It is likely you haven’t been able to avoid the seemingly incessant discussion about the negotiations to raise the debt limit. If you haven’t been able to muster the zen-like state of letting the details of those negotiations pass through one ear and out the other, you may recall that work requirements for those receiving financial aid some some sort has been one of the sticking points.
In a post on the For Purpose Law Group blog, Linda J. Rosenthal writes about how mandatory volunteerism is a bad idea. In her piece, which contains dozens of links to studies and opinion pieces on the topic, she applies this sentiment not only to government mandates, but graduation requirements for students as well.
Of all the pieces to which she links, a statement by the National Council of Non-profits provides the most succinct summation about why this is such a bad policy. (my emphasis)
Mandatory volunteerism is harmful because the policy imposes increased costs, burdens, and liabilities on nonprofits by an influx of coerced individuals. Few if any of the mandatory volunteerism bill sponsors ever ask whether nonprofits in their communities can handle an onslaught of hundreds or thousands of individuals showing up on nonprofit doorsteps for the purpose of doing time rather than doing good.
They go on to say that they oppose any efforts that tie receipt of benefits to a requirement to volunteer because they “impose increased costs, burdens, and liabilities on nonprofits by an influx of coerced individuals.”
A number of the articles linked by Rosenthal also address the oxymoronic nature of “mandatory volunteerism,” especially in the name of trying to engender a sense of civic mindness and charity in students by refusing to let them graduate if they don’t complete their hours.