Does Child Labor Help Children in Poverty? – Learn Liberty

Does Child Labor Help Children in Poverty? – Learn Liberty

Haleema is an 11 year old girl. She works in a Bangladeshi
garment factory. She has to process Hanes underwear. She clips loose threads up
to a 150 pairs per hour. She’s paid 53 cents a day for her efforts. Are we doing something wrong by buying
the products made with her labor? I’m Benjamin Powell. I direct the free market institute at
Texas Tech University where I’m also an economics professor I’ve spent
over a decade studying sweatshops and child labor in poorer
countries around the world. We feel bad when we buy
products made with child labor. But most children who work in poorer
countries don’t work making us products. They work in agriculture or
household services. It’s only a small minority that
work in manufacturing, and those manufacturing jobs tend to pay
better than working in agriculture or services, and in the case of agriculture,
injury rates are higher for children. When we stop buying products
made with child labor, it doesn’t cure their poverty. It just pushes more children into
these other less desirable sectors of their economy. US Senator Tom Harkin proposed
banning imports from Bangladesh because they were made with child labor. In response,
thousands of child employees got laid off. According to Paul Krugman, many of these
became child prostitutes or starved. These are clearly worse alternatives. many people think child labor
doesn’t exist because we have laws against it today. But when we were as poor as these
countries are in the third world, we didn’t have laws against child labor, and the laws we had,
weren’t restrictions at all. It wasn’t until 1938, that we had our first national anti-child
labor law here in the United States. By then, our incomes were up over
$10,000 per person in today’s terms. But when we look around the world
today countries that have incomes of $10,000 don’t have
any child labor anyway. Children don’t work because their
parents are mean or stupid. They work because they’re
desperately poor and they need the meager income from
the child to feed all of the family. As the process of economic development
happens incomes go up and children cease working and then only later do countries
adopt later that prohibit child labor. If you want more children to go to school
instead of work, donate money to a charity and pay children to go to school
because the reason that they’re working is that their families are so poor that
they need that meager income to survive. The real cure for child labor is
adopting institutions that support economic freedom, private property rights,
and the rule of law. When that happens, the process of
economic developement occurs, and child labor is ended all on its own.

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63 thoughts on “Does Child Labor Help Children in Poverty? – Learn Liberty

  1. 16 years of NAFTA and other free trade deals have shipped our manufacturing overseas and put Americans out of work. We get cheap underwear, unemployment.

  2. Child labour is a good thing. It is a real education, and they get money to buy what they want. The issue is full of disgusting Marxist lies from people looking to profit politically from emotion.

  3. I won't lie, I had a thought about this before. Not to this extent of detail, but after thinking I realized if these shithead companies didn't exist, these kids'd just starve.

  4. I disagree, look at the city of Rapture and see what happens when government do not step in to stop child labor.

  5. anyone know if the companies that buy products that involve child labor donate to those children for their education?

  6. Child labor regulations can be a double-edged sword at times. While it can help adults get better paying jobs, it can prevent a young adolescent from getting convenient part-time work to help the family.

    Plus in the US, we now have a huge portion of the younger generation who are quite self-entitled as if everyone else owes them something just for existing and who get extremely whiny when they learn they have to deal with the realities of working smarter as well as harder not to mention emotionally "triggered" when they hear something they think is hateful even if it is scientific and factual.

  7. paul krugman? ewwwwwwww!!!! Fuck that evil son of a bitch, he's a piece dog shit with a diploma

  8. This is a great example of unintended consequences. Child labor, and/or sweatshops to make cheap products might be bad, but it is currently their best alternative, so getting rid of it makes their lives worse off. If only people would understand this principle more often. It relates to so many things, where the government does something out of good intentions but has disastrous results.

  9. Goodness, we have CEO's paying themselves hundreds of millions (even if they fail and destroy their company) and here we are saying that child labor is where we should be cutting costs.

  10. The worst kind of appeal to promote global trade. Just look at the state of the human condition.

    The places we're doing much of this trade isn't for things Americans necessarily "need" or cheaper products, and some of these labor conditions have terrible health consequences for their workers, including death(not necessarily health-related). This doesn't lift people out of any conditions that weren't already imposed on them..

