National Service Programs: A Way of Leveraging What We Have
by architek, Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:29:56 AM EDT
Lets face it, even if we see a recovery in the GNP, that won't necessarily translate into more jobs in the USA, just higher CEO salaries. But people still have to eat.
Right now, the rich have a great way of keeping their children looking busy with paid internships.
Desperate parents pay several thousand dollars and a firm will find their child an unpaid job at a major corporation for a few years after college so they can appear to have experience. As long as Mom and Dad are there to write checks, cosign leases, all is well.
But what about the millions of Americans who don't have a Mom and Dad who can insulate them from the workplace?
We need wome way of finding them jobs so that they can get work experience just as of they had a real job like people used to get.
Or, we will have a whole generation that can't afford to marry. We could end up with crime, or we could eventually have civil unrest.
Thats where national service programs come in.
Service programs got a bad rap* (see below) during China's Cultural Revolution when Mao Zedong sent an entire generation "down" to the rice paddies to
shovel manure"learn about rural life" for ten years because he didn't have any jobs for them. (Many analysts feel that this prevented a second real revolution in China, because people 20-30 are the ones who always start revolutions.)
Well, now we are in a similar situation. The entry level jobs that in the 20th century would have gone to young people are now internships and the well to do's families pay to ensure that their children can "learn" them.
This is simply not feasible for many people. Many young people need to earn an income, somehow. Their parents can't afford to support them.
So how about a national service program of some sort. Perhaps one for the oldsters too, the 50 year olds who may have lots of skills and bills to pay but who have been laid off because they aren't stylish enough or "look tired". This is only going to get worse.
What about community organizing?
(*)"Send-Down Movement Links