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Steve McIntosh Report Blog

Newt's class warfare

Recently, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich commented that child labor laws are “truly stupid” … and that children in poor neighborhoods have “no habits of working” … nor getting paid for their endeavors “unless it’s illegal”. Gingrich said really poor children living in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around them who works.
Later Gingrich backed off … saying he meant people living in urban housing projects.
His comments support the stereotype that people are poor simply because they have no good work habits. But I know people who are wealthy who have no work habits at all. To say that our culture always rewards hard work with accumulated wealth is an idiotic concept.
Mr. Gingrich should have been more specific, but he still paints with too broad a brush … which looks a lot like “class warfare”.
Our thought for today is from Don Marquis:
“When a man tells you he got rich through hard work, ask him ‘whose?’”

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Topics : LaborSocial Issues
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People : Don MarquisNewt Gingrich

12/12/2011 1:07AM
Newt's class warfare
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12/13/2011 12:49PM
Mr. got it wrong
I have listened to your morning show religiously for the past 5-6 years. My children and I really enjoy listening to "Steve and Ted In The Morning" as we start our day. Recently, I have noticed a different tone in your interperatation of the political events and comments of those running for the republican nomination. In your "McIntosh Report", posted 12/12/2011, you stated phrases from Newt Gingrich's comments, in Cambridge, MA, about child labor laws to form an opinion that his comment was an attempt at "class warfare", as you call it. Below is a more complete transcript of what Mr. Gingrich actually said and NOT paraphrased: “…core policies of protecting unionization and beurocratization 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 in trapping children in…first of all child laws in which are truly stupid. Ok, You say to somebody, you shouldn't go to work before you're what, 14, 16 years of age, fine, You're totally poor. You're in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. I've tried for years to have a very simple model. 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. Get any job that teaches you to show up to work on Monday. Get any job that teaches you to stay all day even if you’re in a fight with your girlfriend. The whole process of making work worthwile is central”. I feel strongly about what he says in this message because it reflects the community that I grew up in Arkansas. In a county of only 16,000 people and with very limited jobs, most were living in poverty. But you know what? Our school system employed students to do the very things Mr. Gingrich was encouraging. We swept and mopped the floors, cleaned the bathrooms, waxed our basketball court, and took pride in taking care of our school. If it weren't for that opportunity for those young kids to earn a little money, they wouldn't have filled some of their own basic living needs...and obtain a priceless education on the value a dollar along the way. I know...I was a product of that environment. I urge you to take a second listen to what he is saying because, I assure requires no interperatation. My Quote for the day is from Colin Powell: "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
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