Only the elites insult the working adults who pick up after us

I didn’t watch the debate. I did want to point something out, though, because I think it goes to how conservatives devalue the work that certain adults do:

“New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the union. You could take one janitor and hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out. They would actually have money in their pocket. They’d learn to show up for work. They could do light janitorial duty. They could work in the cafeteria. They could work in the front office. They could work in the library. They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor. Only the elites despise earning money.”

While it’s certainly interesting that opposing child labor laws is now a mainstream position on the Right and among conservative news personalities, I hear something else entirely in Gingrich’s statement than the pundits and politicians heard. Newt Gingrich told us all last night that nine year olds can replace the grown men and women who currently do these jobs. Newt Gingrich believes janitors and cafeteria workers and people who work in school libraries and offices can and should be replaced by children.

That’s how much respect Gingrich has for the work that these people do.

Third grader = adult working class person. The children are paid less per worker unit, hence it’s thirty kids to one adult, sure, but Gingrich believes children can do these job as well as the adults who currently do them, because that’s what he said.

Personally, I think any random janitor is worth more than Newt Gingrich in terms of adding value to society so I’d like to leave the nine year olds out of it and just do a straight comparison between adults: adult janitor compared with adult conservative blowhard/grifter. Personally, I would bet my mortgage payment that Newt Gingrich would be physically and temperamentally unable to complete one full 8 hour day as a school janitor. But Newt Gingrich believes that janitors are overpaid and that children can replace adult janitors, so let’s conduct one of those thought experiments that conservatives love so much, and see if any other adult workers can and should be replaced by children.

Could nine year olds replace the adults who cleaned up after that gathering of political and media luminaries last night? Working adults did that, after all. After the political and media celebrities left that room, real live adult janitors came in and cleaned up after them. Why didn’t Newt Gingrich suggest that the people who cleaned up after him last night be replaced by children?

What about Gingrich’s staff? How much do they make? Can children do their work as well as they can? Why or why not? Newt Gingrich has been paid an absurd amount of money for lobbying since he left Congress in disgrace. Could a nine year old replace Newt Gingrich? How hard could Newt Gingrich’s “job” be, after all? A lot of lavish meals, ass-kissing, and bloviating, right? We could employ a hell of a lot of nine year olds on the absurd amount of money Gingrich is paid.

Maybe we can discuss that at the next debate. Move off the value of janitors, as measured in so many “child units”, and measure the value of Republican gargoyles. How many nine year olds = Newt Gingrich? 100? One? Will the conservative base applaud that calculation? What about the people in the audience who cheered? Can a third grader replace them at work? Why or why not?

Hey Newt: only the elites like you denigrate and demean the work that (certain) adults do, by claiming that work can and should be done by children.

Oh, and if you’re interested, the working adults Gingrich wants to replace with children make 38,000 dollars a year. Much, much less than any of the conservative leaders on that stage, or the media celebrities who appeared with them.

The Department of Education said the people Gingrich appears to be talking about actually have the title of “cleaners,” and are paid about $38,000 annually after two years on the job.






150 replies
  1. 1
    russell says:

    Personally, I think any random janitor is worth more than Newt Gingrich in terms of adding value to society

    Thank you.

    Gingrich is a nasty piece of work, and his nastiness is the basis for whatever electoral base he has.

    He’s a walking talking embodiment of the shittiest aspects of the US today.

  2. 2
    slag says:

    Personally, I think any random janitor is worth more than Newt Gingrich in terms of adding value to society so I’d like to leave the nine year olds out of it and just do a straight comparison between adults: adult janitor compared with adult conservative blowhard/grifter.

    Wait. Why exactly can’t we replace Newt with a bunch of 9-year olds? I don’t follow.

  3. 3
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    $38K? Whooweee, lookatem fat cat janitors, living high on the hog! We should do something about those lazy ass broom jockeys making ransoms like that!

  4. 4
    The Dangerman says:

    …and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out.

    I’m calling bullshit…

    …but I would be supportive of a policy where, say, the Romney kids would have had to clean toilets, too, in their boarding school (I bet the janitorial staff was Union there, too). They already have money in the deep, DEEP pockets, but I think it would be good for them to learn how to show up for work, too.

    OT, kinda, I see where Romney admitted his tax rate was “near” 15%; I’m curious what “near” means. 16? 14? I’m guessing closer to 10 than 15 and also guessing he never releases them (maybe AFTER the convention).

  5. 5
    Paul in KY says:

    If the 9 year old was a nasty, smelly, know-it-all, asshole, then I’d say .87 kids could replace Newt.

    Else, I’ll go with .25 of a normal 9 year old replacing Newt. All the kid (or ‘kid fraction’) would need is a Tiffanys card & lots of peroxide for the Callistabot.

  6. 6
    jheartney says:

    I’d like to point to a comment at Benen’s place from RossInDetroit:

    I do janitorial work several times a week. Here are some things those 9 year olds would be doing:
    Climbing tall ladders to change 8′ long light bulbs.
    Driving a lawn tractor to haul outdoor trash and plow snow.
    Driving an automated floor scrubbing machine.
    Working alone in a swimming pool enclosure.
    Operating a 300 lb propane powered floor polisher.
    Stripping waxed floors with caustic chemicals.
    Painting.
    More ladder work to change ceiling tiles.
    Moving furniture.
    Receiving and delivering book shipments, often over 1,000 lbs at a time.
    Sure, anyone can dust a bookshelf or sweep a floor, but if you get rid of the janitor all of that other stuff won’t get done.

  7. 7
    The Moar You Know says:

    The Department of Education said the people Gingrich appears to be talking about actually have the title of “cleaners,” and are paid about $38,000 annually after two years on the job.

    Left unsaid but not unheard by Gingrich: these “cleaners” are blackity black black black, and what kind of nation pays a black man $38,000 for work that a hundred years ago they used to do for free?

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    It also depends on exactly which 9 year olds you’re talking about. Not the children and grandchildren of the folks in the audience. Noooo, no, no.

  9. 9
    gaz says:

    $49,000/yr NYC school maintenance/custodian
    http://www.indeed.com/salary/q.....k,-NY.html

    or $38k if one were to believe the article, either way, $11k is a big discrepancy in some respects, but it’s not earth-shattering.

    At any rate, if you divide by 30 that leaves you with somewhere between $1266 and $1633 net pre tax income per year.

    Assuming a 180 school year http://ask.yahoo.com/20050509.html

    And assuming they only work 2 hour out of each school day, if we were paying what newt would suggest
    $4.50 an hour.

    All I have to say, is I’d make more money mowing lawns.

