My position is that child labor is not the problem, but rather it is the symptom of a different underlying problem. Merely outlawing child labor will not fix the underlying problem any more than malnutrition will be fixed by outlawing hunger.
Also see related post on Banning Child Labor on this blog.
One day an economist looked up and saw a little girl being attacked by a vicious dog, just down the street. He rushed over and saved the girl by strangling the dog.
A reporter interviews him and says, “Sir, this is a wonderful thing you have done. Did you say you are an economist?”
“Yes, I am,” says the economist.
“Very good, sir,” says the reporter, “this will be our lead story tomorrow, and the headline will be ‘Radical libertarian economist saves little girl from vicious dog.‘ ”
“Well, I’m not that radical,” says the economist. “I’m really more of a classical liberal.”
The reporter scratches his head and says, “Well, we’ll come up with something. Whose views would you say you are closest to?”
“Oh, I suppose it would be Milton Friedman,” says the economist.
Next day, the economist buys the paper. Across the front page is splashed: “CHICAGOITE KILLS FAMILY PET!”