In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 27, 2006 / 6 Teves, 5767

Reinstating the draft

By Walter Williams

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Congressman Charles Rangel plans to introduce legislation calling for reinstatement of the military draft. He says, "There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way."

Rep. Rangel, D-N.Y., has it completely backward in terms of incentives created by the draft. Let's apply a bit of economic logic to it, but first get a pet peeve of mine out of the way: The term "draft" is a euphemism for what is actually "confiscation of labor services." The Defense Department can get all the military personnel it wants on an all-volunteer basis; it could simply raise wages. Indeed, there exists a wage whereby even I would volunteer my services.

The draft is needed when the military wants to pay soldiers wages lower than those earned in the non-military sector of our economy. When we did have a draft, as in 1950s, look at who was and was not drafted. The commander in chief at that time, President Dwight Eisenhower, wasn't drafted. Neither were members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Generals and other high-ranking officers weren't drafted. Who was drafted? Recruits, and it's not hard to understand why. A newly inducted recruit's pay was $68 a month. The pay of the commander in chief, Joint Chiefs of Staff, generals and other officers were many multiples higher than a recruit's pay. It's not difficult to understand why drafting recruits was necessary. Some argue that depending on an all-volunteer military is too expensive.

That's wrong.

Donate to JWR

The true cost of having a man in the military is what society has to forgo, what economists call opportunity costs. Say a man worked producing televisions for which he was paid $1,000 a month. If he's drafted, he's not producing $1,000 worth of televisions. The sacrificed $1,000 worth of televisions is part of the cost of his being in the military whether he's paid $68 a month or nothing a month.

One effect of the draft is to understate the full cost of military operations. In 1959, prior to my being drafted, I drove a taxi for Yellow Cab Company in Philadelphia earning about $400 a month. In August that year, I started earning $68 a month. The military budget saw a cost of $68 as opposed to the $400 worth of taxi services society had to forgo. Simple economics suggests that if the cost of a resource is understated, there will be bias toward greater and more wasteful use of that resource.

Contrary to Rep. Rangel's assertion, a draft would tend to give rise to greater, not less, use of the military. Today's all-volunteer military consists of high-quality soldiers and fewer misfits than yesteryear. I speak from experience; I was one of those misfits. Being drafted meant lower wages and a waste of my time.

To make matters worse, my basic training was at Fort Jackson, S.C., and afterward, I was stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga. This was 1959, and I didn't have a very good orientation on Southern customs and its standards for blacks.

There were many self-created adjustment problems associated with my activities, such as: organizing black soldiers to go to the post dance on the "wrong" night; sloppy soldiering; being court-martialed and winning; investigations of me, at least being tailed, by the military authorities; and at-home FBI inquiries of neighbors about Mrs. Williams.

The military draft is an offense to the values of liberty, causes misallocation of resources, and there's a higher risk of getting a bunch of misfits. The all-volunteer military does none of this.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Walter Williams Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate.