Yes, I know, I frequently link to Jim Miller on Politics. That's because I often find things there that, figuratively speaking, stop me in my tracks. Such was the case a moment ago. In his post, Americans Are Getting Bigger, (which I almost didn't read 'cause, well, it didn't strike me as interesting), Jim drops this little bombshell he found in An Army At Dawn: The War In Africa, 1942-43
...a description of the standards the draftees had to meet in 1940, which shows just how much bigger we've gotten:Emphasis added by me. Forty percent of the American men who were drafted could not meet those standards even by 1940? I am unfamiliar with Rick Atkinson's work and have no idea if this paltry level of size and general health can be laid directly on the effects of the Great Depression. For all I know half of the 40% who couldn't meet those standards ran out and got a dose or some teeth extracted the moment their draft notice showed up in the mailbox, but I doubt it.Physical standards remained fairly rigorous; soon enough, the day would come when new recruits claimed the army no longer examined eyes, just counted them. A conscript had to stand at least five feet tall and weigh 105 pounds; possess twelve or more of his natural thirty-two teeth; and be free of flat feet, venereal disease, and hernias. More than forty of every hundred men were rejected, a grim testament to the toll taken on the nation's health in the Great Depression. (p. 9)105 pounds! When was the last time you even saw a man who weighed that little? If the men in those old World War II photos looks small, that's because many of them were.)
The next time I hear some local moonbat chant the "worst since the Great Depression" mantra I'm gonna be sorely tempted to slap the idiot. With a little luck I'll control myself and merely say, "You're too stupid for words. Please just STFU."