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The Set of All X Such that Y Contains Mostly Xes, Study Finds

November 8th, 2005 · 1 Comment

So, I’m generally happy to see this Heritage report on the composition of the military, which—contra most draft boosters—finds that recruits don’t tend to come from poorer or lowers class backgrounds in some massively disproportionate way. But I found it a little puzzling that The Corner‘s K-Lo chose to quote the following excerpt from a Washington Times story on the study:

About 98 percent of all enlistees from 1999 to 2003 had a high school diploma, compared with 75 percent of nonrecruits nationwide.

“In an education context, rather than attracting underprivileged young Americans, the military seems to be attracting above-average Americans,” Mr. Kane wrote.

Umm, well, yeah… because you have to have a high school diploma (or GED, presumably the other two percent) to join the military. So why on earth would your respond to that number with the conclusion that the military “seems to be attracting above-average Americans,” like it’s some kind of surprising finding, as opposed to, you know, a freaking prerequisite.

Tags: War



1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Marc // Nov 8, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Also important to note that the 98%-75% comparison is comparing apples and oranges. “75% of Americans nationwide” includes Americans of all ages, and high school graduation rates have increased significantly over time. The military skews young, so the important comparison is between the military recruits and the population of similar age.