(Can you help with our September 2016 DC trip to educate and advocate on this proposal?)
(Written in an adaptable mix of laymen and Congressional style to better inform readers.)
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and Senate115th CONGRESS
Proposed for 115th Congress (1/20117 – 1/2019)
To request the President to institute an American World Service Corps National Service (AWSCNS) umbrella organization that will build over seven years to annually field a million Americans to implement a robust National Service Program through already existing do-good organizations that address pressing world and domestic needs doing full-time, voluntary, paid national service at home and abroad; thereby raising the nation and world’s public policy IQ.
The AWSC will be a robust, generation-long jobs program that will involve, smarten, and strengthen Americans via improving home and world, while reducing the causes of war and terrorism and addressing the effects of global climate change.
America’s World Service Corps National Service Program should inspire other nations to form their own World Service Corps, which will shift the world’s overemphasis on using military solutions to solve problems. The AWSC’s national service/jobs program offers an alternative that will turn many problems into opportunities and build stronger and healthier relationships at home and abroad.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the “America’s World Service Corps National Service Act.”
SEC. 2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.
It is the purpose of this Act to enhance prospects for world peace. The Act does so by promoting understanding, addressing human, resource, and developmental needs, and responding to disasters by building a World Service Corps that annually deploys a million peaceful, productive American at home and abroad. In the past, Americans consistently proved themselves in serving their country, addressing world needs, and helping neighbors near and far grow and prosper. The American World Service Corps will provide Americans the opportunity to improve conditions in America and abroad. It will instill a sense of community, service, and teamwork that will help make the world and America safer, saner, and smarter. Post service tuition and grants will enhance its service attractiveness for individuals and nation.
For increasing numbers of world citizens, the world has become more dangerous and trying. Americans know that world population is soaring toward 7 billion and the environment is suffering, worldwide terrorism is escalating, terror cells are proliferating, human and resource needs are growing. In responding to domestic and international needs, Americans have exemplified the Marine Corps spirit of “Semper Fi.” Always faithful and dedicated to serving their brothers, Marines have exemplified the best in service. America have understood and admired this trait. They have successfully carried that idea into most of America’s successful team oriented service at home and in the world.
Today’s times calls for Americans to again lead the way in reviving that sense of service to address increasingly volatile world needs. By using peaceful national service to implement the American World Service Corps, we will be encouraging Americans to live John Kennedy’s words:
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
The work of the American World Service Corps will reduce pressure on our all-volunteer army. Most of the dangerous areas into which our military is placed exist because those areas lack education, economic opportunities, and the hope and understanding of how to change those conditions. America’s World Service Crops will help address those conditions and thereby increase opportunities for the growth of freedom and a healthy lifestyle. Such freedom and growth nurturing will relieve the pressure of increasingly placing our soldiers into life and limb risking situations.
Some of the core public and non-governmental organizations that American World Service Corps members (AWSC) will serve through include Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Teacher Corps, Doctors Sans Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, Techno-serve, Heifer, American Friends Service Committee, and State Conservation Corps, as well as local non-profits, schools, hospitals, homes for the aged, etc.
Service in these organizations gives Americans the opportunity to serve at home or abroad. These organizations do exemplary work and thereby offer Americans a variety of opportunities to employ and develop a variety of skill sets.
Other similarly effective organizations that measure up to such peaceful, productive standards would be added to this core face of the AWSC. Many other smaller, less heralded organizations are equally adept at addressing world needs. Bipartisan members of Congress will choose a well-rounded commission of experts in development work, equally mixed with individuals experienced in micro, grassroots, as well as larger macro development that will decide which groups can be added to those listed above. Groups chosen will not have a religious proselytizing bent, since such proselytizing does not sit well in today’s religiously inflamed world. Good works for good works sake will speak for themselves.
Localities (such as counties and cities) may have smaller organizations, which feel they should qualify for this list of AWSC recipients. To seek addition to the AWSC recipients list, these groups may petition the local governing bodies by presenting their qualifications and work record in order to seek a resolution of support from their local governing body. These resolutions will indicate why they should be added to the AWSC list. The support resolutions will allow them to be considered by the congressionally chosen “well-rounded commission of experts in development work…”
In the early 21st century, the AWSC will also serve as an integral part of a needed jobs program. In today shrunken world, it represented a much updated CCC/WPA.
SEC. 3. SENSE 0F CONGRESS REGARDING EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS TO ESTABLISH UNITED STATES WORLD SERVICE CORPS.
It is the sense of the Congress that the President should enter into agreements with the appropriate representatives of the public and private organizations proposed to be involved in carrying out World Service Corps work. The President is requested to negotiate with the participating Directors of the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, HeadStart, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Sans Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, Techno-serve, Heifer, American Friends Service Committee, State Conservation Corps, and others of similar effectiveness in order to assist them in providing for the mutual establishment, organization, administration, and management of the programs necessary to increase the number of Americans serving in these organizations by one million more than are presently volunteering. By 2021, or seven years from passage of the proposed AWSC proposals, the American World Service Crops Congressional legislation will have increased the number of Americans volunteering through these organizations by one million. One million is a significant number that tell Americans in need and the world that America will truly make a peaceful difference in the state of the union and world.
