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Making the Decision

Sample Response:

After analyzing the costs and benefits, I would pass the bill that ends child labor. Economically, the state of our country lies in the hands of these children. If they are not educated now, they will have difficulties advancing and helping society. Children need to be able to socially interact with other children. They also need to grow in a healthy lifestyle. Working in factories does not provide an interactive and healthy lifestyle. Politically, it seems to make sense to support those with money to help ensure my reelection. However, if this bill helps the greater good of society, then perhaps I could gain a larger support base.

Which of these ideas did you discuss in your response? Check all that apply.

Making the Decision

Children Working on a Textile Machine, 1909.

In five to six sentences, use what you have learned to answer the following prompt.

After analyzing the costs and benefits of continuing child labor or passing a bill that prohibits child labor, which option do you think is the wisest decision, and why?

Be sure to include examples of economic, social, and political costs and benefits.

Identifying Political Benefits

As president, you know that eventually your term will end and you will run for reelection. You also know that the United States needs to become more industrialized in order to compete with other countries. In addition, you enjoy seeing the rise of industry and the development and advancement of new technology. You also need to remember the people who will help you get back into office. Typically, the wealthy factory and mine owners will donate money to your campaign, but only if you give them what they want. They want child labor to continue because they want to make as much money as possible.

What are the political benefits of continuing with child labor? Check all that apply.

Child Labor and the US Economy

What is the effect of child labor on the US economy?

Identifying Social and Economic Costs

Some children begin working as early as age seven. Most of them work fifty to seventy hours per week, making it impossible for them to attend school. This puts our country in a difficult situation. If children do not attend school regularly, they cannot find better jobs when they become adults. They will only earn low wages, and they will not have as much money to spend, making it difficult for them to improve their standard of living. This could affect the overall economic health of the United States.In addition, children who work all of these hours do not have the time to be children and play. Their health begins to decline, since they are spending the whole day in dirty factories instead of outside in the fresh air. As president, you need to decide if this is an issue that the government needs or wants to take on. In the end, would eliminating child labor improve society and the American economy?

What are the social and economic costs of continuing with child labor? Check all that apply.

Identifying Costs

According to the chart, the total amount earned by a child working in a factory was   per week (working six days per week).

According to the chart, the total amount earned by an adult laborer working in a factory was  per week (working six days per week).

Identifying Benefits


According to the chart, what are the benefits of using child laborers instead of adult laborers?

Identifying the Decision


You are the president of the United States. You have been watching the country evolve from an agriculture-based economy to a more industrial one. More and more factories are choosing to employ young children. You wonder whether this is a benefit to American society. You must weigh the pros and cons to make a decision on a bill that will make child labor against the law.

Things to think about include:

  • The pros and cons of using child labor versus adult labor for businesses and the economy
  • The social and political costs and benefits of using child labor

According to the scenario, what decision do you need to make?

Analyze the cost benefits of passing a bill to eliminate child labor.

In this assignment, you will apply your knowledge of analyzing costs and benefits to make a decision.

You will:

  • analyze the cost and benefits of passing a bill to eliminate child labor.
  • identify economic, social, and political pros and cons.
  • make a wise decision about what do for the greater good of the United States.
Children Working on a Textile Machine, 1909.