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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

America Continues Shift Toward Soviet-style Planned Economy

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. February 14, 2019

The U.S. continues its shift from capitalism toward embracing the principles of government/corporate economic control similar to the failed ideas of a state planned economy like that of the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The federal government has no constitutional authority for involvement in the private sector, either by planning the economy or training the workforce.

The latest shift is the newly created American Workforce Policy Advisory Board that will work with President Trump’s National Council for the American Worker to develop a national campaign to promote education and training, recommend method for improving labor market data, identify companies’ hiring needs, and increase private sector investments in job training. Joining the Trump administration to develop job training programs are 25 leaders including Apple Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Walmart Inc., and other Fortune 500 CEOs, nonprofit executives, and governors.

Last year the National Council for the American Worker was created through an executive order signed by President Trump. Its purpose is to develop strategies for a public private partnership for job training by employers, educational institutions, labor unions, other non-profit organizations, and local and state governments. There will be an increase in data mining and job data sharing including geographic job opening and projected future jobs.

With the passage of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4174) which is a de facto national database, any job data scooped up will be merged with data on individuals across all federal government agencies without the person’s approval or knowledge. This information will be shared with colleges, the military, potential employers, and other third parties. This bill allows lifetime tracking of Americans.

Government job prediction has historically been a spectacular failure with government being completely incapable of predicting economic trends and workforce needs and even five-year plans.

Other key components in the shift toward a centrally planned economy are the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the proposed merger of the Departments of Labor and Education, Common Core for use with digital badges, computerized “personalized” learning, competency-based education, School-to-Work, and the reauthorized Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

Under the School-to-Work Act, students are being channeled to choose careers by the end of the 8th grade with a narrowed curriculum designed for the selected career instead of classical learning that prepares one to be adaptable to life’s changes, even career changes.

Marc Tucker who created the plan to remold the entire U.S. education and workforce system into a seamless web stretching from cradle to grave, admitted his scheme’s great danger is to “condemn a large fraction of our youth to narrowly conceived training programs at the very time that advances in artificial intelligence and related disciplines are on the verge of wiping out entire industries…” 

President Trump has been highly successful in bringing corporations and jobs home to America. However, government led training, data collection, and economic planning is moving our economy toward European education-workforce style systems, none of which have produced our American levels of freedom and prosperity.

It is a violation of our American values for corporations to view people as "human value only in terms of productive capability" or our children as "products," the inhumane label given them by Rex Tillerson of Exxon.

Our education system once gave students a broad academic base of knowledge instead of workforce training and career channeling in the 8th grade. It was this freedom to pursue one's own life goals, and not those of a corporation, that produced a nation of innovators who were fiercely independent and creative. It was this America that produced the freedom, prosperity, and generosity that have made us the greatest civilization in human history.

If America is to be a really great nation again, then we must end our lurch toward socialism and return to providing a solid basic academic education for our students and the capitalist economic system.

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