2020 US Presidential Election

   #81  

Mike R

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Mike: I'm always cautious when using the word "free" because the term seldom has a common understanding amongst readers - but last century, Australia had "free" tertiary education for a while and it was the principal cause for spawning a plethora of first time graduates from working-class families. My siblings and I were fortunate (and honored) to be among their number!

As for "limiting it only to those who actually want to strive to pursue a particular set of skills" - even if there was a process for analyzing a student's intent for entering a university - I'm not sure that it's the role of educational institutions to do this. And notwithstanding my foreigner status, particularly in a litigious country like America - I'm not sure that these institutions would take-on this accountability (or does America need another reason to further line the pockets of litigators?)

Rather than focusing on student's intent for entering universities, a more achievable and far better metric IMO is assessing the student's scholastic abilities as a rough surrogate for their capacity to complete studies. Of course, a student's academic prowess (which most definitely is not their IQ) does not equate to their willingness to apply those abilities to studies - but it is a not unreasonable decider for university entry IMO. No problem with the risk of an avalanche of unworthy students because the pass-level for entrance examinations can be tailored to the number of available places. And no problem with accusations about ethnic, or wealth discrimination because everyone is dispassionately treated the same (thereby aligning with your Mr Jefferson's credo)!

Apart from a will of citizens to do it (thru their votes) -one of the reasons why "free" (there's that word again) university was achievable in Australia for a time was the fact that the tertiary institutions were owned and they were directly funded by Government (yes, it was rather socialist in nature - but certainly not in name). So it was simply a case of diverting a greater portion of the tax purse to this new initiative. Not sure that it would be quite this easy for America's education model?

Don
I don't think we're really disagreeing here Don. As I said, there does need to be a way to determine both ability, as well as dedication. If a student is barely passing throughout highschool but gets a 1550 on the SAT exam (scores range from 400-1600), then that's a red flag that the individual is not going to apply themselves. And of course, I don't believe it should be free but rather subsidized. Perhaps to a greater degree if the student gets better marks. That way students have motivation to perform and not squander what is given to them, but if they do, then it falls more on their shoulders rather than taxpayers.
 
   #82  

Bruce

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This education cost is a big election issue. Sorry for my long post...

Here are some USA facts: Most suburban high school students graduate with a background in college preparatory courses. More than 2/3 of graduating HS students apply for and are accepted into a college/university institution. The same cannot be said for the inner city students where their public education does not prepare them owing to other systemic problems outside this particular discussion.

According to CollegeData, "the College Board reports that a moderate college budget for an in-state public college for the 2017-2018 academic year averaged $25,290. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $50,900." Remember - average...

Translate that into graduates from the university and whether or not they get jobs that support the cost - do they? The American dream of tertiary learning leading to better paying jobs is falling apart fast. There are so many who have degrees and education that they exceed the number of positions available.

My point? Encouraging even more to join this path of higher education will not lead to more jobs. In a service economy, which I contend the USA has become, where few goods are being produced, where does one go to use these advanced skills?

At the end of WWII, a push was made to educate more Americans. My parents were factory workers, uneducated, basically unskilled. They were not stupid people. They just grew up in a time when a college education was only for the most elite of society. In part the GI Bill for the returning boys - and yes it was predominantly for men only - lit off a push into the universities for many who could never have considered such. That push prompted a huge growth in the universities and colleges that continued into the 80's and 90's, perhaps even up to today.

I am the first and only in my family of 4 siblings to earn a Bachelor's Degree. In my case, I paid my way all on my own. I could not afford the finest schools of engineering so I took advantage of living at home and commuting to my college. I ran out of money at 2 years completed. I refused to put myself in debt. I took my Associates Degree in Electronics Technology and went to work. I finished my degree at nights as I could afford it. 8 years later, I had my sheepskin.

Today, parents fund most university students or the students family goes into debt to purchase the education for their child. I have 3 children. Allow me to tell my story:

My oldest worked hard in High School and she received a full scholarship to her university where she trained to teach music. Her living expense cost me over $40k for 4 years. It took 5 for her to complete. I said I would only help for 4 years. She had to pay the 5th year by borrowing. She left university, graduating with honors, with about $30k debt. She is employed now as a Cyber School administrator - the pay is at level at which she can live. Teaching did not pay at a living level for her owing to the glut of music teachers.

