IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and senate
A proposed BILL
To request the President to institute a
World Service Corps (WSC) to address pressing world needs. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the “World Service Corps Act – via one year of productive, peaceful, civilian national service.” Back-up or kicker bill.
SEC. 2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.
This is a back-up or kicker bill to the key World Service Corps proposal titled “World Service Corps Act Two Year Volunteering” (WSC – 2 year volunteering) bill.
This bill will only implement if the key “World Service Corps Bill – two years of volunteer service” falls short of maintaining an additional one million Americans volunteering for each of the year’s the World Service Corps is in existence. (This includes the AWSC’s 7 start-up years plus 20 ensuing years of service.) With proper national leadership, this back-up or kicker bill should not need to be implemented.
It is the purpose of this Act to enhance prospects for world
peace by promoting understanding, addressing human, resource, environmental, and
development needs, and responding to disasters.
Americans consistently prove themselves in serving their country,
addressing world needs, helping neighbors near and far grow and prosper. The U. S. World Service Corps will provide
Americans the opportunity to improve conditions in
This back-up bill will implement itself only if after the seventh year after passing the WSC key proposal (World Service Corps resolution for two years of volunteer service) proposal into law, our leadership fails to inspire the annual goal of one million Americans volunteering through the “World Service Corp – 2 year volunteering Bill/Resolution.”
It will also kick in during subsequent years, only if the goal of having one million Americans serving at home or abroad falls short of the one million annual goal.
Means to insure one million will serve. One million is a significant commitment to
peaceful, productive worldwide actions. That
number is picked because of its significance, being only slightly smaller than
our 1.4 million military forces. Domestic
and international pockets of need must quickly recognize that
1) During the fourth year after the start-up of the World Service Corps, and each year thereafter through the seventh year, an analysis will be made to determine if the program is on track to attracting one million American volunteers by the seventh year after its implementation.
2) Each year after the seventh year, a count of the World Service Corps will determine that a million can-do Americans continue serving for the subsequent 20 years before sun-setting can be considered.
3) If during the start-up or subsequent twenty years, the numbers fall more than nominally (1,000 - 50,000 being considered nominal) beneath one million, then Congress will consider several options to insure that America fulfills its commitment to the world and America’s needs, while also building America’s character through world service. In other words, if a shortfall of over 5% of one million occurs on the annual measurement date, increased incentives will be used to insure that a million volunteers are each year peacefully and productively serving nation and world. This measurement may be done on a set date each year.
4) Several options will be considered by Congress as a means to fulfill its commitment to one million World Service Corps volunteers. Congress, of course, will have the ability to add additional healthy, creative options in place of or in addition to those mentioned below. The following will be among some of the several options Congress will consider:
a. Increasing the educational tuition bonus offered to those successfully completing service.
b. Providing civil service advantages (grade scale advances, etc.) to those successfully completing service.
c. Providing to universities,
colleges, or corporations, which provide teams of students or teachers
for a year or two of team service, extra service completion bonuses that can be
shared with team members as well as with the institutions.* (For example, if Tulane University, as well
as nearby Dillard and Xavier Universities who suffered much during the 2005
floods), provided a team of engineering
students for a year of full time volunteering service to help rebuild New
Orleans and surrounding areas, those students as well as the university could
be granted a bonus. If
d. Increasing the educational bonuses by a reasonable percentage to those who apply from low income households.
e. Increasing the educational bonuses by a reasonable percentage to those who return to school in fields where Congress determines we are not turning out sufficient graduates, such as science and engineering in present days.
f. Providing shortcuts to citizenship via serving two years in the World Service Corps.
g. Increasing the service completion stipend called for in (3) (D) (i) below, which in the Peace Corps is sometimes referred to as a Readjustment Allowance.
h. Including service in AWSC as a means of reducing or eliminating incarceration time for those who are clearly considered non-dangerous incarcerated citizens.
i. Using a randomized selection process to select some or the entire shortfall from 18-26 years olds who under this draw will do at least one year of World Service Corps service. Exemptions under this selection process will be allowed for validated family or medical hardship reasons. A judicious board will be used to determine the validity of exemption requests. Approximately 40 million Americans are presently in this age group. Experience shows that a year of peaceful national service will not hamper their career goals, but enhance their future choices. It will also provide them with an unmatchable maturing and educational experience.
