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Letters to the Editor

Tue., Jan. 7, 2014

Editorial ignores cause

In its arrogant Jan. 4 editorial, The Spokesman-Review blamed those with no prospects for a dignified retirement for their own fate, while ignoring the causes.

The editorial board is the mouthpiece of a family dynasty of inherited wealth, and yet they dare to lecture us on how we’re “inept” investors and haven’t saved enough for old age.

I was privileged to be an S-R journalist for 27 years. However, within the last decade, the newspaper froze pensions, scrapped them for new hires, ordered layoffs and slashed salaries.

Meanwhile, while extracting $9 billion in tax breaks from the compliant state Legislature, Boeing has forced its machinists into a contract that phases out pensions. Cash-flush Boeing threatened to take its jobs elsewhere if it didn’t get its way.

Workers are not to blame. Wages have stagnated since the 1980s. Many manufacturing jobs went abroad and the risky 401(k) has proved a callous, risk-shifting strategy. As a result, the middle class is in deep danger.

I invite the S-R commentators to watch “Inequality for All” at the Bing Theater on Jan. 20. Economist Robert Reich’s film offers solutions to restore our future.

That is so much better than the blame game.

Karen Dorn Steele


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