  10. 10
    Steve says:

    I’ve been assuming that Gingrich’s numbers are backed up by some anecdote of one janitor somewhere who gets paid $90,000 a year, or something like that.

    By the way, not that we really need to analyze the merits of Gingrich’s idea, but one thing janitors are pretty good with is autonomy. Is he planning to pay someone to supervise that flock of 9-year-olds (and what would that person get paid, I wonder?) or are we just going to leave them alone with the cleaning supplies and see what happens?

  11. 11
    smintheus says:

    Newt’s policy team could certainly be replaced by children, to the same effect.

  12. 12
    Phylllis says:

    I can remember my dad (who was a lovely southern gentleman) telling us we needed to do well in school because “we didn’t want to become ditch-diggers, did we?”. I also remember my brother saying one time, “Why not, it’s honest work, isn’t it?”. That one caught my dad dead in his tracks. It’s on the one hand, the distinction between the value of an education for education’s sake, and the valuing of honest, hard work.

  13. 13
    burnspbesq says:

    Why does anyone watch the Republican debates?

    Nothing you will hear is likely to change your vote; you’re not going to vote for any of them under any circumstances.

    Nothing you will hear is going to enlighten you, even a tiny bit, with respect to any meaningful policy issue.

    Nothing you will hear is going to make a material difference in your opinion of any of the participants.

    Is it really more entertaining than watching reruns of “Law & Order?”

  14. 14
    gaz says:

    @Steve: That too, but I was trying to keep my post brief-ish =P =)

  15. 15
    gaz says:

    @burnspbesq: Sometimes I like to see what the true face of fascism looks like in this country.

  16. 16
    liberal says:

    Personally, I think any random janitor is worth more than Newt Gingrich in terms of adding value to society…

    That’s a low standard. Gingrich yields negative value, so a dead corpse beats him.

  17. 17
    The Dangerman says:

    @Steve:

    …or are we just going to leave them alone with the cleaning supplies and see what happens?

    A little soap in the teacher’s coffee pot would be OK; I bet we could replace the Union teachers with kids, too.

  18. 18
    anonymoose says:

    @slag:

    Wait. Why exactly can’t we replace Newt with a bunch of 9-year olds? I don’t follow.

    9-year olds would be overqualified for the job. Better to use lab rats.

  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq: Why do people slow down on the road when they are driving past an accident scene? They want to see blood or fire or carnage.

  20. 20
    GregB says:

    How many kids will it take to build my fucking yacht? When are they going to get cracking?

    -Queen Elizabeth

  21. 21
    Phylllis says:

    @Steve: I suggest at least leaving them alone at Newt’s house for a trial run.

  22. 22
    slag says:

    @jheartney:

    Sure, anyone can dust a bookshelf or sweep a floor

    Not from what I’ve seen. I’ve met plenty of adults who couldn’t do these things. At least not with any level of detail-orientation.

  23. 23
    The Moar You Know says:

    Sure, anyone can dust a bookshelf or sweep a floor, but if you get rid of the janitor all of that other stuff won’t get done.

    @jheartney: Thanks to budget cuts at my wife’s school – and there’s no end in sight to those – that work isn’t getting done now. One of the richest school districts in California, school isn’t even ten years old yet, and they have holes in the roof that leak, and no one to fix them.

  24. 24
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Dangerman: I’m wondering what happens when you mix bleach & ammonia. Probably makes some kind of super-cleaner that will allow us kids to get out of work in a hour. Stupid adults!

  25. 25
    Monkey Business says:

    Halftime, everybody! Let’s take a look at the score.

    So far, the GOP, courtesy of Newt Gingrich, has dragged the political debate in this country back to 1938 by suggesting that children of low income families work in their schools as menial part time labor, to replace union workers.

    It’s worth noting that in 1938, African Americans were still segregated, women had only been voting for 18 years, and we’re still three years away from Pearl Harbor.

  26. 26
    Origuy says:

    Some school janitors go beyond maintaining the buildings. From the Indianapolis Star a few weeks ago:

    Davis, the 62-year-old head custodian at the school, has been cleaning the hallways of both dirt and stray children for 16 years. He knows a great many of the students by their first names, particularly those who have played on the school basketball or baseball teams he has coached.
    __
    The boy in the lonely hallway played basketball last year for Davis, who knows the child’s ups and downs, the other schools he tried before coming back to Donnan. And even after Davis delivered him back to an angry teacher, the boy says he still appreciates Davis.
    __
    Mr. Sam, he explains, is more than a coach, more than a custodian.

  27. 27
    David Hunt says:

    Okay, if 30 kids could be paid on that 38K, that means an average of $1,267 per year per kid. Full-time work is approximately 2000 hours per year (8 hrs x 50 weeks) so that yields an hourly wage of about $0.63. I’m sure that will install a great sense of worth in them with all that dough after their grueling job on top of school and homework. Just thing of what they could buy with that!

  28. 28
    Seanly says:

    I find it very troubling that Newt wasn’t laughed off the stage. What sort of heartless jerks make up the audiences of these debates?

  29. 29
    gogol's wife says:

    I started to read this post but I agree with it so much that the steam is literally coming out of my ears so I had to stop.

  30. 30
    slag says:

    @anonymoose: Good point. Though when it comes to weaseling out of real work to play grownup, Newt has all the 9-year olds I’ve ever met beat by a long shot. And that’s saying something.

  31. 31
    SpotWeld says:

    Liberals seems to tell people to “work smarter”, that is to make sure they understand what thier labor is work and ask to be paid accordingly. (Not “work less”, just make sure you get the maximum for your work)

    The Newt seems to be of the opinion, “be thankful for whatever your given, your betters will tell you how much you’re worth”

  32. 32
    gelfling545 says:

    @MattF: That’s what I was thinking. It’s all good when it’s someone else’s kid but their own little precious? Goodness no!

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    @gaz:

    There’s a difference between “cleaners” and “custodians” and it has to do with the work that they do.

    I assume we don’t want 9 year olds on boiler duty.

  34. 34

    I hate to say it, but a lot of libs I know also devalue the work of those without a college education. I have heard many bash autoworkers and trades people.

    It’s sad, elitist crap.

  35. 35
    burnspbesq says:

    @efgoldman:

    If Sargent insists on pushing the heretical notion that data matter, he’s likely to be Froomkin’ed, and perhaps sooner than later.

  36. 36
    SpotWeld says:

    I’ll further point out that there may be a 6-digit maitenance job the NYC school, and that jbo would be for something akin to an in-house contractor who maintains the furnance and HVAC system. Skilled and occaionally hazardous work that demand higher pay.

    As near as I can tell, such jobs don’t exist within GOP circles, where high pay is a status symbol and not something for people with dirty fingernails.

