Child Labor– High on the Conservative Wish List

17 Jan

Another day,… another republican debate. I didn’t subject myself to this one. I’m just tired of them. It’s not like there’s ever anything new.
But from surfing the blogs a little today, I’ve seen that Newt Gingrich is still selling his “poor kids should be janitors in their schools” schtick. (actually, it was a question asked about poor black kids, but in this arena, I believe Newt to be an equal opportunity guy) Advocating getting rid of those union janitors, especially in New York City. For some reason he’s fixated on NYC janitors, who pull in some outrageous amount. Damned near 40/45k a year from what I understand. Which, in NYC, would get you a much higher quality cardboard box to live in I think.
Makes no sense to me.
Anyway,… Newt thinks that poor kids would learn a little humility, (???), actually help their families, get some kind of a work ethic, (which he says none of them, or their families, have at the moment), and at the same time get rid of those deadweight, taxpayer’s money-sucking regular janitors, whose kids would then be able to help support the family by taking their mom or dad’s place and working for 1 tenth what their mom or dad brought home. See???,… benefits all around.
Total Newt/conservative joking aside,—- the thing that caught my attention, (Newt’s bluster and bullshit just doesn’t phase me anymore), was as you’ll see in this video, the fact that he actually received a STANDING OVATION from this hand-picked conservative, South Carolina audience when he defended his idea. That got my attention.
I guess, the decision that will have to be made by JQ Public in the coming months, will be whether or not you’d prefer stepping back a century or so with our conservative republican friends.
I can see child labor becoming as popular as it is in China, Southeast Asia, Africa, Parts of South America, and other progressive places around the world. After all,… it will definitely save the companies and government entities that use it a few bucks.
And a disclaimer from yours truly,—- Although I didn’t grow up on a farm, I’m from a rural area. I did my fair share of throwing hay around, and chores in the barn in the morning and afternoons at friends places. I’m not saying that work will hurt a kid. It can be a very good thing. But this, in my estimation, gravitates much more towards what I would personally call forced labor. The kid would have no choice,— and that’s just not right.
So, come this fall, we’ll either be stepping back a century or so by voting republican, or keep some standards where they are right now.

A little more information,— some numbers included,— on Gingrich and his fixation on getting poor black kids to pay for their schooling by doing janitorial work. Yes,…this particular right-wing crazy has gotten to be a pet-peeve of mine<!–.
Gingrich Janitor Idea Won’t Solve Jobs Crisis

In South Carolina, Gingrich didn’t define an “absurd amount of money,” but earlier this month he said, incorrectly, that an entry-level janitor gets paid twice as much as an entry-level teacher. Not only do Gingrich’s calculations assume janitors earn much more than they actually do, his theory is deeply flawed, and would likely harm impoverished communities, not help them, researchers say.

The top salary for a New York City public school cleaner — who generally does the type of work that Gingrich imagines schoolchildren might do — is $37,710, or $18.13 an hour, according to the Service Employees International Union, which represents all 5,000 janitors. Divided among 30 kids, that would be some $1,257 a year, or a little over $24 a week. Meanwhile, the starting salary for a first-year teacher with no advanced degree is $45,530, more than a cleaner.

It’s true that some workers classified as janitors make a decent living (by New York City standards): Custodial engineers in the New York City public school system can earn a top salary of $114,000 a year, but they start around $56,000 a year, and they work as supervisors — not “entry-level” janitors. Along with supervising other custodians, their job responsibilities include repairing heating and electrical equipment and inspecting buildings. The work requires a high school diploma, or equivalent, along with years of experience, according to the New York City Department of Education.

Either way, if any of those janitorial positions were filled by schoolchildren, labor experts point out, the U.S. would have one less decently paying job.

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Economy, Environment, Politics


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