Archive - October 27, 2017

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The Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? (Brookings)

The Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? (Brookings)

The Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? By Thomas M Hill, Visiting Fellow—Governance Studies Brookings Monday, October 16, 2017 Former Congressman Sam Farr (D-Calif.) is credited with having stated that the Peace Corps is “the American taxpayer’s best bang for its buck.” Certainly, it’s a sentiment shared by many returned Peace Corps volunteers who describe their experiences as personally transformative. However, at approximately $56,500 per volunteer per year, the Peace Corps is one of the most expensive civilian overseas programs funded by the federal government and nearly twice as expensive as the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The program’s cost ($410 million annually) coupled with its inconsistent development track record and the agency’s insistence that it operate independently from U.S. foreign policy should raise questions for Congress about whether an entirely taxpayer-funded model is sustainable and a good use of limited resources. In 1971, Brent Ashabranner, the former Deputy Director of the Peace Corps suggested that . . .

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