Daughter #2 was not a great student in High School. She was an athlete so she did receive some help to play softball for her university. She left university, graduating with a high GPA as an Athletic Trainer, $90k in debt. Dad covered $40k more. She immediately had a job as a trainer for a local high school on a salary that barely allowed her to have her own place to live. 9 years later with a 1% increase in her pay over that 9 years, she decided to move in a new direction and pursue a different career. She is just beginning to work as a Minister - a preacher woman! Her plan is to go active Navy as a Navy Chaplain once she completes the 2 years of service required by the Navy to qualify. The Navy will pay her well for her service.

My son went to university with low grades and while he did well there, his choice of study has little application in the world to make a living. Graduating $120K in debt despite pop providing $40k for his education, he still is burdened with much of that large debt. He has a good job with a software company as a Customer Service rep. He is on the phone all day assisting customers with the software his company sells.

Mom and pop continue to help 2 of the 3 to get their debt paid.

I hope my children make my point: there is a lack of good paying jobs for those who do get educated. I seem to recall reading somewhere that between 30 and 40% of those graduating from universities never work a day in the course of study they chose owing to the lack of jobs. And then those that do get jobs, are paid at such low salaries that they are barely making it. How do they pay for the education? Their debt is choking their ability to live.

There will be those that say to me if they went into business or science or computers .. there are plenty of jobs. I know this to be true. If all went into those skill areas, would there be?

Students have to choose courses of study in which industry is interested. The universities do not guide them in such choices.. Seems the universities now want to thrive, building bigger and better campuses, drawing more students, charging more tuition, all so that the university rises in prestige attracting better and higher level educators. Seems to me it has become big business with big salaries... Most are non-profits so all the money has to be used...

When students cannot find remuneration beyond basic levels and cannot obtain the niceties they have been used to in mom and pop's house, this education is going to collapse if something is not changed. Of course the change desired by the university is "free" tuition paid for by the American tax payer. Ergo - they get to continue their growth and big budgets with big salaries. Think through what the result may ultimately be: a highly educated unemployed population who the tax payer will also have to support. There are simply not enough good paying positions for all those we are now educating. If "free" tuition is applied, so more may attend, where will the jobs be created to receive these?

Ladies and gentlemen, there are no simple answers to the problems we face. I believe the system we have now permits those who wish to go to university the means to do so. Universities have financial aid systems to allow those who want to go the opportunity to go. When they make the choice to go, they must understand the cost to them to do so. Not only must they achieve the grades but they also must pay the cost. The government loans make it possible for any to go. The capitalist system keeps supply and demand in check. Eventually parents are going to figure out that sending Johnny to university may not be the best choice for Johnny. Maybe a trade is a better choice.

To close, I have a nephew who hated school and did not want any part of a university degree. Instead he went to work as an apprentice plumber. Today, he and his wife run a plumbing business with two trucks and two fully licensed plumbers. They work hard but they are being very successful with their business.

Choices... that is what government should continue to provide all - the opportunity to freely exercise their choice. Tertiary education for all? No. While the system we have now is flawed, it will balance itself back out and we do not need government getting further involved. This should be an election issue for the government should not make the taxpayer pay more for the support of the tertiary education system. We taxpayers are already backing all the loans. We are paying universities to do studies that employ students doing work with the professors. (Frankly many of those studies are totally ridiculous endeavors but lets not move on to that subject!) We do not need to do more.
 
   #83  

D-Dub

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free (ie dependent on tax payers) is not the answer, but the educational system in america is broken and you make eloquent points on most of the issues above.

at some point the university/private school system will crash. Perhaps not to the worst of them, which is the unfortunate part. Parents will simply be unable to afford to send their kids, and/or their kids won't be able to get or pay the debt required.

it will most likely look like the housing crash, where billions of dollars of education debt will go unpaid. The banks, government, and taxpayers footing the bill.
 
   #84  

Bruce

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Agreed... I failed to include that the financial institutions likely do not want the "free" deal for they will be out of business... They like charging all the interest they get!
 
