Shielding whistle-blowers

Re “Ex-employees describe peanut plant as ‘filthy.’ ” Feb. 7

All I keep hearing about is what's wrong with Food and Drug Administration food inspection techniques. But according to workers at Peanut Corp. of America, unsanitary conditions had existed in its peanut butter processing operation for a very long time.

Why did they not report it? It's a no-brainer: Whistle-blowers often lose their jobs and sometimes are blacklisted for future employment.

Workers in any organization affecting public health should be the first line of defense in the guarantee of health safety. Congress should pass a law requiring that when a company mistreats a legitimate whistle-blower, it must pay the worker's pay and Social Security contributions through age 65. Simple as that. This would prevent a lot of illness and deaths.

Roger Newell

San Diego

Congress shares the blame

Re “Federal food officials rebuked,” Feb. 6

I find it ironic that members of Congress investigating the peanut-related salmonella outbreak would vent so much anger at the Food and Drug Administration.

In fact, these very same legislators have been complicit in promoting one of the greatest fallacies in modern times: the merit of deregulation and the evils of governmental oversight.

Americans would do well to remember that markets unchecked, financial or otherwise, will almost always go astray. The responsibility of government is to protect and preserve the greater good of the many over the selfishness and greed of the powerful few.

Jerrold Ferro

Culver City

A 'crisis' a child could understand

Re “Keynes can’t help us now,” Opinion, Feb. 6

A "subprime surprise" followed by a "credit crunch" and a "global financial crisis."

Sounds like me a few years back. I didn't do my chores -- I was 11 and had better things to do. This led to a no-allowance surprise, also followed by a "credit crunch": My dad declined my request for a loan so I could join my friends at Raging Waters. And "crisis"? Oh my, you don't even want to know.

Do we really need a Harvard economist to tell us the dangers of spending what was never earned? At least my dad knew money doesn't grow on trees. That's more than I can say for Congress.