Originally Posted by nvidia2008
If his message was employment teaches kids skills, then fair enough. But the way he put it is so vindictive and his vitriol notwithstanding, fails on several levels.
Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes the truth is mean. Truth is about more than feelings.
1. Poor kids are the ones that need to be taught "a work ethic"
While it may be possible that poor kids are more likely to have a poorer work ethic, you can't just say, well, you're poor, therefore your work ethic has to suck, therefore you have to become a janitor. That doesn't make sense. If a kid *has* a poor work ethic as you mention, such as being late, etc. then yes, you could assign them "punishment" to make them have a better work ethic, possibly through employment. Speaking of employment...
The issue he was addressing was two-fold. He said that it would also address how menial labor as you termed it is unionized and thus earning $50-75k a year. As for assigning a punishment, you have no idea of the magnitude of the problem. If it were just one kid, then you can give a consequence, never mind that one kid per class still equals about 25 kids per school. It is larger than that. It is a solid ten percent of kids which means 75 kids per elementary school per day.
Why are these kids late everyday? No one in their household has to get up and go anywhere. The only reason they come to school is because their parents have been pulled before the district attorney and threatened with jail. If you were to give them the punishment you claim, they would come down and pull them out of school over it. They don't feel the need to pick up, care for, or address anything because everything in life is handed to them or handled for them.
2. Being a school janitor, in your own school
This is such an absolutely retarded concept that it beggars belief rational people would consider it to any degree. The idea says, let's prepare the children for a new world of high-skilled, information and technology-based careers by... making them clean toilets. Even better, they're poor, so, well, might as well get them started on... staying poor and doing menial jobs... Why bother, right? The humiliation of doing it in their own school, boy, I don't know about you all but that would have scarred me for life. If the "kids of today" suck, well, there has to be a better way than forcing them to clean toilets just because they're poor.
Everyone has to start some where and that is true even in our high skilled and high tech world. They aren't having employment issues due to lack of computer skills. They can't show up on time. They don't remember what day of the week it is or can't recall their schedule. We are talking baby steps here. I have no idea why this would have scarred you for life. Work is work and that is another point to learn. I've got my master's degree but that doesn't mean I didn't ever bus tables or work as a dishwasher. Finally if certain work bothers you or if you feel the station in life assigned to it is beneath you, then isn't that a great bit of motivation to improve yourself?
That's the point. There's no fire in the belly. There's no "man I'm not going to be a dishwasher forever, I want better than this and I'll work to make it happen." That doesn't currently exist. They go home and demand unemployment, welfare or Social Security Disability and the job becomes one filled by an illegal immigrant since it is one "Americans won't do."
3. Long term unemployment
This is a separate issue from child labour. Firstly one would assume a child should be able to complete K-12 without having to be forced to work by the government. By their parents or circumstance, fair enough. By the government, maybe, if there was a more sensible plan, not being a school janitor because they are poor. Secondly, long term unemployment issues generally should be dealt with in relation to adults post-K-12. In Australia long-term ADULT (18+) unemployed (6-12 months) can and are assigned "Work For The Dole". This is a way to get long-term unemployed out of the house and doing community service, active participation and a variety of things not just "being janitors". They have to complete requisite number of hours of this community work to continue to receive assistance. And they are also required to continue to apply for jobs and go to interviews. "Work For The Dole" has drawbacks though, which is perhaps a topic for another time. Does the US have anything like this?
No the U.S. will require education and job retraining classes. They will require attempts to seek work but they do not require you to show up some place and engage in labor for your money. There is no "work for the dole." If there were then the point of Gingrich would be null and void. You wouldn't have an entire class of people who have collected checks for 99 weeks and forgetten how to answer an alarm clock.
The problem I see in the US is that things are so polarised between the "angry father" "right-wing" and the "clueless mother" "left-wing". Certain so-called "socialist" Western societies have what I would say "the concerned mother" approach where a bit of brain is applied, while being stern with people.
Concern can be expressed in more than money. Concern does not need to be unionized. Concern does not require trillion dollar a year annual deficits. Almost all Western societies are going broke due to their welfare states. One prevailing issue that seems to be out there related to what you say about being stern is once they become multicultural or multiethnic, the government attempts to be stern are often branded as racist or as a form of cultural imperialism.