These children are working in their own community, and I don't think that the employers exploit them. When one of them dies with a debt, the community as a whole repays it.
On Fri, May 04, 2001 at 11:47:00AM -0700, Kevin Robert Dean wrote:
> This will be my last post of the day, I promise!
> Amish seek child labour exemption
> Leaders of a tiny American Christian group, the Amish,
> have appealed to a US senate hearing on workplace
> safety for a change to child labour laws to allow
> teenagers to work in sawmills and woodworking shops.
> Centuries-old Amish tradition allows teenagers to
> serve apprenticeships in sawmills and woodworking
> shops, but the Labour Department is opposed to the
> idea because of safety concerns.
> US federal labour laws prohibit children under 16 from
> working in manufacturing operations such as sawmills
> and children under 18 from working in other
> occupations deemed hazardous.
> Amish children only attend school until the age of 14
> and the Amish want the law changed so that when their
> sons leave school they can legally work in family
> owned shops and learn the trade that will provide
> their livelihoods as adults.
> "You try to teach them learning by doing and that is
> the way of the Lord," said John Byler, a sawmill owner
> from Harrisville, Pennsylvania, who was fined $3,000
> four years ago for employing teenagers.
> But Thomas Markey, acting administrator of the
> employment standards administration's wage and hour
> division, disagrees.
> "Young workers' inexperience, smaller size,
> immaturity, and lack of training make employment in
> the woodworking industry even more dangerous," he
> The Amish, who call themselves the Plain People,
> generally shun modern conveniences such as
> electricity, telephones and cars.
> Relgious freedom
> They have traditionally worked in agriculture, but as
> farming became less profitable, many began small
> businesses, especially manufacturing of wood and
> leather products and quilt-making.
> Senator Arlen Specter, chairman of the senate
> appropriations subcommittee on labour, said changing
> the law to accommodate the Amish is a matter of
> protecting their religious freedom.
> Mr Specter, said he may propose such a change as an
> amendment to the education bill that the Senate is
> It would be the first time that this issue has been
> put brought up in the senate.
> Tax contributions
> Earlier this week, a bill was passed that would
> increase retirement options for the Amish.
> The bill would allow the Amish to deduct from their
> taxes contributions to retirement accounts.
> The Amish have a religious exemption from the social
> security system because their doctrine precludes them
> from accepting money from social welfare programs.
> Many of the laws governing retirement savings are
> linked to social security taxes.
> Some 150,000 Amish live in America and Canada, with
> Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana having the largest US
> Amish populations.
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices
-- Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University Chico, CA 95929
Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu