Murphy's Law: January 7, 2003


Bringing back the draft suddenly became an issue in the United States when a Congressman proposed such a move to "spread the pain" when it comes to military service. The proposal implies that some alternative to military service will be required, as the military only needs about fifteen percent of the 1.9 million young men who turn 18 each year. The proposal also calls for drafting women, which doubles the surplus of recruits. Providing "alternative" (non-military) service is expensive, as there are not that many unskilled jobs to be had. This problem is nothing new. During the 1960s, as the Baby Boomers came of age, "who shall serve" was becoming more and more of a contentious issue. Even without the Vietnam war, the teenagers would have been out there protesting about the unfairness of how deferments and exemptions were allocated. But there's a more direct solution. If the legislators who are upset about rich kids not being in the military, then just institute the draft for children of families in the wealthiest ten percent of the population. That takes care of all the millionaires and big spenders. But since the wealthy have fewer children, you would still have to recruit over a hundred thousand young men and women a year to keep the armed forces up to strength. But the wealthy also have healthier and better educated children, so the draftees would still make a useful contribution. Of course, a lot of these rich kids might decide to make a career in the military, which could make people nervous about "the rich controlling the military." Well, that's easy to solve, just don't let any of the draftees become officers. Take it one step further, and put all the physically able draftees into the combat arms (infantry, armor or artillery.) That ought to placate the social engineering crowd. All you have to do is get the "Rich Kids Conscription Act" through Congress, and then past the Supreme Court.


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