How Biden Can Restore the Economy and Much More: The Case for National Service

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
By Jonathan Koppell

Below is an excerpt from an op-ed by Jonathan Koppell, originally published in Government Executive on March 10, 2021.

How Biden Can Restore the Economy and Much More: The Case for National Service

A large-scale national service initiative can put millions of Americans to work now and set in motion the process of repairing our country’s civic fabric.

For a brief moment, it was possible to hope that the soaring rhetoric of President Biden’s inaugural address would propel us toward an era of unity and cooperation. His comforting words lifted the spirit but the strong gravitational pull of reality brought us down to Earth in what felt like minutes.

Even though the pandemic’s end appears to be in sight there are dark days ahead while the vaccination effort scales up, and the economic pain will not be quickly eased by an injection. Our deep political and cultural divisions, obscured for a few hours by bunting, poetry and fireworks, are formidable.

But there is an answer to these challenges within Biden’s reach: National service.

Jonathan Koppell is the dean of the Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions at Arizona State University and cofounder of the Next Generation Service Partnership, a joint initiative of the Volcker Alliance and ASU.

Read the full op-ed in Government Executive.

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