The participating existing agencies through which AWSC members will volunteer will not proselytize a religion or a particular way of life. The goal of AWSC volunteers will be to help improve the lives of those with whom they work and, in the process, learn, grow, and make the world safer and more livable. Volunteers serving under the AWSC Act will be full time, dedicated workers. The AWSC experience should leave the impression that it is one of your most meaningful jobs.
1) Projects. — AWSC members will engage in the traditional work of the organizations providing service options to corps members, which will include projects designed to aid the elderly, disabled, and young; preserve and protect health and the environment; enhance economies; and provide for assistance in instances of emergencies and natural disasters. Projects and service will be undertaken in America and throughout the world.
2) Participants. — All Americans will be urged to volunteer. An American World Service Corps Educational Bill of Rights (AWSCEBR) will be a federal government financed inducement. By 2021, or 7 years from passage, the AWSC’s productive, peaceful civilian national service will become the means to have one million AWSC members addressing world needs. From the organizations listed above and others that may be added, volunteers will choose with whom to apply to serve.
The experience America has gleaned from 50 years of Peace Corps service (1961 inception) reflects the great growth and experiences such service gives to those who serve. Almost all PCVs look to their Peace Corps experience as a life defining experience, as one they would not trade. Those who have served in the aforementioned organizations report similar life enhancing experiences. Experience shows that this will not hamper their career goals, but enhance their future choices. It will also provide them with an unmatchable maturing and educational experience. Every world religion has a predominant tenant reminding us that service to our fellow man is the means of bringing peace and harmony, and the AWSC lives that creed. Those who serve will know that they have helped build a saner world in which they and those who follow can more safely live.
Americans are cognizant that after stumbling into Iraq we have consequently fallen into a worldwide terror war. One strategy of the terrorists is to win hearts and minds to their myopic and dangerous world-view. Presently only some Americans, such as Peace Corps volunteers and those doing similar work, serve and contribute in what has now escalated into a generations spanning terror war. In the short-term, day-to-day terror war, our distinguished military bears an excessive costly and bloody burden.
America will not win the world’s hearts and minds through primarily relying on military efforts. America and the world needs determined Americans contributing on military as well as non-military fronts to improve world understanding and conditions. Competently working both fronts will reduce the reliance on warfare to stem the growth and spread of terror.
By implementing the AWSC, it is likely that other nations will be inspired to implement their own World Service Corps (WSC), which is one of the primary intentions behind introducing and implementing this bill. By having nations competing on the field of needed good works, rather than on battlefields, the world will provide the long-term answer to stemming poverty, genocides, and the terror war.
Too many of the world’s almost 7 billion live in dire conditions. Too much ignorance and hatred is seeded among them. Much of the world needs billions of acts of kindness and generosity to create a Global Marshall Plan. The AWSC gives us the opportunity to cost effectively implement a Global Marshall Plan that will erase the poverty, ignorance, and hatred that seeds wars.
3) Financial inducements. – Two years of service will be required of volunteers in order for those volunteers to qualify for the federal government financing two years of community college or equivalent vocational training; and a third and fourth year of state college, or equivalent vocational or graduate school financial aid equivalent for the corps member. Total education aid equals approximately $15,000 using 2004 statistics.
(Community college two-year public tuition and fees in 2004 averaged $2,076 per year. Source American Association of Community Colleges. Four-year state college public tuition and fees in 2004 averaged $5132 per year. Source The College Board).
Those who volunteer for only one year of service will receive one-half of the service-completing bonuses supplied to those who do two years.
Those who have moved beyond the need for tuition payments may invest their post-service grants into:
- IRA, Medical Health Savings accounts, home down payment, and/or tax credits, and may…
- Transfer their grants — educational, Medical Savings Account, IRA Account, home down payment, and tax credit to friends and relatives of their choice and/or federally registered non-profit foundations that will use the donated grants to provide educational scholarships to low and moderate-income students.
- Have the financial equivalent of the AWSC tuition payments and readjustment allowance taken as a tax credit on an AWSC volunteer’s IRS tax payments during service or during a 1-3 year period following service, if they wish.
In addition, AWS corps members completing their service will receive a readjustment stipend equivalent to that presently received by Peace Corps volunteers completing their service, which in 2007 was $225. per month served.
The financial incentives required of this legislation are cost effective and would have a particularly beneficial educational and economic multiplier effect on America’s low and middle classes. The AWSC is not a new, costly bureaucracy. It will be a small office that funnels America’s best resources – can-do Americans – into effective, existing governmental and non-governmental (NGO) organizations.
Many, including Fed Chair Allan Greespan in his March 2, 2005 testimony, point out that the GI Bill stocked America with a highly skilled and educated workforce, which accounted for much of our nation’s economic strength and diversity, which built a resilient middle class. The minimal additional costs of these educational incentives and the even more valuable AWSC learning experiences will strengthen our economy and people in today’s complex global village.
