The guy who makes their coffee is worth more than the guy who protects their freedom . . .

. . . or so say the editors of The New York Times. From Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:

Ask NY Times Who Deserves More Pay: America’s Troops or Fast-Food Workers?
Posted on | December 2, 2013 | 7 Comments

In an editorial Sunday, the New York York Times argued that America’s troops are being paid too much:

Big-ticket weapons like aircraft carriers and the F-35 fighter jet have to be part of any conversation about cutting Pentagon spending to satisfy the mandatory budget reductions known as the sequester. But compensation for military personnel has to be on the table, too . . .

[T]he Pentagon is obliged to find nearly $1 trillion in savings over 10 years. Tough choices will be required in all parts of the budget. Compensation includes pay, retirement benefits, health care and housing allowances.

Got that, troops? “Tough choices,” your compensation is “on the table,” because defending your nation isn’t really anything special.

On the other hand, says New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, something must be done for America’s real heroes, retail clerks:

The last few decades have been tough for many American workers, but especially hard on those employed in retail trade — a category that includes both the sales clerks at your local Walmart and the staff at your local McDonald’s. Despite the lingering effects of the financial crisis, America is a much richer country than it was 40 years ago. But the inflation-adjusted wages of nonsupervisory workers in retail trade — who weren’t particularly well paid to begin with — have fallen almost 30 percent since 1973.

So can anything be done to help these workers, many of whom depend on food stamps — if they can get them — to feed their families, and who depend on Medicaid — again, if they can get it — to provide essential health care? Yes. We can preserve and expand food stamps, not slash the program the way Republicans want. We can make health reform work, despite right-wing efforts to undermine the program.

And we can raise the minimum wage.

The slack-jawed teenager serving french fries and the hipster grad student serving latte at your local Starbucks — we must increase their pay, says the New York Times, whereas the men and women who take an oath to serve their nation . . . “Tough choices.”

More at Mr McCain’s original, as well as at his internal links; it should be noted here that both Mr McCain and your Editor have children in the United States Army.

We noted, last year, an article by Cathy Fiano Chesser, concerning why she and her family passed up on enrolling in WIC, the Women, Infants and Children program. She noted that her family would have qualified for it, and that almost every military family she knows is enrolled. Mrs Chesser’s husband is a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, so he isn’t a new recruit.

Why, I have to ask, are the editors of The New York Times so eager to cut the pay and benefits of the men and women who put their lives on the line, even though so many of them actually qualify for welfare, but are insistent that we force a pay raise for the baristi who serve their lattes at Starbucks?

Here’s the part of the Times’ article that really gets me:

Military retirees pay only a fraction of what civilians pay for health care premiums, and those with second careers often choose to stay on the government plan. It makes sense that they be asked to assume a greater share.

Considering what our soldiers volunteer to do, which involves having their lives uprooted, their wives’ careers disrupted, to have to move at a moment’s notice, and sometimes put their lives on the line, I think that they already have “assume(d) a greater share.”

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