President Obama is poised to sign the "national service" bill. This will more than triple the size of Bill Clinton's creation, AmeriCorps, from 75,000 to 250,000 enrollees, after already being expanded by President Bush.
The AP reports that the bill passed Congress with broad bipartisan support. The bill was co-sponsored and championed by Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Categories of service include anti-poverty, education, energy and environment, health care and veterans' assistance. For those keeping track, these priorities dovetail nicely with the Communist Party USA's platform as I have previously tabulated.
- 1.5 Increase low income energy assistance, ...
- 2.1 Enact massive public works.
- 2.2 Make existing buildings energy efficient.
- 2.5 Environmental cleanup, ...
- 2.8 national health care.
- 2.9 Public education from pre-school through higher and technical.
- 4.2 Full care for returning veterans.
Incidentally, minimum wage increases were mandated in both 2007 and 2008. The minimum wage will go up again, to $7.25/hr, this summer. (In an unrelated development, I'm sure, the unemployment rate for teenagers currently stands at 21.7%.) Ironically, AmeriCorps enrollees do not get the minimum wage. AmeriCorps describes its benefits this way:
- "The satisfaction of incorporating service into your life and making a difference."
- "A modest living allowance... most AmeriCorps members have found that it covers their basic expenses."
- "An end-of-service stipend of $1,200," or $4,725 to be applied to future education expenses.
So while the government is making it harder for the private sector to employ recent high-school graduates by raising the minimum wage, it is expanding public sector employment of that same demographic, at less than minimum wage. And checking off a few more items on the CPUSA's platform as it does so. I'm sure there will be no indoctrination of any kind.
Bipartisanship is so wonderful.