I will have to look at a transcript, grinch. I don't recall him specifying that only poor kids find jobs, although it would make sense if that's what he meant, since poorer families would be the ones better served by participation in part-time jobs.
I was a middle class kid who worked part-time in my father's wholesale business for $.25 an hour at a time when the full time guys got $1.00 an hour for the same work. It's not like my dad every really paid me, and the other guys I was working with were really thrilled to have a ten year old competing with them and slowing them down.
One of the original reasons why child labor laws were passed was to prevent industrial accidents. If my father had been a little bit more concerned with following the child labor laws and a little less concerned about passing on the virtues Mike and Speaker Gingrich are talking about, I would still have full use of my left arm, which got caught in a conveyor belt one afternoon in August in 1960, when I was 12.
I was one of many kids who was well served by participation in formal and informal full and part-time jobs programs such as the Republicans are advocating now, and which their precursors felt were good for the backbone of the nation before unions got the child labor laws passed. This is the same fight to turn back the clock and the same candy coating is being put one the same poisonous content in the hope that enough idiots will be willing to take a bite to get legislation passed.
I have almost full function back on the arm now, by the way, though it's almost taken fifty years to get it back.
Having worked on locked inpatient units for many years, I know exactly what it's like to mop up bodily waste, and I have absolutely no romantic attachment to it the way Mr. Gingrich seems to have.
If there are those who believe that knowing the basics of geometry are a waste of time, I would agree with them. Just as knowing the Periodic table in itself is a waste of time.
They miss the point, however, when they say so, since the rules of Euclidian geometry or of basic chemistry are generally not taught by competent educators as simple objects of memorization, though this seems to be the position many such as Mike would seem to hold. Were this the case, one would do as well to memorize another slug of numbers in the sequence of pi.
This might be useful, at least, as practice in mastery of an actual system of memorization, such as the classic "Memory Palace," taught by the Jesuits in the 17th Century and still taught by some folks today. Once mastered — I haven't, but many actors in Shakespeare's day did, and there are people who still make money teaching it today — it makes life very much earlier indeed, and it's practical as air or bricks. An interesting little book on the matter, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci.
No, the usefulness of Geometry is that it's the first real contact kids today have with logic and formal proofs, and how to connect fact and inference into the most straightforward way of proving something is true or not true. For any formal thinking task, this is a set of tools as useful as a hammer, a plane, a level and a screwdriver for a carpenter. Without learning these basics, a set of comments a person might make on any subject will have a much more difficult time being square and in true, and the connection one set of comments they make with any other set of comments they make on the same subject is not something they will be able to evaluate using adult thinking processes such as inference and deduction. They will only have access to the way they feel.
Feeling is to esteemed for many things, but it doesn't do policy well, and it isn't good for long term evaluation of planning of detailed operations.
Schools teach a lot...and DON'T teach a lot of what youngsters really need to know to live and succeed in this crazy world. There are no classes on relationships, they don't learn about money management or investments, or many areas of life more important than the angles of an icocylese [sic] triangle. There is more realism to cleaning up puke than there is to learning about how to love the six different sets of quarks.
I am unclear about what your point is here.
Did somebody say that school is supposed to teach everything? It's supposed to teach the curriculum, which is a matter of legal record. That means it is supposed to supply a body of common experience that the citizens believe is necessary for the people in a particular area to function as a citizen in a democracy. That's what the concept of public education is about. Logic and reasoning are two of those skills, and these skills have traditionally been taught by studying Geometry and Latin. I don't happen to agree that Latin is a subject necessary to study to learn these skills, but I do agree about Geometry, for reasons I've mentioned above.
I have to believe your comments are more politically motivated than anything else and you could make an even more convincing case in favor of taking part-time jobs than in not taking them. Instead you prefer to paint the picture you have. Ok...
Well, there may a politically motivated problem here. Speaker Gingrich is advocating breaking the child labor laws. He is not advocating the child labor laws for all children, mind you; but only poor children.
If his purpose is actually to teach work responsibility, then, of course, he would be suspending child labor laws for all children, and would insist that all children work in jobs with potential hazards to them. Please, show me where he insists that all children be taught that responsibility, so his political aims might not be suspect. Please show me where these children would be paid a competitive wage, so it would be clear that they would not be trying to undermine people who are trying to support families.
It is entirely possible for people to take part-time jobs under current law. Indeed, many high school students when I was a kid could hardly wait to do so, and that seems still to be the case. Why does breaking the law and putting children as risk seem so appealing? Indeed, you accuse Grinch of politically motivated distortions, when it is Mr. Gingrich that is advocating breaking the law and where part-time work is already quite legal for students in many states, so long as they do not violate child labor laws.
It seems perfectly clear that Dr. Gingrich suggestions are an attempt to strip children of the hard won protections of their childhood and of their safety reformers fought for so many years. Young children are supposed to be children. They are supposed to be protected and educated. They are not supposed to be exploited or used as an act in a media circus by the likes of Dr. Gingrich with this put-’em-to work suggestion.
I may agree with Dr. Gingrich about the unworkability of the current foster-care system. That does not mean I support his suggestion that we should start up a mass system of orphanages, as he suggested; and it does not mean that I agree that we should attack the children of the poor by putting them to work at age ten to make Dr. Gingrich and his Republican friends happy. I think taking a 10 year old’s childhood away is sadistic, and is clearly against the welfare of these kids.
The law allows part-time-work for kids when they’re a bit older. Dr. Gingrich should learn to contain the greed of his backers until then, and perhaps his own as well.