4) Timing Growth. – We have skilled Americans at all age levels who are willing and anxious to serve the nation in these trying times. The AWSC organizations listed here, and others that could be added that are of similar effectiveness, have unmet and additional needs they could address if they had more dedicated human resources and staff. In order to facilitate orderly staffing and administration of the AWSC, timing could be spaced somewhat in this manner. Year 1 = 100,000 AWSC members; Year 2 = 150,000; Year 3 = 300,000; Year 4 = 600,000; Year 5 = 750,000; Year 6 = 900,000; Year 7 = 1,000,000 . By the seventh year, 1,000,000 would be serving and continue for the ensuing 20 years before sun-setting the legislation could be considered. The seven year ramp-up period allows:
- Smart building of small, diversified, independent programs into a robust national service corps.
- Reasonable projections of how much funding will come from the unorthodox revenue streams outlined later in this proposal.
- Time for Congressional, Executive, and business leadership to step up to insure the success of the projected revenue streams and this needed AWSC program.
5) Recruitment & Selection. – Based on the 2000 Census, over 170 million Americans are between 20 and 65. Strong, visionary leadership should easily inspire 6/10ths of 1% of those Americans to volunteer for the peaceful, productive service provided by a one million strong AWSC. With such Executive leadership, there would be no need to revert to the proposed companion back-up American World Service Corps Bill that calls for filling any unlikely shortfall via a number of Congressional options, which include increased incentives to individual and team based volunteers. If, however, our leadership lacked the vision and charisma to inspire .6% of America’s 18-65 year olds to serve their nation, then Congress would use the suggested incentives in the back-up bill, as well as other incentives they would devise, to fill the shortfall to build the one million strong AWSC National Service volunteers. (See back-up bill for details.)
(A) Other Participants. — All ages will be encouraged and able to serve in this updated service corps, with an emphasis on attracting volunteers from those 20-70+ years old, although volunteering will be open to 18 year olds. Today many mid-career and retired Americans seek and make several career changes. The AWSC will enhance those options and the ease of choosing to do so.
(B) Non-discrimination. — Selection will not be made on the basis of sex, age, race, ethnic origin, or religious belief.
(C) Culture training. — The training process will include training in understanding the cultures in which internationally placed corps members will be serving. This will not be a program to transplant American cultural or religious values, and participants will be trained in understanding such. Historically, Peace Corps volunteers have been well-trained in respecting cultural differences and working within such respected parameters. Consequently, those historically successful training techniques will be continued in the AWSC training program that may reside primarily within the organizations in which volunteers serve.
(D) Service Benefits. – Serving and living in the world makes the world and us better and safer. Additionally:
i.In addition to the tuition and/or post service financial benefits listed above, a stipend completion program, equivalent to that given to Peace Corps volunteers (in 2007 this was $225 per month served) will be replicated for those serving under the AWSC umbrella.
ii.Students burdened with federal education loans who volunteer to serve in the AWSC will have the government freeze their loan amount and require no loan payments during their training and service under the AWSC umbrella. In other words, if a student with $25,000 in federal education loans volunteers to serves through the AWSC for 24 months, that student will have no payments for 24 months on that frozen $25,000 loan.
iii.Congress will consider reducing the interest rate for those burdened with federal loans who serve in the AWSC by 1/12th of 1% for each month a volunteer trains and serves. Therefore, for a full year of service Congress would allow a one per cent decrease in interest rate on the amount owed.
iv.Congress will consider legislation that extends COBRA benefits to cover those who serve in the organizations under the AWSC umbrella.
v.Congress will use its federal powers to its fullest extent possible to insure that those who leave their jobs to volunteer under the AWSC will have their jobs returned to them upon AWSC service completion.
vi.College credits and scholarships are often tied into such service learning programs. Graduate schools, government, and private employers often give special consideration, points, fellowships, etc., to such life experiences. This bill encourages more schools to consider giving fellowship or entrance credits for such real world learning and beneficial work.
vii. The citizenship benefits given to non-citizens who serve in our military will also be given to those who serve in the AWSC.
viii.These and other service enhancing benefits will be encouraged and supported.
(E) Military exemption. We have a volunteer military. The AWSC is a volunteer program.
(F) Revival of military draft. Should a military draft be revived, Congress will enact service duration standards that will allow service in the American World Service Corps to stand in place of service in a military draft.
6) Placement of Projects. — Work on projects will be decided based upon need, safety, and the cooperation of areas requesting the groups that make up the AWSC umbrella. Countries and areas served will be requested to assist and contribute in making the program effective and cost efficient. Other developed and developing nations will be asked to commit to means of helping or emulating the AWSC.
7) COLLATERAL GOALS OF PROJECTS. By working on a person-to-person level to increase health, welfare, literacy, and economic well-being, AWS Corps members will promote peace and understanding while increasing prosperity. Having Americans better understand the world and the world better understand Americans is a building block for world prosperity and harmony. Relationships and cultural understanding counts.
