In the article When Republicans win, Children Lose at Nuts and Dolts, the author gets it wrong on two key issues.
State Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-MO) proposed a piece of legislation that would have repealed child labor regulations, and according to the author, this is a reason to celebrate:
There are so many reasons that this is bad policy and so many much better ways to teach children a work ethic. The reason child labor regulations came to be is because children were exploited. Employment meant poor working conditions, minimal pay and insane work hours. The absence of regulation as proposed by Senator Cunningham, means that young children could be forced to work instead of going to school.
In terms of teaching children a good work ethic, again, there are much better ways then going back to the days of Oliver Twist. Young children can learn a good work ethic through developing good study habits. For young children, school should be their job. If the question is learning the value of a dollar, again, current labor laws make it possible for children to learn this lesson.
Where to begin? Nothing in a repeal of child labor regulations would there be a mandate for child labor instead of going to school. In fact, school regulations would keep children in class until age 16 at least. Who would be doing the forcing?
I’m not sure what century the author lives in, but this isn’t the 1830s. Today we have fancy new gadgets called computers, where people can create from the comfort of air conditioned homes/offices, papers can be filed, and other menial tasks can be done without resorting to kids working their lives away in a factory.
Let alone the fact that said kids would be making a “living wage”—much more than slave labor or even the wage that they would have received when the labor laws were put into effect.
And just what profession does our author have where he could learn “good work ethic” from studying?
Again, this is just a bunch of bogus arguments to support his position, and the argument that “some kids would work late” and “employers could take advantage” again assumes that we’re going to employ orphans or something, instead of children with parents who could say “Hey Johnny, you’re working too much at this job… you need to reevaluate your priorities.”
Because part of learning responsibility is learning when to say no.
Then our author turns to Texas—specifically a bill that’s meant to protect those that don’t tow the line when it comes to the Darwinian theory of origins.
As a matter of general principle, I agree that people should be protected from discrimination in the work place. This applies to people who’s opinions contradict fact, science and logic.
In terms of the effect on education, I’m concerned. It’s one thing to say that you believe in intelligent design, it’s another thing to present it as science. You can believe in intelligent design all you want, but ultimately this is junk science. In that sense, Zedler’s law is about something a bit more than protection creationists from discrimination. It has little to do with opening up avenues of scientific research, or teaching alternative scientific theories to evolution. It has more to do with legislating that a specific religious doctrine is and must be accepted as valid science.
Here the author is inventing things again. The law specifically says that a person cannot be fired for holding a certain belief—which has happened and was exposed by the documentary from Ben Stein—Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (aff).
Instead of tackling the issue at hand, the author wrings his hands at other groups that are being discriminated against, and then worries that Evolution might be exposed for the sham it is.
But this is what you get from public school apologists, who are being challenged because schools are failing and the culture at large declining. They defend the status quo instead of seeking to fix the problem.