Regarding "Why they can't afford to retire" [News, March 31], the ultimate aim of the business community and its right-wing political allies is to move all of the American workforce, both private and public, into defined-contribution "retirement" plans -- the 401(k)s and the 403(b)s -- which in comparison to defined-benefit plans are not retirement strategies at all. The fundamental reason for this drumbeat of change is simple: saving money.

As if this weren't enough, add the right-wing push for Medicare destruction through vouchers, along the with the periodic attempts to privatize Social Security, and you have the twin negatives of health care deprivation and retirement dreams solidly placed outside the realm of reality.

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What then? Start the battle of the 1930s all over again, or stand up now, politically, against the reactionary forces in society.

Jerome M. Langenthal, Hauppauge