The Corner

The Poor: Not Always With Us?

Rep. Charlie Rangel wants to reimpose the draft, partly “as a means of spreading military obligations more equitably,” according to the Wash Post. Do you think he means that the poorest Americans should start pulling their weight? This report from the Heritage Foundation recently crossed my desk:

Our review of Pen­tagon enlistee data shows that the only group that is lowering its participation in the military is the poor. The percentage of recruits from the poorest American neighborhoods (with one-fifth of the U.S. population) declined from 18 percent in 1999 to 14.6 percent in 2003, 14.1 percent in 2004, and 13.7 percent in 2005.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.