Bob Dole's impossible promises
Let me see if I have this right.
One. Bob Dole will reduce taxes, but still balance the budget. This is possible, he says, because his tax cuts will stimulate the economy to faster growth.
Two. In response, Alan Greenspan, concerned with inflation, will raise interest rates as he has always done to keep the economy from growing faster than it is at present.
Three. The American public, will receive a 15 percent reduction in taxes, but at the price of 9 3/4 percent mortgages and 14 percent car loans.
Four. The deficit will continue to grow.
Five. Those who voted for Mr. Dole will find a way to blame the Democrats.
Stanley L. Rodbell
Gay marriages are here to stay
I almost had to laugh when I saw the "Today" section headline, "Most people frown on gay families." The small-mindedness of pollsters and their subjects continues to amaze me.
According to a Harris poll, a majority of those surveyed "disapprove of gay marriages and do not condone the adoption of children by gay couples."
It was not so long ago that a majority of Americans disapproved of interracial marriage. Their disapproval did not (and does not) make interracial or gay marriages wrong; it only shows ignorance and mean-spiritedness that eventually must give way to common sense -- but not before people's lives are damaged.
As to the adoption issue: Would people prefer that children languish in institutions rather than being adopted by parents who want them and are able to care for them?
One final point: I would like to know exactly how those poll questions were phrased.
Gambling won't make city worse than it is
I frequently have occasion to travel through some of the most blighted parts of Baltimore.
Other than the oppressive and deplorable condition of the buildings, roadways and storefronts, the most striking part of any trip through Charm City is the abundant evidence of what Baltimore once was.
In even the most depressed parts of the city, Victorian turrets and peaked roofs still soar, plaintively, it seems, toward some stratospheric objective.
The stonework on many older private homes and commercial buildings compares favorably to that found in some of the most beautiful cities in the world.
In short, the architecture and overall plan of the city is truly wondrous, but the cancerous rot that infects large sections of our city has overwhelmed the original sublime design in its execution.
How long ago was it that developers made decisions to commit their own money, energy and time (their most precious asset) to the areas away from the Inner Harbor? When was Baltimore the kind of vibrant city that could attract, indeed demand, world-class stonemasons and woodworkers to build those dramatic homes on Eutaw Place and Reservoir Hill?
Yes, we have lured an NFL franchise to our city, and we should be justifiably proud of our city and our leaders that we were able to do so, but will the long term benefits of football replace the loss of our shipping and steel-fabricating industries to cities more economically attractive than ours?
Of course not.
Unfortunately, those industries, supporters of thousands of families and consequent service providers, are most likely not returning.
We must look elsewhere for the economic substance to support our current needs and launch us and our offspring into the 21st century. One such source of jobs, income and opportunity is the gaming industry.
Some find gambling and its associated problems to be distasteful, but it is not nearly so distasteful as driving down North Avenue on Saturday night.
Some fear a dangerous element will be introduced to the city if gamblers bring enormous sums to the tables, but one needs only to travel through Sandtown or near Johns Hopkins in the early morning to confront real danger.
Gov. Parris Glendening has described the supporters of gaming in Maryland as "aggressive." Will it not take aggressive, risk-taking entrepreneurs to reignite the economic furnaces so that we all may benefit?
Gambling is not a panacea for the city and it certainly will have its problems, but it should be one of many proactive efforts that Governor Glendening, Mayor Kurt Schmoke and the legislature use to address the problems already draining our city of its energy, its resources and its future.
We cannot predict what new industries, services and products may be developed that will help us ameliorate our difficulties here, but we can be sure that gambling will be a part of our future, as it has been of our past, for many generations to come.
We must use it to our advantage rather than permit it to be an unused resource already in our midst -- distasteful and dangerous, and full of opportunity.
Pub Date: 8/27/96