   #85  

PetrolDave

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In the UK we had "free" university level education, with a points based admission system.
As I remember it (25 years ago now), essentially you apply to a number of universities and they give you an acceptance offer - the number of A, B or C grades you had to achieve in your A-Level school leaving exams for guaranteed acceptance. You then ranked those as your 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice etc. in the system.
(If you missed the target of your offers they would sometimes reduce their offer, or you could find alternative courses via the Clearing system).
As this potentially meant anyone could go to uni, enrolments increased, so universities expanded and offered more and more courses and places.

Then about 20 years ago, due to a looming funding crisis, universities were allowed to charge tuition fees direct to students, rather than local councils covering it through taxes.
It started at £1000, and is still capped, but currently in England students can pay up to £9250 a year for tuition, so with typical courses lasting 3-5 years, just tuition can cost between £30 and 50k, before you even think about living and accommodation costs.

This has led to a lot of university courses offering places to students with incredibly low (or non-existent) criteria for their offers as there are now more places than applicants - so we've gone from a growing system of free education to a shrinking system where admissions are largely down to whether you can afford to pay for the course, rather than whether you're academically suited to it.
Combine that with the political decision to change a university education from knowledge based (for the top decile) to a "right" expected to be taken up by 50% of 18 year olds regardless of ability, and you have a situation where most 21/22 year olds with a degree cannot get a job that uses the degree they are now in debt to pay for!

IMHO a modern English degree isn't worth the paper (or vellum) it's written on in the majority of cases. To justify that opinion I cite the case of a young colleague who had a First Class Degree in Electronics but had absolutely no idea how a transistor worked because it wasn't covered in the curriculum - WTF!!!
 
   #86  

Jack@European_Parts

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free (ie dependent on tax payers) is not the answer, but the educational system in america is broken and you make eloquent points on most of the issues above.

at some point the university/private school system will crash. Perhaps not to the worst of them, which is the unfortunate part. Parents will simply be unable to afford to send their kids, and/or their kids won't be able to get or pay the debt required.

it will most likely look like the housing crash, where billions of dollars of education debt will go unpaid. The banks, government, and taxpayers footing the bill.
Love your post Bruce!

Nothing wrong or dishonorable when working with a shovel, etc. or honed real life work skills obtained in on the job training & personally I believe that is what makes someone proficient, no?

The same can be said when someone goes into the military and chooses an MOS to operate or work on stuff that is only used for the military and risky, when they get discharged, indeed should be afforded an education to change that life threatened situation for non existent job criteria available & to a comporting changed skill set & of their choice, whether vocational or a degree of college, right?

Combine that with the political decision to change a university education from knowledge based (for the top decile) to a "right" expected to be taken up by 50% of 18 year olds regardless of ability, and you have a situation where most 21/22 year olds with a degree cannot get a job that uses the degree they are now in debt to pay for!

IMHO a modern English degree isn't worth the paper (or vellum) it's written on in the majority of cases. To justify that opinion I cite the case of a young colleague who had a First Class Degree in Electronics but had absolutely no idea how a transistor worked because it wasn't covered in the curriculum - WTF!!!
This is why when kids come in after a 2 year tech college or even observed here in the forums cant use a DVOM or define current from voltage........engineers too & with a degree!
They don't even know which way to wrap the threads with Teflon tape.....fucking plain sad!

Seriously, not one kid in last 20 years, could use a meter or explain basic functions to me & when I put on desk as practical to consider them WTF!
 
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   #87  

Jack@European_Parts

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   #88  

IndianaMuscle

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This education cost is a big election issue. Sorry for my long post...

Here are some USA facts: Most suburban high school students graduate with a background in college preparatory courses. More than 2/3 of graduating HS students apply for and are accepted into a college/university institution. The same cannot be said for the inner city students where their public education does not prepare them owing to other systemic problems outside this particular discussion.

According to CollegeData, "the College Board reports that a moderate college budget for an in-state public college for the 2017-2018 academic year averaged $25,290. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $50,900." Remember - average...

