Sunday, December 11, 2011

Newt vs. Union Janitors

In the Iowa debate Gingrich again proposed to give poor kids an opportunity to work by replacing half the union janitors in our schools, who, says Newt, make too much. Newt said that the starting salary for union janitors is twice as much as the starting salary for teachers.

Does anyone believe this? Is this part of his jobs plan or his unemployment plan?

The average starting salary for teachers in the US (NY Times) is $39,000. So Newt wants us to believe that the average starting salary for school janitors is at least $78,000! I bet that most of the audience, which expect to vote for one of the GOP's elite candidates, believes this lie.

Where will all the unemployed janitors work after Newt fires them? There are about 120,000 public schools in the US. I can only guess the number of school janitors. I'll guess 500,000 (feel free to disagree). Newt has made two different proposals regarding school janitors. First, he said we only need one master janitor per school. Last night he said we only need half as many as we currently have. In the first case we would fire 380,000 janitors. In the second case we would fire 250,000 janitors. That will raise unemployment by about 0.2%. Nice job plan!

We'll have to hire 4 times as many children, especially in elementary and middle schools, as janitors we fire. The adult janitors will only have time to supervise the children. So, we'll have to hire perhaps 1.5 million students as janitors. How many after-hours school bus routes will we need to transport these students?

Newt's janitor proposal like many of his ideas are no more thought out than the other candidates' ideas, like 9-9-9. After all, its just red meat for the GOP base. These ideas don't have to be real they only need to stimulate an emotional response.

The Iowa debate audience applauded Newt's proposal. Do these people ever consider what they see and hear with an open mind or is all input pre-filtered according to stereotype?

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