Regarding the concept of mandatory youth service, Richard Manning and David Battey are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
“I love the overall concept of it,” said Battey, the founder and president of Kansas City-based Youth Volunteer Corps. “On a general level, I’ve always thought the concept was very good, and I can see so many benefits for requiring young people to do service.”
Manning, vice president of public policy and communications at the Fairfax, Va.- headquartered Americans for Limited Government, finds numerous faults with the concept, however. “It would be detrimental to both young Americans and the country as a whole,” he said. “Mandatory government service will only have one impact: It will delay young adults’ entry into the productive world in an attempt to teach them that government service is more important than pursuing their own ambitions.”
As a practice, however, both individuals share similar outlooks on the prospects of federally-mandated youth service.
“I fully embrace voluntary community service,” Manning stated. “Government-directed community service, however, is not the same thing, because I am not choosing the action that I take, but instead am being forced into doing something that doesn’t maximize my gifts and skills.”
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