Monday, August 30, 2010

Home-made WMD

Before going back home I've cleaned up the bedroom in my summer retreat. And as I was just about to throw into the recycling bin this copy of USA Today, August 17, I thought I ought to take a photo of the front page.

"Military towns enjoy big booms", it says.

"Rapidly rising pay and benefits in the armed forces have lifted many military towns into the ranks of the nation's most affluent communities [...] 16 of the 20 metro areas rising the fastest in the per-capita income rankings since 2000 had military bases or one nearby."

So, as the boys (and girls) are heading home from Iraq, are they going to find a weapon of mass destruction of a different kind, a real estate speculative market pushing families into unsustainable debts, with the risk this entails for everyone in the context of an overall fragile economy?

"What's driving the income growth: pay and benefits in the military have grown faster than those in any other part of the economy [...] Military compensation -- an average of $70,168 in pay and $52,095 in benefits -- includes [...] hazardous-duty incentives, enlistment bonus and combat pay in war zones [...] After adjusting for inflation, military compensation rose 84% from 2000 through 2009."


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