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Dear Hotfoot:

You imply from your reply (#4020) that people exhibiting poor judgement in credit card use makes part of the case for forced savings for Social Security. Some of the most prudent savers I know were once credit card abusers. Like being a parent, there are times when you have to allow the children to make their mistakes so they can learn from them. I hope you are not suggesting that since we can force people to save with SS, we could force them not to abuse their credit cards by controlling the process from Washington. Our politicians in Washington have not exactly been shining examples of prudent spending and budgetary control.

Your observation that many people will never put money in the market or trust it or understand it seems a bit on the gloomy side. I'll bet that 30 or 40 years ago there were many prognosticators out there who would never have thought we would have anywhere near as many people with investments in stocks and bonds as we now do. On the other hand, do these people to which you refer understand the Social Security system sufficiently well to make intelligent voting decisions about it? It's all about informing and educating people.

You commented that no one likes being on the receiving end of charity and I agree. That's because we don't like being dependent on others, like, for instance, the politicians in Washington who dole out Social Security benefits.

You also commented that talking to the guy who is on line every day would reveal the edge of where the gap between the haves and have nots begins. In my former life, I talked to the guy on the line every day, as I did the guys in the laboratory and in the corner offices and never noticed this edge of which you speak. I am more familiar with the have/have not terminology coming from our Washington politicians when they need to invoke some emotional appeal to class distinction in order to pass legislation.

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