8) Jobs Program. For those who argue about providing 99 weeks of unemployment compensation during a depressed economy, this will provide those who serve for a year or two the opportunity to “earn” 52-104 weeks of pay, education, and other opportunities that will make the AWSC a significant and beneficial jobs program.
9) sERVING WITH OTHER NATIONS’ VOLUNTEERS. In 1989 Peoples Lobby’s executive director sought to have the Marin Community Foundation fund a model American Soviet Peace Corps (ASPC). The ASPC would have had American and Soviet Peace Corps (ASPC) recruits train, work, and live together for two years while addressing worldwide developmental problems. The Marin Community Foundation failed to fund the proposal. However, then Congresswoman Boxer introduced the proposal as House Resolution 1807 in 1989 during the 101st Congress. The ASPC was a doable, common sense, logical approach to reducing world tensions while dealing with the problems that lead to future warfare and depravity. Had we implemented the ASPC then, the world would be a lot healthier and saner today.
(A) The AWSC office established under this bill will establish joint volunteer service programs with other countries, such as outlined under Congresswoman Boxer’s HR 1807 introduced in the 101st Congress. Each nation will cover the costs for its volunteers.
(B) Implementing this section of the bill would mean that Chinese, French, Brits, Mexicans, Iranians, Palestinians, Kenyans, etc., will have the opportunity to serve, work, and learn together on problems that exist in their and other nations in our Global Village.
10) Imagine these collateral goals. If a robust AWSC had existed for decades and had been knocking on the doors of troubled and troubling nations for the past generation:
(A) Instead of 2,217 Peace Corps volunteers serving in the nations of Pakistan (1961-67), Afghanistan (1962-79), and Sudan (1984-86), where terrorists trained; imagine how tens of thousands more Peace Corps, Habitat, Red Cross, etc., workers, serving under the AWSC umbrella, would have erased those terrorists from history. Each of those nations would have had a more diversified economy, more small businesses, stronger agriculture, and more educational opportunities. Instead of having no Habitat Homes built in those nations, hundreds or thousands would have been built. Instead of most families knowing America through our media bites and military might, they would have had healthy personal interactions with Americans working to help improve their nations.
(B) Instead of Palestine, Korea, and Iraq having had ZERO PCVs and few from other AWSC organizations building understanding and a stronger nation, those nations could have had hundreds or thousands of can-do Americans helping them achieve more peace, less bloodshed, more prosperity, and better worldwide understanding.
(C) Instead of the Westward leaning, unemployed, youngish population of Iran having little exposure to helpful Americans since the 1,863 Peace Corps left in 1976, we might have been re-invited over recent years to defuse the tension now building.
(D) Instead of about 40 Peace Corps volunteers early in the 2000’s serving in just one of these 21 mostly Muslim nations of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Israel, Yemen, Omar, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea, UAR, Kuwait, Turkey, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Indonesia containing about 910 million souls, there would be many more Americans who would likely turn the growing and dangerous Ugly American imagine in these places to something safer.
(E) We must not let this sad state of ignorance spread into future generations. It has been costly enough to let it exist into this generation.
AWSC Financing Fair Tax Revisions
11) COST. As revenue sources are structured in this proposal, the AWSC pays for itself. More details and rationale behind using the outlined revenue sources can be found at the web link Financing AWSC.
12) An AWSC escrowed account will be established dedicated to only funding the AWSC. The cost of operating and investing in fielding volunteers under the American World Service Corps umbrella will be funded through orthodox and unorthodox revenue streams. The orthodox streams (Sur tax, estate tax, import levy, etc.) are those with which most Americans are somewhat familiar. The unorthodox streams include streams that many hard working Middle Americans talk about as revenue enhancers that “ought to be” or raised in table talk as “why don’t they do this…?” The unorthodox streams have the potential of replacing all or some of the orthodox streams. Should the funding streams from the “unorthodox” revenue streams cover AWSC costs, revenue from the orthodox revenue streams can be returned to related areas Congress deems worthy.
The orthodox revenue streams are listed first and would cover the total government program and AWSC investment in 21 million Americans doing 27 years of good that would make America and the world stronger and healthier. Those revenue streams would rely on those Americans and nations most able to underwrite the AWSC investment needed to fulfill the moral obligations that once well-developed nations like ours must undertake to dramatically improve the world.
The unorthodox revenue streams are listed after the orthodox streams.
By having the elite class(es) and corporations of America help fund, or totally fund, the AWSC, they will likely influence other nations to build similar corps of their own. In fact, the intent of this legislation is to have every nation build its world service corps that would work with other nations as teams that work to defeat the common enemies of ignorance, hatred, poverty….
The section following suggests that the funding mechanisms used in this People’s Lobby AWSC proposal also be crafted into legislation that other nations could use to fund their World Service Corps, particularly the non-traditional funding mechanisms outlined here.
