Won’t Free College Destroy Military Recruitment?

Won’t Free College Destroy Military Recruitment?

Let’s go next to our caller from the two five,
six area code. Who’s calling today from two five, six. This is Alex. How’s it going, man? Hey Alex, what’s up? Not most man, a big fan of your show and I
appreciate what you do, but I just wanted to get your opinion. Uh, free education. Uh, I live in Huntsville and it’s a military
town. It’s got the Redstone arsenal, employs many
people, but I just thought it was on my mind. Like how do you think that would affect military
enrollment? Uh, I know that some people do it for love
of country, but nowadays people do it more so for, I feel like for the, uh, incentives,
you know, as far as education, healthcare. So I wanted to get your opinion on that. Yeah, I have a segment about this. It’s called something like wouldn’t free college
and healthcare decimate military recruiting or something like that. And it’s certainly plausible, but military
recruiting would be, um, affected if, uh, the economic incentives are the reason that
a lot of people are joining. There are questions as to what percentage
of people who join the military are actually joining for those reasons. But here’s the, the big argument for me, I
want people in the military who actually want to be in the military. I don’t want someone joining the military
out of desperation because they need healthcare. So I actually think that the reality these days, right, absolutely. And I think even if it’s true, I don’t think
we are well served by having people in the military who don’t actually want to be there
except that it’s how they figured out they could afford college and get healthcare. So if it’s true, I don’t think it’s a bad
thing. The military is more than big enough. Right. And uh, one more thing. I have a recommendation if, uh, again, getting
ahead of myself, but if, if Bernie Sanders wins crystal ball, man, she needs to be a
press secretary. Okay. All right. Maybe that, uh, I’ll, I’ll ask her about that. I’m in touch with crystal. We’ll see. We’ll see about that. That would be very interesting. Uh, all right. Thank you so much for the call. Very much appreciate hearing from you. Let’s go next to our caller from the six eight
two area code.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Yes it will and a very good thing too. Reinstate the draft without exception to eliminate privileged exceptions. The poor die in order the rich live free, 'merika.

  2. The military exploits the poor and disadvantaged. Giving the poor and disadvantaged free healthcare and free college will absolutely kill military recruiting. Given that the military needs to be downsized anyway, that’s really not a problem.

  3. I’m 24 and I’ve been thinking of joining the military for a couple of years now for free college, but I’ve been hung up on my direction in life and disgusted by our foreign policy with regard to military action. I’ll say at least from my limited experience growing up in a small Midwest town it’s not uncommon for people to go into the military purely for medical care and free tuition.

  4. 5 years in the Marine Corps and still going. David I agree with you. A small number, but still a lot of ppl come in for the benefits and end up becoming the worst people you would want in the military. No matter how many trainings, resources and personal development coaching a we help them with. “Some” can’t make it through their first and only contract without getting a NJP or 6105 (articles of punishment) for getting in trouble or poor work ethic. Sometimes they create negative atmosphere or a culture for our junior enlisted….in some cases, Officers too.

  5. And if it did, well, gaze upon the field in which I grow my fucks. Witness. It is barren.

    But really, military tech, like pretty much everything, is also moving more and more towards automation, making actual boots on the ground less and less critical.

  6. Having joined the military as infantry, I would rather do that again, than go to college, even for free. The Military was far more fun.

  7. Put the 1% elite bankers and CEO 's and Billionaires on the line in boots , they need to do something to earn their keep !

  8. It's a poverty draft, and EVERYONE KNOWS IT. That is sickening, and yet we allow it to stand.

    Along with free public college, WE should start an alternative to the military and it's murder mission, with a paid, public service corps. A domestic "Peace Corps", basically. People who can go to neighborhoods in-need, and provide public services. Everything from teacher's aides to building public housing for the working-poor, helping the elderly and infirmed, etc.

    It should maintain all the benefits which we allow the Pentagon to offer young kids for joining. How many people would rush to join, and steer clear of being forced to murder poor foreigners so that American oligarchs might increase their wealth?

    If we want to increase the political IQ of the average American, and get them awake and involved: Bring back the Draft. Watch how FAST millions of Americans snap out of their apathy. Apathy which allows this neo-feudalist empire to subsist.

  9. I joined the military to supplement my College Education. HOWEVER, Any form of public service should be a fair deal. I like being a service member, but being a service member who is career oriented and also wants a full higher education creates quite a bit of unnecessary conflict. Higher education should come first, military service later.

  10. Why do not make a requirement that for free college or trade school just like they do in Finland
    on a universal conscription at least in the national guard or emergency respondent of each state in this way the citizenship can be called up to help combat the environmental global warming problems and emergencies that hit us in our communities other than these man made wars? .

  11. Even if it does, who gives an actual fuck?
    We have the largest, most well-funded military in the entire world. And that's not just patriotic boasting, it is the literal truth. We could cut it all in half and we'd still be on top globally.
    If more people being smarter means fewer people want to join the military, that's honestly just not a big deal. If people are only joining the military for the benefits, then you're running your military wrong to begin with.