    Where are the incentives and disincentives for their politicians and business leaders to make good decisions? The way US business interests manipulate your government and tax dollars to do their "business" in some parts of the world is to encourage their dictator henchmen to intimidate their citizens, deprive workers of sleep, beat them at times, and sometimes murder and raze entire residential areas to keep the locals in line from fear. I guess it's a bit better than being attacked or detained mistakenly by American forces.

    Does trade do well in some places? Yes, but I would say it's much less than even a quarter of the trade we engage in that is actually going towards doing anything for ordinary people. And don't get me wrong: We all love affordable goods. But there is nothing to say that any of these factors somehow create more innovation or really make the world a better place. What we're really talking about is aristocratic leverage of power and you're part of it no matter who you are. Sometimes it might be better to know about everything that happened in every transaction, hear the stories of those that did the actual work, and how manipulating numbers for someone else's benefit is mostly all there is behind many of these business practices and the provisions in trade pacts.

    If you truly consider yourself a libertarian, you have to ask yourself at some point where actual individual rights fit in outside of guns, property, trade, and screwing your neighbor. There never seems to be a question of necessity or common interest. And just recognizing that that exists is not any more socialism than saying you have to protect your border. I'm talking about legitimate awareness. This is about being the creatures at the beginning of '2001: A space Odyssey' and Roman spectators. Both sound poor but humans need to evolve further than just being mind and body slaves to a pecking order as well. Most of the time we don't seem much different than those primate creatures depicted, which is quite pathetic considering how arrogant the "human" race is..

  11. Leave it to a white man in a suit to tell you that there shouldn't be child labor laws.I'm sure Powell also doesn't believe in a minimum wage and opposes workers unionizing for better pay and working conditions. This is why gingers don't have souls.

  12. Do not give me this bull shit . Like this Chanel but let's be real. The only reason these company's are operating in these nations is the low wage and lack of regulation . My issue is not kids working my issue is with the working conditions of these factory's. Come on I ask you show me a factory in the us that has suiside nets.

  13. in Thailand child abandonment is a huge issue, there's a muay Thai master who adopts these children, gives them food, shelter, water, a bed, as long as they help him with his farm…he trains all the children how to read and the art of muay Thai, when they are grown up they must leave and make their own way, most of these kids come out masters and go all around the world opening schools, one of those kids was my master who is well known and runs a very profitable gym in southern California, would humanitarians feel better if there are laws against this?

  14. So i come from a country that has child labour (Pakistan) and I've seen child labour up close and personal. And here's some thing the video missed out, child labour only occurs because people in poorer countries have little access to family planning therefore often have a large families and are unable to feed their children furthermore since poorer countries have no safety nets or welfare if the house holds income earners dyes or falls ill the children often have to work.
    sweatshops do offer better pay and working conditions compared to alternative such as farm work or recycling rubbish where kids are often over worked and sexually assaulted.

  15. Or maybe, just maybe, if all the rich westerners stop buying products manufactured by these countries, these countries will be forced to reform their laws even faster. But that would be rediculous. After all, rich westerners need their cheap clothes made by exploited children who are too busy working in sweatshops to go to school.

  16. Child Labour laws are dumb, anyway. The premise is that children can only be forced to work, and therefore any company hiring children has to somehow be forcing them into it aka Child Abuse.

    Children can work if they want to work. Most of them may not want to. That's fine, too. Cases of Child Abuse need to be handled on an individual basis, not with a blanket law like this.

  17. Y'know what, I made a mistake bothering to comment in response to other comments below. Everything I could offer is already in the video. It's right there, kids. Just let in in…

  18. Did the USA not bring in labour laws, including minimum age products crossing state lines and other laws to end such exploitation? Surely compaines in America sending goods to other counties that break these laws is scandalous? If Bangladesh had their own company/products and then shipped the goods to USA I would get your point, but USA compaines exploiting lax labour laws of forigen counties to sell their goods cheaper and make more profit, u are seriously defending that????

  19. Something that would definately help is to stop pulling down developing countries. To see what I mean, go watch the documentary "Neocolonialism in Africa".

  20. By the 18th century, the colonies were probably the richest area of the world. By the late 19th century, the US economy was larger than the other major industrial countries combined. The US also has extraordinary advantages, unmatched anywhere. Sweatshops in the US in the early 20th century were a shocking scandal – and the least of it. US wealth and privilege is based to a very large extent on a century of hideous slave labor camps. And more. Known to scholarship, but not the popular culture.

    There was no need to tolerate throughout US history, and there’s no need to tolerate elsewhere right now. It’s part of the general elite policy choices designed to enrich the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the defenseless.

