May 22, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Summit Daily News "Liddick: Regulatory hits and misses"

Morgan Liddick:
"This about regulation, the good and the bad. We'll leave the ugly for November.

Recently, a small outbreak of common sense descended on Washington, D.C., a town that seems to partake more of Wonderland than wisdom.

A popular outburst among farm folk and those who represent them has apparently derailed — for the moment, at least — a really bone-headed rule from the Labor Department concerning child farm labor.

While the term “child labor” invokes images of toddlers tending power looms, that's not what's involved here. The proposed restrictions would have prevented children from doing almost any farm work, save on “family farms,” defined as a farm owned by mom or dad, or both. As an aside, this is a little confusing: A group that has no problem with Heather having two mommies doesn't think Uncle Bob should be considered family. In farm country, that's a real problem.

I grew up on a family farm. We raised hay, grapes, horses and cattle. My grandparents had a vegetable garden that, to an 8-year-old charged with weeding, seemed to stretch from the banks of the Columbia River to Cleveland, Ohio. Or at least, Boise.

When I was 12, I took command of a 1958-vintage two-cylinder John Deere tractor. I towed rotary discs, ditchers, harrows, an antique hay-baler and when the time came, a trailer for baled hay or 40-pound boxes of grapes. Friends helped; sometimes, we spelled each other driving and hoisting. Was it potentially dangerous? Yes. But we respected the equipment, understood the downside, and came away unscathed, as the vast majority of farm kids did, and do.

None of this would have been possible under the proposed regulations. Instead, we would have had to hire help; the extra cost would have forced us out of the farming business in short order. Perhaps that's what the Department of Labor had in mind, small businesses being so pesky to regulate and all....."
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"Unapologetic pursuit and tracking of patterns within the news others make since 2010."

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