Avatar feed
Responses: 10
CPT Jack Durish
4
4
0
It seems that this author studied economics under The Great Houdini. She is a master of misdirection. For example, Houdini could distract his audience to pay attention to the left side of the stage while his assistants led an elephant unnoticed onto the right side. Then, when Houdini directed their attention to the right the elephant appeared magically (at least that's how the audience perceived it).

Yes, I'm going to say it. There's an elephant in the room: Massive government spending on countless programs and projects (pork and welfare) and we're being misdirected to examine a minute, though very important, part of it: The military budget. Yes there's waste and pork aplenty in the military budget and something should be done about it.

Once upon a time I was an amateur magician and one thing I discovered is that children were my worst audience. They hadn't yet been conditioned as adults had and were not easily misdirected. Maybe we have to approach this propaganda as a child might and not be distracted through misdirection...
(4)
Comment
(0)
PO3 Electrician's Mate
PO3 (Join to see)
>1 y
huh? (am I acting like a child now?)

Can't agree more.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar small
SSG Warren Swan
3
3
0
Sir, first thing I thought was HUH? The article ran around and around but said nothing. Now this is just my opinion, but the welfare state in the military in the way the author speaks of it is rather confusing. Entitlements vs. Welfare. When you enlist you are told there are certain things in the contract that are non negotiable; your health care, room and board, stuff like that. To me those are entitlements; part of the job. Now with welfare, you are struggling and the state (or service branch) is there to assist you. In this case with the military vs. civilian, the welfare state is the same state we support, so is the term "welfare" accurate when dealing with the military? They support us, as we support them.
I'm not sure about the post Nam Army or military in general. I was a child and that Army was my fathers Army. I'm not sure where she got her stats from so I can't make an informed opinion on the make up of the services at that time. I would've been nice to see where she got that from.
With the remake of the retirement system and she makes it seem "new", but is it? Privation of on post housing has been going on now for how long? The troops already pay some of the utilities with these homes, I'd wager the gap between civilian and military has been closing for awhile in that sense. Back to retirement; when I came in (1994) it was 40% of your high three (if memory serves). When the war started it was bumped up to 50% of the high three and then you could choose 40% and $30k at your 15yr mark. There was a big stink over this being that folks were looking at the short term "feel good" aspects of the $30k, but not realizing that it would hurt them 3x's as bad over the long run if it wasn't invested or processed properly. Now we're telling the troops that felt bad they didn't get anything from the system after doing large years in, you're in control to a point. I'm not a proponent of this because of the shoddy financial counseling I remember getting when I was in (it varied post to post and opinion to opinion), and while it may become mandatory, it still relies on the same principles of personal opinions and locations. I AM a proponent of this new system because it does allow troops to be treated more in line as their civilian counterparts and give them options. It's going to take a lot of growing into, but I do not feel the future is going to lie with the 401k option in the military. Something will happen that will offset it and the familiar standby will be put back in place.
Sir if I am wrong in any aspect of what I said, again this is my opinion and I'd hope that anyone who reads this takes the time to explain why I'm wrong rather than just blurt out "you're wrong". That's not teaching anyone anything, and even though I'm retired, some of what you say I can take back to the vet groups I'm in and inform the Soldiers who are still in or aren't sure of the next step, what to look into or plan for.
(3)
Comment
(0)
CPT Battle Command Officer/Knowledge Management Officer
CPT (Join to see)
>1 y
I think you hit the nail on the head. A lot of what you said were some of the concerns and questions I had with her points.

And like you pointed out, where are her sources? She makes a lot of bold and broad claims without support.

A good point you make is that civilians often conflate welfare with benefits/entitlements. And some of the programs she decries, such as education, are the same programs that are needed to ensure that after serving the country with limited free time you are able to go back and not be a burden on society. Furthermore, I hear too often people say something along the lines of "Well you joined instead of college", which is simply a generalization, one she continues to perpetuate while saying that education benefits to vets is a welfare program.

I'm not personally a fan of the new retirement program. I get the benefits of it, however, I also feel we are shortchanging those who do stay in for a long period. In fact, I think it is going to back fire in the long term like you said. If Soldiers can pay into it, especially in the specialist fields such as medical and IT, what is to stop them from doing some time in the military then carrying it over to a new company or private 401K? I think between the draw down and the radical changes in benefits we are going to see a massive brain drain the military that is going to be difficult to recover from.
(2)
Reply
(0)
SSG Warren Swan
SSG Warren Swan
>1 y
CPT (Join to see) - I'm going to wait and see when the first 1SG/PSG with the "new" system has to counsel his Soldiers on how to prepare for retirement/ETS with the new system. I don't want to see the counseling per se, but I'd be interested to see the Army Doctrine used to justify it. I'd like to see how the data used in a world that financially changes with the wind will be applicable to all across the board regardless of location and rank. I remember when the TSP came out and I got counseled by my Section SGT, and told to enroll, he did it because he was told to, and he had enrolled also. He had no concrete data, nothing to convince me it was the right thing to do other than his position and rank (E7). It worked out for me, but I did only the minimum. Imagine if I had real data to show me what could've happened based on 10yr metrics and forecasts and invested more? This is what we need to get to the troops of the future.
(2)
Reply
(0)
SFC Michael Hasbun
SFC Michael Hasbun
>1 y
The "entitlements" you described are very much negotiable/alterable. DD 4-1, the enlistment contract states the following:

"b. Laws and regulations that govern military personnel may change without notice to me. Such changes may affect my status, pay, allowances, benefits, and responsibilities as a member of the Armed Forces REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document."
(0)
Reply
(0)
SSG Warren Swan
SSG Warren Swan
>1 y
SFC Michael Hasbun - Agreed. But even with that in writing, it's just informational. No one would dare touch your healthcare, your families, or your benefits without a ton of senior level meetings, congressional testimonials, and every TV "expert" speaking on it one way or the other. It will be made public well before it could even take effect. That's not to say they're not trying though.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar small
1LT Aaron Barr
3
3
0
First, I'm annoyed that she continually referred to military members as conscripts. Second, Ms Mittelstadt seems to draw no difference between putting one's life on the line to serve this nation in the military and simply being given other peoples looted money for nothing but voting Democrat.
(3)
Comment
(0)
Avatar small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close