  21. Capitalism is fucking disgusting. The fact that someone can make a point that "child labour in manufacturing is ok because otherwise they would be prostitutes and treated even worse," shows how fucked up this system is. Maybe workers could be paid a wage equal to the effort they put in, rather than fat pig CEOs taking millions in profit from the slave labour of poor people with no other options, while they sit on their ass and make no contribution at all.

  22. Okay but here's the thing though: because they can hire children for less, companies are less inclined to hire the adults. Or are these jobs not wanted by adults even when they're starving? Or do they pay children the same?And what about the incentive for parents to birth as much children as possible in order to have as much income as possible?

  23. I expressed a similar opinion before and got the question: 'Would you want your kids to work in a sweat shop?' I said yes. I would rather my children work and eat than starve.

  24. What if we could pool our money and assist by sending it to other countries to make sure that they provide education, food, and housing to children. Then the organization that provides these funds could use their collective power to enforce proper spending of these funds. We could call this "international aid", the enforcers could be called an "oversight committee" and we could call this pooling of fiscal resources "taxes". Strange that these terms sound familiar, but are fought so hard by those on the right.

  25. Why can't the parents provide their kids with schooling and food? And don't these companies make huge profits off of these kids, why don't they send them to school in return or give the parents higher wages? Oh yeah… they don't cause if they do that, they'll lose their only incentive of setting up a factory there…… extremely cheap labour, that btw, is available out of the desperation of these people to survive. Their means of survival is all gone when the corporations and the powerful privatize and control the land and resources that the majority need to live on.

  26. Child labour is banned, not child labour products. Still child labour exists because wide income inequality exists.

  27. We in the west should be ashamed of ourselves for buying our stuff so cheaply. We should demand that labor used to make our stuff be paid enough to feed, raise a family and send children to school. Children that are economically denied a proper education will never break out of poverty.

  28. Have you considered that without child labour, the demand for labour would increase, wages would increase and the standard of living would be higher. I think you want to make excuses for child labour because it is convenient for the capitalist story and to keep prices low.

  29. agrees with rule of law. but that is something rarely happen in somewhere like bangladesh etc. so wish it is that easy. even somewhere nearer eg russia and mexico, a place should be easier to abolish still have plenty because no rule of law

  30. A business that finds it impossible to pay an adult a living wage is actually bankrupt. Allowing it to resort to income from crime, no matter where in the world, only postpones the sentence of the market. It is a just sentence. Contracting foreign manufacturers that pay less than the living wage in their own country is properly understood as a form of financing crimes such as slavery (or the exploitation of dependents, including children). A maniac could argue that his sponsors are actually saving the kidnapped slaves from starvation, but that is because he/she has neither shame or reason.

  31. This channel promotes child labour than scholarship through education. Child labour creates a huge supply of cheap labour which fills the pockets of the capitalists. This channel isn't "learn liberty" it's "learn slavery".

  32. There is nothing wrong with child labor. People have the right to decide what’s in their best interest. Children with the aid of the family should be able to seek out employment. A job is way of self empowerment. Yes, labor in a manufacturing field can be dangerous but as this video said, labor is not relegated to manufacturing. Instead in this country kids are forced to go to schools that they don’t have any interest in and as a result search for purpose through means, such as gangs.

  33. Not only does child labor help with immediate poverty, it also teaches responsibility and self-reliance much better than schooling. By the time child laborers reach adulthood, they have way more work experience than anyone who stuck through the school system until then.

  34. Its probably okay if your mowing the loan or something but with a lot of these jobs they are very dangerous and a kid can't really make an informed decision about weather or not he wants to take the risk of doing something dangerous,. It just isn't fair to the kid and I honestly do believe it should be banned, also if children do not at least complete high school then their protects for social advancement will be severely limited perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

  35. Ugggghhh I think the age for working should be a lower age because I think not to young cause I want it to be consensual maybe like 10 to 12 you can start working instead of 15

