Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Politics, Religion, Social Issues

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 29, 2012, 11:49 PM   #1
63dot
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Taxpayers pay for this?

Before I go on, I will qualify that I am a liberal who believes a lot of things are worthy of taxpayer dollars even though many in the GOP want to make sweeping (and damaging) cuts across all government programs with the looming fiscal cliff instead of taxing the very rich. Many GOPers think it's acceptable to put more burden on the middle class.

But when I found that the average cost of a military academy education which we pay for for each student costs $400K, I was quite shocked. This article spells out a lot of what I have heard from many people from former military personnel to teachers at military academies/graduate schools. I know a lot was said from shrinking government from the likes of Ron Paul, and how there was a lot of waste and unproductive government spending, and I didn't pay that much attention, but then I saw this, I was saddened even if only half of what is being said is true! (and it echoes a lot of what Ron Paul, also a former military officer, has said about both military and government). It's also fair in many cases to extrapolate that a lot of other government sponsored training in different areas may have more "hot air" than substance:

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Few...ud-the/134830/

also (comment on above article):

I taught at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point from 1989–1992. My experience was that many, many students were too tired to stay awake in a morning class, that institutionally sanctioned hazing was rampant, and that “spec & dump” (short-term memorization with no attempt at real learning) was the academic recipe for success. In some ways, despite its long and important history, West Point was in my experience a glorified trade school that turned out Second Lieutenants. The occasional Rhodes Scholar aside (and there were some), it was not by any means a true and rigorous academic experience for most students.

The most distressing aspect of West Point, in my view, was how often the cadets would say that they were better than “regular” college students—a sentiment the administration did nothing to correct. And let me state that this was not a UNLV-UNR kind of rivalry. No; it was very much deeper than that and spoke to a superiority over all civilians—itself a term of contempt. The fact is that such inferior, “regular” college students were the very people the cadets were supposed to protect (indeed, they would in a sense be the cadets' employers) once commissioned. I found this attitude to be really disturbing; and when I considered that this “education” came at taxpayer expense I found it that much more alarming.

Nothing at all suggested to me that these problems had anything whatsoever to do with affirmative action.

For the record, I was an Army Captain and Major with an MA in Philosophy from Columbia University at the time I taught there; and I was an ROTC product (UTEP), not a graduate of USMA.

Rainier Spencer
UNLV

Last edited by 63dot; Dec 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM.
63dot is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 01:53 AM   #2
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
I can't speak to West Point, but I can the AF Academy. They do produce strong leaders. Some of my closest friends are graduates and they oversee some of the most technical and responsible-heavy tasks that one could handle.

As far as funding, I still think they need to be cut. There needs to be cuts to virtually everything, without bias. While perhaps symbolic in some cases more than others, it means politicians won't spend years putting certain things on a (subjective) hierarchy.

I consider myself moderate with strong variation depending on the issue. I favor wide cuts. I have no issues with welfare programs existing, as I don't think it is right to let people fall. But I want these programs to work for us, not against us as many historically have. I do think these programs need better oversight and they need to focus more on getting people back to worth rather than sustaining. I also want to see better performance measurements. Many conservatives echo on that viewpoint although as you noted, some are more interested in simply ending them. I'm also all for relieving employers of the high burden of paying healthcare in exchange for a standardized/universal system, so it goes to show the variation in individual ideologies.
NickZac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 07:31 AM   #3
63dot
Thread Starter
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac View Post
I can't speak to West Point, but I can the AF Academy. They do produce strong leaders. Some of my closest friends are graduates and they oversee some of the most technical and responsible-heavy tasks that one could handle.

As far as funding, I still think they need to be cut. There needs to be cuts to virtually everything, without bias. While perhaps symbolic in some cases more than others, it means politicians won't spend years putting certain things on a (subjective) hierarchy.

