Julia? She was the Obama campaign’s Web advertisement creation
of a woman with an unfortunately Orwell-evoking name who finds true
fulfillment through living a life enhanced by government programs?
Conservatives charged that single mom Julia seemed
married to the state, but whether or not the then and current
incumbent’s creation ever took the big step, she certainly lived a
life of government dependency. But, according to some belated but
still relevant number-crunching by American Thinker’s
Randy Fardal, a nation of Julia’s would not only be unsustainable
net consumers of government services, they would end up worse off
than if they’d taken responsibility for their own lives.
Fardal writes up a lifetime cashflow for Julia in a 27-page
study that gives similar treatment to an equally ambitious and
upper-middle-class counterpart named “Freda,” as well as an
ambitious illegal immigrant with fewer educational opportunities
named “Ileana,” and an everywoman with less get-up-and-go named
“Ankara” who started life as a so-called anchor baby. Freda, Ileana
and Ankara all make a hypothetically available choice to opt out of
government programs and get things done on their own without the
blessings bestowed on Julia,
A financial spreadsheet was constructed to model Julia’s entire
adult life, from ages 19-85. ; As would be expected, fictional
Julia lives the comfortable existence that the president promised
in his comic book. ; Unfortunately though, her federal, state,
and local governments continue to pile up more debt and pension and
healthcare liabilities in order to support her comfy
lifestyle. ; In other words, upper middle class Julia not only
contributes nothing to the president’s social safety net; she
actually consumes all of the money — and more — that she
supposedly provides to fund it.
Fardal anticipates that Freda will do better, since he bestows
his anti-Julia with all of the personal advantages of Julia. You
would expect her to be a net contibutor since she’s eschewing
government programs. She also ends up with far more net worth at
the end of her life: $3.8 million as opposed to $698 thousand.
The real contrast, though, comes with the proud everywoman
Ankara, when set against the ambitious but dependent Julia.
I modeled Ankara to be an everyday clock-puncher that is not
particularly creative, ambitious, or perseverant. ; She does
not go to college, starts her career at minimum wage, and does not
leave her employer to form her own firm. ; Her salary stagnates
when she reaches her early forties. ; She’s a female “Joe
Six-Pack” stuck in a dead-end job. ; And like Freda and Ileana,
she lives in a nation that allows her to opt out of all taxpayer
funding for and benefits from entitlement and education.
Uh-oh. ; Even Ankara is better off without socialism than
Julia is with it. ; Ankara was born into poverty, pays her own
way for virtually everything, gets better service, contributes
nothing to the national debt, and retires in the middle
class. ; Her private-school educated son has a future much
brighter than that of Julia’s son. ; Ankara’s son is likely to
spend his adult life comfortably in the middle class and her
grandson probably will do even better. ; That’s real
Ankara ends her life with a legacy of $712 thousand.
It’s certainly possible to take issue with some of Fardal’s
assumptions, including the various choices his creations could make
over the course of their lives that result in specific costs and
savings. But, he points out that if some people need a “social
safety net,” Julia, as a consumer of government services, is in a
terrible position to fund such a backstop, while the others, as net
contributors, could at least make it possible.
It’s an interesting intellectual exercise, at least.
summary article is here and his full study and data is
(H/T Lord Humungus)