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Resorting to Bribery

November 27th, 2004

The Marine Corps is now offering bonuses of up to $30,000 to its riflemen to re-enlist for an extra four years. Not that this is necessarily a bad idea; the men deserve the money, no doubt, and it is likely more cost-effective to retain trained men then to train new ones. And they say the strategy is working; the Marine Corps say recruitment is up 10-30% in some areas (though they are silent on other areas).

Nevertheless, throughout the article you will not find any mention of the unspoken corollary: why do they suddenly need to offer thirty large to Marines so they will re-enlist?

Any journalist worth his salt should have immediately spotted that and made it a focus of the story. In fact, the obvious conclusion should be a story in itself–but you never see it printed.

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