I hear stories all the time of soldiers being on food stamps and living in dire poverty if they actually have families and thus need to live off base. Why does a 'professional' military have 40% of it's lower ranks in dire poverty (according to the last study of this, which apparently was 1999)? Looking at the paygrades, I'd say you need to START enlisted at E5, that or exempt military personnel from state and federal taxes, covering property taxes if living off base and maybe covering utilities if the military can negotiate group rates.
What it sounds like American military culture hasn't overcome its officer bias and regards lower ranks only fit for the stupidest people, which is why you can go E5 in as little as three years. Or is there something else I'm missing?
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