CASA program a model

Novato Advance       May 9, 1990


 CASA program a model

        By DWAYNE HUNN

Some interesting things have been happening at Novato Ecumenical Housing recently. Last month NEH was notified by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FANNIE MAE) that our Community Assisted Shared Appreciation (CASA) home ownership program for low and moderate income households will re recognized in FANNIE MAE’S  1990 Blue Book as one of two national models shared equity home ownership programs. FANNIE MAE uses its prestigious annual publication to recognize programs that it believes should be emulated by other cities across the nation.

The national recognition does not come without some irony. For years, NEH  has struggled to obtain additional funds to expand our CASA program in Novato and throughout the county. So many political, environmental, and bureaucratic boulders have been placed in our path that we often feel like Sisyphus, the mythological figure who was compelled to roll a stone to the top of a slope, the stone always escaping him near the top and rolling down again.

Perhaps the uphill fight, taking place among the rolling hills of exclusive Marin, is part of the reason the program has been recognized. CASA has assisted more than 60 low and moderate income families in purchasing their first homes in Novato. Families earning as low as 34% of Marin’s median income have purchased homes through this deferred principal and interest second mortgage home ownership program. Our average second mortgage assistance been $37,000 per family and their average income has been $22,700.

NEH is proud of the award. We are prouder, however, that we have been able to help many starting families obtain the Great American Dream. Our assisted owners are not, as our uninformed opponents like to portray them, low-lifes. They are nurses, sheriff and police department employees, private entrepreneurs, secretaries, hard-working, single moms, etc. They are essential service providers and they have an almost  non-existent mortgage failure rate.

NEH has been able to raise more than $2 million to fund this program. The sources from which we raised the funds might help explain to some who oppose our work why we often argue on behalf of sensible, long-term environmentally sound developments. Source of Affordable Ownership Housing Trust Funds:

  • 53 percent developer contributions. Densities have been cut so drastically in Novato that no new sources of in-lieu fees are foreseen in the near future.
  • 18 percent Community Development Block Grants. We have not received and additional CDBG funds since 1984.
  • 15 percent NEH’s recapture of its equity share and second mortgage. Soon NEH will be the second largest supplier to its own program. Unfortunately, that means the program is not growing to handle the increased need.
  • 11 percent San Francisco Foundation. The San Francisco Foundation was replaced by the Marin Community Foundation.
  • 4 percent Marin Community Foundation.

As you can see, most of our funds which allow us to assist Novato residents in purchasing their own Novato homes come from developer contributions. When reasonable densities are drastically reduced to such a low point  that developers cannot justify the expense of affordable unit development or developers are not required to contribute in-lieu fees, we cannot help balance the jobs/housing imbalance.

The Brookside development is an example of how drastic density reductions hurt Novato’s ability to balance housing with the purchasing power of local residents. Ten years ago Brookside was approved for 120 units, of which 34 were  to be affordable. The Novato City Council then cut the allowed development to 70 units on 59 acres with no affordable units. Now come “concerned” citizens want the density to be cut to 0 units and want to you to assess yourself a parcel tax to purchase the Brookside  land for open space.

This desire for more open space is taking place in a county where more than 84 percent of the land is set aside in open space, agriculture reserve and park land. The petitions are being gathered in a city where, in 1980, the city averaged four units per acre and where today that average has dropped to about 2.4 units per developed acre. Politics, like awards, often has an ironic character to it.

For more information, call 892-8136.




Canal Alliance Wilson



May 5, 2016

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to support People’s Lobby’s American World Service Corps (AWSC) National Service Proposal.

By implementing a national service program, communities can engage their residents in community service through nonprofit organizations and receive a stipend for their work.

National service would be a wonderful way for young people to acquire skills and insights as full-time national service volunteers while becoming part of the service fabric that helps knit our nation together.

As a nation we seem to be losing the cohesiveness that grew out of the Greatest Generation. That cohesiveness grew in no small part from the tremendous number of Americans who did a variety of National Service projects at home and abroad.

I hope you will support bringing character-enriching national service back to America.

Thanks for your consideration.

Tom Wilson, Executive Director

Canal Alliance

(415) 306-0426

91 Larkspur Street, San Rafael, CA 94901


Foreign, Domestic, Climatic, and Image Affairs

Only in movies?

If a movie were made with an enemy from an unreachable solar system raining down tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, droughts, nuclear disasters, armies of crazed terrorists… leaving swarms of refugees, homeless families, hungry children, mangled bodies amidst increased inequities; how long into the movie would it be before the self-proclaimed greatest nation added an army of do-gooders to address tragedies and heartbreaks and lead other nations to do the same?

Why don’t we address the results of ugly acts, of warfare, of nature’s anger that repairs and removes the causes of such acts by building a new international army that marches to change the psyche of continuous warfare and lets people get to know, work with, and care for people as brothers and sisters?

JFK great because…

Many believe he would have been one of our greatest presidents. He would have removed us from Vietnam more quickly, replaced the privately controlled Federal Reserve, chopped off some of the CIA’s hidden tentacles, and nipped in the bud the flow of power to the rich, entrenched, and connected.

There is, however, a grander reason for his greatness that more clearly fulfills the visions of Camelot.  Had JFK had 2,900 rather than 1,000 days to implement his visions, the reason he would have been one of our greatest lies in the army and spirit he was building.  The Peace Corps.

Kennedy wanted the Peace Corp, “The  toughest job you’ll ever love,” to quickly grow to “a million.” Then, he told former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, who was on the start-up team of the Peace Corps, it would be considered “significant.”

Kennedy possessed the charisma and communication skills to build that kind and size army.  With his assassination, the momentum to “peace corporatize” this different army into the world of nations quickly decelerated.  His challenge that other nations should do the same kind of service building,  “…but what together we can do for the betterment of mankind…,”  died with him.

Kennedy’s momentum helped the Peace Corps reach its apex of about 15,000 volunteers in the field in 1966, a paltry number compared to what Kennedy envisioned; and a number that has bumped downhill since, so that in 2016 it stands at about 6,800.

Kennedy was often heard saying, “I’d rather send the Peace Corps than the Marine Corps.”

Without JFK’s drive and charisma, the numbers went the other way.  During the Vietnam era of August 1964 to May 1975, 9,087,000 military personnel were on active duty.

From 1950-2000, 118.82 million billets (with “billet” defined as one serviceman for one year) were assigned overseas.

What if the idea of sending Peace Corps to the world’s troubled spots to contain poverty and “isms” had been imprinted into the American international relations psyche during JFK’s Camelot Era?

What if that kind of national service had been fielded much more often as an answer to “what you can do for your country, ” rather than carrying a gun into what too often has been trumped-up wars?

Over the decades, how much cheaper would peaceful, development-oriented national service have been than bloodying our troops behind armadas, stealth bombers, and drones?

What if a man of Kennedy’s vision and communication skills had talked to Ho Chi Minh, who supposedly admired America so much that he had worked his way over as a young man on a merchant marine ship to see the country he admired?

What if the power of America and JFK’S vision pulled Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem together? Imagine if Kennedy had said to them these words that reverberated in his heart:

“I’d rather send 10,000 Peace Corps Volunteers to North and South Vietnam than escalate into war.  Imagine what our Peace Corps Volunteers and your farmers and workers can do together to make the Mekong River Delta, Asia’s rice basket, and surrounding nations flourish. Let us build and plant rather than arm and napalm.”

Would the world be healthier today if decades back we had established a common sense army that invaded doing development rather than destruction?  Would such public policy action have lived up to JFK’s words that inspired the world, and especially its poor, to hang pictures of him on their walls in Mumbai, Cairo, Cape Town, etc.?

Would our nation and world be smarter, healthier, and richer had tens of millions of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) brought their insights, knowledge, and good will  home?

“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.”

Since 1776 the USA has been at war for 222 of its 239 years.  Through 93% of our nationhood, have we been sending the right armies into the world?  Have we even built the right army for the 21st century?

Was the warning from a retired five-star Army general, who directed the allies on D-Day, knowledgeably led  the nation as president for 8 years, and in his farewell White House speech stressed the lurking danger of the growing union of a  military-industrial complex, not enough to reverse the march to a Terminatorish society?

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Consistently, Republican Ike sought to cut the Pentagon’s budget by pressing on us common sense visuals such as:

“The jet plane that roars overhead costs three quarters of a million dollars. That’s more than a man will make in his lifetime. What world can afford this kind of thing for long?”

Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Gates (2005-2011) echoed Ike’s concerns

“Does the number of warships we have, and are building, really put America at risk, when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined — 11 of which are our partners and allies?

Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?”

When military spending budgeted to Cyber Security, Energy Dept., Homeland Security, State Dept., Veterans Affairs, and the Overseas Contingency Fund are added to the Department of Defense’s budget for 2015, the total equals $763.9 BILLION.  (

In 2013 spending on the Department of Defense, War, and nuclear consumed 57% of the Discretionary Budget, add Veterans Affairs and it reaches 62%.  This does not include interest payments on our National Debt related to wars.

From 1950-2000 we placed 118.9 million Americans into active military service (2.33 million annual average), according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Spread out over 700+ world-wide bases, we use their bodies, blood, and physical and mental wounds to expensively implement foreign policies, while polluting the atmosphere fueling an awesome armada.  During George W’s Iraq War, the cost of fielding an active duty Star Wars clad soldier climbed to $1 million each.

Each of the addition 9,800 troops assigned to Afghanistan in 2015 is estimated to cost $2.04 million. Ike must be regurgitating.

When JFK created the Peace Corps through Executive Order on March 1, 1961 he said,

“The life will not be easy, but it will be rich and satisfying. For every…American who participates in the Peace Corps…will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation and a condition of peace.”

To offset our militant numbers barely 220,000 PCVs have served by 2016.

Sandaled 21st Century Army Needed?

Why don’t we mount a similar, albeit more modest financial effort that leaves a modest environmental footprint, to field a million Americans a year at home and abroad into peaceful, development oriented, common sense, cost effective national service through already proven non-profits that contains crazed “isms,” dramatically reduces wars, and works to rebuild the havoc an angry Mother Nature is dumping on people?

JFK’s Peace Corps and other existing do-good service corps have proven we can do this today for $30-40,000 per sandal wearing volunteer, whose wounds are generally limited to empathy-induced domestic or reverse culture shock.

If the answer continues being, ”We can’t bother doing that, because we have so many radical, crazed “…ists” to kill,” then Camelot will be replaced by Dronealot.  Droning a lot over time increases the odds that the stealth enemies such droning produces will, in time, cause America’s ascendancy to stall and then fall.

 “…Ask forgiveness later.”

Most often our public policy seems to be:  “Kill ‘em first… Ask forgiveness later” or expect they’ll forget the loss of loved ones.

Our policy post-911 should have been a thorough investigation augmented by a worldwide police action, including swiftly dropping our Special Forces into those areas where some of those involved were reported to be. It should not have been an invasion into uninvolved Iraq, which promised to open a hornet’s nest for the violence prone and gold mine for greedy war profiteers in a part of the world that was so anxious for jobs that many easily fell into the ranks of crazed terrorists.

When specious fear centric arguments are made and big media ignores or fails to fund investigative reporting, we tend to march off to another trumped-up war, where the .5% who have served in recent wars suffer most.  The minuscule percentage who serves, mostly the low and middle classes, often unknowingly, bear much more of wars costs than the connected, politically aware, and war hawks do.

Adding to war’s bloody stain, our recent wars have not been over what’s right but more over the benefits accruing to the .5% at the top end of the economic spectrum.

Before “kill ‘em” is decided upon, the electorate should know:  What are ‘killings’ long-term effects? Who benefits?  Who suffers? Who pays?

“Kill ‘em…  Ask forgiveness later,” may have worked pretty well pre-21st century, when the warer is protected by large oceans. But warfare’s terrain is growing more complicated daily as drones, chemical agents, nuke plant targets, internet economic dependencies, kidnappings, beheadings, virginal post-life attractions, public relations hero making, two legged suicide bombers delivery systems, dumbed-down myopic religious interpretations, military industrial estate money makers, monetized political puppets, climate weirding, poverty, refugee burdening, proliferating craziness becomes part of or connected to usable weapons systems…

In the March/April 2007 Issue of Mother Jones, Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank referenced the then most recent State Department report on global terrorism, stating that the goal of the United States is to identify, target, and prevent the spread of “jihadist groups focused on attacking the United States or its allies [and those groups that] view governments and leaders in the Muslim world as their primary targets.”

“Yet, since the invasion of Iraq, attacks by such groups have risen more than sevenfold around the world. And though few Americans have been killed by jihadist terrorists in the past three years it is wishful thinking to believe that this will continue to be the case, given the continued determination of militant jihadists to target the country they see as their main enemy. We will be living with the consequences of the Iraq debacle for more than a decade.”

In the eight years since that article/report, has dangerous crazed terrorism lessen, hardened, or spread?  If you’ve been in a cushy MTV trance, be informed that the situation has worsened, even while dramatically increasing costly resource allocation to combatting crazed terrorism and its complexities.

Albert Einstein defined one of our public policies saying, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Do we need different or at least additional strategies?

From 1950 – 2000, 198.8 million Americans have ‘served” our nation’s military corps.

During the recent Iraq debacle over 2.5million have served, Of those, more than a third were deployed more than once, so you may need to multiply that by about 3 to get a more accurate body count of those who have served (7.5 million).

“When I say 2.5 million people have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, jaws drop,” said Paul Rieckhoff, the chief executive officer of the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “I know which lines are going to get gasps, and that’s one of them. I don’t think they appreciate how many people have served, and particularly the number who have had repeated deployments. You’ve had an unprecedented demand on a small population. The general public has been incredibly isolated from those who served.”

In fact, as of last year nearly 37,000 Americans had been deployed more than five times, among them 10,000 members of guard or Reserve units. Records also show that 400,000 service members have done three or more deployments.

No matter the cost, continue doing what you’re doing?

In the book The Three Trillion Dollar War ($3-5): The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (2008), coauthored by Linda Bilmes and Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, that cost was pegged between $3-5 trillion. Bilmes in a follow up 2013 Harvard Study pushes that economy rotting out number to $6 trillion because of costs related to:

  • Over a quarter of a million troops have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which, in many cases, were combined with PTSD, posing greater problems in treatment and recovery
  • Constituting a particularly grim facet of this mental health crisis is the doubling of the suicide rate for US Army personnel, with many who attempted suicide suffering serious injuries,” opine the report authors.
  • Massive direct spending on the two imperialist interventions continues. With over 60,000 US troops remaining in Afghanistan, it is estimated that the cost of deploying one American soldier for one year in this war amounts to $1 million.
  • About 2.5 million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and just over 1.5 million had left active duty by September 2012. Of those, more than half were receiving government medical care, and one out of every two veterans had already applied for permanent disability benefits.
  • “The U.S. has already borrowed some $2 trillion to finance the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and the associated defense build-up — a major component of the $9 trillion U.S. debt accrued since 2001,” she writes. Any accounting of other macroeconomic costs associated with the wars, such as the impact of higher oil prices on aggregate demand, would easily bring the total to $6 trillion.

All this is done with very little service to America by 99.5% of the populace – who have not served. Many of those non-servers rave about how “exceptional” they are as they dodge the potholes of “national service free” America, as Karl W. Eikenberry and David M. Kennedy point out in their May 26, 2013 New York Times Op-ed:  Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart.

For nearly two generations, no American has been obligated to join up, and few do. Less than 0.5 percent of the population serves in the armed forces, compared with more than 12 percent during World War II. Even fewer of the privileged and powerful shoulder arms.  In 1975, 70 percent of members of Congress had some military service; today, just 20 percent do, and only a handful of their children are in uniform.

With all that money spent on the .5% of Americans, what’s the feeling of our soldiers who went off to a trumped-up and consequently prolonged Iraq/Afghanistan war?  USA’s April 20, 2015 edition headlined Today’s Soldiers hate their jobs and detailed that 52% felt pessimistic about their future.

Did sending our troops quash or quell the problems and problem makers? When one sources  one finds that from 1993-2005 troop increases tracked with suicide bombing increases; and extensive research gathered at this Washingtonblog verifies that increases in foreign military intervention tracks with increased terroristic responses.

The Greatest Generation was…

The Greatest Generation was great because Mother Liberty accepted almost all to a bustling nation with room to grow, almost everywhere immigrants worked at building community, almost all suffered and fought through the depression.  Almost all flocked together to win the war.  Whether across the ocean or at home, almost all Americans served.  They served in reverse proportion to the numbers who fight hardships at home or abroad today.  They fought in a country that had nowhere near today’s income inequality.

The Greatest Generation was… because almost all shared directly or indirectly in the horrible images of war and warring, in the mangling of soldiers and citizens’ bodies and minds, in the tears a soldier delivered envelop brought to a mother’s eyes at the screened door, in the bruising building of the implements of warfare…  And tax paying and war bond buying to pay for a necessary war was shared by all, including taxing the very rich at high rates.

Between 2000 – 2015, with our population at 320 million, 1.4 million Americans do active national service in our military, about 0.44% of our population.

Back among the Greatest Generation, whose character and characters we are losing, the case can be made that about 32.65%+ of the Greatest Generation performed some form of national service.

Almost everyone experienced life that gave support to the Pledge that we were becoming, “… One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Those words, penned in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist Minister and Christian Socialist, were intended to keep the nation marching toward good health and opportunity for all.

Today former Commander of International Forces in Afghanistan, General Stan McChrystal, echoes what many others have been suggesting.

“Today, the need for such a common experience of citizenship is more poignant than ever.  We are drifting apart.  Contrary to the illusion of constant connectivity, Americans are isolated—geographically, ethnically, economically, religiously, and culturally.  An affluent student from Greenwich, Connecticut will never meet a student from Harlem…

Most historians would agree that a Great Leap toward the “One nation…” happened in the 1940’s, when about 2.3 million drew upon the earth for sustenance.

Back in the 40’s glaciers were bigger, flooding heavily populated areas less prevalent, fracked water unknown, climate weirding not yet believed by 98%+ of scientists, monstrous wealth disparity not so garish.

In 2015 with 90% of glaciers shrinking, flooding and earthquakes consistently devastating millions of lives, fracked water igniting from taps as well as on Oklahoma quake-ridden plains, 7.3+ billion earthlings ought to be doing much more than just talking about and suffering from climate weirding.

Rivals in size our active military…

In April of 2015 Nepal had a devastating earthquake, with continuing aftershocks.

Imagine if the American World Service Corps Congressional (AWSC) National Service Proposal (AWSC Proposal) had been enacted years ago. The Peace Corps, International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Oxfam, American Friends Service Committee, Mercy Corps, UN aid agencies, home for the aged, hospital therapy wards, etc., would have thousands of additional volunteers of all ages that they could quickly allocate to assist quake-ravaged Nepal, as well as help with refugee resettlement problems throbbing throughout the world, alleviate domestic poverty, etc.

Isn’t it time to build a voluntary national service program, which the AWSC Proposal does, that rivals in size our voluntary active military 1.46 million service program?

How much would a million Americans doing AWSC national service at home and abroad deflate the Internet propaganda being used by crazed terrorists who view violence as the primary means to change society?

How much smarter would such robust in-field experience make our present and future public policy decisions?

How much could other small and large national powers be influenced to emulate the US by introducing their own ROBUST national service programs?

Would it be healthy for the planet if we pushed other nations to compete (for lack of a better word)  and comingle with the US with their own peaceful national service programs, rather than through increasing budgets for expensive and bloody military corps?

How much richer would the earth be if Russians, Iranians, Chinese, Israelis, etc., served side-by-side in joint American/(pick a nation) national service for a year or two of their lives.

Might Palestine be less of cauldron and mess if an American/Soviet Peace Corps been operating their for the last 20+ years?

Building the Eagle’s… and Bear … and other nations’ mettle

In the late 80’s People’s Lobby (PLI) pushed legislation to establish an American Soviet Peace Corps (ASPC) that would have Soviets and Americans serve together as PCVs. PLI assumed that if such service and friendship bonds were established 10-30,000+ times, the odds of these two giant nations warring or reaping worldwide havoc would diminish significantly.  A wise and peace loving Congresswoman Boxer expressed her interest in this 1984 letter and expressed her vision in this 1988 letter.  In 1989 she introduced HR1807 to form a US Soviet Peace Corps (USSPC).

From community groups, to elected officials, to former Peace Corps directors, to the Soviet Consulate, etc., great support existed for initiating an USSPC.  Then, as the Soviet Union imploded, the legislation withered away.

By missing the late 1980s opportunity to build a corps that Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha would have preferred, we continued playing out Charlie Wilson’s wars and ushered in a bare-chested Putin who we engaged in playing chess by moving tanks, soldiers, missiles, and military alliances around as if reheating Cold War habits was smart progress.

Are the world’s powers learning fast enough that building together is healthier for the human race than bombing each other?

Shouldn’t America lead the way in building a robust American World Service Corps peaceful service umbrella, push other nations to do the same, and willingly have our Peace Corps volunteers serve alongside volunteers from other nations?

Wouldn’t such AWSC National Service enhance our and their understanding of world needs and provide means of addressing those needs that are hundreds of times cheaper than relying on military answers to world problems?

Recently a nuclear accord between Iran and us was brought home to the United States Senate, a daring gamble on diplomacy and development vs. warplomacy and destruction.

Wouldn’t it be great if during this encouraging era our diplomats offered to the overwhelmingly young nation of 80 million Iranians seeking employment, rapprochement, and understanding that they consider joining us in an American-Iranian Peace Corps?

Why don’t we revive the American Soviet Peace Corps?

While we have let the military industrial estate psyche make many areas too dangerous to deploy AWSC volunteers to today, we must find ways to send larger platoons like Peace Corps, Habitat, Doctors without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, FINCA, Heifer, American Friends Service, TechnoServe, etc., under the American World Service Corps National Service umbrella or moniker  into troubled areas in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, etc., to contain and eventually snuff out crazy “isms.”

Let Americans choose to do the same domestically under that same proud AWSC National Service moniker as we count  a million Americans a year doing full-time, paid national service via already existing Americorps, VISTA, Habitat, Head Start, and address needs as Candy Strippers, volunteers at homes for the aged, hospitals’ therapy departments, etc.

