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The wealthiest nation in the world? Wrong!

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Secondly, we would have many thousands of troops returning home which would create a huge pool of labor for which there would be, initially, a significant lack of jobs. But that situation could be remedied fairly easily. First we would have $500 billion to be transferred to a new budget we could call, for example, a "national rebuilding" budget. This would facilitate the transfer of funds from the defense budget into a domestic program to rebuild America's infrastructure and its manufacturing.

And here is the model upon which we could begin this process. We have a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 34,000 civilians and soldiers whose responsibility is to deliver engineering services all over America as well as worldwide. This involves building and maintaining America's infrastructure and providing military facilities, maintaining and improving this nation's waterways, improving hurricane and storm damage reduction infrastructure. The Corps also cleans sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste and material in an effort to sustain the environment.

So we currently have thousands of military personnel engaged in improving America's infrastructure and making it safer. Would it not be a natural step to take that mission and expand it dramatically by involving thousands more of our returning military in that effort to rebuild America? If that appears to be a foreign, illogical thought, just think of all the times that we have heard of our military being used to help in the rebuilding of infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is it perfectly okay to rebuild the infrastructure of those countries we now occupy but not at all okay to do the same for our own nation?

Doing this could provide a massive shot in the arm to facilitate a real economic recovery, rather than trying to restore the old one. While rebuilding our infrastructure we could be also be working on the development of new forms of badly need energy. These efforts could create millions of new jobs that would strengthen America for the future and restore our standing as a premier economic power.

I can envision using the multi-thousands of our returning military as the main workforce in this "rebuilding of America program." As these military personnel finish their service commitments they could simply continue the same work, but then as civilian workers. This entire process would create the greatest exercise in retraining of Americans for new jobs ever. Is there any better way that we could solve our massive employment problems?

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on OpEdNews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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