Sen. Ricky Scott slams PC Director Jody Olsen in WSJ


Letter in the Wall Street Journal, January 30 —


Senator Scott

In “The Peace Corps Cuts and Runs” (op-ed, Jan. 24), Michael Meyer claims that I, and my colleague Marco Rubio, “don’t understand [the Peace Corps’] mission” in Communist China. I can assure you this isn’t the case. I would argue it’s the defenders of the Peace Corps’ presence in Communist China who don’t understand and can’t explain its mission there.

I’ve met with the Peace Corps director multiple times and asked her what the volunteers did in Communist China and why they were there. Her response? The Peace Corps has been in Communist China for the last 25 years because Communist China had asked for volunteers. She said volunteers did not teach American values or capitalism and did not coordinate their activities with the office of the U.S. Secretary of State. When I asked what the return on investment was for the U.S. taxpayers, the director (shockingly) had no answer.

Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen

Following the Peace Corps’ inadequate and frankly irresponsible responses, I asked the director to get out of Communist China. This wasn’t political pressure as the director claimed; it was to save us from wasting taxpayer dollars to prop up an adversary. Let’s remember: Communist China steals our jobs, technology and intellectual property, is militarizing the South China Sea, intentionally selling fentanyl to the U.S. and is one of the world’s worst human-rights violators.

The Peace Corps finally came to its senses this month and said it is leaving Communist China. Since then, the director has refused to meet with me. I would love to hear its plan for a speedy withdrawal from Communist China, but I’m not holding my breath.

Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.)

Naples, Fla.


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  • What does the taxpayer get out of the peace corps??? Americans with a greater world view and appreciation translating into better global citizens. What a daft question, honestly. Clearly he does not understand the peace corps goals.

  • Senator Rick Scott needs to talk to Peace Corps Volunteers in the field and the Chinese with whom they are working to add to the perspective of CD Jody Olsen. “Return on investment” (ROI) is measured differently in business, short-term and long-term, than it is in politics, national self-interest, education, and socially/personally. Senator Scott needs to be clear about the ROI he expects–short-term and long-term–of Peace Corps globally and not just those by which he is judging one country, China.

  • WOW! Talk about ignorance! The Senator has no sense of what the Peace Corps is all about. China is very important in the world, as is the USA, and understanding each other is a key ingredient in us all getting along. There is no ROI in this case. But that certainly does not say it is money wasted. Open up your mind, Senator.

    • I totally agree with you David. I fear that Senator Scott only views China as an adversary and not as another society and culture with which we in the US share this one small and fragile planet. The alternative to mutual understanding is mutual annihilation. I fear that the Senator is one of those lost souls who believe that as long as we have one more nuke than our perceived enemy we are somehow winning.

  • I would urge you all to read an summary of Senator Scott”s career. Wikipedia has a good overall report. There is nothing I could see to suggest Scott had any interest or appreciation for non-profit making operations, let alone peace making ventures. Reviewing his business careers and his political actions as governors lead me to believe his political perspective is the absolute opposite of that of Peace Corps.

    I was a woman who worked during the 60s, when women had no affirmative action or equal opportunity protection, except in some government jobs, such as the Peace Corps. To directly disagree or counteract a man was dangerous to job security. I see Scott in that mold. My opinion is he sees women as weak and people who “volunteer” for altruistic reasons as fools.

    He has only been a senator since January 2019. I think he sees Peace Corps as the “hill he can plant his flag on”. I hope he is proven wrong.

  • That guy mustn’t worry. I imagine they are all being evacuated right now due to the Corona virus. The value of Peace Corps is immeasurable. We go in, we teach, and we learn. We are changed into better people and we do our best to make our sites a better place. The relationships contribute to world peace.

  • What those bolunteers reap and sow is their explicit cultural experience about China and everywhere else they serve. 3rd goal is to bring that knowledge back to the U.S.

  • What those volunteers reap and sow is their explicit cultural experience about China and everywhere else Peace Corps bolunteers serve. 3rd goal is to bring that knowledge back to the U.S.

  • As stated in Wikipedia:

    “Scott is a graduate of the University of Missouri, Kansas City and of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. In 1987, after serving in the United States Navy and becoming a law firm partner, he co-founded Columbia Hospital Corporation. Columbia later merged with another corporation to form Columbia/HCA, which eventually became the largest private for-profit health care company in the United States.[7] Scott was pressured to resign as chief executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997. During his tenure as chief executive, the company defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs. The Department of Justice ultimately fined the company $1.7 billion in what was at the time the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.[8] Scott was not charged with a crime.[9] Following his departure from Columbia/HCA, Scott became a venture capitalist and pursued other business interests.”

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