“We don’t allow children to work until they’re 16, but two years later, when they’re 18, they can go to war and fight for us,” LePage said. “That’s causing damage to our economy. I started working far earlier than that, and it didn’t hurt me at all. There is nothing wrong with being a paperboy at 12 years old, or at a store sorting bottles at 12 years old.”Actually, 14- and 15-year-old kids can work in Maine, provided they have a work permit issued by the superintendent of schools. There are limits on where they can work, mostly aimed at potentially dangerous workplaces, and what hours they can work, especially during the school year. And no, children under 14 are not allowed to be employed under Maine law, except in agriculture, where there are no age, hour, or occupational restrictions. LePage is wrong on just about every front, in other words. Not that this is anything new or unique from him; he's currently also on a tear about the possible past misuse of a tiny fraction, less than one percent, of the state's welfare benefits in a way that has since been prohibited.
Paul LePage, ladies and gentlemen: When he's not complaining that child labor laws are too strong in a way that shows he doesn't know what they are, he's complaining about extremely rare alleged abuses that were banned months ago anyway.