Translate that into graduates from the university and whether or not they get jobs that support the cost - do they? The American dream of tertiary learning leading to better paying jobs is falling apart fast. There are so many who have degrees and education that they exceed the number of positions available.

My point? Encouraging even more to join this path of higher education will not lead to more jobs. In a service economy, which I contend the USA has become, where few goods are being produced, where does one go to use these advanced skills?

At the end of WWII, a push was made to educate more Americans. My parents were factory workers, uneducated, basically unskilled. They were not stupid people. They just grew up in a time when a college education was only for the most elite of society. In part the GI Bill for the returning boys - and yes it was predominantly for men only - lit off a push into the universities for many who could never have considered such. That push prompted a huge growth in the universities and colleges that continued into the 80's and 90's, perhaps even up to today.

I am the first and only in my family of 4 siblings to earn a Bachelor's Degree. In my case, I paid my way all on my own. I could not afford the finest schools of engineering so I took advantage of living at home and commuting to my college. I ran out of money at 2 years completed. I refused to put myself in debt. I took my Associates Degree in Electronics Technology and went to work. I finished my degree at nights as I could afford it. 8 years later, I had my sheepskin.

Today, parents fund most university students or the students family goes into debt to purchase the education for their child. I have 3 children. Allow me to tell my story:

My oldest worked hard in High School and she received a full scholarship to her university where she trained to teach music. Her living expense cost me over $40k for 4 years. It took 5 for her to complete. I said I would only help for 4 years. She had to pay the 5th year by borrowing. She left university, graduating with honors, with about $30k debt. She is employed now as a Cyber School administrator - the pay is at level at which she can live. Teaching did not pay at a living level for her owing to the glut of music teachers.

Daughter #2 was not a great student in High School. She was an athlete so she did receive some help to play softball for her university. She left university, graduating with a high GPA as an Athletic Trainer, $90k in debt. Dad covered $40k more. She immediately had a job as a trainer for a local high school on a salary that barely allowed her to have her own place to live. 9 years later with a 1% increase in her pay over that 9 years, she decided to move in a new direction and pursue a different career. She is just beginning to work as a Minister - a preacher woman! Her plan is to go active Navy as a Navy Chaplain once she completes the 2 years of service required by the Navy to qualify. The Navy will pay her well for her service.

My son went to university with low grades and while he did well there, his choice of study has little application in the world to make a living. Graduating $120K in debt despite pop providing $40k for his education, he still is burdened with much of that large debt. He has a good job with a software company as a Customer Service rep. He is on the phone all day assisting customers with the software his company sells.

Mom and pop continue to help 2 of the 3 to get their debt paid.

I hope my children make my point: there is a lack of good paying jobs for those who do get educated. I seem to recall reading somewhere that between 30 and 40% of those graduating from universities never work a day in the course of study they chose owing to the lack of jobs. And then those that do get jobs, are paid at such low salaries that they are barely making it. How do they pay for the education? Their debt is choking their ability to live.

There will be those that say to me if they went into business or science or computers .. there are plenty of jobs. I know this to be true. If all went into those skill areas, would there be?

Students have to choose courses of study in which industry is interested. The universities do not guide them in such choices.. Seems the universities now want to thrive, building bigger and better campuses, drawing more students, charging more tuition, all so that the university rises in prestige attracting better and higher level educators. Seems to me it has become big business with big salaries... Most are non-profits so all the money has to be used...

When students cannot find remuneration beyond basic levels and cannot obtain the niceties they have been used to in mom and pop's house, this education is going to collapse if something is not changed. Of course the change desired by the university is "free" tuition paid for by the American tax payer. Ergo - they get to continue their growth and big budgets with big salaries. Think through what the result may ultimately be: a highly educated unemployed population who the tax payer will also have to support. There are simply not enough good paying positions for all those we are now educating. If "free" tuition is applied, so more may attend, where will the jobs be created to receive these?

Ladies and gentlemen, there are no simple answers to the problems we face. I believe the system we have now permits those who wish to go to university the means to do so. Universities have financial aid systems to allow those who want to go the opportunity to go. When they make the choice to go, they must understand the cost to them to do so. Not only must they achieve the grades but they also must pay the cost. The government loans make it possible for any to go. The capitalist system keeps supply and demand in check. Eventually parents are going to figure out that sending Johnny to university may not be the best choice for Johnny. Maybe a trade is a better choice.

