Sugar: No Sweetness in PriceEditor: Facts are facts, but...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 13, 1990

Sugar: No Sweetness in Price

Editor: Facts are facts, but interpretations of facts are open to interpretation.

Rep. Roy Dyson said he voted against a reduction in the support price of sugar by explaining that lower prices are "harmful to Marylanders." It is in the best interests of the American sugar producers.

It is in the best interests of Marylanders not to subsidize inefficient American producers, but to be subsidized by those governments which are most anxious to sell their sugar in the American market.

Second, it is in the best interests of Caribbean nations dependent upon sugar exports to participate in the American market. It may be humane for us to permit this, but giving #F preference to Caribbean nations at world market prices does not require us to increase the cost of sugar produced in this country.

The economic laws of comparative advantage should require us to improve our productive capacity by producing those goods and services in which we excel. Soybeans, corn and other grains come to mind.

We should take action against Japan for not allowing our rice free access to its market, affording its consumers lower prices rather than following the same policies, forcing our consumers to pay higher prices.

Next, it is not in the best interests of Marylanders to increase the cost of sugar refined here by $24 million to provide jobs for 635 people. This comes to $37,795.28 per job preserved and assumes that if the price of sugar is lowered, the consumption of sugar will be reduced.

Any student of economics would find this assumption laughable. A reduction in cost should increase consumption and provide additional jobs.

Moreover, it is not in the best interests of Marylanders for thfederal government to make $100 million from this program. The money may go to the Feds, but it comes from the taxpayers. Maryland's share is about $2 million.

Finally, realizing that the production cost of a good is a small parof the retail cost, the factor to consider is the percentage of the production cost devoted to sugar. Mr. Dyson, in his unreal approach to economics, does not consider any other factors of the retail costs that are determined by the production cost.

In conclusion, it is obvious to me that Mr. Dyson's vote was not imy best interest or that of any other Marylander save one. That one has already received his in the form of a contribution.

Maryland continues to live up to its well-deserved reputation of having the best politicians money can buy. Is it not time that we choose our elected officials based on their actions, not on the amount of money that they received from special interest groups.

&William M. Grimes-Wyatt Sr.

Baltimore.

How Dare They?

Editor: How can the federal government justify building a $73-million office building on the corner of Howard and Baltimore streets when government workers are being furloughed? Office space is in abundance. Buildings are vacant and not selling. Assests of the savings and loans are up for sale to recoup the tremendous debt to depositors for bad real estate deals. HUD is depleted of millions of dollars through fraud and mismanagement. Do the taxpayers have any say in this? Can we stop this from happening?

In our personal lives when we overspend and there's no money available, we stop spending. The government should not spend any moneys on any more bricks and mortar. Is anybody home?

Frieda Levy.

Baltimore.

Real Men?

Editor: Iraq is sending civilian foreigners to potential military targets to act as shields.

Real men do not hide behind the skirts of women, children, hospital patients and civilian guests.

`Lois Lilienfeld Weiner.

Baltimore.

State Pensions

Editor: In the article by Michael K. Burns and John W. Freece concerning the state retirement systems, it was stated that some members were told by someone within the system that their withdrawals from the old system would be tax free if they were rolled over.

I wish anyone who was so advised by anyone connected with the retirement systems would give me the details by writing to me in care of the retirement systems office.

While I do not feel these funds should be taxable, the sad fact is that they are.

The law states that to qualify for a "roll over" and be excluded from gross income one of three qualifications must be met. They are:

(1) A distribution or a series of distributions within one tax year of the participant of his or her entire interest in the plan because of termination of the plan. Since the plan is not being terminated, the distribution does not meet this qualification.

(2) A distribution of all or any part of a voluntary deductible contribution to the plan. Since these contributions are required by law, this requirement is not met.

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