Should America Bring Back the Draft?
Today is Memorial Day, which reminded me of all the recent talk about bringing back the military draft. Of course, liberals want to bring it back not for America's defense needs but to undermine it. Ironically, their current stance -- racial minorities and the poor disproportionately get affected -- was their stance to overturn the draft back in the 1970s. Never mind that today, the average enlistee is from a household family background of $30,000-$35,000 a year -- working class, not poor. Or that many people gain upward mobility in skills and education due to military service. Or that highly motivated troops create the most professional force, as seen by Americans who choose to service vs. forced service in many other countries. The draft merely introduces slackers into the mix, and who has time to babysit them on the battlefield?
Walter Williams recently did a great article, "The Economics of the Military Draft." He calls the military draft "government confiscation of labor services." He points out that if compensation was $100,000 a year, there wouldn't be a soldier shortage. Hence, a military draft basically acknowledges insufficient wages to get people to choose service.
Williams doesn't explore this issue, but freedom is another component to this issue. The state has no right to confiscate what is dearest to us -- our lives. Where in the U.S. Constitution does the government have the duty, power, or responsibility to issue a draft? If the White House or the Pentagon is unable to articulate why it needs our labor in the War Against Terrorism or any other endeavor, then it has failed miserably and we as Americans will have failed miserably. Yet when we're truly threatened, history shows no shortage of Americans willing to fight in its defense.
"A slightly higher-though not much higher-rung of hell should be reserved for those 'liberals' who claim that man has the 'right' to economic security, public housing, medical care, education, recreation, but no right to life, or: that man has the right to livelihood, but not to life." --AYN RAND