Pfaff's WorldEditor: William Pfaff's Dec. 5 commentary...


December 17, 1991

Pfaff's World

Editor: William Pfaff's Dec. 5 commentary (''Laissez-Faire Has Failed the U.S.; What Democrat Dares to Say It Loud?'') articulates in a prominent newspaper what the left has been saying since before Ronald Reagan was elected: The ''free market'' is first, a myth, and second, even if it worked as described by the free market theorists, would not necessarily meet the needs of the working people who still comprise a majority of the population.

Mr. Pfaff summarizes his points very well when he says, ''poor people cannot create or support a rich economy.'' Attempts to reduce the American standard of living to resemble that of the Third World will ultimately result in a Third World society in this country, something that even the most irrational right-wing ideologues probably would not want.

Maarteen A. Calon.



Editor: An article that appeared in The Sun Dec. 1 was most insightful as regards the federal sentencing guidelines. I recommend it as ''must'' reading for anyone concerned with not only the escalating crime problem in our society but also those concerned with the concomitant and escalating costs of incarcerating those convicted and sentenced to prison as a result of committing a crime. I can think of no more compelling argument against adherence to a ''build our way out'' approach to solving this problem.

The reason for my letter, however, is to correct a misleading statement in the article to the effect that "the average murder sentence . . . would bring parole in seven years." The fact is that fewer than 7 percent of people serving life sentences in Maryland have been paroled in the last 12 years, and those who have been paroled have served an average of 18.6 years at the time of parole.

It is extremely difficult to receive parole from a life sentence in our state. It requires the unanimous recommendation of the seven-member parole commission and the approval of the governor. Not an easy accomplishment. Maryland law also allows for the imposition of a ''life without the possibility of parole'' in certain cases. Anyone sentenced under that law is not eligible, ever, for parole consideration.

Paul J. Davis.


The writer is chairman of the Maryland Parole Commission.


Editor: Daniel Berger's Opinion * Commentary piece Nov. 23 suggested that it is time for city government to reassess its size and growth as a result of reduced population. He and city officials may not realize that this area is full of experts in rationalizing organizations.

There are many current and former upper level executives from banking, telephone, automotive, insurance and rail companies (including me) with years of hands-on experience guiding private industry through wave after wave of down-sizing.

Many, I feel sure, would gladly offer their time and advice to the city. If there is any interest in a such a volunteer effort, please consider this letter as the first offer to get the process underway.

Barry Holt Blank.


The "Hipp'

Editor: Thanks to Mary Markey for her Nov. 24 letter about the Hippodrome. As a child, I saw vaudeville at the ''Hipp.'' We saw special Christmas Shows ( similar to the Rockettes). What a crime if Baltimore should lose it. I heard several years ago that, in addition to it being an excellent example of old playhouse, it also was, at one time, in the top 10 of theaters in the nation that had been used continuously for the longest amount of time. We need the ''Hipp.''

Jane Fout.


All Candidates

Editor: I am responding to the Nov. 12 editorial which dealt with term limitations and campaign reform. I agree that congressional elections should be more competitive and I also agree that limiting terms is not the answer; however, redistributing or limiting funding is not an effective remedy.

The answer to this problem is very simple. It is not nearly as costly and it may even help to boost your circulation. The answer is a more open, responsive and dedicated press.

In the last year, three people whom I know ran for public office. Each day I would search the newspaper or look at the news program to see if their issues were being publicized or at least acknowledged by the media.

Needless to say, the only people that were quoted or taped were the incumbents, those same familiar faces. What choices were there to make?

In these times, people are too busy making ends meet to attend candidate forums or fund-raisers. Their only source of information is the news.

I hope that The Sun will become more responsible in its pledge to enlighten us and more responsive to our need for unbiased information.

I believe that if it were to open its doors to all candidates, rather than to choose the celebrities, it would increase voter interest, increase voter knowledge, decrease the importance of money in campaigns and bring more equality to the process.

Debbie Jett.


Association for Retarded Citizens Responds

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