Newt Gingrich, professional shitface and the architect of the Rethuglikan Revolution of 1995, wants to bring back child labor because....
"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits for working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday."
I had my first job at 12, cleaning timeshares for a friend's parents. It was part time, a few hours on the weekends, at minimum wage and under the table. It had to be. I don't think I was legal to work.
My next job, at 13, was busing tables over Winter Break at Squaw Valley Ski Resort. I got to see what sexual harassment was at that job from the 20 something fucknugget kitchen manager who liked to tell me how sexxxay I was and how I "totally didn't look 13".
My next job was over Summer Vacation at 14, again cleaning timeshares, but now fulltime. I made 5 bucks an hour was fucking stoked at the end of the summer when I had enough money to buy all my own school clothes going into high school and could buy whatever frivolous 50 dollar pair of jean I wanted.
By 17, I had graduated to entry-level office work. It was nice not cleaning up other people's food or used condoms.
Since I turned 18, I have never gone more than a few months without some kind of paid work, except when the kid was a newborn and we lived off student loans and Pell Grants for a brief period of time while I went to school. Even the last few years, I had the tiny monies I made writing this here blog when traditional work wasn't available.
I had a mother who worked from the time I was tiny until her health prevented it when I was a teenager.
And Kid, well I don't want the Kid to feel financially responsible for us, which is so easy to do when you're a super fucking poor kid with a job (cough, cough). So I haven't pushed him to get work. Now that we are semi-flush, he gets an allowance for doing the housework that I can't do because I am at work all day. He did some of the same stuff without an allowance before, but I think it's important he knows that housework is valuable. Though since we are, for now, semi-flush, if he wanted to seek outside employment I'd be okay with that.
So I don't know who the fuck Gingrich is talking about when he says poor kids have no habits of working and nobody around them that works. I'm thinking that he must live on another planet, one with a social safety net. Cause that ain't how the real world looks. And if I am not mistaken, (and I'm not) Gingrich was part of the whole Welfare reform bullshit. So even kids whose moms are on Welfare see their moms go off everyday to sit in a fucking government office and be lectured to by asswipes in exchange for cash and foodstamps that total less than half the poverty line.
But that's just the fucking facts. Let's look at what re-instituting child labor might mean for a country with an official unemployment rate of almost 10 percent (actual closer to 20). You would flood the market with even more people, willing to work for even lower wages. Those 18 to 30 year-olds with the highest rate of unemployment across the generations- fuck you. Businesses can now hire a 16 year old for lower wages and no benefits because that kid's parents are still legally required to provide them.
Yeah, that will make things better.
And we won't even talk about how much better our society will be when the illiteracy rate shoots back up because it's now ok to hire 5 year-olds to pick crops. They don't have to stoop so far to pick the tomatoes, you see they are short. And they aren't so good at organizing unions. They don't know who to tell when their boss is telling them their 13 year-old tits are hot.
But then, that whole "can't complain, can't sue, can't organize" thing would be feature and not a bug to a douchenoodle like Gingrich.