  37. 37
    The Dangerman says:

    Also, I wonder how many lawsuits will be filed after the head janitor supervising the 30 nine year old kids used to be a Penn State football coach.

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I’m glad people watch them.

    I can’t do it, but I’m glad someone, somewhere is monitoring this garbage.

  39. 39
    Maus says:

    @jheartney:

    I’d like to point to a comment at Benen’s place from RossInDetroit:

    GOP: “So fucking what”?

    All those assholes want OSHA removed as it is, especially Ron Paul.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Phylllis says:

    Plus, what does/should he care what NY pays anyone? Isn’t their argument that there’s too much federal overreach and local and state gov’t knows what’s best?

  42. 42
    David Hunt says:

    @anonymoose:

    9-year olds would be overqualified for the job. Better to use lab rats.
    Reply

    Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work. There are some things required by Newt’t job that the moral standards of the rats would preclude them carrying out.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @jheartney:

    Yay! I was hoping someone who knows what he’s talking about would weigh in.

    Jesus Christ. Conservatives don’t know what janitors do? How do they reach adulthood without noticing the world around them? I feel as I know what Ross In Detroit wrote, and, yet, I have never been a janitor.

    How did I find out? I’m not even all that attentive.

  44. 44
    Waterballoon says:

    In other news, during this era in which organized Labor is under the most widespread and coordinated attack by Republicans in my lifetime, the Democratic party will devote an entire day of their convention on Labor Day celebrating not Labor, but the most anti-organized labor region in the country.

  45. 45
    pat says:

    This is so damn stupid, I can’t believe he continues to double down on it. Of course, the dog whistle here is the image of some lazy blah person leaning on a broom, while the little blah kids trade drugs in the playground before they go off to knock over a liquor store.

  46. 46
    gaz says:

    @Kay: Your point is well received, Admittedly I wasn’t certain which was what. The thing is, janitor isn’t used as a job title in these parts – as I recall. We use the term custodian, and I was reaching when I found that link – I don’t think we need many boilers here in WA schools. heh. =) ). I made a good faith effort to be accurate, and tried to present both sets of numbers through most of the post, FWIW. And I stuck with the more conservative ones to be as even-handed as I could.

    So I apologize if any of my post was misleading. That was exactly the opposite of my intent. Please mentally resolve those hourly figures down =)

  47. 47
    martha says:

    OT, but as a Cheesehead who marched last winter on some pretty cold days, I’m quite proud to say that my fellow union thugs have gathered 1,000,000 signatures to recall Governor Scott Walker.

    http://www.jsonline.com/

  48. 48
    The Moar You Know says:

    You know there were at least a couple of janitors in that pack of rabies-addled jerks they call an “audience” (more like brownshirts-in-training, amirite?)

    Why are they applauding along with everyone else?

    Hint: politics of resentment. Also see shower rod, pigeon, freeway underpass.

  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @jheartney:

    Lemme get this out of the way, first: A propane-powered floor polisher? Want! (Just because.)

    Somewhere in Newton’s lizard brain he thinks learnin’ these bla kids “work ethic” by having them do a grown-up’s job somehow sprinkles them with Rand dust for the rest of their lives. I’m thinking instead it would go something like this: “Stay in school kid, and someday you’ll be a janitor for real!”

    Nifty.

  50. 50
    Comrade Dread says:

    A little soap in the teacher’s coffee pot would be OK; I bet we could replace the Union teachers with kids, too.

    No, teachers will be replaced with one (or more) of the following options:

    A.) A private education conglomerate (owned by a Republican benefactor) funded by taxpayer dollars in a sweetheart deal that enriches them greatly while they get away with paying teachers 25k/yr with minimal benefits. This will be touted as a free market solution.

    B.) Web classes run by the aforementioned private education conglomerate. Tutor/teachers are paid hourly and receive no benefits.

    C.) Homeschooling.

    D.) Nothing. The little fuckers have jobs now, so what do they need an education for?

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    I believe Mr. Gingrich misses one very basic item: once you’ve hired the 30-some kids, what the fuck do you do with the one adult who now doesn’t have a job?

  52. 52
    Steve says:

    @The Other Bob: Looking down on working people is a class thing. It transcends party for the most part.

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    @martha:

    A million? Wow, well done Cheeseheads!

  54. 54
    pete says:

    I once tried to convince an accountant that the janitor was worth more to our company than he was. If the books were badly handled, they could be redone without disrupting production; if dirt messed up the products, they were a dead loss. Ergo, pay the cleaner more than the number-cruncher. This logic, while to my mind unassailable, did not go over well. (He countered by insisting that I ought to pay myself more and the janitor less, but I did not find that persuasive.)

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @gaz:

    So I apologize if any of my post was misleading. That was exactly the opposite of my intent. Please mentally resolve those hourly figures down =)

    It’s okay. It’s something that drives me crazy. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t tell myself “I could do everyone’s job, better and cheaper”.
    I don’t. I know I can do MY job, but I actually am quite confident that I could not do Ross In Detroit’s job.

    I don’t know how to maintain commercial snow equipment, and either does Newt Gingrich.

    I imagine conservatives like Gingrich looking at all of us, any one of us,our work, and just sneering. It drives me crazy. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know where they get off with this. When they hire a plumber, are they thinking “I could do that”? Because, you know, I don’t think that.

  56. 56
    bemused says:

    @efgoldman:

    Random stupid and evil obviously plays well to the base judging by last night’s debate and other debates though I do think the base is left feeling unfulfilled. They would much prefer two hours of non-stop racism and bigotry. You know the neanderthals are just itching for that.

  57. 57
    The Moar You Know says:

    Only the elites insult the working adults who pick up after us

    Meant to say this earlier, Kay. Re: the title. It’s just not true. Plenty of people insult folks who do menial work, not just Republicans, and not just elites.

    Some of the worst of the nastiness comes from the folks just one step up on the ladder. And it’s towards that group that Gingrich’s rhetoric is squarely aimed.

  58. 58

    […] give 24 hour period.  Thankfully others online cover so I don’t have to.  Kay, a blogger at Balloon Juice, had a most amusing and insightful take on Newt’s BS.  Here’s just some of what she […]

  59. 59
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @SpotWeld:

    I’ll further point out that there may be a 6-digit maitenance job the NYC school, and that jbo would be for something akin to an in-house contractor who maintains the furnance and HVAC system.

    That is exactly what the description for those jobs states. It’s basically a staff general contractor, which I imagine is a metric fucktonne cheaper than hiring private sector service professionals by the hour, especially in NYC.

    Perhaps they don’t have HVAC in that part of Lesser Caroliney: they just go out onto the sleeping porch.

