With 10 million already unemployed, President-elect Obama's job creation announcement was a breath of fresh air. He proudly touted two million plus new jobs with many of them coming through alternative energy areas. And for that he should be lauded for this is one new sector of the economy that certainly needs to grow.
But there's an even greater source of new jobs that could stimulate the economy out of the looming depression and it wouldn't be a short term stimulus--it would last for generations! How many jobs could be created? How does 32.8 million new jobs sound? Where are they coming from? The household sector. It's an industry that is already up and running. Families raising children are doing the greatest work of all--producing the most necessary product of our economy--children. For without children, we have no need for an economy. Right now, there are (as of 2000 census data) 105.5 million households nationwide. Of these, 32.8 million of them have children 18 and younger. Every day, these "enterprises"- work at strengthening our economy and yet, we've kept them invisible simply because they're not paid to do this work. But they could be!
We often hear our Senators and Congressmen state that "our children are our future"- and I'd like to ask them to prove it. If our children are our future--then it follows that our nation's value system would ensure optimal human development for all children. The best way to do this is to "-employ' mothers and/or fathers to stay in the home and provide high quality child-development. And that's the key in this--it's about high quality. We know that a stable home environment with consistency of childcare sets the stage for future success of all children. The only way this can happen at a high quality level is to pay a living wage that provides training and a supportive infrastructure to build this system.
Creating a "National Human Resource Development Service Corps"- system--much like our military system would be a leadership statement to the world--that the citizens of the US "value"- optimal human development for our children at the equivalent level that we "value"- national security. We value it so much that we're willing to "-invest' in it just like we do the military. Joining the "-National Human Resource Development Service Corps' is open to anyone wants to go through a 9-month "-boot camp' (pregnancy--well managed pregnancy since we know this prevents many health problems) and through an intensive, on-going training program and work schedule necessary to maintain the high quality standards required of members of the "National Human Resource Development Service Corps"-. This is not paying people to have babies. This is asking people to go to work every day at the most important enterprise of the nation--raising whole, healthy and dynamic children who are prepared to work at optimal levels in the post-industrial service economy of the 21st century! You can join the military to provide national security or you can join the National Human Resource Development Service Corps to provide the healthiest, most dynamic children for our country!
How can we pay for this you say? Well, if we can find $700 billion to bail out banks on the premise that this will "-stimulate the economy' (Citibank just laid off 53,000 workers), then we certainly have $700 billion to infuse into the greatest working sector on the planet! The US government, by-passing any stop at the Federal Reserve""could "-spend' this money straight into the millions of households who choose to join the "National Human Resource Development Service Corps' and provide the high quality child care that would ensure optimal human development of the greatest resource our country has""our children.
Now, it's unlikely that all 32.8 million households would join--many have children age 14 and above and wouldn't see the need to join at this point. But suppose half of that 32.8 million did join this National Human Resource Development Service Corps. If we paid 16.4 million households @$40,000 a year, it would cost us about $656 billion which may sound like a lot--but as is obvious with the current bailout--$700 billion is no problem at all! Citibank just got handed $20 billion and what do we get for that? Nothing.
What do we get for $656 billion invested in the National Human Resource Development Service Corps? We get stable families; top-quality child development; children that will be ready for first grade--and know how to build a whole and dynamic life. We'll reduce unemployment, enable more people to continue to pay rent or their mortgages, put food on the table and pay their bills. We'll get stronger, healthier communities as the "-service corps' members work together to develop healthy children and communities where people know each other. We'll get 17 million new jobs and a vibrant economy.
There are several ways to launch the National Human Resource Development Service Corps. We don't have to start from scratch because there are already 32.8 million households who are currently "-active' and available to join the National Human Resource Development Service Corps. We also have lots of the infrastructure available to be utilized to build the system. We have Universities, technology companies, small businesses and non-profits that would want to be involved.
The National Human Resource Development Service Corps could be managed by local non-profits throughout the country that become "-certified' in the high quality, whole person development model and are overseen by a small federal government agency. The majority of the National Human Resource Development Service Corps work would be locally driven and managed. Non-profits would "-enlist' all households raising children who wish to join the Corps. (but you can always choose not to become part of the National Human Resource Development Service Corps --just like now--you don't have to join the military just because you're a US citizen). A "-flattened' organization hierarchy would be the model and all members of the local Corps are part of a structured team that has success criteria and standards of quality to maintain. Training is on-going and work is monitored. Again--you're not being paid to make babies--you're being paid to work at the most important job of all--developing healthy, whole and dynamic children.
These local non-profits would also work intensively with the current University systems available in their states as part of the national network. Universities would provide training and research, would expand their own "-colleges' to address this new business sector and its needs.
Another benefit of the "National Human Resource Development Service Corps is that it would stimulate local economies and build strong communities who are child-centered. Much of the money paid to Service Corps members--just as it does now through our military--will stimulate local economies. Lots of new, small businesses will flourish to support the work of the "National Human Resource Development Service Corps"-. Funds would be spent to support art and music businesses--because this is a very important piece in "-whole person development'. Funds would be spent into local sports clubs and other indoor/outdoor services where children's physical health would be supported much more assertively than it does now. Funds would be spent into the technology fields because linking all the Service corps members will require computers, cable/fiber-optic/wireless systems, video and television production, live-meeting capacity and other proactive, positive uses of technology. Funds would be spent into preventative health systems--a necessity for optimal human development of children. And funds would be spent into more creative educational products and services-businesses that service the National Human Resource Development Service Corps. In other words, infusing funds into the National Human Resource Development Service Corps means infusing funds into the entire economy as well. That's something that's obviously NOT happening with the bank bailout--it's benefiting just a few. If we can pay $700 billion for a few, we can certainly pay $700 billion for the many!
The original definition of the economy was "management of the household"-. What greater way to build a new, 21st century economy than finally honoring the household's value to the economy! By paying the people who do this work a living wage and making them an active, measurable part of the new economy we can avoid a depression and end up with a stronger country overall. This "-household sector' is already active--now, let's make it visible in our economy! It's been right in front of our face all along!