These are problem times. Neither a nuclear war nor a land battle, apparently, can be fought with currently available manpower. A variety of suggestions have been made on how to supplement the voluntary armed forces. The purpose of this memo is to analyze alternative forms of the draft: Retributive Justice
A self-interested 16-year-old male suggested drafting only women, to make up for the injustice of millenia of drafting only men. A Monstrous Regiment of Women could result, and would fight under the banner: Equal Duties Before Equal Rights! Economic Productivity
Clearly, the most productive laborers should be kept in their employment at home, rather than in less directly productive activity in the Army. Traditional economic analysis suggests that workers be drafted only up to the point where the productivity lost by removing them from the civilian labor force is less than or equal to the productivity gained by drafting them into the Army.
Now that modern push-button warfare hardly requires a Charles Atlas physique, the first place to look for persons with limited, directly productive activity is among the retired. There are two grounds for this choice:
(1) Their life expectancy is short. If service in the armed forces results in their death, less potential future production is lost than if a younger person of equally low direct productivity were to be killed.
(2) Their mentality would be improved upon being drafted. The forcibly retired, we are told, literally die of neglect and boredom. "Uncle Sam Needs You" would cure both.
(Yet, in fairness, where they are not automatically included by age and productivity considerations, those voting for increased armed forces should be allowed to be included in the draft in proof of the fact that patriotism is productive.)
The second place to look for persons with limited direct productivity is among the unemployed. This raises a number of problems in equity. Those surviving, if trained in a marketable skill during their stay in the armed services, should automatically be given a union card, with seniority including their Army service, which also would be credited, in the usual way for veterans, on civil service exams.
As in all solutions of extreme rationality, the unproductive and unlucky would disappear; adept survivors would be rewarded. Economic Productivity II -- Race
In examining productivity of laborers, the results reflect the different access of varying racial and ethnic groups to training, culture and historic accident that affects their productivity as measured in monetary terms. To avoid drafting and perhaps killing people as a result of accidents of birth, productivity within each racial or ethnic group should be assessed. Those in the lowest 10 percent within each group, for example, would be drafted. This would avoid using the draft to alter the composition of society, as has been done by San Martin, who sent Argentine Negroes over the Andes to help in liberation fights (they never were seen again), and by Fidel Castro, who sent blacks, mainly, to die in Angola. It can't happen here. Economic Productivity III -- Sex
A productive machine requires a continuing supply of labor. In the long run, this requires an adequate supply of fecund women of breeding age. The potential labor supply must be analyzed as if it were a breeding herd: only frozen semen or a few prize bulls are needed. Females are valued for themselves, and for the probable value of their as-yet-unborn offspring. Drafting any but sterile women of low directly productive activity value would be an economic disaster.
However, if the analysis is extended to an open economy, it would be possible to contemplate drafting American women and importing more fecund replacements as long as transporation costs were not excessive and the gain in fecundity was not offset by a loss in directly productive activity. However, such imports would have to be rejected if American culture were to be strongly affected by changes in the characteristics of mothers.
For the reasons set forth above, economic analysis ineluctibly yields the result that we should draft the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to be free, but not the all-American cow.