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Biggirl
12-02-2011, 10:05 AM
Unless it's illegal. Here is Newt saying exactly this. (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7390203n)

My experience, growing up really poor in The Bronx, was that all of our parents worked. They just worked shitty jobs for little pay. I, myself, got working papers the minute I turned 14 and was legally able to do so.

But, like they say, anecdote is not data. Is it true that really poor kids' parents don't work and so they have no idea what it means to go to work? Where is Newt getting these facts from?


This may be more suited for GQ. I tossed a coin.

Really Not All That Bright
12-02-2011, 10:08 AM
I don't think it's a controversial idea that poor people are less likely to be employed. I mean, that's a pretty big reason why a lot of poor people are poor. The debatable bit is whether they're poor and unemployed because there is no work to be had, or (not to put words in Newt's mouth) because they're all lazy or something.

Biggirl
12-02-2011, 10:13 AM
I don't think it's a controversial idea that poor people are less likely to be employed. I mean, that's a pretty big reason why a lot of poor people are poor. The debatable bit is whether they're poor and unemployed because there is no work to be had, or (not to put words in Newt's mouth) because they're all lazy or something.

The question isn't whether or not poor people are less likely to be employed. The question is if poor children do not know how to work unless it is illegal.

And, as I said above, every one of me and my poor friends had a mom or a dad who worked and worked hard yet we were just as poor as any 20 year old on welfare with 4 kids.

John Mace
12-02-2011, 10:17 AM
Well, "really poor" kids (which is what he said) could be, by definition, in families on welfare. What he's saying (I think) is that they don't have role models who work regular jobs at regular hours. It's probably arguably true, but it's a pretty stupid thing to say without a lot more context than he gave it (or that is accessible on that audio clip). It's also really stupid to paint with such a broad brush. However, it doesn't speak to any innate flaw in the poor kids, but rather the environment they grow up in.

Anyway, I certainly don't want to defend him because, like I said, this is really only true for certain definitions of "really poor" kids, and since he didn't take the time to define what he meant (or that definition isn't available on the audio clip) it just hangs out there like the big WTF that it is. And the whole "unless it's illegal" part was even more stupid. Any poor person who is actually working is a drug dealer. :rolleyes:

Mosier
12-02-2011, 10:20 AM
Newt isn't completely wrong. There are neighborhoods with extremely low employment rates, where everyone lives in government housing, everyone's poor, and more dollars are exchanged through crime than honest trade. It seems like the proposal he was not-so-eloquently making is that kids growing up in that situation are doomed unless we can show them another way of life, for example by paying them for very low skilled work. It's not a horrible idea, but it sounds too much like another "wouldn't it be nice if..." proposal that's calculated to be appealing to everyone in the country without actually needing a real plan with numbers and timetables and stuff.

tomndebb
12-02-2011, 10:27 AM
I think Gingrich is scum, but having watched the whole clip, I would say he is taking a bad rap on this one.

His claim was not that poor kids had some inherent moral lack, but that they did not have experience seeing others work or working, themselves. His claim is over broad, but it is not without some basis in fact. (I would note that with the changes in U.S. labor with the reduction of manual jobs, the same can often be said of wealthier kids, as well).

Having made his claim, (exaggerated or not), he then actually went on to make a proposal to rectify the situation. He proposed giving these kids jobs and paying them.

Now, there are going to be objections and reservations about his proposal: are the kids going to be working below minimum wage, removing tasks from minimum wage workers who need it to get by? Are the jobs going to be nothing more than "make work" programs that will give the kids a feeling of entitlement that they deserve to be handed do nothing jobs and still get paid?

I don't think that he has proposed a panacaea that will solve all sorts of problems, but he has put forth a point that can be discussed and he was not actually being disrepectful in the way that the headline on the news clip proposes.

tomndebb
12-02-2011, 10:33 AM
And the whole "unless it's illegal" part was even more stupid. Any poor person who is actually working is a drug dealer. :rolleyes:I suspect that his words were ill-considered, but having watched the clip, again, I don't think that that was his intent. I suspect that he meant that when poor kids see other kids with money, it is more often from illegal activities. Those could be drug dealing or theft or boosting stolen property.

Again, an exaggerated and ill-considered statement, but one that is not entirely baseless.

Biggirl
12-02-2011, 10:34 AM
Of the 43.6 million families at or below the poverty level, 10.4 million of them spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force. (http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswp2009.pdf)


Poverty guidelines for 2009 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/09fedreg.shtml)

I see where I may be getting confused. We may have been poor but we weren't really poor.

constanze
12-02-2011, 10:49 AM
Where is Newt getting these facts from?

Why do you assume he's using facts? He's a conservative politican who wants to get support using populist tactics, right? Politicans stirring up the populist vote don't care about facts, they make them up or twist them.

What I hear here in Germany - borne out by real observations - is that "poverty is inherited (through social conditioning, not genes)" - a lot of people are on welfare or unemployment in the 3rd generation.

It's not that children don't know how to work (child labour is illegal in Germany, so that statement would be meaningless). It's that their parents and the parents of their classmates and their neighbours don't have professions, like the Middle Class, but only jobs - low-skilled, low-paid, often temporarily or quickly fired.

These people have no dreams, no hopes, no idea of the future, their own talents or wishes. They see and know no better that you get some dumb job or otherwise welfare, and exist. It's a sad waste of potential, because they started out with the same potential as middle-class kids, but because of enviroment discouraging them at every turn, they believe that they know nothing and can do nothing besides hang around, watch TV and work some low-level job.

The solution is of course not loosening child labour laws (as the farmers lobby does) but to offer multiple support to the children and parents to discover their talents, dreams, wishes and potential, and build that.

constanze
12-02-2011, 10:52 AM
Having made his claim, (exaggerated or not), he then actually went on to make a proposal to rectify the situation. He proposed giving these kids jobs and paying them.

Which is a dumb idea. These kids usually lack belief and perspectives. What kind of work can a poorly educated 14-year old do that is not a McDonalds job - what he can get 2 years down the road when he finishes High School?

Or that is not a guided apprenticeship (learning a craft plus counseling) which is offered in Germany as integration for teens who fail school or finding a normal apprenticeship? (Sucess varies depending on how the programm is implemented).

Biggirl
12-02-2011, 10:53 AM
I suspect that his words were ill-considered, but having watched the clip, again, I don't think that that was his intent. I suspect that he meant that when poor kids see other kids with money, it is more often from illegal activities. Those could be drug dealing or theft or boosting stolen property.

Again, an exaggerated and ill-considered statement, but one that is not entirely baseless.

And I say he's full of shit. Even though I am now very middle class, not everyone in my family or my husband's family has made it out of the projects. I don't know what kind of urban cesspool he's thinking of-- but poor people work. What really poor kids see is their parents killing themselves at menial, low paying jobs.

What kind of weird inner city living does the rest of the country think goes on? The South Bronx, where I grew up, has a 35% unemployment rate. (http://mothersonthemove.blogspot.com/2009/12/bronx-unemployment-in-nytimes.html) That's pretty goddamned high, wouldn't you say? Would you also say that the 65% of the population that have jobs are invisible? That their children don't know what going to work entails?

This country has a warped view of what it means to grow up poor and a The Wire/Homicide-Life In The Streets understanding of inner-city life.

boytyperanma
12-02-2011, 11:04 AM
Where is Newt getting these facts from?

It's hard to find cites on most of Newt's quotes because he pulls so much of his data directly from his ass.


My favorite Newt line is:

Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.

At least he occasionally admits he's a complete liar.

Biggirl
12-02-2011, 11:10 AM
Oh and I love how his solution to the really poor kids not knowing what it means to work because nobody they know has a job is to take away the menial, low paying jobs from the adults they know and give it to kids- part time, of course and at an even lower pay.

Voyager
12-02-2011, 11:37 AM
IIRC most people on welfare, assuming they are not disabled, go in and out of the work force over time, so their kids would have experience with them working.
If Newt weren't an idiot, he might propose jobs for the parents, not the kids, which would both set a good example and get them out of poverty. And programs that would give kids someplace to go and say, study after school might be nice also.

I know, I know, all Socialism.

obbn
12-02-2011, 12:25 PM
IIRC most people on welfare, assuming they are not disabled, go in and out of the work force over time, so their kids would have experience with them working.
If Newt weren't an idiot, he might propose jobs for the parents, not the kids, which would both set a good example and get them out of poverty. And programs that would give kids someplace to go and say, study after school might be nice also.