I consider myself moderate with strong variation depending on the issue. I favor wide cuts. I have no issues with welfare programs existing, as I don't think it is right to let people fall. But I want these programs to work for us, not against us as many historically have. I do think these programs need better oversight and they need to focus more on getting people back to worth rather than sustaining. I also want to see better performance measurements. Many conservatives echo on that viewpoint although as you noted, some are more interested in simply ending them. I'm also all for relieving employers of the high burden of paying healthcare in exchange for a standardized/universal system, so it goes to show the variation in individual ideologies.
To address your comments:

USAF officers

I think for the service academies, if academics and/or leaders are not produced as well as regular colleges as the article suggests or the great reputation/legacy those academies have, then there needs to be major changes. I am not against the number of $400K per student per se, but as the article says, I don't want these young people get a trade school education that pops out 2nd Lts on our dime. I don't want to pay for trade schools nor young cadets getting their jollies with hazing. We need to make the academies much more effective than ROTC and OCS if we are to keep them around as a tax burden. If the modern ROTC and OCS are as good as the article and statistics suggest, then let all our officers come from those sources and save the taxpayer the money. My old grad school at the time educated more USAF officers than any other civilian university and believe me, there are plenty of great Air Force officers with huge responsibilities who have come from regular schools, too. Some USAF officers who were going for their grad degree had their Air Force Academy bachelor's but others had their BA/BS from a regular college and there was basically no difference, especially not a four hundred thousand dollar difference. One naval officer friend of mine actually wanted to redo is master's degree at my school after he received his master's from the Naval Postgraduate School (which started as a graduate degree extension of Annapolis) which also offers their education to the other services including air force officers. While he is grateful for both a free education for his MS and the promotions it helped give him, he also wanted a full fledged graduate level education which he felt he didn't receive at NPS. Most people who go to graduate school usually are not there to please their parents and go by choice. When it's a student's choice, and usually more likely to be the student who pays for his graduate education, he/she actually wants a rigorous and well rounded advanced degree experience with no shortcuts. One US Army captain friend of mine was able to use high school algebra refresher class at the local junior college to count for a three units of grad degree towards her 30-36 units. That type of sliding by may happen somewhere on the undergraduate level, but should never be allowed at graduate school. There's a reason that society holds a master's in much higher esteem than a bachelor's but if military education pisses that much on the great academic reputation of regular colleges and their hard work in making graduate school so challenging and rewarding, then at least do away with us paying for military academies and graduate colleges and take a strong look at the real deficiencies of the undergrad service academies. If hazing and trade school teaching is important in the military, let it be done outside of the service academies who should be giving their students a real college education.

Healthcare

As for universal healthcare, I agree the government needs to put in more money and not have employers pay such a high burden. If we let the government slide on this and have many small businesses fail due to healthcare costs, then the result could be high unemployment. If Obama continues to gain momentum, and captures the House in 2014, then he needs to reboot his ideas on healthcare and make it so employers don't face such a burden. The president's legacy won't be so grand if the current system of healthcare he championed is all he can speak for. Yes, Obama has improved things compared to how they were before for healthcare, but not by much if the employer has to suffer so much.

Welfare

And working for us, like you mention, should absolutely be the goal for welfare. It really is just as important for the programs to benefit the recipients and society as much as it is there to be a safety net. There should be real incentives to have people climb out of welfare and go back to being working citizens. A lifelong dependence on welfare is not only bad for society, but bad for the person it is supposed to help. I believe both Reagan and Clinton gave welfare recipients options to get off welfare to better themselves, but the current climate is to either chain people to welfare or to kick them out, neither which is a good option for society. Blow hard ideology has made both parties did in their heels and sluff off true compromise and the former belief of service to their constituents. Elected party officials are more interested in pleasing a random party platform that the people they represent.

Top 1% percent and Occupy Wall Street

I would have called myself a moderate for most of my voting life, but the GOP's huge insistence on cutting back the government without real alternatives leaves me cold. The suspicion I had of the party speaking for the very rich, and not their other members of their base, has sickened me. I just hate it when I meet a working class republican voter who really thinks the current GOP has middle class voters on their mind. If there was a champion in the GOP for working class Americans like a Ronald Reagan, that is fine for their talking points, but there's no evidence that such a party that reaches out to many exists anymore. I think a lot of the criticism against Mitt Romney as favoring the 1% percent was unfair as it was probably more party-wide in its thinking than just of that particular multimillionaire. Starting with Bush 1, and possibly even Reagan or Ford, the GOP has fallen victim to the money and power of an increasingly shrinking number of very rich puppet masters. Today the GOP is politically irrelevant as it pertains to most voters and the success of Occupy Wall Street is a testament to that. Like the Tea Party which started off strong, the Occupy movement was unlike the Tea Party in that it retained its fire with the evidence that the GOP had indeed been seduced by the 1% percent and fell away from their duties to conservative, small government principles formed by the Goldwaters and Rockefellers of the party's past.

