College Graduates on the Brink: A Double Waste

In the last week, 3 of my best students told me that they were joining the military.  One came for a letter of recommendation and another whom I knew when he was in high school only told me today when I asked about his plans. Another bright young guy from basketball is dropping out to join.  Again, financial considerations are dominant. I assume they are the tip of the iceberg among students with whom I am close.  They see no decent job prospects in the civilian sector.  What is going on when our economy creates such a double waste: not providing decent opportunities and then drawing them into a killing machine.

1 comment so far

  1. Green on

    It seems like this is the way it has been for some time. I observed this since the days of Pres Bush (GWB). The government officials talked about new jobs being created. What they did not discuss, was those jobs were usually openings in the armed services, or in law enforcement. During some time, there were a number of openings in the Border Patrol, for example. If the applicant had served in the military, he already had bonus points to get in. The other type of jobs available at that time, was with companies that worked as contractors with or for entities such as the Pentagon or the Dept of State. One such company was KBR. It had big contracts, and a need to fill a number of job openings. The jobs paid very well. Another company was known back then as Blackwater. It has gone through one or two reincarnations, as far as I’ve heard. The latest one appeared to be in the form of an entity legally domiciled under one of the flags on the Persian Gulf.

    A long time ago, such jobs generally would have likely been placed under the category of ‘mercenary employment’. Mercenaries have a place in societies, but image management creates fogs and blurry images.

    Very little in the way of jobs in the ‘regular’ civilian world. Jobs in government were sort of under pressure, as there was a trend to privatize public services.

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