Baltimore still can attract businessNobody likes to...


Baltimore still can attract business

Nobody likes to lose. In the business of locating corporate facilities, there are many contenders, but in the end only one is chosen.

The USF&G; national claims center to be located in Tampa, Florida is, no doubt, of great benefit to Tampa. It is also of great benefit to greater Baltimore. USF&G; has a long history in Baltimore. USF&G; was founded here and continues to be headquartered and will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. Anything that USF&G; does to strengthen its competitive position is of benefit to the company and to our region. USF&G; is a valuable corporate and community asset for greater Baltimore -- providing jobs, a history of community involvement and significant economic investment.

There are many variables analyzed in the process of site selection. For a facility of this type, the typical primary considerations are: access to customers, quality and availability of and overall cost of doing businesss.

Based on the requirements of the USF&G; project as originally presented, there were opportunities within Maryland and those opportunities were made known to USF&G.; The competition was keen, but market dynamics presented a stronger case for locating in the South. Would a comparable package of training and infrastructure assistance have been available to USF&G; in Maryland? Most probably. But would that have been enough to offset other market considerations? Probably not. Incentives and public assistance are typically of short-term value. The company's objectives are best served by investing in a market whose infrastructure supports and nurtures the long-term goals of the company.

It is important for any community to present a coordinated and united front in the attraction and welcoming of new business. Greater Baltimore has many assets -- the Port of Baltimore, BWI airport, proximity to Washington and other major markets, a superb highway system and world-renowned medical and educational facilities. The most recent location or expansion of facilities here by the International Youth Foundation, Fila, Goldwell Cosmetics, Fritz Cos., ACSI and T. Rowe Price is witness to the region's attractiveness for business development.

Ann M. Coscia


The writer is executive director of the Greater Baltimore Alliance, a regional economic development and marketing organization promoting metropolitan Baltimore.

Balanced budget at root of social debate

Carl M. Cannon's Jan. 16 article, "Balanced budget's impact: lower interest rates," essentially ridicules the necessity of a balanced budget.

He argues that the nation has not had a balanced budget for 30 years, and that the only benefit would be one of lower interest rates. Mr. Cannon concludes by quoting President Clinton, who states that a balanced budget will harm most poor Americans and that the nation has become accustomed to its current levels of spending.

Keynesian economists could not have anticipated the myriad social problems that this country has experienced since World War II, nor the federal government's spending to achieve equality of results as opposed to equal treatment under the law.

The use of government coffers for comprehensive and intrusive social engineering is quite different from economic pump-priming to support an ailing economy or deficit spending in times of crises such as a war or deep recession.

The arguments being waged over a balanced budget are about ideological, social and political issues.

Both parties know that the power to spend is the power to influence and that the average politician has an insatiable desire to spend on behalf of his or her constituents. Life is about choice and compromise, something that most families understand whereas Congress and the president do not.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cannon focused upon the math but ignored the seductive role of government in satisfying our needs, regardless of their legitimacy, or in altering behavior, regardless of its desirability.

Lowell E. Abramson


Media ignore diversity of Virginia institutions

I have been disappointed in the media's coverage of the Supreme Court case involving the educational system of the state of Virginia.

The emphasis of the coverage has been faithful to what the Justice Department would like this case to be -- a black-and-white issue of one state-funded school's admission policy. Instead, this case concerns the diverse educational opportunities offered by the state of Virginia.

The state-supported educational system provides co-educational and single-sex college programs for both genders.

The case at hand questions the state's prerogative to offer such a variety of educational opportunities to its constituents.

It has been proven that for some individuals a single-sex educational system has allowed them to flourish, whereas they may not have done so within a co-educational arrangement. By providing single-sex educational programs, the state offers an economic alternative for the individuals who seek these benefits.

The Virginia Women's Institute of Leadership (VWIL) and the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) are two examples of comparable yet unique single-sex educational systems offered by the state of Virginia. To eradicate a state's right to provide single-sex educational opportunities eliminates an economical choice for the students entering our country's current educational system.

Matthew R. Martin


The writer is a 1984 graduate of VMI.

No place in politics for surface beauty

And we thought they no longer boiled missionaries in oil!

You would think that Sen. Robert Dole had defected to some God-forsaken nation and had spit on the American flag!

His critics to a man (women have better sense) speak of his age and remark that "he looked old". Who of these great intellectuals referred to Mr. Dole's great appearance and sharp responses when the Republican candidates met recently?

Senator Dole's critics watch far too many commercials, the miracle facial packs that make one instantly youthful.

God help us as a nation if our potential presidents are selected as are the contestants in the Miss America Pageant.

Elizabeth Lonne


Free snowplowing was unethical

Shame on Baltimore County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger. According to a Jan. 12 article by Ernest F. Imhoff, "Kindnesses keep pace with snow," Ray White, part-owner of the Timonium Holiday Inn, donated 10 rooms and free food to Baltimore County snowplow drivers. In return, Mr. Ruppersberger had county workers plow the Holiday Inn for free.

Left out of this article was the fact that the Holiday Inn had a contract with a private contractor and broke this contract when the hotel was offered free snowplowing.

This, in turn, put the private contractor out of business, where the Holiday Inn was concerned.

Mentioned in the same article was Ravers Fine Meats, which provided deli trays to the snow plowers. However, the meat store did not receive free snowplowing from Baltimore County. So, we ask the question, what is going on between Ray White and Dutch Ruppersberger? Why does Ray White receive special consideration from the county executive?

It's unspeakable that Mr. Ruppersberger would take business away from long-standing, tax paying companies in Baltimore County to accommodate a friend.

During the winter months the only source of income for these private contractors is snow removal, and yet, the county executive cheats them out of this income to help a friend. If you are a business owner in Baltimore County, you should question why the county executive didn't offer you a deal.

Kathy Ives


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