Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Southern Racist Who Would Be The Gilded Cageian President Fagin



GOP kinda/sorta front-runner Newt Gingrich wants the children of poor people to be put to work to learn (get this!), a work ethic:

...Newt Gingrich today (Dec 1st) told a crowd in Des Moines, Iowa, that children in poor neighborhoods have “no habits of working and nobody around them who works.”

Gingrich was asked by an audience member to clarify the comments he made last month in which he called the current child labor laws ”stupid” and would replace janitors with schoolchildren to work in the community school.

“They have no habit of showing up on Monday and staying all day or the concept of ’I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal,” Gingrich said...

{snippety doo-dah}

...“You have a very poor neighborhood. You have students that are required to go to school. They have no money, no habit of work,” Gingrich said. “What if you paid them in the afternoon to work in the clerical office or as the assistant librarian? And let me get into the janitor thing. What if they became assistant janitors, and their job was to mop the floor and clean the bathroom?”...

But here's the thing.

Every time I stay in the heart of a U.S. American city, usually when I'm at a science-geekian conference, and I head out early in the morning to find decent non-CorpHotel coffee, it is not the well-off that I find waiting at bus stops, sweeping streets, and hustling to get the place ready for the late arriving wearers of the white collars.

Instead, it is overwhelmingly the working poor who I see working their butts off to make a go of it.

And in every US American city I've stayed in recently these real workers with real work ethics are almost always brown.

But that's just anecdotal evidence which, despite the fact that it is still about 3,788,967,211 times more valid than the made-up vitriolic garbage that well-practiced dog whistler's like Mr. Gingrich spew while pretending reasonableness*, is not the real thing.

However, the real life experiences of brown kids that have grown up poor are. Experiences like the following, backed by additional actual, you know, facts, from Debbie Vargus writing in the Pittsburgh Courier:

...What planet does Gingrich live on?

My entire childhood was spent in poverty and I can’t remember a time that my mother and stepfather didn’t have a job. In fact, I can’t remember a time when Mama didn’t have at least two jobs. I’ve held jobs since I was in the 6th grade, jobs that included cutting the grass of my elementary school principal, delivering newspapers, washing dishes at the University of Alabama while I was a student at Druid High School in Tuscaloosa, and working as a waiter on trains during Christmas breaks while enrolled at Knoxville College in Tennessee.

Evidently, my experience was not atypical. An analysis of Census Bureau data by Andrew A. Beveridge, a professor at Queens College in New York, found that most children live in a home where at least one parent works. In fact, three of every four poor working-aged adults have jobs.

The problem isn’t that those living below the poverty line are unwilling to work. The problem is that their jobs don’t pay enough to lift them out of poverty, which is defined as $22,050 for a family of four.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, “Nearly 15 million children in the United States—21 percent of all children—live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level—$22,050 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using that standard, 42 percent of children live in low-income families.”

Gingrich falsely asserts that poor children don’t have a work ethic except when it comes to illegal activity. His solution is to repeal child labor laws and put poor kids to work as library assistants or assistant janitors.

Federal law already allows young people to work.

The Department of Labor notes, “The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets 14 as the minimum age for most non-agricultural work. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers, perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions, work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or hazardous jobs), and perform babysitting or perform minor chores around a private home.”

Republicans have a record of railing against welfare, labor unions and the poor as part of their political strategy. During his 1976 presidential campaign, for example, Ronald Reagan told the story of a woman from Chicago’s South Side who had 80 aliases, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, collected veteran’s benefits on four non-existent husbands, received Medicaid, got food stamps and collected welfare under each of her fake names, netting her tax-free income of more than $150,000. It was later determined that the woman resided only in Reagan’s head.

Like Reagan, Gingrich has sought to eliminate many federal programs that assist poor people.

In 1994, he proposed kicking young mothers off of welfare and using that money to create Boys Town-like orphanages. The New York Times observed in an editorial, “The party that professes to support family values seems excessively eager to yank poor children away from their mothers and dump them in institutions.”....

And the real irony of all this?

Mr. Gingrich first rolled this out at that bastion of 'legacies', Harvard University.

What exactly are 'legacy' students at finest of the fine private institutions of higher learning you might be asking yourself?

Why, those are the silver spoonfed kids of Mr. Gingrich's best donors of the new guilded age who need not work a day in their lives, especially not as cleaners of toilets and sweepers of floors.


And then there is the, to put it mildly, ethically-challenged Baron von Grifthausen version of the Newtical.
*And yes Davey boy, we're STILL looking at you.



Your driver said...

Nice piece. Shared on the evil empire of the internets. You know, facebook.

RossK said...


Did you know that those most amazing of internets sensations, Pomplamoose!, live up your way?

And who knew that they actually make a decent living doing what they do.


Your driver said...

So you've gone viral. No really. Within minutes two whole friends linked to this article. I'm friends with with a couple of music writers. Check out my friend, Chrissie Dickinson. You can google her. I spend so much time on old music that I hardly notice new music.

Grant G said...

Hey Ross....

Guess what Newt the fruit said today...?

He said...Palestine is not a real nation, they are a fictional country....

I guess fruity newty is going big for the Jewish vote..


Brushback said...

Right on

Grant G said...

Fuck the Newt.

When lacking facts, make them up, you know, like Gregor the Cortes killer!

AGT idiots!

Anonymous said...

the key ingredient in a witches brew is the eye of a newt. The rest of the gop candidates are pig slop so keep knewts eye and return the rest to the trough so the pigs have something to feed on.....