David Brooks cannot understand (CDT, Feb. 15) why the young are flocking to Bernie Sanders.
I lived in “Bernie’s world” before I came to the U.S. The British government paid my university fees and I had my children free on the National Health, which also gave me pre- and post-natal care. I immigrated to Western Australia where my children enjoyed another single-payer health system and were educated free at the state university. We probably paid higher taxes, but I never heard anyone complain.
The first thing that shocked me when I got to Penn State was my students’ massive loans. How could they ever pay them off?
I was also stunned when I visited inner-city Philadelphia by the boarded shops, the iron grids protecting windows and desolate, litter-strewn streets. How could Americans let part of their country fall into such disrepair?
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I saw how hard Americans worked for very little return. They had no paid sick leave, no paid maternity leave, and the man who mowed my lawn worked three part-time jobs but still could not pay for his heart medicine.
Life in the U.S. reminded me of a Monopoly game where one player owns all the expensive properties and the others can’t afford the rent. I can see why the young embrace Sanders’ vision of the U.S. as a country, like so many other developed countries, that takes care of all its citizens instead of being winner-take-all.
Mary Gage, State College