Tax and Spend
Editor: I take special exception to Robert C. Embry Jr. (letter, Oct. 23) and his socialist views. I am a capitalist living in a capitalistic society. I work hard for my money and deserve to keep a reasonable percentage of what I make.
I resent being called selfish for wanting to do this.
By saying no more taxes, I am drawing a line saying if you take a larger percent of what I make than I do, I'm not going to work any more.
If your social programs pay more not to work than a job pays, why would anyone ever want to work?
Mr. Embry points out that we are the fifth wealthiest state, but he fails to mention we are the fourth highest taxed. We have income tax; we have property tax; we have sales tax; we have alcohol tax; we have tobacco tax; we have a lottery. We get more than our share of federal money.
Just how much money does Mr. Embry need for this social agenda?
Every time you raise taxes it makes Maryland a less attractive place for business, with less chance of more new jobs coming in and less chance of ever ending the welfare cycle.
The ills of society that Mr. Embry wants to spend my money on have had tons of money dumped on them and they keep getting worse, not better.
Perhaps we could shift the burden of the poor and homeless back on the churches, where they belong. They could use all of that money they spend on fighting abortion to feed the poor. Throw in some of the gold from the castles of the TV ministers and we could take care of drug abuse and child care.
Socialism didn't work in the Soviet Union. Let's not make the same mistake here.
Steven E. Davidson.
Fighting Racial Bias
Editor: Michael Olesker takes Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc. to task for filing a lawsuit against Sterling Homes and alleging discrimination in a series of housing ads in which 73 white models were used and no black models.
We believe we have a significant case and that a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act occurred. (We have been involved in 39 lawsuits in 10 years -- not excessive in the face of widespread discrimination in housing). We think that Judge Norman Ramsey was mistaken in not sending this case to the jury and we are appealing his decision.
Racial discrimination deprives people of dignity and opportunity, causes severe emotional and financial distress and promotes a segregated society. Serious action needs to be taken to remedy the situation. From long experience, fair housing organizations across the country have found lawsuits to be a highly effective process to enforce the fair housing law. Such suits have an educational impact far beyond the lawsuit itself.
Baltimore Neighborhood Inc.'s mission is to achieve an open housing market in the metropolitan area so that everyone feels welcome to live in any neighborhood, without discrimination.
At times, an adversarial position seems to be the only way to get the industry's attention, and there have already been several significant benefits from these lawsuits.
The first is that black models are being used much more frequently in real estate ads.
The second is the formation of the Metropolitan Baltimore Fair Housing Advertising Task Force, which grew out of discussions between BNI and the Baltimore Sun. The task force includes major housing developers, advertising agencies, real estate companies, newspapers, radio and TV stations and public and private fair housing agencies. It provides information and offers a forum for discussion of issues and problems relating to fair housing advertising.
To our knowledge, this is the first cooperative, community-wide group of this kind in the U.S. If it succeeds, there should be no further need for fair housing advertising lawsuits in this community.
George B. Laurent.
The writers are, respectively, president and executive director of Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc.
Editor: I found it quite distressing to read about the increasing violence in our schools, including the assault and robbery of a Venable High School student by a gang of thugs.
Even more disturbing, however, was the reaction of Venable's principal, Wynola Cunningham, who labeled the attack ''one of those unfortunate-incidents.'' She further stated that one of the attackers ''used poor judgment in settling an argument.''
Poor judgment? An unfortunate incident? This was a savage beating, a senseless act, a violent crime by a group of criminals which should have been condemned by Ms. Cunningham in her role as principal. No wonder our school system is in its current state.
Pray for a Roof
Editor: F. Paul Galeone's letter (Oct. 21) advocated the return of school prayer, rather than taxpayers' money, to improve our deteriorating public schools.