I know, I know, all Socialism.


A couple of thoughts on your post. First, those of us on disability are NOT ON WELFARE. I worked for 20+ years prior to becoming injured on the job. The Social Security Disability I receive is not welfare, but a benefit that I paid for taken from taxes placed on each and every dollar I earned. No different than an insurance policy. I apologize for getting my back up on this issue, but I cannot stand people thinking that those on SS disability are on welfare. We paid for that benefit.

Secondly, while I agree that the ultimate solution is jobs for the parents, what good exactly does "proposing jobs" by any politician do? Where are these jobs supposed to come from? The Government for the most part does not create jobs, the private sector does. I am not saying that those down don't need to have a helping hand up, but what exactly are we to do?

As far as after school study programs, I couldn't agree more that education is the main key in people getting out of poverty. The problem however, is that the children of quite a number of low income parents are not seeing an emphasis being placed on education from inside their own family. If it doesn't start at home and isn't encouraged by those at home I really think that there is nothing the Government can do to help. Kids of higher and upper middle class families do well in school because the parents place a high priority on education and they place an expectation on their children to do well in school. Families in the lower class need to place the same expectation on their children. Once the children know and understand the value of education things will start to change.

My wife is a teacher and I spend many hours as a volunteer at the school. I am amazed at the difference I see between children (regardless of race) of lower class families vs. upper middle and wealthy families. The difference is in their attitudes toward learning. The difference is in the parents direct involvement in their children's school life. This is not to say that I don't see slackers and losers (for lack of a better word) in the upper class kids, nor does it mean that I don't see individuals from the lower class families that seem to be self motivated and on their way to the top. It is just a general observation.

I am not knocking lower class children or the adults. We should help as it benefits not only the individuals that receive help, but our country as a whole. But I truly believe that there is little that we can do if the mindset of the ones who need help doesn't change.

And FWIW, on a personal note I didn't complete college. I went and dropped out choosing instead to go into the workforce in a technical blue collar job. I did very well while in this job, but certainly would have done better had I completed college. Looking back and thinking about myself and the friends of mine who did go and complete college I saw something that was undeniable. My parents didn't go to college and while they always encourage me to do well, they didn't put much emphasis on a college education. I grew up thinking it really wasn't that important. Looking back I can remember the friends that I had that got degrees and how their parents pushed the idea of college on them. It was expected that they would go and they did. A kid needs direction and sometimes a good shove in the right direction.

*Also, my use of the term class I guess could be interchangeable with the work income. I always hated the terms lower class, middle class, upper class. It always seemed to sound so derogatory or superior. But I really don't know what other term to use.

Mosier
12-02-2011, 12:33 PM
A couple of thoughts on your post. First, those of us on disability are NOT ON WELFARE. I worked for 20+ years prior to becoming injured on the job. The Social Security Disability I receive is not welfare, but a benefit that I paid for taken from taxes placed on each and every dollar I earned. No different than an insurance policy. I apologize for getting my back up on this issue, but I cannot stand people thinking that those on SS disability are on welfare. We paid for that benefit.

Secondly, while I agree that the ultimate solution is jobs for the parents, what good exactly does "proposing jobs" by any politician do? Where are these jobs supposed to come from? The Government for the most part does not create jobs, the private sector does. I am not saying that those down don't need to have a helping hand up, but what exactly are we to do?

As far as after school study programs, I couldn't agree more that education is the main key in people getting out of poverty. The problem however, is that the children of quite a number of low income parents are not seeing an emphasis being placed on education from inside their own family. If it doesn't start at home and isn't encouraged by those at home I really think that there is nothing the Government can do to help. Kids of higher and upper middle class families do well in school because the parents place a high priority on education and they place an expectation on their children to do well in school. Families in the lower class need to place the same expectation on their children. Once the children know and understand the value of education things will start to change.

My wife is a teacher and I spend many hours as a volunteer at the school. I am amazed at the difference I see between children (regardless of race) of lower class families vs. upper middle and wealthy families. The difference is in their attitudes toward learning. The difference is in the parents direct involvement in their children's school life. This is not to say that I don't see slackers and losers (for lack of a better word) in the upper class kids, nor does it mean that I don't see individuals from the lower class families that seem to be self motivated and on their way to the top. It is just a general observation.

I am not knocking lower class children or the adults. We should help as it benefits not only the individuals that receive help, but our country as a whole. But I truly believe that there is little that we can do if the mindset of the ones who need help doesn't change.

And FWIW, on a personal note I didn't complete college. I went and dropped out choosing instead to go into the workforce in a technical blue collar job. I did very well while in this job, but certainly would have done better had I completed college. Looking back and thinking about myself and the friends of mine who did go and complete college I saw something that was undeniable. My parents didn't go to college and while they always encourage me to do well, they didn't put much emphasis on a college education. I grew up thinking it really wasn't that important. Looking back I can remember the friends that I had that got degrees and how their parents pushed the idea of college on them. It was expected that they would go and they did. A kid needs direction and sometimes a good shove in the right direction.

*Also, my use of the term class I guess could be interchangeable with the work income. I always hated the terms lower class, middle class, upper class. It always seemed to sound so derogatory or superior. But I really don't know what other term to use.

"Those poor people need to help themselves before anyone else can help them" is not a particularly helpful observation to make. We are discussing what we as a society can do to improve the hopeless situation lots of people are in. We can't force families to place a higher priority on education, but we can as a society provide incentives for educational achievement, for example.

Biggirl
12-02-2011, 12:43 PM
As far as after school study programs, I couldn't agree more that education is the main key in people getting out of poverty. The problem however, is that the children of quite a number of low income parents are not seeing an emphasis being placed on education from inside their own family. If it doesn't start at home and isn't encouraged by those at home I really think that there is nothing the Government can do to help. Kids of higher and upper middle class families do well in school because the parents place a high priority on education and they place an expectation on their children to do well in school. Families in the lower class need to place the same expectation on their children. Once the children know and understand the value of education things will start to change.



So, until these children learn the value of a good education, let's fire all the janitors except one and have the kids do the labor for real cheap. That'll learn 'em!

John Mace
12-02-2011, 12:47 PM
Which is a dumb idea. These kids usually lack belief and perspectives. What kind of work can a poorly educated 14-year old do that is not a McDonalds job - what he can get 2 years down the road when he finishes High School?

There is nothing wrong with a "McDonald's job" for any kid, rich or poor. The idea is to give the kid (and I would say every kid needs to learn this) the experience that you have to show up, and you have to have the discipline to show up every day. The actual job is less important than the life skills learned with having the responsibility of a job. But again, I think all kids (teenagers) can benefit from that.

I had a more or less shit job when I was 14. Most of my friends did, too. But it was nice to have spending money and it kept us off the streets during the day.

obbn
12-02-2011, 12:48 PM
"Those poor people need to help themselves before anyone else can help them" is not a particularly helpful observation to make. We are discussing what we as a society can do to improve the hopeless situation lots of people are in. We can't force families to place a higher priority on education, but we can as a society provide incentives for educational achievement, for example.


That isn't exactly what I said. To clarify, I conceded that we as a society need to help those less fortunate. However it is my opinion that no matter how much we do to help change will not come unless change also comes from inside as well. We can do everything in our power to foster education BUT until the children receive support and encouragement from their family and communities as a whole I believe that the help we give won't be enough to overcome the status quo.

I disagree and think that by pointing out the failures in the social network of those needing help is quite helpful. Would you disagree that a foundation set down by the families of children is necessary for them to succeed in life? Would you agree that a child would be more successful in school if they had the support of their parents concerning their education?

What is so terrible about saying to the lower class parents, "we would like to help you and your children build better lives but in order to do so WE NEED YOUR HELP AS WELL. Could you please become more involved in your child's education. Contact their teachers and see what you can do to assist your child. Take the initiative and make sure that your child is doing their assignments and turning them in. Talk to your kids about how important an education is and explain to them that college can be and should be an option. Tell them that the way out of the situation that they are in is education. Make sure that they know that by doing the best they can and trying harder each day they can succeed in life." My God, the horror in those words.

Once again, I agree that we need to help those in need. But we can't help those who aren't willing to help themselves. And you are correct that we can't force families to place a higher priority on education. But if they don't want to, isn't that the same as someone denying help in the first place? If they don't want to contribute to changing their circumstances I fail to see what we can possibly do to help them. The old saying is "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink".

