century was that the spread of educationnwas bound to lower the crime rate.nHe then presented a simple chart showingnthe behavior of education and crimenrates per capita in the United States evernsince: both figures, of course, havenincreased astronomically at much thensame rate. While this correlation hardlynproves that more education increasesncrime, it surely casts grave doubt on thenopposite thesis.nOn ‘Leviathan’snChildren’nAllan Carison (May 1990) observes thenself-serving inclination of certain partsnof modern society to free families fromnthe anxieties that modern society itselfnplaces on the family. “What,” he asks,n”have been the results?”nAs part of the answer, he posits thenrather preposterous notion that ColdnWar military families are part of annAmerican experiment in socialist familynpolicy. This unfortunate idea seems tonbe based on some rather fundamentalnmisconceptions.nCarlson apparently believes that servicenfamilies receive subsidized foodnand consumer goods in their Post Exchanges.nActually, there is nothing innthe military exchanges that is subsidized,nand tax dollars are not involved inntheir operation. Food and goods arenprocured on the open market andnmarked up before being resold to customers.nThe markup is used to paynwages and operating expenses and tonprocure more food and goods. Operatingnprofits, not tax dollars, are used tonconstruct or remodel exchange facilities.nProfits are also used to fund base libraries,ntheaters, swimming pools, clubs,nand similar activities.nEven military commissaries, whichnare built and operated with tax dollars,ndo not subsidize food. Sales are, in fact,nat cost plus a surcharge.nSome of Carlson’s other points arenlikewise difficult to reconcile with hisnsocialist experiment idea. For instance,nthat military officers in the 60’s werenmore likely to marry and much lessnlikely to divorce than their civilian counterpartsnmay be explained by factors thatnhave nothing to do with socialization atnthe Officers’ Club. And the fact thatnwives were less likely to be employednmay be attributed to frequent changesn6/CHRONICLESnin duty stations, many of which are innisolated areas where there are few jobsnor in foreign countries that prohibitnAmerican wives from taking jobs.nMilitary personnel tend to reflect thenideas, tastes, preferences, and attitudesnof society. Hence, any changes in militarynfamily policy more than likely mirrornthe changes that are already takingnplace in the civilian community. It isnabsurd to attribute these changes tonsome sort of socialist experiment.nI do agree with Cadson when hensays, “There are independent and compellingnreasons for social conservativesnto support a sharp reduction in the sizenof our standing military force.” I do not,nhowever, agree when he says, “thisnaction would represent a traditionalistnliberation from the misshapen socialismnthat has recently taken root in thenservices.n-Stephen M. NuttnDuncanville, TXnMr. Carlson Replies:nStephen Nutt offers a fair correctionnconcerning Post Exchange operations,nalthough he ovedooks both the hiddennsubsidies enjoyed by the PX system asnwell as the more complicated history ofnArmy/PX cooperation (e.g., among thenArmy daycare centers created in then1950’s, the Army provided the buildingsnand land, while operating fundsncame from PX profits and daycare fees).nConcerning his objections to thenmore central points of my essay, I holdnto the contention that military familiesnare demonstrably different from civiliannfamilies in the degree to which theirnfunctions have been directly assumednby government. From the militarynhealth care system and base housing tonchild care and youth activities, militaryn”dependents” are part of a system thatnis objectively socialist in its operations,neffects, and—increasingly—intent.nOn ‘Art Is AlwaysnPolitical’nThank you for presenting George Carrett’snpiece (“Art Is Always PoliticalnWhen the Covernment Starts GivingnGrants,” June 1990) dealing with thenNational Endowment for the Arts, annnnextremely complex issue that has beenntrashed by less informed writers. Whilenmy ideological inclination is to demandnthe abolition of all government funding,nI also live in the real world and recognizenthe effect arts funding has on thenexistence of fine and performing arts.nIn actuality, the NEA and NationalnEndowment for the Humanities fundnfar fewer Mapplethorpes and PissnChrists than they fund the more traditionalnarts. In West Plains, the nearestntown to my rural home (with a populationnof ten thousand), the art councilnreceives funding from the MissourinArts Council, which in turn receivesnmonies from the NEA. In the pastnseveral years, this money — your taxndollars — has paid for a “Mark TwainnTonight” performance, a dance company,na community theater presentationnof an Agatha Christie mystery, anharp and flute duo, a newsletter, anCeltic music trio, a radio variety show,nand a lecture on Sherlock Holmes.nThe NEH funding, going through twonMissouri cultural boards, provided thenmonies for a group that presented thentraditional dances of India and a pair ofnOzark fiddle players, as well as providingnthree lectures this coming year onnOzark social history, the regional IndiannMound sites, and a collection ofnEgyptian antiquities housed near St.nLouis. In most cases, the West PlainsnArts Council must either raise equalncash amounts to the funds granted ornprove that local volunteers have donatedntime, services, and products to balancenthe fund amount — no small tasknin this conservative community.nNot one of these programs has beennoffensive to anyone, nor could they benconsidered “polihcal” in any sense ofnthe word. But I can absolutely assurenyou that this small Midwestern townnwould have none of these without thenNEA and tax dollars.nAll I ask is that when you think ofnNEA and NEH, think of West Plainsnbefore you think of Mapplethorpe.nDoing so, the hysteria surroundingnFirst Amendment issues can fade andnlet the realities of arts funding come tonlight. Only then can we make anninformed decision about the future ofnthe NEA.n—Anita EvangelistanPeace Valley, MOn