December 7, 2011
Newt Gingrich has the kind of idealism and drive we really need to take us into the 19th century, doesn’t he?
In the last few days, he’s pretty much gone and said that the problem with America, the thing holding down the economy, is the lack of children working. Seriously. He’d like to fire all union janitors (you know, people with jobs) and replace them with children. Not only that, but those pesky child-labor laws prevent low-income children from working and helping their parents in a dire situation. For the cherry on the Sunday, his latest claim is that poor teens don’t have a work ethic. Poor people, in general, have no work ethic either, which is why they’re poor.
If you found yourself agreeing with anything Da Newt said, please leave right now. I may make you explode with my liberal rage.
Let me speak as someone who is at the bottom of the economic ladder.
I have a part-time job. It’s the only work I can find. We are expected to do full-time work on a part-time schedule and everyone I work with is over-worked and underpaid. But we do our job and we do it WELL. On occasion, when the work is available, I teach college courses and run workshops for students. I do freelance work when I can find it, but it’s nowhere near a steady income. I get up at six, sometimes five in the morning, to work on said freelance work. I get maybe $25 per article, and I write three to five articles a week. I also maintain this blog, another three to five articles a week there, work on my own writing in the hopes of getting published, and try to read as much as I can to better my skills.
I work a full day. I have a work ethic. Others in my economic bracket have a work ethic. Speaking on behalf of the Hispanic population at least, we have a damned good work ethic. The problem, and this is key, is that there ARE NO JOBS. Even though the private sector’s been getting better the last two years, the economy still has a long way to go.
This is kind of like blaming famine victims for dying because they just don’t have proper table manners. If only they knew how to properly sear a tuna steak and garnish a salad!
If you are conservative, you should be appalled that this man is leading the running for the Republican Party. The GOP thinks that people who make a million dollars don’t have enough money, but people who make $20,000 a year and get by on government assistance have it TOO easy.
I’ll admit that we’ve gotten lazy as a country in many ways. Television, for the most part, sucks. We don’t read nearly as much as other people around the world. Fast food is preferred to actually cooking. If we can’t Google it, we probably won’t even bothering looking for a book to get it.
But we like money. We like having enough to survive and a little extra to go shopping, catch a movie, or save up for a big trip. When I worked in DC, I had to get up at 5:30 AM so I could be in the office by 7:30 AM. We clocked out at 6 PM most days, but if there was important legislation going through or other urgent matters came up, we stayed an extra hour or two, sometimes three. This was NORMAL even when Congress was NOT in session. And we weren’t paid much. In fact, we were paid peanuts compared to private sector jobs. I actually make more per hour working as a part-time tutor than I did working as a Congressional assistant.
Don’t tell me poor people don’t have a work ethic.
I have a damn good work ethic. Nearly everyone I know in my situation has a good work ethic. Five back-to-back tutoring sessions, a presentation, and on-the-job training? All in five hours? Sure thing.
It’s just that pricks like Gingrich and the rest of the GOP seem to think having money must mean you worked for every dollar. Did Gingrich somehow work a thousand times harder than I did last year? No?
Will all respect to Burt Gummer, is his head up his own ass for the warmth?
Let’s watch something less scary than the thought of Gingrich as President, shall we?