CJJ*
12-02-2011, 12:59 PM
The most credible reading of the clip is that once again the unctuous Newt has trouble concealing a long-running contempt for the poor. Just this week, he basically lied about SNAP (formerly known as the food stamp program) (http://news.yahoo.com/fact-checking-newt-gingrich-food-stamps-claims-120057164.html) as part of his usual act to demonize those who don't have the courtesy to get rich like him.

News flash: Newt likes money a whole lot, and poor people represent for him a diversion of cash that could be going his way instead. I have no doubt his suggestion that poor kids work in schools--at lower wages, notice--is a way to reduce public spending on schools, freeing up more cash for him to spend at Tiffany's.

constanze
12-02-2011, 01:11 PM
Secondly, while I agree that the ultimate solution is jobs for the parents, what good exactly does "proposing jobs" by any politician do? Where are these jobs supposed to come from? The Government for the most part does not create jobs, the private sector does. I am not saying that those down don't need to have a helping hand up, but what exactly are we to do?

The govt. can create jobs. There are a lot of jobs out there that need to be done right now, and could be done with cheap credit available, that would benefit the country and the people: repairing bridges, streets, water pipes; improving the four seperate power networks the US have into one to share power; build new wind parks on the coasts and solar plants in the desert; just paint all houses white to reduce AC cost in the summer with reflection...

It's the conservatives who are bent on reducing spending that are blocking them.

As far as after school study programs, I couldn't agree more that education is the main key in people getting out of poverty. The problem however, is that the children of quite a number of low income parents are not seeing an emphasis being placed on education from inside their own family. If it doesn't start at home and isn't encouraged by those at home I really think that there is nothing the Government can do to help. Kids of higher and upper middle class families do well in school because the parents place a high priority on education and they place an expectation on their children to do well in school. Families in the lower class need to place the same expectation on their children. Once the children know and understand the value of education things will start to change.

My wife is a teacher and I spend many hours as a volunteer at the school. I am amazed at the difference I see between children (regardless of race) of lower class families vs. upper middle and wealthy families. The difference is in their attitudes toward learning. The difference is in the parents direct involvement in their children's school life. This is not to say that I don't see slackers and losers (for lack of a better word) in the upper class kids, nor does it mean that I don't see individuals from the lower class families that seem to be self motivated and on their way to the top. It is just a general observation.

Just because the parents don't think education is important doesn't mean it's impossible. It means that the govt. needs to step in and spend initial money to get the kids motivated and show them that somebody cares. There are enough success stories of one teacher or volunteer at a youth center believing in a kid enough for the kid to believe in himself and pursue their dreams and make something better than a job slave.

And FWIW, on a personal note I didn't complete college. I went and dropped out choosing instead to go into the workforce in a technical blue collar job. I did very well while in this job, but certainly would have done better had I completed college. Looking back and thinking about myself and the friends of mine who did go and complete college I saw something that was undeniable. My parents didn't go to college and while they always encourage me to do well, they didn't put much emphasis on a college education. I grew up thinking it really wasn't that important. Looking back I can remember the friends that I had that got degrees and how their parents pushed the idea of college on them. It was expected that they would go and they did. A kid needs direction and sometimes a good shove in the right direction.

I still think that the US should overhaul the college system to the dual apprenticeship system Germany has, where for lower blue-collar jobs and crafts, people train 2-3 years as apprentice parallel to visiting a vocational school. And they get paid from the employer during this time instead of racking up thousands of dollars in debt. The employers do this because it's an investment into the future to have skilled Facharbeiter (craftsmen) available for hire with a minimum of both practical and theoretical knowledge, and because after the first year the apprentices can already do some minor work under supervision.

Not everybody needs a college education aimed at academia for a blue collar job; but many blue collar professions need more than 2 weeks to train somebody properly.

constanze
12-02-2011, 01:12 PM
There is nothing wrong with a "McDonald's job" for any kid, rich or poor. The idea is to give the kid (and I would say every kid needs to learn this) the experience that you have to show up, and you have to have the discipline to show up every day. The actual job is less important than the life skills learned with having the responsibility of a job. But again, I think all kids (teenagers) can benefit from that.

I had a more or less shit job when I was 14. Most of my friends did, too. But it was nice to have spending money and it kept us off the streets during the day.

A McDonalds job not to earn pocket money, but as full-time job because you can't find anything else is what I was referring to, and that is widely regarded as bad.

CJJ*
12-02-2011, 01:17 PM
Adding to my previous post, in 1994 Newt called for AFDC to be scrapped and the money used to build "Boys' Town"-style orphanages for the children of the poor (http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/13/us/the-1994-election-issues-momentum-builds-for-cutting-back-welfare-system.html):Mr. Gingrich, by contrast, describes such programs not as the strands of a safety net but as the teeth of a trap that lures the poor into self-destructive behavior.

He would allow states to end assistance to large numbers of A.F.D.C. recipients, whether or not they were willing to join a work program. He would use some of the money to build orphanages or group homes for the children of those families rendered destitute.

But Mr. Gingrich's proposal goes beyond the main Federal welfare program. Indeed, some Republicans estimate that over the next five years his proposal could translate into cuts of roughly $40 billion or more in food, housing and income programs, including those that serve the disabled and the indigent elderly.
And as he describes his "idea", see if you can hear the GOP dog-whistle:
"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."
Ah, unions...any doubt this is a cost-cutting measure, rather than a real effort to help the poor?

constanze
12-02-2011, 01:22 PM
That isn't exactly what I said. To clarify, I conceded that we as a society need to help those less fortunate. However it is my opinion that no matter how much we do to help change will not come unless change also comes from inside as well. We can do everything in our power to foster education BUT until the children receive support and encouragement from their family and communities as a whole I believe that the help we give won't be enough to overcome the status quo.

I disagree and think that by pointing out the failures in the social network of those needing help is quite helpful. Would you disagree that a foundation set down by the families of children is necessary for them to succeed in life? Would you agree that a child would be more successful in school if they had the support of their parents concerning their education?

What is so terrible about saying to the lower class parents, "we would like to help you and your children build better lives but in order to do so WE NEED YOUR HELP AS WELL. Could you please become more involved in your child's education. Contact their teachers and see what you can do to assist your child. Take the initiative and make sure that your child is doing their assignments and turning them in. Talk to your kids about how important an education is and explain to them that college can be and should be an option. Tell them that the way out of the situation that they are in is education. Make sure that they know that by doing the best they can and trying harder each day they can succeed in life." My God, the horror in those words.

Once again, I agree that we need to help those in need. But we can't help those who aren't willing to help themselves. And you are correct that we can't force families to place a higher priority on education. But if they don't want to, isn't that the same as someone denying help in the first place? If they don't want to contribute to changing their circumstances I fail to see what we can possibly do to help them. The old saying is "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink".

Because children aren't set in their ways. And because parents aren't the only influence (thankfully) in a child's life. I know how sacrosanct the rights of parents over the welfare of the children are in the US, but still - what you are saying is contrary to both established pedagogic and psychology knowledge about children, and to studies done on projects aimed specifically to help lower-class children.

Those studies show e.g. that if you take a child at age 3 and pay (the state) to have it attend not only Kindergarden, but additional Early Childhood intervention based on the needs of the individual child (Addtional speech therapy, music lessons, dance/gymnastic/movement lessons ....) - then it costs a few thousands Euros at this stage, but the children have a much higher success rate later on at completing High School plus learning a profession and becoming real employed (permanenently) than the children from the same ghetto who didn't get them, saving hundreds of thousands of Euros in welfare later on.

Even outside school, there are grandparents and aunts. Then there are peers, which starting with High School have a much higher influence than parents anyway.

And any adult who's regularly in the kids life, whether it's a youth pastor, teacher, club volunteer ... who can connect to the child, and genuinly cares, can turn a kid around.

A lot of people already are volunteering their time, all the state needs is a place (youth club, school after hours) some money for materials and general acknowledgment that This Is A Good Thing We Will Keep Doing It even after the next election, and won't cut it first thing when spending cuts are discussed.

Because that also plays a role: children see from their parents struggle (they aren't dumb) that poor people are criticized and dumped on and blamed as being lazy, no matter what they do, and that politicans cut their stuff first. In rich neighborhoods, parks aren't given up as quickly as a baseball court in a poor area. They rightfully feel that nobody cares about them.

obbn
12-02-2011, 01:23 PM
A McDonalds job not to earn pocket money, but as full-time job because you can't find anything else is what I was referring to, and that is widely regarded as bad.