a) Suggested incentive “i” is the only stick on this list of carrots. It is intended to insure this robust team of American World Service Corps volunteers stays within 5% of 1 million. This stick is intended to serve as a “pincher or prod” to insure national leadership inspires enough Americans to keep one million Americans voluntarily serving their nation and world.
b) Some Americans recoil at any infringement on their freedom of life style choice. They ardently carry this feeling, even when one year of national service at a young age overwhelmingly gives young people an unforgettably positive experience. Consequently, they see even a random selection of 18-26 year olds for one year of national service as an infringement on their lifestyle choices.
c) Consequently, incentive “i” is in this back up proposal to push Congress and national leaders to promote the AWSC well enough or provide enough incentives to keep one million peaceful, productive American improving life at home and abroad.
d) Currently federal law may prohibit a year of randomized selection into national service, which would make this section inapplicable at the federal level. Since Congress makes and changes law, that could be changed. This section can still be operative under existing law by having the states individually use their ability to compel education and have this AWSC service be considered as an educational investment. Randomly selected youth could then choose to add service learning to their education by serving under the umbrella of the American World Service Corps.
We emphasize that this section “i” is a “prod, stick, pincher…” to make sure Congress uses other incentives or carrots to reignite
For increasing numbers of
world citizens, the world has become more dangerous and trying. Americans know that world population is
soaring toward 7 billion, worldwide terrorism is escalating, terror cells are proliferating
and human and resource needs are growing.
Americans have always responded to domestic and international
needs. In doing so, Americans have
exemplified the honored Marine Corps spirit of “Semper Fi,” always faithful and
dedicated to serving their brothers.
Today’s times calls for Americans to again lead the way in reviving that sense of service to address increasing volatile world needs. By using national service to implement the 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
The work of the World
Service Corps will reduce pressure on our all-volunteer army. Most of the life and limb risking 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
The public and private organizations that World Service Corps members (WSC) will serve through include Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Habitat for Humanity, HeadStart, Doctors Sans Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFax, Mercy Corps, and State Conservation Corps. The work of these organizations gives Americans the opportunity to serve at home or abroad. These organizations and the others of similar effectiveness that could be added as outlined in the key bill, do exemplary work, and thereby offer Americans diverse opportunities to employ and develop a variety of skill sets.
There are additional
benefits to implementing a significantly sized World Service Corps during the
dawn of the 21st century.
Certainly, the 21st century has people, medical, and
environmental needs. However, many also
The WSC will be placing
Americans in situations that do not abound with luxuries that require
initiative. The WSC will give
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, etc. to provide for the mutual establishment, organization, administration, and management of the programs necessary to bring the number of American WSCs serving in these organizations to one million annually by 2013.
1) Projects. -- With coordination through the World
Service Corps Director, the WSC will engage WS Corps members in the traditional
work of the organizations providing service options to corps members, who will
include projects designed to aid the elderly, disabled, and young; preserve and protect health
and the environment; enhance economic conditions; and provide for assistance during
emergencies and natural disasters. Projects
and service will be undertaken in
2) Participants. -- All Americans, upon reaching their 18th birthday and through the age that allows them to perform the tasks required of the position they apply for, will qualify to do the WSC. By 2013, the WSC’s productive, peaceful, civilian national service, using the federally funded service completion bonuses, will become a means to have one million WSC members aged 18 – 60 + addressing world needs. From such organizations as those listed above, volunteering WSC members will choose with whom to do their service.
Every world religion has a predominant tenant reminding us that service to our fellow man is the means of bringing peace and harmony in this life, and the WSC 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
The battle for the world’s hearts and minds,
however, is not won by primarily relying on day-to-day military efforts.
(3) REECRUITMENT AND SELECTION. --. The back-up bill and its additional incentive options only kicks in kicks in when national leadership fails to inspire enough Americans to keep one million Americans above 18 annually volunteering and serving under the World Service Corps 2 Year Volunteer Bill.
For example, if after passing the WSC resolutions into law only 900,000 Americans had volunteered to serve at home or abroad, then this back-up bill would kick in to find means as mentioned in Section 3 to inspire the shortfall of 100,000 Americans to peacefully and productively serve America and world..
With inspiring, visionary national leadership, this back-up bill should never need implementation, since good leadership will inspire an average of 140,000 annual volunteers to serve their nation. A great number of Americans believe everyone owes something back to there nation, and consequently with just decent visionary leadership this back-up bill will not be needed.
(A) Other Participants. -- All physically able ages will be encouraged and able to serve in this updated service corps. Today many mid-career and retired Americans seek and make service career changes. The WSC will enhance those options and the ease of doing so.
(B) Non-discrimination. -- Selection should 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 and the other organization listed here 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 WSC training program.
Service Benefits. – Serving, working, and living
in the world makes the world and
i. A stipend completion program, similar to that given to Peace Corps volunteers upon completing their service, will be replicated for WS Corps members. A second year of service will garner additional stipends or rewards.
ii. College credits 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, especially in this global village era. The team program listed could offer even more incentives for colleges to involve students in building and doing good while gaining credit and a deep knowledge in doing sol
i. These and other service enhancing benefits will be encouraged and supported.
(E) Military exemption. Those who serve in our all-volunteer army are exempt from WSC service, if the random selection process chooses them to make up for an unexpected shortfall from the one million World Service Corps volunteers.
(4) Placement of Projects. -- Work on projects will be decided based upon need, safety, and the cooperation of areas requesting the WSC. Countries and areas served will be requested to assist and contribute in making the program effective and cost efficient.
(5) COLLATERAL GOALS OF PROJEcTS – By working on a person to person level to increase health, welfare, literacy, and economic well being, WS 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.
(6) COST. -- The cost of operation of the United States WSC will be funded through:
(A) Traditional budgetary appropriations.
(B) Donations by the richest 1%
of taxpayers. -- Over the last 30+ years, the
(C) 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 WSC website, such research would list those none, low paying, or negative tax paying corporations for the five previous years. These Fortune 500 corporations would be asked to donate funds to the WSC to make the world safer for all of us. The site will remind them, including their stockholders that by doing good, companies do well. These donations would be listed alongside their researched effective corporate tax rates and tax payments. Such socially conscious donations could significantly reduce the WSC’s cost. For those who paid little, no, or negative taxes, Congress should seriously consider not allowing the donations to be tax deductible.
(D) Web based information sharing. -- The budgeted and donated revenues to fund this program will be listed on the WSC website, indicating those individuals and corporations who have donated. The site will also list how much is funded through the budgetary process. Those corporations who have paid little or no taxes over the present and previous 3-5 years will also be listed at the funding link on the WSC web site.
(E) Funding rationale. -- The rational for this unique
funding mechanism is this: Wealth is
becoming increasing concentrated in
"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 ..."
(F) Private answers. --- Private donations and participation are increasing heralded as the answer to pressing social needs. Therefore, listing the contributions made by private sources should be just another logical and acceptable means to recognize and support this thesis while supporting this public/private World Service Corps effort.
(G) 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
As a rough barometer of what the WSC may cost, the cost per Peace Corps volunteer is about $40,000 annually, Annual costs of those who serve in most or all of the other five organization is 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.
(H) Long Run Cost effectiveness. – As a long run policy, a WSC is probably the most cost and resource effective option to efficiently using limited dollars to improve our long-term security and health. No one should argue the historic effectiveness that committed, insightful Americans brining to changing difficult situations into empowering opportunities. The costly waging of war diverts and destroys needed investments for education and our economic infrastructure, thereby weakening our nation. Cost effectively waging peace through the World Service Corps economically and morally strengthens our nation.
(I) (7) ADMINISTRATI0N. -- The newly established World Service Corps Director's office will coordinate the WSC. This will not be a large staff, but rather an office that helps coordinate between those seeking to volunteers and the public and the 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 of the WSC. It may be directed to spread the message of the need to staff up a robust, one million strong WSC.