|Mike Patrick Dahlke - The Green Collar Blue Industrialist|
Let's, just for a moment, say, that our nation's entire public education system is virtually without funding. Let's say that just as our federal government is functioning entirely on borrowed funds that are virtually incapable of ever being paid back and state governments are in the same economic mess, the only way for this mess to be straightened out will be to fund our public education system in an entirely new way.
Let's say that this new funding mechanism for public education will not come from the federal government, or, from the top down anymore, but, instead, this funding will come from the economic activity that takes place within the actual community any given school serves and that economic activity is all about building local businesses that specialize in applying federally mandated, mixed energy use industrial, environmental and economic mandates that assure maximum profitability to all of those who live and work in the community that surround the public school(s) every parent sends their children to.
Given the actual fact that the federal government is incapable of funding public education in America today and given the larger fact that the school funding coming from the federal government over the course of the last thirty years has done virtually nothing to assure a child who has gone through our national school system has been prepared to work in any of a multitude of energy based industries (or any other industries for that matter), perhaps it is time to look upon a public school not as a national institution that supposedly prepares its children for a "global American economic future" but, as a local institution that actually prepares its children to stay home and work in the very industries that build the local school using using state of the art mixed energy use technologies as those technology's are applied to a diverse menu of 21st century American construction, engineering, architectural, environmental, horticultural, etc. locally built and managed small businesses, mid-sized and regional public utility companies and mid-sized light industrial manufacturing corporations.
Let us also say that at the core of all of these state of the art locally based both private and publicly owned and operated corporate entities, there is a much larger association with regional and nationwide companies.taking place as well and as there are such relationships, each and everyone of them is focused on one specific goal.
With that goal being the establishment of an entirely new public education curriculum and an equally new public education funding mechanism, what would the funding mechanism in particular look like?
PENNIES ON OUR 21ST CENTURY, INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION DOLLAR
Think about the above subtitle for a moment. Think about the notion that the easiest funding fix for a massive public education - indeed the largest education system in the world, one that is responsible for retraining virtually every student in the largest industrial economy in the world, does not, in any manner, require billions of new educational dollars to produce the results we as Americans need to produce in order to achieve our intended 21st century, mixed energy use industrial goal.
When, or, perhaps if we think in these "pennies on the dollar public education funding terms" and, if, we look at how information management technologies have transformed our capacity to micro-manage every single aspect of our nation's current and obsolete industrial infrastructure, it is really not too difficult to understand how easy it would be to form altogether new public education micro-funding mechanisms that truly coincide with the micro-economic management of new mixed energy use, public utility infrastructure. As essentially we have, on a national research level, already determined the viability of a host of differing energy resources, and, as we have on a very broad and intelligent social level, concluded our collective need to embrace these new resources, looking upon the funding of public education in America as something that must start at the local level is simply logical in every bit the same manner as it is remarkably exciting. For as now, within the context of our collective understanding of how so many 21st century mixed energy use ideas can be correlated to work in unison with one another, we have, for the first time in our entire American industrial history, a broad social dynamic that enjoins children, educators, private sector localized small business entrepreneurs, mid sized manufacturing corporations and massive world wide corporations all of whom are clearly focused on the greater end goal of re-industrializing America's multiple energy sector national as well as global economy.
As this is the case, how does the funding of public education in our 21st century mixed energy use economy actually play out on the local level?
If you have been following my writing on the pathetic failure of the poorly structured federally funded initiative to nurture the growth of Solyndra, and, the subsequent essays I've written on the need for fundamental industrial restructuring and financial re-blueprinting of our nation's entire public utility and public transportation grid as well as our nationwide need to develop both public and private sector education models, the preface "micro" comes up constantly within the explanations I give, and, that I think are crucial to our collective capacity to digest the scope of change we are capable as a nation of realizing. As this "micro- thought processing mentality" must come to fruition within the greater concept of our entire American 21st century industrial and economic dialogue, the same all encompassing truth must also come to fruition when blueprinting the funding of our nation's public education system.
