in the post-Covid retirement period. AI will not fix the teaching crisis, the bus driver crisis, the air-traffic controllers crisis, transportation workers (that means construction, too), and other industries.
In Arkansas, the children are no longer safe. Why are we not figuring out a way to process immigrants through our system and place them in states that need more of age workers? That would, in turn, build the economy.
The future of the United States, or any country, depends on the size of its workforce and the productivity of those workers. That does not mean putting 13-year-olds to work but sending them to get educated.
Arkansas is rolling us back in time, and how can we not ask ourselves why, why, why, why?