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Re “Visions and divisions: Still front-runners, Biden and Sanders may battle to define the party” (Page A1, Jan. 10): How far back would former vice president Joe Biden like to go in order to “restore” the soul of the country? At what period in our history was the welfare of the people, all the people, the main objective of our government? Senator Bernie Sanders is brave enough, and idealistic enough, to try to overhaul a system that benefits the the 1 percent and not the 99 percent who show up for work every day.

By 1987, the year my father retired after working from age 18 to 65, logging 40 or more hours a week, 51 or 52 weeks a year, he finally was able to buy a brand-new car. Our family had never owned a car that was made in the same decade as the one we lived in. A quart of ice cream served all six of us. One bicycle was passed down from the oldest to the fourth kid over an interval of 11 years. Money was always a worry, though my father was never out of work.

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We were a typical family, having no more and no less than the other families in our Dorchester neighborhood. But it makes me mad to think of all the sacrifices he had to make while the few lived extremely well at his and other workers’ expense.

Jacqueline Cleary

Westmoreland, N.H.