Friday, March 27, 2009

No Volunteer Left Behind

Text of H.R.1388, Obama's Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education, (GIVE) Act.

The NEA (National Education Association) is pleased as they believe the act will:

* Strengthen existing service programs and create new innovative programs to help improve student achievement and graduation in low-income schools, including expansion of mentoring programs to help disadvantaged youth.
* Provide new incentives for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities, and allow them to earn a $500 education award to be used for college costs.
* Increase the number of AmeriCorps volunteers and increase the education reward they receive to match the maximum Pell Grant scholarship award.

Yessiree Bubba. Now teens and tweens can volunteer for $500, which, if they utilize that benefit, could someday purchase a couple of college textbooks. Perhaps these teeny tweeny volunteers will go on to serve AmeriCorps and get a matching $4700 a year Pell Grant, if they qualify.

Some day Bubba, we'll be bumping into corps alumni all over the place. Sort of like the 1964 LBJ War on Poverty JobCorps program - which has attempted to help 2 or 3 generations of at-risk 16-24 y/o youth live at government funded facilities to get a GED, a "skill", and find a job - something parents should have could have done, if they were interested in their children.

GIVE will also target senior citizens for volunteering. Something many seniors used to do for free, but volunteering for free is so passe, so last century.

Speaking of JobCorps, their centers are operated for the Department of Labor by private companies through a competitive contracting process, e.g., ITT Industries; BDM International/Vinnell; ResCare, Inc. Privatizing welfare is nothing new of course. But the potential problems of profit motivation to minimize costs is always there. Competitive contracting with ITT, winky wink.

Let's see, we have JFK Peace Corps, LBJ Job Corps, Clinton AmeriCorps, now Obama GIVE corp. The GIVE package will give to so many more dot.orgs though Bubba. AmeriCorps NCCC ((National Civilian Community Corps) will triple its numbers to 275,000 invigorating volunteers. Learn and Serve America , another Giver nursing freely on the public teat will benefit, as will Campuses of Service, Clean Energy Corps, Investment for Quality and Innovation, Healthy Futures Corps (which may or may not address abortion) and a host of other corps and their affiliates, to be extended or created, including ACORN. No corps left behind. All promising to bring the poor out of poverty.

KAB interpretation? For a mere initial GIVE package of $6 billion the government will teach you to caulk windows, pick up park trash, hammer a nail, mow a lawn, plant a tree, ladle soup in a kitchen, empty bedpans, and hopefully do something on the p.c. other than porn and games.

Like all the programs which have come before - GIVE will give excessive amounts of tax dollars to overpaid administrators and contractors who will in turn dole out stipends to the serfs who in turn will engage in useless tasks while being told they are noble because they are performing in the name of national service.

No volunteer left behind Bubba, but you're gonna get a big wedgey with your own bootstraps.

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