Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gingrich Advocates Third World Status for the United States

Newt Gingrich lives in a strange universe. Unfortunately, it's the same universe other Republican politicians have been occupying lately, such as Bachmann, Perry and Palin. Before I go further, let's look at one of Gingrich's ideas that has been appearing in various places such as the Los Angeles Times:
"It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods in trapping children … in child laws which are truly stupid," Gingrich said. "OK, you say to someone, 'You shouldn't go to work before you're 14, 16 years of age.' Fine. You're totally poor. You're in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. I tried for years to have a very simple model. 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." Mr. Bumble from "Oliver Twist" could not have said it better.

What Gingrich fails to understand is that in many poor neighborhoods the janitor's job is one of the more decent jobs available. For more than forty years, corporations generally have been moving out of poor neighborhoods, not in. And millions of those jobs have simply been sent overseas. There have been exceptions in poor areas, usually organized by Democrats such as Bill Clinton, though a handful of Republican governors have managed to buck the right wing politics of their party and done a few useful things (don't include Rick Perry in that crowd—he's done nothing).

Actually, given that today's radical Republican politicians want to either end or cut social security, medicare, medicaid, student loans and various other programs, it's truly surprising they're doing as well as they are in the polls. At some point, it's going to dawn on a large majority of Americans that the vast majority of Republican ideas these days are about cutting jobs. There is nothing in any of their plans about creating jobs.

Newt Gingrich always has ideas that boomerang on Americans. He was certainly one of the people a few years back who supported the call by George W. Bush that social security should be privatized. Under privatization, people could set aside the money they put into social security and use the same money to invest in the stock market. It's one of those ideas that's great for people who are already rich, such as bankers and Wall Street stock brokers, but it's a lousy idea for everybody else.

If George W. Bush had gotten his way on the privatization of social security, tens of millions of Americans would have lost their shirts in the 2008 stock market debacle. The damage done by George W. Bush, as well as others with the same philosophy as Gingrich, can still be seen in the stock market. Quite literally, the blunders that occurred under Bush for eight years are still unfolding. Republicans have done nothing to help Obama deal with those blunders. Instead, they have obstructed him every step of the way. Republicans want to cut jobs, not create them.

If Gingrich became president and did what many Republicans really want to do, he would outright cut social security. Millions of seniors would suddenly not have enough income to be on their own. They would have to live the way old people did it in the 19th century: move in with their children. Of course, Gingrich is either ignorant of what's happening to America's middle class—not to mention the poor—or he doesn't care. For example, right now, thousands and thousands of middle class families in their fifties and even early sixties, are already hosting older children who either are having trouble getting jobs in the current economy or don't earn enough yet to live on their own.

These are not kids who are slackers. For the last 11 years, the total number of available jobs in the U.S. has been falling. The jobs simply aren't there. Republicans have worked hard for thirty years to game the system for the wealthy. One of the consequences is that Republicans have created conditions that could turn the United States into a third world country.

Here's a simple list of six things to keep in mind:

1. Republicans rarely create jobs. They see their job as protecting the rich, while throwing crumbs to various conservative groups to get enough votes at election time.

2. Democrats are job creators. Just look at Bill Clinton's record. Obama's hands have been somewhat tied by the large number of Republican governors cutting jobs and by 30 years of sending jobs to China. But Obama is also a job creator.

3. When it comes to cutting livable wages, the Republicans are the outright winner. The recent attacks on unions absolutely guarantees lower wages for everyone.

4. When it comes to benefits, who's the first to cut them? Republicans.

5. When it comes to banking costs and loans, who's the first to defend bankers instead of middle class Americans? Republicans.

6. When it comes to higher and higher health insurance costs, who resists reform the most? Republicans. When a fat cat insurance executive gets a $20 million bonus, who does he write most of his checks to? Republicans.

Do Americans really want crazy ideas from the 19th century brought back to life again? We'll find out in November 2012.

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