“But one of the first and most leading principles on which the commonwealth and the laws are consecrated, is lest the temporary possessors and life-renters in it, unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors, or of what is due to their posterity, should act as if they were the entire masters; that they should not think it amongst their rights to cut off the entail, or commit waste on the inheritance, by destroying at their pleasure the whole original fabric of their society; hazarding to leave to those who come after them, a ruin instead of an habitation – and teaching these successors as little to respect their contrivances, as they had themselves respected the institutions of their forefathers. By this unprincipled facility of changing the state as often, and as much, and in as many ways as there are floating fancies or fashions, the whole chain and continuity of the commonwealth would be broken. No one generation could link with the other. Men would become little better than the flies of summer.”
― Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
Coming into the homestretch of the 24- month lifespan of the 117th Congress we find over 15,000 bills and resolutions. That’s nearly 30 per-Congressperson so far; though less than 10 percent will become law; whole cloth. Some of the concepts will be adapted and integrated into administrative practice in existing federal law.
We do not advocate in this domain; merely track the ideas running through the proposals and their effect upon the business and the culture of education communities; with special attention to the cost of safety and sustainability of its real assets.
We select relevant proposals from the stream of this activity and post a selection of them at the head of our Syllabus every day:
Our interest is generally limited to physical infrastructure which includes instructional spaces, athletic, healthcare, transportation, research, agricultural, food supply and arts facilities. Some universities own and operate churches, nuclear power plants and airports. In nearly every way, education communities are cities-within-cities and near-perfect study units for understanding civilization itself.
The education industry builds about $90 billion of new or renovated square footage it every year and, before the circumstances of the pandemic, required at least another $400 billion to manage it. The physical infrastructure of education communities is the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States. (CLICK HERE for our coverage of the monthly US Commerce Department report on construction activity).
We estimate total spend of the education industry to be $500 billion in 2022; even discounting the circumstances of the pandemic. Five-hundred billion running through any industry tills the soil for market-making by incumbent stakeholders (“niche verticals“). Here’s how they do it:
- Direct legislative influence — i.e. crafting new legislation, or revising legacy legislation, and submitting it to Congressional staffers who “sell it” to the representative to whom they report.
- Retain technical writing shops or non-profit staffers to write passages in codes and standards to be incorporated by reference into new or legacy legislation
- Executive action
In the process of scanning through technical details many federal proposals get “caught in the net” of our tracking algorithm; particularly social justice issues. We throw them back. There are several thousand social justice warriors for every technical domain expert trying to improve infrastructure standards best practice literature.
Smith-Lever Act of 1914