Can Barack be for real? Can he really be pushing for compulsory service?
John Goldberg  at the LA Times, shares:
In his speech on national service Wednesday at the University of Colorado, Obama promised that as president he would “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.”
Goldberg draws a reasonable conclusion that while this is not “slavery”, it certainly promotes a slavery mindset.
In my opinion, it’s more hideous than that.
First of all, this promotes a mindset that the government knows what’s right, and what’s good for you to do, and you don’t need to question it. People, for goodness sake our YOUTH, will simply be further brainwashed by a government that already gets far more of their time and attention than it deserves. You think the dystopian worlds of Fahrenheit 451 or 1984 was bad, wait until we’ve gone through a couple of generations of this.
Second of all, this creates a whole new level of bureaucracy. We will need whole new departments to monitor and manage information, validate work completion, tie to whatever funding is going to be dependent on individual success, and eventually figure out how to tie this into the tax code (someone’s gonna figure out a way).
Thirdly, it will kill the current commitment to volunteerism. What student is going to do what they have a passion for when the government is holding their college tuition over their heads? Goldberg states:
Indeed, there’s ample evidence that countries with intrusive and expensive welfare states stifle their citizens’ spirit of charity and volunteerism precisely because people conclude that every problem should be solved by government. Merely paying your taxes substitutes for charity, and cleaning up roadside litter for two years absolves you from doing anything more.
Lastly, and also noted by Goldberg, is that this is just a solution looking for a problem… there is nothing to fix. With a strong commitment to charity and volunteer work throughout our country, I can’t even figure out the real motivation for this suggestion except that perhaps it’s a 21st version of the WPA, in other words, perhaps a way to “help” the poor middle class get the basics they need (although, I still struggle with calling college a “need”). I think this is a bad case of over-reacting to what is clearly a bad situation, but not near on a par with the Great Depression.
Bottom line, we’re talking making government bigger for the sake of making it bigger.
Sorry, no sale here.