To close, I have a nephew who hated school and did not want any part of a university degree. Instead he went to work as an apprentice plumber. Today, he and his wife run a plumbing business with two trucks and two fully licensed plumbers. They work hard but they are being very successful with their business.

Choices... that is what government should continue to provide all - the opportunity to freely exercise their choice. Tertiary education for all? No. While the system we have now is flawed, it will balance itself back out and we do not need government getting further involved. This should be an election issue for the government should not make the taxpayer pay more for the support of the tertiary education system. We taxpayers are already backing all the loans. We are paying universities to do studies that employ students doing work with the professors. (Frankly many of those studies are totally ridiculous endeavors but lets not move on to that subject!) We do not need to do more.
Acquiescence like this is why we are the 6th most educated country in the free world. Yet this is the *best* country in the world, according to the chest beaters, I’m told.
 
   #89  

Mike R

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Man, if you want me to make me break and force me to go out and vote for Trump, then nominate Biden, DNC.
 
   #90  

Mike R

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Acquiescence like this is why we are the 6th most educated country in the free world. Yet this is the *best* country in the world, according to the chest beaters, I’m told.
A lot of North Koreans believe their country is the best in the world too.

 
   #91  

D-Dub

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you can't have free (beer) in an industry or sector where capitalism is the primary motivation.

this is one reason why education and healthcare should be public utilities.
 
   #92  

lepa71

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Don’t be afraid to mention Socialism. USA has many socialist programs, but they’re only socialist when the republicans say so. Farm subsidies are socialist, but don’t you go mentioning that, those republicans sponsor them.

We should have free access to tertiary education, it’s needed badly here. Even the vets ( and my father is one) for the most part can’t cut it. And we are at peacetime! We need some help educate those with a screw loose, and many recruits I know have just that one loose. But there’s also the South, the loosest screw we have.
You would think as much as US spends on military, vets would be taken care of instead of military sub contractors that charge $1k/h.
 
   #93  

lepa71

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Just look 9/11 1st responders bill that Mitch holds.
 
   #94  

Mike R

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You would think as much as US spends on military, vets would be taken care of instead of military sub contractors that charge $1k/h.
Well here's an unpopular opinion that's going to sound insensitive:

If we limit the number of people who are permitted to enlist and overall downsize the quantity of our military, that's fewer vets that even need to be taken care of in the future. 2 birds with one stone, all be it a slowly throne stone.

I'm not entirely sure where I stand with the whole "Take care of the vets" matter. I'd need do a lot more research into the finer details regarding qualifications and quantities both human and fiscal.

It's certainly one of those things that morally absolutely should be done, but I don't know the degree of feasibility as it's never been something that impacts me except for sending some taxes their way.
 
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lepa71

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Spend less on the military overall. I'm for it. If do then spend on the right things.
 
   #96  

Mike R

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You know what was great? The sequester. We should have one every year. Or maybe even 2!
 
   #97  

D-Dub

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I'm a vet. and I didn't/don't get shit, other than the GI bill I used for some college. Oh, and I guess I can be buried in a national cemetery (not like I will be around to notice).

Of course I only did 4 years, so no retirement or other benefits.

I was in during the gulf war.

I went through military 'downsizing', including base closures (RAF Bentwaters for those in England) and consolidations.

I have no idea what size the military today compares to the early 90's, but either way, I am less for smaller military and I am more for NSA and other blackops/blackhole downsizing/budget restrictions.

I can agree that military spending and contracts should be overhauled and made a lot more transparent and responsibly and accountable. (which I supposed can be said about ALL government spending)
 
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   #98  

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Well here's an unpopular opinion that's going to sound insensitive:

If we limit the number of people who are permitted to enlist and overall downsize the quantity of our military, that's fewer vets that even need to be taken care of in the future. 2 birds with one stone, all be it a slowly throne stone.
It's not a particularly unpopular opinion, and it's something that's already done in a backhanded way, via tweaking of standards and offerings for new recruits to meet current recruitment needs and goals. Less ideal recruits (medical issues, background issues) can absolutely be turned away or not get their preferred MOS.

