Has Ending The Draft Increased Poverty?


by … Chuck Pithy & PP

I know the military draft was never a popular, and the arguments against it were many. The arguments included it was unfair to be ordered to do something as citizens of a free country, there were ways of working the system, and that it was unfair to the poor. But people have forgotten some of the benefits it had.

When our society decided to end the draft it created a situation in which had far reaching consequences that were never considered or imagined? One of those untended consequences directly involved those in lower-lower, and lower middle socioeconomic classes, i.e., the poor.



As things in the United States stand now, there are huge pockets of poverty in our larger cities. In addition, these pockets are often made up of minorities, most of whom see no clear pathway out of poverty.



Let’s face it, manufacturing jobs like our fathers worked in are for the most part gone. These were good paying jobs in which a man could support a family, buy a home and become a part of the community. Now the manufacturing jobs are often calling for high skilled, high tech workers running pieces of equipment that now do what it used to take several laborers to accomplish. While there may still be positions in these companies that require general labors, they are disappearing rapidly.

In addition, our educational system is failing our children. Many kids in lower socioeconomic classes are getting “social advancements” from grade to grade, resulting in graduates being unable to read, write, or do simple math, let alone have the fundamental thinking, prioritizing, and problem solving skills to be able to get a job.


The reasons for the failing educational system is a subject for another blog post, but they include antiquated ways of teaching, telling students that a wrong answer can be “ok” or “close enough” under certain parameters and/or conditions, failing to find ways to challenge and engage today’s youth, Americas archaic practice of “tracking” children, damning huge numbers of bright, imaginative, capable children to being “labeled” by age 7 and placed on corresponding educational tracks according to certain ridiculous profiles thought up by some idiot who has never met those kids or their parents.


Individuals who have no knowledge that little John’s father may have died unexpectedly a few weeks or months ago, or that little Jenny’s mom works three jobs just to keep food on the table, that little Kenneth’s mom and dad both lost their jobs, and then their home, or any of the thousands of circumstances that have huge impacts on children and their ability to perform at top speed on any given day in school, and yet… it is these very same tests that determine which life track American children will be placed on in school. (See the award winning documentaries Waiting for Superman, and The Lottery for additional info on the practice of “tracking”)



The government’s answer hasn’t been to fix these issues, solve the problems; or find better more productive effective ways of doing things, instead, they chose to sweep it under a rug, or kick it down the road to the next generation by keeping these unfortunate people quiet with money, giving them hand outs, rather than hand up’s, teaching them how to apply for assistance delivered to their door step, rather than teaching them how to fish, and where to find the best fish. Creating generations of people who won’t and don’t think for themselves, don’t know anything about personal responsibility, and have never be taught how to rise above the conditions and circumstances of their childhood.



So to sum things up, we have poverty pockets all across our nation, a government that has given up on the poor, and the poor being trapped geographically by their economic situation.

How does the draft play a part in all this? Read on and become enlightened.



There are many things the draft/ military service did/ do for young people, and especially for poor young people. We all know “couch potatoes”; these are folks who could be doing things, but choose not to because it takes drive to get started.

When someone is born and raised in an atmosphere ripe with entitlement mentality, surrounded by others in the same situation, trying to acquire a sense of hope for better, or motivation to achieve more is a task that in many cases just seems impossible, far too overwhelming to accomplish, so why bother trying? They can’t afford to leave, if by chance the find a way out, they have no place to go. If they find somewhere to go, they have no job once they get there. They often have no marketable skills, and because many of them are unable to perform even the most basic tasks involving adding, subtracting, reading, or even the ability to put together and communicate a grammatically correct sentence verbally or in written form using the English language. In short, they just have too many things working against them to bother even making an effort.

Now let’s talk about the things the draft and military service can do!



