Editor: If Dave Reich (The Sun, Sept. 5) wants to know ''what recession?'' all he needs do is look around.
Look at the big corporations in trouble, laying off hundreds who thought they had a career there, the great increase in business bankruptcies including huge corporations and the number of boarded-up storefronts.
Look at the boarded-up city houses and the empty suburban homes for sale. Ask the struggling real estate salespeople.
Look at the increasing soup lines, the hundreds of thousands of ''new homeless,'' the nine million unemployed and the millions discouraged from looking.
There's an old saying, ''If my neighbor's unemployed, it's a recession; if I'm unemployed, it's a depression.''
Perhaps the nine million unemployed will agree ''what recession?'' They'll tell you we are in a deep depression.
And recovery may be far away because neither individuals nor businesses have enough confidence in the future to inject their funds into the economy.
Harry E. Bennett Jr.
Editor: I strongly disagree with The Sun and all other bleeding hearts who oppose the death penalty.
Statistics prove most violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders. Since no executed person has ever become a repeat offender, I maintain that execution does reduce crime.
Any doctor, psychiatrist, lawyer, parole board member or judge who signs papers that put these people back on the streets should be tried as an accessory to any future crime committed by these ''rehabilitated'' people.
OC I, for one, want these people removed permanently from society.
Editor: Why is it that the voting public is to blame for low turnout percentage at the polls?
It is true that Baltimore City residents turn out in very low numbers at the voting polls. It is also true that the majority of those who do not vote are also the primary people who complain about the city, as well as national leadership. Who really is to blame?
The right to vote is a cherished right. Many people sacrificed as much as their lives to obtain this right.
Today, it's not that people do not care, and we cannot solely blame the voting public. The candidate is also very much to blame. We have heard statements such as the famous ''read my lips," and various other broken promises. We are misled with these false promises.
Do we get what we vote for after the votes have been tabulated? Do those who take office give the people what they have promised? If they did, the voters would be at the polls registering their choice.
Derek L. Demby.
Where's It Stop?
Editor: I can certainly sympathize with the young man in the Aug. 21 letter from Myra B. Welsh who is unable to obtain health insurance for himself and family for five years because of his previous record of treatment for substance abuse.
My daughter and her husband pay $943 per quarter for bare-bones health insurance because he has diabetes. They both follow a healthful lifestyle and neither drinks or smokes. It seems strange that the health insurers readily accept smokers and drinkers for full, unrestricted coverage but penalize someone who, through absolutely no fault of his own, has a chronic illness, or tries to clean up his act, as in the above case.
In a year and a half, my daughter's premium for this bare bones coverage has increased 139 percent and neither one has been hospitalized or had any serious health problems. Where does it stop? This young couple wants to have children, but cannot afford to do so because of these horrendous health-insurance premiums.
Virginia V. Mayers.
Transport: Song of Deregulation at Work
Editor: I would like to point out some of the inconsistencies in Paul Dempsey's Sept. 13 opinion piece, "Why Won't the Fat Lady Sing for Deregulation?"
His major premise, the U.S. economy would be better off with more regulation of business than less, is as flawed as the laissez-faire economist's claim that all government intervention is detrimental.
Examples of deregulation in the airline, trucking and television industries do nothing to support his wish for more regulation, but actually support the idea the U.S. economy would be stronger both domestically and internationally with less regulation.
Mr. Dempsey claims deregulation in the airline industry was a mistake because "nearly 25 percent of the nation's fleet is in bankruptcy" and more than "150 airlines have collapsed." Crowded airplanes and non-refundable tickets are also used as evidence by Mr. Dempsey to support more regulations. He seems to be saying that the longer we can keep the big and inefficient airlines such as Eastern, Continental and Pan Am in business, the better off we will all be. The contrary is true.
These airlines are out of business because they did not provide the service consumers wanted, at a price they were willing to pay. One way to judge the deregulation of any industry is how do the consumers respond, not how many of the old companies can we keep in business.