I don't know if, for example, Maine Governor Paul LePage, or his TeaParty cronies, really think child labors laws are beyond the pale, or if they are just posturing to promote that they are in favor of a "business-friendly" (and not, um, "child-friendly") environment. But let's say they win--fine. Let's be honest--if kids aren't working, they'd only be in school, and we all know education is totally costly. And teachers! Let's not even think about what it costs to educate our little "looters" and "useless eaters"! Once you've determined that they aren't a special class (and who needs that kind of designation? Not people who can't vote, have no money, and no power, that's for sure!) why have any special laws for them at all?
Education? And healthcare? After all, why do we bother with states providing Medicaid for children--couldn't they get jobs that gave them benefits, if they had enough hustle?
Obviously, I'm being sarcastic and facetious. I think we all should understand why children should be protected and invested in. Our society depends upon their success, and it would be stupid of us as adults to do anything short of nurturing, protecting, and educating them all to be productive citizens to the best of their and our capacity. But back to the weird, Tea Party approach to children:
A Republican state senator in MI, Bruce Caswell, has proposed that children in foster care should only get clothing from thrift stores. No, really:
Critics of Republican plans to severely cut the state's deficit-laden budget are seeing shades of Charles Dickens in a proposal by a State Senator from the Hillsdale area. State Sen. Bruce Caswell wants to see the state's clothing allowance for foster children to be spent only at thrift stores. The Department of Human Services gives families an $80 annual stipend for clothing. Caswell said state money set aside to buy clothes for foster children and children from families of the working poor is used in the most effective way. “I never had anything new,” Caswell told Michigan Radio. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was -- and quite frankly it's true -- once you're out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.” The Michigan League for human services says the idea sacrifices the children's dignity for the sake of saving a few dollars.He's lying. I wore Salvation Army clothes as a kid for awhile--and yes, the other kids do know. They know your clothes aren't in fashion. They have eyes. And the kids themselves know where those clothes came from. And is there any reason on this earth why kids who aren't sure of even having a home should be made to feel like they can't even have clothes someone else didn't wear first?
And no, this proposal about thrift store clothes doesn't even relate to a price tag--it isn't about saving money--it's about grinding down disadvantaged young people. Nice. For a value of "nice" that means "negative nice to the most not-nice degree".
Look, I'm not anyone's mamma, but I am a big sister, and I just want to smack some heads about and holler at the GOP--"Pick on someone your own size!" Okay, they hate the unemployed, old people, disabled people, people who need organ transplants, women in general. But why in hell pick on kids? Kids!
Seriously, GOP. Don't pick on kids. And I didn't even talk about minorities, GLBT and immigrants--but--kids? Get out. Picking on kids?