Turn It Off
Editor: Your correspondent, U.M. Abhyankar, alleged in a letter published Dec. 26 that the overwhelming majority of ordinary (whatever that might be) Americans would not like live telecasts (presumably tape is okay) of news events such as the Clarence Thomas hearings and the William Kennedy Smith trial.
Your correspondent further advised of being demeaned and insulted by the telecasts, when a simple turning off of the TV set would prevent these feelings and leave your correspondent comforted in knowing that the rest of ordinary Americans could, if they chose, also turn off their TV sets.
Howard L. Caplan
Editor: There are many ways to describe the downturn in the economy. One is to look at the ranks of the under-employed.
These are people who are more skilled than their positions demand and are looking for new jobs. The current unemployment statistics do not include these people, and give an inexplicit meaning to the state of unemployment in the nation.
I know of a M.B.A. who is making a living as a bicycle messenger in downtown Baltimore. I've heard of law school graduates applying for law-clerking positions.
But it really hit home when my company received about 100 responses to an ad for parking lot booth attendant. About 25 percent of these responses were from college graduates, some with master's degrees.
The desperation for a job was incredible. I really felt empathy for a girl who graduated with honors from a private all-girl college in Pennsylvania. She custom-tailored the career objective part of her resume for the job.
She actually stated that she wanted to use her college degree to gain an entry level job in a parking lot. I gave her an A for effort, but she was absolutely over-qualified and under-employable.
Hopefully, the predicaments for the under-employed will not get as bad as a cartoon I saw last year in The Wall Street Journal. The cartoon had a very tense college graduate taking a cab to his first interview. The cab driver noticed his nervousness and told him, "I felt the same way after I got my Ph. D."
Let's hope 1992 will be a year of recovery.
Brian A. Pomykala.
Now Hear This!
Editor: There's an easy way to level the playing field between Japanese and American automobiles.
President Bush should simply allow our high-powered Big Three executives to remain "on loan" as consultants to Japan's auto industry. In no time costs will rise and quality of product will diminish.
M. Sigmund Shapiro.
Editor: My husband and I were notified of a 3.7 percent increase in our Social Security check, beginning Jan. 1, 1992.
Like many millions, we are not in need of this cost of living increase and would be interested in knowing why all these increases should be paid when the money involved could be put to a better use, such as housing for the needy and food for the hungry, to name a few.
We feel that said increases ought to be screened carefully enough to insure that those in need in any area receive some form of help. We hope many others such as us, think this is a fair proposal and that they let the U.S. government hear from them.
Margaret G. Orman.
Editor: Since you published that touching and necessary report on Spring Grove Hospital, I have been following with great interest the debate in The Sun about psychiatric programs in Maryland.
I am a psychiatrist who has worked for hospital and for community programs, public and private. I have no doubt that patients need all these programs that respond to different phases of their illness. I am alarmed by the destructive trend I notice in the letters The Sun, when people working in one program are proposing the exclusion of the others so that the health dollars can be channeled to their own.
The truth of the matter is that patients need hospitals and community programs working in a constructive and cooperative way. If the self-interests of the managers of these programs interfere with patients' needs, they are not being responsible clinicians.
Marcio V. Pinheiro, M.D.
Wave of the Future?
Editor: It is with much hesitation that I respond to your article of December 16, 1991 entitled, "Gambling Run Amok."
The people of Maryland should face reality and realize that legal gambling is the wave of the future. Gambling is for the most part one of the fastest ways to enhance state revenues without using the terrible "T" word.
One solution would be to allow each of the 23 counties to open poker parlors.
One parlor of ten tables can easily rake in $20,000 in a 24-hour period.
Multiply this by 23, and you can see the result. We could donate to the charities of Prince Georges County, rid them of the unsavory operators you so vehemently complain about, put the rest of the money into the state coffers and put a damper on the buses taking Maryland residents and money to Atlantic City, N.J.
For your information, the state of Connecticut is now listing the Ledyard Indian Reservation in travel brochures because in February 1992, they will open one of the largest gaming casinos in the country.
James A. Marcomin.
Freedom of Choice
Editor: I disagree with your Jan. 2 editorial stating that health and safety concerns should be Maryland's motivation for mandating helmets for motorcycle riders.
Sure, it's a nice, humane thought, but we can't legislate away stupidity.
We need to be more pragmatic. The law should be simple. No helmet, no tax money for accident-related medical bills. Period. Freedom of choice is preserved. Tax money is saved. Maryland is eligible for federal highway funds.
I believe it safe to assume that many of those who choose to not wear a helmet would be likely to forego insurance as well. They probably believe the "accidents happen to someone else" myth. If this assumption is true, it's an even more compelling reason to deny these folks our tax dollars in the event of an accident.
The bottom line is that all taxpayers need to make our legislators aware of their view. As it stands, the only input lawmakers receive is from those who defend the right to ride without helmets. I too defend the right to choose. But with that right comes responsibility.
So give your legislators an earful -- unless you don't mind your tax money going to those who refuse to accept responsibility for their decisions.
Let helmet wearing remain optional. But not a dime to anyone injured while not wearing one.
Editor: Your Jan. 2 editorial, "Revive The Helmet Law" did not go far enough to have this law revived and passed. Just how many registered motorcyclists are there in the state of Maryland? Here is another minority group dictating their selfish whims on the majority of the taxpayers in this state who must foot the bill for those too stupid to realize the risk they impose on themselves.
Here again is another example of a minority group dictating policy that affects the majority, without the minority group having to shoulder the responsibility for their choices.
It is another example of the gutless wonder that we call our state legislature. If I am required to wear a seat belt while driving my car, I don't understand why a cyclist is not required to wear a helmet.
John F. Thomas.