Well, we found something that we agree on. Yes, a McDonalds job is generally bad. I guess the managers can make a decent living, but working the register at McDonalds isn't a career. No shame in it, would rather work there than not at all, but certainly just a fill the time job until a real one comes along.

Now that we agree on something, how do we fix it? I still contend that the only way to fix the unemployment/underemployment in this country is through the expansion of private sector jobs. They might be in manufacturing, sales, medical or whatever but until the private sector starts to expand and needs more people this won't get any better. The best way to do that is for the Government to place as little restrictions on companies as possible. You have to make hiring people and expanding your business a smart thing to do from a financial standpoint or they wont do it. Companies are in business to make money for either their owners or the shareholders. If hiring new employees causes a net decline to the bottom line there is no reason to do so. Don't saddle small business with regulations that they can't afford, let them grow.

puddleglum
12-02-2011, 01:30 PM
Newt is correct, the phrasing of it makes it ripe to be taken out of context to seem like he is blaming the poor children. When you look unempoloyment rates in this country the rate for black teenagers was historically lower than for white teenagers. However, with the passing of minimum wage laws this started to reverse. Now the unemployment rates of black teenage are significantly higher than for white teenagers. This despite the fact that black teenagers are more likely to be poor and have more need to work. Studies have shown that late entry into the labor force significantly effects lifetime earnings. The reason for this is that minimum wage laws price labor higher than the market clearing price for black teenage labor which is low because of poor schooling, higher rates of family dysfunction, lower rates of human capital. On the job training is crucial for people from poor neighborhoods because of the general poor quality of education in those areas. Outlawing jobs for poor kids is removing the lowest rung of the ladder out of poverty. Restricting this program to teenagers seeks to go sidestep the union opposition.

constanze
12-02-2011, 01:30 PM
"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."
Ah, unions...any doubt this is a cost-cutting measure, rather than a real effort to help the poor?

There is a grain of truth in that pile of horseshit:

japanese students are used from primary school onwards to clean their classrooms themselves, with broom and wet cloth. It's often remarked on by outsiders that there is no graffiti or other petty destruction at japanese schools.*

If a decent director of one particular school wanted to make the children feel closer to the school, and among other measures, like letting the children paint their own classroom**, then making the children clean the school themselves would be a good idea. It would also teach responsibility (you make a mess - you clean it up; you see a mess, even though you didn't cause it, you clean it up because you live here); and appreciation of people doing lower jobs.
(http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-jobs-everyone-in-world-should-have-at-some-point/)

But coming from a tainted source of a guy who mistreats people and lies about the poor to score points, no suggestion is sensible.

* Though I wonder how much the strong japanese peer pressure at group conformity also plays a role in this - graffiti and destruction are also ways at asserting individuality and showing your hate of the school. If group conformity forbids feelings of hate or expression of individuality, then they don't get expressed.

** Not white paint to save costs, but with a picture - we did that as art project in 10th grade. Only on wallpaper so it wasn't permanent, to allow the next year's class to do a different one, though.

Biggirl
12-02-2011, 01:37 PM
Newt is correct, the phrasing of it makes it ripe to be taken out of context to seem like he is blaming the poor children. When you look unempoloyment rates in this country the rate for black teenagers was historically lower than for white teenagers. However, with the passing of minimum wage laws this started to reverse. Now the unemployment rates of black teenage are significantly higher than for white teenagers. This despite the fact that black teenagers are more likely to be poor and have more need to work. Studies have shown that late entry into the labor force significantly effects lifetime earnings. The reason for this is that minimum wage laws price labor higher than the market clearing price for black teenage labor which is low because of poor schooling, higher rates of family dysfunction, lower rates of human capital. On the job training is crucial for people from poor neighborhoods because of the general poor quality of education in those areas. Outlawing jobs for poor kids is removing the lowest rung of the ladder out of poverty. Restricting this program to teenagers seeks to go sidestep the union opposition.

Well, somebody heard that dog whistle loud and clear.

obbn
12-02-2011, 01:41 PM
Well, somebody heard that dog whistle loud and clear.

puddleglum welcome to the insane world of the liberal mind. If you have a belief and agree with something a Conservative says you are "drinking the Kool-Aid", however if they believe in something best not say anything because then you will be accused of being closed minded and not respecting them. :smack:

constanze
12-02-2011, 01:42 PM
Now that we agree on something, how do we fix it? I still contend that the only way to fix the unemployment/underemployment in this country is through the expansion of private sector jobs. They might be in manufacturing, sales, medical or whatever but until the private sector starts to expand and needs more people this won't get any better. The best way to do that is for the Government to place as little restrictions on companies as possible. You have to make hiring people and expanding your business a smart thing to do from a financial standpoint or they wont do it. Companies are in business to make money for either their owners or the shareholders. If hiring new employees causes a net decline to the bottom line there is no reason to do so. Don't saddle small business with regulations that they can't afford, let them grow.

Wrong, we need more Govt. As I already said in my earlier post, Govt. can create a lot of jobs by spending money on infrastructure jobs (which also benefit the country mid- and long-term). These jobs will be carried out either directly by small businesses or by training people first to do them and then hiring them.

However, small business have a hard time not primarliy because of govt. regs., but because of competition from big corps., where govt. regulations have been relaxed. All the troubles that the banks cause hits not only private Joes, but also small businesses.

So if govt. introduced stricter regs. against corporations, with the intention of levelling the playing field a bit again, then small business could create some jobs. But as long as companies can locate thousands of jobs to China, get a special deal from the city when opening a new plant, close it down again after 1 year and keep all the benefits from the special deal although the jobs are now destroyed again ... so long jobs won't be created.

Biggirl
12-02-2011, 01:48 PM
If Newt's proposition was to make all school children clean their schools as part of the curriculum, that would be one thing. His proposal is to fire most of the janitors and have the poor children clean the schools for very little money. His reasoning is that'll teach poor kids what it means to work since they would have no clue otherwise. Because all they know is crime.

I am amazed at what some people think it is like to be poor. I can't even say these ideas came from TV. I mean, along with NYPD Blue there was Good Times and Roseanne.

puddleglum
12-02-2011, 02:24 PM
puddleglum welcome to the insane world of the liberal mind. If you have a belief and agree with something a Conservative says you are "drinking the Kool-Aid", however if they believe in something best not say anything because then you will be accused of being closed minded and not respecting them. :smack:

In her defense the staus quo is working out so well for black teenagers that any proposal to change it must be hidden call out to racists.
Of course if it was a dog whistle and only racists can hear it, what does it say about BiGirl that she heard it?

Jack Batty
12-02-2011, 02:32 PM
Newt said "poor," you heard "black."

Need the whistle be a little bit higher in pitch or something?

John Mace
12-02-2011, 02:54 PM
A McDonalds job not to earn pocket money, but as full-time job because you can't find anything else is what I was referring to, and that is widely regarded as bad.

But we're talking about teenagers. They're supposed to get the crap jobs because they typically have no or few skills. You originally complained that a McDonald's job was not good training for "real" jobs, but I contend that it's just fine for someone at that stage in life. It's not that they hope to be the world's best burger flipper when they grow up. It's that you start at the bottom rung and work your way up. It also teaches them that this isn't what they want to be doing when they're 35 (or even 25).

elucidator
12-02-2011, 03:02 PM
Its a shrewd tactic.

There a simply oodles of Americans who are, at least for the moment, more or less middling class. But they are on the very brink, and they know it, or they aren't, but are afraid they might be. All you gotta do is tell them what they are likely to believe, that they are deserving, they are the good people. But their well-being is threatened by all those lazy no-accounts sucking on the tax teat. Austerity, that's what this country needs!

Its an appealing message for the fearful. And there are few notions easier to sell than "you are more deserving than the other guy". I wish I could say it won't work. But to one degree or another, its bound to. And if he can subtly blend in a little racism without actually saying it? So much the better.

constanze
12-02-2011, 03:16 PM
But we're talking about teenagers. They're supposed to get the crap jobs because they typically have no or few skills. You originally complained that a McDonald's job was not good training for "real" jobs, but I contend that it's just fine for someone at that stage in life. It's not that they hope to be the world's best burger flipper when they grow up. It's that you start at the bottom rung and work your way up. It also teaches them that this isn't what they want to be doing when they're 35 (or even 25).

First, the younger teens are when you shove them out into the adult workplace, the less education they are going to get. And not only formal education - the whole "broadening your mind that there other issues besides short-time monetary gain" that goes on in higher schools and universities, to produce people able to look and plan beyond one fiscal quarter, people with a vision, people who care about art and nature and future.
If a 15-year old starts working full-time instead of going to school to learn about the Illiad, he'll think only of things to buy with his money, and slack the evenings off on the couch, or ride around on the motorbike he bought with the money. He'll use interest in pursuing further education.

