Attrition: How the Military Hurts the Poor and Uneducated

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November10, 2006: A constant in American politics is the assertion that the volunteer army is unfair, because it forces the uneducated and poor to fight, or starve. In actuality, the uneducated (and thus most of the poor) are deliberately excluded from the military. This is a trend that has been going on for over twenty years, and has not been interrupted by the war. For example, the percentage of enlistees from the poorest neighborhoods (those in the lowest 20 percent of household income), went from 18 percent in 1999, to 14 percent last year. The educational levels of American soldiers are well above those of the general American population of the same age and gender. Same with physical and psychological fitness. The American military, is basically a force of the above-average the discriminates against the poor and uneducated.

 


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