The Value Lesson of Playing Video Games
My first job was mowing lawns. Around age 11/12, I picked up where my older brother dropped off (after he got a job at the local pizza place) and started my neighborhood circuit mowing and bagging grass. Sometimes it was for pay, and sometimes for barter. I actually used to push the mower about a half mile up the hill to mow the lawn of a retired professor who tutored me in Latin so I could get through high-school.
I also had a paper route for a couple years, and I used to not only deliver the papers, but then I’d go around collecting money and living off the tips I made. As soon as I was old enough, I started at Wendy’s for minimum wage and worked my way through the rest of school and into college… you get the point.
The ability to work for my neighbors and make money was key to my learning the value of hard work for reward, and it gave me the basics of dedication that I still utilize today to power through jobs that I dislike. So I’m especially sensitive when I hear that the government would like kids to not risk injury and just stay inside while adults do the work around town.
The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.
Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”
“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”
I’ll admit that this isn’t about mowing lawns, or throwing circulars on the front stoop… at least not yet. This is all about the government deciding what work can be done in what cases in a fairly arbitrary fashion just because it thinks it can. If you think I’m over-reaching, note in the article this little gem:
The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.
Go read the whole thing. Please. This is about government control of labor at levels that would send the ACLU screaming of we were talking other “family and home-based practices.” I guess, ‘get out of my bedroom,” is cool, but, “get out of my field,” isn’t.
At this point, we’re just down to telling kids to play video games in between bouts of jumping jacks, and wait until they graduate from a government-funded college arts program before they try to get a job. Well, if they haven’t started getting that ethic well before then, I can see why they won’t get a job then, either.