Money or Ideas?Editor: In Tim Baker's ''Capital We've Got...


November 23, 1991

Money or Ideas?

Editor: In Tim Baker's ''Capital We've Got: It's Companies We Need'' (Opinion * Commentary, Nov. 11), I had some difficulty determining which he believed must come first: money or ideas. Just maybe, the raison d'etre of the venture capital manager needs to be mentioned: to maximize return on investment. No, these people are not industrial development officers in the employ of government, but managers of funds belonging to the private sector.

Mr. Baker also confuses by lumping the ''high-tech'' companies (Genetic Therapy and Cellco) with the ''low-tech'' (Integrated Health Services and American Day Treatment Centers). A ''high-tech'' company requires substantial investment for a number of years before a product is ready to be taken to market. There is usually an immediate impact for the economy of the state with ''high-tech'' as a result of this research and development expenditure . (Throw in manufacturing and you have an even greater pay-off.)

A ''low-tech'' service company will begin to generate operating revenues within the first year of operation. For that to be meaningful for Maryland's economy, jobs have to be created. While Integrated Health Services, an operator of health care facilities, has its corporate office in Maryland, it does not offer its services in the state at this time. American Day Treatment Centers, also a health care provider, has a facility in Prince George's County, but operates out of a Northern Virginia headquarters.

$ Richard N. Stutz. Cockeysville.

Drug Prices

Editor: Prescription drugs keep going up in price all the time simply because there is no competition, no matter how much the pharmaceutical companies protest to the contrary. It is a commodity essential to the well being of the community. However, due to the tightness of money in today's economy, more and more of our citizens will find these prescriptions unaffordable with the possible resultant early loss of life and an increase in human suffering.

These affluent drug companies have been callous and dispassionate in the cavalier way they have raised their prices. Even the pharmacists who dispense the drugs are at a loss to comprehend why certain drugs are so high.

Congress and consumer groups should investigate these companies and challenge them on their business practices and the huge increase in prescription drugs in the past decade.

! Miriam Topel. Baltimore.

Most Teen-Agers Are Ignorant

Editor: I believe there is a major crisis at hand. Most of the young people today have no idea of what's going on in the world.

With the exception of a few isolated individuals, most teen-agers don't even read the newspaper or watch the news. Most other teen-agers have no concern for the world they live in, and that's very sad if you ask me.

Those few who do read the paper and watch the news are the ones who also tend to get the best grades and in the end the best jobs. After all, with the complexity of foreign relations, the business world, overall current events and the world of information available to us in general, you must develop a deep understanding to interpret any of it. With this understanding comes interest, and with interest comes the desire to do your best.

There was a survey about the Clarence Thomas hearings taken in several classes at my high school, and with it a mountain of fallacies appeared. With comments like, ''He should never have been taken into court anyway''; and, ''Her job should be revoked''-- you can easily understand why I say, ''Partial information is just as dangerous or bad as no information!''

It really makes me sick to think there has to be a war or a natural disaster to get young people to watch the news.

I'm a high school freshman, and I don't want my generation to be forgotten, because I and others like me are the future leaders of the world.

) David R. Peterson Jr. Baltimore.

Save at the Top

Editor: This is a comment on Richard Bavaria's (PR person for the Baltimore County school administration) rebuttal letter Nov. 5 to State Sen. Thomas Bromwell's charge that fat can be cut from the upper echelons of the county's public school administration rather than threatening to cut sports and increase class size.

I imagine that Mr. Bavaria wrote this letter as part of his work day. I would not be surprised if it was handed to administration to review its correctness. Person-hours spent on this letter, I would think, translates into hundreds of dollars.

I am not defending Senator Bromwell's choice of words, but the idea of looking into the organization of the central bureaucracy for possible restructuring is reasonable.

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