    And perhaps Newt’s just pining for the days when little black boys in suits served at the white folks’ table. Way to instill that work ethic, Mr Three-Wife Swiver.

  60. 60
    The Lodger says:

    @efgoldman: The GOBP isn’t going to worry itself about the poll because some weasel at the Post will walk it back by close of business today.

    Count on it.

  61. 61
    different-church-lady says:

    @pat:

    Of course, the dog whistle here is the image of some lazy blah person leaning on a broom,

    Ahh… but this is classic Newt: not content to simply blow on a dog whistle, he has thought about this really really hard and decided that what’s really necessary in this instance to compose an entire dog whistle symphony. While dilettantes like Santorum are content to conjure images of blah people, Newt can actually use the dismissal and degradation of them to solve real problems! ‘Cause he’s a deep thinker, dontchaknow?

  62. 62
    martha says:

    @trollhattan: I’m actually really impressed with that number. I knew it was an unofficial stretch “wishful thinking” goal. But the fact that they’re really filing that many really boggles the mind. Now if they could just coalese around a candidate.

  63. 63
    Warren Terra says:

    Why didn’t Newt Gingrich suggest that the people who cleaned up after him last night be replaced by children?
    __
    What about Gingrich’s staff? How much do they make? Can children do their work as well as they can? Why or why not? Newt Gingrich has been paid an absurd amount of money for lobbying since he left Congress in disgrace. Could a nine year old replace Newt Gingrich? How hard could Newt Gingrich’s “job” be, after all? A lot of lavish meals, ass-kissing, and bloviating, right? We could employ a hell of a lot of nine year olds on the absurd amount of money Gingrich is paid.

    Obviously Newt can’t be replaced by a child, for two reasons:
    1) The Constitution sets a minimum age to become President, which is allegedly what he’s trying to do.
    2) Children are capable of laughing at themselves.

    But it’s worth pointing out that Gingrich’s own children do work for him. Well, one works for him, the other in some other Wingnut Welfare job. They’re adults, of course, but I hope he’s making sure they’re getting paid no more than 1/30th of a union janitor’s wage.

  64. 64
    General Stuck says:

    I’m just glad Newt showed his true colors years ago, before he decided on a serious run for POTUS. And had already deep 6’d his reputation. Because compared to the other hopefuls, they are political children trying to play a grownup game, on the biggest stage of them all. Newt is a natural for it, and if he didn’t have a viscous mean streak and need regular vanity feedings a mile wide and deep, he could have well been the GOP’s next Ronald Reagan. He can near match Obama in sheer bullshit that is always required to run for president. But now most everything he’s done in this campaign is play defense with no money to strike back, until it was too late. Our good luck the fucker likes his reflection in the mirror, more than sending out the needed vibes as a humble servant. the Real or memorex kind.

    All the polls are now lining up for Romney, as the wingnuts make a reluctant choice. Now we need popcorn, lots of popcorn, while watching the sociopathic fucker talks his way out of a dozen memory holes, he’s left in his pander wake.

    As bad as the gooopers want to beat Obama, I kind of doubt the evangelicals will work much for the dude, and many will likely stay home, rather than vote. and there are like 30 million or so possible votes for the GOP. They are funny like that, and most are not the kind to hold their nose and vote for anyone not plastic jesus approved. But we shall see.

  65. 65
    Maus says:

    @Steve: It’s mostly in the GOP that the lower class bashes the lower class, it’s only “the other guys” that are Parasites.

  66. 66
    The Dangerman says:

    @different-church-lady:

    …what the fuck do you do with the one adult who now doesn’t have a job?

    You ask that question as if you expect them to give a shit (see, for example, their concern over “children” before birth and after the birth).

  67. 67
    Paul in KY says:

    @martha: Wonderful article. Thanks for the link.

  68. 68
    slag says:

    @Kay:

    Jesus Christ. Conservatives don’t know what janitors do? How do they reach adulthood without noticing the world around them?

    What do you mean? They’ve seen Little Orphan Annie. Though I honestly can’t say which is worse: that they think it’s non-fiction or that they think it demonstrates how good life used to be.

  69. 69
    dogwood says:

    As someone who spent 30+ years in public schools, I can tell you that good custodians save taxpayers a lot of money.

  70. 70
    gaz says:

    @Kay: I’m absolutely in agreement with that.

    FTR, I 100% disagree with Newt Gingrich on nearly everything, and I think he’s probably a pretty Bad Human(tm) too – as you said, you shouldn’t pretend you can perform at something you’re not trained for.

    My post about the janitorial work was that there are far better, existing opportunities for kids that want a summer job, or need a job while school’s in.

    If he really gave a shit about kids, and he wanted to make a difference in this arena, he’d suggest federal grants for light vocational work study or something – kind of like some college programs. (Not child labor, but more hands-on job shadowing, mentorship programs maybe though I don’t know)… certainly anything other than what he’s suggested – which plays in my ear as LET’S EXPLOIT CHILDREN! WHEEE! CHEAP, RENEWABLE LABOR POOL!

  71. 71

    Hi, Mr. Gingrich. You’re a fucking asshole.

  72. 72
    MarkJ says:

    Good luck selling $38,000 as an “absurd” salary – I can’t imagine that anyone even in republican circles thinks that. And Mitt Romney is the only out of touch one. Yeah, right.

  73. 73
    IrishGirl says:

    @Seanly: The proudly stupid Republican residents of South Carolina.

  74. 74
    IM says:

    Call me an manic progressive obot or whatever, but I actually think the 1 million petitions from Wisconsin is good news for november.

    I more and more think this will be a another dewey/truman election. ( to be fair to dewey: the second time as farce)

  75. 75
    gaz says:

    @MarkJ: even my mistaken figure of $49,000 in NYC would probably barely keep you in rent.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    @dogwood:

    As someone who spent 30+ years in public schools, I can tell you that good custodians save taxpayers a lot of money.

    They do. We have old(er) public schools, pretty brick buildings, actually, and they have to be maintained. They still look great. The older primary grade buildings look better than the newer middle school, which is ten years old. I don’t know if they build them shoddier now, or what.

  77. 77
    IrishGirl says:

    @The Moar You Know: I think you’re right. I’ve seen so many struggling white people in SC (used to live there) who would absolutely cheer this craziness by Newt. They are always trying to feel better than and if there is someone poorer than them, all the better. It’s an ugly side of human nature to be sure.

  78. 78
    bemused says:

    Not long ago, I heard an audio on the radio of a legislator who had moved into Newt’s old office who was quite explicit about what a pig sty Newt had left. I didn’t catch the name of the legislator but he went into some detail about the condition of the carpet and how long it took staffers to get the place presentable. Pretty funny in light of his current expertise in janitorial jobs.

