Assuming I've read it correctly, this is bullshit.
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the
nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs
like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help
teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy
Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve
America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle
school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available
for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs
such as Youth Build and Head Start.
Require? Are you kidding me? As I recall, he talked about volunteering on the campaign trail. Didn't take long to uncover those tiger stripes.
There are so many things wrong with this proposal that I don't know where to begin.
Let's begin with the basic philosophical fact that in a republic the state is supposed to serve the individual, not the other way around. This is the opposite of liberty. Requiring people to serve the "community" is something you would expect from a fascist or socialist country. That alone should stop anyone from supporting this.
But let's go further and ask who will choose the types of community service that will be on offer. Who draws the line between potentially legitimate, apolitical activities like cleaning up litter and more potentially political activities like registering voters? I am assuming that the same groups who supported Obama will be making these decisions. I can't wait for the day my son finally reaches the age that he is required to assist MoveOn and ACORN.
Finally, there is blatant socialism involved in this program. As I understand it, I will have to pay additional taxes to fund a program that will require my son to do unpaid, volunteer work. I pay extra. He is forced to work for free. We lose on both ends.
And what happens if my son decides he doesn't want to do volunteer work. Obama's policy does not say exactly, but it is not difficult to assume that he would be denied graduation from high school or entry to college.
This is an absolutely terrible idea and whatever euphoria I felt in the after-election glow has completely evaporated. It's worse, actually. This proposal frankly scares the shit out of me. If you intend to rule from the center, you do not publish a proposal requiring labor as one of your first ideas.
On the birght side, it does open the door to an investment opportunity. I just need to find out who manufactures red scarves.