Obama’s poor Julia vs. traditional Jane

When Jane was 17, there was no Race to the Top program or federal aid to education. Nevertheless, she took the SAT and a number of Advanced Placement examinations. Strangely, SAT scores were much higher then. Although fewer people went to college, hardworking high school graduates still could get a good job before federal taxes and regulations drove about 40,000 factories overseas.

Jane did not get a Pell Grant, but college education was very affordable. She could pay most of her in-state tuition with earnings from a part-time job in the chemistry laboratory, which paid $1.25 per hour. She lived at home. The commute was short, but in any event, gasoline was less than 30 cents a gallon, or about $1.91 in 2005 dollars.

Poor Julia will be in debt before she ever graduates from college.

Jane had an appendectomy at about age 14. There was no “health care reform” and no Medicare or Medicaid, either. Her hospital bill was $150, which was 10 days’ pay for a construction laborer.

Julia’s hospital bill probably was 10 or 20 times higher.

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