The victims are real

by Debra Efroymson

A good friend of mine joined the Peace Corps when she was already a grandmother. She spent two years living in a simple home with a dirt floor, doing her best to help her poor neighbours. Upon her return to the United States, she got a job which she hated. Her only reason for working was to save enough money to pad her retirement. As she said to me, “I want to be able to have a few extra expenses, like occasionally to go out for lunch or to join a book club.” She worked for years, gradually cutting down the hours, and always counting the months till she could retire.

Shortly before she reached that point, Enron collapsed. (I don’t want to go into detail here, but Enron was basically a scam posing as an energy company. Its very rich directors became even richer, and those who had bought stock in the company lost everything.) Gone were all her savings. “I’ll have to pull my horns in a little,” she told me. As if she had any extravagant expenses in her life! It angered me intensely, but I also realized that she was better off than many. All those hours of working at a job she intensely disliked in order to afford a few tiny luxuries, all gone so that some dishonest people could swindle others. Some say that greed is good for the economy? I say B.S.!

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