I would like to ask the writer of the Aug. 22 letter, “The 99 percent need self-reliance,” to imagine his life if a few things had happened differently. He is apparently of the older generation who lived when self-reliance was possible, before the greed of the 1 percent was allowed to get out of hand. Probably he was a loyal worker all his life at a company with a good pension plan and health insurance contributions. He has earned enough to support his family, buy a house, and invest for retirement. He’s part of the 99 percent, not rich but “self reliant.”
But suppose his company was “ailing” and had been bought by Romney’s Bain Capital? Gov. Romney is an expert at making money, a “self reliant” guy, so he gets a huge government backed loan (they trust him: he’s rich), then sends the jobs overseas and fires the workers, sells off the assets, defaults on the loan, and sends the money to his Cayman accounts. He has “turned the company around” and made it profitable — for him and the stock holders. He goes home richer than ever.
The writer is now without a job; his house is lost to foreclosure; his pension plan dissolved; his personal investments are valueless after his bank failed. He can’t afford health insurance and has become disabled. (If he relies on emergency department health care, we, the taxpayers, pay for it.) His grown children are a hundred thousand dollars in debt to student loans, can’t find jobs and have moved back home… .
What shall this self reliant man — and the millions like him — do now?