US National Service

Who would be in favor of new mandatory 2 year national service for US? 6 months of training and 18 months of deployment, potentially in a war zone. Countries with mandatory national service are rarely involved in foreign wars.

I know lots of people here don’t like the military, but hear me out. US has a serious problem with the hate-for-profit industry on the right and left leaving the country divided and growing weaker. National service could help address some of these challenges. For me, I met people from all over US, became more tolerant, traveled overseas and got a new appreciation for US, and also remove this pedestal we put the military so we can manage it better and not allow them to wrap themselves in the flag to avoid critiicism.

I disagree. I would not remain American. You shouldn’t force people to serve. Imo it’s far better to just keep increasing rewards for military service if they are needed and increasing taxes on the rich.

Anyways I think the us needs a common enemy to bring them together like a just war. Like Pearl Harbor. Or a civil war where one party gets destroyed and we become a one party regime in all but name. Kind of like what Lincoln did.

It’s amazing how identity politics come into play. When I am talking to the average American over dinner, I am amazed at how some people can have such strong opinions yet have no idea what the current financial state is of the us. Anyways imo if you are uneducated then you really shouldn’t have an opinion.

I like this idea but with some major tweaks. I’d like to see this be a mandatory 18-month enrollment in which the first 6-months are basic training and the remaining 12 are similar to the old Civilian Conservation Corps, modified to fit today’s needs (think infrastructure improvement). I’ve actually thought about this as a means to address “free education”. So during that 18 month period you’ll likely get a primer on basic training and an appreciation of public goods (roads, drinking water, utilities, etc) and do this at an age that you are still maturing. You’ll leave the program hopefully more mature with a sense of how the “real world” operates and perhaps have a better understanding of the avenue you wish to explore (i.e. you may realize you like mechanical engineering). That 1-year period of working on public infrastructure will be the mans of paying for your education.

This would be completely separate from the actual military which i think should remain voluntary unless we are in a dire situation like an invasion.

We don’t need that many soldiers. It’d be a waste of my time and the government’s (read: my) money.

Hard pass.

I’m a libertarian, and I support conscripted service.

oh man i thought this will be about mayor pete’s proposal

I like WYG’s take. Give people a choice of what public sector they would like to work in for about a year, give them a small stipend along with room and food then they qualify for free public university tuition or trade schooling. I Wouldn’t make it a requirement for people to serve in the military but would expand GI bill to cover grad school (its currently only 36 months).

A majority of US people would strongly oppose taking 2 years out of their lives and careers for mandatory service that the country frankly does not need or want. For the small percentage of Americans who actually want to do military or public service, such programs already exist in the private or public sector. Many Americans already take time to do public service or actually join the military, which pays for education, among other things. However, this is not the right path for everyone, nor is it probably optimal to force upon all Americans.

I also like WYG’s proposal in principle. Like the idea of everyone doing basic military training. For the remainder, could be done at the federal level or state level.

I actually think they can make military more productive. They should be used to fulfill roles in fixing the us infrastructure. Military is a great place for cheap labor.

I’m against it. People can volunteer for things if they like, but not mandatory

Agree that some people may not need it or at least don’t need the full extent of it. There could be some sort of opt-out for the top X% who qualify for merit based admissions/scholarships. These people could do a summer internship or something. For the kids who are at danger of falling through the cracks and need some forced intervention out of high school it would be great though. A program like that could go a long way as far as reducing homelessness, drug use, and gang banging.

if i was homeless/poor. id join the military. it is an excellent place to make useless people more productive! i like the culture of hard work for a cause. cause its cheap!

The thing about merit based programs in the US is that rich white kids end up on the top and poor black kids end up at the bottom. So, if you measure all youth on the basis of test scores or some other merit, you’ll end up with all the poor minorities being forced into military service and rich kids being exempt. This might be a good thing for those poor kids, but people will lose their sht when President Zuckerberg goes around catching black kids for military service.

Merit based deferment of military service does exist in some countries, i.e. Singapore, Taiwan, etc. However, this is much less of a social controversy since everyone who lives in those countries are the same culturally and come from a similar urban setting. Therefore, the program is seen as more meritocratic and less discriminative.

And anyway, military service in the US already offers a compelling option for poor kids who don’t have great college prospects or financial resources. These people can sign up any time and get relatively good benefit packages and a structured environment. However, this option is obviously less compelling for other people who have better uses of their time; it would be a waste to have forced 18-year-old Bill Gates to go do push ups in the desert for 2 years. I’m sure this difference is somewhat reflected through the demographics of people who already join the military.

yea i received a lot of merit based scholarship. so much so that i had to give back some of the scholarship. all the while i knew a lot of people who prolly needed it more and didnt get any. anyways the merit based helped the people who prolly didnt need it. then again it makes sense to help people with a high roi, but if you are giving a scholarship with no return, then you should prolly help the poors with potential. the dumbs shouldnt be helped though.

Totally disagree- have you seen Bill Gate’s arms? He needs to hit the gym or get some of whatever Bezos is taking.

Could be that putting a bunch of 18-20 year olds in their physical prime in a common living space without parental oversight would lead to an increase in this sort of activity.

Like prison? Teens join gangs because parental oversight is absent or their family is in a gang. I think the program would provide a way out. A chance to live in another city/state and get out of the hood for a while. A year or two is not a whole lot of time but if the teens are exposed to mentorship, structure, collaboration, community service, and job training then they may choose a more productive path. Also, if after the program they become eligible for free college then they can permanently escape if they were stuck in a toxic environment.

But spreading democracy in the most american way possible.

Yeah…I was joking. The bolded part has another meaning