:: 5.05.2004 ::
Army seeking to draft women, men up to 34 years of age
No joke. Found in the Toronto Star by both Tom Tomorrow and an alert Farker.
As I've said before, I believe that requiring that every US citizen perform two years of community service (during which one could opt to work in the military) is actually a really, really good idea. I don't think conscription is a good idea, because while I believe the true costs of war should be borne regardless of social class, I certainly don't think anyone should be forced to kill other human beings.
So here's my proposal:
There are a lot of jobs out there that serve the community: teaching, nursing, sidewalk cleaning, tax preparation, daycare, working in homeless shelters, national defense, etc; all of these could be included in a nationwide service program. You have between the ages of 18 and 34 to serve your two years - I believe the Israeli army has a similar system. You would apply for the kind of service you wished to perform, and would be evaluated for your fitness, relative to that particular job, prior to being accepted into the program. There could even be a placement service for those who have trouble finding a suitable job. If necessary you would receive training, which would count towards your term of service, and provide an incentive for those who might otherwise try to avoid it. If you wished to continue the work after your two years are up, your experience in the service program would of course be in your favor. There might be some issue with the various unions (i.e. trash collecting) but I'm sure something could be worked out. There's such a wide range of jobs that could be included in this program that I think very few people would be unwilling - or unable - to fulfill their duty to their community, and to their country.
This program would have the dual effect of both increasing community involvement and investment, and lowering costs for national defense, sanitation, education, health care etc. BOTH ARE SORELY NEEDED.
As my friend Damian pointed out, "I think if everyone went through mandatory nat'l service, our citizenry would be so much more invested in the politics of the country. Everyone would vote." God, that would be truly awesome. I had the thought on the way to work today that Americans have probably become so politically apathetic because they are no longer investing their time+energy into their community - just their taxes. Which by-and-large they resent paying.
Yes, this has been on my mind a bit, and not just lately.
:: Deb 11:54 AM :: permalink ::
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