Blogs > Liberty and Power > Obama's National Service Plan

Aug 4, 2008 12:33 pm

Obama's National Service Plan

Investors Daily has an editorial asserting that Obama’s “voluntary” national service plan a compulsory plan in disguise. ...Obama says that as president he will “set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year.” What he doesn’t say is that he’ll make such voluntarism compulsory by attaching strings to federal education dollars. The schools will make the kids volunteer. It’s called plausible deniability.

Before we single out Obama, however, it might be worth finding out if McCain is any better on this issue.

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Wendy McElroy - 8/4/2008

This is exactly how the federal government so effectively enforced draft registration. I remember it well. In 1980-82, there were a group of resistors, like libertarian Paul Jacob, who actively resisted and were prosecuted. Rapidly, the feds gave up on that messy approach and used the carrot strategy of student loans, etc. It worked like a charm and the prosecutions (and bad pr) stopped.

Anthony Gregory - 8/4/2008

I worry that within a few years, we'll see serious proposals to offer "voluntary" service programs to teenagers. They will get a "choice": A period of domestic social work (eg., performing puppet shows on racism for school children) or a shorter period of military service (killing Arabs). There will be bipartisan agreement for such a package.