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 is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management Program of Florida International University, and a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute of George Mason University. The opinions expressed in this column are his alone.


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