The Atlantic

National Service Is a Terrible Idea

John Delaney’s plan amounts to forced labor.
Source: Mike Segar / Reuters

The Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney proposed this week that the government partner with private companies and unions to create a national program of forced labor. He calls it “John Delaney’s Plan for National Service.” “Every American will complete a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years of mandatory national service when they graduate high school, or turn 18,” it states.

“No exceptions,” a press release clarifies. (Tough luck, pregnant 18-year-olds.)

With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the Constitution guaranteed that “neither slavery nor

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