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of what I consider to be the core of our 21st century public education funding blueprint, it is important to review where we as a nation have mistakenly been for decades on funding public education and in particular, where we have been since the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001" was adopted.
The NCLB Act was an attempt to design a public education system that prepared our children for their success in a global economy. The argument behind this act was that if we could establish certain generic or standardized high level performance criteria for teachers and school districts, the American children who were taught within these high level learning environments would somehow be able to sell fast food chicken and hamburgers, and, of course, automobiles and blow dryers much more efficiently in emerging global markets than their counterparts in either France or Somalia. Never for a moment thinking that perhaps American children had something a bit more substantial rumbling around in their advanced 21st century American industrial minds, the administration of George W. Bush was more than happy to fund this NCLB initiative. Thinking in such an entirely misguided manner that advanced technology American military might would bring a certain political stability to the Middle East and in turn place a certain amount of economic stability to the world's supply of oil. Tossing a few billion dollars to American children while investing trillions of dollars in the military toys of their fathers was more than justifiable as it was simply thought non military spending after the Gulf Wars would more than pay for our wartime expenditures.
Unfortunately, this did not quite happen.
As it did not and to date here at the end of 2011 has not, what we are left with in our America today is precisely the same reality those that live in every advanced industrial nation in the world are left with - the profoundly clear notion that in every bit the same manner that our advanced technology military complex must be maintained, the only possible way to accomplish this goal is to bring all other technology sectors, and, in particular our remarkably diverse and evolved mixed energy use sectors up to the same level of sophistication that our military enjoys today, there simply will not be that advanced military sector in our America's tomorrow.
As I could easily turn this essay into a rambling nitwit assault on former President George W. Bush's obsession with global industrial military might, all I will say is this man dealt with a national security issue so profound and so substantial, that if he had not, we would not today be able to sit down and address the whole dynamics of mixed energy use policy we indeed are enjoying even though the discussion is still quite difficult all of us to have.
Having said this, when I think about President Bush's public education initiative of "No Child Left Behind", I must also think of President Obama's public education initiative entitled "Race to the Top". As it is quite clear to me that both of these men truly love their country, both of them are obsessed with top down management of our nation's new 21st century mixed energy use industrial growth. As all of this growth is directly related to the installation of mixed energy sources and technologies on each and every individual home in America, I would like to suggest that "No American Child Will Be Left Behind Once We Build The 21st Century Industrial Footprint That Starts At The Bottom".
Thus, here is my prescription for funding American public education on a national, regional, statewide and local level.
The United States Department Of Applied Energy, Environmental And Educational Science
At the core of our nation's advanced 21st century, mixed energy use, public education system must be some type of organizational entity that provides progressive educational oversight or insight into the vast amount of information we as a technologically advanced society can rely upon for up to the minute information about the very science we are clearly capable of applying to our physical, industrial and economic environment. As the days of simply throwing a light switch, plugging in an appliance or turning a thermostat in one direction or another are clearly over, the capacity we do have to micro-manage the energy sources required to provide clean energy to whatever is on either side of the switch that is thrown is quite staggering. As we are to the point where the manufacturing of entirely new families of energy sources require entirely new job categories, as we are to the point where those energy sources need entirely new consumer education parameters to be universally applied, as we are to the point where education of the budding fifth grade, junior high school student of science has the exact same educational priority as that of educating the fifth graders' parent when it comes to the need to know certain crucial yet basic information even to run these advanced, mixed energy management systems - having a source from which all such information can be digested equally among an entire community - is essential.
This Department would be directly responsible for communicating technological advancements in the natural gas industry, the solar industry, the coal industry, the geothermal industry - any and every energy production sector that is crucial to the whole economic, environmental and educational needs of the region or locality where all such industries must interact with one another in. In other words, as our nation is made up of an enormous array of geographical regions that possess finite or infinite supplies of multiple energy resources, the job of this Department would be to regulate the positive interaction of these resources as that interaction pertains to the whole education of all who live, work and learn within the geographical boundaries of that region and who occupy in any manner the architectural housing, commercial or industrial collection of buildings existing within that geographical region.
