Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yet Another National “Service” Project

There’s probably no more fruitless effort than government sponsored “community service”, but we’re likely to get a big, expensive dose of it anyway.

At $3.5 billion dollars – paid for by tax increases, cuts in military spending, and declaring defeat in Iraq – one wonders if there isn’t a more effective way to revitalize America’s communities than inflicting hordes of grumbling college students on them.

Well, there probably is, but it’s heresy to big government liberalism. For example, we could greatly reduce unemployment among minority youth by reducing the minimum wage. A reasonable program of border security and employer sanctions to reduce the use of illegal immigration would probably offset any reduction in the minimum wage.

We could reduce the regulatory and tax burdens on small businesses.

For that matter, we’d do better to not encourage our college students to go on the federal dole for their education, but to get jobs, make money, and then give time and money to real charities rather than enter a couple of years of indentured servitude to pay off a debt.

Or for that matter, if we’re going to support faith based charities, let’s not gut the project before we start by insisting that those groups can’t hire according to, you know, their faith.

Charity and community service are things that simply can’t be effectively organized and demanded by Washington, and good intentions do not guarantee good results.