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?
Just so that you know (since I lived on post for many years) the military doesn't pay for as much as you think. Housing is subtracted from pay and many other things. Just wanted to clear that part up. Service members are not compensated fairly overall for what they do. Its quite disgusting to see how civilian contractors are paid ten times more then your average service member by the defense dept not to mention the obscene amounts over paid to defense contractors because of massive gouging. I don't think I know many service members that ask to be called hero's but I can assure you that there are heroic actions taking place everyday by the grunts that don't care about politics but about their buddies and getting home to see their families or trying to help people they come in contact with. I'm not going to say that all our military actions have been wise over the years, right or that even all service members are good people but the majority have the the intent of serving you whether you asked them or not. I'd venture to say that a Marine takes far greater risk then any civilian worker does because there is always that real possibility that the next horrible war will break at a moments notice. This world is unpredictable and what we think isn't possible is just around the corner and never seen coming. I will concede that in some specialized fields of employment a civilian is far more likely to be able to fill the role better but for the majority of the employment there is nothing wrong with the government encouraging the hiring of service members and providing benefits for doing so.
I have to disagree with the notion that vets should receive hiring incentives. The rewards we offer for service, as they stand right now, are pretty good. The GI Bill is stronger than it ever has been. For anyone not familiar, the GI Bill gives vets an opportunity to seek an education, and kicks them some cash to help with expenses on top of paying for tuition. In my view this gives them an incredible advantage, combined with their military experience it goes a long way towards making them the most qualified candidate. Employers should hire that candidate, the most qualified. Rather than subsidize hiring, we should do a better job of educating vets on their options and point them towards retraining.
As for medical benefits, they deserve better. Military healthcare has been on a continuous downward spiral for decades. Benefits for active and prior duty individuals and their families should be restored to pre-TriCare era levels.
Benefits and pay for active duty, especially enlisted folks and noncoms should be increased substantially. The branches are trying to "trim the fat" and the first to go are the best and brightest most of the time. Why would they stay when there are better opportunities as a contractor?
Yeah there is a joke on base about military health care I hear a lot. You say your arm is falling off? Okay soldier take a Motrin... Its a joke about how often it seems that military doctors use it as a catch all.
here is a quote from the most recent issue of time magazine "total millitary compensation today is higher than that earned by 80% of civilian u.s. workers of comparable age and education" i have to admitt, i'm probably a little biased as I am currently unemployed and desperately need a job. i think that all of the comments on this thread have been respectful of our millitary personal who excell at a very tough and dangerous job, but we've moved away from the basic question here- should our government be offering incentives to hire vets over civilians?
I don’t think this particular legislation was necessary. Perhaps it is unfair to the general public….. But remember… hate the game (this law) …. Not the players (our vets). :)
That is likely true. I haven't perused this particular bill, so I shouldn't really have opined on it. But, my general feelings is that veterans choose to sacrifice for the nation and therefore deserve extra considerations upon discharge. That this service isn't compulsory is irrelevent to me in light of the fact that their service arguably makes our lives safer and/or better. The part about that we may argue is of a political and policy nature and does not reside on the same level as the role of an individual soldier.
I agree most of the members of congress don't really give a rats ass about service members and do attach themselves to such plans when they pop up as a feel good measure and do very little on their own to push any agenda to help service members. Mostly Lip service
I am a former service woman now disabled out, though not in the US forces, but I do have a few comments.
1. Before I left the services I was given a lot of support and help in preparing me for civvy life, including access to some very good courses and education, all at tax payers expense.
2. Being a former service person meant that most employers already looked well on me as an applicant and was, I felt, something of an edge in the jobs market.
3. As I had served in the British Forces I could access assistance from several organisations including the very excellent Royal British Legion who had fantastic contacts in every profession and industry.
Given the above, and guessing it is not that much different in the US, I would say no, but............
The measures by Obama could actually work out to be very cost effective when you look at the costs to the nation as a whole over a life time because helping to ensure service personnel to get work helps reduce social costs through welfare and reduced medical costs because work is the best physical and mental therapy (which I suspect would also help reduce rates of alcohol/drug dependency also). In view of this I think it could be a worthwhile idea, however I suspect his motives had much more to do with vote grabbing than welfare of those who helped defend the rich and powerful. We serve "our country" but have you noticed how it is only "our country" when those who would never risk their rich and comfortable lives want someone else to die for them ? If you look at it this way then this is small help indeed.
On balance I would prefer these measures not be needed at all and would like every citizen to put a lot more thought (and by that I mean thought not regurgitated Faux Fox or CNN "news" ) into why they support their politicians in committing their country to conflict in the first place.
Side comment: I do wish those seeking to influence people would stop abusing the word "hero" because we always used to think of "heroes" as people who get other soldiers/airmen/sailors killed.
Sorry, drifted some the central point a bit there.
Judith vd R.
Thanks Judith! And I appreciate your perspective as a veteran. I think you're quote sums up a lot of my frustration:
We serve "our country" but have you noticed how it is only "our country" when those who would never risk their rich and comfortable lives want someone else to die for them ?
I think in the United States around 1% of the entire members of Congress have children in the military. So they are interested in votes, not help as is the status quo for the politicians of this country. I feel this bill was a show. Nothing more.
Not only a show... but I think another glimpse at how much our political system, and by inference the government, is becoming detached and derailed from standard American society.