Yeller Elerfant Documentation
Wow. From todays WaPo on the predeliction of the Luxury-SUV class to have magnetic yellow ribbons on their vehicles, but avoid having to send their kiddies off for an 18-month vacation in Mess O'Potamia (shamelessly stolen from The Daily Show).
But the Post-Gazette raises another issue. There has been much talk about the relationship between race and ethnicity and military recruitment. But what about social and economic class? Are wealthier Americans, who are more likely to be Republicans and therefore more likely to support the war, stepping up to the plate and urging their children and others from their communities to enlist?Fucking Duh.
Unfortunately, there has been no definitive study on this subject. But it appears that the affluent are not encouraging their children and peers to join the war effort on the battlefield.
By looking at long-term trends, it seems logical that some of those most likely to support Bush and his Iraq policy are also those least likely to encourage their children to go into the military at wartime. And it raises questions, such as, if you are among those most likely to support the war, shouldn't you be among those most likely to encourage your child to serve in the military? Shouldn't your socioeconomic group be the most receptive to the recruiters' call? And would there be a recruitment problem at all if the affluent put their money where their mouth is?I don't know that journalists would get themselves in any trouble over reaching conclusions from what seem to be facts that are provable by direct observation. Unless of course you're presenting those facts to the ultra-yellow members of the right, like Pigboy, and some of those reprehensible wingnuts headed for Crawford whose closest encounter to being in uniform was working at a local fast-food restaurant as the Fry Captain.
Among the more recent studies was one done last year by Robert Cushing, a retired professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He tracked those who died in Iraq by geography and found that whites from small, mostly poor, rural areas made up a disproportionately large percentage of the casualties in Iraq.
Back during Vietnam, "the top [economic class] had access for means of staying out of the military," said Segal. "The National Guard was known to be a well-to-do white man's club back then. People knew if you if joined the guard you weren't going to go to Vietnam. That included people like Dan Quayle and our current commander in chief. If you were rich, you might have found it easier to get a doctor to certify you as having a condition that precluded you from service. You could get a medical deferment with braces on your teeth, so you would go get braces -- something that was very expensive back then. The wealthy had more access to educational and occupational deferments."
Today's affluent merely see themselves as having more options and are not as enticed by financial incentives, such as money for college, Segal said.
Segal said that service members in the highest and lowest income brackets are underrepresented in the modern military. ...
While there have been changes in racial and ethnic enlistment trends, with the number of black recruits dropping precipitously since the Iraq war, Segal and Bachman said they've seen nothing to indicate significant changes in the class -- of which education levels is a prime indicator -- trends in the military.
Journalists can get themselves in trouble by drawing simplistic conclusions based on less-than-exhaustive research, and we won't do so here. But we can at least raise the question of whether the rich are more likely to support the war because their loved ones are less likely to die in it.
crossposted at Democratic Veteran