So if you want people to see that education is important, forcing them into shitty jobs is the wrong path for that.

And teens need to learn how to think in school to be able to continue education. There's an age beyond which it's incredibly hard (or impossible) to learn critical thinking if you haven't learned it by then. So keeping children in school is important. A full-time job at the age when teens need a lot of sleep is contraproductive to furthering education. (That's why all those extra-curricalur actvities, the parties to attend to be popular, and the jobs to earn pocket money plus hours-long homework are seriously bad for US teens - they lead to lack of sleep, which affects the mind, the mood, and development).

There's also the problem that letting teens slave at MacDonalds doesn't teach them how to do better. Sure, they don't want to do that job for life. What's the alternative path they can take if their parents are poor? Go to college? Not in the US where it's expensive.
Learn a real job as apprentice? Not in the US which doesn't offer that choice.

What's left instead?

See also But here's the thing: Those Baby Boomers who started this "you don't want to flip burgers" bullshit did flip burgers. Or roof houses, or mine coal, or wax porn stars' assholes. And that wasn't something to be ashamed of back then -- that was the era before you needed a bachelor's degree to get a job waiting tables (but more on that in a moment). But at some point between my grandfather's time and now, getting your hands dirty became something to be ashamed of. My generation perpetuated that. We made it socially unacceptable to:

A) Do any job that requires sweat and/or a uniform.

B) Work 70-hour weeks to get ahead.

So if you don't do either of those things, what's left? Getting an education and waiting for a good job in your field. But now, when we catch you doing that, we mock you and tell you to go flip burgers. And that's bullshit. We told you your whole lives that those jobs were for idiots and failures. You think you're too good for those jobs because that's what we've been fucking telling you since birth.

Read more: 5 Ways We Ruined the Occupy Wall Street Generation | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-we-ruined-occupy-wall-street-generation/#ixzz1fPiSZjxb


And Last month, I overheard a conversation between a steakhouse waiter and an older couple he was serving. He knew the couple, but not intimately. They politely asked how his classes were coming along, and he said that he had in fact graduated with a degree in architecture. For the next several minutes, the old couple awkwardly tried to reassure him that something would come along while he attempted to justify to them why he was serving steaks for a living.

It was painfully clear that he felt like a failure, and that he dreaded having this conversation with every older member of his family he encountered. Having to put a positive spin on his own life, trying to reassure them that he wasn't a failure, or lazy, or hadn't dropped out of society due to a drug problem. Yes, I did get my degree. No, they're not hiring.

Read more: 5 Ways We Ruined the Occupy Wall Street Generation | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-we-ruined-occupy-wall-street-generation/#ixzz1fPkUAci9

constanze
12-02-2011, 03:20 PM
Another aspect: It's useless to know how to work 8 hrs straight and be diligent and all that .. if there are 10 or 50 applicants for every job opening. Even for McDonalds.

Because that's what all those "lets bash the lazy poor people" asshole conservatives are not telling: it's not laziness that prevents people from getting a job, it's lack of jobs. Which, again, is largely the fault of the Conservatives in govt. preventing programs that created jobs in the last depression (the New Deal under FDR). And before, the recession that killed jobs being caused by deregulation of private industry by conservatives. Who now bash again the poor instead of the rich.

John Mace
12-02-2011, 03:38 PM
Who said they should work full time during the school year?

Full time in the summer, and part time during the school year.

This is not rocket surgery. It is the way of the world.

obbn
12-02-2011, 04:53 PM
Wrong, we need more Govt. As I already said in my earlier post, Govt. can create a lot of jobs by spending money on infrastructure jobs (which also benefit the country mid- and long-term). These jobs will be carried out either directly by small businesses or by training people first to do them and then hiring them.

However, small business have a hard time not primarliy because of govt. regs., but because of competition from big corps., where govt. regulations have been relaxed. All the troubles that the banks cause hits not only private Joes, but also small businesses.

So if govt. introduced stricter regs. against corporations, with the intention of levelling the playing field a bit again, then small business could create some jobs. But as long as companies can locate thousands of jobs to China, get a special deal from the city when opening a new plant, close it down again after 1 year and keep all the benefits from the special deal although the jobs are now destroyed again ... so long jobs won't be created.

Well, why I appreciate your view I can see that chances are we aren't every going to see eye to eye on this. In my view, the more Government gets involved the more problems it causes. As far as jobs (specifically manufacturing jobs) going overseas I for the most part put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the American consumer. See, the American consumer is a strange creature. He/she insist on paying the least amount for a product, why do you think WalMart has been so successful? But on the other hand the same people that demand lower prices for the items they purchase demand higher wages for the worker. It is a paradox. If you have workers making high salaries (and I am in no way saying they shouldn't, just explaining something I see) then the prices of the goods they produce are going to go up in order to cover the cost of that labor. Problem is, if the average consumer isn't willing to purchase more expensive items even though they are made in the USA by Americans then the company that makes them can no longer, and then the worker loses his/her job.

I had this discussion in another thread, the one about Japanese products, and used the example of my mother. My mother is a die hard union person, having worked in a union job until she retired. She is very vocal about her desire to have unions in just about every single workplace, because among other things union employees make more money than non-union employees. I have no problem with that at all, but when I went shopping recently with her she was purchasing a new item (a toaster I think it was). She looked at the offerings, 10 or more different models and she gravitated directly to the least expensive one (Mom has never cared about style, features and the like. She almost always buys based on price). Feeling like making a point I showed her that the model she choose was made in China. I went through everyone of the offerings and found one made in the USA. I don't know if it was union, but certainly made in the US. It was almost $13 more than the one she choose. Even though I pointed out that it was made in the USA, maybe by unions and the one she picked was made in China I couldn't change her mind. She thought about it, but ultimately choose price over belief.

I mention this because I feel that this is repeated thousands of times a day throughout our country. You cannot have high paying jobs and then choose to purchase foreign items because they are cheaper. The only things that happen are the USA companies end up not being able to compete. In the end they move their manufacturing arms out in order to compete with the lower priced imports. It might be moral to stand by your guns, hire Americans and a good wage, but it is not sustainable if most won't buy your product because you can't sell it for a price they are willing to pay.

I do realize that this is off the OP, but you brought jobs leaving overseas, so I thought I would address it. I don't believe foreigners are doing jobs Americans don't want to do, but I do think they are willing to do it at a price that Americans can't do it for. And we have to make a choice in this country. Buy American and pay more or watch our jobs keep going overseas to save a dollar.

aruvqan
12-02-2011, 05:06 PM
Well, "really poor" kids (which is what he said) could be, by definition, in families on welfare. What he's saying (I think) is that they don't have role models who work regular jobs at regular hours. It's probably arguably true, but it's a pretty stupid thing to say without a lot more context than he gave it (or that is accessible on that audio clip).
I wonder if anybody has ever pointed out to him that a majority of retail and waitstaffing positions actually may have a full 30+ hours, but the specific days and hours worked rotate as the needs of the employer dictate .... my friend Lisa never has the same days off each week and shifts around between opening and overnights pretty much randomly. [she works at Walmart, it is ope 7/24]

monstro
12-02-2011, 07:01 PM
I wonder if Newt knows why there's an appeal of doing "illegal" work: the potential--however remote--of rising up the organization. When you have that dream in your head, freezing out on the corner at night and dodging the police.

If there's going to be a successful "get-the-poor-kids-to-work" type program, it has to emphasize not just the value of work, but the value of ambition. Just putting a mop in a kid's hand is not going to do anything but tell that kid, "This is your lot in life. Deal with it." You've got to couple mentoring with that mop. There has to be some incentive besides money.

It's not that poor kids don't see people working. They see plenty of working. They just don't see hope.

I don't know why people are even mentioning race in this thread. Most poor people in this country are white. And always have been.

you with the face
12-05-2011, 10:13 AM
What I don't get is why Newt thinks lowering the minimum worker age is a realistic solution to the problem he's identified. (Disclaimer: I only skimmed what he said.)

If poor teens who are currently eligible to work aren't clamoring to be janitors now, what would be the incentive for their little brothers and sisters to suddenly pick up the mops?

And what are the adults who are doing those jobs now supposed to do when the horde of job-hungry children flood in and start outcompeting them for work?