In short, the AWSC National Service Proposal has long seemed to this Returned Peace Corps Volunteer the most cost effective way to dramatically grow the Peace Corps to the size which JFK envisioned it should “quickly” reach.

It DOES NOT create a huge new program, which many in Congress would attack.  It does NOT draft national service volunteers, which so many in Congress claim to oppose.

It DOES give Americans a myriad of good choices in which to do full-time voluntary service, choices which so many in Congress opine is high on their list of legislative requirements.

It WILL make life easier for soldiers and Americans everywhere.

It WILL raise the nation’s public policy IQ, which has long needed a healthy injection of hands on smartening.

It WILL cut the costs of making friends, MAKE more friends, and reduce the cost in dark blood and money spent in ferreting out good information in this era of crazed terrorism.

In this 2016 window where increasing American inequities are finally being discussed with some intensity on the presidential campaign trail and among the very richest (read Buffett, Gates, and the 130+ billionaires dedicating some of their money to doing good), one of the AWSC National Service Proposal’s unorthodox funding mechanisms could, with a sliver of a donation from America’s wealthiest 400, fund 21,000,000 Americans doing national service for 27  years, which is approximately a $700 billion investment.

That may sound like a large number, but over a generation a handful of people have thatlaying around as chump change.  Using that chump change as Pope Francis would make life more heavenly for about 7 billion people.

War has seldom been the answer.  Peaceful service and its understandings and benefits has. We’re just not doing enough of it.  AWSC National Service can move the world toward getting enough to “just do it.”

If development is the new name for peace, war and preparations for war are the major enemy of the healthy development of peoples.  If we take the common good of all humanity as our norm, instead of individual greed, peace would be possible.

Pope Francis


Ted draft.  Pictures = Powerpoint background.

Ordinary People Doing the Extraordinary ISBN No. 0-9717239-9-0
“Write its laws…”

What if…


"Why not?"
“Why not?”


What if…  Ed Koupal, People’s Lobby’s co-founder, who revived the initiative process for grassroots organizations, had lived beyond his 48th year in 1976 and continued teaching us his mantra:

“This country runs on laws.  If you want to change the country, write its laws.”

What if…  John Kennedy had served eight years instead of barely three, and continued inspiring generations with his 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.”

Would this former People’s Lobby and Peace Corps volunteer be “TED asking” you to pester Congress to introduce and enact the American World Service Corps National Service Proposal and field a million Americans a year into peaceful National Service by dramatically expanding the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Mercy Corps, and other local and national do-good organizations?

During my senior year in college in the mid 60’s, buddies told me that a couple FBI agents were asking questions about me.  Fortunately, they did not hover-up that much disparaging information, which led me to spending about 15 hours a day for three months doing Peace Corps Urban Community Development training out of Columbia University, with field training in South Bronx and Harlem.  Training was intended to prepare us for the slums of then Bombay, India.

On two of our training sessions from high powered Columbia University professors, I fell asleep.

On one of those occasions I was jolted awake when the professor said, “Fifty percent of India’s beggars are purposefully maimed.”

I asked where he got that statistic.  He said, “Government of India.”

I asked, “How does the government of India get that statistic?  Do they go around and ask mothers did they maim their kid today?”  He didn’t know.

I asked if he had ever been to India.  He said no.  Know-it-all me cockily rested my case.

Then I went to serve in India.

My first day introduced me to that little girl with the pussy, bloody, jagged hole in the side of her cheek the size of a Kennedy silver dollar.

Near her street beat, I watched armadas of skateboards carrying children and adults with chopped off ankles, knees, hands… using their skateboards to latch onto cars and beg for rupees at Church Gate Railroad Station.

I saw families of four and five living in pipes and cardboard shanties everywhere.

… Stared at beggars with seemingly gouged eyes begging on crowded trains and buses.

… Gave late night rupees to the men eating from 5’ piles of garbage near Bombay’s financial district.

… Stared at the woman lying next to the curb of the bridge over which a thousand people must have tread each hour.  She lay on her back, had tattered rags covering part of her breast and had nothing else.  I thought she was dead.  Maybe I stared for a minute or two, until many people gathered to stare at me.

At a village railroad station, I stared hard at the father until he finally stopped his little daughter from licking her fourth scoop of her own mashed potato consistency diarrhea.

To borrow a few words from national service proponent and First Lady Michelle Obama, this is not, “The world as it should be.”

How can we move closer to a “Should-be world?”

What if… we built a robust, peaceful national service program and incentivized a million Americans aged 18 through 70 + to annually serve by dramatically increasing the size of already proven organizations like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, effective local non-profits, in-need schools, etc.,

What if … AWSC’s volunteers working as full time teachers’ assistants could tutor, mentor, expand Head Start to the other 50% of un-served Head Start children, help at crowded, overburdened physical therapy centers of hospitals, and engage with local community development movements?

What if… this proposed AWSC National Service Proposal required an investment of $700 billion over its proposed legislated life of 27 years to field 21 million Americans doing good at home and abroad?



What if … we took  up Nader’s call and benefitted from the Buffet and Gates Giving Pledge movement and publically posted  voluntary AWSC spread sheets reflecting what amount the world’s richest, Forbes 400, top celebrities and athletes, biggest corporations, etc.,  would “voluntarily” give to this escrowed account to underwrite AWSC National Service?

How much would just the Forbes 400 Richest Americans need to invest in “serving Americans” to make a safer, saner world?

1.1% of Forbes 2014 wealth donated annually totally funds 27 years of 21 million AWSCs doing good.
1.1% of Forbes 2014 wealth donated annually totally funds 27 years of 21 million AWSCs doing good.

A voluntary annual donation of about 1.15% of “just the Forbes 400’s wealth” would cover the 27 year $700 billion investment in the world’s future.

What if …. This inspired other nations to replicate such a doing-good investment?

We have our troops serving with others in NATO and the UN. Have multi-nation astronauts serving together.

What if… we resurrected Congresswoman Boxer’s People’s Lobby inspired House Resolution 1807 of 1989 and built a US Russian Peace Corps?

US Soviet Peace Corps Proposal
US Soviet Peace Corps Proposal

Why not do the same with Japan, Canada, Iran, Cuba… name your country and get the world to start building 21st century, peaceful, development-oriented armies needed to foster diplomacy, build the foundations of peace, and battle climate weirding.

Isn’t it time you asked yourself and Congress that George Bernard Shaw question that Robert Kennedy often borrowed?

AWSC global erasing

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’

But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”

We have 1.4 million active military doing full-time national service.   That’s 4/10th of 1%… or

.44% OR 1 OUT OF 229 Americans doing military national service.  Our troops battle a lot.  Many come home with PTSD.

Maybe they must battle too much because not enough of the rest of us make the world a friendlier and safer place for them.

Depending on what stats one uses, our Greatest Generation had 33-50+% of their generation doing national service.  It is a big part of what made them the Greatest Generation.

Isn’t it time to start building 21st century armies that use their arms to teach, nurse, spread clean energy, build Habitat homes and latrines, and respond to an angered Mother Nature?

Most who serve in our military, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or related organizations believe more should serve…  So why don’t we use the American World Service Corps National Service Proposal to build those service numbers?

Many congresspersons object to investing tax dollars in do-good projects…  But with the AWSC National Service Proposal, in an age of growing financial inequities, we have a non-traditional, voluntary funding mechanism that could fund the whole, or a significant part of, a national service program that could develop a safer and more prosperous world.

Hopefully, you are asking yourself “Why don’t we do this?”

More importantly, hopefully, you will tomorrow and consistently thereafter pester and vote for a Congress that will get more Americans involved in robust AWSC National Service.

