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John Whiting
Eagle River, Alaska
Jan. 25, 2002

The ENRON debacle reminds me of the story of the factory owner who (on payday) sets up a poker game across the street from the factory, lures the employees in after work, sells them chips; and while they're busy playing, absconds with the money and leaves town.

When the broke and disillusioned employees show up for work the next day, they find that the boss had run up all his credit and then sold out to an unsuspecting buyer for cash.

It's just another example of the old American adage that all of us are created equal: some are just more equal than others.

This certainly makes a case against the privatization of the Social Security System that we heard so much about during the last presidential election. And while we're at it, let's hear it for all those companies that mandate that 401 K'ers invest in their own company's stock, or companies who underfund, or those who don't even fund, their 401K plans. And let's not forget all those private health care and retirement systems where the rules are changed after the game, leaving lifelong workers disenfranchised and discarded like trash.

It makes one wonder who's looking out for the interests of the American worker; now that the government is opting out, the labor unions have been discredited, and Ralph Nader has been pushed outside the loop.

John Whiting
Eagle River

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