Let's put aside the validity of his observation regarding poor youth in this country. I'm more concerned about a politician's ability to solve problems without creating eleventy hundred more.

puddleglum
12-05-2011, 11:06 AM
Another aspect: It's useless to know how to work 8 hrs straight and be diligent and all that .. if there are 10 or 50 applicants for every job opening. Even for McDonalds.

Because that's what all those "lets bash the lazy poor people" asshole conservatives are not telling: it's not laziness that prevents people from getting a job, it's lack of jobs. Which, again, is largely the fault of the Conservatives in govt. preventing programs that created jobs in the last depression (the New Deal under FDR). And before, the recession that killed jobs being caused by deregulation of private industry by conservatives. Who now bash again the poor instead of the rich.

This is what is known as priceless economics. Why are there no jobs for poor people? There are still burgers that need to be flipped, dishes that need to be washed, and floors that need to be swept. Regulations such as the minimum wage have driven the price for labor up above the market clearing price and have effectively banned the jobs from being created. This teen unemployment creates a cycle where wages are depressed for all of their working lives, trapping hard working people in poverty. Liberals are always bleating about their concern for the poor and this is a concrete step that could help improve the lives of thousands of poor young people at no cost to the taxpayers. Poor people can not feed their families with empty rhetoric they need jobs.

you with the face
12-05-2011, 11:29 AM
This is what is known as priceless economics. Why are there no jobs for poor people? There are still burgers that need to be flipped, dishes that need to be washed, and floors that need to be swept. Regulations such as the minimum wage have driven the price for labor up above the market clearing price and have effectively banned the jobs from being created. This teen unemployment creates a cycle where wages are depressed for all of their working lives, trapping hard working people in poverty.

Why are we so worried about putting teens to work when there are plenty of unemployed adults who need them a lot more? Last time I checked, more adults than kids have bills to pay.

All abolishing the minimum wage is going to do is depress wages for workers who already earn less than it takes to support a household. If kids take those jobs instead of adults, that means someone's parent will be out of a job. No different than what we see when illegal immigrants compete against citizens for low-wage jobs. Are Conservatives now of the belief that this is a good thing? Help me yall, I can't keep up.

Newt seems to be operating under the impression that undoing Child Labor Laws means new jobs will spring out of ether. But more likely than not, creating "new jobs" without raising overhead costs is only attainable by depressing wages for the existing workers.

constanze
12-05-2011, 11:41 AM
This is what is known as priceless economics. Why are there no jobs for poor people? There are still burgers that need to be flipped, dishes that need to be washed, and floors that need to be swept. Regulations such as the minimum wage have driven the price for labor up above the market clearing price and have effectively banned the jobs from being created.

This is obviously logically and factually false.

First, not all states have minimum wage laws.

Second, not all sectors are subject to minimum wage.

Third, as you said, even with minimum wage applying to McD, burgers still need to be flipped. They might cut down from 4 to 3 employees, or raise the prices, or both. But they won't close down shop just because of minimum wage law.

Fourth, you have ignored the Ford effect: Ford, an arch-capitalist, paid his workers higher wage than usual because he realized that his workers would buy his products if they could afford them. If minimum wage allows the workers to afford a Big Mac, they will buy, and may even buy enough to open a new McD.

Or do you have statistics comparing states with minimum wage laws to those without, or comparing statistics before and after introduction of minimum wage laws in the same state, factoring out other influences on the job market?

This teen unemployment creates a cycle where wages are depressed for all of their working lives, trapping hard working people in poverty.

What the hell has teen unemployment got to do with wages being depressed for the whole working life? And if you're complaining about minimum wage, you can't complain about wages being depressed = too low. Either wages are too high for the poor business owners, or they are too low for the poor workers.

Moreover, ostentatiously the whole (dumb) reasoning for Newt and fellow consies repeating this slur against poor people is that they need to learn job skills as teens in order to get better paying jobs as adults to escape poverty.

How exactly do you get from "minimum wage and not enough jobs at McD for teens" to "jobs for adults have too low wages" without seeing the contradiction?

Liberals are always bleating about their concern for the poor and this is a concrete step that could help improve the lives of thousands of poor young people at no cost to the taxpayers.

Ah, you are attacking liberals, I assume you are a conservative then? Therefore you know everything already and don't need those inconvenient facts, right?

I also see that you completly ignored that part of my post where I said that learning job skills as teen is useless if that same adult can't get a job. How exactly would getting rid of minimum wage laws change that? Jobs aren't created just because consies repeat that the rich would if the laws were relaxed. We look at the facts of how regulations that were loosened and see that all the rich did was making out like bandits, but no new job creation.

Poor people can not feed their families with empty rhetoric they need jobs.

They can't feed them empty rhetoric from conservatives who know nothing about the real world, agreed.

Poor people also can't feed their families if minimum wage laws are done away with because then the jobs available can't support the family. Have you ever heard of the working poor? People working two full-time jobs because the wages are not high enough? Are you going to claim that having a job is better than not having one, even if it's only a fraction of the minimum expenses?

magellan01
12-05-2011, 11:49 AM
There's a charter school in Harlem, I think...maybe Newark that when grammar school kids come to the class they have to sit on the floor. They have to pay for the privilege of sitting at a desk. If they want to sit in the front, or near the window, the "rent" for those desks is higher. Kids can go as far as to buy a particular desk and rent it out to others. This is in an area of poor blacks children, with a single-parent rate of 99%. Now, these kids have zero money, so they earn "money" (credits) by doing things in the classroom. Things like raising one's hand and waiting to be called on before speaking, handing in homework on time, doing it neatly, walking to the lunch room in an orderly fashion, etc. Note that none of these things have to do with the academics themselves, so all kids have an equal shot of sitting in the most desirable seats.

The people who run the school realized that the kids in this area weren't being taught basic life skills that will help them in the world, so they expanded their mission from simply teaching them the three Rs.

This is the kind of thing that can be done, that should be done, and thankfully, is being done.

rogerbox
12-05-2011, 11:57 AM
I don't know why people are even mentioning race in this thread. Most poor people in this country are white. And always have been.

Your statement is true, but race comes up whenever repubs talk about the poor because "the poor" and "urban" are republican code words for "black/hispanic" and they use that racist imagery to promote a fake agenda of welfare abuse so that they can dismantle social services and funnel more money to the richest segments of society.

It is all a part of their "starve the beast" strategy that they have admitted publicly. By convincing the working class that social services and govt don't work, they can dismantle govt after eroding public confidence, and then point to the dismantled govt and say "See? TOLD YOU it doesn't work!"

It's ingenious and shows amazing foresight. Evil and disgusting, but brilliant.

constanze
12-05-2011, 12:00 PM
Well, why I appreciate your view I can see that chances are we aren't every going to see eye to eye on this. In my view, the more Government gets involved the more problems it causes.

Your view is not supported by historic facts. The New Deal under FDR lessened the depression and was govt. getting involved in helping the unemployed and poor people.

That your food is reasonable safe: FDA. Govt. laws and regulations and control of them.

That your water and air is better than in 1890: EPA. Govt. laws and regs and control.

And so on.

And for the third time now, you've completly ignored the hundreds of thousands of jobs in infrastructure and power production that need to be done here by the govt. Or do you prefer pipes to burst, bridges to collapse, roads to have potholes and to suffer from brown-outs because of your shoddy power net instead of spending money to improve both infrastructure and create jobs? You do know that infrastructure breaking down is not only a nuisance for the normal people, but also a big cost factor for businesses, do you?

As far as jobs (specifically manufacturing jobs) going overseas I for the most part put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the American consumer. See, the American consumer is a strange creature. He/she insist on paying the least amount for a product, why do you think WalMart has been so successful? But on the other hand the same people that demand lower prices for the items they purchase demand higher wages for the worker. It is a paradox. If you have workers making high salaries (and I am in no way saying they shouldn't, just explaining something I see) then the prices of the goods they produce are going to go up in order to cover the cost of that labor. Problem is, if the average consumer isn't willing to purchase more expensive items even though they are made in the USA by Americans then the company that makes them can no longer, and then the worker loses his/her job.

First, consumers everywhere, not only American ones, have started to buy cheapest stuff because the companies changed their method. The difference between the cheap generic and the expensive brand is no longer quality - in the 70s already, they often came from the same factory, just with different labels, and brand spent money on marketing, while generic didn't.

And in the 50s and 60s, companies realized that making products durable, high-quality meant that soon the market would be saturated and sales would plummet, and their solution was to limit the lifecycle of their products by making them shoddier and less durable.

