Gingrich: Children of poor families are lazy, should be put to work

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, December 2, 2011 9:15 EDT
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Newt Gingrich speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 10, 2011. Flickr user markn3tel.
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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), now seemingly the Republican party’s new frontrunner for their presidential nomination, took rhetorical aim on Thursday at an all new threat to America’s economy, one that’s been with us all along: lazy children of poor families.

Speaking to a crowd in Iowa yesterday, Gingrich for the second time in recent weeks called for child labor laws to be repealed.

“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” he insisted. “They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash, unless it is illegal.”

Speaking at Harvard University’s Kennedy School last month, Gingrich made a similar statement, telling an audience that putting children to work at low wage jobs “is something that no liberal wants to deal with.”

“It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid,” he went on to say.

“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,” Gingrich ultimately suggested. “The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they’d begin the process of rising.”

He also recently suggested that protesters who are occupying their various cities should “go get a job right after you take a bath.”

Unemployment figures published Friday by the Labor Department showed that while the jobless rate is improving, down to 8.6 percent, hourly wages are also declining, while the number of temporary jobs has increased. While the declining unemployment rate is at its lowest figure in nearly two years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that just 120,000 new jobs were created in November. Meanwhile, over 13.3 million Americans are still unemployed.

Other data showed that for people who are out of work, it is much harder to get a new job than it is for the currently employed.

The video below is from FoxNews.com, broadcast Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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