Retired Gen. Wesley Clark of Little Rock figures prominently in a column by Nicholas Kristof about how well the U.S. military functions. A real liberal outfit, you might say.
Income gaps? Modest. A general makes only about 10 times what a private makes, versus 300-plus gap between a CEO and lowest paid worker in the private sector.
The military has single-payer health insurance. And lifelong coverage for retirees.
It invests in all sorts of training and education for its members.
It’s the most successfully diverse workforce around — racially, ethnically and otherwise (except sexually, if you don’t count those in the closet.)
There’s a daycare system for children of working military.
There’s career education for constant improvement.
“It’s the purest application of socialism there is,” Wesley Clark, the retired four-star general and former supreme allied commander of NATO forces in Europe, told me. And he was only partly joking.
“It’s a really fair system, and a lot of thought has been put into it, and people respond to it really well,” he added. The country can learn from that sense of mission, he said, from that emphasis on long-term strategic thinking.
There’s a clear hierarchy, but, the column notes, camaraderie is high because the outfit takes care of its own. Yet, we’re assured, the rest of America needs a gold-rules rather than a Golden Rule system. Forget about Iraq, Kristof suggests. Let’s export the U.S. military model to the U.S.
Amen. Go Army!