Was that butterfly who stung like a bee, Mohammed Ali, right when he said?

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”


Remember, “If you want to change the country, write its laws.”

And if you want help make some lives better, involve yourself in meaningful service.

Thank you.




Extraordinary Ed Joyce

Who wheeled the initiative process out of the political junk heap and into the toolbox of contemporary democracy?

This inspirational, muscular, charismatic, jocular, peddler of provocative ideas…

An ex-car salesman, jazz musician and band leader, muckraking political crusader and his seemingly calmer wife Joyce…

Ed Koupal would publicly dissect the most comfortable and pompous of politicians, and crunch their careers.  He grew from choirboy to the nation’s foremost initiative crusader.   He taught Howard Jarvis techniques on how to make Prop 13 win.

Caliifornia's Political Reform Act 1974
People’s Lobby, Common Cause, Jerry Brown garnered 70%.

His organization directed the passage of California’s Political Reform Initiative, establishing political campaign reform and the Fair Political Practices Commission. He taught Ralph Nader and Jerry Brown how to use the initiative and play political hardball.  He built 40-50 people and kids into People’s Lobby which Nader referred to as the “best grassroots organization in the nation.”  People’s Lobby directed Western Bloc to stop the licensing of new nuclear power plants, while having the first and only Senate Hearings on implementing a National Initiative Process, Senate Joint Resolution 67 of 1977.

PLI organizes 3 days of hearings on SJ Res 67 in 1977 on National Initiative movement
PLI’s National Initiative Hearings of 1977

This condensed book, Ordinary People Doing the Extraordinary : The Story of Ed and Joyce Koupal and the Initiative Process, tells more about a great and unique husband and wife team.  The book was released for the 2002 campaign launch of the proposed National Initiative for Democracy.


Greg Brockbank

I have known and admired Dwayne Hunn for many years as an activist, and was an early supporter of his World Service Corps proposal. It seems clear to me a national service proposal such as this, with military service as one of the options,would provide invaluable experience to our own citizens in making them better citizens of the world, and also to help so many other countries in so many other ways. In fact, it may not only be the best way, but perhaps the only way, to help undo the damage done to our national reputation in recent years.

 Greg Brockbank, President of the: College of Marin Board of Trustees, Social Justice Center of Marin, Marin Democrat Club, Marin Coalition, and candidate for Chair of Democratic Central Committee of Marin. (* Titles are for identification purposes; does not imply organizational endorsement.) 10-05

Marginal 50% Tax Rate

If enacted, People’s Lobby’s  Fair Tax Bracket Re-institution Act (FTBRA) would add an IRS tax bracket so that:

  1. Those amounts earned over $5 million annually will be taxed at a 50% flat rate
  2. Those amounts earned over $10 million annually will be taxed at a 70% flat rate.
  3. These will be flat tax rate brackets with no deductions, so that loopholes do not allow the effective tax rate to be significantly less than IRS codes purportedly call for on the rich.

The $5 million household would have to struggle by on a net income of about $4 million per year; the $200 million household on about $126,500,000 per year;  the $1 billion household on about $646,500,000 per year.

If we had kept the site even more progressive tax rates that existed during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon administrations, we would not have the wealth disparity and economic breakdowns that we are having today.

If FTBRA existed, net income would look something like this.
Income Ested Tax % FTBRA % FTBRA % Net Ested
20% 50% 70% Income
$1,000,000 $200,000 $800,000
$2,000,000 $400,000 $1,600,000
$3,000,000 $600,000 $2,400,000
$4,000,000 $800,000 $3,200,000
$5,000,000 $1,000,000 $4,000,000
$10,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $6,500,000
$20,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $7,000,000 $9,500,000
$50,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $21,000,000 $25,500,000
$100,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $35,000,000 $61,500,000
$200,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $70,000,000 $126,500,000
$500,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $210,000,000 $286,500,000
$1,000,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,500,000 $350,000,000 $646,500,000
The second thing to note is that the overall tax rates are really not that high. Contrary to concerns about socialism or a government takeover, the richest Americans, those earning an average of $345 million in 2007, paid about 16.5 percent in federal income taxes.

Today’s top tax bracket, depending on whether Bush’s tax cuts expire or not in January 2011, are supposed to pay 35% now or 39.6% if the Clinton rates are reinstated.

As a recent IRS tax analysis by the Quick & the ED shows:  “The second thing to note is that the overall tax rates are really not that high. Contrary to concerns about socialism or a government takeover, the richest Americans, those earning an average of $345 million in 2007, paid about 16.5 percent in federal income taxes.”

Forbes comes to a similar conclusion, as do tax experts like Author David Cay Johnston of Perfectly Legal

Richest 400 Earn More, Pay Lower Tax Rate

Janet Novack, 01.29.09, 05:00 PM EST

Top earners on average pulled in $263 million each in 2006, the IRS reports.

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The 400 highest-earning taxpayers in the U.S. reported a record $105 billion in total adjusted gross income in 2006, but they paid just $18 billion in tax, new Internal Revenue Service figures show. That works out to an average federal income tax bite of 17%–the lowest rate paid by the richest 400 during the 15-year period covered by the IRS statistics. The average federal tax bite on the top 400 was 30% in 1995 and 23% in 2002.

AWSC summary

“This country runs on laws.  If you want to change the country, write its laws.”

Ed & Joyce Koupal, founders of People’s Lobby

(Draft page… rebuilding site.)

Early in 2005 People’s Lobby (PLI )initiated the American World Service Corps National Service Congressional Proposal (AWSCNS) .  It is neither a direct nor indirect initiative with which People’s Lobby has had past successes.

It is a congressional proposal that benefits America and the world and raises the public policy IQ for both and requires introduction through visionary legislators.  Enacting the AWSC Congressional Proposals would:

  • Remind citizens that they are the ultimate source of laws;
  •  Involve citizens in healthy civic affairs;
  • Strengthen the thinning character and patriotic fabric of the nation;
  • Address the root causes of terror, refugee  tragedies, climate devastation, etc.;
  • Press red and blue-staters, red-necks and blue-noses and humans of all pigments into working on and learning from pressing domestic and international problems;  
  • Build a one million strong all volunteer peaceful national service corps by inspiring  more to serve in already existing do-good organizations such as Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, FINCA, TechnoServe, Fuller Center for Housing, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, U.N. Refugee Agency, American Friends Service Committee,  as well as in local non-profits, schools, homes for aged, physical therapy wards, penal institutions, etc.
  • Involve rich and poor, young and old , red necks and blue noses in service to the nation and world that will dramatically raise national and international civic actions and IQs.   


The American World Service Corps Congressional Proposal neither establishes a big new bureaucracy nor is expensive.

It is not merely shorthand for a bigger Peace Corps, although it will make the Peace Corp much bigger than it has ever been.

It is envisioned as a small administrative office that does some marketing, disseminates paychecks to its full time volunteers, and takes care of their tuition and other post service grants and gratuities. It is a moniker, a name tag that allows us to model what should be the new 21st century army that  we and other nations should be sending out into the world. If one makes such service meaningful, it  can be as or more valuable than most college educations.

Its primary raison d’etre is to send many more volunteers to rub shoulders and do good through the already existing and effective do-good organizations such as  those mentioned above.

These organizations know what to do with additional full time human resources.

This AWSC Umbrella heightens the effectiveness of these groups by enlarging them at a time when complexities and needs are growing.  As the Greatest Generation passes, we need to involve the push-button, play-game generation as well as the more mature in active service, which builds the nation’s character and prepares us to better handle the real world.


