Monday, November 29, 2010

The Department of Education

   Our Nation has fifty sovereign States. Our forefathers joined these States into a democratic union which was meant to view the parts of this union as separate, but equal. What was the thought process, or intent, of allowing States to retain an ample amount of sovereignty and still be part of the greater whole?
   It is believable that our Founding Fathers appreciated the fact that there would some differences from State to State, and Region to Region. Some facets of Tribalism come into play when a summary overview of the Country is undertaken. The melding of “No man is an island” with “A man is King of his Castle” is a concept that seemed to be working up until the Great Depression of 1929. That is when the stronger “tribes” declared war against the weaker “tribes”. As this evolved, the concept of tribalism quickly took hold in business, as well as Government. When these two entities started banging heads, “We the People” were no longer regarded as equal partners in forging the future of this Nation.
   The ensuing power-grab by business and Government has brought us to the place we are now. Both alpha tribes regard the general population as a necessary evil; one to be marginally tolerated for different reasons. As government sapped the sovereignty out of the States and manifested it in huge bureaucracies, big business was allowed to write their own rules and regulations. The upshot of that is current ownership of the Government by big business. { Oh no? Just ask your elected officials where they got all their campaign money. }
   The people of this Country are not blameless. We were handed the “good life”, and were expected to simply fall in line and do the bosses bidding. Well, while we were sleeping and growing apathetic to the whole process, these two large consortiums ate our lunch. One of the most disturbing pieces of that lunch is the degrading of our National education system { which should never have been Nationalized to the point it has }. Government took it on because they thought they knew what each and every one of our children needed; a “one size fits all” approach to education. Anything more intricate, or complex, is way beyond the Federal Government’s capability, even given the amount of employees in their employ.
   Big business also had its hand in the education cookie jar. They very astutely came up with a plan to manipulate the National education process into further ruin and chaos. The campaign dollars that flowed had strings attached. The Department of Education would be allowed to fulfill its bureaucratic mission of providing jobs to thousands, however, the administrative actions and plans were not to reach down to the general populace.
   The reason for this has become painfully obvious; Americans are becoming less educated by the day. This is just what the doctor ordered for all large corporations. The “dumber” the work force becomes the less you have to pay them, and the more you can justify outsourcing jobs. Has any body noticed lately? Our Nation no longer has a manufacturing base; the one economic advantage we had over other Nations.
   The only significant industrial base we still have is of and for the Government; i.e. The Military/Industrial Complex. More and more that “base” is being diluted and outsourced, too, because no young person knows how to run a lathe or a milling machine, or how to make a tool or die, or how to design and fabricate a manufacturing machine, or how to properly repair and maintain machinery.
   All that is gone now from our society, and we have morphed into a mostly “service” economy, something that is not sustainable. Our salvation could be in the form of going “green”, and producing our own solar panels, wind turbines, and the like, but who is left to design, manufacture and maintain such items. Example: “windmills” – China manufactures the turbines, Sweden manufactures the blades. How do these sources of power fit into our existing electrical infrastructure?
   Without the proper educational system, we are doomed to failure. The Federal Government has shown us how not to do it. Stop sending tax dollars for education to Washington; they don’t know how to use them; it’s a waste of our hard earned money; and does not get the job done. Keep this money in the States, so they can fund their education departments, and form Regional coalitions to provide the type of education necessary for their constituents. Let the Fed’s have a loose oversight and curricular responsibility to police the Educators and their systems; nothing more.
  Try this with our education process, and, if it works as it well should, take a hard look at other Federal departments and Agencies that would benefit from decentralization and downsizing. I have taken a cursory look at the Org. charts for the State of New York and that of the Federal Department of Education, and they look eerily similar; leading to a conclusion that changing this process will not be difficult. Of course, it needs someone to stand up and get it done. Who will that be? Will we all be left “waiting for Godot”?

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