Saving only guarantee of financial security

As a Delphi retiree and UAW member I, along with thousands of retirees and active workers, mourn the loss of the financial security we once thought we had. We know now it was only an illusion, but it felt good for a very long time.

I have confidence in the UAW. I am dumbfounded by the formation of the dissident group, Future of the Union. I cannot imagine any group better qualified than the UAW to represent our interests. We have outstanding union leadership locally and nationally. The UAW cannot perform miracles, but it is our best chance for success. When we as union members disagree with the direction our union is taking, the proper forum to express our concerns and suggestions is the union hall. I implore the dissidents to use reason instead of emotion and to support the UAW. Never is unity and solidarity more important than in troubled times.

The Delphi bankruptcy ensures that current employees, without doubt, will have to take substantial wage reductions. Retirees may now have to depend on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and General Motors for their pensions. However, the PBGC and GM have their own financial problems. These buffers against financial ruin may not be there for us after all.

The present situation is a painful illustration that in life “there are no guarantees” as long as we depend on others. The only person or entity anyone can truly depend on for present and future security is one’s self. That is the lesson I hope younger workers learn from the Delphi bankruptcy. Working hard and spending and saving responsibly are the only guarantees for a secure financial future.

Mae Padfield

Greentown



Remember, CEO, you live in U.S.

General Motors has just assured itself of bankruptcy. (I’m sure, on its North American operations only.) After successfully negotiating a retiree relief deal with the UAW, what is its very first move? To announce the closing of UAW-represented plants and eliminate 30,000 jobs in the United States and Canada.

That’s 30,000 people who won’t be contributing a dollar per hour that was supposed to help GM save the pension fund.

That’s 30,000 people, plus their extended families, who probably won’t be buying a new GM vehicle in the near future, thus depressing U.S. car and truck sales even more.

Where will it all end? Until Corporate America takes a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and realizes that we are all just men and women trying to survive, it won’t.

I don’t care of a CEO’s son drives a BMW to Harvard, but I would like to be able to send my daughter to IUPUI with a bus pass. I don’t care if the vice president of any company likes to spend Christmas on his own private island but I would live to buy a few gifts for my loved ones.

You see, Mr. CEO, we don’t care if you get rich, but remember you still live in America with all of us. An America that was made great by hard-working, honest, God-fearing men and women and not for greedy, dishonest, corporate pirates. The day will soon come, Mr. CEO, when all your money won’t buy you a cracker, but with my neighbor, I will feast.

Ray Brown

Kokomo



Support food banks this holiday season

During this season of giving and thankfulness in our land of plenty, I encourage you to help those most in need by contributing to local food pantries. The devastation of the hurricanes as well as the tornado which hit southwestern Indiana on Nov. 6 have made this a difficult year for many people and stressed the resources of our local food banks.

Each citizen can make an important contribution in the fight against hunger at a local level. Over the years, I have visited numerous Hoosier food banks and have been especially impressed by the remarkable work of these organizations. In many cases, they are partnered with churches and faith-based organizations and are making a tremendous difference in our communities.

We should support this private sector activity, which not only feeds people, but also strengthens community bonds and demonstrates the power of faith, charity and civic involvement.

To participate in this important advocacy for food banks and emergency feeding programs by donating to your local food pantry, please contact your local food bank.

With the approaching winter season, many Hoosiers are also bracing for the cold weather and the financial hardships caused by the expected increase in heating costs. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has distributed $199 million in Indiana to eligible low-income households from 2002 to 2005.

I strongly support LIHEAP, and I encourage Hoosiers who are concerned about their ability to pay for home heating during the cold winter months to contact the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration for more information at http://www.state.in.us/fssa/families/housing/eas.html or (800) 622-4973.

I thank you, in advance, for your personal thoughtfulness and generosity this holiday season so that the bounty of

our country can be shared with all Hoosiers. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Richard G. Lugar

U.S. Senator

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