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Liberal Internationalist Wars, the American War Dead, and What Elites Say About Them

The United States ended the draft in 1973, a year that coincides roughly with the beginning of the wage stagnation that has afflicted lower and middle-income American workers ever since. As inequality ballooned, military service likely became a relatively more appealing option for many. Put another way, rational actors who know their own interests and want to maximize their wealth join the United States Army or Marine Corps to do dangerous jobs during wartime because they have no better options: it is McDonald’s or the military.