More and more states are loosening child labor laws to allow teenagers to work in positions that were deemed too dangerous for them for decades. And those teens are now paying the price, as multiple children have been killed in factory accidents in the last few months. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: More and more states are loosening child labor laws to allow teenagers to work in positions that were deemed too dangerous just decades ago. You know, this stuff that they’re doing is too dangerous. And now it’s all, it’s okay. Teens can work wherever you wanna work. Right?

Farron Cousins: And they’re getting killed. They’re getting killed by sticking their arms into this heavy machinery, trying to clean it out. They’re getting killed in the logging industry up North. They’re getting killed, we’ve had three in five weeks, three teenagers, 16 year olds who are now able to work in these jobs that just a few years ago were legally off limits. But we’ve got all these lawmakers say, we’ve got a labor shortage. Let’s fill it with the kids. What’s the worst that could happen? Well, this is the worst that could happen. Children are dying doing things that, again, a year ago would’ve been illegal for them to do.

Mike Papantonio: 16 year old died in a logging business, Wisconsin. Shouldn’t have even been doing what he was doing. 16 year old died, pinned into a conveyor belt in Missouri, should not have been doing, trying to clean the conveyor belt. 16 year old died in another conveyor belt in Mississippi. And so, but what’s interesting about this is Missouri, Wisconsin, some of these states are lobbying right now, big time to make this legal because they have all this influx of immigrants, right? They wanna take these immigrant kids and say, well, you know, you don’t have mommy or daddy. Why don’t you come work for us? I mean, that’s what’s happening. They’re putting these kids in these dangerous jobs.

Farron Cousins: That is a lot of it, obviously, because that’s always been the best source of renewable labor. You know, and you and I have talked about that a hundred times. You know, you bring them in, you don’t have to give ’em any training. A lot of them aren’t necessarily legal. So you don’t have to even pay ’em the legal amount. And then if they get hurt, you say, well, what are you gonna do? You can’t sue me because you’re here illegally. So we ship you back. We bring in the next guy.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. No compensation. Lost an arm. I’m sorry, Johnny. Your career working on conveyor belts is over. Yeah. You’re 16 years old. We’re gonna have to ship you back to Nicaragua. That’s why the US Chamber of Commerce loves this. That’s why the US Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries are saying, hell yeah, come on across the border. It’s inhumane what they’re doing to these people. But corporate media looks like it’s something benevolent. Like this is all benevolent United States. Bring us your tired and hungry. No. Bring us your people who are willing to work in jobs where they could easily be killed, maimed, die on the site and then ship ’em back. Those are the people we want. And that’s what nobody, the corporate media won’t talk about it because it sounds too ugly, doesn’t it? It doesn’t sound politically correct to really tell the backstory. That is the backstory. It is ghoulish. And that’s what’s happening to these kids. 160,000 kids, 160,000 kids injured on the job last year. Okay? We’ve got, with the major border crossings with taking these kids in and having them go to work, it’s gonna be triple that in two years.

Farron Cousins: Oh, it absolutely will. And part of the reason we also see this big push is because, you know, a bit morbid is something nobody wants to talk about, we lost over a million Americans from Covid. Most of those working age people.

Mike Papantonio: Interesting.

Farron Cousins: And, so we do have a huge labor deficit. You know, I know the numbers of unemployment’s at a 50 year low, but we have so many open positions because we just let the workforce die.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So you got folks, you got an aging population, right?

Farron Cousins: Yep.

Mike Papantonio: You’ve got the covid issues. We haven’t had a major war that’s knocked out. Of course, you know, it’s interesting when you hear Kamala Harris and some of these folks talk about, the climate change. They say the biggest problem we have, we have to lower our population. Have you heard that talking point that we’re, there’s too many people.

Farron Cousins: I’ve heard it from, from some nutty folks.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Yeah. There are too many people out there. So maybe as we analyze this, I’m thinking that your point about we have to replace the job market is all about folks coming over the border, especially kids, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah, absolutely. And plus, you know, you mentioned the war factor. Look at everybody who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, you know, in the early days of that 20 years ago. Those people going over there, 18, 19, 20. They’d be my age right now, members of the workforce. But oh, guess what? Now they’re not because we lied to ’em, told ’em they had to go find WMDs and they went to their graves 20 years ago.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.