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.