Third, the labels "Made in America" is a big lie to the customers, anyway. If 30 components are made in China, but assembled in the US, the label reads "Made in the USA", even though only one worker was employeed here.

I had this discussion in another thread, the one about Japanese products, and used the example of my mother. My mother is a die hard union person, having worked in a union job until she retired. She is very vocal about her desire to have unions in just about every single workplace, because among other things union employees make more money than non-union employees. I have no problem with that at all, but when I went shopping recently with her she was purchasing a new item (a toaster I think it was). She looked at the offerings, 10 or more different models and she gravitated directly to the least expensive one (Mom has never cared about style, features and the like. She almost always buys based on price). Feeling like making a point I showed her that the model she choose was made in China. I went through everyone of the offerings and found one made in the USA. I don't know if it was union, but certainly made in the US. It was almost $13 more than the one she choose. Even though I pointed out that it was made in the USA, maybe by unions and the one she picked was made in China I couldn't change her mind. She thought about it, but ultimately choose price over belief.

So what is this one anecdote supposed to prove? Did you misunderstand the example I gave?

The problem is not that production of cheap plastic toys is outsourced to China, or computer parts to Taiwan or telephone service to India.

The problem is one, that the govt. is willing to impose drastic tariffs on some goods to protect the market, but not on others. The problem is that cities and states pay money for companies to build new factories and then, when the company has milked all the special benefits, let them get away with closing the factory down again, instead of holding the companies to their promises. (In other words, the govt. regulates half-heartedly and thus messes things up). Or the govt. not enforcing better labelling laws than "Made in ... " which can be scammed two dozen ways.

And of course unions in the US are a strange way of doing things wrong again: either you don't have any, and workers are at the mercy of the employer, or you have unions and workers must join, and things are done bureaucratically.

Here we do things differently: unions and representatives from different sectors agree on contracts which then apply for all companies in that sector. Nobody is forced to be in the union (though that is hard for the unions themselves, not enough membership dues), and things are done efficiently.

I mention this because I feel that this is repeated thousands of times a day throughout our country. You cannot have high paying jobs and then choose to purchase foreign items because they are cheaper. The only things that happen are the USA companies end up not being able to compete. In the end they move their manufacturing arms out in order to compete with the lower priced imports. It might be moral to stand by your guns, hire Americans and a good wage, but it is not sustainable if most won't buy your product because you can't sell it for a price they are willing to pay.

But a lot of jobs, and many of them high-paying, can't be outsourced. You're putting up a straw man, because factories are long gone, not only because of China, but because of automazation starting in the 70s. Today, robots do a lot of work that previously unskilled workers did.

But a plumber still needs to live 50 miles nearby. And a person with a good education at university can do R&D, which is where the US could take a lead, if they were interested in the real capital.

This is the change that all western countries have gone through, from first sector (agriculture) to second sector (manufacture) to third sector (Service industry).

Today, the only niches left in manufacture are specialist. Which need not only special expensive machines, but also skilled workers with good education and training - not 2-weeks training, but 2 years.

I do realize that this is off the OP, but you brought jobs leaving overseas, so I thought I would address it. I don't believe foreigners are doing jobs Americans don't want to do, but I do think they are willing to do it at a price that Americans can't do it for. And we have to make a choice in this country. Buy American and pay more or watch our jobs keep going overseas to save a dollar.

No, the choice is not to "buy American" if most production is still in China. The choice is to "work American" with infrastructure and brains.

rogerbox
12-05-2011, 12:02 PM
This is obviously logically and factually false.

First, not all states have minimum wage laws.

Not true. All states have to pay more than federal minimum wage which is $7.35/hr (http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages/minimumwage.htm). States are free to have minimum wage laws of their own but they must be HIGHER than federal minimum wage. My state (WA) pays $8.67/hr minimum. (http://www.lni.wa.gov/workplacerights/wages/minimum/)

Second, not all sectors are subject to minimum wage.

True but are there any jobs that legally pay less than minimum wage where a significant source of income doesn't come from tipping? I don't think there are a significant number of legal jobs in the U.S. where a person in actuality regularly works X hours and takes home less than $7.25 before taxes.

Farmer Jane
12-05-2011, 12:12 PM
Of the 43.6 million families at or below the poverty level, 10.4 million of them spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force. (http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswp2009.pdf)


Poverty guidelines for 2009 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/09fedreg.shtml)

I see where I may be getting confused. We may have been poor but we weren't really poor.

That's still 1/4th in the working force.

So that's the issue I think he's getting at. In some neighborhoods, like Mosier said, there's more money flowing on the, er, black market (crime) than otherwise. That's true with some of the families I work with when I teach. And others, well, they have single moms working their asses off and can barely pay rent. So I'd say it's a bad generalization to apply to everyone, but in some places it really is true.

Not that it's PC to point it out.

constanze
12-05-2011, 12:13 PM
Newt isn't completely wrong. There are neighborhoods with extremely low employment rates, where everyone lives in government housing, everyone's poor, and more dollars are exchanged through crime than honest trade. It seems like the proposal he was not-so-eloquently making is that kids growing up in that situation are doomed unless we can show them another way of life, for example by paying them for very low skilled work. It's not a horrible idea, but it sounds too much like another "wouldn't it be nice if..." proposal that's calculated to be appealing to everyone in the country without actually needing a real plan with numbers and timetables and stuff.

Newt is an old man, right? He grew up during the baby-boomers in the 60s or earlier, correct?

Because any time a consie or other white old man who grew up in the 50s or 60s opens his mouth to talk about how the poor just need to work, they are wrong because they are talking about a different world. Literally.

They are going by memories of a time when the whole circumstances about the work world were different:

- the work force was smaller because women stayed at home and blacks didn't get high-skilled jobs.

- college was cheap and people got govt. help with things like the GI bill.

- health care was lower

- the proportion of wage to expenses was such that one income could feed a middle-class family.

- if you worked diligent and were not dumb or otherwise flaky, you had good chances of getting ahead and getting raises, accumulating a modest wealth. (relative speaking). You could also expect to work for the same company for decades, and for your job not to change much.

- unskilled workers also had opportunities in many factory jobs.

Today, every item has changed:

- wages have effectivly fallen because the annual raises are lower than inflation, so even with two incomes, families struggle

- health care has skyrocketed in the US (because the premiums are absolute, and not percentage-based)

- college costs have skyrocketed, while at the same time a BA is required for many more jobs than before

- most unskilled jobs have been eliminated either by robots or by transfer to China

- more people are in the workforce, at the same time many jobs have been eliminated and not enough new jobs have been created

- companies fire people just to raise their quarterly balance sheets; you can no longer rely on doing a job you learned for 10 years straight, let alone working at the same company

So neither hard work nor being smart gives you any security in keeping in middle class. One health problem can send you in debt and poverty; your spouse loosing their job means your house is gone (or the bank falsifying the records and repossessing it, as many are currently doing); you move to another city to get a job, but can't find one...

It's very easy today to end up poor, and any advice based on the rules of the old game is a lie and contempt. (It's not ignorance because they don't bother to get facts, it's easier to blame others than admit that the system has been broken since the 80s).

Frylock
12-05-2011, 12:16 PM
Newt is an old man, right? He grew up during the baby-boomers in the 60s or earlier, correct?

Because any time a consie or other white old man who grew up in the 50s or 60s opens his mouth to talk about how the poor just need to work, they are wrong because they are talking about a different world. Literally.

Witness my wife's mom and her mom's church friends informing her that since she knows how to use a computer she ought to be able to get a job wherever she wants.

constanze
12-05-2011, 12:16 PM
Not that it's PC to point it out.

What does PC have to do with it? Pointing out that not everybody poor has a job is a fact. Facts are neither PC nor un-PC.

Interpreting that the reason for that is laziness or crime - that is an opinion, and that opinion is both un-PC and factually wrong, because facts tell us that there are many other reasons besides laziness or crime that people don't work.

Left Hand of Dorkness
12-05-2011, 02:04 PM
There's a charter school in Harlem, I think...maybe Newark that when grammar school kids come to the class they have to sit on the floor. They have to pay for the privilege of sitting at a desk.
...
This is the kind of thing that can be done, that should be done, and thankfully, is being done.
On the one hand, teaching social behaviors (I call it "civilizing the savages," and it applies to all children from all socioeconomic sectors) is done in the classroom of every competent teacher on the planet (and, for that matter, by every competent parent: all kids are born savages). If you don't do that, your classroom is a total mess. It is one of the primary jobs of kindergarten teachers, and I know it continues through third grade, and I'm almost certain that twelfth-grade teachers have to do it as well, albeit with diferent social norms.

