Editor: With federal, state, county and city governments as well as private business and industry firing people as a cost-cutting measure, I submit that a job is better than no job.
People who work for wages or salary are paid money which they spend for food, clothing, housing, furniture and appliances, transportation, insurance, taxes and even a seat at the ball game. In the process, the people who sell these products and services earn money which they pay to their employees. Usually, when many people are working, we have ''good times'' -- even ''prosperity''.
Where is the logic in governments' firing and laying-off thousands of employees, thereby taking their salaries out of the work-spend-consume cycle? These workers will not find employment in the private sector which is also firing, not hiring.
Would it not be better if all of these workers, including legislators as well as elected and appointed officials, were to take a 5 percent wage cut? Five cents out of every dollar, multiplied by everybody who draws a governmental paycheck, will erase much, if not all, of the budget shortfall. Those workers will keep spending, instead of draining money in the form of
unemployment benefits, welfare and assistance from the constrained economy.
Ask unemployed persons if they would fill a fired state employee's job for five or even ten cents less on the dollar. Most unemployed will jump at the chance.
Editor: These are difficult times when economy is important to every jurisdiction. The last legislative session provided one notable means of saving. A bill passed legislation that mandates the development and implementation of energy-efficiency and conservation plans.
Significant savings in money and energy are possible. Lighting changes alone can result in 35 to 70 percent savings. Elected officials and leaders who make energy-use decisions should take advantage of programs which apply to their needs. Citizens should insist that energy-efficiency measures be explored by their officials and then make an effort themselves. Compact fluorescent bulbs cost more initially, but use much less energy than a comparable incandescent bulb. Just one high-efficiency bulb in its lifetime saves 500 pounds of coal and a considerable sum of money as well.
Recycling also saves energy and money. In the production process, the highest energy costs are in the beginning as natural resources are brought into manufacture. Recycling avoids this stage.
Editor: I moved to Maryland in January to accept a position on the faculty of the University of Maryland at College Park.
Since then I have witnessed the actions of a legislature forced to grapple with budget problems.
So far, the University of Maryland's budget has been slashed approximately 18 percent.
Given the depth of the economic problems facing the state, this is both necessary and understandable. But how can the legislature stand by and watch the decimation of the University of Maryland system while continuing to finance private colleges in the state?
Priorities must be established. The state cannot be all things to all people.
Yes, I have a vested interest in the University of Maryland. But it seems to me that the state's primary obligation should be supporting its public institutions of higher education rather than funding private ones.
William F. Maloney.
Editor: About 10 years ago I, a male, was accused of sexual abuse by one of my employees, a female. Following the logic in Sen. Barbara Mikulski's statement on the Senate floor on Oct. 15, I am guilty of sexual abuse.
It appears that my denial of this alleged event means nothing. There was no sexual abuse and I did not fear the woman's absurd accusation.
However, I am very concerned. Senator Mikulski and her colleagues imply that I, because I am a male, am guilty until proven innocent.
There is no way I could prove my innocence. The accuser and I were alone in my office several times. It's her word against mine. She could have even told some of her friends that I sexually harassed her.
There are only two people who know there was no sexual abuse, my accuser and me. There are only two people who know if Clarence Thomas harassed Anita Hill, Mr. Thomas and Ms. Hill.
Fortunately, my accuser withdrew her complaint. Would that have cleared my name? Looking at the world through the senator's eyes and the eyes of the NOW organization, I doubt it.
Edmond S. Mesko.
Editor: Michael K. Burns, in his informative column of Oct. 11, states that the Maryland Classified Employees' Association proposed monthly unpaid furloughs, early retirement programs, etc. to help save jobs. "None of these ideas would save enough money to cut the deficit significantly, state officials have indicated," the article said.