Orthodox revenue streams:
(A) Imposing 3% surtax on the richest 1% of American households. In 2006 the top 1% consisted of 1,340,000 households whose average income was about $515,000 Imposing, or more accurately re-imposing, a 3% top bracket tax on those 1.3 million households in essence replaces 3% of the 4% that Bush’s 2003 Tax Reduction Act erased, when President Bush cut the top tax rate from 39% (under the Clinton administration) to Bush’s 35% top tax rate bracket. The richest households in America are most able to easily fund the AWSC program that will make life healthier for their loved ones. As estimated, this revenue stream could fund about half of the AWSC’s investment in building a more peaceful America and world. http://www.worldservicecorps.us/revstaxonrichest1%25.xls
(B) Revenues from Estate Passing Tax. The AWSC proposals impose a sliding scale estate passing tax (.5% – 5%) on estates from $5+ million to 20+ million. This would raise about $50 billion to invest in Americans serving their nation, or almost 10% of the AWSC’s investment cost. More details at http://www.worldservicecorps.us/revsestatetaxawsc.xls
(C) Levy nominal import duty on those developed nations with which we carry the largest trade imbalances. In 2005, America ran a trade deficit with about 106 of the approximately 220+ nations in the world. A small import tax will be levied on those “developed” nations with which we run a significant deficit. Congress will use objective data to determine which nations will be deemed “developed” among those with significant trade imbalances in their favor. The nominal tax could be a flat tax on all the deemed “developed nations” or a progressively weighted levied on the trade imbalance amount.
Developed nations have a responsibility to address climate change, poverty, war, etc., Often their economies contribute disproportionately to climate change, poverty, and war. Therefore, an import levy to reverse those impacts is justifiable.
The goal is to raise about 20% or more of the American World Service Corps (AWSC) annual investment cost from this import levee.
An import levee of 1.77% on just the trade imbalance of the following handful of imbalanced trade partners would yield about $9.33 Billion in the single year of 2007 from just these nations http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c0001.html#2007
Trading Partner Trade imbalance 2005 2007
China -201.0 billion -256.3
OPEC -92.7 billion* -124.2
Japan -82.6 billion – 82.8
Canada -76.5 billion – 64.2
*The OPEC nations included: Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates. Their holdings of our debt increased from $48.5 billion to $104.8 billion, with most of that increase coming in the two years prior to 2006.
Source: U.S. Treasury Department 2006
Rationale for a nominal import levee: Most Americans would see this modest import levee as:
(i) A means to make our “Free Trade” policies more “fair and just,” as many of the AWSC volunteers would be serving to make work and environmental standards more equitable worldwide.
(ii) A modest contribution to America’s desire and efforts to do good in the world, considering the financial and other burdens we have long carried for, and sometimes imposed upon, the world.
(iii) A modest step to implement “Pay-Go” fiscal policy that implements a beneficial program that will benefit our economy, nation, world, and our can-do volunteers.
(iv) A means to improve healthy commerce worldwide, since the AWSC would increase worldwide stability and dramatically reduce the likelihood of costly wars. Over recent years, our economic strength has waned as our debt has soared. In a variety of ways, the AWSC will reverse that unhealthy trend. A robust investment in the AWSC saves multiples of the amount invested in AWSC volunteers.
(D) Excess War Profits Tax. Past Senate Judiciary Chair Leahy and others have worked on how to levy an excess profits tax on those corporations who have excessive war profits. It should be kept on file for present and future war profiteers. Links http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200701/010407b.html
(E) Global financial transaction tax. A quarter percent (0.25 percent) tax on financial instruments could raise approximately $150,000,000,000 a year.
(F) Tax deductions or credits to “small” businesses and corporations who donate to AWSC escrowed account to underwrite the costs of funding the AWSC.
(G) Tax deductions or credits to individuals who donate to the AWSC escrowed account to underwrite the costs of funding the AWSC. In order to encourage Americans to invest in America and in its citizens gaining indelible service learning experiences that improve the world, all taxpayers (including short 1040 form filers) will be allowed an annual $100 tax credit (joint filers $200. tax credit) when they specify their donations go to the AWSC escrowed account. Taxpayer’s annual donations will go to the escrowed AWSC account, which will have a lock box that locks its expenditure into funding those who volunteer to serve in one of the AWSC’s umbrella organizations.
(H) The same lock will apply to AWSC funds raised via the unorthodox revenue streams. Borrowing from the AWSC’s escrowed and locked account, as has been done with the Social Security Account, will be specifically prohibited. This comprehensive tax credit will provide Americans an opportunity to vote with their pocketbooks to create a stronger, smarter America.
(I) If People’s Lobby’s proposed Fair Tax Bracket Reinstitution Act (FTBRA) is implemented as written some portion of its tax revenues could be escrowed to fund the investment in the AWSC. Since income disparity has become so dramatic in the U.S., this could provide a substantial infusion of funds
Unorthodox revenue streams
The unorthodox funding streams include at least the following list. This AWSC legislation would not tax or require this list of well-qualified funders to do anything. Instead, it would rely on the ability of those listed and the enhanced knowledge of large numbers of Americans who understand the benefits of fielding a robust AWSC to encourage those listed to donate to making the world safer. People’s Lobby believes these streams could produce significant donated revenues in today’s social and economic climate. With visionary leadership educating the nation on the AWSC proposed legislation, it could totally fund the AWSC.
