The Corner

The Creeping Despotism of the Obama Agenda

This is beyond infuriating:  

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

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.

How even the most liberal Democrat could possibly support this kind of tyrannical invasion of privacy and personal liberty is beyond me. I’ll never understand how people who sound off all the time about the “right to choose” can be so at ease with the federal government running every aspect of their lives. Why don’t they just get it over with and declare a Committee of Public Safety with unlimited powers?

When I was a child growing up in the Cuban-refugee community of South Florida, we’d often take summer trips to visit my mother’s cousin, Jorge, who had married into a family of American dairy farmers near Tampa. He lived on a 3,000 acre spread brimming with dairy cattle.  I was probably 8, 10, and 12 the times we went to visit him and his family. He’d wake us up at the crack of dawn and take us out to the barns to start doing our chores.

It wasn’t because he needed the help. It was because it was good for us. But now the Obama administration decides that it’s better for children to watch television or surf the Internet than to be outside in the fresh air learning solid work habits and personal responsibility. 

But I guess that makes sense: When you want to create a society of indolent dependency on the entitlement state, you should start early.  

Maybe there’s a silver lining here, however. The Obama administration is demonstrating irrefutably what the Framers of our Constitution knew intuitively — that a federal government with unlimited power to regulate the economy is just a tyranny in waiting.

Mario Loyola — Contributing editor Mario Loyola is senior fellow and Director of the Center for Competitive Federalism at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. He began his career in corporate ...

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More