The American World Service Corps National Service  (AWSCNS) Congressional Proposal would field a robust, peaceful, productive, paid volunteer army of American do-gooders who would choose to serve at home or abroad.  It would reduce conflicts, address needs, and make life easier for our military and healthier for our citizens.  It is NOT another program or large bureaucracy.  It is merely an umbrella, a moniker that feeds more volunteers into proven existing do-good organizations and non-profits.

How Fund?

In addition to the traditional revenue streams listed in the AWSCNS proposal that would fund this investment in our people and world, we have added nontraditional, voluntary, revenue streams that could fund this entire generation-long National Service Program without taxing Americans.

The Gates & Buffett Giving Pledge has helped PLI’s long effort to establish a  publically displayed Socially Conscious Giving Spreadsheet whose fund are escrowed to only be spent on AWSC volunteers who serve.  Click though to view the Forbes .0006% Powerpoint.

Undersized yesterday –>today’s growing problems

John Kennedy told former Senator Harris Wofford that he wanted the Peace Corps to reach 100,000 a year because, “It would then be considered serious.  In one decade, it would reach 1 million volunteers.”  In the last 54+ years, only about 220,000 PCVs have trained and served, meaning perhaps 180,000+ have completed service.  For more than a generation, we have failed to come close to implementing a vision that would cost effectively and dramatically reduce poverty, ignorance, hatred, and terrorist recruitment.  We missed the opportunity to dramatically increase our public policy IQ, understand the dynamics of the Global Village and its economies, and reduce the hatred fired at our troops, and care for and understand environmental needs.

We are leaving big problems to the next generation.  We owe them a big, but cost effective, AWSCNS solution.

Think of your favorite local non-profits. Could they accomplish more good if they had one or a few full time volunteers aged from a fresh 18 to an experienced 70+?  Could they enrich your community and raise its public policy IQ?

Joint Peace Corps

PLI’s AWSCNS Proposal urges that other nations emulate similar national service programs.  Imagine what could happen if the nations of the world built robust national service programs that rivaled the size of it militaries.

Imagine if People’s Lobby’s successful efforts in 1989 to have Congresswoman Boxer introduce HR1807, the US-Soviet Peace Corps, had grown over the years.  Imagine how much safer and saner today’s world would be.

In July of 2016,  PLI discussed with Senator Boxer’s staff  the possibility of reintroducing an updated HR 1807 .  Give her a call and express your support before she leaves office .

If you would like to read 60+OpEds detailing benefits of an AWSC, click OEN OpEds.  For some videos, click videos.  For one of several 30 minute overviews at the videos link, try this Mel Presents.

If able and willing, press your candidates or respected celebrities to help move this AWSC solution.  Thanks.

  Power Point  Summary

Today we have tooo many who pontificate about what should be done to address foreign and domestic needs who have little or no grassroots experience with those problems.  A robust AWSC National Service program smartens our and other nations in how to more cost effectively and peacefully address domestic and world problems.

Click  Why Need AWSC Umbrella

to view Power Point overview of why AWSC National Service umbrella is needed, including reference to non-traditional funding mechanisms that piggy-back on the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge –>

Uber-rich <2% solution for world peace  Will super-rich step up?

Embeded chart reflecting how the Forbes 400 alone, using one of the AWSC Congressional Proposal’s non-traditional funding mechanisms could easily fund this wise AWSCNS investment.

How to fund without taxing:




Q& As

Questions? Contact

  1. Why bother with an AWSC,  we have the Ted Kennedy National Service Act of 2009.

The Ted Kennedy National Service Act made “some” laudatory steps forward, but has since been marginalized, click here for more details.

2.  Why even introduce the World Service Corps legislation?It is too long a shot to have a Congressperson carry the legislation.

Many pieces of legislation originate with constituents.  Corporate lobbyists draft innumerable pieces of legislation to benefit their clients, in which well-funded ALEC  (American Legislative Exchange Council) specializes.  True persons, versus constitutionally debatable corporate persons, have every right to have their representatives carry legislation.   Congressional reps are our employees.

If passage of this legislation is debatable, then have the debate begin.  Attentive debate forces thinking.  Thinking can lead to understanding.  Deeper understanding improves the nation and world.

3. We don’t need another big government program.Why start a new bureaucratic program?

This is structured as a public – non profit joint venture, using existing organizations that have stellar service records to help more Americans combat terror and ignorance by doing what American do best — serve at home and abroad.  It does not start a new, big government program.  It expands the solid, beneficial experiences American can live and learn within existing do-good organizations.  The WSC funnels America’s best resources – can-do, productive Americans into serving America and the world’s needs.

4.  America doesn’t have the revenue to fund this.We already have a huge deficit.  Why shouldn’t we just save the money?

The failure to implement a policy such as this decades ago is the reason we have humongous war costs, and this contributes to our soaring deficits.  This is a long tern answer to reducing our future monetary and human costs, and it is immediately more cost effective than resorting to costly warfare.

By 2004 the yearly cost of maintaining each of our 1.4 million volunteer military just in the Defense Department budget touched $300,000. When the conservatively estimated war supplemental, off budget costs, and some of the veterans and social costs are added to the 2006 military budget, the annual costs of maintaining each of military personnel soars over $600,000 annually. See  “It’s the economy, stupid..” in Coverage section for detailed numbers.

The cost of maintaining a Peace Corps volunteer for a year is about ten percent (about $40,000 per year) of maintaining a military personnel, and there are no-post service social, medical, physiological, or educational costs, only benefits.

By 1970, when President Kennedy wanted one million Peace Corps volunteers to be serving in the world, we had over 400,000 soldiers in Vietnam.  The conservatively portrayed Vietnam War budget item was $16,260,000,000, making the cost per American soldier just in Vietnam over $39.000.  The cost of a PCV at that time was $7,700.  With just 20% of that year’s Vietnam War budget, we could have put 420,000 PCVs into the world in just that year.

Changing the world through the Army or Maine Corps is bloody expensive. World Service Corps is cost effective and all but irrefutable.  It is the means to reducing future costly expenditures.  It is how you cost effectively build and rebuild nations.

5. We do enough for the world, and the world doesn’t appreciate us enough as it is.Why should we waste our time, energy, and money on helping more?

Much of the world sees our foreign aid and policies as manipulative and premised on American corporations earning and controlling their economies.   Our service programs are not viewed in such a negative way.  The WSC will send red blooded Americans, from red and blue states, to serve at home and abroad. They will not be viewed as corporatizers.  They will not be giving handouts with string attached.  They will help where help is needed.  They will, in the proverbial sense, be helping people fish within their own cultures, not handing our American fish.

Although a dangerously increasing number of world citizens are disliking our policies, most world citizens still “like Americans.”  We cannot allow ignorance and terrorist ideas to subvert and win the hearts and minds of the world citizens who “like Americans.”

Our best foreign policy lies in letting the world know the true character of Americans doing service.  The AWSC is the antidote to the terrorists spreading ignorance about America and our being ignorant about the diverse and complex world.

6.  Since Peace Corps volunteers will be an agency that makes up part of the WSC international service, how many PCVs have and are serving in troubled spots like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq?

From 1961-67, 462 PCVs served in Pakistan. None since.

From 1962-1979, 1,739 served in Afghanistan.  None since.

From 1962-1976, 1,863 served in Iran.  None since.

PCVs were never diplomatically placed in Iraq, North Korea, Cuba or Palestine and Israel.

In all of North Africa and the Middle East, they have only served in Morocco and Jordan.

In the fourteen nations from Egypt to Iran, 432+ million people reside.  To offset the image they are developing of America, 39 PCVs serve in Jordan.  That is about 1 for every 111 million people.

Today’s Peace Corps has only 7,733 serving in 71 countries. .. (Since 1961 only 178,000 trainees and volunteers have served in 138 countries.)

If you want to win the hearts of the troubled world, do you think it might be helpful to work amidst them in their mean streets and arid fields?

7.  Is it Christian to just wait till violence erupts against you and then just drop bombs?

Had we had a hundred thousand PCVs serving in these nations by now, as Kennedy envisioned, do you believe we would have lost about 2,000 American lives, unnumbered maimed and wounded, be looking at a conservatively covered $500 billion war bill over the last few years, and be looking forward to untold medical and social costs for our vets?

Peacefully warring against the causes of terror is always much cheaper and healthier than warring.  The longer one puts off peacefully warring, the more expensive becomes the later military cost.

8.  We shouldn’t even suggest peaceful, productive national service, even if it would benefit America or the world because it might induce this administration to return the draft.

In the 2004 Congress a bill and resolution were introduced to resurrect and rebuild the Selective Service System (draft).  an extra $28 million in funds was directed to revive Selective Service offices.

Legislation is already on the table in both the House and the Senate, in the form of twin bills SB89 and HR 163, “in order to staff up for a protracted war on terrorism,” writes Adam Stutz, from Project Censored.  Meanwhile, the Selective Service System has received an extra $28 million in funds for this year’s budget to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide and put “troops on the ground in 85% of all American high schools to make sure no one between 18-25 years old slips through the cracks. Schools cannot very easily claim conscientious objector status, by the way. “Buried deep in the 670 pages of the No Child Left Behind Act there is a provision which requires that public high schools give military recruiters access to facilities and also contact information for every student — or else face a cutoff of federal aid,” writes Connor Freff Cochran of AlterNet.

U.S. Preparing For Military Draft in Spring of 2005, “Legislation in the works: Selective Service System already mobilizing,”  May 6, 2004 Issue, Utne Reader.

In 2005 the former Marine UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter said the we should get ready for the draft and said on Randi Rhodes Air America that he believes plans have been discussed in the Executive Office to attack Iran by mid-June.  He accused Secretary of State Rice of lying when she claimed that plans have not been laid for such an attack.

In mid-June 2004 the Selective Service offices were told to be ready to be operational.

That (invading Iran) , he says, will mandate the inevitable re-institution of a draft. “A breakdown of our military’s ability to handle these adventures. Congress will be confronted with that and congress will have to take action. So, the blame will be thrust on the shoulders of congress, and the Bush administration will say ‘Well, we didn’t want this’. But, it had to happen.”

Arms Inspector Turned Peace Activist Says Get Ready for the Draft, Published on Saturday, March 19, 2005 by the Hudson Valley News (New York.

  1. If a military draft returns, shouldn’t an alternative already be passed into law and working.  The work of the WSC would make life easier for the strong military by giving them fewer crisises to face and thereby keeping their morale high.  We need a strong military.  The military needs a corps of peaceful, productive volunteers, so that their job is clearer and safer.

—–  under construction, not completed…

9. . How many people currently volunteer on an annual basis for the organizations (e.g., Habitat for Humanity) that will be covered by this bill?

Peace Corps since till 2016 = 220,000 PCVstrained and served since its 1961 inception.  Best year 1969 with about 15,000.  Since then budget and emphasis cut.

2016 = 6,800


Headstart  60% of eligible pre-school children are in Head             Start, and only 3% of eligible infants and toddlers are in Early            Head Start. In Maryland, about 25% of eligible children under the       age of six are in Head Start and Early Head Start.

Head Start is for the poorest children  74% of Head Start families are at or below the poverty level. These children are often the farthest behind in learning to read and learning the alphabet. Yet       Head Start makes a difference: in one year these students go from             the 16th percentile in vocabulary to almost the national norm.

Mikulski Says Bush Head Start Budget Forces Local Communities to Make “Bad Choices” 22-Jul-2003 CONTACT: Melissa Schwartz

President’s 2005 budget provides just enough money to allow Head start  to reach a mere half of all eligible children.

Habitat volunteers

9.  How do the stipend/pay and benefits (e.g., educational) earned in the program compare to those received by people volunteering for military service?

In 2006 Congressman Murtha has used $150,000 figure to estimate signing/educational bonuses used to attract military recruits, which has been increasingly difficult.

Depending on what “kickers” one includes, military recruits are offered from 20,000 to 40,000 to 90,000 to $162,000 in signing and educational bonuses to volunteer.

ABC News: Army Offers Bigger Bonuses for Enlistment January 22, 2006 |

Last year the Army fell 7,000 recruits short of its goal of 80,000 new troops, the largest recruiting shortfall in decades….

Last month Congress approved a doubling of Army signing bonuses, meaning a new recruit could earn as much as $40,000 just for signing on the dotted line.The amount is $20,000 for new reservists. An active duty soldier with a hard-to-fill job who meets all the right criteria could earn a staggering $90,000 for re-enlisting…

Also, the Army will boost the amount of student loans it can repay to $65,000. This amount, when combined with the Montgomery GI Bill, will offer recruits up to $72,424 to pursue a higher education…

Source:  ABC News: Army Offers Bigger Bonuses for Enlistment January 22, 2006 | Get Your Local News and Weather

10. How much will the program cost under the primary bill assuming the participation rates the bill anticipates and including accrual for benefits as they are earned?

America’s World Service Corps (AWSC) would ramp up by about 140,000 per year until it meets its quotient of one million Americans serving annually under the umbrella of AWSC.

AWSC full time working volunteers would serve through existing, established organizations who already have much of the infrastructure in place to place full time volunteers into effective service.  In some cases:

  • Ramping up to handle more volunteers should not costs these organizations much since much or most of their infrastructure is already in place.
  • There would be some additional costs to handle the additional volunteers.Over the course of a few years these additional per volunteer costs should fall as economies of scale settle in.  So in time the per volunteer cost will not add much to their existing per volunteer costs.
  • In many cases, assistance from domestic communities and foreign nations, who will be grateful for the volunteers work, will be expected. and may provide housing and other amenities that keep costs in check.

Half of AWSC organizations are Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs).

  • Daily living expenses of volunteers to these organizations would be borne by NGOs thereby reducing those costs from federal responsibility.
  • Daily living expense of volunteers choosing to work in the governmental organizations would be a federal or state governmental cost.

Educational investment bonus:

The Federal government will be responsible for paying the cash readjustment allowance as well as the promised educational/tuition bonus for completing two years WSC service.  Amounting to:

  • Two years of community college tuition and fees which in 2004 was estimated at $2,076 annually at public community college.(E:\World Service\Research Downloads\AACC Community college Facts.htm  )
  • Two years of public college or university tuition and fees which in 2004 averaged approximately $6,600 nationwide.

E:\World Service\Research Downloads\College costs 4yr school spike – Oct_ 19, 2004.htm

  • Consequently, the federal government would be responsible for an investment of approximately$17.200 in America’s best foreign and domestic policy resource – its can-do people.

Annual per volunteer living costs

Estimates to support a full-time domestic or international serving volunteer range from $20,000 to $40,000 (approximate annual cost to support a PCV today). When cost efficiencies are melded with extra costs, a fair estimated gross estimated cost for an AWSC volunteer annual cost is:

  • $30,000 per volunteer.

Estimating that half of AWSC volunteers choose to serve in NGOs halves this annual daily maintenance cost per volunteer to:

  • $15,000 per volunteer.

