ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Conventional Wisdom - Incorrect as Usual

We all know that the military draws upon (and takes advantage of) the poorest in our country, right?

Woops!

Data Shows Military Recruits Highly Representative of America; More From Rich Zip Codes Than Poor



But what do the facts actually tell us about where the typical American military volunteer comes from these days? Dr. Tim Kane, an economist who works in The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis, wondered the same thing recently, so he asked the Defense Department for all the demographic data he could get on recruits.

What Kane got in response from DOD was an avalanche of demographic data about the 1999 and 2003 recruits. After conducting extensive statistical analyses on the data, Kane reached some conclusions that will surprise anybody who believes the conventional wisdom about who becomes cannon fodder.

Check out the graphic above. Note the proportions of recruits from each of the five demographic quintiles, organized according to per capita income by zip code. The percentage of recruits from the poorest quintile is actually lower in 1999 and 2003 than the percentage for the richest quintile.

In fact, the percentage difference between the richest and poorest quintiles increases between 1999 and 2003! And the highest percentage is actually in the second richest quintile of recruits, followed by the richest quintile. It is no exaggeration to say America's most prosperous families bear the greatest share of the burden of fighting in America's defense.

Charlie Rangel - Call your office!

It will be interesting to see the full report.

(Tip 'O the Hat to doubleplusgood infotainment)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler