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Another Draft on the Draft

Several people who’ve read Cafe Hayek’s blogs opposing conscription have e-mailed their opinions to me. Two correspondents used almost the same words to express the same reason for supporting the draft: because the military protects us all, all of us should contribute to it.

I agree — which is one reason I oppose the draft. I’m 45 years old; I will not be drafted; nor my wife; nor my mother or father; nor the Dean of my college; nor any of my colleagues; nor my best friend from high school; nor any of my siblings or cousins or aunts or uncles; nor any of the homeowners in my neighborhood (each of whom is over 40). Indeed, almost all of the people I know well stand no chance of being drafted even if a draft is reinstated.

Also clear of any risk of being drafted are George Bush, Milton Friedman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks, Bill Gates, Paul Krugman, Dan Rather, Madonna…. the list of people who will not be drafted is very, very long.

I don’t know how many of the people who today stand no chance of being drafted served in the military in the past. Some have, but only a small minority.

If indeed the military protects us all and, hence, we should all contribute to it, this goal is best achieved by paying young men and women wages sufficient to attract them to join voluntarily. These wages will be funded out of general tax revenues — a pool which receives payments from a far larger number of people than that relatively small group who actually stand a chance of being drafted.