Readjustment allowance

An readjustment allowance will be given to each full-time volunteer who completes service that is equivalent to that received by a Peace Corps volunteer.  In 2005, a PCV who completed two years of service received a cash readjustment of about $6,500.

When the readjustment cash allowance + Annual per volunteer living costs +  Educational investment bonus  is totaled, the amount of federal responsibility amounts to: ($15,000+$17,200 + $6,500 = $38,700)

Depending on how one views the value and importance of education, $17,200 of that government expenditure on formally educating Americans may not be considered a cost, but a long term investment in America’s economic future, insight and resiliency.  If you believe in the value of investing in education for you, your child or your nation’s future, then the $38,700 cost tumbles back to not being a cost but to being an “earned investment.”   So the cost to the Federal coffers may again be estimated at about:

  • $15,000

Depending on how one values the education/service Americans receive by serving in pockets of need and the:

*     Cost saving benefits and reduction in future domestic costs such service accrues to local communities.

*     Reductions in international disdain, hatred, and ignorance such service does.

*     Strong likelihood that such service could erase the next trillions of dollar expenditure another kind of
Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq war causes.

Then the $15,000 annual volunteer maintenance cost might be consider minimal or zero.  If you believe such service and investment benefits local and foreign needs, dependency on foreign aid, military incursions, etc., and thereby reduces America’s resource and human costs, then the $15,000 may fall to:

  • Below $15,000 and in some analysis amount to $0. per volunteer cost and a net savings to our nation.

About a half dozen states have Conservation Corps programs.     (California has a CCC whose budget and outreach has fallen since about 1992. ??check) Some AWSC volunteers may choose to do their service through them, further reducing the federal annual service cost.  Those states with existing programs whoalready have an infrastructure in place willl find a slight increase in costs, but they will also find that they are better able to preserve, prepare, and conserve state environmental and social needs, thereby reducing future costs.

Depending on one’s perspective about the importance of repairing levies, improving streams and trails, involving young in conservation and appropriate technology projects, the added state costs will be

  • Nominal or negligible state costs where CC programs already exist.
  • And cause federal day-to-day costs to fall.

Increasing participation in state conservation corps (as will participation in all the other AWSC organizations) also gives states the ability to better prepare for and more quickly recover from natural disasters that seem to be increasing.  Better preparation and recovery reduces the economic costs of disasters.  Quicker recovery cost effectively re-ignites business and economic recovery, which reduces federal costs.

Implementing the AWSC legislation may inspire more states to institute state conservations corps, so that their states young people who volunteer to serve their state and nation via conservation and appropriate technology work could benefit from the federal educational bonuses.  This would reduce federal day-to-day costs and keep the educational bonuses costs the same.  In effect, this would be another reduction to federal costs in implementing the AWSC program.

  • Slight reduction in federal costs.

One year volunteers

How many ot the AWSC volunteers would choose to serve for one, two, or extend for a third year?

Using the assumption that half would choose to serve for one year and half for two years (of couse, this could vary and we hope most do two years  but until our crystal ball clears up or GAO shows up this is merely a simplified estimate), the federal educational bonus cost would be halved for half of the volunteers.  So, after serving a year, the federal education/tuitition investment payments would be  $17.200/2 = $8,600 rather than $17 .200.  After ramping up to one million volunteers over the AWSC initial ramp up period of seven years, the eight and ninth year and every year thereafter would see a cost reduction of approximately:

  • $8,600,000,000per year
  • Or a reduction in educational investment/bonus of $8.600. for each of approximately a half million volunteers.

If a quarter choose to serve on year the annual saving would be:

  • $4,300,000,000 per year.

Ancillary cost benefits/reductions

Some well-off baby boomers, retirees, etc. may decide not to take the bonuses they have earned and instead choose to dedicate it to a community educational scholarship fund or foundation or if they were deep-rooted believers in laissez faire could choose to return it to the federal treasury.   Donating it to others education would strengthen the nation and reduce crime, causing a savings.  Since few seem to live by often expressed beliefs of pure volunteering and not accepting government investments, the savings here may be nominal.

  • Nominal savings

Financial mechanism savings

The three sources of financing provide further cost savings.

  1. Federal Tax Revenues
  2. AWSC web site listing Low or Non-Taxpaying large Corporations.

Using research from CTJ (Citizens for Tax Justice), Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy ((ITEP). and government sources, which relying on public informing, will asks these corporations what they will donate to underwriting, without further tax deductions,  to reduce taxpayers contribution to funding AWSC.

Corporate Income Taxes in the Bush Years, released Sept. 22 by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, finds 82 of 275 companies CTJ examined enjoyed at least one year in 2001–2003 in which they paid no federal income taxes yet received billions of dollars in outright tax rebates. In 2003 alone, 46 of the companies paid no federal income taxes and in some cases, received tax rebates.

The companies, all on the Fortune 500 list, were profitable in each of the three years analyzed.

  1. AWSC web site listing the Forbes Richest.

This web site will list what Forbes Richest donate to underwrite the building of AWSC.  Several billionaires and multimillionaires, from the likes of Gates,  Buffet, Soros, Turner, Walmart family members, etc, might contribute to funding the cost of sending and investing in America’s best resources – its people – in order to build a safer, saner world in which business grows.

One should not discount the strong possibility that billions could be raised by funding mechanisms #2 & #3.  Each year perhaps $1-4 billion could be raised via Funding Sources 2 & 3.  Estimated reduction in federal costs:

  • $1.000,000,000. – 4,000,000,000 federal cost reduction.

Summary of Costs

Depending on your perspective as to whether the costs of the AWSC lean heavily toward long-term cost reducing “investments” or non-beneficial social  andthereby “pure costs,”  totaling the above cost/savings estimates would place the annual per volunteer costs somewhere between $0 – $20,000 per volunteer. Using the mid line as an estimate puts the cost at:

  • $10,000 annual volunteer cost

By the seventh year when the AWSC would have a full one million Americans serving this estimated cost would be:

  • $10,000,000,000 per year.

Reducing the $10 billion amount by the education investment bonuses that would be forgone by those who are One year volunteers reduces that annual cost by $4,300,000,000 per year to:

  • $5,700,000,000 per year.

Reducing the $5.7 billion amount by the mid-range estimate of $2 billion of donated funds received by low/non-tax paying corporations and mega wealthy brings this total to:

  • $3,700,000 per year

This $3.7 billion averages to about two weeks worth of Iraqi War costs over the 2004-2006 years.

Use the AWSC to eliminate one war over the next generation and we give our economic and human resources room to boom.

Putting eight months of funding the present Iraq War into a lock box would fund the AWSC for about 27 years.

Were a detailed cost/benefit analysis done, the AWSC would cost even less than the $3.7 billion annual estimate listed here.

Were long term, hidden, supplemental, etc costs (see PLEF WSC showing cost per MP at $600,000 annually) of the Iraq War included in these calculations it would take only a few months of an Iraq War to cover all of the AWSC costs.

IF the AWSC keeps us out of one war each generation or two, how does one enter the savings in loved ones, blood, and dollars?

Robert Redford SJRes67


 From Voter Initiative Constitutional Amendment

Hearings Committee on the Judiciary


 NOVEMBER 10, 1977.


U.S. Senate, Washington., D.C.

 Dear SENATOR: Thank you very much for your letter and for the copy of the National Initiative Amendment.

I agree with you that this is a very important piece of legislation. It has been my experience that one of the major problems for citizens who are concerned with the issues facing our country has been their feeling that they really can’t have much of an effect. This bill would give people an open channel into the legislative process, and give them the opportunity to be heard.

This is something that I heartily support and I wish you the best of luck in your efforts.



"Take the initiative."