    No, Newt has no clue what cleaners or janitors do nor has he ever given two seconds of thought about their jobs.

  79. 79
    RossinDetroit says:

    @jheartney:

    Thanks for saving me the trouble of re-posting that.

    I’m in a high school boiler room now getting ready to line up the afternoon shift. Days like this I wish I had a few students to ‘help’ with the work. They’d see what a mess the place is at the end of the day and ride their peers to be a little neater.
    But Mitt is definitely wrong on several counts. A lot of Custodial jobs are Union because without the protection of a powerful outside organization on their side the work would be hazardous. It’s not all sweeping floors and emptying waste baskets. It’s also riding a power lift 45′ up in the air to get someone’s balloon out of the gym rafters.

  80. 80
    greennotGreen says:

    Here’s another difference between today’s Republicans and liberals: we liberals think anyone who does honest work should receive a living wage.

    At the university where I work, we have an awesome housekeeping staff, most of whom start at about 3:00 in the afternoon. Because they do the jobs they do, our graduate students can keep to their research instead of taking out the garbage, our post docs don’t have to scrub the floors, and the technical staff can order reagents and drugs and maintain scientific equipment rather than ordering mops and wax and toilet bowl cleaner.

    Some of the housekeepers are smart but uneducated. Some are recent immigrants. Some are just not very smart. But they are all performing vital services that allow the rest of us to do what we do. Why shouldn’t they have a decent life?

    ETA: These are definitely cleaning jobs, not maintenance.

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @gaz:

    even my mistaken figure of $49,000 in NYC would probably barely keep you in rent.

    Oh pishaw… that’s just from your first job…

  82. 82
  83. 83
    jager says:

    The fucking republicans are always talking about how things used to better than they are today. As someone who grew up in the “good old days”, here is how it really was, the janitor/custodian/clean up guy who worked for my old man at the the car store made enough money to own a home, raise 6 kids and send half of them to college. One of the guys I played hockey with, his old man unloaded boxcars for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He owned a home and sent all 3 of his kids to college. Another friend’s Dad owned a 1 man ‘janitorial service”, owned a home and sent his son to college and helped his kid buy his first house. I could go on, but what I remember about the good old days is one hell of alot different than the conservatives remember. Of course, I lived it, they just bullshit about it!

  84. 84
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    The most obvious comparison between Newt and a 9-year-old kid: Both are pretty good at daydreaming up entertaining ideas that would fail miserably in the real world. But I doubt the 9-year-old kid’s ideas aren’t nearly as hateful as Newt’s. Advantage: 9-year-old kid

  85. 85
    ET says:

    Personally, I think any random janitor is worth more than Newt Gingrich in terms of adding value to society

    Yeah. At least they pick up the garbage people like Newtie throw down.

  86. 86
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Mittens just told everyone that his $370K in speaking fees “isn’t alot of money” try telling that to 99% of the population Mittens.

  87. 87
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @greennotGreen:

    Ha Newt will replace them with House Elves!

  88. 88

    i think newt gingrich has to put his expertise where his mouth is.
    he should be the pilot program supervisor, the person responsible for the immediate supervision of a randomly chosen test sample. he should be responsible for all results, and he should have to solely implement the program.

    show us how you do it newt. your results will be sprayed on the walls, mirrors and everywhere for the world to see. in fact webcams should document progress. lets see if newt can keep one building clean as the sole adult supervisor. remember, any more than one adult being paid to oversee the children cuts into the savings.

  89. 89
    kideni says:

    @martha: To put the numbers in perspective, the number of signatures collected in Ohio to put the repeal of Act 5 on the ballot, nearly 1.3 million, is the equivalent in Wisconsin’s population of about 640,000. In other words, we exceeded Ohio’s amazing achievement. And we had only 60 days to get it done, while Ohio had 90.

  90. 90
    cmorenc says:

    You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat:
    1) waiters/waitresses in restaurants;
    2) maintenance workers such as janitors, cleaning persons, cooks, etc. whom they regularly encounter.

  91. 91
    bemused says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Thurston Howell III just can’t help himself.

  92. 92

    @The Other Bob: Regrettable, but true. This was a not-common, but not rare, response in some left spheres to the auto bailout, and the implosion of employment in the construction trades.

  93. 93
    RossinDetroit says:

    @SpotWeld:

    I’ll further point out that there may be a 6-digit maitenance job the NYC school, and that jbo would be for something akin to an in-house contractor who maintains the furnance and HVAC system. Skilled and occaionally hazardous work that demand higher pay.

    That’s the Building Engineer. He may have one large building or several small ones. He’s responsible for the HVAC, Plumbing and all of the mechanical. And he’s an Engineer. His responsibilities stop at stuff like paint, light bulbs, paper dispensers and ceiling tiles, which are Custodians’ responsibilities.

  94. 94
    trollhattan says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    More than the fees I’m flummoxed anybody paid Mittens to speak in the first place. Mattress manufacturers convention?

  95. 95
    geg6 says:

    @liberal:

    The corpse and the maggots feasting on it add more value to society than the Salamander or any of his cronies on stage last night.

  96. 96
    slag says:

    @dogwood:

    As someone who spent 30+ years in public schools, I can tell you that good custodians save taxpayers a lot of money.

    This is true for so many jobs that are typically derided or overlooked! Administrators/custodians/operational staff, in general, get the shit kicked out of them every day and are looked down on as being part of a “cost center” rather than a “revenue center”. But if Republicans really believed that “a penny saved is a penny earned”, that distinction should be trivial. The fact that it’s not once again demonstrates their flagrant hypocrisy.

  97. 97
    KG says:

    The key to Newt’s line is that this happens in New York. It’s about “them” and “them” are those colored people and libruls who live in those big evil cities.

  98. 98
    Elliecat says:

    @Kay:

    How did I find out? I’m not even all that attentive.

    Several ways.

    Well, you’re probably a person who has and has had responsibility for taking part in cleaning and maintaining a home and possibly other places, not someone who just sat back while mommies and wives and servants and service people made stuff get clean and fixed and served as if by magic.

    Also, you’re someone who no doubt notices human beings in your world, no matter that they are doing “unimportant” things. Maybe you didn’t taken obvious note of the person setting up the ladder or pushing the floor waxer, but your brain took that information in and stored it.

    And you’re likely just someone who has actually set foot in a school building. That’s where most of my info about what a school custodian does comes from, observation and conversation while volunteering or attending events or being involved in PTA or school improvement committees or—gasp!—speaking with custodians I encounter.

    edited: I see I suggested more than two ways.