Last edited by 63dot; Dec 30, 2012 at 07:53 AM.
63dot is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:45 PM   #4
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
I agree with you that tax dollars to pay for trade schools is problematic. For example, where do we draw the line? Should it be military only? The economy is important, so do we subsidize private business school. What about public admin and policy? It’s a slippery slope IMO. I really don’t know where the happy medium lies but if we are cutting spending, then I don’t think it should be exempt at all.

I agree there are great people in AF including those from non-subsidized schools. I just wanted to note that I know many good people from the AF Academy (I cannot speak to other places tho).

As far as healthcare goes, I think Obamacare is made in good intentions, but with an uncertain future. We hear a lot about how great or how bad it is, but until after Jan 2014 when the most significant mandates go into affect, we really won’t know. Its effect on cost is unknown. Its affect on the jobs within healthcare today is unknown. Employers are paying a ton, and in some ways the current system is like the “in Soviet Russia, car drive you”…individuals have little say in their care and employers are getting slammed for cost. For example, if I want insurance through company X, but my work only offers insurance Y, I’m SOL…there isn’t much consumer choice there, nor is there portability if I change companies. Knowing a few business owners, I’ve seen how much stress healthcare has caused them. We need these people making money, not stressing over healthcare. I think in the US that any successful healthcare reform will need, 1) portability, 2) competition, and 3) flexibility…and I see no reason why we can’t have that through a system that offers care to every American.

I think elected officials of all sides fail to look at welfare in the sense they should, which is temporary assistance promoting personal economic recovery (this applies to non perm-disability, of course). It harms everyone to have a large body of workers on welfare, but just kicking people off welfare because is not the way it should be done. If this means spending more money on job training, classes on managing money wisely, childcare designed to deter criminal activity, then so be it if we determine it to be effective. It’s another issue I see a need for not conservative or liberal thought, but one of practicality. What will help the country the most is what needs to be done.

I’ve voted for virtually every political party, and have even written-in ‘Mickey Mouse’.
NickZac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2012, 11:08 PM   #5
citizenzen
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac View Post
I’ve voted for virtually every political party, and have even written-in ‘Mickey Mouse’.
Is that supposed to be a good thing?
citizenzen is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:58 AM   #6
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
Is that supposed to be a good thing?
That I support what I believe in and that there are some people I refuse to vote for due to their ideological standpoints? That's a call you have to make.
NickZac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 05:06 AM   #7
Rodimus Prime
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Really I am going to say that is really not that bad. Let's break down the numbers. First the students who go threw things like the rotc programs who are going to join the military as officers are having there education paid for by the government. So let's look at the cost there using out of state tuition as the tax payers in the end support the full cost.
They also pay for room and board and a little on the side.
Now the 400k per grad is not as far out of line. Just the article leaves out key pieces of information when it adds up the cost of alternatives
Rodimus Prime is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:01 AM   #8
63dot
Thread Starter
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac View Post
I agree with you that tax dollars to pay for trade schools is problematic. For example, where do we draw the line? Should it be military only? The economy is important, so do we subsidize private business school. What about public admin and policy? It’s a slippery slope IMO. I really don’t know where the happy medium lies but if we are cutting spending, then I don’t think it should be exempt at all.

I agree there are great people in AF including those from non-subsidized schools. I just wanted to note that I know many good people from the AF Academy (I cannot speak to other places tho).
When I finished schooling in my rural, nowhere town, there weren't a lot of job prospects for college graduates way back when (especially for college graduates), so I considered the services. The Air Force definitely had the highest academic standards for those entering in as officers. Perhaps their academy reflects that. But then again maybe it's a sub-standard four year education amounting to massive grade inflation and a trade school atmosphere hiding around a few heroic generals who graduated from there.

