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Old 12-19-2011, 05:38 PM   #16
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Of course not, those children should be in school instead of working.

But whose fault is it that exploited child labor exists? What can you do as an individual to control that, or to control extreme poverty, for example?
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:40 PM   #17
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He was more talking about 14 and 15 year olds as I recall, but anyway, suggesting that the way to give kids from underprivileged communities a 'work ethic' is to fire the sort of sniveling unionized adults (like, say, their parents or neighbors) who clean schools for a living and force 14 and 15 year olds to work with hazardous chemicals and heavy equipment instead is outright farcical if you ask me. What kind of conservative advocates a scheme like that?
makes perfect sense to a conservative; the poor kids clean up after the rich kids. this is the way things have been through most of history. I agree that it is wrong though.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:58 PM   #18
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He was more talking about 14 and 15 year olds as I recall, but anyway, suggesting that the way to give kids from underprivileged communities a 'work ethic' is to fire the sort of sniveling unionized adults (like, say, their parents or neighbors) who clean schools for a living and force 14 and 15 year olds to work with hazardous chemicals and heavy equipment instead is outright farcical if you ask me. What kind of conservative advocates a scheme like that?
Exactly. He was basically trying to strike up the fears a lot of old people have of young minorities and the hatred a lot of conservatives have for unions by killing two birds with one stone: let's show these poor kids that they should be cleaning schools for minimum wage and teach those unions a lesson at the same time. Otherwise, the kids will deal drugs and unions will take your money away.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:18 PM   #19
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Well the quote from the debate didn't specify age or school, just that child labor laws are"stupid".
You're right, I just checked a few articles from the time and in fact the closest he came to specifying age was the claim that if "you go out and talk to people who are really successful in one generation, they all started their first job between 9 and 14 years of age" (which actually children, with parental approval, can still choose to do in the case of paper routes and babysitting). If the implication of that is that he envisions 9-year-olds taking on a school janitor's job responsibilities, that only makes it even stupider.
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makes perfect sense to a conservative; the poor kids clean up after the rich kids. this is the way things have been through most of history.
In the form of the government creating jobs specifically for children by displacing the adults who support them from work?
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:31 PM   #20
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Yeah, I mean, I have been working since the age of 12, but never once I was used as a political pawn to displace someone else from their living, which is basically the suggestion here. I also was never told I needed this job or I'd end up only learning how to live as a criminal.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:37 PM   #21
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You're right, I just checked a few articles from the time and in fact the closest he came to specifying age was the claim that if "you go out and talk to people who are really successful in one generation, they all started their first job between 9 and 14 years of age" (which actually children, with parental approval, can still choose to do in the case of paper routes and babysitting). If the implication of that is that he envisions 9-year-olds taking on a school janitor's job responsibilities, that only makes it even stupider.

In the form of the government creating jobs specifically for children by displacing the adults who support them from work?
I didn't say it made sense; only that to some conservatives it would since it "teaches" kids a work ethic and replaces a job done by someone who makes a certain amount of money deemed to be too much with someone else who makes less money deemed to be more in line with what they think a job like that should pay. It's a very American radcon way of thinking.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:50 PM   #22
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I'm not sure if I've ever seen the complete quote or not, but I assumed he was advocating giving kids the legal ability to work as assistant school janitors if they WANTED to, not forcing kids to be the janitor of their school, whilst kicking poor old Bob the Janitor out on the street.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:45 AM   #23
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What he proposed was that "[m]ost 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.” He didn't elaborate on the tasks involved, what the age range of the children doing this would be, what the eligibility criteria might be, whether they'd be choosing to do this job or if there'd be some sort of nudge involved, whether the necessary child labor law reforms would be limited to school janitorial work, etc.

