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A video from AFSCME:

Newt Gingrich: Most of these schools should get rid of unionized janitors, have one master janitor, and pay local students to take care of the school.

Voice: During a speech on Friday Gingrich suggested a plan to get rid of what he called truly stupid child labor laws. Basically he wants to fire unionized school janitors and replace them with unfortunate school children.

Second voice: With kids.

Third voice: He’s talking about schools that are in, in…

Voice: Economically depressed areas.

Third voice: Thank you. Yeah, and poorer sections of towns. Doing away with the janitors all together and then hiring the kids, paying them, basically, in indentured servitude to clean up the schools.

Voice: I’m not sure that someone in middle school should be cleaning up after their classmates because what sort of message does that send to that child?

The AFSME web site Really, Newt?:

….Great idea, right? That Gingrich is a real big thinker – let’s fire janitors and hire their children instead. Let’s assign children as young as nine years old to do hard manual labor cleaning up after their more fortunate classmates. Let’s all pretend this isn’t vicious, backwards and wrong….

It’s not a new idea, but Newt Gingrich, being a republican, is also irony and satire impaired.

…It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads and cabbin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in stroling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.

I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy method of making these children sound and useful members of the common-wealth, would deserve so well of the publick, as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation….

A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the publick – Dr. Jonathan Swift. 1729

And Thanksgiving is so near. Think of the possibilities.