  36. what a bunch of HORSE SHIT!!! you sound just like what i would expect an economy professor to sound like. you are a disgrace to your profession. i guess if i was researching the subject of people murdering children, i would find an idiot that would point some benefits of child murder. i bet there is an idiot somewhere in the world saying stuff like "it helps keep the population growth under control". or "it is better to have them ended quickly, than to let them suffer poverty and have them die slowly over a long period of time". the result of child labor is millions of unemployed adults, shitty wages, abysmal working conditions and loads of workplace accidents. it took centuries of struggle and thousands of beaten and shot workers and union members to get child labor outlawed. children (and even young adults) do not have their character formed and are unable to stand up for their rights. they are not prepared to fight and die for what they believe in and are easily frightened and manipulated due to the lack experience and knowledge. saying that children get injured more often while working in agriculture than in factories is simply a lie. saying that child labor is ended "on its own" when economic development happens is complete and utter HORSE SHIT. child labor is ended when thousands of working adults get beaten up and killed by the police and the military while protesting for centuries. child labor is not ended on its own. if no action is taken by the workers and the unions, working conditions just get worse and worse while profits for employers get higher and higher. there are millions of pages of history on that subject and the pages are filled with blood and struggle of the working man. child labor was not ended by economic prosperity, politicians or factory owners. it was ended by the working man. and the working man had to pay for the end of child labor with his blood. "the real cure for child labor is adopting institutions that support economic freedom, private property rights and the rule of law". no, it is not. the real cure for child labor is to fight against institutions enable endless freedom for businesses and corporations to do whatever they want in your country (and in other countries), to buy property and natural resources at unrealistically low prices and without any obligations (in terms of environmental issues, workplace safety, taxation etc.) and to literally buy laws by giving huge sums of money (much, much bigger sums than what they get from citizens as wages) to politicians. not only do you need to fight against such institutions in your county, you need to fight against them in other countries as well. you need to care about what happens to people and workers in other peoples countries. you need to care about who is waging war on another country and turning it into a haven for those that want to exploit the misery of other people and their children, because this affects you and your working conditions directly. india was the greatest industrial force in the world, before the industrial revolutions, when the key industry was textiles. then the british east india company got control of the entire country and forced it to undergo a period of deindustrialization and prevented it from taking part in the industrial revolution. as a result, your customer care job (or information technologies job, or telecommunications job, or textile factory job etc.) is being paid less or is being completely outsourced to india.

  37. Not every child does it voluntarily or because they have to for their living a huge ammount of kids are being kidnapped and forced to work (example cocoa industrie chocolate all over the world) what your opinion about that?

  38. Low wages, unsafe working conditions and factory disastrous are excused because of the jobs they create for people with no other alternative. Yes, sweatshops jobs may be the safest option but it should not be the only option. As customers we need to demand safe and fair working conditions, companies have the money and resources to build better factories and pay fair wages- they only choose not to because so much of the world is either blind to the truth or chooses to justify it with BS like this.

  39. I can’t believe this a video about excuses for CHILDREN LABOR and the people are OK with it WOW the companies don’t care about nothing but Gaining MORE MONEY wake up ur being PART OF THIS

  40. I hated every second of this video.


    So, this how you are comforting your conscience? Why don't we discuss why those countries are so poor that their children have to work? This is just so American.

    This is not liberty. This is not humane.

  41. So capitalism DOES need the government to keep it in check in the forms of regulations. Laissez-faire cannot run in perpetuity.

  42. I think he missed the point on purpose. I do not care about children working. Kids work on farms, in their family's stores etc. The issue is the conditions that they work in and the fraction of pay that they receive for it. Yeah it's great to get my sneakers so cheap, but why do we think that the only way to make that happen is to exploit labor or raise prices? How about these beneficent companies take a hit in the P&L and skip on beating last year. Slavery, child labor, income equality all make perfect economic sense, but that doesn't make them right. This sounds like some of the same justifications for slavery. The slaves would starve without us giving them work and keeping them fed. You can suggest good effects in any negative situation. The Mongols killed 60 million people, because of them the forests absorbed 700 million tons of carbon dioxide, and they saved future generations (of the dead 60 million offspring) from overpopulating regions of the earth. YAY Mongols?!?!?!?! GTFOH

  43. Libertarian opinions are unpopular to the right and left. I've talked about libertarian views to people and many times that generated a very heated debate. Left and Right wings are about ideology. Libertarians are about logic, regardeless of what your sensitive heart says.

  44. Okay, so basically: We just let children work until at some point the "market" decides it needs to end.


  45. I always knew something was wrong with my teacher when i was in year 6, she told us never to buy products without the fair trade label on them. Whenever i told her that the sweat shop workers needed the money more, she either scolded me or changed the topic

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