March 16, 2013

In 2012, Obama introduced an initiative in his State of the Union to “cut through the maze of confusing job training programs”….as he identified we were spending $18 Billion to administer 47 different and over-lapping training programs.

Finally, a year later, the House has taken up the initiative, moved the authority to a business-led workforce investment board to determine local job training needs – in effort to better match job and education needs at a local level.  That makes sense.

So far, so good…The House bill has now passed with NO votes from the Democrats….and yes, the DEVIL is indeed in the details!

The “decider” in how to spend these government funds generated through taxes we pay will be THE 51% MAJORITY of the new advisory board that is made up by LOCAL BUSINESSMEN – not the government who is doing the investment.  Equally egregious, all programs to aid VETERANS, in addition to Native Americans, sex-offenders, seasonal farmworkers and youth have disappeared.  Spending based on the new act is frozen at $6 billion dollars a year for the next seven years.

Hmmm.  What about the BUSINESSMAN who lost the recent election that led to the disarray in their party did they not understand?  How many of these House representatives that think they are the “experts” have ever been an integral part of a major business operation?  As an executive in a past life, I can assure you that many of the good cost saving and investment ideas within a business come from the people doing the work – not from those casually observing from the executive suite.  And that is just my first concern.

What about a hierarchial “the boss rules” do they not understand?  Infallibility is not an automatic outcome of BOSS or POWER.

And, what about taking the people’s voice out of the hands of their own future and placing it in the hands of  the robber barons who have already influenced the shift of wealth away from the middle class and into the hands of the few do they not understand ?

In fact, what about their loss of a second Presidential election because of greed and hubris that has now torn their party into shreds and has created the need to reinvent themselves do they not understand?

I find it interesting they did not make the checks/balance be one of the three arms of our federal government?  Oh yes, that’s right…they are a bit concerned that the mess they have produced in their own party may lead to losses in 2014…so this insures-in case of more losses in the 2014 election- no influence by those awful Democrats led by that guy who not only does not look like them, but worse, does not believe the methods hatched mid-20th century are necessarily relevant to governing or world influence in the 21st century.

All those questions come to mind with just the FIRST problem – the attempt to take the power of government from the people and shift it to business.   And typical Republican, I guess, let’s only look out to tomorrow – so what they still cannot comprehend is that the many businesses, like my own successful business of 20 years, are NOT led by Repos!

I think the only hope for these people is to employ a clairvoyant to contact all the Brits that were as frightened as our Republican leaders are when world leadership of the British Empire was challenged by the “upstart’ Americans.  Perhaps sharing some “lessons learned” from the past might give them pause….but honestly, I doubt it!

And then there is my second objection.   A new means invented to disenfranchise those non-whites that will soon become the majority in the US?  Oh my, gerrymandering may not be fool-proof; what else can we do to be sure the majority does not get their way?

To eliminate job training access for Veterans, Native American, sex-offenders, seasonal farm-workers, and youth is simply unbelievable.  I read that portion over and over – sure that I was misunderstanding, and then slowly realized that indeed, I was not.  The white supremist male caricature is alive and well in our US House of Representatives.

This is not only egregious, it truly saddens me and makes me ill…that we have a good share of our citizens who simply refuse to consider after 150 years, that they are not RIGHT! 

 I pondered the inclusion of veterans in the group NOT being allowed to benefit from the job training program-it did not compute.  War is always the Republican answer to show the might of the US; a strong military defense is paramount – so why would those returning soldiers who they sent to war not be helped when they return?  And then the light bulb went on and enlightened me. 

The wars since 1950 and the resulting loss of American lives have not been fought with boots on the ground from a representative mix of just their sons and daughters, have they?  Our enlisted forces represent a mix of ALL Americans:  white men, women, African-Americans, the GLBT community, and immigrants of all races and ethnic backgrounds from around the world.

The exclusion of youth in general from job training over the next seven years is also puzzling…and so far, I cannot resolve in my mind why this group has been excluded.  Is it the last breath of the angry old white birds- or possibly the recently-hatched young birds that are fighting for the final say in the Republican party that was the impetus to exclude all youth from help? 

As what about the $6 billion dollars cap per year over next seven years?   The amount may be accurate if all those groups ignored are not included; I have no way of knowing  Were I writing this from a Republican perspective about a bill drafted by a Democratic majority, I might just be thinking:  ” it may be that the businessmen ‘deciders’ have already calculated how much additional profit they can harvest if they are in charge of the spending and can control expenditures to only benefit existing businesses, rather than to support innovation and growth-especially were it to come from any of the groups they hope to disenfranchise.”   The point is, a casual reader cannot discern the intent nor a realistic budget amount, as the article did not give an explanation of how they arrived at the amount, nor the amount.

 We know Obama’s original identification of the problem and initiative to fix the issue certainly expected costs to go down.  But without a lot of time spent fact-checking, I simply do not have the facts at hand to know what might be a reasonable cost savings.

Similarly, the seven year limitation raised several questions.  Lots of suspicions flash through my mind, from after seven years, there is a chance the young Tea Party House members will have children that just may be reaching the age they need a job to start their own careers….or that seven years is the time frame they are looking at to rebuild their party and resume majority in House, Senate, White House and Supreme Court appointments.

 But my hunch would be that the budget numbers and time frame may need some additional scrutiny as well-just because these folks have proven over and over, we should not trust them at face value.   

So, with several issues – imagined or real- I now will leave it to the Senate to strip away the Republican hubris.  The issue itself is real; the need to reform is real; the need to help train-to match to need- our youth, immigrants, women and all the currently unemployable is real.  So being an optimist, I trust we will wind our way through the process and eventually develop a plan acceptable by all to address this very real initiative introduced by Obama.

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