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Gingrich: What we need is good old fashioned child labor

by Josh K / November 20, 2011 11:39 PM PST
Gingrich: Laws preventing child labor are 'truly stupid'

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich proposed a plan Friday that would allow poor children to clean their schools for money, saying such a setup would both allow students to earn income and endow them with a strong work ethic. Speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the former House
Speaker said his system would be an improvement on current child labor
laws, which he called "truly stupid."

Man, the Republican campaigns are really the Gift that Keeps On Giving. Just when you think nobody can top the last stupid thing someone said, you're proven wrong.
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Think about it
by TONI H / November 21, 2011 1:34 AM PST

the kids would get a good work ethic going early in life, much the same way kids sell lemonade (now they freaking need permits or they get shut down) or shovel snow for neighbors or mow yards. Why not allow those who wish to earn money rather than a handout from the government via their parents actually work to get it? Oh wait...ANY earned income for a household getting freebies from the government has to be reported, thus reducing what they get via money for housing, foodstamps, etc. Yep, Dems/liberals just HATE that idea....gotta keep those people dependent on the government for everything because dependent people vote for you to keep that train comin' down the track for them.

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Oh, I've thought about it
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 1:46 AM PST
In reply to: Think about it

Putting children to work as janitors is not the way to build a good work ethic, unless you think the old days of child labor were good for kids psychologically. And my kid ran lemonade stands and never got a ticket for it.

Toni, we're not talking about teenagers. We're talking about CHILDREN being put to work. Those who wish to earn money can already do so. I delivered newspapers, walked dogs and did other odd jobs as a kid.

This isn't a liberal/conservative thing unless the new Republican tax plans now include putting low-income kids to work as part of their "reduce taxes on the rich and increase them on everyone else" strategy for improving the economy.

We should probably get rid of OSHA while we're at it, huh? Dumb federal safety laws getting in the way or people's profits....


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RE: need permit....
by JP Bill / November 21, 2011 2:31 AM PST
In reply to: Think about it

How would they know they were running a lemonade aid stand UNLESS they had a permit?...When they know the kids are earning money THEN they can count it as earned income and cut off some of the government money the parents are receiving...which is what you want.

So, do you want permits or not?

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She's alluding to....
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 2:46 AM PST
In reply to: RE: need permit....

.....a news story about an individual lemonade stand (I forget where) that was shut down by the local police because the kids didn't have a permit. As far as I know it happened exactly once.

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because when Liberals
by James Denison / November 21, 2011 4:25 AM PST
In reply to: RE: need permit....

see a kid earning money, the first thing they do is call police to complain about "child labor".

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Wrong yet again, James
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 4:34 AM PST
In reply to: because when Liberals

You're on a roll today!

Making impoverished grade school kids clean the halls and bathrooms of their public schools so the government doesn't have to pay for an adult janitor is not the same thing as having a kid do odd jobs for someone for a few bucks. Man, every time I think Gingrich has hit a new low he surprises me again.

Maybe we could save even more money by, instead of issuing bus passes, making them walk. Good for the spirit and all. Anything to avoid raising taxes on billionaires....

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What Paper Rounds?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 21, 2011 4:34 AM PST
In reply to: because when Liberals

Not at all, that's pocket money and us liberals have no problem with that. But children working in factories was banned over 100 years ago.

What about those kids for whom there are no cleaning jobs spaces available at schools because they are already filled by... kids? Send them to the factories? Send them up the chimneys? Send them down the mines?

Do you tax their income? Do they have to pay medical insurance? Do they have any rights? The children in the 19th century sure didn't.

You want to return to 'the old ways'?

Why not scrap schools altogether? Send the kids out to work straight after kindergarten.


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They already want to do away....
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 4:54 AM PST
In reply to: What Paper Rounds?

....with the Department of Education. That, the Commerce Dept, and.........what was that third one.....


Every once in awhile a discussion in SE goes from the merely eyebrow-raising to the positively surreal. Welcome to the latest one.

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Actually, if they are under 14,
by Diana Forum moderator / November 21, 2011 9:17 AM PST
In reply to: What Paper Rounds?

they are taxes at their parent's rate.


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Sorry, but I see nothing wrong with that concept
by Steven Haninger / November 21, 2011 1:43 AM PST

I don't know the particulars but I do know that some tuition based schools allow for some students to help pay for their education that way. I would want to see how such a plan was implemented to make sure the kid was kept safe and have time to do his schoolwork. If it's OK with the kid, his/her parents and the school, I'd say "go for it".

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"Tuition-based schools".....
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 1:49 AM PST

....would be private schools that the kids Gingrich was talking about would not be able to afford anyway. I don't know what pre-teen kids are doing to help pay for their own private educations.

I think Newt sees this as another way for the government to get out of funding schools. "We don't need to pay for janitors; we can get the kindergarten classes to clean the toilets after school" is what it sounds like to me.

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Money for work is money for work
by Steven Haninger / November 21, 2011 2:06 AM PST

Whether it's for pocket money or to help with tuition, the concept is the same. The person works toward some goal. Yes, it would be menial labor and you don't need to equate its loathsomeness to what an adult janitor does. That just might be considered as an insult to the janitor. They, too, do something of value.

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I think Newt sees this...
by grimgraphix / November 22, 2011 1:51 AM PST

... as a way to perpetuate conservative myths about how labor, childhood character building, etc. etc. Why does he do this? To tell people what they want to hear so he can get elected.

