BEWARE THE HYPE
Lynn M. Stuter
March 26, 2003
Day after day, hour after hour, we are now being regaled with the minutia of the "taking of Baghdad" and the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein. People are glued to their television sets, their minds on little else but the march north from Kuwait to Baghdad.
History tells us that it is during these times, when, metaphorically, "all eyes are on Baghdad," that our eyes, instead, should be watching what our own leaders are doing. These times, when people's attentions are riveted elsewhere, is when the president and congress avail themselves of the opportunity to pass legislation that would otherwise raise a hue and cry from the majority of the populace.
Former President Bill Clinton was well-known for this tactic. After a time or two of employing this tactic, every time Clinton proclaimed a crisis somewhere, activists across the nation zeroed in on what Clinton was doing when he believed everyone's attention was focused on the current created crisis. Many executive orders were forthcoming during these times as well as legislation detrimental to the health of the American Constitutional Republic.
While all eyes are glued on Baghdad, on exploding communications centers, palaces, command and control centers, and military intelligence centers, what kind of mischief will our own leaders be up to?
One item of mischief is the re-authorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which apparently has been placed on a fast track to be passed before Easter recess. Fast track means the bill is moved rapidly through the process of becoming a law with little or no debate or study. The practice is not one that lends itself to the best interests of the American people. Often times, the legislation is not even read before being voted on by Congress.
What is the Workforce Investment Act? Among other things, the WIA was the final piece needed to bring about the coalescing of the education system with workforce training to form a regional workforce development system under the control of Workforce Development Boards also established via the WIA.
Workforce Development Boards regulate workforce training and retraining via the One Stop Career Centers to ensure a steady supply of workers according to regional economic development strategies and regional labor market needs also regulated by the Workforce Development Boards.
The WIA is made up of a myriad of public and private organizations such as the Private Industry Council (PIC), Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council (EDC), Association of Washington Business (AWB), State Labor Council, Employment Security Department (ESD), Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB), State Board of Education, State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). While other states may know these organizations by different names, their function is still the same.
In a note aside, public/private partnerships necessitate the co-mingling of public and private funds. Under such a structure, accountability to the taxpayers for public money invested is non-existent as that money is co-mingled with private sector funds, making it nearly impossible to discern how the public sector funds are spent. And, of course, private sector organizations are not accountable to the taxpayer for how their funds are spent. This creates a situation in which taxpayer money is spent without accountability for that money. It is also an open invitation for misuse and abuse of taxpayer funds and corruption.
The diagram to the left came from the 1992 Winter edition of "Workforce Training News" in Washington State. Note that the State Board of Education (SBE) and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) are shown as satellite organizations to the newly established Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB), the WTECB being the "hub" of all workforce training and education facilities in the state, including colleges, universities, community and technical colleges. Being satellites of WTECB means that these offices will, eventually, come under the control of the WTECB.
This is not, however, the only problem with this structure. One of the charges of the WTECB was to divide the state up into regions according to commerce and economic base. As we now know, in places like Clarkston, Washington, just across the Snake River from Lewiston, Idaho, both considered to have the same commerce and economic base, regions cross state lines. The same is true of Spokane, Washington, and the Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho areas. This, in effect, blurs state lines and establishes a situation in which states co-mingle funds to the regional Workforce Development Boards and One Stop Career Centers. It will also effect the coalescing of satellite organizations across state lines. How long before state funding of the Workforce Development Boards becomes too cumbersome, justifying moving to a regional governance structure with all funding coming from the federal level?
With the establishing of the "regional assistance centers" in 1966, the United States was divided into ten regions. The regional assistance centers are also known as regional educational laboratories and carry such names as Northwest Regional Educational Laboratories (NWREL), WestEd and Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). Each of these labs serves several states. For instance, NWREL serves Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska while WestEd serves Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. These labs are funded through Title XIII the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (reauthorized every five years), and exist through contracts with federal, state and local government entities. In other words, the labs are funded through federal tax dollars then sell their wares and services back to government entities via contracts. They also do some contracting with private entities, such as Boeing and Weyerhaeuser.
Now the states within those regions are also being divided into regions (systems within systems or subsystems) that cross state and county lines. Unsaid, but obviously in the works, the transformation to systems governance is intended to do away with state and county government, centralizing governance and power to the federal level. This is further evidenced by the streamlining of state systems through federal grants that force states to cede control of the state systems to the federal government.
James Madison, The Federalist, Number XLVII:
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
Our attention is drawn to the tyranny of the rogue regime of Iraq. What about the tyranny of the rogue regime of America?
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: www.learn-usa.com E-Mail: [email protected]