The federal government actually did create *new* (elective) positions as assistant school groundskeepers for 16-to-18-year-old students during the Great Depression. Obviously he's not going to suggest something like that though, because it'd require more public funding, not less.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:53 AM   #24
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I'm not sure I have a problem with that idea, so long as the age criteria isn't like...10 or something, and as long as the labor wasn't dangerous.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:51 AM   #25
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If it were a reasonable idea, high schools in states where school janitors aren't unionized would already be doing it. Just fire all your adult janitors save the most experienced one, and invite your 16-to-18-year-old students (who're already legally eligible anyway) to apply for a minimum-wage job emptying trashcans, dusting and mopping, operating and maintaining boilers and HVAC systems, stripping and waxing floors, repairing electrical fixtures and furniture, sanitizing the cafeteria, unclogging and disinfecting toilets and sinks, removing snow in winter...school janitors do all these things and lots more, it's not a housekeeping gig. How are you going to get all this done with one full-time adult--who's also doing all the requisitions for cleaning and maintenance supplies, etc. in addition to training and supervising--plus a (frequently changing) group of teenagers who are in school most of the day 5 days a week? And remember, your goal is to SAVE money, so it won't do to carve out a couple diddly-squat student positions doing the simple stuff while still having to maintain a crew of more $ea$oned adults to do the bulk of the work. Even with 16-to-18-year-olds, the whole thing is wildly impractical, above and beyond the moral and political unsoundness of opening up a dedicated 'children's job' niche by laying off higher-paid adults then presenting it as some kind of community poverty remediation program.

(ETA: Re-reading one of your posts upthread, I realize my sloppy wording "...force 14 and 15 year olds to work with hazardous chemicals and heavy equipment..." may have created some confusion--I meant that of necessity those would be aspects of their jobs were they to replace all but one of the adults. Not that I assumed the entire student body of the school would become paid janitors!)


Anyhoo, I'm off to catch a plane...Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:24 AM   #26
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If I were a middle aged white guy, I'd totally abuse my position. Luckily I'm... wait, what?
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:40 AM   #27
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I'm not sure if I've ever seen the complete quote or not
Go back and read the quote in it's entirety, it's full of offensive generalizations(they only have a work ethic if it's illegal) and full of stuipid ideas. Would you want your child working as a janitor at 13, taking their ability away to do extra ciricular activities, study, etc basically perpetuating the cycle that that's what they will be when they grow up?
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:41 PM   #28
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thehill.com

Gingrich: Poor kids have bad work habits ‘unless it’s illegal’
By Jonathan Easley - 12/01/11 04:35 PM ET

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday that “really poor children” have bad work habits and no knowledge of how to make an income “unless it’s illegal.”

Doubling down on his argument that children in poor neighborhoods should be employed as janitors in schools, Gingrich argued that the best way to teach children in poor neighborhoods good working habits is to put them to work as soon as possible.

“Start with the following two facts,” Gingrich said Thursday at a campaign stop in Iowa.

“Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works, so they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday,” Gingrich said.

“They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ unless it’s illegal.”

Gingrich said every successful person he knows started working at an early age in explaining his position that schools should hire poor children in their neighborhoods for part-time jobs as assistant librarians or assistant janitors.

“I come around to this question,” he said. “You have a very poor neighborhood. You have kids who are required under law to go to school. They have no money. They have no habit of work. What if you paid them part-time in the afternoon to sit at the clerical office and greet people when they come in? What if you paid them to work as the assistant librarian?”

“What if they became assistant janitors and their job was to mop the floor and clean the bathroom?” Gingrich added.

Gingrich has skyrocketed to the top of national polls, but many Republicans wonder if he’ll self-destruct under the spotlight of the campaign. A former House colleague of Gingrich, noting his penchant for controversial statements, told The Hill this week that Gingrich’s hand is always “six inches from the self-destruct button.”

The comments from Gingrich echo the argument he first made in November, when he called child labor laws that might prevent the hiring of school children as janitors as “stupid.”

“This is something that no liberal wants to deal with,” Gingrich said at the time. “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.”
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:51 PM   #29
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I'm glad he's not generalizing at all. What a load of crap!
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:52 PM   #30
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If I were a middle-aged typical white guy...



Hillary Clinton would be president.
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