Newt Gingrich Wants to Fire Janitors & Hire Children

mopGOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has recently come under fire for his criticism of child labor laws, particularly for saying they are “truly stupid.” He believes that children in poor neighborhoods should be permitted to work as janitors, library assistants, or office clerks before or after school to earn a few bucks.

During Monday night’s Fox News debate, moderator Juan Williams put Gingrich on the spot by asking, “Can’t you see this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but as particularly to black Americans?”

“No,” Gingrich stated without hesitation, “I don’t see that.”


Newt went on to tell the audience that his daughter’s first job at 13 was doing janitorial work for a Baptist church, where she liked earning money and learning that if you work, you get paid. He also pointed out that because of the unions in New York City schools, one highly overpaid janitor could be replaced by 37 students, who would then be getting paid, “which is a good thing if you’re poor.”

Even though Gingrich had not mentioned race at all when talking about teaching kids in poor communities a strong work ethic, Williams followed up with a question about Newt calling President Obama the food stamp president, and did he intend to belittle the poor and racial minorities?

Newt responded with the fact that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any other president in history before zinging, “I know among the politically correct, you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.”

The former Speaker of the House then drove home his point that we should encourage kids to work, and teach them that they can work hard and climb their way out of poverty. He said:

“I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness, and if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job, and learn someday how to own the job.”

The man is right. Most teens would be better off working a few hours a week, especially those in poor neighborhoods. They’d learn the value of a dollar, learn to save up for large purchases, contribute to the household, and they’d develop the kind of self-respect that can’t be taught with participation trophies.

They’d learn that they can be valuable, contributing members to society. 


Image via striatic/Flickr

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