Old and Busted: Cradle to Grave. New Hotness: Womb to Middle Class.
On Saturday, April 25 2015, I attended a discussion billed as how to “strengthen the middle class” by “explor[ing] how to create a business climate that helps entrepreneurs.” Colorado legislators John Kefalas, Jeni Arndt and Joann Ginal, all Democrats from Fort Collins, hosted it. But there was neither business climate nor entrepreneurial topics discussed. False. Advertising.
It quickly became evident that the purpose of the meeting was to introduce the Colorado Opportunity Project (COP), an expansive state program that purports to make sure low income individuals have opportunities for upward mobility through a slew of “interventions” at every stage of one’s life. Because, see, the state of Colorado wants to make sure that individuals make the “right” choices—one of their indicators is as invasive as tracking the duration new moms breastfeed their infants.
I wish I’d recorded the presentation and counted all of the “make sures” that were dropped. Ah well, at least there’s no bones about all of the glorious data mining to be done.
Is lack of opportunity for success really the reason people are unsuccessful? Never mind the gazillion existing stories where people from so-called disadvantaged beginnings achieve greatness. Never mind the many already existing government programs that are failing to produce results due to their bloated configurations across multiple government agencies, and their top-heavy structures that cause inefficiencies, red tape, and self-inflicted suffocation. And don’t even think about personal responsibility and accountability being factors in one’s path to success/failure. Because the state of Colorado claims that lack of opportunity is the problem, even in a country where everybody is equal under the law.
The presenters lauded how they, by implementing the Colorado Opportunity Project, can make sure that a child in this program is born at full term, is breast fed for the appropriate number of weeks, has early education access, that he/she has reading and math skills by middle school, and that by high school, he graduates with a C average, avoids teen pregnancy, and has no criminal record. Now an adult, the Colorado Opportunity Project will make sure that the individual goes to college and earns a middle class living. Womb to grave government interventions.
Also concerning was the claim that early childhood education is an indicator of success, when facts point to the failure of Head Start programs. Should more taxpayer money be invested here?
Rejoice! This project will be funded with Medicaid dollars, because there’s tons of extra funds there.
This will be one to keep an eye on, folks. Bureaucrats claiming that they make sure individuals make correct choices? This is a social experiment chasing utopia; what could possibly go wrong?