Thus the community of San Antonio, Texas (for instance) would probably find itself immersed in the economic development and subsequent public and private sector education of active solar, horizontal axis wind turbine and geothermal applications of energy technologies to its architectural housing, commercial and industrial building stock whereas as the community of Oak Park, Illinois would find itself immersed in the economic development and subsequent public and private sector education of an entirely different micro-grid structure consisting of natural gas, passive solar, geothermal and vertical axis wind turbine energy technologies as those technologies are applied to its architectural housing, commercial and industrial building stock.
As Oak Park, Illinois sits on a geographical bluff which is the highest elevation in the entire Chicago land area, vertical axis wind turbine electrical generation technology applied to its building stock is simply much more suited for this community as wind within this community has the tendency to blast upwards and swirl between buildings whereas wind blowing along Lake Michigan and through the community of Evanston, Illinois which is located but a few miles from Oak Park and adjacent to Lake Michigan would be more suited for horizontal axis wind turbine micro-technology.
It is extremely important to me that my readers understand that I am an architectural designer and engineer and master carpenter who is speaking exclusively here of existing American architecture, existing American housing, commercial and industrial building stock in existing American communities of which there are literally tens of thousands of within the geographical boundaries of our great American 21st century industrial frontiers. As thus far within the context of our entire 19th, 20th and 21st century energy consumption dialogue, we have, as a nation focused on the industrial development of trains, planes and automobiles, and, in turn focused on building an economic infrastructure derived from fueling vehicles that enable us to leave our homes, it is my firm belief that the moment we focus our greater 21st century industrial imperative on rebuilding and refueling our nation's building stock as well as the public utility infrastructure needed to power it, we will find ample justification and direction in refueling our transportation infrastructure in the process.
Having said this, and, as this essay is about truly funding our nation's public education system, the role of The United States Department Of Applied Energy, Environmental And Educational Science would be quite clear and quite task specific.
If the children of Oak Park, Illinois are taught the whole scientific fundamentals of managing the mixed energy sources needed to keep their own homes glowing brightly, and if that scientific education is brought to them in grammar school and nurtured within them throughout their entire educational experience, they may or may not choose to continue to live and/or do business in Oak Park, Illinois once their educational experience has been completed. Regardless of their personal choice however, the fact that they were exposed to an entire spectrum of whole 21st century mixed energy use applied environmental sciences simply enables them to move freely about their whole 21st century American nation knowing that even as adults, all they have to do to adapt to the environmental, industrial and economic standards that exist within the region of say, San Antonio, Texas or Toledo, Ohio to simply apply for continuing education courses offered at community colleges in San Antonio or Toledo or Bethesda, Maryland;or Mynot, South Dakota.
We actually have the potential to realize this advanced industrial American dream in our "American Today Whole Experience". Unfortunately, what we don't have is a federal environmental regulatory agency that actually awards either regional, national or local scientific excellence. As the current framework of the Environmental Protection Agency is every bit as obsolete as our No Child Left Behind congressional public education mandate, it is clearly time to rectify the failed federal blueprints that are continuously causing all of us in America to remain scientifically stupid, industrially angry and economically short sighted.
The idea behind The United States Department Of Applied Energy, Environmental And Educational Science is to merge the valid educational criteria embodied in our nation's public education system with the Environmental Protection Agency's equally valid environmental criteria while in the same breath, eliminating criteria that has virtually no bearing on our successful 21st century national environmental, industrial and economic "Goals Of Accomplishment."
Having said this, and, reminding my readers that this essay began with my belief that bottom up management of public education reform and financing is at the core of this 21st century, mixed energy use, public educational funding "Re-Blueprinting", it indeed is.
