Editor: The Sun may be factually correct but is intellectually irresponsible in its Nov. 26 lead editorial by claiming that Maryland's sales tax accounts for only 15 percent of the state's revenues compared to 25 percent for the average state. In providing reasons for this divergence, what is left unsaid is of telling importance.
Since Maryland's state and local income-tax revenues on a per-capita basis rank it among the highest states, along with New York and Massachusetts, it is no surprise that its sales-tax revenues account for a smaller percentage of total revenues. Mathematically speaking, it is not that the numerator is smaller; the denominator is larger.
The Linowes plan hardly seems reasonable in advocating an increase in sales tax in order to throw more money at the education problem. Until there is some solid evidence that revenues are being spent efficiently, taxpayers will resent government bureaucrats recommending additional taxes for wasteful spending.
Edward W. Brown Jr.
Editor: Once again I read my Sun with shock and amazement. Your article titled, "Palestinian slain in wake of fatal stabbing of Israeli," was very misleading. It led one to believe that the main thrust would be that a Palestinian was brutally killed in retaliation for stabbing a Jew. As it turns out, it was no such thing. Three Palestinian youths got on a bus and began indiscriminately stabbing passengers. In the process they injured three Jews and killed one Jewish woman. Your headline of a fairly straight-forward article was deliberately skewed. Shame on you.
Any Work Beats Not Working
Editor: I would like to take issue with Doug Struck's story on the working poor.
Working is the country's ''grand sham''? Working ''shackles them to destitution''? The ''promise of the work ethic'' is a ''myth''?
What is the alternative? Working is the only thing that has any chance of pulling anyone out of poverty.
When you work at a poor-paying job there is incentive to improve your skills and find a better job. There is always at least the chance of some improvement. Welfare, on the other hand, is a true dead end.
I admit I'm biased. My mother was left with three children to raise and no money. She plucked chickens at a wage below what welfare would have provided.
The work was hard and degrading. In our little town, chicken workers were at the bottom rung.
Every day when the factory let out a shift, the chicken workers would form a long line as they walked away (no bus service available). It was common practice for people to point in derision as the chicken pluckers went by, eyes on the sidewalk, knowing they were being made fun of.
This sorrowful parade went by my school yard every day. I'd wave to my mother, and then punch out the next kid who jeered at the workers.
It was humiliating, but a damn sight less so than having some welfare person come to our apartment and nose around. That would have broken us.
Mr. Struck is correct in saying jobs like this are a dead end. But one doesn't have to stay. After two years, my mother got a better job, a position she got solely because of her excellent work record and recommendations.
We were still poor, but the new job was more dignified. She retired as the office manager, with a solid middle-class income.
Everyone in my family learned the importance of developing job skills and working to get ahead, because we didn't want to end up plucking chickens.
My heart does go out to the families mentioned in the article. I know what they are going through, because I did. God knows they could use and deserve some help.
But the answer isn't higher minimum wage or more welfare benefits, as the article implies. In the long run, only a growing economy can provide jobs with a future for these people.
Mr. Struck didn't suggest any immediate solutions, and I don't know any, either, but I do know that denigrating work isn't the answer.
William S. Young.