  99. 99
    RossinDetroit says:

    @trollhattan:

    Lemme get this out of the way, first: A propane-powered floor polisher? Want! (Just because.)

    Clarke PBU with 17HP Kawasaku FH541V V-twin engine. When I train people on this I tell them “It hates you, it wants to hurt you, if you get in a wrestling match with it, it wins.”
    I don’t even let a kid in the wing of the building when this is running, much less behind the controls.

  100. 100
    slag says:

    @RossinDetroit:

    Days like this I wish I had a few students to ‘help’ with the work. They’d see what a mess the place is at the end of the day and ride their peers to be a little neater.

    I don’t know, man. I had to clean house all the time as a kid. I don’t think it made me any neater at the time. And in the end, I think it could have the potential to exacerbate some negative (ahem Type A) personality traits…not that I would have any of those, of course.

  101. 101
    AuldBlackJack says:

    The position’s job description and requirements for a CUSTODIAN ENGINEER (Board of Education)are listed here. (.pdf)
    Immorality of child labor aside, any 9 year old who wanted to qualify for the position while continuing to get a public education would likely be out of high school before they were eligible for the job.

    As The Shrill One has observed; Newt is “a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.”

  102. 102
    kay says:

    Kideni, did you get a MILLION signatures in Wisconsin?

    That’s amazing.

    I can’t put it up because I’m in my car now, but DAMN.

    Good job!

  103. 103
    gogol's wife says:

    I like the spirit in this thread. I’m hoping our boiling righteous indignation will lead to VICTORY in November. (But I’m going to hold onto my Slavic pessimism just in case.)

  104. 104
    Birthmarker says:

    @jheartney: Why can’t kids man the school lunchroom? It’s just industrial mixers and choppers, hot ovens, sharp knives and water heated to high temperatures.

    Or let’s just let them drive the school buses.

    Seriously , though, what I haven’t heard addressed–what kind of work are the adults knocked out of their jobs supposed to go do? To support their own kids and families? Is society really benefited by turning adults to the unemployment line so we can partially employ children?

  105. 105
    twiffer says:

    @jheartney: yeah, my brother is a school custodian and has to do all that stuff as well. not to mention having to clean up vomit, piss and shit.

  106. 106
    twiffer says:

    @jheartney: yeah, my brother is a school custodian and has to do all that stuff as well. not to mention having to clean up vomit, piss and shit.

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Another result of being one of the people who treats maintenance and custodial staff is that your stuff gets fixed first. Your lightbulbs get replaced that day instead of the next; the toilet near your office gets repaired right away. A little courtesy can have a huge payoff.

  108. 108
  109. 109

    I used to do that sort of work-for about a couple years in the 1980’s, plus about a year as a “homemaker” that helped clean the homes of elderly sick people. Newt has no idea how much work it takes, or how long it can take to clean. My first job, cleaning an office, took 4 hours to clean a floor, and what I did was strictly desks and taking out trash, operating a vaccuum and cleaning tables and windows. My other job took just as long and involved cleaning everything from tubs to refrigerators. If I had to do that sort of work in school, I would have been too tired, and it would have been too late, for me to study. Which is what I think Newt is really aiming at. And what I think he wishes the poor Obama would have had to do. Then Obama would never have gotten the education to be that “Kenyan’ President.

  110. 110
    trollhattan says:

    @RossinDetroit:

    ’tis a manly thing! How long before somebody’s racing them?Did P/T janitoral as a young’n and my biggest problem was running over the extension cord with the floor polisher, and it was just a couple HP, tops. No telling what problems I’d create with one of these bad boys.

  111. 111
    kideni says:

    @kay: We dunnit. John Nichols has a good write-up in the Nation that puts the numbers etc. in perspective. A few days ago, on GOS, GeoffT posted a diary looking at various number comparisons.

  112. 112
    Exurban Mom says:

    I know the custodian at my child’s elementary school, and he is worth his weight in gold. The man handles all manner of emergencies, keeps the building looking great at all times, comes up with creative solutions to problems we have…no way in hell he could be replaced with a 9 year old.

    Gingrich is absolutely the most hateful vile candidate left in the GOP clown car. And that’s a pretty vile group.

  113. 113
    Mike G says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Why does anyone watch the Republican debates?

    If the product is intelligent speech, we could do better to replace all of them with 9-year olds.

    The Ebola virus has more value to society than all of these money grubbing finger-puppets of the powerful combined.

  114. 114

    @martha: I wonder if Walker isn’t thinking: if that many people signed the petition (and anyone who signed the petition is a sure vote against me), why should I even think of staying in office? For one thing, there are even more folks who haven’t signed that don’t like me either or won’t after a good campaign, and there certainly isn’t any sign of the kind of enthusiastic support for me sufficient to overcome that. So why go down with the ship? My political career is done even if I somehow manage a narrow win, for no one will support any further ventures. So why suffer and go through the motions?

  115. 115
    trollhattan says:

    @Exurban Mom:

    Gingrich is absolutely the most hateful vile candidate left in the GOP clown car. And that’s a pretty vile group.

    It’s funny, I think Newton’s biggest problem as a campaigner is he can’t self-censor–he spouts what he’s actually thinking because he believes everynody thinks he’s as fascinating as he finds himself.

    Of the remaining five, I place him #3 in the Most Evil sweepstakes. And that’s saying a lot.

  116. 116
    Persia says:

    @cmorenc: So true.

    Gingrich is the guy who saw Idiocracy and thought it was a documentary. “Oh, any idiot can do that stuff, huh?”

  117. 117
    kideni says:

    @CarolDuhart2: His response the last few days (aside from fleeing the state to go raise money in Texas and New York) is that there’s 5 million people who didn’t sign (which would mean he includes children and others not eligible to vote). He also claims that we’re all being backed by out-of-state interests and the big unions.

    News from Indian Country has a livestream going of the delivery of petitions to the GAB. People from all 72 counties are bringing the petitions off the truck driven by the Fort Atkinson forklift driver/grandmother who made the initial filing.

  118. 118
    Chris says:

    @Seanly:

    I find it very troubling that Newt wasn’t laughed off the stage. What sort of heartless jerks make up the audiences of these debates?

    The same people who booed a soldier for being gay and cheered Ron Paul for saying people without health insurance should be allowed to die?

  119. 119

    Yes, he’s telling himself that. But those people certainly aren’t getting off their butts to help him and haven’t even though he’s in danger. True, he may be subtracting kids and ineligibles, but still, where are they? It’s going to take a few days for it to really sink in, for he’s hoping that a lot of signatures are invalid and he won’t need to campaign. But still, he has to know a good ratio would be a 2 to 1, that is for every signature on the petition there’s at least another person who is at least agrees or can be convinced. So what happens then to him if he doesn’t get enough support to save his ass?

