Sunday, February 20, 2011

Military advertising on NASCAR vehicles…

The House has voted to let the Pentagon continue using taxpayer dollars to sponsor NASCAR race teams.

By a 281-148 vote, lawmakers rejected an effort by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum that would have ended the practice. McCollum aides said the Army is spending $7 million on a sponsorship this year, and the Air Force and National Guard are spending additional money.

They are after their targeted demographic: Young, mechanically inclined males, with little (or no) education. Cheap fodder. Where better to find that than at or watching NASCAR, the people who go in circles for 4-500 miles at a time and call it entertainment.

After an afternoon of that, riding in a HumVee while dodging IEDs probably sounds good...

I guess it makes sense from a marketing and economic angle -- BUT in my POV this is NOT something gubmint should be involved in.

I certainly don't want my tax dollars going to it...

For those young people who are targeted by these advertisements, the decision is mostly one made of economic necessity compounded by generationally learned habitual ignorance and multiple failures inside our educational system, including inequitable funding and failure in the family structure.

Look where the majority of our soldiers come from - the poor and disadvantaged - and over our history, not just right now. (But I will note that for many, if they survive, it will be a step up - at least for the lucky smart ones...)

Advertising is used for the same reasons as elsewhere - and it is carefully targeted. Measured against the results, this may not be wasted money. But is it right or for a righteous purpose? No.

Demographically, the military is profoundly different from civilian society. It's drawn disproportionately from households in rural areas. The South and Southwest are substantially overrepresented within the military, while the Northeast is dramatically underrepresented.

Social and economic elites are dramatically underrepresented in the military.

The percentage of enlisted military personnel from households with more than $60,000 in annual income is close to zero.

As recently as 1994, 44% of members of Congress were veterans. Today, it's only 26%.

Only about 1% of U.S. representatives and senators have a son or daughter in uniform.

Want to make sure that the U.S. never again gets stuck in a pointless war? Draft Congress!

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