eli5: this concept about child labor


So, I’ve been watching a few videos about child labor that I need for a scholl project. This one [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUDJNwHngVI](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUDJNwHngVI) caught my attention, most specifically in a part in which a solution mentioned for this issue is to “adopt institutions that support economic freedom, private property rights, and the rule of law. What does this exactly mean? And how does it help with solving child labor? Please help me, I’m so nervous, and be as detailed as possible. Thank you!

In: 2

1. economic freedom – meaning that you have enough choice and jobs where the parents can make money so the children don’t have to work.
2. private property rights – this one is a big vague, but this means that people can own property and have their property rights defended by the government (instead of the government just taking their property without cause or allowing other people to).
3. rule of law – means actually having and enforcing laws that prohibit child labor.

That is basically saying having a liberal “western” style society, where everyone and everything (including the state and its agents) are subordinate to and subject to the law, where the state and the upper class cannot arbitrarily violate people’s rights or get away with crimes.

Think about all the massively corrupt countries in the world. Corruption is mostly illegal in these places. Why does it persist? Weak rule of law. The government and the wealthy can violate the law without consequences. They can take from and extort the people, force them to do what they want for employment. Similar with child labor. It is almost universally illegal, but that means nothing if the law is not respected and enforced on the perpetrators.

This is the standard (and probably correct) response for why so many shitholes around the world never seem to get better. The West has a strong and mostly uninterrupted history of rule of law. Westerners are usually naturally outraged when their government acts clearly improper with respect to basic law, which in most places is actually much older than the country itself. Even the scummiest western politicians wouldn’t contemplate super flagrant displays of contempt for the law and the limitations it places on their power. It is theorized that this state of affairs is a basic requirement for a highly-functional free society, which is what is probably needed to actually create and enforce child labor laws.

Do keep in mind the source you are pulling from here. The host introduces himself as the Director of the Free Market Institute in the Youtube channel of what is an overtly Libertarian organization with a stated agenda to preach those virtues.

This channel is literally the propaganda arm of an ideological group. [Someone has spent significant money to film and animate this video to deliver this ideological message](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Humane_Studies#Organization_and_funding), with seemingly no expectation of it being paid back (they arent exactly dropping a Patreon link at the end). You cant necessarily take what they say in good faith, especially since those three ‘solutions’ for Child Labour are what a Libertarian wants to happen anyway, those are central pillars of Libertarian thought.

As for what they actually mean by those solutions, all three are standard Libertarian talking points for what is good to grow an economy, which they posit will eliminate child labour.

– Economic Freedom, ie less regulation, lower taxes, etc. It means companies and individuals face fewer restrictions in how they can spend their money and operate their businesses. This would actually be an argument *against* having Child Labour laws, but the video isn’t going to state it directly despite being fairly pro Child Labour in a realist sense.

– Private Property Rights, means that whats your is yours and mine is mine and we are free to do with that property as we wish. This is another way to say lower taxes and regulation, but also against nationalization of industries as free-market libertarians view the government taking and operating an industry as a bad thing inherently.

– Rule of Law, basically saying that laws are followed and enforced evenly and honestly on everyone in a non-corrupt system. Which is fine, stability of law is good circumstances to grow an economy… though if you follow Libertarian thought to its conclusion you get corporate controlled governance and private police forces for hire so whatever really, I don’t trust this is really what actually want beyond having the police defend the stuff and rights of the capital holders who fund these kind of institutions.