"Conservative campaign to strip child workplace protections." - WaPo
Billionaires get richer by lobbying Republicans to relax labor laws that protect children. Desperate families forced to send their children to work in dangerous conditions rather than get an education. Welcome to the real world American Hunger Games.
See how the game is played with this StoryMap. Click on the map for how to contact the Republican rep in your area who is rolling back laws that protect child labor from exploitation.
Real Life American Hunger Games
Rolling back safety regulations
"Lawmakers in Republican-led states are proposing and passing legislation to roll back child labor regulations. In states like Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas , newly passed or pending laws allow companies to hire children without work permits and allow children to work longer hours under more dangerous conditions in places like construction sites, meat packing plants, and automobile factories." - NPR
In the past two years, lawmakers in at least 11 states have sought to loosen child labor laws to help employers fill empty jobs, even as federal officials and news investigations suggest that many minors working in manufacturing, meatpacking and construction jobs are being exploited or hurt. - USA Today
“Federal and state entities should be working together to increase accountability and enforcement — not make it easier to illegally hire children to do what are often dangerous jobs. No child should be working in dangerous workplaces workplaces,” said Labor Solicitor Seema Nanda. - Washington Post
Billionaire funded lobbying groups
Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) and its lobbying arm, the Opportunity Solutions Project, lobby Republicans to relax regulations that prevent children from working long hours in dangerous conditions. The FGA played a central role in designing a new Arkansas law to eliminate work permits and age verification for workers younger than 16. Its sponsor, state Rep. Rebecca Burkes (R), said in a hearing that the legislation “came to me from the FGA.”
Since 2016, the FGA’s Opportunity Solutions Project has hired 115 lobbyists across the country with a presence in 22 states , according to the nonpartisan political watchdog group OpenSecrets. The FGA has called cutting social safety nets ... including youth employment with little to no oversight from the government ... white paper previewed talking points for lawmakers. - Washington Post
American Hunger Games
"In The Hunger Games, social inequality occurs at all levels: throughout the nation of Panem, among the twelve districts, and among the inhabitants of any given district. It is this inequity that breeds strife and creates the main conflicts of the book. In Panem, for example, wealth is heavily concentrated in the hands of those living in the Capitol, and the result is that they can’t even comprehend the lives of the poor.
The citizens of the Capitol don’t realize that the inhabitants of the districts are just as intelligent as they are—and just as capable of feeling—because they lead such drastically different lives. It’s this lack of understanding that allows the citizens of the Capitol to dismiss the suffering of the Hunger Games as entertainment: they don’t view the tributes as real people. They see them, via the “reality TV” of the Hunger Games, as a means of entertainment." - LitCharts
More Perfect Union (MPU)
MPU helps working people to be seen and heard in media coverage. More justice. More accountability. More power for the people. A More Perfect Union.
More Perfect Union Action is a registered District of Columbia 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. Our associated organization— More Perfect Union Foundation—is a registered District of Columbia 501(c)(3) nonprofit organized for educational purposes. (This StoryMap uses a short clip from an MPU video about child labor exploitation.)
TakeAway: Stop billionaires rigging the system to get richer by bending the rules so they can exploit child labor. Elections have consequences. Next time, vote for a Democrat.
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Image credit: The Hunger Games