I'm not entirely sure where I stand with the whole "Take care of the vets" matter. I'd need do a lot more research into the finer details regarding qualifications and quantities both human and fiscal.

It's certainly one of those things that morally absolutely should be done, but I don't know the degree of feasibility as it's never been something that impacts me except for sending some taxes their way.
I've been waiting for the right opportunity to come stir up trouble on the new politics thread, and here you come being all reasonable what with looking for factual information on which to form an opinion before acting. BO-RING! ;)

In seriousness, I don't think anyone anywhere has a problem with lifetime care for service-connected injuries. For other care after separation from active duty, that's a more complicated question. To properly answer it, I think you need to ask two questions: who provides the care, and who pays for it.

Should the government employ the caregivers? Obviously yes on the battlefield. Should the VA system exist? Eh. I think at the time it was created, it was needed. Today, private healthcare systems seem to do a better job in many ways. Both have their ups and downs. Bottom line, the VA system should be better, but it historically hasn't been, so why not have the government privatize this particular function that seems to work better that way. Same way that Medicare, Medicaid, etc work. Like it or not, the government IS really good at cashing and writing checks...

Should the government pay for it? Absolutely yes for current service members, if for no other reason than it was part of the deal when they signed up. The service member signed over their life to the government for a term of X and in exchange they were to receive Y. You can't change that after the fact. Going forward, I think it's realistically a nonstarter to withdraw. Anyway, I'd rather simplify things and have a public option or single payer rather than yet another separate program. We employ freaking armies of people to do nothing but fight each over about billing in a hundred different programs and schemes.

Certain people I've had Spirited Discussions with in the past might be shocked to read one of the forum token libtards suggesting privatization. The thing is, I am for things that work. I am not for things that don't work. I am for making incremental improvements to things that mostly work. I like discussion and evidence and expert opinions and testing. And this sort of public-private partnership is something that works very, very well in other countries.
 
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   #99  

D-Dub

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you bring up a good point RE; VHA (veterans health administration)

IMO as a veteran, who hasn't had the need or desire to make use of VHA medical facilities, I do think that we (as a country) be better served by not trying to duplicate the healthcare system for non-active military.

folks who are currently being serviced by VHA medical facilities, should be using public medical facilities, the whole VHA medical system shut down, and the VHA relegated to the actual administration of veteran benefits and services (instead of the practitioner).

in other words, VHA should be providing the clearinghouse for applicable veterans to receive care from publicly available healthcare providers (or on-base medical where available).


some hierarchical info about the VHA and how they relate to the VA and other VA organizations @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Veterans_Affairs#Organization
 
   #100  

IndianaMuscle

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NO ASS no cert no worries
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C?ID=368009
you bring up a good point RE; VHA (veterans health administration)

IMO as a veteran, who hasn't had the need or desire to make use of VHA medical facilities, I do think that we (as a country) be better served by not trying to duplicate the healthcare system for non-active military.

folks who are currently being serviced by VHA medical facilities, should be using public medical facilities, the whole VHA medical system shut down, and the VHA relegated to the actual administration of veteran benefits and services (instead of the practitioner).

in other words, VHA should be providing the clearinghouse for applicable veterans to receive care from publicly available healthcare providers (or on-base medical where available).


some hierarchical info about the VHA and how they relate to the VA and other VA organizations @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Veterans_Affairs#Organization
There’s veterans, like my father, who served and did not ask for much less or anything. Then there’s VETERANS, the new crop, who think they’re entitled to the world. You think I’m argumentative on here, being a big guy who’s not afraid of much, I have had more than one heated discussion with this new crop of VETERANS who think they’re entitled to everything just because they signed up for some free money and played in the sand for a tour, or who didn’t even GET DEPLOYED. Paul Boyle, God rest his soul, died from orange and was drafted.

My Memorial Day remembers the Revolutionary War, our Civil War heroes, WWI AND WWII men who fought truly for our freedom, all Korean War draftees, and all VV draftees. I don’t play the pandering game. The government not doing their job for vets? Tell me more, like water is wet,
 
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