Originally published on Tumblr November 4, 2011:
I fell asleep this morning and found myself caught in the cylindrical web America has spun; for one brief moment, joining the military made sense to me. And then I woke up.
I was really surprised at myself because this unfortunate event happened right after I heard that Republicans blocked the Rebuild America Jobs Act. Apparently, avoiding a slight – 0.7 percent – tax increase for the wealthiest Americans, less than 1 percent of the population, is more beneficial than creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for everyday joes.
Like really, things are ridiculous. Recently, I was looking at a federal government position that required a PhD, but was set at GS-11, meaning starting pay is a little over 50K. I don’t have a PhD, but I was offended on two levels: 1) the lack of regard this agency gave to the amount of student loans an individual accrues to obtain a PhD (and definitely can’t afford to repay on a GS-11 salary) 2) the fact that our market is to the point where people need to have a PhD to even start to think about living comfortably.
…that our market is to the point where I would think about joining the military.
This thought stemmed from a conversation I was having with my co-workers yesterday. One, who we’ll refer to as TG, is military, the other, who we’ll refer to as D, is a civilian and is also in the market for a new job. TG stated that D should be able to find a job in no time in this area. Maybe TG was just being nice, but I also think it may have come from military being unaware of how frustrating civilian job searches can be.
At this point, I started envying the fact that although some may apply for jobs within their branch, for the most part, military are assigned tours of duty and don’t have to search for jobs. In any case, there’s guaranteed pay for service regardless of tour.
Then I thought about the flip side – falling into the trap of letting a job market that’s designed to be less than stellar, convince me to fight a war that’s not mine. A war that’s occurred because someone finally stood up to the wealthy, American bully and decided they weren’t going to line our 1 percent’s pockets with its lunch money any longer.
Our elected officials are financially taken care of and think nothing of utilizing a high school mentality when confronting these issues. They show no remorse at giving a utilitarian approach no consideration, even when nobody would be negatively impacted (meaning 0.7 percent increase of taxes won’t break a millionaire), for the simple fact that it would support a rival clique… my bad, rival party. Unfortunately, this simple-minded allowance comes at the expense of the majority and often manipulates us into getting sucked further into their childish games.
I wish I could offer a solution, but all I can say is, stay woke, my friends.