With enactment of this proposed legislation, an AWSC web site will be established. This web site would include for each of those unorthodox funders listed a web page in spreadsheet format. The columns would source and list as applicable: wealth, earnings, charitable contributions made, estimated taxes paid, etc., for each of the above. Example:
Name Wealth Contributions %age Donated
John Billionaire $$$$$$$ $$$ X% of wealth
It would largely replicate what Forbes magazine has done for years — annually list the wealth, earnings, and charitable contributions made by America’s Richest. It would then list a column showing what these unorthodox funders freely choose to donate to underwrite the investment in funding a robust America’s World Service Corps that would employ, involve, and smarten Americans while winning hearts and minds via:
- Reducing poverty, hatreds, ignorance, and terrorist recruitment, while
- Raising our public IQs that would dramatically reduce our likelihood to stumble into future bloody conflicts, which
- Drain our treasury of brave Americans, dollars, and smart long term investments.
Those in the unorthodox funders lists depicted above and below have benefited most from America’s legal, economic, and social structure. Under the proposed AWSC legislation, they have the opportunity to make a giant leap toward utopian governmental revenue streaming.
In doing so, they have the opportunity to make life safer and healthier for their and the world’s kids and grandkids. By donating some of the financial benefits they have reaped from American society to those American volunteers who choose to serve in the peaceful, productive groups under the AWSC umbrella, they will cost effectively nation build at home and abroad. By doing so, they will build the 21st century nation building army the world so obviously needs. In the process, they will move us away from a nation that increasingly relies on soldering and the war industry for employment opportunities.
By having this elite class of Americans help fund, or totally fund, the AWSC, we can influence other nations to build similar corps of their own in a similar manner.
(G) Donations by the Forbes Richest Americans (The 2% Forbes 400 Solution) Over the last 30+ years, the wealth of America’s richest taxpayers has increased disproportionately as compared to the stagnated and declining wealth increase among America’s low and middle classes. Fed Chair Allan Greenspan expressed his concern about the increasing income and wealth disparity between upper and lower classes in his March 2, 2005 testimony before Congress. His answer to spreading wealth was to increase educational opportunities for Americans. As Greenspan noted, the GI Bill of Educational Rights gave America an opportunity to build and strengthen their middle class. The AWSC proposals increase America’s educational quality and capacity, while building our economy and national character
(H) Consequently, a public web site linked to the AWSC web site will list the Forbes Richest 400 Americans, who have benefited most from our nation’s human and physical infrastructure. Merely to be on this list in 2015, one had to be a BILLIONAIRE worth 1.7 billion.
Those who live in luxury bestowed in large part by the skill and education of all Americans will be asked at the web site, “What have you contributed this year to help make the world safer for today and tomorrow’s children? Each month the web site will list donations that America’s richest have made to implementing the AWSC and reducing its cost to America’s taxpayers.
(I) Donations by certain low tax paying corporations. — A large number of Fortune 500 corporations annually pay little or no taxes, according to such organizations as Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). At the AWSC website, with additional information supplied by other relevant federal agencies and information sources, those corporations who have paid none, little, or received federal tax paybacks (negative taxes) for the past five years would be listed. This section of the AWSC web site would strongly urge these light or none paying corporations to contribute to underwriting the cost of making the world safer for them, their businesses, and their children. The site will remind them, including their stockholders, that by doing good — companies can do well.
These donations would be listed alongside their researched nominal and effective corporate tax rates and tax payments. Such socially conscious donations could significantly reduce the AWSC’s cost. For those who paid little, none, or negative taxes, Congress should not allow the donations to be tax deductible. (See http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2016/03/07/27-giant-profitable-companies-paid-no-taxes/81399094/ for some details.)
(J) An AWSC spreadsheet for America’s highest compensated celebrities.
(K) An AWSC spreadsheet for America’s highest compensated athletes.
(L) An AWSC spreadsheet for America’s highest compensated CEOs. Could these donate to AWSCNS escrowed account? http://www.forbes.com/lists/2012/12/ceo-compensation-12_rank.html An AWSC spreadsheet listing CEO compensations of those who have received federal bail outs.
(M) Charitable Trusts, Philanthropic Foundations, etc. – Trusts and foundations may find the American World Service Corps meshes well with their goals of improving world and nation and reflect that in grants and donations. If the Gates Foundation wants to eradicate AIDS, a robust army of American volunteers can make that happen by doing the hard, face-to-face groundwork. If we want to reverse climate degradation, we will need more than 4,000 power point presenters, we will need tens of thousands of AWSC volunteers working daily for years with a variety of effective NGOs. Foundations’ contributions to those NGOs (non-governmental organizations) working under the AWSC umbrella would also be listed at the AWSC site.
