The first section of this Article presents a picture of child labor throughout American history. It looks at child labor from the turn of the century to date. This section helps the reader understand the extent of changes in child labor over time. The second section presents a summary of federal and state child labor laws. This section shows that attempt to control employers who exploit children have changed only marginally. The third section of this Article explores social science data on the pros and cons of teenage employment.

This section focuses on the issue of teenage greed. First, the section explains what social scientists know and do not know about the consequences of teenage employment. Second, this section considers whether it is fair to label teenagers "greedy." This section considers alternatives for reacting to child labor problems, such as educating parents, allowing teenagers to be free to choose their lifestyles, and seeking government protection for teenagers and society.

The Article concludes with a proposal for revising our child labor laws to react to the most prevalent kind of teenage employment today. Our proposal limits the number of hours most teenagers could work, but provides opportunities for more extensive employment in environments that are good for teens and society. It questions the uniquely American assumption that high school students should have serious commitments to the labor market. Our Article asserts that although the picture of the child laborer as a spoiled, self-centered teenager does not trigger the same emotions as the picture of the child laborer as a poor, overworked waif, the problem of teenage greed is much more pervasive today and needs a quick but thoughtful remedy.