Newt’s not the only Republican who thinks kids should be back in the labor force.

21 Nov 2011 06:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

Hi Diva-roos! I went and took nearly another week off from blogging due to some stuff having to be dealt with. Boy howdy, do I have some catching up to do. Before I start on my post let me state that today’s my birthday and Mark and I are the guardians of a pair of adorable Corgis. So my facebook friend Jodi posted the greatest thing on the internetz today on my wall.

I keep playing it and it makes our Corgis bark excitedly, which is awesome.

child-labor2

Anyways, quoth Presidential candidate Newton Leroy Gingrich the other day:

“This is something that no liberal wants to deal with,” Gingrich said. “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.” […]

“Most 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. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they’d begin the process of rising.”

This makes perfect sense because when you think of all the really successful economies in the world doesn’t “large labor force of children” emerge as the key feature they all share? Right. But this is far from the first time in recent memory that a Republican has expressed a desire to repeal those annoying and bootstrap-destroying child labor laws. State legislators across the country have been floating the idea all this past year. I smell ALEC and so did PSC CUNY blogger Peter Hogness back in May.

“There was a time when children’s value was marked by the amount of money they brought home to their families,” commented Gary Schoichet of Communications Workers of America (CWA) 1180. “Employers liked children because they were cheaper, more manageable, and less likely to strike. They were everywhere.”

Among Republican state legislators across the US, Cunningham is not an isolated figure. She has chaired the Education Committee of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an influential conservative group that drafts state-level legislative proposals and circulates them across the US. Other bills to scale back child labor laws have now been introduced in Maine, Minnesota, Ohio and Utah.

If these bills passed, children would still be protected by federal law. But a number of right-wing politicians believe that federal labor laws, including those on child labor, are unconstitutional.

I’m rather surprised Arizona Republicans haven’t jumped on this yet but if my instincts are correct that ALEC members are chatting up the idea of working the kiddies (the poor ones, not theirs) at the secret legislation drafting meetings it won’t be long before it shows up here.

It also puts the GOP’s anti-choice stance in an even more stark context. This goes beyond their depraved indifference to the needs of post-born children into the realm of outright sadism. Today’s fertilized egg is tomorrow’s nine year old janitor!

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Timmys Cat on November 22, 2011 9:30 am

    Dammit Newt, STFU!!! We Zona job creators has got the perfect work force right now. Work ’em as long as we want, and if they complain, deport their parents! No bennies, no OSHA, no nothing! Woohoo!

    Happy (mumble..belated) Birfday Diva!

  2. Comment by Timmys Cat on November 22, 2011 3:35 pm

    I didn’t realize how much influence ALEC had in Arizona. You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

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