"There’s a weird irony at work when Sen. Barack Obama, the black presidential candidate who will allegedly scrub the stain of racism from the nation, vows to run afoul of the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery. For those who don’t remember, the 13th Amendment says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime … shall exist within the United States.” I guess in Obama’s mind it must be a crime to be born or to go to college," - Jonah Goldberg, LA Times.
I agree with Jonah's basic point, but you could make it without linking Obama to slavery. Jeff Fecke follows the logic:
Did Jonah Goldberg just make the argument that adding a curriculum requirement for colleges and schools is tantamount to slavery? Really? I mean, by that logic, isn’t compulsory education itself slavery? Does this make No Child Left Behind the Dred Scott decision of the 21st century?
Here's what Obama said:
At the middle and high school level, we'll make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, and give schools resources to offer new service opportunities. At the community level, we'll develop public-private partnerships so students can serve more outside the classroom.
For college students, I have proposed an annual American Opportunity Tax Credit of $4,000. To receive this credit, we'll require 100 hours of public service. You invest in America, and America invests in you - that's how we're going to make sure that college is affordable for every single American, while preparing our nation to compete in the 21st century."
(Hat tip: Hilzoy)