On Monday President Obama signed into law the bipartisan jobs bill for veterans. The bill called the “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” will provide tax credits of up to $2,400 for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed at least 4 weeks; up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been unemployed longer than 6 months; and up to $9,600 for businesses that hire veterans who have service-connected disabilities and have been unemployed longer than 6 months. There are many articles on the law one of which, by CBS news, can be read here.


The question I have is this; Do you think veterans, who voluntarily chose to enlist and to serve, should receive favorable treatment in terms of hiring incentives over any other unemployed worker in this country? Is this fair? I feel that in terms of health care, the the government should absolutely take care of the vets when they return, especially if they are disabled. However, why does serving in the military on any level equate with special privileges when it comes to finding a job? There are many unemployed people in this country who have not chosen to go to join the military and because they have not chosen to do so, they now have a disadvantage in simple terms of incentives to employers, when looking for work.  What are your thoughts on this?

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I realize what I am about to say is probably so simplistic as to be laughable, but I am going to say it anyway. Boot camp all the way on up to actually being on the front line in a war is hell on earth. Incentives are needed or no one in their right mind would do it. Every country needs a military. That is the way it is at this time. Hopefully one day, in the future, things may be different, but I doubt it.

Not simplistic or laughable Flower. There are many incentives and the GI bill is obviously a huge one and I'm not saying there should not be it is after all a volunteer force. But I guess you could counter by saying one of the problems in this country is the military industrial complex and incentives are just another way of ensuring its survival? I know I'm sounding way too liberal or conspiracy theorist here which I am not.

How do you mean exactly? Sheer curiosity... if you could expound on your posed question.

I mean that the military machine that is the united states is seeing potential cuts for the first time in years.  If more people join up, this is just another way of ensuring it's survival.

I would be okay if someone as qualified as I, got the job I wanted, purely because they served in the military and I had not. However, it would be annoying if we were equally qualified and the person who served in the military got the job, purely due to their military service.

Flower, your first sentence contradicts the second???

You are correct. I have episodes of major brain farting at times. Thanks for pointing this out to me. 


The point I was trying to make is it would not be so bad if the person I was competing with for the job was just as qualified, yet the employer hired them due to my competitor also having served in the military. However, it would be annoying if they were hired over me even though they were not as qualified because they had served in the military.


Also I agree with Dennis that I'm not crazy about the idea of the government rewarding employers financially for hiring people who had served in the military.

I think the short answer is no.

I agree with supporting veterans, through healthcare and education funding on a public level. In contrast to the job market, these programs are in place for everyone to some degree in other forms. But as Robert said, the US military (with some notable exceptions in history of course) has always been a volunteer army.

So, where does, "Equal Opportunity Employer" fit into that? This destroys "Equal Opportunity" in a strong way. How is this any different than giving anyone else de facto treatment in the job marketplace? People should find jobs based on merit for their ability, not because of their religious beliefs, gender, race, etc. These sorts of things happen anyway on their own, it's bad enough.... Oh but, someone serves in the volunteer military, they get real monetarily driven preference sanctioned by the government? Especially right now in a job market where, it's hard enough for many people to find a job? I say this as someone who is unemployed at the moment myself; now the government is attempting to solidify the job market against me on purpose?

I haven't complained yet for being unemployed; such is life. But that's the point. I am doing my best to find work, and everyone else should have opportunity regardless of something so arbitrary. I've even started looking across the country, willing to move, even though I have tried to stay here to be there for my children , that I now may have to move away from. Oh sorry Obama, I didn't enlist... thanks for giving employers strong incentives NOT to hire me when given the choice. And, not tax deductions, but credits?

Thanks Dennis. I wrote the post speaking as someone who is employed but has many friends who are either not employed or underemployed and struggling immensely. I appreciate your thoughts.

Certainly, sir. That would be me!

Being a vet isn't arbitrary by the way its a pretty major factor. They served so they are rewarded for that service its a fair trade.

In no way did I say that in a truncated way "being a vet is arbitrary." I am strong believer in supporting the people and their families in the military, and we have multiple programs to support them and their families publicly, in addition to private endeavors.

My grandfather was drafted as infantry during WWII, landed on Normandy D-Day +1, fought through the Battle of the Bulge, was ambushed in Germany and shot through the neck, and sent home with a Purple Heart. Both my dad and my uncle were deployed to Germany on high alert when the USSR invaded Afghanistan and served there for years while my mother and I stayed here alone. I have many friends who have served, one for example who did two full tours in Iraq, another who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and after serving in the latter country is dealing with a lot of problems because of what he experienced. Then I have some friends that quite literally pushed a pencil behind a desk in an office all day and that was the extent of their experience.

Absolutely they should all be rewarded for their service, regardless of what they did. I think education and healthcare provisions are very appropriate, among other things, pensions, etc. There are a lot of ways publicly and privately that we can and do, and will, make an attempt at a fair trade for veterans.

However, what I find arbitrary is that as a U.S. citizen in the job market, where I am attempting to make a livelihood so I can eat and live and support my children, like anyone else, and all other things being a toss-up to some gradient, someone has the potential to take precedence over another, not because of some qualifying nature implicitly related to a job position, but because the government flashes golden dollar signs in the company's face, if only they'll pick one over the other. I find this scenario arbitrary in the employment world. In what other scenario would anyone see this as appropriate, as much as we have already reformed employment laws to fashion "equal opportunity"?


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