View Full Version : "Womb to Workplace" spying on Americans

06-09-2014, 04:10 PM
And we're paying for our own oppression.


By Joy Pullmann
June 9, 2014

At the behest of the federal government, and despite laws and President Obama’s recent posturing against this, states have been busy creating data systems to track “their” citizens’ entire lives. Pennsylvania calls theirs—no joke—a “womb to workplace” data collection system.

The feds have been giving states our money to create individual databases that must network with each other, technically following but in reality violating existing legal prohibitions against national databases of children. For more details about this and how the national Common Core initiative provides a rationale and infrastructure for such massive data-gathering, check out a new report that took my coauthors and me about a year to put together.

Kids’ government files started in education, since that’s where the... state touches most kids frequently; but, also at federal behest, states are starting to collectivize and expand their data collection into comprehensive personal dossiers that include things like health and social services data, starting with conception and going until death. The federal National Education Data Model suggests some 416 datapoints to collect in kids’ dossiers, including religious affiliation (from Assembly of God folks to Buddhists to the Amish!), whether the individual is registered to vote, bus route, parents’ hourly rate of pay, and more.

“The Education Data Model strives to be a shared understanding among all education stakeholders as to what information needs to be collected and managed at the local level in order to enable effective instruction of students and superior leadership of schools,” its website says. Translation: Some feducrats believe my children and yours cannot be well educated unless schools record things like kids’ “response to a stimulus on a test,” written observations from people evaluating them, a record of their field trips, and specific methods their teachers use. As our report notes, nearly every state now has what they call a P-20 database. In Oregon, that stands for tracking kids from “prenatal” to and through their careers.

Given the massive amount of information on the table here, it’s no wonder John Eppolito was handed a bill of more than $10,000 recently when he asked to see the data Nevada has collected on his kids (even though federal law supposedly grants him the right to see it for free).....

......What’s worse, Republicans, never content to leave statist ideas without gripping the helm, are getting on board with the idea of “using data” to manage people and the economy. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, as chairwoman of the National Governors Association, has made “aligning education with the workforce” her signature initiative to promote nationwide. GOP presidential contenders have followed Fallin’s lead, including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Leave the critique of education as mere vocational training for another long essay. How does one align education with the workforce? Well, there are really two options. You could let the invisible hand of the market organically direct people to activities that best serve them and society through price signals and other amazing properties of the market’s spontaneous self-order. Or you could start trying to centrally manage the market, like European socialists or Russian totalitarians. And that provides the pretext for all these placenta-to-paycheck databases governors are scurrying to construct under the direction of their federal masters. Of course, centrally planning economies also requires centrally planning people, which happens to conflict with that old “liberty and justice for all” idea. Whoops.

The justification this time is the debatable “skills gap”: Employers keep saying they can’t find qualified people for the jobs they have available. ....