Higher tuition opposed for state collegesI read...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Higher tuition opposed for state colleges

I read an editorial in the Oct. 16 Evening Sun, entitled "Saving state colleges."

The writer sounded as if he or she comes from a relatively affluent background. The article states that tuitions at state colleges should be raised, as if they haven't been raised enough in the past years.

The writer goes on to say that lots of students at public campuses can afford to pay more money. I don't know if the writer is aware of this point, but one reason why so many students such as myself attend state colleges is because of the high cost of attending private institutions.

Another proposal was to close some campuses. What are these students of these closed campuses supposed to do?

Katina D. Warren

Baltimore

Grateful zoos

On behalf of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, I want to thank everyone in the Baltimore area who contributed to the Zoo Crisis Fund.

On Aug. 24, when the Miami Metrozoo collapsed in ruins under the force of Hurricane Andrew's relentless blows, there seemed little reason for hope.

Within a week, thanks to the people like those of you in Baltimore, the Miami Metrozoo and other zoological facilities hit by Andrew were blessed with a storm of a different magnitude -- an outpouring of generosity.

To date, more than $175,000 has been collected. Every penny has gone to help the animals.

The help and concern that came out of Baltimore have demonstrated the power of the human spirit to both overcome adversity and protect the creatures whose lives depend upon our stewardship.

Sydney J. Butler

Bethesda

The writer is executive director of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums.

Remember to vote

Last August I visited Gettysburg, Pa. A light rain was falling, and as I observed the grave sites it seemed as if the grass was wet not so much by rain from above as by tears below.

It seemed I could see tears on the graves where men and women died to preserve our freedoms. The tears were for what they preserved, yet we refuse to use.

Our country can only remain free when we involve ourselves in our government, by voting, among other ways. The dead at Gettysburg gave 100 percent, while only a minority of us even bother to vote.

Vote so they did not die in vain.

Vote so we can keep the freedoms they won for us.

Vote and dry the tears from their graves.

Stanley W. Bielik

Baltimore

Bipartisanship

Since state Sen. Thomas Bromwell and Del. Joseph Bartenfelder have been mentioned as leading Democrats to challenge Republican Roger Hayden for Baltimore County executive in 1994, what does it mean that Bromwell attended a Timonium fund-raiser for Hayden? Does it mean that Bartenfelder will win the Democratic nomination unopposed?

While bipartisanship is good for getting legislation passed, it blurs the lines for voters and diminishes the robust debate needed to sharpen the issues. How the next election turns out will depend a great deal on the company the candidates keep.

Kauko H. Kokkonen

Towson

Tax scoundrels

Being single, claiming no dependents and making just enough to edge me into a "middle" income bracket makes me one of the prime candidates for paying more than my fair share of taxes.

I realize that I am not alone. Most of us are working harder and getting less, unless we are a foreign-controlled corporation in the United States.

The problem was bad under Reagan but it has gotten worse under Bush. In 1986, 17 foreign-controlled companies with U.S. subsidiaries had $16.7 billion in receipts and paid $1 billion in taxes.

By 1989, these firms had quadrupled their receipts to $63.6 billion but their taxes decreased by almost $600 million.

Even Republicans like Sen. Jesse Helms stated that foreign companies should have paid $30 billion more in corporate income taxes in 1988.

Many of these companies, 72 percent in 1989, paid no U.S. income taxes. Newsweek reported -- ironically on April 15, 1991 -- that the IRS doesn't dispute that it typically settles for 10 cents on the dollar of its initial claims against foreigners.

The next time I hear a Bush commercial that plays on our fears of a tax increase, I'll remember two things.

First, that the commercial has already been attacked by the Wall Street Journal because of its inaccurate portrayal of Bill Clinton's programs.

But more importantly, I'll be thinking of all those foreign-controlled companies in the U.S. which have avoided the laws that govern the rest of us.

J. Bury

Baltimore

Fateful decision

When voters go to the polls this November they not only will be selecting our leader for the next four years but our future as a nation as well.

Look not only at Democratic candidate Bill Clinton and Republican incumbent George Bush, but seriously think about their vice-presidential choices: Sen. Albert Gore and Vice President Dan Quayle.

Now think about succession.

The one reasonable question that needs to be asked is: "Should anything happen to the person we elect as president, which one of two running mates would we as a nation and our allies feel secure with?

Al Liebeskind

Columbia

White House tour

Your Oct. 14 "Salmagundi" was a trivialization of the 200-year-old White House.

I was privileged recently to have a curator's tour of the White House. It made me feel exceedingly proud to be an American in this place where the president lives and entertains.

It is a beautiful mansion with interesting Americana, antiques from abroad, luxurious furnishings, memorable portraits of our First Ladies, a view of the Potomac River from the Blue Room and lovely gardens.

Frieda Faiman Eisenberg

Baltimore

Polling down to the wire

Your Salmagundi of Oct. 19 said that "the 1948 presidential election . . . is famous for being one no pollster predicted. But one did, Louis H. Bean."

No so. Although he facetiously referred to his not-exactly-forecast as "the Bean poll," Bean was not a pollster but a statistical analyst whose work in the Department of Agriculture applied techniques of multiple correlation to economic matters. He proceeded on the assumption that if you could measure and assign weights to all of the causative factors, you could predict an outcome statistically.

This method always works -- until it doesn't; that's how you discover a new factor that never had to be taken into account before. That's also when you remember the old dictum that "correlation does not mean causation."

Bean's election forecast was based on his projected division of the national vote between Democrats and Republicans.

To apply this to the presidential election meant by-passing the complexities of the Electoral College, which in 1948 was especially hazardous because of the large third-party vote.

My recollection is that Bean did not offer his findings as a forecast but as a caution against assuming Thomas Dewey's election was certain.

Even in the quotation cited in your column, more than 20 years after the event, he wrote only that "all indications could be taken as pointing . . ." (my italics). But he acquired a reputation as the man who called it right.

Remember that 1948 was a mere dozen years after the birth of modern polling, which began when George Gallup's systematically controlled small samples correctly called Franklin Roosevelt's second election in 1936.

Gallup's poll disputed the surveys of Literary Digest magazine, which previously were thought to be reliable. Literary Digest mailed hundreds of thousands of ballots to automobile owners.

The contrite pollsters of 1948 (there were only three national polls at that time) made all their records available for scrutiny by a blue-ribbon panel of the Social Science Research Council, which issued a lengthy report on what went wrong.

One reason -- but not the only one -- was that the pollsters, after finding that Dewey's election was a sure thing, stopped surveying a week before the election -- hard to believe in these days when public judgment of the debates is sought immediately after sign-off, and when the networks are chastised for projecting and announcing Election Day results even before the voting is finished.

Sidney Hollander

Baltimore

The writer is principal partner of the market research firm Hollander Cohen & McBride.

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