I think this topic could require a dedicated daily blog – I am not that blogger.
However, associations are a major focus of my professional life and the main topic of my weekly blog. Associations (groups of people or companies with similar interests, similar professions or similar industries) are part of the backbone of America. In fact, throughout our country’s history, dating back to the colonists – Americans have been “joiners”. Americans want to come together to network, learn, get motivated and achieve results.
Well, OUR government – the one that our Founding Father’s designed to represent US – has proposed new rules to limit or even eliminate the ability of government employees to attend and participate in association events. In fact, trade associations are specifically excluded from a published list of types of organizations that can extend invitations to government employees.
The proposed rule states, “Trade associations may sponsor educational activities for their members and even the public, but the primary concern of such associations generally is not the education and development of members of a profession or discipline, which is the focus of the proposed exclusion.” In other words, OUR government doesn’t think the education provided at trade association events is beneficial to individuals but rather to companies or industries. I wonder if the government realizes the educational events produced by trade associations result in industry and product standards that protect the public. I wonder if the government realizes that these same educational events result in product innovation that keeps America on the cutting edge of technology.
The government is basically saying – So Americans – don’t join. Don’t come together to network, learn from each other, develop world class products, develop life saving standards, offer input, advice and counsel to your government. Together, your voice is too strong. Together you might actually influence the government to make decisions based on facts and fiscal realities – like businesses must. No America – you cannot do that anymore.
What would our Founding Father’s think of us now?