No, soldiers should not be paid as much as professional football players

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Americans love a man in uniform. I myself come from three generations of military ancestry, and have many friends and family that are currently serving. It takes a lot of courage to dedicate years to train, risk your life, and fight to bring democracy to the Middle East for your country. And for that, our troops deserve our appreciation. However, I do think that people take their admiration a little too far, especially when they post outrageous shit like this.

Nobody seriously believes this statement, right? Anyone who puts just five seconds of thought into this idea would immediately dismiss it as nonsense.

Let's look at the facts, not counting practice squad players, the NFL's minimum salary is roughly $500,000 depending on whether a player is a veteran or on a rookie contract. The NFL's minimum is roughly around the same as the NBA ($475,000), NHL ($525,000), and MLB ($500,000). Saying that a soldier should be paid more than someone that "defends a football" would mean that the idiot saying it honestly believes that soldiers should be paid at least $500,000 a year.

Why is this a problem? Well to start off, the number of active soldiers is roughly 1.3 million not counting the reserves. The military budget per 2010 was $683 billion, a great deal of which was spent on operations and maintenance ($283 billion), research and development ($79 billion), intelligence ($80 billion), and various other military needs. If the government paid every soldier at least $500,000 - Not even taking into account the fact that higher ranks would be paid much more than the minimum - Then it would require using 95% ($650 billion) of the military budget on soldiers alone. It's not like the military is going to suddenly cut submarines and fighter jets, either. The government would essentially have to double defense spending. And that's not even taking into account my next point -

If the Army paid every soldier a minimum of $500,000, at least one-fifth of the United States would enlist immediately. At least one fifth. Or at least anyone that's eligible that doesn't already make a lot of money. Think about that, $500,000 is almost ten times the average annual income. If you're graduating high school, why bother getting into in debt to go to college for four years when you could make two million dollars in that same span of time? Think about all of the factory workers, truck drivers, brick layers, plumbers, manual labor workers, and minimum wage workers at grocery stores and fast food restaurants that make well under six figures. Shit, only about 10 percent of Americans make six figures (or more) right now. People are flocking to North Dakota in droves to mine oil for 15 hours a day at $50,000-$100,000 a year. Are you to tell me that those same people wouldn't sign up for military service at five times that salary?

Also, let's talk about the economics of such a scenario. Let's be modest and say only 10% of the country enlists, which is around 32 million Americans. The United States would have to spend the entire nation's GDP to pay the troops. Not to mention, if so many Americans left their current jobs to go into the army, the country as a whole would be far less productive. This means that the price of goods and services would skyrocket, because they would become more scarce. Additionally, who is going to pay these soldiers? As I stated, defense spending would have to at least double with the current enlistment, not counting reserves and higher ups. Government would have to increase taxes dramatically, which hey, should not be too difficult to enforce now that the government has tens, if not hundreds, of millions of soldiers. So right away, everything is more expensive, taxes are much higher, a large portion of the country is unproductive, and the government has way more power than it ever did before. The economy would collapse, unless of course, the government delegated the production of goods and services to the military, in which case...

Congratulations! You just signed up for fascism!

Paying $500,000 to every soldier simply is not feasible.

The only other alternative would be to put a limit on how much professional athletes should make, which is stupid. Athletes should make whatever the fans, and owners, are willing to pay them. If millions of people are dropping hundreds of dollars on tickets, video games, apparel, and tuning in to drive up ad revenue, then why the fuck shouldn't athletes receive a big piece of the pie? And why are people only like this when it comes to professional sports? People bitch all the time whenever the CEO of a fortune 500 company refuses to give their employees a raise, or "fair wages", but it's perfectly acceptable for a billionaire to underpay professional athletes and pocket the cash for himself? I often hear people bitch about how "outrageous" it is that athletes make millions while a teacher only makes five figures. As if a teacher had the natural talent and ability to make millions to dunk basketballs, they would still choose to teach.

Look at someone like Shaq. He's dumber than a box of crayons. I say this because a box of crayons contains 100 words, which I'm sure is at least double Shaq's vocabulary. If you switched Shaq's brain with a short fat guy when he was 17, he would be lucky to have a career washing dishes. There's no way Shaq drops rap albums and makes "Kazaam" if he wasn't famous from breaking backboards. But thanks to his ability to dominate the paint, and thanks to people's obsession with the NBA, he's a multimillionaire. And he deserves every penny. If I was selling out arenas, and jerseys with my name were flying off the shelves, I would want millions of dollars as well. Any rational person would. After all, wasn't the freedom to pursue one's happiness something that Americans fought and died for in the first place? If we put a limit on how much people can make, in any industry, we are limiting their freedom to pursue their own happiness. Which is anti-American.

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