A Letter From The Publisher: May 24, 1982

For this week's cover story on the nation's troubled Social Security system, TIME's correspondents uncovered almost universal agreement on one point: the initial experience of obtaining a Social Security number can be a real bench mark in life. This finding applied to our own correspondents. "I first got my Social Security card at 16 in Chicago," says Atlanta Bureau Chief Joe Boyce. "Little did I know then that I was entering into a lifelong relationship with federal, state and local bureaucracy." Recalls Senior Correspondent Ruth Mehrtens Galvin: "I well remember when I received...

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