If the scientific, mixed energy use and/or consumption criteria of any given geographical region within our nations' borders is indeed known (and it is), and, at the same time, the same scientific knowledge of regional weather patterns and naturally occurring temperate shifts is also known (and these are), regional advisory boards that can be utilized by the homeowner in the progressive whole energy needs assessment and subsequent retrofitting of their home become really quite important to establish.
In the same breath, providing a scholastic environment for those associated with the development of either private or public sector utilities needed to provide these homes with "architectural mixed energy infrastructure", becomes equally important to establish as does providing the professional builders who live within that region a set of building standards that enable these professionals the ability to provide their homeowner/building owner client base with quality built, 21st century mixed energy use living, working and manufacturing (light, medium and heavy industrial)
As the establishment of the community college environment was originally seen as a means to provide those who attended them with a learning leg up environment from which attendees could either move on to four year college environments or, simply attain enough skills to become employed in the industries that occupied the geographical region those attendees lived, worked and paid taxes in, today's community college is experiencing the very same budget shortfalls of all other both public and private learning institutions. The great irony of our nationwide budgetary educational shortfall today however is the fact that community colleges that never really provided any type of dynamic exposure to advanced scientific, engineering, environmental or economic growth are, because of our technological capacity to "microtize" our entire energy infrastructure blueprint, the only places in our nation where large volumes of people can actually "educationally congregate" for a true and comprehensive greater American, 21st century industrial and economic purpose.
As at the core of our entire national public educational funding imperative lies the economic foundation of our nation's entire 21st century mixed energy based industrial expansion, it should become perfectly clear that if every major corporate level energy provider in our United States, if every major public utility operating with state of the art information technologies, if every American building contractor is charged with retrofitting every building in America, public education funding resources are as plentiful as workers and taxpayers involved in assuring our 21st century mixed energy based industrial expansion actually occurs.
Because our nation's public education system is being financed by parents who either own, work in or invest in 21st century mixed energy use construction and manufacturing industries and through such financing their children may decide to pursue careers in the mixed energy use architectural industries or mixed energy use transportation industries that are spawned from the mixed energy use architectural construction industries, these children know that moving to San Antonio, Texas from Oak Park, Illinois will clearly enable them to get involved in mixed energy use architectural industrial fields that are more to their geographical, climatic and environmental needs while driving hybrid automobiles on hybrid American mixed energy use interstates.
The greater industrial history of our America has always been about the notion that one industrial hand naturally helps the other. Within this history, the definition of help has often been that of compromise through conflict, none the less, the inevitability that change was upon an entire nation has always brought about a remarkable sense of across the board industrial cooperation only after all parties involved truly grasped the across the board economic benefits of such cooperation.
Having said this, and, expanding further upon the notion of our need to restructure our public education mandate, two additional issues must be addressed before I will feel comfortable with the notion of ending this particular essay.
Clearly the most troublesome aspect of our nationwide economic recession today is the fact that a massive segment of our nation's architectural, engineering and building industries remain economically sidelined. With American building professionals more or less idle, with the value of personal, commercial and industrial real estate continuously declining, the very thing all Americans have had to fall back on throughout our entire industrial history, which is the value of that real estate and the buildings they have erected on that real estate to increase their personal net worth via investment of earnings found through working in sustainable and diverse industrial fields, has simply evaporated from our nation's economic blueprint.
Knowing (as we all do) that until this massive economic stumbling block is removed completely from our national recessionary public dialogue, it is again the notion of advancing a nationwide public education dialogue that will indeed remove this massive economic stumbling block. As within the complexity of our emerging micro-managed mixed energy based economy opportunity for broad spectrum industrial/economic growth is virtually all around us, getting that information out and into the minds of every building professional in our America is crucial. Thus, once again, establishing a physical space within a community from which such comprehensive information is provided is equally crucial.
