Veterans Day Special

Happy Veterans Day.

No one including in Dick’s recruiting district or his congressman’s office want to talk about Dick’s application. Seems like Dick’s application is not the only thing that is missing. The Air Force can’t account for body parts of soldiers who were killed overseas and think they were disposed of in a landfill.

In other news:

Moving on when mom is killed at war is a story about a Navy Lieutenant and Asian mother killed in Afghanistan leaving her husband to raise their child.

Just a quick story about veterans when I worked at my last job as a management consultant for the Bureau of the Census, I learned alot about veterans preference in hiring. Through my experience: some of the veterans I met were one of more of the following: abrasive, unskilled, rude people I have ever met.However some of the most qualified vets were the hardest working, calm under high pressure employees and complained the least.

I remember three instances: (1) a supervisor in the midtown office in administration who could not even enter payroll (2) a field operations manager in downtown whose breath wreaked of alcohol every morning (3) a recruiting manager in that same office who couldn’t lead a team of recruiters. (4) a field supervisor who encouraged his staff to get done as quickly as possible with little regard to quality so months later someone else would have to interpret it.

The downtown payroll guy was a recent Iraq vet who knew the payroll system inside out. And the field operations supervisor in Harlem found bugs in our processing systems and found workarounds for all of them.  Sadly, my coworkers only remember the bad things. Since most of us were civilians everytime a veteran came up at the top of the candidate list the veteran preference rules required us to hire this person. (whereas with non-vets you could interview up to three people) I could just see the look on some hiring managers’ faces when there were veterans at the top of the list.

The military believes they do a good job of finding the best candidates who are hard-working, attentive to detail and unselfishly put the needs of the team before theirs. Those who do not posses these qualities the military claims to drill into them. But as with any organization there are good and bad apples. And although Obama speaks of the good in any veteran I have seen veterans who were unable to perform because of post-traumatic stress, mental, drug and alcohol problems.

What is clear though is that even with veterans preference, support programs and incentives for employers to hire veterans I don’t think our country is doing enough. And the way they talk about the tax credit for employers to hire vets you might think it is great. Until you’ve take some accounting like I have. As I learned from accounting tax credits only helps companies who have a current tax liability. Most companies in the recession have a net operating loss which results in no taxable income and a tax credit they can’t use. Even those who were profitable stand to gain little from a tax credit. For example a corporation pays up to 40% tax rates (35% federal plus a few percentage points state corporate tax), a max of $9,600 credit only offsets  $24K of taxable income. If you ask me I’d rather take my chance on an overqualified civilian and pay him $24K more than a veteran who may or may not be able to do the job because of PTSD. This is one example of how out of touch politicians and lawmakers are with how to fix our system. And it shows, unemployment for veterans is higher than the civilian national average. A female officer with two master degrees is unemployed for two years and must foreclose on her home. the Jobs Bill has stalled in Congress. And just yesterday I met a veteran from a two year community college who can’t even get into my public university because the average SAT score there is 1200 and a 30% acceptance rate. He can’t get into a public university that I am in and want out of. I can’t get into a military service that he left and I want in. What is wrong with this picture?

My blog is also at over 3,000 all time views.



Filed under Dick Don't Need No Education, Gainfully Unemployed, Life in the Ghetto, Navy

4 responses to “Veterans Day Special

  1. Grover Mannings

    Dick congratulations on 3,000 all time views, your posts are interesting and informative.

    Anytime preference-in-hiring programs are implemented there are going to be inefficiencies. Obama is attempting to do the right thing by veterans offering them meaningful employment upon return to the USA. This is emotionally and politically justified based on their willingness to take a bullet for our country. Problems arise – as you have noted – when some veterans are not up to par. In these instances, otherwise qualified civilians are denied employment because a veteran was hired in their place.

    Personally, I believe offering decent jobs to veterans is important, however a blatant preference-in-hiring program for government work will eventually create some descent among the non-uniformed unemployed in this country.

    During the last campaign, Obama talked about “Shovel Ready” public works projects. Such programs are great for hiring construction workers, formerly enlisted soldiers, and high school graduates. The problem is, highly qualified College graduates are being left in the dust. There are no National programs that are “college graduate ready”. For whatever reason, there is some belief that college graduates are readily employed; when in fact their rates of unemployment are the same or higher than their blue collar counterparts.

    I believe this disconnect is clearly at fault in your personal case.

    Should the playing field be leveled so that everyone is equally evaluated for employment opportunities?

    My suggestion is to develop some sort of probationary government employment program for veterans that also allows civilians a fighting chance to compete for work. If a veteran applies and is qualified, give him or her the job. If after 3 months they prove to be a lousy employee, fire them and notify the “next in line” on the candidate list that work is available. Chances are, civilians that lost out in the hiring process are likely still unemployed and would be happy to start work.

    Government workers should not be “un-fireable”. If anything, higher scrutiny should be paid to those tasked with making sure the business of our nation is carried out effectively.

    • Lt. Dan

      hmmmm. let me guess…. you voted for Obama. you like Obama care. you’re on welfare. you’re hate america. you’re a commi. you’d rather live in sweden. the government misplaced your food stamps.

      sorry I’m Sempre Fi till I die!

  2. Houston Hippie

    You marines jugheads are all the same – beating your chests in the name of freedom when in reality all you want to do is kill other human beings – in the year 2011 I would thinks there are better ways to settle conflict.

    All things considered I would never serve, given what goes on in the mareines anyway:

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