Monday, December 30, 2013

"Economists Are Freedom’s First Line of Defense"


So wrote David R. Henderson, in a 2005 article The Role of Economists in Ending the Draft, quoted in this local article noting the passing of Walter Oi, may he rest in peace — UR economist who helped end U.S. draft dies. Mr. Henderson:
    Oi granted the obvious, that a military of given size could be obtained with a lower budgetary cost if the government used the threat of force to get people to join — that is, used the draft. But, he noted, the hidden cost of this was loss of the well-being among draftees and draft-induced volunteers.
Prof. Oi experienced unfreedom as a youth:
    He experienced injustice at an early age when, following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Mr. Oi and his family were among the 120,000 persons living on the West Coast forced into internment camps simply because of their Japanese ancestry.

    Mr. Oi, who was 12 at the time, spent about three years behind barbed-wire fences at the Amache Japanese Internment Camp, in southeast Colorado.

    Not until 1988 did Congress pass legislation acknowledging a "grave injustice was done" in the forced internment of those of Japanese ancestry.

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