|By Leo Cecchini on Tuesday, January 07, 2003 - 12:08 pm: Edit Post|
When President Bush proposed doubling the Peace Corps I said great, why not increase it ten-fold. The response to this proposal that appeared in PC Online and elsewhere suggested that, in the main, RPCVs and PC Staff were aghast at the idea of major expansion because it would "dilute the quality of the Corps". Thus it was no surprise that faced with this "wet blanket" response Bush turned to other ideas that generated more enthusiasm.
The Peace Corps has to shed its concept of being a "junior AID" and return to its original goal of improving America's understanding of other peoples and their understanding of us. It also has to reduce its bloated bureaucracy, clearly demonstrated by the fact that less than one-third of the $50,000 per year it costs to put a volunteer in the field actually goes to the volunteer. When it does this, it may be ready to answer the call to double in size or grow even larger.