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In Memory of Allen Wells

This set of web pages for Allen Wells has been recreated from web pages archived at http://web.archive.org

Key Page for Allen Wells

Re: What will happen if a DRAFT is reinstated?


From ads.com!ames!elroy.jpl.nasa.gov!swrinde!cs.utexas.edu!uunet!microsoft!allenwe Fri Feb 22 17:19:02 PST 1991
Article 26276 of soc.men:
Path: ads.com!ames!elroy.jpl.nasa.gov!swrinde!cs.utexas.edu!uunet!microsoft!allenwe
>From: allenwe@microsoft.UUCP (Allen WELLS)
Newsgroups: soc.men
Subject: Re: What will happen if a DRAFT is reinstated?
Message-ID: <70725@microsoft.UUCP>
Date: 16 Feb 91 16:34:09 GMT
References: <88357@unix.cis.pitt.edu> <6450005@hpsad.HP.COM>
Reply-To: allenwe@microsoft.UUCP (Allen WELLS)
Organization: Microsoft Corp., Redmond WA
Lines: 129

%In soc.men, cramer@optilink.UUCP (Clayton Cramer) writes:
%It could happen again. I presume that all the liberal whining
%I hear about the proportion of blacks & Hispanics in the military
%indicates that they will join a move to revive the draft in the
%interests of "fairness".

The liberals you refer to were the strongest opposition to the
removal of the draft in the first place. This something that I
have always found truly amazing and more than a little
hypocritical. The rationalization seems to be that conservatives -
who on first flush are hawks and might seem interested in a draft -
realize the increased morale and effectiveness of an all-volunteer
military. They also view the military as a noble profession.
Liberals - who on first flush are doves and might seem opposed to a
draft - view the military as a dump and a sort of 'tax' that should
be equitably and progressively spread throughout society. (Yet,
they are as unable to turn their ideals into a fair draft as they
are unable to turn their ideals into a fair tax code.) Futhermore,
liberals are loath to pay the military. One of the biggest factors
in the 'Reagan buildup' was an increase in pay for military
careerists to bring them up to something reasonable (believe me - it
was pathetic - for most of my childhood we would have qualified for
food stamps if my father hadn't been too proud to take them).
Needless to say, a draft would cut down on the amount you had to pay
the military - and that money could be used elsewhere.

%(That blacks and Hispanics are younger
%than the general population, and so one would expect them to
%be overrepresented purely because of age, seems to be beyond this
%crowd.)

In article <6450005@hpsad.HP.COM> bobw@hpsad.HP.COM (Bob Waltenspiel) writes:
>"Blacks" and "Hispanics" are younger than the general population?
>Does it come close to matching their representation in the military?
>Do tell more about this bit of demographic information. Is it because
>they have a lower life expectancy? If so, why do they have a shorter
>life? Lack of proper health care? Why do they lack proper health
>care? This could go on for a while. I'll wait for your response.

Clayton is right, and your cynicism (while very 'PC') is
unwarranted. I'm surprised it took Clayton's post to wake me up to
this factor. Blacks and Hispanics ARE younger - but it has little
to do with life expectencies or health care (these are factors, but
minor in comparison). The real factor is birth rates. Whites
simply have fewer babies. The difference between a 1.5 birth rate
(for women - les than replacement) and a 3.0 birth rate is a much
lower average age in the second group. I don't have exact numbers,
but I would guess that the different age demographics probably
accounts for over half of the discrepency in military service
(which is only a factor of 2).

>The "liberals" are whining because far more African-Americans feel
>there best choice is military service. Why don't more "white"
>Americans chose the military? I think it's because they *have*
>more/better choices. It would appear African-Americans have fewer
>choices compared to the population in general. What do you think,
>Clayton?

Lets get a few things straight here:
- More whites do choose the military. The majority of new
recruits are still (and always have been) white.
- When the entire population is considered, blacks are
a little less than twice as likely to join the military
as whites are.
- If you limit your view to the 'underclass' (where most
military recruits come from), blacks in the underclass
are LESS likely to join the military than whites in the
underclass.
- The military is one of the best opportunities for
advancement for people who are in the underclass. Before
the Gulf War broke out, I saw quite a few liberals
anguishing over the thought of cutting military staffing
because of its truely integrated nature and its proven
effectiveness at permanently moving people up out of the
underclass (something very few government programs can
claim).

Personally, I think that most of the whining I see about the
'overrepresentation' of minorities in the military is based in the
racism of the whiner. Poor people are more likely to enter the
military. Minorities are overrepresented among the poor. Our
military would be extremely racist if it did NOT have an
overrepresentation of minorities given these facts.

If someone wants to complain that people from poor backgrounds are
overrepresented in the military - that is a much more valid and
less racist complaint. Perhaps something could be done about that
(though it would cost enormously and would be a tremendous economic
and opportunity penalty to the poor). But this attitude of only
being concerned about minority poor is just another racist example
of the desensitization of our society to the white underclass.

The white underclass really does exist, and it really is just as
destitute and impoverished as minority underclasses - for all the
same reasons. It is also just as self-perpetuating - for all the
same reasons. The military is one of the few ways to break the
cycle.

I come from that underclass. My father used the military to get
out. Every one of his brothers went into the military (though they
didn't stay in for more than a single enlistment, and didn't get as
much benefit from it). My dad got treated like shit for 20 years,
and he got paid much less than his work was worth, but he got
himself and his family out of the underclass and into mainstream
society. What's that worth? Surely more for someone coming out of
the underclass than someone who comes from a comfortable
middle-class background.

I remember always being amazed when I would visit some of my
relatives growing up. My aunt's family is a case in point. The
oldest son is doing time now for grand-theft auto. The oldest
daughter is doing time in Florida for prostitution. The next
daughter died at 18 when her drunk husband totalled their car. The
next daughter got married at 13 when she got pregnant (as did my
aunt and grandmother - none of them was more than 15). The youngest
son has a bad case of muscular dystrophy which seems to have kept
him out of trouble.

I'm not claiming that the military was the only reason that my
father escaped this trap of misery and poverty - most of it was his
own individual initiative, sense of self worth, discipline, and hard
work. But the military gave him a place where he could use these
effectively. Without the military, where else would a high-school
dropout have gotten such opportunities?

--
---------- "Never seal dead flies in a closed container. Doing so
Alien | may result in hazardous explosion."
---------- - documentation for the 'Fly Sniper'

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Next article by Allen Wells: Paternity Rights
 

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Posted 2006 09 04