The Public Interest

The case for a lottery

Eli Ginzberg

Fall 1966

The problem of the draft has surfaced. The President, Congress, and the public now know that the process by which we procure our military manpower is defective. The mounting casualties in Vietnam have unquestionably helped focus attention on this issue: the fact that a high school graduate is 50 percent more likely than a college man to serve in the Army may be glossed over in times of peace, but will not go unnoticed once the number of wounded and dead begins to mount. The Act under which young men are drafted is entitled the Universal Military Training and Service Act of 1951, as amended. Today, this concept of “universality” is defined by the fact that only 46 percent of all men reaching 26 have served in the military.

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