Pen­sions and pris­ons

San Francisco Chronicle - - FROM THE COVER -

Re­gard­ing Christo­pher Burn­ham’s “Politi­ciza­tion hurts re­turns, harms re­tirees” (Nov. 7): Ex­cuse me? As a re­tired teacher, I had no idea part of my pen­sion comes from in­vest­ments in pri­vate prison com­pa­nies! Now I un­der­stand the lack of proper fund­ing for the schools in which I taught, of suf­fi­cient coun­sel­ing for dis­turbed stu­dents, the fre­quent ab­sence of even such ba­sic sup­plies as pa­per tow­els in the bath­rooms and the times when sub­sti­tute teach­ers didn’t show up.

I had no idea it was in my in­ter­est to con­trib­ute not to well ed­u­cated and sup­ported chil­dren who would be­come good cit­i­zens but to mise­d­u­cated and alien­ated young peo­ple whose in­car­cer­a­tion would prop up my de­clin­ing years. There are other in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the world; per­haps the wise and om­ni­scient Burn­ham could sug­gest some.

And, yes, pick­ing on “sugar and soda com­pa­nies” would be a good idea, as most schools have been on a steady cam­paign to dis­cour­age their use and pro­mote healthy foods. I sup­pose slav­ery was seen by some as a “ro­bust in­vest­ment.” Pol­i­tics is so­ci­ety, Burn­ham, and it’s nice to think that so­ci­ety can be­come en­light­ened and, with luck, change for the bet­ter.

Jean White, San Fran­cisco

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