On the other hand, making people pay for the privilege of a desk is obnoxious, IMO. I expect respect to be given me as a human being, and I give it to my students. That's one of the social norms I teach. My students--and all students, to the extent possible--should receive the basic tools necessary to do their work with dignity and comfort, by default. If they choose not to do their work, or if they choose not to follow social norms, then sure, they might lose such privileges as socializing at lunch and recess, and they might have extra homework. But even then I won't force them to work under uncomfortable, humiliating circumstances.

I'd be interested in seeing some rigorous evidence for this school's humiliation-based disciplinary approach.

constanze
12-05-2011, 02:44 PM
On the other hand, making people pay for the privilege of a desk is obnoxious, IMO. I expect respect to be given me as a human being, and I give it to my students. That's one of the social norms I teach. My students--and all students, to the extent possible--should receive the basic tools necessary to do their work with dignity and comfort, by default. If they choose not to do their work, or if they choose not to follow social norms, then sure, they might lose such privileges as socializing at lunch and recess, and they might have extra homework. But even then I won't force them to work under uncomfortable, humiliating circumstances.

It sounds controversial, sure, and can go quickly wrong if done unprofessional.

But based on the quote, where it's a whole concept and credits are earned not with money, I don't want to call it automatically "humiliating", because the other side is the psychological mechanism that people don't value what they get for free, they take it for granted, but what people work for, they value.

So if all kids actually earn the credits for their desks, and feel that they are buying an education for themselves (instead of being forced to go to school by somebody to sit in a kind of prison, as many kids perceive bad schools), then I think this is a good approach. Esp. since in the US, students have to pay heavily for college later.

A school in Berlin in an area with many underprivileged and immigrant children also experimented with how to make parents and children better committed to actually learning and not just showing up and sitting around, and offered a contract to sign to parents, that the parents would make sure that the kids go to school and enable them doing their homework, and in turn, the school will provide good education. I think they said they had better success than before, where they needed 4 invitations to just get the parents to speak with the teachers, and some parents didn't answer at all, but I don't know how it worked out long-term.

magellan01
12-05-2011, 03:11 PM
I'd be interested in seeing some rigorous evidence for this school's humiliation-based disciplinary approach.

It's not a discipline plan. I also don't think it's humiliation based, but merit based. And just to be clear. I got the idea from the excerpt in the book that the kids all wind up in desks fairly quickly.

The problem is that the basic RR&R isn't enough for some kids. So, the school realizes that and tries to teach them some basic things that kids growing up in bad situation might not learn at home. The book it was in was "no Excuses", by Abigail and Stephen Thernstrom. I just checked the book and I had the location wrong; it was the Hobart Boulevard Elementary School in central LA. And I'm not sure if the whole school operated this way, or if it was just the classroom of of one teacher, Rafe Esquith. It's unclear in the book if that is the only class that does this or if that is the only classroom they actually visited.

Voyager
12-05-2011, 03:45 PM
A couple of thoughts on your post. First, those of us on disability are NOT ON WELFARE. I worked for 20+ years prior to becoming injured on the job. The Social Security Disability I receive is not welfare, but a benefit that I paid for taken from taxes placed on each and every dollar I earned. No different than an insurance policy. I apologize for getting my back up on this issue, but I cannot stand people thinking that those on SS disability are on welfare. We paid for that benefit.
I stand corrected. I'm lucky in not knowing much about the intricacies of the system. Mostly I was trying to distinguish these two cases.

Secondly, while I agree that the ultimate solution is jobs for the parents, what good exactly does "proposing jobs" by any politician do? Where are these jobs supposed to come from? The Government for the most part does not create jobs, the private sector does. I am not saying that those down don't need to have a helping hand up, but what exactly are we to do?

Government can indeed create jobs, and does - the post office, the military, NSF, students who have assistantships paid for by NSF. And don't forget WPA. We've got lots of work to do, and it is far better for the government to pay people for productive tasks than just to pay unemployment.

As far as after school study programs, I couldn't agree more that education is the main key in people getting out of poverty. The problem however, is that the children of quite a number of low income parents are not seeing an emphasis being placed on education from inside their own family. If it doesn't start at home and isn't encouraged by those at home I really think that there is nothing the Government can do to help. Kids of higher and upper middle class families do well in school because the parents place a high priority on education and they place an expectation on their children to do well in school. Families in the lower class need to place the same expectation on their children. Once the children know and understand the value of education things will start to change.

My wife is a teacher and I spend many hours as a volunteer at the school. I am amazed at the difference I see between children (regardless of race) of lower class families vs. upper middle and wealthy families. The difference is in their attitudes toward learning. The difference is in the parents direct involvement in their children's school life. This is not to say that I don't see slackers and losers (for lack of a better word) in the upper class kids, nor does it mean that I don't see individuals from the lower class families that seem to be self motivated and on their way to the top. It is just a general observation.

Totally agree. In our district, test scores are directly related to family income which has a lot to do with the love of education. It really bugs me that teachers are blamed for kids not learning when their parent never ask about school or about homework and often give a negative impression of the value of knowledge. But since we can't march into kids homes to make their parents care, we need to do what we can. Giving them a place to go after school where there is peer pressure to do your homework, versus giving them nothing to do but hang out, can do nothing but help. Sure plenty of kids will hang out anyway, but we might turn some lives around.


And FWIW, on a personal note I didn't complete college. I went and dropped out choosing instead to go into the workforce in a technical blue collar job. I did very well while in this job, but certainly would have done better had I completed college. Looking back and thinking about myself and the friends of mine who did go and complete college I saw something that was undeniable. My parents didn't go to college and while they always encourage me to do well, they didn't put much emphasis on a college education. I grew up thinking it really wasn't that important. Looking back I can remember the friends that I had that got degrees and how their parents pushed the idea of college on them. It was expected that they would go and they did. A kid needs direction and sometimes a good shove in the right direction.

My father grew up in the Depression. His father died when he was young, and his mother lost all their money, so he spend much of his life terribly poor. He didn't go to college either - though it was free in New York, he need the money he got from working. He worked himself up to a good management job after the war, and I got lots of support for college. I'm Jewish, so I got that I was a dropout if I did not go to college. My kids I think think they're dropouts without Ph.Ds. It also helps quite a lot when parents know the ropes. My mother went to Brooklyn College, which was free and non-residential, so my parents didn't help me a lot in college planning, though I bumbled around to good places. We can give our kids pointers on how college and grad school work, which I'm sure made things easier for them.

In California they are making it harder and harder for kids to go to college, raising tuition and cutting programs, all to make sure the rich don't pay more in taxes.

Left Hand of Dorkness
12-05-2011, 05:29 PM
It's not a discipline plan. I also don't think it's humiliation based, but merit based. And just to be clear. I got the idea from the excerpt in the book that the kids all wind up in desks fairly quickly.
I still think (and this may be the difference between us pinkos and y'all reactionaries ;) ) that there's a different baseline. Kids in my class earn privileges, too--but they're privileges, not baseline. Desks and paper and pens and a quiet environment and the other things they need in order to learn are given, no matter whether you're the kid who's always polite and hardworking and respectful, or the kid who's always looking for a new way to show defiance and messing with other kids and slacking off. What's earned are things like visits to other classes, lunch dates with other kids, tiny cheap tchotchkes from the "treasure chest," homework passes, recess lessons for a new magic trick that no other kid gets to learn, etc.

I'm saying that a desk is a right for a child getting an education. But at this point maybe I'm picking nits.
The problem is that the basic RR&R isn't enough for some kids. So, the school realizes that and tries to teach them some basic things that kids growing up in bad situation might not learn at home.
And this I agree with. There are certain kids who come to school ready to learn. They know what to do when I give instructions, they follow them the first time, they work hard, they take criticism well. A classroom full of these kids would be the easiest job in the world. There are other kids who are tremendously difficult to motivate, even when they want to learn. They have never learned how to delay gratification, and their survival techniques for their neighborhood are completely different from the techniques that will get them a good education.

I think this is a pretty common situation. (My school is weird, because it's in a very wealthy neighborhood but isn't exclusively a neighborhood school, and ~50% of our population is free/reduced lunch; we've got, economically and in other ways, a bathtub curve, not a bell curve). All us teacher teach social norms in addition to teaching RRRSSS.