From living in the navy town which also houses a few other civilian graduate schools, there are so many professors in town I have known for 50 years. Other than the Naval Postgraduate School (graduate service academy), the teachers love their students and think well of their academic prowess. But year after year, and professor after professor basically complain about the level of smarts the navy school has. I too have met more than a few who defied even making it into college. My navy captain friend says the job of the military schools is not to make scholars or even have them, but teach them in the art of leadership in the strict context of war (and not to really translate into any real world application).

At the end of the day, your job is to kill the enemy and many liberals and younger folk fail to see this. War is war and until one sees it, it's just a bunch of news stories. Though I don't agree with his hawkish views, at least he knows what he is, which is a warrior trained to kill in a society which still needs people like him. Gone from his psyche is the concept of a human race moving beyond killing for land and money. It's kill or be killed like it has always been (and will be for at least the rest of our lives) and the one with the biggest and baddest military stands the best chance.
63dot is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 07:32 PM   #9
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by 63dot View Post
At the end of the day, your job is to kill the enemy and many liberals and younger folk fail to see this. War is war and until one sees it, it's just a bunch of news stories. Though I don't agree with his hawkish views, at least he knows what he is, which is a warrior trained to kill in a society which still needs people like him. Gone from his psyche is the concept of a human race moving beyond killing for land and money. It's kill or be killed like it has always been (and will be for at least the rest of our lives) and the one with the biggest and baddest military stands the best chance.
What you say is blunt but IMO very true. War is simply brutal; it destroys lives on all sides. My father served in Vietnam. I don't know a whole lot about it but I know many-to-most of his friends died just a few feet away from him. He rarely talks about it but it has clearly harmed him as an individual, and that is why efforts for diplomatic and peaceful resolution are so important (and if it isn't, then teaching this in military schools seems to be something that is very important [or at least to me it does]). Of course, having a strong military if/when these resolutions fail is a very important thing as well IMO.
NickZac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:08 PM   #10
63dot
Thread Starter
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac View Post
What you say is blunt but IMO very true. War is simply brutal; it destroys lives on all sides. My father served in Vietnam. I don't know a whole lot about it but I know many-to-most of his friends died just a few feet away from him. He rarely talks about it but it has clearly harmed him as an individual, and that is why efforts for diplomatic and peaceful resolution are so important (and if it isn't, then teaching this in military schools seems to be something that is very important [or at least to me it does]). Of course, having a strong military if/when these resolutions fail is a very important thing as well IMO.
I guess because my dad was in the US army in world war II when that type of blunt talk was normal is why I call it that way, too. My generation, whether liberal like me or conservative generally don't see things as bluntly and some may call Vietnam a "police action" rather than a full fledged war where killing was the main MO.

The so-called department of defense was originally called the department of war. For a soldier it's not to ask why but do and die and they really believed that. For a person to come into a non-war point of view like me I guess I had to see a place up close where there was a war and it totally changed my perspective. I was told until you get shot, shot at, or have a weapon pointed at you, it's all just theory until that moment.

Back to the original point, if a West Point then isn't a university that teaches you to think but a trade school in the art/science of war and said war and killing is what can and does happen, then maybe it's not as good an idea to have intellectual regular college types run those wars. There is a special place for somebody who has to carry out a complex mission without thinking and without worrying about their own personal safety who goes into automatic and lets the training take over. I give them all the kudos and am very glad I don't have to do that.

My dad would tell me to win a battle with the least amount of casualties you had to act as a unit and not second guess the orders in their wisdom or morality. Not even the three star generals or admirals had that luxury lest a lot of boys will come back in body bags. The four and five star types usually called the shots and even then they had to answer to the secretary of war and the president. I don't think even that is easy after many years in the military as dissenters of orders who got arrested, jailed and/or demoted were heroes with names like MacArthur, Patton, and Montgomery.
63dot is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:43 PM   #11
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by 63dot View Post
I guess because my dad was in the US army in world war II when that type of blunt talk was normal is why I call it that way, too. My generation, whether liberal like me or conservative generally don't see things as bluntly and some may call Vietnam a "police action" rather than a full fledged war where killing was the main MO.

The so-called department of defense was originally called the department of war. For a soldier it's not to ask why but do and die and they really believed that. For a person to come into a non-war point of view like me I guess I had to see a place up close where there was a war and it totally changed my perspective. I was told until you get shot, shot at, or have a weapon pointed at you, it's all just theory until that moment.

Back to the original point, if a West Point then isn't a university that teaches you to think but a trade school in the art/science of war and said war and killing is what can and does happen, then maybe it's not as good an idea to have intellectual regular college types run those wars. There is a special place for somebody who has to carry out a complex mission without thinking and without worrying about their own personal safety who goes into automatic and lets the training take over. I give them all the kudos and am very glad I don't have to do that.

My dad would tell me to win a battle with the least amount of casualties you had to act as a unit and not second guess the orders in their wisdom or morality. Not even the three star generals or admirals had that luxury lest a lot of boys will come back in body bags. The four and five star types usually called the shots and even then they had to answer to the secretary of war and the president. I don't think even that is easy after many years in the military as dissenters of orders who got arrested, jailed and/or demoted were heroes with names like MacArthur, Patton, and Montgomery.

That's interesting insight. I've never looked at it that way but it makes sense.

I'd like to conduct a study on the true cost of war. That is, looking at how disabled service members or those with severe PTSD succeed (or don't) after coming back from war. Not many long term studies have done this but I image the effect on productivity is higher than expected. I imagine our tax dollars pay for many treatments from the effects of war. While I am for across the board cuts, veteran services is something that should probably be exempt. We really can't say how much spending is saved until we know this. I imagine if we can avoid going to war, the productivity of the country will be higher given it is prime-aged workers going to battle and dying or sustaining injuries in which they will never work again. If nothing else, it would let us know what we could expect with DOD cuts.
NickZac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:03 AM   #12
63dot
Thread Starter
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickZac View Post
That's interesting insight. I've never looked at it that way but it makes sense.

I'd like to conduct a study on the true cost of war. That is, looking at how disabled service members or those with severe PTSD succeed (or don't) after coming back from war. Not many long term studies have done this but I image the effect on productivity is higher than expected. I imagine our tax dollars pay for many treatments from the effects of war. While I am for across the board cuts, veteran services is something that should probably be exempt. We really can't say how much spending is saved until we know this. I imagine if we can avoid going to war, the productivity of the country will be higher given it is prime-aged workers going to battle and dying or sustaining injuries in which they will never work again. If nothing else, it would let us know what we could expect with DOD cuts.
By the local Safeway supermarket under a bridge, there is now a huge homeless population of former Iraq and Afghanistan war vets. Before those two wars, the homeless were just a few older men who hid out near the lake bed. Now you see a lot of vets in army clothes looking for handouts. That was the same thing I saw a lot by that bridge in the 1970s with vets going to the shopping center looking for handouts. Those poor souls were a mess and today's homeless vets there seem to have a lot of the same demons. This is the ongoing cost of war after the pullout in Iraq and soon to be end in Afghanistan. More than years after Vietnam the vets were still to be found there and I don't think the current war vets will get back on their feet anytime soon. Most of the homeless now are young men under 35 as was the case with the Vietnam vets after that war. Long after any war, it's never over for those who were there.
63dot is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:32 AM   #13
NickZac
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by 63dot View Post
By the local Safeway supermarket under a bridge, there is now a huge homeless population of former Iraq and Afghanistan war vets. Before those two wars, the homeless were just a few older men who hid out near the lake bed. Now you see a lot of vets in army clothes looking for handouts. That was the same thing I saw a lot by that bridge in the 1970s with vets going to the shopping center looking for handouts. Those poor souls were a mess and today's homeless vets there seem to have a lot of the same demons. This is the ongoing cost of war after the pullout in Iraq and soon to be end in Afghanistan. More than years after Vietnam the vets were still to be found there and I don't think the current war vets will get back on their feet anytime soon. Most of the homeless now are young men under 35 as was the case with the Vietnam vets after that war. Long after any war, it's never over for those who were there.
I think the issue will be worse today and in the future than previous years. Medical and defensive technology has allowed people to survive injuries once considered fatal. So rather than hearing about 25 people who died in an explosion, you would hear 17 dead and 8 alive but with most survivors missing arms, legs, etc... (not to mention these people witnessed their friends die in front of them, literally being blown into small pieces of flesh to say it bluntly and truthfully). So we are talking about extreme disability, with the situation compounded that these people had lived previously without disability and so adaption is more difficult. The mental health aspect takes it even further...witnessing the violent deaths of friends and acquaintances clearly cause significant psychological trauma.