  12. Let's say that it is actually the case that free education at the point of service would lower military recruitment.
    So what? The US already has a horribly bloated military. Reducing the US military seems like a good idea.

  13. Better pay for soldiers. 1 less billion dollar weapon would increase the the pay for actual soldiers getting money.
    90 percent of the money going towards the military doesn't go to the men and women of the fighting force's.
    It we did a real world audit how much money is given to the people vs the manufacturers.
    Where is the biggest bang for our bucks really going?

  14. I’m noticing an odd number of callers from my hometown. It seems we actually have a progressive movement bubbling up here in Alabama. Very encouraging.

  15. Who cares? Honestly, our military needs to be downsized and that funding should be going to other things. I'd cut it by at least 75%

  16. Think it’s important to have a draft so that everybody does military service 6-18 months, with crisis management as a possible option if conciencious objector in order in order to keep society cohesive including a system of semi- career military and career military as officers if done right that way and IF the country takes care of it’s veterans then the military will be seen as a career step but no more renting out troops for money like T does and no- more using people who the leaders think to be expendable…their sons and daughters should go too.

  17. If America's military can afford to burn 7,000 lives on its losing wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, it can afford to lose a few recruits to their furthered education. n/t

  18. »DoN't We NeEd EcOnOmIc PrEsSuRe To FoRcE pEoPlE iNtO mIlItArY sErViCe?«
    Watching from Germany, I completely agree with David. You shouldn't want to use education or healthcare to pressure the less wealthy into the military.

    Although, I would prefer a general draft over a military of only volunteers, because I think a military that is a cross section of society – even if only in the lower ranks – would be less likely to blindly follow illegal orders or to plan a military coup than one in which only people who are drawn to the military come together. No, most people who want to be in the military are not fascists or war dogs, but those surely are overrepresented in a military subculture as compared to a cross section of society.

  19. I sent David a video with a similar question a short time ago. I asked if the reason why political candidates and pundits are the less in favour of "free" college and "free" healthcare the more pro-military they are because so many people join the military in order to get access to college and healthcare. And becauses giving people "free" college and "free" healthcare would therefore lead to (way) fewer people enlisting. (I'm putting it more briefly here.)

  20. I get it that there are many disadvantaged people who enlist in the military in order to get health care and free college but it confuses me that there are so many veterans who just because they got theirs don't want Medicare For All for others..

  21. Spot on. If they don’t want to be there stop over-incentivizing military enrollment and better educate those that want the education.

  22. Just another reason to enact a single payer plan. Everybody is covered in with healthcare and the military gets reduced. A win/win.

  23. Not to mention, if you don't have leaders that perpetuate the military industrial complex, people would likely feel better joining. Knowing that they will only be deployed for legit reasons. One's they'll be proud to serve for.

  24. Listened to my tea party neighbors bragging about how much their grandson was being paid my the military to re-up. That was during the Bush II admin. I think the figure was $40 grand.

  25. Bring back the draft. No college exception. Two years minimum. Male and female. When everyone has a son and daughter serving, the useless and endless wars will stop. Kids will grow up and be more confident in themselves. And the country will benefit by having the ability to defend itself at a moment’s notice.

  26. Here's the thing, the military will adjust its incentives if need be. It's how labor economics works; benefits are a part of your compensation, and the more benefits you have, the less base pay you receive usually.
    The military will either raise base pay to attract people, which would be effective (whether it would completely offset the people lost with education in unknown), or the military will offer a different form of compensation instead.

    Additionally, we don't know all the details of how gov funded college would work when it's finally implemented. Say, hypothetically, that you need to test well enough to receive college benefits; the military could then just be an alternative path to get them. Or, maybe the college benefits only apply up until a certain limit of time/money, in which case some people may opt to do a stint in the military to use Tuition Assistance while they are in, and then finish up through grad school via a combination of civilian benefits with the GI Bill.
    After all, if the bachelors becomes the equivalent of a HS degree even more than it already has , then grad school will become an increasingly more important signal to employers.

    As a veteran, there are many situations where I can see the GI Bill and military TA still being incredibly powerful tools for ambitious individuals.

  27. We can only hope. Make all those "military towns" into college towns that could/would/should spur innovation in various fields. Also maybe it's time to convert a great deal of our military into a humanitarian, disaster relief and/or peace corps.

  28. Primarily it wouldn't kill recruitment for the same reason it wouldn't kill recruitment for the police. People join causes like the Peace Corps for less, and still do so. As David said, you want people who join to want to do so, and not just jump in because they feel they have no choice. Had this same argument with a guy at work and he all but said that people needed to be bribed to join, and this is coming from a guy who was in the Army. But then he also said that he was okay with our current healthcare system exploiting Americans because even if this brand of capitalism is wrong, he doesn't understand any other way. So its eye opening when you have these candid conversations with people. Sadly, it's probably not surprising he is a Trump supporter.

