How do we breed a civic sense of duty in our future generations? Right now, I believe that there is a mutual distrust between younger generations, and the government. Both feel like the other doesn’t appreciate each other. We let horrible past situations shape our future interactions with each other. I believe we need to take a step to bridge the divide between people and the government.
It will be hard to change any perceived current wrongs until we can work together to do so. We shouldn’t expect everyone to change for us individually. Everyone should not make accommodations for each individual person. We need to make changes that benefit us as a whole. Division, picking side, and working against the good of ALL OF US will impede a harmonious future where we all succeed together. United.
I thought long and hard about how to instill a civic sense of duty in our society. Having a populace who has a civic sense of duty will shape future leaders that we can all support, and who will support all of us. You don’t have to cast aside your morals or ideas to have a sense of civic duty. You just need to realize that we all live together, and need to win together. That will be achieved by mutual support, and helping each other.
I know people don’t like the draft, but I believe that if people served the country? It will create a positive change in our future generations. If we all have a shared experience, and work with people from all walks of life? How can we hate each other, or want to succeed at each other’s expense? Living together daily, and working together to achieve goals will foster a sense of commonality that everyone will have.
I like to call my idea the Three Corps Proposal. Peace Corps, Job Corps, Military Corps (named after a military organization in the Army, and Marine Corps). After high school, students will be presented with three options. Disabilities, religious beliefs, and other important factors would be included with the decision making for which path to take. You would serve for a period of two years, and receive pay and benefits while your service lasts. You will pay taxes, and those taxes will fund free college education after your period of service is over. You would then start college with money in the bank, you’d be a little bit more mature, and you could get educated in something you worked on while being in the path you took. Let’s see how it would go.
This would be the smallest Corps to get into. It would be open, and available for everyone to try to get into though. Test scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, and guidance counselor recommendation will be important. Students will have prep courses in high school to be selected for this path. It won’t be the easiest path though. You will spend a majority of your two years abroad. You will be far away from family, and things you hold dear. You would be housed in dormitory type facilities in foreign countries, and would have meals, medical, and other necessities covered. Just like in the military today. Your main job would be to work with the local populace to promote the US abroad. You would help out at schools, with orphanages, with hospitals, and other such establishments. You would help build basic housing units for poor people, or help teach agricultural workers in better practices. You would help with cleaning the local environment, and promoting green eco practices. You would be safe, and have security from a US military detachment. Think of peace corps, red cross, and missionaries.
You would get a few months of initial training for your country (language, customs, culture, etc) at centralized locations throughout the US. One place in the West, in the Midwest, and in the East. After your training, you would travel on government transportation to your country of assignment, and live in a dorm with dining hall facilities. There will be fitness centers. There will be educational refresher courses a few times a week. You will have guidance counselors to help guide you to the next step after you’re done. College, or getting a job. You will finish out your tour, and head back to the US for your final month. You will have some kind of graduation ceremony. You will head to your college for a four year degree that your taxes paid for. Then you can pursue a career. Or you could forgo a degree, and get a job in your path’s support services. You will have seen counselors, teachers, advisors, team leaders, dining facility staff, gym staff, medical/dental staff and a whole range of support services while you were overseas. These government jobs will always have job openings. Regardless, you will have made a good amount of money during your two years, and you will be better prepared to get a job when you come home.
This will be the largest by far. Students who do not want to choose the military, or go abroad, will have this option. This one will be open for people that can’t go overseas or join the military for any reason. If you are not waivered for an extreme situation, but have a disability like being in a wheel chair? This is the path. In high school, people that choose this path will test for it, meet with guidance counselors, and take courses that will prepare them for it. Like a job skills test. If you do well with computers, then you can get into courses that deal with them. If you do well with mechanical things, then you can go into that field in this path. If you don’t have anything in mind? You can still be placed in any number of fields based on your aptitude test. Construction, building, flooring, clerical, administrative, etc. There are thousands of options.
