American soldiers are very well compensated. There is a chapter in my next book on national security, which includes martial science, statistics of war, and threat assessments.
I’ve served our military for six years of my career, which is a point of pride, because every man in my family since WW1 served with honor. And how lucky am I, to stand on the shoulders of those giant men of my family. I’ve had a chance to make more of a difference for the US military than any of them, and I am very grateful for that blessing.
One of my dozens of major tasks involved *surprise* cost benefit and budget analysis with computer programming. In the process I came across an unclassified report (not even FOUO, don’t worry). The goal of the report was to discern how DoD was compensating soldiers in an itemized manner. That was a while ago. Back then, this deceptive meme above read something like “soldiers risk their lives and are only paid $26,000 per year, how shameful.”
The problem is that it’s completely false. You could get by on $26,000 too, if your retirement, bonus retirement (pension), healthcare, bonus retirement healthcare, housing, food, duty-free cheap living items, moving expenses, college subsidy, and other fringe benefits were given to you.
They don’t include those boons in these deceptive numbers. When all of that compensation was counted back in 2012, even the lowest ranking enlisted soldiers (not officers) were compensated around $96,000.
Those who read Economic Sovereignty, understand this correct way of looking at your compensation, and taxation so you understand how to get the most out of your job hunting, job expenses, and negotiation.
I got into a debate with an administrator from DoD about that report.
I told him, “Look, if enlisted want to get more money in their pocket, why don’t you treat them with the respect that private corporations do – give them the choice of whether they want cash in their pockets, or 60% compensation from benefits and subsidies. Give them 30% in benes and subsidies. Let them use the cash freely otherwise. $60k with 30% benes is massively generous for a 19-21 year old.” (Remember this was in 2012)
He said, “Thomas, I respect you. But you are a hired brain. You do great things, but you haven’t seen the ground truth like people deployed in much different scenarios than you.”
I said, “Of course sir, I never pretend to have that kind of knowledge, and defer to their expertise, including yours.”
He replied, “So I’m telling you, we pay for the enlisted’s living expenses entirely and all of those benefits because if we didn’t they’d spend that money on bad women, dumb toys, and booze.”
I replied, “If that’s the case, why don’t we just speak the truth about soldier compensation?”
He said, “Because like any other federal bureaucracy, they want politicians to get budget for DoD instead of the other puss nuts agencies that spend our taxes on all of that waste guys like you and Milton Friedman analyze with a fine-tooth comb. If the voters are Debbie downers on DoD, it makes it harder for us to get the budget we need.”
In a phrase – we spread this benevolent propaganda, because our voters are miseducated for 25 years in school with zero martial science, distorted history, and misconceptions about warfare by war-stupid teachers who wouldn’t know a zoomie from a squid. Way to go, government-run public schooling system!
Also about that whole “risking life” thing. It is true that certain segments like special operators, army infantry, and marines “risk their lives.” But anyone with an ounce of honesty will admit that in modern warfare, since the 1980s – Navy and Air Force are safer than cops in Detroit and workers at the Pentagon.
At last count, I found about one million boots that went through Afghanistan and Iraq in ten years of war. There were something like 200 Navy casualties, half of which were accidental (i.e. car accidents). Ten naval deaths per year in a theater of war is a proud achievement for the masterminds of the US military – strategos, engineers, policy, analysts, medical personnel, logistics. Such a safe profession for warriors of the Navy and Air Force would have been unimaginable to my grandparents in WW2.
In summary, for readers of Alvarism who seek the truth above all else – American voters should be very proud of two facts – our soldiers are well compensated and safer from casualties by leaps and bounds in the history of warfare and juxtaposed to our foes.
If we want to help soldiers with a real problem, we need to find a way to replace the socialized medical system that serves our veterans. Like our government-coerced semi-private system, the the VA is prone to waste, fraud, triage, waiting lists, degraded conditions, and outcomes that are shameful. If we make medical providers compete and get paid for results rather than showing up, we’ll start to see something incredible with our medical system, including the VA.
The absurd entertainment industry mocked in this meme, is another story. Ideally, wealthy entertainers would donate generous amounts of money to companies like Alvarism to help change the world for the better. Abusing their influence for activism that they can’t even justify in a debate is the height of arrogance and shame.
We should make them use a genius computer programmer as a quarterback every time one of their players decides that athletics qualifies them for public influence on political science, criminal justice, national security, or economics.