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View Diary: Morning Feature: The Violence of Privilege (Non-Cynical Saturday) (237 comments)

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  •  That's a very common story. (10+ / 0-)

    Many of us joined the military for similar reasons.  While I can see the argument that serving our nation should provide some benefits - President Obama's plan for college tuition assistance is conditional upon the recipients volunteering to serve the nation in some way - health care should not be a privilege reserved to the military, qualified veterans, the elderly ... and of course the wealthy.  Reserving it as a privilege for the first three is really a way to ensure it remains a privilege for that last group.

    Good morning! ::huggggggggggggs::

    •  Exactly. I believe college for national service (7+ / 0-)

      is a fair exchange. Basic health care as a privilege you have to risk death in the military for? Not so much.  

      •  And especially ... (7+ / 0-)

        Basic health care as a privilege you have to risk death in the military for? Not so much.

        ... when the wealthy don't have to risk anything to get equal or better care.  It's not 1863, however much Mr. Kristol may wish it were.

      •  Interesting idea. (6+ / 0-)

        Do the countries that offer low or no tuition for higher education also require some sort of national service? Anyone know?

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government is incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 06:09:26 AM PDT

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        •  Germany does. (6+ / 0-)

          I don't know about others, but Germany has mandatory national service upon graduation.  That service can take any number of forms, from the military to volunteering in a hospital or other social care provider.

        •  Many of them do, particularly in the (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, winterbanyan, NCrissieB, kktlaw

          developing world. However, since most of their militaries are a bit less... expeditionary... than ours, it's not quite such a big deal. And at least in Egypt, you can buy your way out of it.

        •  The northern European countries do, but not (5+ / 0-)

          England or the Commonwealth, their tuitions are low or subsidized without service. Maybe mofembot could tell us about France if she checks in.

          Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

          by FarWestGirl on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 07:40:00 AM PDT

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        •  That would certainly answer the complaint (4+ / 0-)
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          winterbanyan, MKSinSA, NCrissieB, kktlaw

          that offering GIs an education in exchange for service would deplete the ranks as soldiers left to take advantage of educational opportunities. Simply reverse the order, education first, service after. That would also get us a slightly older, more mature and more highly educated military (even if other forms of national service were on the menu.) Seems like a win all the way around.

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government is incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 07:49:33 AM PDT

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          •  Except the military wants those (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Orinoco, MKSinSA, NCrissieB, kktlaw, etbnc

            18 yr old males, before the brain has finished growing enough to start considering consequences.

            Until recently, you could enlist at 17 with or w/o a high school diploma.

            And in earlier times, boys as you as 12 and 14 were ripe for military service.  There's a reason for that.

            Today it is theoretically possible to get your education first on delayed enlistment.  Except, of course, we're at war, so delayed enlistment is a myth, but one recruiters are still selling.

            "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

            by winterbanyan on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 08:00:13 AM PDT

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            •  There would be nothing preventing (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              winterbanyan, MKSinSA, NCrissieB, kktlaw

              an 18 yr old male from enlisting rather than going to college, even if college were free. Sometimes people feel they have just had it with sitting in a classroom. I know I felt that way after high school, and almost enlisted in the Navy then, but the recruiter talked me out of it since I had prospects for getting a higher education. And, when I got out of college I did join the Navy, only with an education under my belt.  

              ::sigh:: Just because the military industrial complex needs cannon fodder is no good reason to set up our society to provide it. We can do better. I know we're on the same side here, winterbanyan.

              "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government is incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

              by Orinoco on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 08:26:30 AM PDT

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              •  I'm sure we are, Orinoco. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Orinoco, MKSinSA, NCrissieB, kktlaw

                I hope nobody misunderstands what I said.  I'm an ex-military wife and I have the highest regard for those who choose to serve.  My partner and my son are vets, and my nephew is even now in Marines.

                But there is a reason the military wants the young 'uns.  I just don't think we should manipulate young men and women into joining the military because they have no other option for education and/or healthcare, or even a job, which is what I think you are saying.

                If we want an all-volunteer service, then we shouldn't be applying economic pressures to force people to sign up.  And if the economic pressures can't be entirely removed, then there should be a "public service" option other than the military.

                "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

                by winterbanyan on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 08:44:16 AM PDT

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