I envision that once your field is picked, that you would graduate high school, and start this path. You would go to a training facility, and live in dormitory type buildings. It would be just like the military. Dental/medical/food/etc would be covered. You would be getting paid, but taxed. Your taxes pay for the program, and for your college. After your training, you would be sent to any number of counties in the US. There would be dormitories with gyms, dining facilities, etc. There, you would work in your field. You could help rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Roads, bridges, etc. You could help with conservation, or help rehab an area that was polluted. You could wind up in a factory learning how to make goods. Yes we would have businesses bring their manufacturing back to America. You could help with so many types of things in every county. Big brother/sister type of clubs. Youth sporting activities. Help assist teachers. Help with admin or clerical work as paid interns at companies (that will have a slot for one or two workers, so they would still have to hire non interns). You could help with wetlands conservation, or learn radio frequency telecommunication jobs. You could help with beach conservation, or help with forestry issues. You could spend a week digging ditches, as long as it helps with rebuilding our infrastructure.
You would still be taking education refresher courses, and talking to guidance counselors. At the end of your tour, you would graduate. You would have the option into going into a Job Corps sector job, or going to college. Or getting a totally different job. Whatever you wanted to do. You will have paid taxes, worked with people from all walks of life, and be prepared for your next step in life. You won’t see different people that you would never have met before, and think of them as “them.” It’s like the military. You will feel a kinship to everyone. Everyone will be your family.
This one will be important as well. It won’t be like the National Guard, or Reserve though. Or Active Duty military. You will have chosen this path in high school. You will have taken aptitude tests that put you in a career field in a military occupation. You would have done JROTC type of clubs, and activities. After high school, you would head to a basic training.
This would be comparable to modern basic training. Except there will be many, many training facilities. You will learn basics of being in the military, and basic military things like marching, shooting, and drilling. You will head to a Military Corps base throughout the US, and train like the military does. You will live like the military does. You will also be getting paid. You would have educational refresher courses throughout your time, and talk to counselors. You will never leave the US, and you would never get sent to War. You would be a training Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine Corps.
At the conclusion of your two years, you will walk away with money in your pocket, and access to free college. You could take a job in the civilian sector in your military job field, go to college, or have the option to join the actual military. You would have the option to join the National Guard, Reserves, or any of the military service branches. You would go through a shorter boot camp/basic training, and enter the military as a private. You will go through a refresher course for your military occupation specialty, and then go to your unit. You will have the same option as now. 4 years active, but only 2 years inactive. You can see the world, be a reservist, or train/lead military corps personnel. No one is forcing you to stay in the military though. You could walk away after your two years, and never look back at the military. You could go to college, and become an officer. Only if you were military corps though. Service branch colleges, or military colleges would still exist.
Of course there would be a lot more that goes into having a successful 3 Corps program. It seems worth it though. After high school, kids will have the option to contribute to their country, and mutual success. They will be mature, learn new things, and work with people from all walks of life. Everyone will feel a sense of unity, and camaraderie. Of course there will be people with have reasons that’ll keep them out of the 3 Corps program. Major disabilities, criminal records (until crime and poverty is reduced because of the success of this program), religious beliefs, etc. This will not keep those people out of society though. They will still have options. Especially people with criminal records. I would envision some type of education training, and then job training. Then getting them working, and productive members of society. Less throw away the key, and more working to end poverty to end crime. People have the option to support themselves, and they will.
There will also be cases where people start the program, but don’t like it. They may run away, or just quit. That’s fine. They could try to be accomodated. Moved to a different path, or field in their path. If they still don’t like it, or just ran away? That’s fine. They would just go back to civilian life. They could get jobs, or apply for scholarships to get into college. They could take out loans. There would be no negative benefit other than they would lose government benefits. No free college, no pay for the months/days they won’t participate in the program. No access to government jobs in the 3 programs. You will see that there would be 100’s of thousands of job openings too. Staffing the bases, the facilities, and the support services… Dropping out wouldn’t financially kill them, but it would hurt their future earning potential in the government sector. Taxes that everyone pays will go towards these government sectors.
I even envision government funded hospitals to go along side of the public ones. I lived in countries that had private, and public hospitals. The public hospitals were just as good as any I’ve been too. If you have money, you could always go the private hospital route. Taxes can pay into good programs if we wanted them too…
If someone committed crimes in these programs? Whether they were the participants, trainers, support services? There would be repurcussion. Jail time for very serious offenses. Lack of future access to government program assistance. Minor offenses? There would be more of a rehabilitative justice. Minor crimes could lead to a person receiving a sanction, but also being taught a job skill. Or moved to a more stern Corps path or field. As long as it wasn’t a major crime, they would have the ability to make amends, get pay docked, and still be a productive member of society. If the crime is greater, they lose more and more government benefits access. Minor crime? Might lose 10% of their entitlment. It is a sliding scale, that goes all the way up to losing 100%.
Major crimes like Rape, Murder, Assault, Robbery, etc, would go to jail. But these people aren’t getting shipped off to a penal colony for life. They’re not to be written off forever. They will do their time, but prison wouldn’t be an animal cage. They would pay for their crime, but also learn a trade. There would be industries catered to helping these convicts be productive members of society when they get out. We don’t need a throw away society, and keep people in prison perpetually. Yes heinous crimes will be punished, but unless the person is gone for life or sentenced to death? We need to think about getting them back into our society as productive members who will not commit more crimes. This will help end a cycle of violence, and help reduce poverty. Reduced poverty means reduced crimes.
Which leads me to also envision rehabilitation in schools. Schools need to be standardized across the US. People who move face issues in new schools because everything is different. Even moving from a suburb to a major city creates problems. I would raise pay for teachers, build more schools, and bring in better instructional tools. Standardized ones. Yes it will be chaotic for the first 10 years. But once the 3 Corps program has been running for 10 years? I see poverty, crime, and problems with students going away. Transitions are never easy.
People also see problems with illegal immigrants. They won’t be able to pay taxes, or use these benefits. They won’t be able to get into the 3 Corps program. They will just use up money, send it home, and not contribute in taxes. Well, I would propose small fields in the 3 Corps Program that would be open to Illegal Immigrants. No, it is not rewarding them for breaking the law. They are already here. If they have no criminal records, and have families? I would give them a chance to participate in a field in the programs. It wouldn’t be the same as the one high school grads go into. Upon successful completion, being paid the whole time while paying taxes, they will have the ability to apply for citizenship for their family. Their kids can go into the program if they’re old enough as well, and have the same chance.
Would this lead to more illegal immigration? No. I would strengthen the borders. Make it harder to enter illegally, but easier to immigrate. Depending on the situation. If you’re looking to immigrate with your American spouse? Easy. If you are a family member being petitioned? Get them here faster as long as they participate in the 3 Corps program. A field in the paths tailored specifically for them. Longer than the ones graduates have to go into. I’d open up to the military to them as well. No matter what field or path they take, they will still have the option of citizenship after years of taxes, and service.
Will people be able to immigrate here just to participate in the Corps program? No. I would keep the quotas we have now, but the programs would be open for new immigrants. New illegals would be turned back to try again legally. The reason why I would do this is because we would have less need for immigrants for skilled jobs. Our high school grads will get two years of job training. Then four years of Government colleges/Government trade schools to enter the job force. We will have brought manufacturing, and building back to America. There would be technical jobs. There would be an influx of skilled positions, and we would have skilled graduates again.
We would need less work migrants. Even for menial jobs. Menial jobs can go to people who couldn’t get good jobs, because of criminal backgrounds, or lack of education. These wouldn’t be low paying though. The workers would get a good salary, and they’d pay taxes. The government would provide subsidies, and help the farmers or whatever industry, pay for their workers.
I could write for days on this subject. I have a million ideas for it. It’s just too much though. I would never see this type of system implemented in America. It would be called too socialistic. Or that Government is too big. People would want smaller government, and less government programs.
I would say to them, why not? This isn’t for your enemies. This is open to you, and to your children too. You benefit from this. Your kids benefit from this. Directly. It’s not you paying for your neighbors things. Its everyone paying for programs that better everyone’s lives. The same people who will call it socialism will also be the same people who love the military. I am a US Marine Corps Veteran. The military is the largest socialist program in the world. Look at it’s budget. Look at what socialism is, and then look into how the military is funded, run, and works. Same goes for police, fire, park, teacher, social security, medicare, and a bunch of other programs you hold dear.
I learned a lot from the military. I learned that Americans should help each other. That means I help others, and others help me. I learned that we shouldn’t stand by and watch each other fail. We shouldn’t fight each other, and climb the ladder by stepping on each other’s backs. Don’t alienate others, or attack others to lead to your success. Don’t focus on the past, when we need to focus on the future. I learned that people from all races, religions, creeds, sex, whatever, were no different from me. We were all family, and we all did our utmost to support each other. That’s something people in the military have learned, but sadly not many people outside of the military. I think that if we spread that kind of mindset through programs like I described? We’d have a stronger, and more caring society.