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Gingrich's Absurd Jobs "Plan": Replace Union Janitors with Child Laborers

 
 
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 Newt Gingrich, at a speech at Harvard's Kennedy School, in response to a question about income inequality:

"This is something that no liberal wants to deal with," Gingrich said. "Core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization against children in the poorest neighborhoods, crippling them by putting them in schools that fail has done more to create income inequality in the United States than any other single policy. It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid.

"You say to somebody, you shouldn't go to work before you're what, 14, 16 years of age, fine. You're totally poor. You're in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. I've tried for years to have a very simple model," he said. "Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they'd begin the process of rising."

He added, "You go out and talk to people, as I do, you go out and talk to people who are really successful in one generation. They all started their first job between nine and 14 years of age. They all were either selling newspapers, going door to door, they were doing something, they were washing cars."

"They all learned how to make money at a very early age," he said. "What do we say to poor kids in poor neighborhoods? Don't do it. Remember all that stuff about don't get a hamburger flipping job? The worst possible advice you could give to poor children. Get any job that teaches you to show up on Monday. Get any job that teaches you to stay all day even if you are in a fight with your girlfriend. The whole process of making work worthwhile is central."

So, in short: Gingrich wants to ditch "stupid" child labor laws that were enacted to protect young children from grueling, inhumane work hours in unsafe environments, fire all the union janitors at elementary and middle schools, and hire poor nine-year-olds as scabs? The whole concept would be laughable if we didn't know Gingrich believed it was a good idea. Fortunately he will likely never be president. Here's another amazing quote from this speech, via Politico:

The former House Speaker acknowledged that it was an unconventional pitch, saying, "You're going to see from me extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America and give people a chance to rise very rapidly."

How very Swiftian of him! Newt, Soylent Green is people!

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at November 21, 2011, 2:58am

 
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