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'Not Just for Wimps'

November 01, 1987

The editorial is correct on all counts about the significance of the recent stock market crash. Over the years, Americans and our government have heavily indulged, providing ourselves every whim or fancy desired, ignoring the long-run economic consequences of our indiscriminate buying actions. Or, if we are not digging ourselves into debt, we are instead acquiring enormous amounts of wealth at others' expense. In 1983, 1% percent of our nation's population possessed 34.3% of the wealth. In debt or in riches, our economic interests have become purely egocentric. America has become infected with greed and self-interest.

Those who lived during the stock market crash of 1929 and thereafter knew years of deprivation. They "went without" in order to rectify years of economic binging and extravagant living. In exchange, they learned a valuable lesson: If we choose to concentrate on personal gain and reward, and thus neglect our community-national liability and long-term obligations, we give up the economic virility of the nation as a whole.

Yet, in such a short time, it seems we have forgotten this invaluable lesson, once again lost in self-involvement. By dismissing the recent loss as trivial and meaningless, we will condemn ourselves to relearn the economic and moral lessons our ancestors sacrificed for so dearly.

STEVEN JOHNSON

North Hollywood

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