  120. 120
    kay says:

    Kideni, I think a million has to scare them.
    I also love the “backed by out of state” money line.
    Liz Cheney was pouring money into Ohio.
    There’s a real thug.
    Do the libertarian Koch Corp live in Wisconsin now?
    In any event, Congrats.
    I will read your links when I get home.

  121. 121
    Chris says:

    @martha:

    OT, but as a Cheesehead who marched last winter on some pretty cold days, I’m quite proud to say that my fellow union thugs have gathered 1,000,000 signatures to recall Governor Scott Walker.

    Congratulations to you and your fellow union thugs. Hope you manage to throw the cocksucker out.

  122. 122
    eemom says:

    I believe it was MLK who said “There is dignity in all work.”

    A school janitor has more dignity cleaning up a kid’s vomit than Newt Gingrich can claim for his entire miserable life.

  123. 123
    Chris says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I believe Mr. Gingrich misses one very basic item: once you’ve hired the 30-some kids, what the fuck do you do with the one adult who now doesn’t have a job?

    It’s true. And I love how he’s presenting this as a way to help kids from poor families out (you know, “you’ll have money which is a good thing if you’re poor”). How exactly does he think those families will be doing once you’ve fired their father and hired the son for a fraction of the cost?

  124. 124
    RossinDetroit says:

    And another thing…
    Some of our buildings run 3 shifts a day, 7 days a week. You can’t have a kid power-washing the football locker room at 4:00 am or scrubbing the pool deck alone in the middle of the night.
    Then there’s summer. All rooms are emptied of furniture. Carpets cleaned. Waxed floors stripped and re-waxed. Paint work, light construction, groundskeeping, furniture repair. All in buildings with the AC shut off to save money. It’s hard, hot, grueling work. Kids are not going to do this with their summer vacation.
    It’s a full time skilled job and Newt is an idiot for making his statements without knowing that.

  125. 125
    A Farmer says:

    I bet 30 times as many kids as Gingrich had staff working in Virginia would have been able to get enough signatures so that Gingrich would have made the primary ballot there. Just a guess.

  126. 126

    @RossinDetroit: And shifts are longer than a traditional school day too. Somebody has to open and close and be available for special events that can go until midnight. Sometimes we office cleaners had to clean while people were having meetings or parties or working in their offices. Some people would have to stay over or come in early so the office was fresh in the morning. I remember doing an office move-in where we stayed until 11 pm readying an office to be moved in. Sometimes a client needed extra time to clean the home because something happened or another cleaner didn’t show up. And I was tired and wired for all of that, and didn’t have to struggle with schoolwork or classes the next day. No child could do that and thrive.

    And can we talk about the caustic cleaners, disease ridden material and the like that we cleaners have to face? It’s one thing for adults with adult immunity and health insurance of some kind to do this. It’s another for kids with developing immunity to handle materials that can be potentially dangerous and lifethreatening. Or does Newt think we clean with castile soap and spring water?

  127. 127
    Kilkee says:

    Newt needs to be blasted with this endlessly. So these ‘janitors’ you speak of really make, in New York City, just about $730 a week before taxes? Interesting. Not really much money, is it? Why, if I’m not mistaken, it’s a tad less than your friend Paul Ryan and his “economist” lobbyist friends spent on a couple of bottles of wine at dinner that night, wasn’t it? And, in a year, somewhat less than Mitt’s take for an hour-long speech?

  128. 128
    pat says:

    I went to the local Dem headquarters a couple days after the recall petition drive started. Since then, I have seen folks on street corners next to the Festival Foods parking lot, in front of the library, all over town. This was a huge undertaking, and it is going to take a LONG time (and a lot of money) to go through all of those signatures.

    The jerk could actually save some money for the state (the local paper has been carrying front-page stories about the consequences of the cuts in school budgets) if he would just either accept the signatures as they are, or quit already. But of course he won’t be doing that.

    edit: I’m talking about the Wisconsin recall, obviously. 1MILLION sigs. YAY!

  129. 129
    g says:

    What, exactly, does Newt really DO for work, anyway? He spends his time making public appearances and glad-handing people. I have no doubt that his “books” and “films” are actually co-authored – or entirely authored – by other people who are actually responsible for putting words on paper and editing scenes together. And even if the content “work” that he does were something I was in agreement with, what purpose does it serve? A mediocre children’s book that no actual child would willingly choose to read? Saccharin feel-good DVDs that serve as a pre-talk pep-up for speech? Books and pamphlets that preach to the right wing choir? Policy position papers that no-one’s going to implement?

    Any janitor I know is more productive and useful than Newt.

  130. 130
    Chris says:

    @g:

    what purpose does it serve? A mediocre children’s book that no actual child would willingly choose to read? Saccharin feel-good DVDs that serve as a pre-talk pep-up for speech? Books and pamphlets that preach to the right wing choir? Policy position papers that no-one’s going to implement?

    All that, plus Civil War fan fiction in which the South gets to win.

  131. 131
    g says:

    The other thing that rankles me about Gingrich is his contention that poor people don’t work and poor kids don’t have role models of seeing adults that work.

    Many poor people work multiple jobs, and do things on the side for money as well – you look around in a major US city and you’ll see entrepreneurs everywhere, whether they’re selling Mary Kay to their co-workers, selling oranges on the corner during rush hour, or braiding neighbor ladies’ hair. there’s a woman who cleans homes in my neighborhood , but also has a night shift job at a hospital. She sleeps in her car from 4 am to 7 pm and then goes to the house she cleans.

  132. 132
    harlana says:

    @GregB:

    How many kids will it take to build my fucking yacht? When are they going to get cracking? -Queen Elizabeth

    i really did lmao

  133. 133
    Original Lee says:

    Love this post! Thank you, Kay, for injecting some common sense into this discussion!

  134. 134
    harlana says:

    @eemom: i believe you just won the internets

  135. 135
    Chris says:

    @g:

    The other thing that rankles me about Gingrich is his contention that poor people don’t work and poor kids don’t have role models of seeing adults that work.

    The cognitive dissonance is spectacular. He’s accusing poor people of not working while complaining about the fact that he’s having to pay poor people for their… what’s the word? Oh, right – “Work.” And somehow he thinks poor kids will have more work-based role models if he eliminates their parents’ jobs.

  136. 136
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Shorter every Republican:

    A custodian making $38,000/yr is overpaid and ought to be laid off.

    A lawyer making $450,000/yr is barely scraping by and really can’t afford to pay an extra $6,000 in income tax.

