impeding infrastructure modernization; how alec has kept our education system from succeeding

Making America Competitive in a Global Economy

Founded in 1973; ALEC is a critical arm of the right-wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics. Inspired by Milton Friedman’s call for conservatives to “develop alternatives to existing policies [and] keep them alive and available,” ALEC’s model legislation reflects long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful to account. John Nichols, The Nation, 12 July 2011; see link to article:

We the People… does not mean, “We the corporations of these United States of America”, it signifies “We the citizens of these United States, Florida and Southwest Florida; it empowers you as an American citizen; you and your neighbor are civically responsible for electing your representatives to do the legislation needed to continue our countries God given individual right to the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, worship, to become the best individual we can become, to create and sustain the greatest form of human liberty ever devised by man. It means you have the right of employment at a living wage, you have the right from monopolies and unfair competition, you have the right to decent housing to raise your children and to grow older with your significant other, it means you have the right to Medicare and Social Security and it means you have the right to a exceptional well rounded education. An exceptional public school education provides the level playing field for everyone in our country to have the opportunity to be productive and successful citizens. Without an exceptional education system our country is doomed to mediocrity, inequality and a two caste citizenship. Education is not an indulgence, it is not a perk, and it is not something that a free democratic society tries to cut corners with.

Education leads to economic freedom from poverty, education erases bigotry, education trumps authoritative corporate rule, education inspires the masses to pick careers that will benefit themselves and the community, our country and mankind. Think of all the wonderful technological widgets that were invented that came out of the space age. New materials for our homes like insulation, lap top computers, i-pods, and cell phones to name a few. Education empowers people to learn from the past in order not to repeat the mistakes made or to reinvent scenarios that were successful to fit into modern situations that confront us today.

How many citizens under 50 today would be against the government stimulating the economy like the New Deal did in the 1930’s to set us on a path to the most productive industrial society of the 1950-1970’s if they had been given the opportunity to study economic policies and how they relate to our countries ability to turn an economic depression where as many as 1 in 3 Americans were out of work to the country that saved the world from European Fascism. Or the nation that started such wonderful programs as the G I Bill that sent millions of Americans to college and vocational schools to have the skills necessary to build our countries infrastructure after WW II.

Education is nothing without a wide array of educational subjects to stimulate the students willingness to learn, not just the one’s based on math, science and grammar that we have seen standardized throughout the country by the ALEC groups in the past three decades; though they are important subjects to master they do not make for a well rounded citizen who can take issues that are present today and make intelligent rational decisions.

An education that allows for each individual to discover the splendor in the scholarship of unearthing history, literature, music, art, business and economic principles, world history, politics, civics and even physical education principles. A democratic representative form of government cannot survive if our citizens and leaders do not support a higher variety of education topics. Teaching math, science and grammar only and how to take a standardize test is good for corporate America but it will fall short in enlightening our people to even greater heights and eventually creating a glass ceiling for our country’s citizen not part of the wealthy as a whole.

You see it everywhere today in the news on how we have seen successfully the dummying down of America. It is not the citizens fault; it is how ALEC has been able to secretly and with consistent vigilance through the past 45 years been able to infiltrate America’s local and especially state governments and write the legislation that has taken the revenue from education’s line item. It was so subtle; you really could not understand what was happening until now when the last thing they needed to accomplish was to break the teacher associations in all of the Republican controlled state legislatures and executive offices in the Union. One of their best goals was to limit true professional politicians to only two terms. By passing these laws it did not matter how excellent and dedicated a politician was, what mattered was creating a system of bureaucrats (called staff) in all the state legislatures that stayed as the new representatives came to the Capital to bid the citizens legislation. This is one of the subtle ways ALEC was able to eventually take the monies and revenues from the education system causing massive cuts in curriculum offered and making the profession as a teacher not seem a very worthy occupation.

Now when we need to so badly put people back to work, when we are so vehemently in need of modernizing our countries infrastructure to compete globally in the 21st century, how can any patriotic Americans continue to argue the need for this investment in our country, state and community. How can anyone turn against its own citizens in a time of need like we have today?

There can only be two reasons that come to mind. First, there is a group of multinational corporations along with their stock and stake holders that do not need to see our countries infrastructure modernized since those corporations doing business in the 21st century have their capital invested in those emerging new economies and the revenue these countries make from those multinational corporations are paving the way to their modern infrastructures. Why would these corporations want to hinder their maximum return on investment by committing revenues through paying their fair share in taxes to modernize our countries infrastructure? It almost seems their long term business plan is to off shore all labor and manufacturing needs this century.

The second and most significant reason this is happening today is that our citizens (under 50 years of age) have no point of reference in what good government does for its citizens. All they have heard all their life from the 1980’s on, is that government is bad. This is directly reflected by the dummying down of our public school systems throughout the country. Most do not have any reference of why those social institutions were created in the first place.

As long as groups like ALEC are allowed to impede our country and society from progressing into the 21st century; as long as we vilify teachers and public education, we will continue to fall further and further behind the rest of the emerging economic countries in the world. It makes sense if you see where we are ranked now between the G40 nations in education and infrastructure; both are in the lower 25 percentile.

I have shared in previous essays that we need our citizens to begin to become leaders in their own decisions on who has their economic back in government. If the statement that is made over and over again by the conservative politicians that small business, large business all business needs to know what their tax structure will be before they invest in American jobs again. Well it is the lowest it has ever been since the New Deal; do you see the private sector infusing any of the $2 trillion dollars they have on the sidelines?

You must look at what is going to be best for you, your family and your grandchildren. If we continue along the path of starving our government of much needed revenue, if we continue to give tax breaks and have to borrow money to make rebate payments like Bush did back in 2003, if we continue to create prescription drug programs without funding them like we have during the past 30 years you will not have to worry about being the standard by which the world judges a country as a Great Nation; an economic power and a leading culture of social successes. We will have a two caste system, the wealthiest of our country taking advantage of affording very expensive schools and the lower tier caste (90% of population) that will be taught the basics to be able to function within the corporate culture they are hired by.

The choice is your; you can look it up to verify everything I have stated today on how our government was set up to serve our country from the New Deal through the late 1960’s; or you can keep listening to the fair and unbalanced media agencies that are partners with ALEC and watch us crumble into the abyss of once a Great Nation.


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