The Book of Ron Paul
1997 Ron Paul Chapter 35
16 May 1997
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Congressional Record (Page H2805) Cached
Mr. McKEON. I yield the gentleman from Texas, another new member of the committee, Ron Paul, 3 minutes.
Mr. Chairman. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 3 minutes.
1997 Ron Paul 35:1
Mr. PAUL. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
1997 Ron Paul 35:2
After 30 years of Federal Government involvement and two major legislative overhauls, there are now over 160 Federal programs dedicated to job training. The Federal Government spent approximately $4.5 billion just on the Job Training and Partnership Act of 1997. However, the U.S. Congress cannot measure whether or not they are getting a good return on their investment since most Federal agencies do not even know if their programs are helping people find jobs.
1997 Ron Paul 35:3
The very idea that a government board can somehow determine what occupations will be in demand at any point in the future is an example of what Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek calls The Fatal Conceit. No central board, even one dominated by local officials and businessmen, can predict which jobs will be in demand in 5, 10, or 15 years. It is doubtful that a local work force board in Silicon Valley in 1978 would have tried to link job training services to personal computer markets. In fact, its highly unlikely that Steve Jobs will be appointed to the work force development board. The very fact that the boards are compiled of already established leaders for business practically assures that the entrepreneurs creating the jobs of the future will not be represented on the board.
1997 Ron Paul 35:4
In this high-tech information age where financial and, more importantly, intellectual capital can travel around the world in a matter of seconds, the jobs in demand in any area can change faster than any geographical local work force board could conceivably update the skills with which to link job training.
1997 Ron Paul 35:5
The private actions of individual citizens working together in a free market can best build a job training system that meets the needs of its citizens. Private individuals, local communities, and State governments are also more capable than the Federal Government of providing adequate help to those unable to provide training for themselves, if the Federal Government returns to constitutional size and reduces the tax and regulatory burden on the American citizen. Federal job training programs of any sort furthers the destructive idea that the proper role of the Federal Government is to provide for all the needs of the citizens. The belief that Congress has a moral duty to administer to the health and welfare of the populace, both of America and the world, is directly responsible for the growth of the welfare-warfare state, which threatens to destroy Americas economic prosperity and liberty itself.
1997 Ron Paul 35:6
I am strongly opposed to this legislation, and believe freedom and free choices and the marketplace and the Constitution is a much better approach.
1997 Ron Paul 35:7
Thank you, and I yield back.
1997 Ron Paul 35:8
1997 Ron Paul 35:9
Soon, however, concerns arose that Federal job training programs were rife with waste and abuse. Congress, therefore, began trying to repair some of the inefficiencies in the jobtraining program. First, in 1973, Congress, with the support of the Nixon administration, passed the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act [CETA], CETA was designed to decentralize Federal job training programs. Congress next addressed job training in 1982, with the passage of the Job Training and Partnership Act [JTPA], which promised to turn Federal job-training into a public-private partnership that would operate more efficiently than the three major job-training bills that had previously passed the Congress and failed to accomplish their stated goals.
1997 Ron Paul 35:10
After 30 years of Federal involvement and two major legislative overhauls, there are now over 160 Federal programs dedicated to job training. The Federal Government spent approximately $4.5 billion to just JPTA in 1997. However, the U.S. Congress cannot measure whether or not they are getting a good return on their investment since most Federal agencies do not even know if their programs are helping people find jobs.
1997 Ron Paul 35:11
Congress is once again attempting to repair the Federal job training systems. However, despite the abundant evidence of the failure of the centralized welfare state model of jobtraining programs, this Congress is planning to continue dictating to all 50 states the composition, content, function, and even the goals and benchmarks of job training programs. The Employment Training and Literacy Act of 1997, [H.R. 1385], tampers with the constitutional principle of federalism. H.R. 1385 redefines the very notion of federalism to mean that States, localities, and individual citizens are given limited flexibility and control over how they fulfill the Federal Governments mandates.
1997 Ron Paul 35:12
1997 Ron Paul 35:13
Under H.R. 1385 States must provide a 3-year plan for adult job training and literacy programs in order to receive Federal job-training funds. These plans must satisfy federally specified content and must be approved by the Secretaries of both the Department of Education and the Department of Labor.
1997 Ron Paul 35:14
Additionally, States are required to establish local work force development boards whose functions and composition are dictated by the Federal law. Furthermore, the boards must meet benchmarks identified by the Governor in negotiation with the schools, the local boards do not even have the authority to determine how their performance should be measured. Rather progress under this bill is measured by predetermined Federal core indicators.
