Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Upgrade Partnership Plan

The following is a policy position paper of The Jacksonian Party.

America is a Nation on the move and progressing quickly in areas of science, technology and industry. Indeed, being the most productive people on the planet, Americans far outdo any others at their rates of productive work and their creativity and then upgrade the entire infrastructure necessary to create new ways of life and work faster than anyone, save, perhaps, the Japanese with 'Hello, Kitty!'. That said Americans also discard these old devices because they just aren't modern anymore. Entire industries have come and gone in the United States leaving their industrial wastelands behind them. And growing businesses shift from capability to new capability and the old equipment hits the scrap heap.

The following is the Upgrade Partnership Plan of the United States.

Today two Nations that the United States has helped out from the heel of despotic and tyrannical rule are now hard pressed to become productive societies in all areas of endeavor. On the Academic, Medical and Scientific realms, organizations public and private have found partners for their old equipment from Universities, Colleges, Teaching Schools and Laboratories in Iraq and Afghanistan. These needs to not only be encouraged, but rewarded and expanded. To do this and to help partnerships foster between these new democracies and America, the Federal Government needs to be involved to first offer such rewards and then give capabilities not easily had by even the industries of America to ensure that old equipment is properly moved from the United States to Iraq and Afghanistan, installed and individuals trained in their use.

To do this the United States proposes that the Dept. of Commerce do the following:

1) Solicit lists of all old industrial equipment, agricultural equipment and any other supporting equipment that American businesses and private concerns now find on their books but with no longer term utility as they are 'outmoded'. Further, those in the ongoing private organizations in the Academic, Medical and Scientific communities may add to this list any of those items that they have found to be unplaceable or that they do not have the capability to easily transport due to mass or size. Such things as make, model, serial number, original equipment manufacturer and such are to be included in this along with original purchase value.

2) The Dept. of State will be handed this list and will then work between the US Government and the Governments in Afghanistan and Iraq to partner organizations based on need. The Iraqi and Afghani Governments shall ensure that companies, hospitals, businesses and any other group or organization is a valid one to receive and utilize such equipment. Points of Contact from the original list will then be contacted and the Dept. of State shall facilitate meetings between the donor and receiving organizations to ensure that the entire scope of equipment type, maintenance, training and other sustainment information is passed on and that any pre-delivery training or inspections are facilitated so as to allow the receivers to ensure that they are getting what they are looking for. All such recipients shall demonstrate plans, backing and ability to utilize such equipment and are to be the end-recipients, not intermediaries or re-sellers.

These two Nations get first priority and right to look over such lists. Then this list shall be provided to every Nation that has helped the United States in its endeavors in Afghanistan and Iraq since the start, or has shown unwavering support in these efforts, and have not withdrawn from them in reverse order of their per capita income or other indicator so that the poorest of Nations has the greatest opportunity to benefit from their work in support of the United States. If no such receiving organization can be found, then the donor shall be informed and given a full tax write-off of said equipment and its disposal in accordance with all Local, State and Federal laws covering such if necessary.

3) Once this is done the USAID or other trade and commerce arms of the US Government shall ensure that the equipment is dismantled and properly shipped. On those projects that are too large for commercial industry to handle, the US Army Corps of Engineers will be given the task of designing the most cost efficient method of dismantling, transporting and reconstructing such equipment in cooperation with both the donor and receiver organizations. Private construction and transport capability is to be used whenever possible and it is cost effective to do so. When that cannot be done, US Transport Command will be given the task of transporting such equipment and the US Army Corps of Engineers shall be used as the organization of last resort for installing such equipment. Such transport by the US Transport Command or other military organization is done free of charge to this program and the cost carried by the People of the United States. Some creation of new facilities will be necessary and the receiving organization must work that out prior to delivery and ensure that such facilities are fully ready for the equipment.

4) All such equipment shall have a full write-off of original equipment value from all donor organizations so as to reduce their tax burden. All time and materials expended shall also be written off so as to reduce the tax burden of those organizations. Anything above and beyond that is considered to be a Charitable Donation and its cash amount is also written off on taxes in full and without restriction for the entire project. Any amounts that cannot be written off in one year by bringing taxes due to zero, shall then be applied the next year and following years until the full sum is expended.

5) The organization(s) in charge of transfer shall perform annual inspections and reports on such donations and identify any long-term help needed in the way of supplies or maintenance and work with American industry to ensure that such can be done on a sustainable basis both for the recipient and for the companies involved. At the end of 5 years the last inspection shall be performed and Medals of Industrial Citation struck so and given to the donor(s) and recipient(s) involved in each transaction. A historical marker will also be placed at the donor site to establish that this site once housed the equipment listed and that it was given to the recipient(s) so as to help them build a free society.

6) All donations are subject to standard security caveats for 'dual use' equipment and other safety provisos for long term security initiatives and standard industrial safety. Any such equipment that is duly transported with such security concerns shall be tracked until its end-of-lifecycle and final destruction by the recipient.

As part of the need for American Academia, Industry, Business, Medicine and Science to show its willingness to extend a helping hand towards those Nations coming into the light of democracy and freedom, and sustaining the valuable Friends and Allies of the Nation is this done. The United States recognizes that while older equipment may have less value to the Nation, it may still have high and great value to those that have NONE.

In any case where old industrial property was purchased so as to allow private individuals and companies to remove old industrial sites that are not in working condition, such individuals and companies must show a plan for rehabilitation of such sites, especially those that have hazardous waste at them. States may certify any waivers or plans that vary from this if the State is satisfied that the good of removing the equipment outweighs the need for site remediation. Any long term uses are acceptable, save abandonment of such sites.

Let us not see the building of new societies to become free as one that need expend cash and cash only. Let the Nation come to see that doing the equivalent of 'cleaning out the attics and closets' of America at older and unused sites is an opportunity to re-invigorate those areas and return them to their communities as a better place for their goods having gone to Peoples in need.


Anonymous said...

I agree with the premise but question the timing. I am not sure that the final forms of government are in place. I doubt the will and resolve of our nation and our allies to complete the task. Also, looking back it appears that, fearing the meme of "imperialists" we rushed things toward democracy. I could be wrong. It's very complicated.

A Jacksonian said...

whit - The timing may never be absolutely correct... but you do not think your way out of the wilderness, you push and try for the right way forward, recognize your stumbles and then try something *better*. And since no one proposes anything different or any other way forward, better to put out the proposal and see what happens than do nothing.

For that will get us nowhere quickly, and as dead as any who try to think themselves out of the wilderness.