05 June 2008

Military benefits from desperation

The Wall Street Journal blog shares a NYT article on how healthcare reform could hurt military recruiting goals. Turns out that when an illegitimate war drags on, when troops are abused, and when people realize that a war is illegitimate and troops are being abused, young people don't sign up to fight.

The NYT piece is accompanied by a chart showing that in the late '80s, 25 percent of young people figured they'd sign up for military service during the next few years. Now only 13 percent think that's a reasonable choice.

Young people signing on to military service evidently say they're partly motivated by medical need for their young families. Tricare for their spouses and children is a trade-off for signing up for Bush's war. "It seems a bit perverse that the incentives for a young person with children to join are greater than the incentives for his childless friend," writes Floyd Norris in the Times. "But that is the way it is. All that could change if the push for some kind of national health insurance program were to be successful."

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