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The particulars?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 21, 2011 2:19 AM PST

May be this is something to do with it? "These schools should get rid of unionized janitors"

No more unions. No more expensive adult workers.

I think it's great. Let's bring back Victorian values. Child Labor, Hang union agitators. Bossess can hire at less than subsistence wages and if the workers don't like it, fire them and hire others.

Any way we can bring back chimney sweepers?


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I think Newt.....
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 2:22 AM PST
In reply to: The particulars?

.....read "Oliver Twist" and got the wrong message.

Welcome to the Republican Party, folks. Bringing 21st century America and 19th century England back together again.

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What's the real truth here?
by Steven Haninger / November 21, 2011 5:44 AM PST
In reply to: I think Newt.....

Is it kids working that you object to or is it anything Newt Gingrich suggests? Sorry to say that my guess is the later.

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Does that mean, Josh...
by J. Vega / November 21, 2011 11:31 AM PST

Josh, does that mean you are against The Work Experience and Career Exploration Program (WECEP)? The government says that it "is aimed at helping youths who are at risk for leaving school to become motivated to continue their education and to prepare them for the world of work.".

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by Josh K / November 21, 2011 9:31 PM PST

It means I'm against firing school janitors and expecting children under 12 to pick up the slack.

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that's where we agree
by James Denison / November 22, 2011 1:36 AM PST
In reply to: No

No job an adult is willing to do for pay should ever be given to a child to do, even if the law allowed it. It creates the same situation we have in several industries from the use of cheap illegal immigrant labor.

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Didn't I read that it was "The Great Depression" that
by Steven Haninger / November 22, 2011 1:51 AM PST
In reply to: that's where we agree

brought about changes in child labor laws including the age at which they could begin full time work? And wasn't that partly because some desperate adults were clamoring for some of the jobs held by teens? Wish I could find a good link but I'm sure I read that recently....maybe a Wiki article.

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Wikapedia comes through again
by Diana Forum moderator / November 23, 2011 6:57 AM PST
The National Child Labor Committee, an organization dedicated to the abolition of all child labor, was formed in 1904. By publishing information on the lives and working conditions of young workers, it helped to mobilize popular support for state-level child labor laws. These laws were often paired with compulsory education laws which were designed to keep children in school and out of the paid labor market until a specified age (usually 12, 14, or 16 years.)

In 1914 the Arkansas state Federation of Labor placed a child welfare initiative on the ballot prohibiting child labor, which the voters passed.[3]

In 1916, the NCLC and the National Consumers League successfully pressured the US Congress to pass the Keating-Owen Act, the first federal child labor law. However, the US Supreme Court struck down the law two years later in Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), declaring that the law violated a child's right to contract his or her own labor. In 1924, Congress attempted to pass a constitutional amendment that would authorize a national child labor law. This measure was blocked, and the bill was eventually dropped.

It took the Great Depression to end child labor nationwide; adults had become so desperate for jobs that they would work for the same wage as children. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which, among other things, placed limits on many forms of child labor.

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I object to Newt's idea....
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 9:30 PM PST

...because it's Dickensian and, to use his own word, stupid. But let him run with it; Obama will have a field day with it in the debates if Newt gets the nomination.

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Josh mentioned
by TONI H / November 21, 2011 3:22 AM PST
In reply to: The particulars?

paper routes (almost obsolete because of the internet now...but those routes are now taken over by adults because it's not safe for a kid to be walking the streets anymore at 5AM before school). I would much prefer to have my kid working for his spending money at the school where he's ALREADY at...sweep/mop floors, wash blackboards, pick up litter outside, straighten up sports locker rooms and equipment areas, etc....I doubt if cleaning toilets would be part of it because of toxic chemicals used for santizing so that idea goes 'into the toilet' (pun intended).

Also, Josh's notion that only ONE lemonade stand was closed down is wrong...there have been many across the USA. In fact, even if a permit was requested in some cases, they were turned down because the public purchasing said refreshment doesn't know what's IN IT....ridiculous to think that a ten year old would drug that drink.

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Why not just send your kid to a workhouse
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 4:38 AM PST
In reply to: Josh mentioned

The work they do would more than pay for the cost of their daily gruel and the burlap blankets. They can burn the dead for heat.

Seriously, this is a Republican solution to the economy? Put children to work? I think Gingrich's two minutes of being taken seriously in this campaign just ended.

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That won't do.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 21, 2011 4:40 AM PST

Someone has to pay for the workhouses. The republicans wouldn't like that.


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"burn the dead for heat"
by James Denison / November 21, 2011 5:20 AM PST

Bwaahahaha! Josh, you have truly joshed your best this time......LOL! Laugh

PS - where can I buy some burlap blankets? Do any come in electric for that warm scratchy feeling? Mischief

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by Josh K / November 21, 2011 9:33 PM PST

Electricity costs the government money. Under the Gingrich plan, every school will have a pedal-powered generator with a rotating squad of six-year-olds to run it. Wink

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Floors are cleaned with chemicals too
by Josh K / November 21, 2011 4:45 AM PST
In reply to: Josh mentioned

Ammonia mainly.

So if the children aren't cleaning the toilets, who is?

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by James Denison / November 21, 2011 5:22 AM PST

Normally used in mixes used as a wax stripper. Any safe detergent can be used just for dirt removal, even dishwashing liquid.

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And scrubbing brushes?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 21, 2011 5:24 AM PST
In reply to: Ammonia

Might as well give, no, sell, them the tools for the job.


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