12) Daily Stipend Costs of AWSC volunteers serving in NGOs
Initially, this AWSC proposal leaves the daily service stipends paid to those who volunteer for NGO service as the NGO’s funding responsibility. However, the unorthodox (or as yet non-traditional) funding mechanisms listed here offer NGOs another means of funding some or all of their volunteers’ daily stipend expenses, as our proposed 2% Forbes 400 Donation graphic depicts. Congress could allow those donated funds to cover daily stipend costs.
Any annual funds raised by the unorthodox or non-traditional funding mechanisms in this proposal, which exceed present and projected costs of AWSC volunteers serving in government funded programs and their projected service concluding rewards, will be deposited into a fund from which NGOs can draw those excess funds to cover the daily stipend expenses (DSE) of their AWSC volunteers. This Daily Stipend Expenses Fund (DSEF) for the NGOs would apply to any excess funding raised by the non-traditional funding mechanisms outlined in this proposal to cover governmental program costs, such as outlined in Sections 10) COST (G – M) .
For example, assume that in year 20XX the Forbes 400 voluntarily donated 3% of their wealth to fund the AWSC governmental programs and service conclusion rewards. Assume that only 1.7% of those donations covered all government program related costs, as our projections suggest. The 1.3% excess would be deposited into the NGO day-to-day service cost account from which NGOs could cover any AWSC volunteer stipend (daily living expenses while serving) costs. These MODERATE stipend costs would be in line with how Peace Corps volunteers are compensated for their service work.
13) Web based information sharing. — The budgeted and donated revenues to fund this program will be listed on the AWSC website, indicating those listed individuals, corporations, and foundations who have donated. The site will also list how much is funded through the budgetary process.
14) Funding rationale. — The rational for meshing “unorthodox” and orthodox funding mechanisms in this citizen-initiated AWSC legislation is this:
Wealth is becoming increasing concentrated in America. The low and middle classes pay an increasingly larger proportion of their incomes in fees, taxes, etc. Income and wealth accumulation of the low and middle class stagnated over the last 40 years. In the meantime, income and wealth accumulation of the top 10%, top 1%, and top 1/10th of 1% of American taxpayers has soared. In a society that allows such wealth accumulation, the low and middle classes also carries the brunt of the military personnel who risk life and limb for America. It is fair and moral for those who benefit from America’s many liberties to donate to the cost of serving and protecting America. Donations to an American World Service Corps escrowed account will benefit those benefiting from wealth accumulation as well as build strong middle classes at home and abroad. As former President Clinton said:
“Because we want to live in a world which is not dominated by a division of people who live on the cutting edge of a new economy and others who live on the bare edge of survival, we must be involved.”
15) Private answers. — Private donations, voluntary participation, and privatizing are increasing heralded as answers to pressing social needs. Therefore, listing the contributions made by private sources is just another logical means to recognize and support this thesis, while factually reflecting who is participating in supporting this public/private American World Service Corps effort. During these tricky and depressing financial times when our public policies are attacked at home and abroad, it is time to implement this public/private funding concept in what will be among the most significant legislation implemented in decades.
16) Cost comparison. — In 2004, our observable military budget indicates American taxpayers maintained each of our military personnel for approximately $360,000 annually. That cost has escalated dramatically with our recent increased military involvement in Iraq and elsewhere. When often-overlooked costs (supplemental budgets, off-line costs, hidden costs, present and projected veterans costs, etc.) are included, the 2006-2007 cost to maintain each of our 1.4 million military personnel exceeds $700,000 per year. In 2009 some analysis put this cost at $1 million per year. (Details: https://www.yahoo.com/news/it-costs–2-1-million-per-year-for-each-soldier-deployed-in-afghanistan–report-133150602.html http://nation.time.com/2012/07/25/cost-of-fielding-a-single-troop-has-nearly-tripled-since-1980/
In 2011 most analysts accept the annual cost per active soldier at $1million per year. Much of that increased costs goes to taxpayers subsidizing private corporations (at 5-10x’s more) to do what our soldiers used to do.
As a rough barometer of what the AWSC may cost, the cost per Peace Corps volunteer is about $40,000 annually. Annual costs of those who serve in most of the other organization should be even less. As former President Eisenhower said:
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
Implementing the AWSC program will cost effectively fight the causes of wasteful wars about which President Eisenhower warned us. The AWSC is the cost effective army America and other nations must promptly build to successfully address poverty, ignorance, natural disasters, climate degradation, and warfare.
- 17) Long Run Cost effectiveness. –In the face of an economic depression, we need to re-examine involving Americans in service and good works at home and abroad. The AWSC provides the 21st century umbrella through which we can employ and involve 21 million Americans over a generation in civic involvement and needed good works.
As a long run policy, an AWSC is the most cost and resource effective option to use limited dollars to improve our long-term domestic and international security and economic health, while dramatically reducing the loss of American lives and future wars and rebuilding America’s physical and civic infrastructure. No one should argue the historic effectiveness that committed, insightful Americans bring to changing difficult situations into empowering opportunities.