1997 Ron Paul 35:15
Under H.R. 1385, the local work force development boards would be dominated by representatives of the business community. Certainly the input of the business community is important for job training. However, a Federal mandate that representatives of business dominate the job-training boards may provide a means for business to socialize or externalize their training costs. Those businesses which will achieve a direct benefit from a more highly skilled work force should be the ones to finance such programs. Individuals who will benefit from improving their skills could also choose to ultimately pay at least some of the costs of their training. In no instance should the individual taxpayer be forced to subsidize the job training of another person.
1997 Ron Paul 35:16
Not satisfied with wealth transfers to prepare those without employment for business, this bill provides training for skills upgrading for incumbent workers—those already employed. Despite a budget billions of dollars out of balance, this bill creates a new entitlement for already-employed workers and their employers to receive more training courtesy of the American taxpayer.
1997 Ron Paul 35:17
Businesses are not the only institution showered with largess in this bill. Under the provisions of this bill, the Secretary of Labor is empowered to provide taxpayer dollars to labor unions to carry out research and demonstration projects as well as grants to public interest groups. Credible accusations have been made that these groups have often used Federal funds to advance their political agenda. At the very least, Congress should conduct a thorough investigation and take steps to prevent Federal funds from being used to pay for political activity before handing out more grant money.
1997 Ron Paul 35:18
1997 Ron Paul 35:19
This history of Federal involvement in family literacy raises questions regarding the effectiveness of government programs to teach anything regarding child raising. From 1963 to 1993, Federal spending on education increased from approximately $900,000 to over $10 billion, while scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test [SATs] dropped by an average of almost 60 points. Given the poor track record, it is doubtful whether increasing Federal involvement in family literacy is likely to do anything but ensure lower rates of family literacy.
1997 Ron Paul 35:20
Furthermore, Federal involvement in child rearing violates the very principles upon which this country was founded. In a free society, such as that bequeathed to America by the drafters of the Constitution, the family, not the Government, is responsible for the raising of children. State control of child raising is, in fact, one of the hallmarks of totalitarianism. Those of us concerned with expanding and preserving freedom must oppose all measures, including the legislation currently under consideration, which erode the autonomy of the family under the theory that government social workers are better able to address the needs of children than parents.
1997 Ron Paul 35:21
Along similar lines, the language for disadvantaged youth programs mandates the integration of academic, occupation, and work-based learning opportunities. This is also quite objectionable. This language seems to suggest those youth diagnosed as disadvantaged by the social workers and psychologists will be denied a traditional education, instead disadvantaged youth will be herded into State-run job training programs. Such a federally mandated plan is in no way consistent with the core American value of individualism.
1997 Ron Paul 35:22
1997 Ron Paul 35:23
First, because business-dominated work force development boards will determine which occupations are in demand, it is very likely that the business represented on the board will be the ones determined to be those for which there is a demand in the local work force.
1997 Ron Paul 35:24
Second, and more important, the very idea that a government board can somehow determine what occupations will be in demand at any point in the future is an example of what Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek called the fatal conceit. No central board, even one dominated by local officials and businessmen, can predict which jobs will be in demand in 5, 10, or even 2 years. It is doubtful that a local work force board in Silicon Valley in 1978 would have to tried to link job training services to the personal computer market. In fact, its highly unlikely that Steve Jobs—founder of Apple computers—would be appointed to the work force development board in Silicon Valley. The very fact that the boards are comprised of already established leaders for business practically assures that the entrepreneurs creating the jobs of the future will not be represented on this board. In this high-technology information age, where financial and, more important, intellectual capital, can travel around the world in a matter of seconds, the jobs in demand in any area can change faster than any geographical local work force board could conceivably update the skills with which the link job-training.
1997 Ron Paul 35:25
1997 Ron Paul 35:26
As a physician, I have employed many people in critical positions. I certainly understand the importance of having a readily available pool of skilled labor. I would question, however, whether the pool was better prior to the Federal Governments intrusion into education.
1997 Ron Paul 35:27
The private actions of individual citizens, working together in a free-market, can best build a job-training system that meets the needs of its citizens. Private individuals, local communities, and State governments are also more capable than the Federal Government of providing adequate help to those unable to provide for training out of their own resources, if the Federal Government returns to constitutional size and reduces the tax burden on American citizens.
1997 Ron Paul 35:28
Federal job training programs, of any sort, furthers the destructive idea that the proper role of the Federal Government is to provide for all the needs of its citizens. The belief that Congress has a moral duty to minister to the health and welfare of the populace, both of America and the world, is directly responsible for the growth of the welfare-warfare state which threatens to destroy Americas economic prosperity, and liberty itself. Job training should be provided, like all other goods and services, by the free-market and voluntary transactions.
1997 Ron Paul 35:6