Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Supply and Demand of Soldiers

We’re facing a little re-write to selective service. Apparently, there are those in Congress who wish to give pacifists a break and let them serve in other areas like the Peace Corps if drafted. I am in agreement with John Kline.

Well, let’s back up here for a moment. OK, we, in America, value a volunteer military. As such, we have some non-written agreements with our citizen soldiers. First, if you are active duty, then we don’t take you away from your family for more then a third of your time. Second, we only call up our National Guard for overseas service maybe once or twice in a 20 year career. However, since our overseas commitments are increasing, and war hawks are starting to talk about Iran, North Korea, and other locations, this is not going to be the case. Plus, this is a war time and people have an aversion to death. So, the supply of military members goes down. What happens when supply decreases and demand increases? Well, price goes up to induce people to join up. Not that the straight time earnings increase, but some fringe benefits do, like signing bonuses or tuition reimbursement or tax breaks. And if this doesn’t work, we either need to fill our remaining demand with more overseas tours of duty, re-evaluating or overseas commitments, or draft what we need.

Service members expect to spend more time overseas during war, but we can’t expect them to keep it up for an entire career and be compliant. We also have an aversion to re-evaluating our overseas commitments. So, eventually, if we can’t fill or needs through voluntary means, we’re going to start drafting.

Welcome to the 21st century with gender equality. We are going to draft women too. Furthermore, the powers that be would like to give the draftees a choice between military service and other volunteer opportunities. In a war time, given peoples natural aversion to death, it is my guess that we will still have this shortage of people willing to fight. And this leads to re-evaluation of overseas commitments which we don’t like doing…

This is what it all comes down to: sacrifice. Some believe that if we start drafting kids and putting them in the Iraq war, we will get out of Iraq sooner because people will protest more, etc. No, what will happen is that it will all last longer because we can fill our need for troops via the draft. Some people believe that a draft will mean that the rich kids of the world will finally sully their hands. No. They’ll just move to Canada or France or choose the volunteer option or whatever rich kids do these days. And people are always willing to sacrifice other peoples’ kids.

In America, we ask very little of our citizenry. We ask that they pay taxes, but that’s about it, and there are even people who don’t pay taxes. Everyone wants someone else to pay the price for the freedoms we enjoy. And if we need people to volunteer or serve in the military, we need to start teaching our children to be altruistic. The lovely thing about America is that it is very easy to identify the honorable people. They’re the ones serving others. They’re the ones who like being in the military or like volunteering or like helping others. And chances are pretty good that their parents are also honorable people.

If we keep on insisting that “someone else” pay the price or “let’s just draft people” into service instead of saying, “I’ll go” or “I’ll send my kid or spouse” then this this is what we will end up with; someone who feels like they “just deserve” to have the benefits of living in America and going to college and being successful even if they break the rules. I would hate to live in a country of Jills. No, we need to teach our children better.

Jeff Stillman wrote that children are the embodiment of their parents’ hopes and dreams. Don’t expect someone else’s kid to be altruistic if you’re not going to teach your kid to be altruistic.


  • At 8:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Beautiful :)

  • At 1:58 AM , Blogger The Way of a Pilgrim said...

    Glory to Jesus Christ!

    Liz, you and Josh are in my prayers and I send you my love.

    May Christ God keep you safe and sound from all harm and evil.

    pray for me,


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