CA Readies Data Collection on All Citizens From 'Cradle to Career'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | July 29, 2019
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Leftists laughed. They mocked. They chuckled and guffawed and pointed and snickered with endless, childish contempt when individualists and constitutionalists warned that both the federal and state levels of government were creeping towards a “cradle-to-grave” omnipotence over peoples’ lives.

Meanwhile, many of those same leftists worked for just that.

Not for nefarious motives, of course… Oh, no.

No leftist would be driven by the kind of crass power-madness that inspired a maniac like Lyndon Johnson to lock black Americans he despised into welfare dependency merely so he could gain more political power and appear to “care”.

Oh, no, the leftists’ surreptitious push to expand government power primarily derives from the lovely elitist notion that individuals, families, and groups of freely-associating citizens are just too daft and mentally unkempt to handle their own lives.

Hence, government – also composed of flawed people – must tell them how to live, and take their earnings, to boot.

Which brings us to Collectivist California Governor Gavin Newsom and his back-scratching pals’ evident excitement to tell the world that the state is going to monitor people “from Cradle to Career.”

As Borg units John Fensterwald and Louis Freedberg gush on the corrosively statist “” beneath the journalistically challenged headline “California finally to move ahead with 'cradle to career' data system”:

With $10 million in funding, an ambitious timeline and a champion in Gov. Gavin Newsom behind it, the Legislature this week passed legislation for a statewide education data system that will follow children from infancy through the workplace.

Which isn’t creepy in the slightest.

But we’ve come to expect statists applauding Big Brother’s leery gaze. Millions of leftists worship Obamacare as if it were a religious totem, not bothering to mention that the statute completely breaches the Fourth Amendment through its employment of “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” (HIPAA, 1996) collection of private individual medical data.

Likewise, the façade of “peace-loving” leftists fails when writers such as these use military terms to invest their preferred aggressive state action with a sense of excitement and salvation. They write:

The marching order for what Newsom is calling a Cradle to Career Data System is included in a lengthy bill elaborating on the 2019-20 state budget for education. It lays out steps over the next 18 months that will determine what the system will look like, how it will be governed, who will have access to data and how privacy and security will be handled.

Of course, anyone who understands the nature of state power over individuals knows that “privacy” doesn’t exist in any polis. Your earnings, your home, your family, your life – they are all government assets, there to be utilized to whatever degree, at whatever time, for however long, the agents in charge of the state desire. You are a “public asset”, and always will be considered so. Without fixing you with that distinction, politicians like Newsom and acolytes like Mssrs. Fensterwald and Freedberg wouldn’t have a polis to applaud.

And, of course, their applause not only comes at the expense of your rights, it comes at the expense of the competitive market system that allows individuals to control their own earnings and expenditures, and works to provide better products and services in order to retain customers and attract more.

Without a hint of embarrassment, the politicians declare that they now need at least $10 million to find out how their education monopoly is doing. Indeed, a major rationale for the “Cradle to Career” scheme is to answer tough questions such as, “Are early education investments paying off long-term as students progress through education systems and the workforce?” and “How prepared are high school students to succeed in college?”

Those questions are pretty easy to answer because the statistics are published each year, and the answer, Governor Newsom, et al, is that California’s government-monopoly-run school system stinks.

In fact, it’s one of the most expensive in the nation. Conn Carroll traced the devolution of California’s education system in an excellent piece for The Washington Examiner, noting that:

According to RAND Corp., as late as the 1970s California's public schools still had an "excellent" reputation. Then, in 1975, Brown (in his first stint as California's governor) signed the Rodda Act, giving government unions the power to take money directly out of government employees' paychecks…

And the California Teacher’s Association (CTA) moved quickly to take that cash and influence legislation to line “education professionals’” pockets.

The CTA's first big political victory came in 1988, when it helped pass Proposition 98, which amended the California Constitution to mandate that at least 39 percent of the state budget be spent on K-12 education spending. Since then, California teacher salaries have skyrocketed and are now among the highest in the nation (only Massachusetts and New York pay more).

Indeed, if Governor Newsom wanted to bother, he could see that, despite skyrocketing expenditures – even as the CTU endlessly lobbies for more and threatens to strike – California ranked 42nd of Barack Obama’s 57 states in education output when it comes to literacy and numeracy.

But they need to “collect data” from cradle to career.

Gee, does anyone get the sneaky feeling the state will sell this data?

Turns out, the feds allowed it – contrary to the Fourth Amendment – starting in 2008, as Dan Tynan writes for Yahoo Tech:

(I)n 2008 and 2011, Congress amended the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to allow authorized third parties to access sensitive student data. 

How sweet. And just what entities “authorize” that access?

State and municipal governments, as Jordan Shapiro writes for Forbes:

According to Common Sense Media:

  • Almost 6 in 10 parents have heard little or nothing about schools letting private companies store personal data about their children.
  • When informed that there are currently no restrictions limiting these companies from using this information for marketing, parents and non-parents alike express overwhelming concern.

This data is very valuable to businesses, and they are willing to shell out big bucks – to other businesses or to states -- to get it.

As Tynan notes:

What could go wrong? Plenty. Potentially damaging information about your child’s medical conditions or behavioral issues could accidentally leak or be exposed by hackers. Private companies could decide to use the information for commercial purposes.

All while Newsome smiles. All while teachers salaries skyrocket. All while taxpayers and kids alike are trapped in a government monopoly world where the blowhards of the state long ago engaged in the hideous defenestration of citizens' rights to their own earnings and the power to control the education their kids receive.

Now, even the behavioral data of the kids is going to be held by agents of the state, from daycare to their first jobs.

I think most of us long ago realized that children are little more than money-making resources to many collectivists. Just as they do not recognize the individual worth and sovereignty of individual life – from the unborn to the tax serf – they do not recognize the sanctity of privacy.

Gaining political power, leveraging more cash, and creating more dependents to carve out eternal voter-bases has been the game of collectivists since the days of Rousseau.

It’s time people learn that lesson.

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