First it takes a person from their home and relocates them away from all of those negative reinforcements and bad influences that have held them back and kept them from trying to achieve more. They go to basic training away from everything they know, and far away from the hopeless atmosphere many of them have spent their entire lives in. At basic, they learn the basics to being a member of the military, they learn respect for authority, they learn personal responsibility, they learn manners, they learn personal hygiene, they learn how to clean up after themselves, how to do as they are directed, how to follow orders and the consequences of not following rules and orders.

This is often the first time the person has been to another city or state. If they are to receive training for a particular duty assignment this may entail a transfer to another duty station in yet another city and state where they will learn actual skills they can use the rest of their lives. Following completion of training they could be assigned to yet another duty station in another city, state or even country.

You have now exposed this individual to different people, places, cultures, and environments. You’ve shown them there is a great big world out there, just waiting for them to succeed or fail in, and that it’s all up to them.

They now have the understanding that not every place is like it was in their hometown. In seeing a whole new world they develop the understanding that there are opportunities that await them. As they see those opportunities in other cities they share and encourage their friends to join them where there are jobs and there is hope.



Second it gives them a sense a duty. Duty is often described as a moral or legal obligation, a responsibility towards someone or something. Ever hear someone complain about how the youth of today think of themselves, how they have become the “me generation?” Via the military, they learn very quickly life isn’t all about “ME”. A major life lesson that otherwise might never be taught or understood.



Third, military service teaches honor. One of the definitions of honor is, “regard with great respect and another is to fulfill an obligation or keep an agreement.” This is another basic value that has been otherwise lost.



Fourth, it often gives young people a skill that they can use and depend on when looking for a job in the private sector. If they have no marketable skills for the private sector, the military provides money towards furthering their education under the GI Bill.



Fifth, Military service affords them the opportunity to purchase their own home with no down payment, via a V.A. Loan. Something many of them would never have been able to accomplish had they remained sedentary on that couch, and something most of the poor kids they may have grown up with will never have the opportunity to accomplish.

Now I am not saying Military service would solve all of the problems in these poverty pockets, but one would have to admit that if a percentage of the poor since the draft ceased had benefited from all of this, those poverty pockets would be considerably smaller and much easier to address.



Sixth, a minimum term of military service affords young people just out of high school the opportunity to grow up and mature in an independent, yet tightly controlled, regimented environment in which excuses are just that, EXCUSES. This period of time can serve to make the difference between a kid going from high school to college only to drop out six months or a year later because they had no self control or discipline. It means the difference for many young people between graduating college with an education they can then earn a decent living with, or going to college and learning nothing more than how much they can drink before being unable to go to class/work the next day.

It would afford them the opportunity to learn respect for their country and those living within it, to learn what it takes to defend it, to keep it, and the enormous cost in life, and treasure of having a society that consists of nothing but those with “ME” mentalities.



Seventh, it would effectively almost completely eliminate the obesity problem that exists in America for those between the ages of 18-22. Now there is nothing that says anyone who becomes physically fit while serving in the military will remain that way once they are finished, but, the chances of that being the case in a large majority of instances is very high, certainly much higher than it would be had these young people never left the comfort of those couches they left behind



Without question, there are no doubt hundreds more positives that result from a short mandatory term of service to ones country. Evidence of this can be found in many countries, including Israel.


I recently had the opportunity to meet and speak with a gentleman from Israel about this very topic, and he pointed out that largely because their young people have to serve 24 months in the military after high school, they have none of the violent crime perpetrated on their friends, neighbors, and fellow countrymen that is rampant within the United States. When I inquired as to what he attributed this to, he remarked that both in Israel, and in the military, their young people learn the value of life, and how easily it can be taken away, something American kids seem to have lost sight of. He also remarked, that they have little to no GANG violence problems in Israel, because those looking for the sense of family and belonging that gangs often provide, instead find that in their fellow countrymen and women in the military.

It seems to me, this might just be a practical, effective, and logical way to ending much of what is ailing our country and its young people.


We are Chuck Pithy and PP and we tell it like it is!!!!








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