Many of these people are so psychologically impaired that they cannot reintegrate with society at all. They are suffering so much that they can't work, they can't keep friends, they can't re-adjust to a non-war world, they can't re-adjust to a romantic life, and they often take up destructive habits (such as alcoholism)... Now, despite being in prime earning years, they have to be supported by the system, which begins a chain of welfare (which further perpetuates the mental health problems, as now you have been acknowledged by the State to be unable to provide for oneself/family). And while the Office of VAs have done tons to benefit veteras, it isn't enough. An infrastructure needed for this really doesn't exist and think that is partly because we don't realize how deep these wounds really are.The cost of war is arguably higher than any prediction to date. The negative outcomes run deeper than ever thought IMO. Direct war costs may comprise less than 10% of the actual costs. Hell, it could be even significantly smaller than that. This shows that humans aren't really designed to kill each other. Ultimately, it signifies why every effort to avoid armed conflict should be made, from both an economical and moral perspective.
NickZac is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 09:33 AM   #14
mcrain
Banned
 
mcrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
Really I am going to say that is really not that bad. Let's break down the numbers. First the students who go threw things like the rotc programs who are going to join the military as officers are having there education paid for by the government. So let's look at the cost there using out of state tuition as the tax payers in the end support the full cost.
They also pay for room and board and a little on the side.
Now the 400k per grad is not as far out of line. Just the article leaves out key pieces of information when it adds up the cost of alternatives
On top of a very good academic environment, the students do get room, board, medical, etc. in addition to a stipend. Compared to a similar public university, the cost of the education is comparable (faculties/staff). The number seems high because in addition to the education, the cadets are being trained as military officers. Not merely classroom studies, but in some cases flight training and other similar activities. All of which require substantial outlays for equipment, ordinance and personnel.
mcrain is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:15 AM   #15
63dot
Thread Starter
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrain View Post
On top of a very good academic environment, the students do get room, board, medical, etc. in addition to a stipend. Compared to a similar public university, the cost of the education is comparable (faculties/staff). The number seems high because in addition to the education, the cadets are being trained as military officers. Not merely classroom studies, but in some cases flight training and other similar activities. All of which require substantial outlays for equipment, ordinance and personnel.
You make good points but the very good academic environment you talk about is one of the things in question. Having known and gone to school with quite a few academy graduates, they were more than disillusioned with their schooling and with the military in general but the latter is for another thread.

I still don't see where $400K makes sense. Listening to all the conservatives cut everything big related to government waste, it does appear that if Uncle Sam pays for stuff, they just don't seem to use the money wisely.
63dot is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:22 AM   #16
ericrwalker
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Albany, NY
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrain View Post
On top of a very good academic environment, the students do get room, board, medical, etc. in addition to a stipend. Compared to a similar public university, the cost of the education is comparable (faculties/staff). The number seems high because in addition to the education, the cadets are being trained as military officers. Not merely classroom studies, but in some cases flight training and other similar activities. All of which require substantial outlays for equipment, ordinance and personnel.
Very good post mcrain

I've heard through rumors that it cost somewhere between $100k and $250k to train an enlisted Soldier. Not sure if those number included boot camp(basic training) and Job Training (AIT or whatever the branches call it), but that's in 2 to 6 months for most people.

So $400k for an Officer who will now spend at least another 6 years serving his/her country and doesn't require basic training because they have already been trained in college seems more reasonable. The numbers do seem high, but I would imagine they include utilities, training, education, salaries, medical, and God knows what else.
ericrwalker is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:28 AM   #17
mcrain
Banned
 
mcrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by 63dot View Post
I still don't see where $400K makes sense.
The AF Academy is one of the top aerospace engineering schools in the country. I elected to go to a top tier public university instead of the academy. Comparing the two, the out of state tuition where I went is about $20k per semester (12-18 credits). I graduated in roughly 10 semesters (two were during summer, so I think those were less). In addition to the tuition, the school receives federal and state disbursements. Add to that, 48 months of rent in a college town, let's say with roomies, $600/mo, about $28,000. Add to that books, fees, food, entertainment, etc. and you could easily pay $300,000 for a top tier public school, and that's without flying military jets or paying the students.
mcrain is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:16 AM   #18
Rodimus Prime
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by 63dot View Post
You make good points but the very good academic environment you talk about is one of the things in question. Having known and gone to school with quite a few academy graduates, they were more than disillusioned with their schooling and with the military in general but the latter is for another thread.

I still don't see where $400K makes sense. Listening to all the conservatives cut everything big related to government waste, it does appear that if Uncle Sam pays for stuff, they just don't seem to use the money wisely.
While 400k may be a little on the high side. I already showed that it is not that far out of line compared to ROTC programs when you add up those cost as well.

To me the article is very one sided and leaves out massive chunks of infomation when it does it comparisions.

It not comparing Apples to Apples. It is more comparing Apples to rocks.
Rodimus Prime is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:57 AM   #19
63dot
Thread Starter
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodimus Prime View Post
While 400k may be a little on the high side. I already showed that it is not that far out of line compared to ROTC programs when you add up those cost as well.

To me the article is very one sided and leaves out massive chunks of infomation when it does it comparisions.

It not comparing Apples to Apples. It is more comparing Apples to rocks.
I suspect this academy teacher is probably a tea party type who thinks all government spending is too much. When I look at things Obama can cut to put on the table so republicans can agree on higher taxes for the rich, there's something that has to be cut back.

I am sure all government programs/spending have wonderful stories behind some of them and makes it look like there's no place we should curb spending.

If ROTC makes better officers, or at least just as good as academy types, then that could be a savings right there. Are the academies once useful entities of the pre-WWII era which we should look at cutting or cutting back. In that same vein, even though the much glorified space shuttle program gave us so much, was it right to cut that? As we move through the 21st century, stuff that used to be untouchable as far as cuts may have to give way to new things we need more.

The US Army used to have the state of the art horse cavalry at one time and it was the pride and joy of our nation. There came a time where we had to lay that aside to put men and women into different roles however painful that was. I know we had great Civil War, WWI, and WWII generals out of West Point, but if ROTC could offer that, even 10% percent cheaper, then why not? Colin Powell is a huge defender of ROTC and the officers it produces and he was ROTC at CCNY.

Instead of cutting all spending for military officers, NASA space programs, or whatever, let's make small cuts saving 5, 10, and 20% percent here and there. While it was hard to choose between Bethesda and Walter Reed, our government had to do something and years later we found we survived. I don't want to spend what can eventually end up being half a million per student on a trade school IF the ROTC and OCS can do the same thing.

And Mcrain, is the AF academy the equal of let's say an Embry Riddle who sends plenty of their grads, including my law school partner, to the military? Those engineers and aviation managers out of there are second to none and believe me, they could more than staff what the AF could should the academy close.

To cut costs in this recession and with our deficit, redundant programs need to go. If we have money later on in a better time, then reinstate them.

Again I am a liberal and believe a lot of government spending is worthy but we can't operate in a vacuum and ignore cost cutting republicans. The tea party faction who wants to cut everything, especially military (and social programs), remains a strong voice in congress. Their libertarian and anti-military isolationist blabber may get old and sound like a microchip embedded into their brain by Ron Paul, but many still remain and work, or hinder, the congress. On a side note, thank God the house passed on the fiscal cliff issue with so many anti-tax tea partiers in congress. Boehner was a "yes" vote!

Last edited by 63dot; Jan 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM.
63dot is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 02:11 PM   #20
GermanyChris
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Here
I really would not like to see USMA effected by politics in any way. I would much prefer to see them work on the quality of the education than to just make it cheaper. I in no way unbiased in this though I love the Army, soldiers, and its history. USMA is a big part of Army and American history
GermanyChris is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 08:50 PM   #21
63dot
Thread Starter
macrumors 601
 
63dot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Platte
Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
I really would not like to see USMA effected by politics in any way. I would much prefer to see them work on the quality of the education than to just make it cheaper. I in no way unbiased in this though I love the Army, soldiers, and its history. USMA is a big part of Army and American history
There's so much that is sacred, but if we are on the topic of cutting the defense budget which the president has made clear, then where?