Building Code Regulatory
As an architectural designer and master builder, there is one consistently disturbing reality I have had to face over the course of the last forty years. That one thing is the sheer volume of technologically advanced information of the building process available nationwide that goes entirely untapped due to the fact that building code enforcement within any given community is entirely dependent upon the digression of the local code official. As in so many communities nationwide, that official is picked from a haphazard collection of local tradesmen, the knowledge these tradesmen actually possess of the entire building process is much more based upon what has become the historical norm of the community they live and work in. As that norm is, much more often than not, a justification of what their fathers and grandfathers did 50 to 100 years ago, the entire concept of advanced technology construction education goes entirely by the wayside in a huge portion of our United States. Thus, as the movie "Dumb and Dumber" was a relatively huge success, the demographics of those who enjoyed the concept of the movie were in fact, inhabitants of communities nationwide made up of dumb and dumber American tradesmen. Smart enough to spend a few of their earned construction dollars on low level entertainment, but not at all wise enough to realize that truly applied 21st century building trade technologies might actually help improve our entire national industrial economy while in the same breath, improving the real estate value of the land they live on or the larger economic value of the entire community they actually live and work in.
While some might find the above analogy humorous, the far greater structural economic analysis of this situation is nothing less than economically terrifying.
What has happened in our United States of America over the course of the last fifty years is the slow but steady erosion of practically applied industrial common sense. As this common sense was once bench marked by the inoculation of every new industrial method into the very American communities every American industrial worker lived in, because there are virtually no industrial workers left in our America, there is virtually no industrial value to either America's real estate nor the hopelessly outdated architectural edifices built on that real estate. As a result of this doomed property value reality there is as well, a doomed mortgage value and/or a doomed mortgage lending reality.
If a homeowner cannot afford (and no homeowner can today,) to technologically upgrade his or her private real estate holdings and the mortgage holder cannot afford to foreclose on that home due to the fact that every other home within that community is also not technologically upgradeable, obviously there is a rather serious problem within the community. As the building trade sector is pathetically under-educated, as the homeowner is equally under-employed, as the existing public utility sector within that community cannot afford to retrofit its infrastructure and as lending institutions are tremendously under capitalized, it only stands to reason that some type of all encompassing overview and economic correction mechanism needs to be put into place.
As there was at one point in time during our American industrial history a rather basic banking concept entitled a loan guaranty, such a document took on many clearly definable terms. Perhaps one of the most striking, if not most remarkably human aspects of that ancient lending practice was the personal loan guaranty. This lending agreement was entered into by a officer of the bank and an individual whom the bank officer often knew quite well and quite personally - a friend who worked in a bank lending money to another friend who worked at the bakery down the street from the bank. There was little stress involved in such a transaction as there was little doubt on the part of either party as to the belief that the loan would be paid back within the terms of the loan. As the amount of the loan increased, the name of the loan would be changed and as a personal loan might have a payback time of six months, a mortgage loan might have a payback time of fifteen years. Regardless of the loan type however, the basic principle, or, the basic assumption was that the individual applying for the loan worked in the industrial community the bank served and both the homeowner and the bank officer knew that the money being loaned was going towards helping all the other businesses in the community thrive.
As communities grew and technology advanced, the type of loan being guaranteed did the same.
When it came to building new roads, when it came to building new schools, municipal bonds were offered for sale within the entire community and thus the cost of such infrastructure improvements were spread evenly throughout the community and in the end, roads and schools were paid for in full whereas in the same breath, the entire community benefited in full as well. The same was true of public energy utilities. As technology expanded and electrical transmission and natural gas pipelines were installed, as municipal water supplies reached every property, bonding or funding the installation of the required infrastructure took on yet another definition of loan making and loan repayment. Public utility stocks were offered to the consumers of these energy resources whereas in the same breath, monthly bills for the consumption of the energy used were sent out to the consumers of the energy source.
For all practical purposes, there actually was a time in our industrial American history where the entire concept of broad spectrum industrial based bank lending actually worked. Unfortunately, as our national economy expanded globally and the very industries we as Americans actually created followed, what certainly did not follow was the realization that both the vision and profits of one industrial age would eventually come to be recognized as the stumbling blocks preventing us from attaining the industrial and economic goals of our next industrial age. As this is precisely where we are at today, and so many in America are still convinced that the creation of exotic global financial instruments will somehow maintain our global industrial and economic superiority in a world market that is increasingly focused on the re-prioritizing of economic interests as those interests pertain to individual nations - simply put, in spite of our best Geopolitical efforts, the people of the United States of America still can't get a loan to retrofit their homes, incorporate new mixed energy technologies into their public energy utility infrastructure or find jobs in the very advanced industrial fields that would give them the financial ability to actually do any of the above.
Having said all of the above, and in spite of the blind arrogance of our "fictional global banking community", there remains the fundamental concept of the personal loan, the mortgage loan, the small business loan, the municipal public improvement bond and clearly the most dynamic industrial financial instrument of our mixed energy use 21st century economy - the public stock offering of micro-managed and micro-structured mixed energy based and regionally developed public utility companies. These companies represent the whole of our nation's entire 21st century industrial potential, and, as they do, the imperative we as a nation have to intertwine them with virtually every aspect of our larger societal and economic purpose is crucial to understand.
As I have described the funding mechanism of our public education system in quite some detail. As I have outlined a mechanism from which the entire nation can seek advanced industrial education via our vast nationwide network of community colleges. As I have outlined a mechanism from which America's building trades can work in unison with themselves, outlining a new method from which virtually any type of bank loan is directly tied to the development of all aspects of our emerging 21st century mixed energy use industrial economy is most certainly a priority in need of address.
While it would certainly be nice if any homeowner in America could simply walk into any bank in America, immediately apply for and receive a personal loan based upon the same down home friendly lending practices of previous industrial eras, today, this is simply an impossibility. The reason this simple notion is impossible is due to the fact that instead of seriously integrating the vast array of alternative energy technologies that clearly began to emerge from our national industrial dialogue almost forty years ago, tremendously stupid people with equally redundant industrial egos have done nothing more than fight about who might or might not get a piece of our next industrial mixed energy use economic pie. Thus as a single homeowner would probably love to be able to walk into a bank and get a personal loan for the installation of solar collectors on his or her home, the solar collector itself is not viewed by the banker as a critical industrial or economic asset to the whole community the bank serves. As in the banker's eye, he or she might find the installation of a solar panel as quite the altruistic goal, because there is virtually no mechanism in existence within the community to attach one solar collector to another, continues to make the entire loan discussion a mute point.
Yet the moment the solar collector becomes an integral part of an equally integral mixed energy use public utility infrastructure, the capacity to lend becomes remarkably solvent. Thus, the blueprint of our mixed energy use 21st century industrial infrastructure must be put into place before anyone seeking any type of either a small or massively large bank loan can expect to either get the loan, work in the industries that build the infrastructure that enables anyone to pay the loan back, or expect to see a return on investment into the whole industrial expansion of the solar panel and all of its related industrial micro-structures.
Knowing full well that virtually every existing building in the United States of America has, within its entire architectural footprint, the capacity to attach some form of solar technology to its facade, knowing full well the same facade can have some type of wind turbine technology also attached to its facade, knowing full well that the same facade has some type of rainwater management technology that can also be attached, knowing full well that the same facade has natural gas technology that can be re-engineered to perform much more efficiently within the enclosed square footage of that facade, knowing in turn, that same natural gas technology can be utilized now to fuel vehicles coming and going from the same facade, knowing quite comprehensively that the success of our whole national 21st century industrial imperative is dependent upon the application of a massive set of environmental controls that assure the application of these controls universally across our entire nation, federally guaranteed regional environmental and industrial lending banks would exist for the singular purpose of funding the larger public utility structures required for that region to generate substantial long term mixed energy use industrial prosperity.
While the above sentence is extremely long winded, it is 100% accurate. As there are multiple environmental and mixed energy use industrial regions throughout our nation's whole geographical footprint, each region, properly structured represents multiple opportunities for substantial economic growth potential.
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