"“Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” If only John F. Kennedy could have known what his 1961 call to service would become: a rallying cry for generations of rich, middle-aged men convinced that the nation’s youth are lazy, unpatriotic ingrates.
Normally, we can shrug off such nonsense and chalk it up to nostalgia (“Ah, for the days of Camelot!”) or the positive correlation between age and irritability. But having endured a primary campaign rife with candidates and pundits of both parties yapping about how putting me to work for almost no pay is in the nation’s interest, I’ve stopped laughing. This national service fever must stop.
...Politicians usually embed these ideas in ennobling, Kennedyesque rhetoric about serving your country. I’d be more inclined vote for a candidate who says something like this: “As president, I’ll try to put your kids to work as soon as they’re out of the house. Not for full pay, of course, or anything resembling fair compensation. When Junior hits his formative years around high school and college, my administration will dangle all kinds of incentives that amount to a fraction of what you, a fully grown adult, would get for doing the same work.”
At least you couldn’t fault him for his honesty."
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
"This national service fever must stop."
Reason Magazine - Serve the (Old) People: