My wife and I didn’t bother to change the channel at 6:30 EDT tonight, and we were both shocked to see the following lead story on the CBS Evening News:
WTF? The Department of Defense wants to scrap the military retirement plan that is far older than we are? Yes! They do! To make it “fairer,” of course, save money, and allow Wall Street to raid the pensions of military servicemembers just like they do everyone else’s! (Except for Social Security, but Obama’s working on that).
No more serving in the military for 20 years and then retiring with half pay for the rest of one’s life. Oh, no. Under the proposal, military folks wouldn’t be able to touch their retirement until they are 65, and benefits for longterm service would be slashed by an unspecified amount, to be determined by further careful study. Instead, the troops will get some version of a 401K that is subject to the whims of the stock market. Oh, those who don’t serve the full 20 would get something IF they lived to the ripe old age of 65, but the careerists would be screwed.
From a military readiness standpoint, this proposal has the very real potential of gutting both the officer corps and, at LEAST as importantly, taking away the incentive for enlisted personnel to stay in. Senior non-commissioned officers are the backbone of any military, and to have good ones a nation must reward them. This proposal rips that away.
History shows that governments that screw over their career military people have a tendency to be overthrown, either by the military itself or by the citizenry, with the military doing nothing to prevent the latter from doing their worse to the elite. It is not always thus, but there are certainly lots of examples I can think of off the top of my head.
Well, look at the bright side. If this thing goes through, and the American people DO take to the streets and demand an end to corporatist rule, they won’t have to worry too much about the Army gunning them down. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Our corporate elite’s rapacious greed, arrogance, and short-sightedness has exceeded my ability to describe it. They are not only laying the seeds of their own destruction, they are planting half-grown saplings, and they are too arrogant and driven by the quest for more immediate wealth and power to see it.
It’s almost like the PTB are saying, “Nyah, nyah, nyah-nyah, nyah, We triple-dog DARE you to stop us!”
Or, as one of my favorite history professors once said, “History is so rich, who needs fiction?” We’re seeing history unfold before our eyes.