Maine Gov. Paul LePage hadn't made a secret of his support for legislation weakening child labor laws. But at a town hall meeting last Friday he really made his case, in comments flagged by Maine blogger (and Daily Kos user) Dirigo Blue.
Of course, even in the process of supporting a backwards leap of about a century, LePage gets it wrong. He describes the bill affecting 14 and 15 year olds, when in fact it lowers wages for people up to 20 years old and eliminates the limit on hours a 16 year old can work on a school day.
And, in classic LePage fashion, he draws a dubious lesson from his own past:
I went to work at 11 years old. I became governor. It's not a big deal. Work doesn't hurt anybody.
The director of public policy at the Maine Women's Lobby tells Amanda Terkel:
"Just look at the studies linking increases in substance abuse, delinquency, on the job injury and teen pregnancy with teens working long hours -- I think it is a big deal, and yes it does hurt somebody."
But hey—if Paul LePage could work at some undefined job at age 11 and go on to be elected governor of Maine with a whopping 38% of the vote, clearly that's the best path to success for everyone, statistics be damned.