national service, military service, draft, military economics
The National Service Act of 1993 is viewed as a means of inculcating a sense of personal and social responsibility in young adults. The present emphasis on fiscal responsibility and budget reduction implies that any new expenditure program be funded by either: (a) reductions in present programs; or, (b) new taxes. As new taxes are regarded as "politically incorrect" by legislators seeking to extend their tenure, program cuts become mandatory. It is proposed that military downsizing is one means of funding national service; and that the tradeoff is suboptimal. Downsizing adversely affects minorities and the least skilled - who benefit most from military training. A new military enlistment option is suggested as a means of improving access for the least advantaged to the social mainstream and increasing the generation of human capital. The new option would be funded by reducing the maximum number of national service participants by 50%.
Department of Economics, South Dakota State University
Number of Pages
Sondey, John, "Comparative Efficiencies: National and Military Service" (1994). Economics Staff Paper Series. 117.