Teen Unemployment Panic

Teen unemployment is 21%. But why do we care? Kids shouldn’t work anyway. It adds to adult unemployment and reduces their attention to their schooling, which should be their top priority.

12 thoughts on “Teen Unemployment Panic

  1. Indeed, child labor laws were about reducing the number of eligible workers in the workforce, but who can afford to pay for them anymore? Such a stupid economic structure we have….

  2. This one's quite funny, Ted.

    In the future, the right might start clamoring for children's "right to work." Given that even before this current "recession," the working class's income has been stagnating for 30 years, it seems certain that families are going to need more than 2 incomes to make ends meet (even if Mommy and Daddy are both working 50+ hours a week).

    Rather than raise the minimum wage, we can lower the age limit on employment and at the same time call it "work study," which in turn will allow us to further cut education spending!

  3. Aaron, that's another way of saying "ya know, a moderate amount of institutional slavery is a good thing."

    What perhaps you mean, and what perhaps is the more accurate issue, is that the market should not be dictating the activities of children, because their activities should be governed by notions of constructive child development and the process of intellectual, social and physical maturation into adulthood.

    As it stands now, the average age for full emotional maturity in America is 45, and many people simply never make it. Children who experience trauma growing up (physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the household) often have an enormously difficult time maturing, as well as children of parents who abuse alcohol or other drugs, despite often times having children of their own earlier in life.

    Certainly, "work," as with school work, is a learning experience. But the profit motive needs to be very methodically and deliberately removed. But if we do that, maybe this kids will grow up to believe the profit motive needs to be removed in other aspects of life (like healthcare, warfare, governance…).

    Oh my god, then we're suddenly raising a generation of communists! No, we better not give children good environments for development, access to education and health care. If we do that, they might grow up to impose their socialist ideas on society. Better to stick with economic fascism.

  4. It's unfortunate that I know quite a few people who want to encourage their kids to get jobs, rush through college (Focusing on technical education), etc.
    It's ironic that Clinton and Reagan jiggery-poked the unemployment statistics to remove some who might otherwise be considered unemployed, but still include the unemployed teens…

  5. Shrinking the workforce doesn't reduce unemployment. It just shrinks the economy. Over the long term, unemployment is exactly where the Man wants unemployment to be at. It's one of the easiest phenomena to manipulate. The key thing to understand is that a certain number of people have to be unemployed all the time in order to maintain a "buyer's market" for labor, with workers having to take whatever they can get, which is the way the Man likes it.

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