On the Draft
I have always opposed the draft, because I feel that it is a stunningly inappropriate way to enlist people. Today, Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame has a great explanation of why a military draft doesn't make sense from an ecocnomics standpoint.
The idea that a draft presents a reasonable solution is completely backwards. First, it puts the “wrong” people in the military — people who are either uninterested in a military life, not well equipped for one, or who put a very high value on doing something else. From an economic perspective, those are all decent reasons for not wanting to be in the military. (I understand that there are other perspectives — for example, a sense of debt or duty to one’s country — but if a person feels that way, it will be factored into his or her interest in military life.)Obviously the draft is a bad idea, and fortunately it is one that President Bush has opposed. What's not clear is why Clinton and Obama didn't make such a fuss when Rep. Rangel proposed the reinstitution of the Draft
One thing markets are good at is allocating people to tasks. They accomplish this through wages. As such, we should pay U.S. soldiers a fair wage to compensate them for the risks they take! A draft is essentially a large, very concentrated tax on those who are drafted.
Cross Posted at 123Beta