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We Created the PEACE CORPS. Why Can't We Have Health Care For All? (Read, and you will understand)

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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-11-09 01:53 AM
Original message
We Created the PEACE CORPS. Why Can't We Have Health Care For All? (Read, and you will understand)
Edited on Fri Sep-11-09 02:10 AM by Libertas1776






http://www.peacecorps.gov/

From the Peace Corps Act 1961
To promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.



President Kennedy meeting Corps Volunteers.

I find the very fact that this country has something like the Peace Corps to be utterly incredible. If a foreigner was to learn about this program for the first time, he or she would probably think it originated from some lefty, bleeding heart country (A very good thing IMHO) like Canada, only to become gobsmacked upon learning it is an official program of the Federal Government of the USA. Not only that, it is basically its own independent agency, not some simple sub branch off of another govt organization or agency.

Ironically, a country like Canada has no program comparable to the level of the US Peace Corps and its status as an official government agency, nor does the UK or the rest of the EU. In fact, there have been calls, such as in Canada, to create such an organization.
http://www.thestar.com/GTA/GlobalVoices/article/191698

Granted, there are non-profit organizations and private charities like the European Voluntary Service and the Canadian University Service Overseas (which started a few years before the Peace Corps) that do work like the Corps. But the US Peace Corps is an actual tax dollar funded, government run organization, an agency in its own right, dedicated to volunteer work in the developing world. Imagine, there are people in other, much better off countries, that are actually envious of an original US program. We (as Americans) have every right to be envious of the health care systems and social security nets of countries like Canada and the EU states, and yet, at the same time they are envious of a US program, what a novel, seldom heard concept that is, eh?

The Corps is generally a widely supported government program, ingrained into the very culture and psyche of America. Of course, initially, there were some "skeptics" like Dick Nixon who said it would be a haven for draft dodgers. Also, don't think that a bunch of tree hugging, granola eating, lefties (like me) are the only ones signing up. Yes, Virgina, there are Republicans and Conservatives in the Corps. And the age of members run the gambit, from 18 to as high as 86.
More here
http://www.answers.com/topic/peace-corps


Now don't get me wrong, the agency has had its share of controversies like any other federal govt agency. There have been claims of "pro-imperialism" sentiments in the past. Obviously its entire purpose wasn't just for helping people in the third world, but also to get them to like us more than the Second World (i.e The USSR) There have been times in recent history when the Defense Dept was dipping too deeply into Peace Corps waters. In some instances, there have been times when the Corps dropped the ball on the safety and security of its volunteers, costing them dearly.

Regardless, however, the Corps still proves itself, IMHO, to be one of the most successful and worthwhile organizations this country has ever given birth to. In recent years, in the post 9/11 era, and the realization that the American image abroad needed to be greatly rehabilitated,
From http://www.answers.com/topic/peace-corps
According to Joseph Kennedy, "The American reputation has taken a hit in the last couple of years. The need for the Peace Corps couldn't be more urgent. The Peace Corps shows what is best in America, the generosity of spirit."

the organization has really received a great uptick and support in funding. President Obama has pledged to double the size of the Corps, something I really hope he follows through on.


And to those who doubt the seriousness and commitment of the organization and its volunteers, just remember the 274 men and woman who have, as the Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers Memorial Project puts it, "have sacrificed not only their energies and time, but also their lives while pursuing the Peace Corps mission." http://www.fpcv.org/
As a matter of fact, at least 30 people have died in the service this past decade alone.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/Peace_Corps_Cambodia_swearing-in_ceremony,_2007.jpg
Swearing in ceremony of Volunteers to Cambodia


My real point to this whole article (which probably comes off as one giant plug for the Peace Corps :think: ) is really about health care. I know, you must be thinking, how the hell did we get here? Well, here it goes. How is it that America, in the past, was able to create such an esteemed, highly popular organization whose basic intent is for the greater good, and is now actually one of the very few things still admired about us by other nations?

Through all the muck and shit that we have committed throughout our 230+ year history, there are still a lot of great things we as a nation have accomplished; great service and sacrifice done for the world. It all really reminds me of that quote by Marlon Brando in Superman where he tells Kal-el that the "Humans (replace with Americans) can be a great people, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way" I honestly believe that to be true, and the Peace Corps is one of those ways in which we can be. I only wish most of our focus would be placed on initiatives like the Corps instead of militaristic endeavors and costly wars, both in human life and money.


Show us the way, Marlon Brando, show us the way :)

For me, this all begs the question: "If the US Government can provide such an extraordinary service for the greater good and development of citizens of other nations, then why can't it provide an extraordinary service; a Universal Health care service for the greater good and development of the citizens of its own country? We, despite a lot of shitty things, have done a great deal for others. Why can't we do a great deal for ourselves? America is suffering. It needs real, revolutionary change in the way things are done. The interests of the American people must be removed and dissociated with the interest of corporate greed and corruption, and a public funded, universal health care system for all would be a lasting and firm foundation for that real road down to change.

Thank You for your time.


:patriot:
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-11-09 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. The answer is simple... there isn't any money in the Peace Corp.
If there was no money in health care (i.e. we were born with, say, a special gene that insured that we would take care of one another for free), then Universal tax payer health care would have been here more than a century ago.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-11-09 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You certainly have a point there,
Edited on Fri Sep-11-09 01:43 PM by Libertas1776
unfortunately.
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-11-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. With an annual budget
of about 350 Million, it certainly is a pittance compared to what we spend on the military or even the money given to the big insurance cos. Sad, it really is.
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