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To Our Fallen Heroes – Thank You

It’s Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. But before you fire up your backyard grills or just enjoy a day out of the office, let’s take a moment to remember what it is we celebrate today… 

We honor the memory of those who have fallen protecting the lives and freedom of the rest of us.

Those who paid the ultimate price. 

Those who had real skin in the game.

That last point is one that often gets overlooked in the flag waving. War has the ultimate incentive problem. Those who make the decisions – the politicians and their appointees at the Pentagon – ultimately aren’t the ones who take the risk and suffer the consequences. That burden falls on the service members, their families, and, of course, the civilians in the places where the bombs fall and the bullets fly.

The politician gets glory, popularity, favorable mentions in the history books, and possibly even a handsome campaign donation from the defense contractors… while suffering no real downside. 

Heads, they win. Tails, someone else takes the loss. 

It wasn’t always like that.

Alexander the Great led his troops into battle personally, taking the same risks they did. 

As recently as World War I, Belgium’s King Albert personally led his country’s troops in multiple battlefield engagements against the Germans. 

Today, we can’t even get our “brave” congressmen to accept the same Social Security pension the rest of us get, let alone actually put themselves at personal risk on the front line. 

Of course, this problem isn’t limited to war. Virtually everything the government does is subject to the same incentive problems. Those making the decisions aren’t the ones left to deal with the consequences, whether it’s taxes, inflationary spending excesses, or mind-bogglingly stupid monetary policy by the Federal Reserve. 

But that’s another gripe for another day. 

Today, let’s remember those who fell so that the rest of us could live free. We see you. We thank you for your sacrifice. 

Happy Memorial Day!

To life, liberty, and freedom.