Written by Mike Hall, AFL-CIO
Even for Newt Gingrich, this is bizarre.
The Republican presidential candidate says child labor laws are “stupid.” But that’s just the start. He says schools should “get rid of unionized janitors” and hire low-income kids to clean the schools. He also says that age nine is a good time to get a job.
Gingrich was speaking at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government last week when he suggested that putting scrub brushes and floor sanders in the hands of kids and firing school maintenance workers would “lift up the poorest neighborhoods.”
In fact, he says poor kids and their parents should look at the lives of successful people, “they all started their first job between nine and 14 years of age.”
He says child labor laws “entrap poor children into poverty.” Of course most of us know that child labor laws prevent kids from getting trapped on assembly lines or by moving machine parts.
This post was originally published on the AFL-CIO’s blog.
Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr