One seeks in vain for even a trace of historical context in John Semonche’s paean to the GI Bill (“The middle class as a footnote,” May 10 Point of View).
The GI Bill was a response to a perfect economic storm that the United States faced at the end of World War II: 15 years of pent-up global demand for consumer goods, no competition (we were the only economic power with an intact industrial base at the end of the war), new industries arising from scientific advances made during the war, an emerging Cold War that required high levels of spending and millions of men demobilizing.
The GI Bill provided a generation of engineers, scientists, managers and skilled workers who supported the unprecedented U.S. post-war economic expansion.
Although nothing remotely similar to these conditions exists today, Semonche seems to think it is still 1944. He ignored recent history, which has shown how the availability of financial aid has significantly contributed to an upward spiral in college costs, leaving this generation of middle class college students awash in debt in a tight labor market. It is not clear why making community college free will not have a similar result. Some historical perspective, please.