  29. That’s a depressing way to look at the situation

    We can’t educate our country because we need to feed the war machine and defend ourselves from…nobody

  30. People have always joined the military for the benefits! Especially during peacetime! It shouldn’t be the middle class, poor or disadvantaged that have no other choice but the military! Utterly unfair!
    There are also plenty of families that have a proud history of military service regardless of the benefits!
    I’m sure if needed the government would institute the draft, just as they did during Vietnam! Which by the way PLENTY of wealthy and connected families found ways to get their kids out of! Where do you think the term “Draft Dodgers” got popular?!
    We are one of the ONLY major players where college is not free, like high school! So why is that?
    Not to mention why is it that someone going into social work or teaching for instance, had to pay the same amount for college as an engineer? The engineer will clearly come out of the gate making more money and that will just go up!
    It’s my opinion at the very least college fees should be commensurate with what the jobs pay!

  31. They’ll probably make the GI Bill an added benefit on top of college. You’ll get extra money, maybe the GI Bill will give you an extra stipend and pay for things like meal plans and parking passes.

    It also could cover the cost of private school as well. They already do that with vocational rehab (if you apply for vocational rehab after getting accepted into a place like Harvard, they’ll replace your GI Bill with 48 months of college education completely paid for). It’s not that much to pay for when compared to the total education spending that will happen when free college is implemented.

  32. The military needs to pay a lot better then . Everything needs to pay better . It sure pays to be a corporate executive or bank president or senator all with hands as soft as a baby's cause they never worked a day and get paid … how many times more than any of the rest of us ?

  33. Finland has free education and they have their national defense, so does Sweden, Norway, and dozens of other countries.

  34. I dont think Bernie said free private colleges but with free pubic colleges and public universities. This would make private education more competitive as they may lower cost.

  35. The question is framed backwards. It should be “Isn’t the high cost of college and healthcare suspiciously beneficial to military recruitment?”

  36. I decided not to go to college because of the high cost. However I decided to not go into the military, because I'm not of the mindset that if you tell me to jump, I wont jump. I worked a meanial job till I was 20 made roughly 20k a year, so it was difficult however I took everything I learned there and used that exp at my current job and make double what I used to. Now I'm looking into forming my own business in and using what I learned from both industries and combining them into one to give me an edge when I do inc. or LLC. The way things have been set up guarantees that people like me(couldn't go to college) will either decide to become Entrepreneurs or simply live paycheck to paycheck. I think that's very wrong, my current employer is amazing, he started the same way and runs his company way different. He's not just after profit, he makes sure were all happy, pay is based on productivity, so the more you produce you get a percentage of the money you brought in up to 30%, tons of bonuses, vacation, etc. This way of working has allowed him to slowly but surely encroach on surrounding markets where other companies are purely after profit, and only pay you enough to keep you there. Personally I believe that my bosses business model is what will begin to take hold elsewhere when people who come from nothing to something start a business. I know for sure, I will try and replicate that model because employees are much more happy and productive when they can actually take time off and not worry about the bills.

  37. The idea that you should have to put your life on the line for a decent life is an immoral system to the highest degree.

  38. Conservatives hate socialism, unless it's for the military / military industrial complex. Then it's magically not socialism somehow, it's big orange brain genius capitalism.

  39. I have had 20 to 30 ex military people work for me over many years and all of them joined because of either financial problems or were in trouble with the law for stupid stuff. The biggest problem is the condition these kids are in when they return to the real world. All of them could not make a simple decision for themselves and didn't accept any responsibility for anything they did and do not question anything. For this reason I do not think for a moment if they were given orders to shoot American civilians they would not hesitate so the military brainwashing technique is finally perfected.

  40. I didn't join 10 years ago for free college…it wasn't even on my mind. I didn't do well in high school, had drugs problems, and abusive parents, so I joined to run away. I come from a rural area with very few opportunities too. Most people in the military, in the Army at least, havea similar background. Poor, few job opportunities, broken homes, drug addled and abusive parents, kids who feel they aren't college material, etc. A lot of people who get out don't end up going to college right away, for many reasons, they have mental problems from before they joined or mental problems they developed while in, or they have a family and have to work. The GI Bill is not really a big factor in recruitment and retention, especially when the economy isn't doing well. I joined at the height of the recession and I met a TON of people who had joined because they were laid off or couldn't find jobs!

  41. Lets hope so lol, people being lured into the military with free college and other benefits is incredibly fucked up, being sent to die in a foreign country because you were promised that you would get healthcare and an education is incredibly fucked up.

  42. It's not free college, nothing is free ever. The rich will never pay for it the middleclass and working poor will. So how does that help us at all, or hear me out, will it cause the cost to go even higher? With the staggering rate of people over qualified for their positions should we be pushing everyone into going to college in the first place? College was relatively cheap until the government started the student loan program, might it be that this program is why the price shot up?

    Do I like people joining the military to avoid student loan debt, no, no I really don't on the basis I am an isolationist who believes we should only have a defensive military as the Founding Fathers laid out.
    But it honestly is a smoke and mirrors issue to distract you from why our kids are being bilked for billions of dollars a year.

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