Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Please Mrs. Governor can I have a license to live?

So I’m doing a little research into some of the laws and policy’s that impact the way a social service agency runs (school assignment). I’ve learned a few things. I used to think it was strange that states require plumbers to be licensed oh how I miss the bliss my ignorance granted me. But first things first my school project was to look into the laws and regulations that impact the delivery of social services to people. I found that the most common requirement after being baby set by a more experienced person for 2-3 years was continuing education. I can not find 1 peace of research that demonstrates that a social worker (or anyone else) does a better job as a result of continuing education requirements. I did several searches with Google Pro quest and Ebscohost. I could not find anything that even approached the issue thought one article was attacking athletic trainers for paying for the conference and than spending the entire time on the golf course. Most states require continuing education for professionals in medical related jobs. But I can’t find any research to back up the assumption that it has any benefits. You do however have to jump through the hoops the state has created in order to do your job. In fact I’ve yet to run into a good argument for the licensing of most professional activities. I understand that people who provide services that save lives or could endanger them need to be carful and while I’m not sold on the idea that a license makes a difference I can understand why people would want someone doing those sorts of jobs to have some evidence that they are not hopelessly incompetent. Now none of this means I object to the State requiring a person to declare what they do so they can be tracked down in the case that a civil suit is filed. I’m Bob the plumber and contact info being kept on file can be almost no cost and not get in the way of someone doing whatever they do. However in looking into WA states policies I was surprised.
Again I understand having the guy cleaning up toxic waste being licensed .What I have a hard time with though are things like Time keepers for boxing, egg handling, animal message, Hulk hullers (those who transport wrecked vehicles), Nail salons, homeless shelters and hotels etc. I was going to include the entire list, but who wants to read a 17 page long list?
Not only do you need a license to operate a boat but you need one to sell one this appears to be separate from the basic license just to have a business in the first place. This is no doubt a great funding stream for the state. If you can require everyone to need half a dozen licenses the ones I looked at ran $20-150 each that must be renewed every year or two that’s a lot of money. Sure it makes the cost of everything go up buts that’s okay the state taxes the sale of things so higher prices mean more money.
I wonder how many lives have been lost as a result of low quality nail painting? Would an unlicensed homeless shelter somehow be worse than living on the streets? Is moving a peace of scrape metal from one place to another so hard and so dangerous that the state has to make rules for who can do that? Does anyone think that a little peace of paper makes someone a better time keeper or wrestler? Yet the great state of Washington uses their power to deny freedom and property to require them. Please someone tell me how is the public being served.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In whom do you trust?

I’ve been doing some thinking about the apparent way people in our great nation think. While I tend to not be too shy about telling people what I think I also believe that it is my duty to allow them to think as they wish. Also to understand what they think and why so I can avoid misrepresenting their positions as much has reasonably possible. In my school program I have a lot of opportunities to hear the ideas of people of different values and views than myself. They are often shared casually as many assume (almost correctly) that everyone in the program is extremely liberal (at some point I should address how that term has mutated into a horrible and deadly cancer, but I’ll save that for another day).

What I find taught in so many ways day in day out is a deep and profound belief that the federal government is going to solve all the problems if only the backwards thinking conservatives would stop getting in the way of progress. So I’m trying to understand were that idea has come from.

Is a total faith in the goodness and kindness of the Federal Government a result of their personal experiences and the history of our nation?

Was it our Governments original tight restrictions on voting rights that inspire their trust?

Maybe the years of slavery in our nation in the South.

Perhaps when the two ruling parties struck a deal that prevented the federal government from enforcing the basic rights of the now “freed” slaves that assures them of their good intent and great ability.

Doubtless the countless treaties that we “renegotiated” with the Natives inspires trust.

Let us not forget our worship based foreign trade policies.

Maybe our providing amnesty to war criminals in exchange for their research is the key event that makes them love the Feds.

Perhaps our locking up every person of Japanese decent we could find in the entire country and selling their homes out from under them provides that big warm fuzzy.

I know our large nuclear arsenal and the assorted tests leading up to its creation just brings smiles to the faces of so many.

Lets not forget our good friends at the FBI and the fine job they did at Ruby Ridge and Waco. Know that a large number of people might come and harass me and my family and kill us really makes we want to go hug the nearest federal employee.

Perhaps having congress now trying to micro manage (in addition to bleed dry) every major corporation in the country makes it all seem just so right.
Maybe it is an understanding of how the FDA only allows us to have safe food and drugs oh yeah and the ones congress says we should have or not have because some company wants to that way.

You know maybe it is the huge national debt that we have which is reaching a point where we can not even afford to make the interest payments that inspires so much trust in the abilities of the Federal Government.

Perhaps it is their ability to provide us with one of the most expensive and least effective school systems in the known world that makes them want to hand over the rest of our lives to their watchful care.

This list could no doubt get a whole lot longer. I think I’ve touched on enough topics from enough different view points to make it clear that the Federal Government has a history of making some really bad calls. They made some really good ones too, but it is too large and too disconnected from the lives of people to be trusted to micro manage them. The feds can and should provide protection and insure that our basic freedoms the ones mentioned in the bill of rights not the ones we wish were there are enforced. Sadly we see way too much time and money being spent doing everything else and the shameful ignoring of those primary responsibilities. If the Bill of Rights were a child the President and Congress would all be in prison serving time for their criminal neglect and abuse.

I’ve hear about this off an on for years I don’t know who wrote it, but I take no credit (except for recognizing that it is a very valuable lesson)

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

Our federal Government has come for the Mormons, the Japanese, the Natives and the Communist. If you doubt any of that please get a history book and cure yourself of your ignorance. One could make a good argument that they have come for the Africans, the Catholics and anyone who works hard and provides for their needs and wants without government subsidy. I don’t know who will be next, but ask yourself if they will come for someone else what is to stop them from coming for you?

In whom do you trust?
If it is in someone or something that changes with the winds of political expediency or whims of personal interest one day you may well find yourself at the mercy of a monster you helped to create.