The Effect The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act Of 1944, Otherwise Known As The G.I. Bill, Had On The Economic Boom Experienced By The United States Post World War II
The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. 78-446,58 Stat. 248m) was a statute that was aimed at providing a range of benefits to the returning Second World War troupers. The Bill was assented to law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944. The law was aimed at creating pool fund for the active fighters in the Second World War that would enable them to acquire education, houses and compensation for unemployment.This law was informally referred to as the G.I Bill. The veterans who were returning from the Second World War were commonly called the G.I. The benefits that were accorded to the veterans were available to any veteran who met the prescribed conditions. These conditions were; the veteran must have been actively involved on duty during the period of war for nit less than ninety day. Besides, he/she must not have been shamefully discharged from the warring teams. Among the benefits that the veterans were allowed include; low cost of acquiring mortgages, loans for starting businesses at low interest rates, access to cash payment of their tuition charges as well as the living expenses incurred while acquiring education whether at college level, high school level or vocational levels. Coupled with these was one year of unemployment compensation.
After the original Servicemen’s Readjustment Law of 1944, the benefits and terms of acquiring the benefits have been extended even to cover servicemen of wars that would occur afterwards together with those involved in peacetime series.Interestingly, over 2.2 million veterans by 1958 had utilized the G.I Bill Education benefits to acquire college or the university education and another 6.6 million veterans had as well used the benefits to acquire trainings in different fields. Arguably, the renowned G.I Bill immensely contributed to economic growth and development especially in terms of human capital in America. In other words, G.I Bill was an economic boom to the United States’ economy.
Thesis Statement: The effect the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, otherwise known as the G.I. Bill, had on the economic boom experienced by the United States post World War II.
I find this topic worth discussing because after carefully analyzing the information available about the G.I Bill, I find a lot of positive aspects of the G.I Bill to the American economy.
The topic area of my choice for my thesis is the effect the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, otherwise known as the G.I. Bill, had on the economic boom experienced by the United States post-World War II. This choice for the topic came after considering the modern day 9/11 G.I Bill. I am persuaded that, the fact this bill is focusing on the provision of funds and a chance for education, job procurement and active service in the country in non-military service make is it ideal for fueling economic growth and development of the American Economy.
The center of focus at this point about the topic is on the three aspects of benefits that the G.I Bill accorded to the veterans and the underlying economic impacts. However, I hope to underscore a little more insight and shed more light on how the G.I Bill has been beneficial to the American Economy. The three important aspects of the G.I Bill that I am giving attention include; the chance to acquire educational benefits, the low mortgage rates that enabled the veterans to buy houses as well as the benefits that were given on grounds of unemployment that the veterans were given while undertaking their studies in college.
This workpiece that I intend to develop is in line with my fast topic that was dealing narrating the significance of the distinct accounts of our veterans from the front lines in wars, explicitly in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I am convinced that the veterans are more economically productive than in the past wars. This advantage is seen in terms of educational standards and qualifications that resulted from the G.I Bill. From this background, I am persuaded that, in this discourse, the economic advantages of the G.I Bill have an appreciable level of impacts on the American economy. In this discourse, I will base my perception on the three aspects of benefits provided by the G.I Bill. These three areas include educational benefits, low mortgage rates and the unemployment benefits. Each of the above benefits will be discussed extensively to identify their contributions to the growth of the American Economy in the post Second World War era.
According to the G.I Bill, any approved educational program the Post 9/11 GI Bill provided for up to three years of educational benefits that were payable for 15 years following the release of the veterans from active.Under this entitlement, the higher institutions of higher learning that were affiliates in the Yellow Ribbon Program were allowed to make additional funds that were available for the eligible veterans’ educational needs without incurring any additional burden to the GI Bill entitlement.
Under the educational benefits, the eligible veterans who were beneficiaries of the G.I Bill Educational program was given monthly house allowance that enabled him/her to acquire a place of residence while undertaking educational program. This allowance was able to sustain the house needs and accommodation. The veteran would receive payment for house allowance to be able to enjoy security and peace while in the process of acquiring education under the G.I Bill educational entitlement.
Besides, they were also offered a stipend for books and other supplies on annual basis. The eligible veterans had his/her educational needs catered for. They, therefore, accessed the necessary resources that were needed for quality education.The implication is that the quality of education acquired was higher because there were no strains posed to the veterans by financial incapacitation. Quality education, as it is known in the public domain, is a prerequisite towards achieving the economic goals of a nation. Moreover, the stipend for supplies and books catered for the resources that would be required in education process.
The G.I Bill educational benefits provided for tuition, subsistence, books and other supplies. To add on, equipment and counseling services were also integrated into the program to enable the veterans to continue their education at high school, college or university levels. To affirm its affectivity, statistics showed that, after the seventh year, over eight million veterans had already benefited from the program and acquired education through the G.I Bill Educational benefits. Precisely, about 2.3 million veterans acquired college reduction through the G.I Bill educational provisions,3.5 million acquired school training and an additional 3.4 million acquired on-the-job training under the program. To be categorical, the number of degrees awards by the colleges in the United States rose significantly between 1940 and 1950. Moreover, the percentage of the Americans with a bachelor’s degree or advanced degrees shot from 4.5% in 1945 up to 25% after fifty years when the program had taken roots.
About twenty years after the G.I Bill Educational program was initiated, the about $14.5 billion had been given out to the veterans under the education and training program. Interestingly, the Veteran Administration reported that the income tax for the federal state was able to pay the cost incurred in the G.I Bill implementation without any form of financial strain. It is worth mentioning the G.I Bill educational funding by extension covered vocational training needs for the interested servicemen.
Under the Vocational Rehabilitation program, the G.I Bill educational program aimed at promoting the development of suitable, profitable employment through vocational and personal adjustment counseling, training assistance, monthly subsistence allowance during the active involvement in the training programs. The advantage this program was seen in the increased level of education to Americans. The job market was, therefore, filled with qualified and trained personnel with the desired capacity to improve the American economy.
The existence of well-trained manpower in the American economy was a significant boost to the American economy.In a nutshell, G.I Bill educational program contributed immensely to the growth of the economy of the United States by leading to an increased number of trained personnel who would fit the American job market.
In addition, the G.I Bill education program opened opportunity for the middle class in the institutions of higher learning. As compared to the preceding periods, higher educational program were only affordable to the people from families that were well-off and the privileged families. However, the implementation of the G.I Bill made it possible for the people from the middle class to acquire advanced educational programs that would lead to well-paying jobs and become actively involved in the growth of the United States’ economy.
Moreover, the vocational trainings that were provided for under the G.I Bill vocational rehabilitation opened doors for the middle class veterans to be equipped with the technical skills that were required in the US economy after the Second World War. It is important to note that the veterans who utilized the G.I Bill educational training were able to take care and provide for the needs of their families. The economic implication of this aspect was seen in the reduction in the poverty index in the United States.
Most outstandingly, the G.I Bill shaped the leadership arena of the United States by nurturing and producing people who later immerged as powerful leaders who made appreciable contributions in the development and growth in America. For instance, some key influential leaders in America such as Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush; Supreme Court Justices William Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens and Byron White, some powerful senators like Bob Dole, John Glenn, George Mitchell, Daniel Patrick Moynihan among other influential men in the united states. Perhaps, it was because they benefited from the G.I Bill educational benefits and acquired the level of education that placed in the various levels in the US economy.By extension, the beneficiaries of the G.I Bill extended their helping hands to other American people who would other not have made it up to college level due to financial incapacitation. The G.I Bill came to the rescue of so many brains that would have been wasted.
Benefits of the Low Rates of Mortgage
Considering the benefits that were aimed at giving mortgages at low interest made it possible for the veterans to take up about 20% of all the homes constructed in the post Second World War period.The low mortgage rates had economic advantages to the American economy. The provisions for low interest rates of mortgages to the veterans created an increased demand for houses and homes in the United States. This demand in houses was an opportunity for the investor and home owners to benefit and have a ready market for the houses constructed. Compared to the period before the G.I Bill took effect, the number of home occupants was low, and there was low demand for houses. However, G.I Bill opened opportunity for more people to acquire homes and house pushing the demand much higher.
As it was understood by the proponents of the G.I Bill, it aimed at according the veterans low rates of mortgages to enable them find a home to settle with his/her family and be at per with the non-veterans. It was believed that the veterans spent time in the war and had no time to venture into business and build their homes. Therefore, bridging this gap between the veterans and the non-veterans made it easy for the economy of the United States to increase significantly. The number of potential investors rose tremendously due to the access that the veterans got which enabled them to start businesses and other forms of investment.The increased level of investment in the economy stimulated a rapid growth of the economy after the Second World War in order to reduce the chances of economic depression.
Benefits of the Unemployment Compensation
After evaluating the economic advantages of the three areas captured in the G.I Bill, it is worth concluding that G.I Bill had positive effects towards the growth of the United States’ economy. These contributions were manifested in job market where the trained veterans with skills were available to take up the job opportunities in the United States economy. Another aspect was seen in the increased potential of investment in America. More job opportunities were created through the loans that were given to the veterans. Moreover, the benefits of the G.I Bill also led to reduction in the poverty gap.The veterans never had time to invest during the time they were actively involved in the war and, therefore, their families led low economic lives. The unemployment compensation enabled them to be at par with the non-veteran counterpart. Above all, the low rates of mortgage given to the veterans led to high market for homes and house in the United States. Therefore, the effect the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, otherwise known as the G.I. Bill, had on the economic boom experienced by the United States post World War II.
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