Friday, December 05, 2014

Do recent protests reinforce calls for national service?

I found a few more pointed pieces on the idea of national service.
Eric Navarro points out a paradox, that our hyperindividualism leaves us depending on others to do the dangerous things we don’t want to do, risking letting “them” have dominion over us, in “Task and Purpose” here. The writer wants to make social security and Medicare dependent on service for those who are able.

Samah Imran in the Huffingtom Post writes that citizenship is not a spectator sport, here.  Well, neither is chess.  The San Francisco Examiner has a similar piece.

There’s an obvious opportunity to use national service as a way of helping students work off debt.  But beyond the abstract ideas about citizenship and country, there are deeper ideas of looking at why “life isn’t fair”.  Seeing everyone “serve” and sometimes willing to put his own goals aside seems to send a message that no one gets a free ride, and that the values of work and legitimate wealth mean something.  But a lot of service is very bureaucratic and you wonder what real needs it is really meaning.  But, with a sprinkle of Maoism, it does suggest that everyone should have a chance, and then step back. 

An article by Clive Belfield, in the Summer 2014 issue of Democracy, explains the difference between "voluntererism" and actual organized service programs, "The Economics: Why National Service Is Worth It", here

Ron Paul, from Oct. 2014, has a very different view.

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