Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Doing Away with the 13th Amendment

The 13th Amendment states: 

Article XIII. 

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

Now some writer in the NY Times states:

A revived draft, including both males and females, should include three options for new conscripts coming out of high school. Some could choose 18 months of military service with low pay but excellent post-service benefits, including free college tuition. These conscripts would not be deployed but could perform tasks currently outsourced at great cost to the Pentagon: paperwork, painting barracks, mowing lawns, driving generals around, and generally doing lower-skills tasks so professional soldiers don’t have to. If they want to stay, they could move into the professional force and receive weapons training, higher pay and better benefits. 

Those who don’t want to serve in the army could perform civilian national service for a slightly longer period and equally low pay — teaching in low-income areas, cleaning parks, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, or aiding the elderly. After two years, they would receive similar benefits like tuition aid. 

 Now having gone through the Vietnam period, I got a deferment because of what I did instead, technical stuff sometimes in strange places, but that is a tale for some later time. But I saw what the draft did. It made people do strange things, and created a poor military. The Army was a mix of mostly people who did not want to be there and the result was a disaster.

Furthermore a good military should be volunteers, people committed to their work, and yes professionals. Secondly the military needs fewer and fewer people, unless there is some massive ground war and the US is under attack, in which case we are back at WW II. Third the expense, direct and indirect is massive. Indirect expense is we are taking people at their prime training and education period and putting them in the military, a place which is quite often the home for hurry up and wait. 

This statement in my opinion is appalling:

The pool of cheap labor available to the federal government would broadly lower its current personnel costs and its pension obligations — especially if the law told federal managers to use the civilian service as much as possible, and wherever plausible. The government could also make this cheap labor available to states and cities. Imagine how many local parks could be cleaned and how much could be saved if a few hundred New York City school custodians were 19, energetic and making $15,000 plus room and board, instead of 50, tired and making $106,329, the top base salary for the city’s public school custodians, before overtime. 

 Cheap labor, forced labor, and it is a violation of the 13th Amendment. This statement in and of itself in my experienced opinion demonstrates both an attitude and a gross lack of knowledge of how business works. So we force the Steve Jobs and other entrepreneurs to wast years in some Government job! Are you out of your mind!

Now the cost could be staggering.  If we get a collection of 8 million 18 year olds and add another 8 million 19 year olds, that is close to 20 million. Now we "pay" them $15,000 pa, plus room and board plus management that is easily $60,000 pa. Thus we have some $1.2 Trillion a year! Are we going insane! For what! This must be the Left's idea of totally destroying the country!

And you take from the economy the very people who will build the future and waste their time for no good reason. Frankly I find this appalling! But it is after all he Times. Half baked at the very best.

As for NYC school custodian, I had a job cleaning toilets at NYC schools on weekends when in High School, my grandfather was the custodian. A licensed engineer, ran large tankers, was even US Harbor Master in NYC during WW II. But at 15 I had no idea how to bring up the boiler, how to level out the ventilation, nor did I have any license to do so. So if I read the statement correctly the author wants kids, with no licenses, no training, no experience, bring up the HVAC in our public schools. To paraphrase DeLong, oh if we only had a better press! And of course Bourdreaux responded appropriately.