The Killing of America — Part I

by Zenster on April 15, 2013

in education, government regulation, political correctness, unemployment, Zenster (team member)

This multi-part essay is in response to a recent article posted here: Requirements for cashier job in the former ‘land of opportunity’: College degree AND 1-2 years experience

The Killing of America – How it Began

There is a simple reason for why McDonald’s is now requiring a college degree to flip their burgers and it goes well beyond the current employer’s market or the typically dismal quality of a modern day high school education. Look no further than the 1971 US Supreme Court decision, Griggs v. Duke Power Co., for some real insight.

This was the germinal case that brought about Affirmative Action as based on the theory of adverse or disparate impact (see Washington v. Davis). Namely, that corporate policy which negatively affects one particular group of employees to a greater degree may be subject to counteraction by legal relief. In the case of Griggs v. Duke Power Co. prior overturning of racially based corporate policies resulted in the company’s adoption of IQ tests as a means of qualifying candidates for promotion and that practice was called into question.

A Black worker named Griggs, complained that these tests were the sole reason for his lack of advancement and filed a lawsuit over it. Even today, it is difficult to imagine whatever court arguments were used to dismiss the validity of this system of intelligence testing as used by Duke Power Co. After all, power generation and transmission involves extreme hazards for not just individual workers but entire crews and even the communities being served. Electrocution, explosions and fires are just a few of the calamities that may result from improper operation of power generation equipment not to mention the dangers resulting from incorrect or poor quality connection of high tension lines that can carry more than 100kV (100,000 Volts AC) in up to three phases. Even just blackouts can have disastrous effects upon communities and large cities. Witness the 1977 outage that brought New York City to its knees. For some perspective, below is an image of the more recent 2003 blackout that affected the entire state of New York.

Demanding a certain level of mental competence from those who seek to maintain or operate such vital facilities at an expert or managerial level doesn’t just make sense, it is a valid method of reducing legal liability and other potentially negative repercussions.

Coming in such swift succession to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, race was still a hot button issue and Griggs v. Duke Power Co. was used to cram down America’s collective throat the unconstitutional legislation of Affirmative Action and disparate impact. Part of the Supreme Court’s reasoning was that Blacks traditionally had received lower quality high school instruction, which in turn, made them less able to obtain a diploma. None of which addressed the more salient fact that Black dropout rates have always been higher than those of Whites. Such a voluntary refusal to complete basic public education should not become the basis for patently discriminatory laws.

Instead, hypocritical Liberal elements constantly have sought to legally mandate equality where none exists. As a general rule, nature has no use for equality. While this does not and must not preclude equal protection under the law, neither should the rule of law be made to shield or operate in favor of those who refuse to best profit from its offering of an education. Today, this attempt to alter reality is now manifesting not just as legislating equality of opportunity but indisputable efforts to mandate equality of outcome. As if an inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness can somehow be transmuted into a guarantee of happiness. Evidently, too few people are pausing to consider the implications of a government large and powerful enough to—in some as yet not quite fully defined way—assure individual contentment for all. It brings to mind ex-President Gerald Ford’s uncharacteristically prescient comment that, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

The Great Leveling

This ridiculous one-size-fits-all approach to leveling an entire society saw some of its earliest manifestations in the public education system’s use of “social promotion”. Whereby, in order to preserve their oh-so precious self-esteem, failing students were not held back and, instead, advanced a grade anyway. Thus began the gradual descent from scholastic merit to simple chair-warming. Evidently, little thought was given regarding the disastrous effects upon personal self-esteem to be had by those whose lack of education doomed them to a life of burger flipping. Yes, showing up on time is important but how that time gets used is a far more significant matter.

It is sheer lunacy to assume that all students are of equal ability and, therefore, that they will take away identical measures of learning from the same instruction. Equally unrealistic is to insist that every pupil is of the same scholastic caliber. Likewise, there is a soft-bigotry of lowered expectations in allowing one group of students to underachieve because “they just can’t help themselves.” Both approaches are merely two sides of the same dysfunctional Liberal coin and neither one works. The end result is barely literate high school graduates whose likelihood of being incarcerated is astronomical. One literacy study found that the average prison inmate had below a fifth grade reading level. Put another way, if you are not reading proficiently by about the age of ten years old, you stand a good chance of being imprisoned at some point in your adult life, if not a lot sooner.

More recent efforts at this sort of equalized outcome are seeking to scrap the A-F grading system. That this would reduce teacher accountability is not being widely discussed nor is the nebulous “standards-based” alternative to traditional grading being scrutinized to any major degree. This “everyone wins” mentality also has become noticeable in the way that children are given prizes just for participating in a competition regardless of actual accomplishment.

In financially bankrupt Detroit, a city that is 81 percent Black, children were offered a free pair of leather Nike sneakers if they just showed up for school on October third, 2012. Coincidentally (or not), that is the exact day when officials complete a formal headcount to determine per-pupil funding by state and federal government. Again, the offer was not tied to actual student performance, as in a C average report card, but just for showing up on that crucial day. This is chair-warming taken to its logical extent and the state of Michigan had an obligation to its taxpayers to conduct another unannounced headcount at some later date that would ascertain more realistic school attendance numbers.

Compounding all of this is the monstrous conflict of interest faced by the teachers themselves. Instructors who send an excessive number of pupils to the principal or dean’s office for their disruptive behavior or other code-of-conduct violations face negative performance reviews that can affect personal career advancement. They are viewed as not being able to control their students despite the fact that teacher assaults and other classroom violence is on the rise. This translates into a reluctance to discipline troublemakers and, thereby, allowing the entire class to suffer by default because of just a few miscreants. Small wonder that social promotion was invented when educators were otherwise confronted with the prospect of teaching a room full of uninspired twenty-something gang members.

Next: Here be Monsters and more.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jim Campbell May 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Wow another barn burner, thanks so much, I posted it on my main site. Great Job, J.C.

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