Last week, the White House abandoned proposed changes to labor rules that might have kept young people working on farms quite a bit safer. It was a move widely characterized as a cave to political pressure from Republicans and some Big Ag-friendly Democrats.
Sarah Palin added her two cents to the public discussion by posting a note on Facebook -- with her signature poetic subtlety -- entitled, “If I Wanted America to Fail, I’d Ban Kids From Farm Work.” It has since been “liked” by over 8,000 people. In it she seethed:
The Obama Administration is working on regulations that would prevent children from working on our own family farms. This is more overreach of the federal government with many negative consequences. And if you think the government’s new regs will stop at family farms, think again.
Opposition to the updated regulations hinged on the argument that they would hurt family farms, stirring fears of the Feds swooping in to arrest Farmer Joe for sending Joe Jr. out to milk the cows in the morning. But the new rules would not have applied “to children working on farms owned by their parents,” as the U.S. Department of Labor clearly stated when it announced the proposed changes.