  137. 137
    just me says:

    How much NYC school janitors make is difficult to determine. This site gives a very high figure. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news.....23614.html

    Interestingly, in Japan, kids do some of the work that is normally done by employees – in particular – lunch duty of various sorts including cleanup. But then, it’s part of the culture. I don’t think it would work here for any number of reasons.

    That said, Newt is just dead wrong here.

  138. 138
    Sammy says:

    Paul, pick me, pick me, I know the answer.

    A few years ago I was cleaning a wall and got the bright idea to switch cleaning products. I had been using bleach but decided to switch to an amonia solution. Some of the bleach solution was on the floor but I did not clean it up before switching. Needless to say the amonia solution dripped on the floor which set up a reaction producing a gas, which I inhaled, damaging my lungs. I still have problems today.

    So if I as an adult can make a careless mistake can you imagine what a kid would do when using these cleaning products?

    The thing about people like Newt, Mitt and the rest of the insane posse is not only that they are evil, but that they are married to women who care so little about others that they don’t tell their clown mates to tone it down.

    Is it worth losing your humanity to run for office?

  139. 139
    kay says:

    Sammy, it’s the cluelessness that gets me.
    You don’t replace the adult worker with the child if you want the child to learn something.
    Anyone who has spent any time at all with children knows this. It’s easier to do the work yourself. The whole point of chores is you’re teaching them something. They work WITH adults, children.
    Newt Gingrich can’t have spent any time with his own children if he thinks 30 children replace an adult.
    Hell, they’d have to hire an additional person to supervise the child workers.

  140. 140
    clayton says:

    @just me: When I taught in a former Soviet Republic some 10+ years ago, the students did a lot of the cleaning, too. However, it was because there was nothing in the budget to pay someone to do the hard-core cleaning, and the schools showed it. Things break down. Little kids can sweep and clean the boards, but the true cleaning that keeps kids safe from things like infections just wasn’t done.

    This is just another way that the Republicans are a throw back. I doubt the Japanese you reference do much more than what the kids in my little school did do many years ago.

    And that’s not really the point is it? I’d wager that the kids in middling-to just surviving schools know more about cleaning up for themselves than Newt’s kid ever did.

  141. 141
    kMc says:

    I fucking hate Newt Gingrich. So much.

  142. 142
    vickijean says:

    I train teachers. I tell them that they need to befriend the custodian, the lunchroom staff and the secretary. Those are the people that keep the school going. After that, worry about the principal.

  143. 143
    Lyrebird says:

    Though on a strictly literal level I disagree w/your title, Kay, I HEARTILY (however belatedly) APPLAUD your message!!

    What @cmorenc said is what I was raised to believe. My father’s mother (who scrimped and saved to get by) assured us that you show your class by how you treat those who have less than you do! (She meant, with utmost politeness and respect.)

    I always liked that Douglas Adams plot twist where the snobby colonists who left all the cleaners, etc., behind in another spaceship all died from a disease passed by using a dirty pay phone.

    I’ve done cleaning work — even w/Murphy’s oil soap and such it is hard work! And I’m particularly frustrated by Gingr.’s nasty remarks, because involving kids (WITH appropriate, trained, PAID adult supervision) in necessary tasks can be a great thing. Through a comb. of budget cuts and eco-consciousness at my elem. school (70’s), we shifted to “family style” lunches. Some (bigger) kids had to help lift bowls/baskets of food from the cart to the table. This was an *honor* — not a punishment to kids based on their parents’ incomes. Bah.

    Sorry to ramble — I know I’m late to the party here anyhow.

    Peace!

  144. 144
    Paul in KY says:

    @Sammy: Sorry it happened to you. I have done it as well back when I was a callow lad :-)

    It actually cleans pretty good (the bleach/ammonia combo)!

  145. 145
    Elias says:

    At least Newt Grinch would hire 30 nine year-olds and pay them enough to buy a pack of discount smokes everyday.

    Willard would just shut the school down and fire everyone. Profit!

  146. 146
    kay says:

    @Lyrebird:

    in necessary tasks can be a great thing. Through a comb. of budget cuts and eco-consciousness at my elem. school (70’s), we shifted to “family style” lunches. Some (bigger) kids had to help lift bowls/baskets of food from the cart to the table. This was an honor—not a punishment to kids based on their parents’ incomes. Bah.

    Sure it could be. But he can’t say that, because that contradicts The Dogma on the Right, so he has to make this insane proposal that has nothing to do with kids or school or anything real.

    I just think it shows what a complete fantasy world he lives in. As a practical matter, those lazy over-paid school employees that conservatives loathe are the very people who are going to be monitoring if the child worker shows up on time.

    If Gingrich were honest, he’d propose a program, some work-school initiative that would involve funding and Big Government and a whole new school/work coupling. But he isn’t honest, so he makes these ridiculous unworkable proposals that bring applause from the morons on the Right but mean nothing.

    This wouldn’t work, because it doesn’t make any sense. He doesn’t care. His audience doesn’t care. Pundits don’t care. They repeat his nonsense like it’s brilliant.

  147. 147
    Lyrebird says:

    @kay: Thanks for replying… and yes! He’s just playing dog-whistle-pan-flute. Saying stuff that gets the right reaction from the audience, with zero concern for feasibility or ethics or decency. Glad to have you calling him on it!

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    […] at Balloon Juice takes Newt Gingrich’s child janitors idea from the perspective of what he’s saying about adult workers: But Newt Gingrich believes […]

  149. 149

    […] nice pick apart of Newt’s child janitor proposal over at Balloon Juice.  I think this topic is being beaten to death because many, including myself, cannot fathom anyone […]

  150. 150

    […] opportunity and returning to a time of greater imbalance and division.Kay at Balloon Juice: “Only the elites insult the working adults who pick up after us“Newt Gingrich believes janitors and cafeteria workers and people who work in school libraries […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] opportunity and returning to a time of greater imbalance and division.Kay at Balloon Juice: “Only the elites insult the working adults who pick up after us“Newt Gingrich believes janitors and cafeteria workers and people who work in school libraries […]

  2. […] nice pick apart of Newt’s child janitor proposal over at Balloon Juice.  I think this topic is being beaten to death because many, including myself, cannot fathom anyone […]

  3. […] at Balloon Juice takes Newt Gingrich’s child janitors idea from the perspective of what he’s saying about adult workers: But Newt Gingrich believes […]

  4. […] give 24 hour period.  Thankfully others online cover so I don’t have to.  Kay, a blogger at Balloon Juice, had a most amusing and insightful take on Newt’s BS.  Here’s just some of what she […]

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