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The Department of Labor and the ‘Child Labor Tax’

author Published by Jared Culver

A working theory of government is that they can reduce undesirable behavior by taxing it. When the government wanted to reform the health insurance industry, they imposed a tax penalty for citizens who refused to buy health insurance. The government taxes early distributions of retirement savings accounts because it wants to discourage early withdrawals. This brings us to child labor and the question of why the government treats child labor like an early withdrawal from an IRA. 

There is no doubt that a child labor crisis is ongoing in America and that the Biden Border Crisis largely drives the crisis. Additionally, it must be noted that the Biden Administration is knowingly trafficking unaccompanied alien children and is more focused on covering up their actions than stopping the crisis. 

If you want to know why the Biden Administration is eagerly feeding the child labor crisis, just listen to Biden officials. Impeached Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas testified to Congress that the border surge alleviated the fictional labor shortage. Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell said that increasing immigration is helping keep inflation down. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Xavier Becerra (apparently thinking of running for California Governor), spoke openly about creating an assembly line of unaccompanied alien children being quickly processed to the first warm body that would take them. 

It is in this context that you can understand why the Biden Administration is treating business owners who abuse child labor more like a guy who withdrew from his 401K early, as opposed to treating them like the robber baron criminals that they are. 

Under the belief that it is better to show than tell, here are some child labor investigation results from the Department of Labor (DOL):

  • Recently, in Alabama, a restaurant chain called Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers was caught exploiting 149 children over 7 different locations and was fined a mere $119K. How long will it take the 7 locations to recoup that fine? 
  • Monogram Meat Snacks (founders of the Monogram Foods Loves Kid Foundation) was fined $140K for placing children in dangerous work environments in violation of the law. Compare that fine with Monogram celebrating surpassing $1 billion in revenue in 2021. I am sure that fine really hurts. 
  • A Baskin Robbins Franchisee was fined $49,833 for employing 64 kids over 8 locations.
  • A Jersey Mike’s Franchise owner was fined $108K for employing over a dozen children in four locations.
  • Owner of 20 Burgers, Shakes and Fries was fined $11K for employing 13 children.
  • The largest Bojangles franchisee was fined $27K for a second round of child labor violations.

These are not punishments that signal disgust with violators and determination to deter future crime. This is clearly a slap on the wrist for a “process crime.” Biden’s DOL is treating child labor traffickers as if they were caught doing 10 mph over the speed limit. They certainly aren’t even treating them like they were speeding in a school zone. 

Why is DOL not referring cases of child labor to the Department of Justice (DOJ)? Why does DOL not use debarment from immigration programs as a punishment? Surely, those who would hire illegal children are also likely to abuse other workers they import. Every employer busted for child labor should have their name known across the immigration landscape. Does DHS even have an awareness of the offenders found by DOL? 

Most of the links above are for DOL investigations from this calendar year. I will not keep listing stories to avoid turning this into a novella. Suffice it to say I have the receipts. 

Sometimes, we must connect disparate dots to fully understand what is happening in real time. The dots here are that the Biden Administration is knowingly facilitating child trafficking, and then Biden’s DOL is treating child labor violators with kids’ gloves. This is in a context where President Biden and top officials publicly champion their immigration policies as helping ease the fake labor shortage. 

If you are helping the trafficking of children and effectively not punishing child labor violators, then what is the conclusion other than you are seeking the exploitation of children in the workforce? At the very least, no one can credibly claim that you are acting in any way to stop it. When the profit from committing the crime is higher than the punishment, criminals will choose to profit from the crime. Industries across the country are profiting from child labor while Biden seeks new ways to import more children faster. 

The child labor boom we are witnessing will be a stain on this era historically. Children are being maimed or killed in night shift meatpacking plants and falling off white hot roofs while the Biden Administration demands more immigration to cure mythical labor shortages. And what can America expect from these exploited children when they grow up? Hurt people hurt people. The countless stories of lost innocence will be the legacy of Biden’s Border Crisis.

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