I am sure with BRAC, many say it's OK to close bases but NOT their local base which holds such tradition, honor, and yes, jobs. It's always someone else's base which is somehow not as important. We can't keep all the bases here and abroad open and think we can make any dent in the deficit.

OK, then let's look at social programs. Obama can't keep them all with the teapublicans on his back. Something has to give if liberals are to up the tax on the very rich in further negotiations throughout the year.

On some level, neither the dems nor the GOP will be completely happy with the compromises that have to be made. Neither party has both chambers and the white house and even in those times, a lot didn't get done and compromise was the way.
63dot is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:42 PM   #22
jnpy!$4g3cwk
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
$100K per year doesn't seem that out of line. A little pricey, but it does include summers of fun and games. The real question to me is quality of education. For $100K/year we should be getting graduates with a very high quality formal education in addition to the Outward Bound+Commando School training. The article claims we are not getting that value, but, it is a little hard to tie the anecdotes and data together in what is essentially an editorial. I would like to see more hard data.

One item that did stand out in the article is the role of football. An NCAA Division I football team eats up a huge number of slots and, for the football team to be successful, is almost a full-time job for the players. A big-time football program clearly is a waste of time and money; unfortunately, these football programs seem to have some kind of traditional, magical significance at Annapolis and West Point (less so at the Air Force Academy), and it will be virtually impossible to discontinue them.
jnpy!$4g3cwk is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2013, 01:20 AM   #23
GermanyChris
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Here
Quote:
Originally Posted by 63dot View Post
There's so much that is sacred, but if we are on the topic of cutting the defense budget which the president has made clear, then where?

I am sure with BRAC, many say it's OK to close bases but NOT their local base which holds such tradition, honor, and yes, jobs. It's always someone else's base which is somehow not as important. We can't keep all the bases here and abroad open and think we can make any dent in the deficit.

OK, then let's look at social programs. Obama can't keep them all with the teapublicans on his back. Something has to give if liberals are to up the tax on the very rich in further negotiations throughout the year.

On some level, neither the dems nor the GOP will be completely happy with the compromises that have to be made. Neither party has both chambers and the white house and even in those times, a lot didn't get done and compromise was the way.
I've worked for the Army in Germany for the last 8 years, we have BRAC down to an art form. BRAC while disturbing to the local population doesn't strike at the core of the Army. USMA is in many ways the core of the Army it is to the Army what Ft. Benning is to the Infantry it's the place where the roots are traced back to.

We can BRAC, we obviously need to lose some senior officers and senior non-com's there are cuts that can be made at Aberdeen and so on. The Army more than any other service is a human organization, humans need roots especially in an organization that asks it people to do what the Army asks.
GermanyChris is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:28 AM   #24
mcrain
Banned
 
mcrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Illinois
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
$100K per year doesn't seem that out of line. A little pricey, but it does include summers of fun and games. The real question to me is quality of education. For $100K/year we should be getting graduates with a very high quality formal education in addition to the Outward Bound+Commando School training. The article claims we are not getting that value, but, it is a little hard to tie the anecdotes and data together in what is essentially an editorial. I would like to see more hard data.
All I can say is that the competition to get into the academies is incredible. Far more so than most public/private institutions. Not only were you required to be a top tier student, but you had to have extra curricular activities and you had to be physically capable of handling the education. The application process requires push-ups, pull-ups, shuttle runs, EKGs, blood tests, etc...

The worst student who manages to graduate from an academy is as good as just about anyone from any other school. Period.
mcrain is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:36 AM   #25
GermanyChris
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Here
When I graduated in '94 the service academies said the top 1% could apply. You needed a letter of recommendation from your senator or congressman, have taken at least one fine art, played one sport, and have held a leadership role in your school. The rest of us needn't apply.
GermanyChris is offline   0 Reply With Quote


Reply
MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Politics, Religion, Social Issues

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jury Finds Both Apple and Samsung Guilty of Patent Infringement, Samsung to Pay $119.6 Million, Apple to Pay $158,400 MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 609 May 23, 2014 05:53 PM
Credit Score Question--to pay or not to pay? Frisco Community Discussion 11 Sep 24, 2013 02:08 PM
would you pay this? bsurb MacBook Pro 24 Oct 1, 2012 06:09 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:28 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC