I was discouraged to see the pithy treatment of Germany's youth and their concerns about supporting a graying population ("Revolt of the young," European Business, Sept. 22). The criticisms put forth by the Young Socialists should sound familiar to American young people. With an average age of 53 in the U.S. House of Representatives and 59 in the Senate, and the threats of the AARP to exercise its political clout, young workers will continue to pay for benefits we may not realize. Where's our revolt?
The burden imposed on the young people in Germany is similar to the U.S. I recognize that seniors who retired from low-wage jobs are struggling, but multitudes of us never had it so good. We should abolish the concept of a Social Security trust fund, and pay all benefits from general revenue (as is the case, for example, in Australia and Finland). As I am sure is the case with many of my cohorts, I would be glad to take less if it would ease the burden on young people.
Mack A. Moore
Atlanta Bruce Nussbaum's analysis entirely misses the profound shift in world debate that the war has wrought: America's unilateral action has prompted a crisis of soul-searching within the U.N. If this is accompanied by viable reform, unilateralism will have more than proved its value. The front in the war on terrorism has moved, with this war, from the streets of New York to the hinterlands of Iraq. It is now being waged by highly trained and seasoned American warriors, instead of hapless office workers.
The geopolitical arrangement of the Muslim world has been irreversibly altered. Turkey is no longer trying to strong-arm concessions for its cooperation in the war on terror. Neither is Pakistan. Iran is on the defensive with regard to its weapons program. Saudi Arabia has gone from being a sponsor of terror to being its target.
Let no one forget, terrorism is not America's problem; it is the world's. To the extent that America has unilaterally toppled a lawless regime, is slowly killing off its terrorists, and is now transforming it into a peaceful and democratic society, that is America's unilateral gift to the world community.
Walnut Creek, Calif.