The costly waging of war diverts and destroys needed investments for education and our economic infrastructure at home as well as abroad, thereby weakening nation and world. Cost effectively waging peace through a robust AWSC economically and morally strengthens nation and world.
The spread of 21st century hatreds, ignorances, and the wars such breeds supports the prescient words of the first Peace Corps Director, Sarge Shriver:
“If the Pentagon’s map is more urgent, the Peace Corp’s is, perhaps, in the long run the most important… What happens in India, Africa, and South America — whether the nations where the Peace Corps works succeed or not — may well determine the balance of peace.”
President Bush consistently called for Americans to volunteer. President Carter does volunteer. President Kennedy repeatedly said he’d rather send in the Peace Corps than the Marine Corps. Enacting the AWSC proposals moves the world and America toward peace and healthier living.
18) UNLIKELY NEED TO USE bACKUP RANDOM selection Over the next two decades, world circumstances will dictate the need for Americans to serve peacefully at home and abroad. During this period, America will need public diplomacy and public image successes. Visionary leaders will recognize this need. Americans have a pent-up, inherent desire to build, serve, and do good. However, they lack enough accessible, cost effective, visionary opportunities to do so.
Hopefully, we still have enough visionary leaders to inspire the less than .6 of 1% of Americans aged 18-70+ required to keep the legislated one million Americans volunteering each year. Consequently, with good leadership, it is extremely unlikely that the back-up random selection bill would be used. If the Backup Bill is used, Congress will provide the additional incentives to put a robust corps of twenty-one million volunteers into serving nation and world over the ensuing twenty-seven years.
19) funding other nations’ World Service Corps.
Section 3 (9) of this proposal, titled sERVING WITH OTHER NATIONS’ VOLUNTEERS, proposes that AWSC volunteers serve with World Service Corps volunteers from other nations. Such integrated service produces a plethora of obvious healthy benefits and knowledgeable insights. To fund these integrated endeavors, the AWSC proposals suggest that other nations also consider using our traditional and non-traditional funding mechanisms.
The number of billionaires and wealth disparity has been growing not just in America but in many other nations. The non-traditional funding mechanisms in these AWSC proposals provide the ultra-rich around the world the opportunity to benefit their nation and world, while showing their humanity to the world. This suggestion gives the world’s ultra-rich the opportunity to build peaceful, productive armies that address the neediest needs, and not just build armed or rogue corps.
Therefore, the AWSC proposals also proposes that other nations use the non-traditional funding mechanisms we have outlined here as a means to partially or totally fund their World Service Corps programs.
Had WSC programs been in existence for decades perhaps the super-rich in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Baharain would be less worried today. A long existing AWSC program would have strengthened our connections and understanding in nations like Egypt (0 PCVs), Tunisia (2,130 PCVs for years 1962-91, 91-96), Libya (295 PCVs for 1966-69), and Baharain (68 PCVs for 1974-79).
20) Sunset provisions – After its initial seven year ramp up, the robust AWSC fields one million AWSC volunteers for the next 20 years. Thereafter, the generation of crazed terrorism will decline dramatically and perhaps disappear. After those twenty-seven years of AWSC service, Congress may consider sun-setting the AWSC bills.
21) Management – Robustly expanding volunteerism will require management adjustments in all of the AWSC organizations. Such management adjustments have not historically been a problem for America. We quickly went from a peaceful, sleeping giant to a productive machine that defeated Fascism. We quickly rebuilt a decimated Europe and Japan. We quickly went from flying earth bound jets to building NASA and putting men on the moon. Inspiring a million can-do Americans to contribute to bettering the world is not a daunting management task. Americans pride themselves on their adaptive management abilities. America’s WSC and its organizations can and will respond to the challenge. The critical need to implement the AWSC is obvious. America’s famed management guru, Peter Drucker, has shelves of advice on how to accomplish management improvements and a few of his words apply here:
You can either take action, or you can hang back and hope for a miracle. Miracles are great, but they are so unpredictable…
You have to learn to treat people as a resource……you have to ask not what do they cost, but what is the yield, what can they produce?”
When Americans are given the chance to contribute the myriad of skills and resources they have learned, few others can produce as many seeming miracles. Ask Americans to deliver. Give them the opportunity to deliver, and they will. However, if we continue moving deeper into the couch, into twittering pixels for our real world experience, and into gun slinging for our skill sets, Americans may lose their skill to work miracles.
22) ADMINISTRATI0N. — The newly established American World Service Corps Director’s office will coordinate the AWSC. This will not be a large staff, but rather an office that helps coordinate between those seeking to volunteers and the public, governmental, and non-governmental agencies that will carry out the field programs. Its primary purpose will be to:
- Funnel volunteers to the “existing” organizations that do the work.
- Administrate the promised incentives for serving, i.e. tuition, IRA/Medical Savings investment, home down payment, tax credits, etc.
- If necessary, coordinate public outreach to attract twenty-one million AWSC volunteers into healthy, productive service and work over the ensuing twenty-seven years.
Click the OPEN icon for 60+ opeds detailing reasons for AWSC. Other links will do likewise.