Access Minnesota

28 September 2016

Invisible Inequality in the Military

For the week of October 2, 2016

October is Veterans’ Voices Month in Minnesota and Access Minnesota will feature a series of shows on issues facing veterans. This week, a look at socioeconomic inequality in the military.

Guest: Francis Shen, Associate Professor of Law, University of Minnesota

  • Part 1 – 14:14

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    “Who’s paying the ultimate sacrifice and keeping us free in America’s wars,” asks Professor Shen. To answer this question, Shen and co-author Douglas Kriner of Boston University analyzed over 500,000 combat causalities from World War II through the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In WWII, they found those who served in combat came from all parts of the country and across economic lines. But since the Korean War, Shen and Kriner find there is no longer a shared-sacrifice and the burden of war has fallen on poor Americans.

  • Part 2 – 12:21

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    The socioeconomic inequality found in military sacrifice has consequences. Shen says there is a disconnect between the people who make policy decisions and the people who serve on the front lines. Without a personal connection to the cost of war, he says, it’s easier to be cavalier about engaging in military action.

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