Implications of eviction story are troubling
I am disturbed by Joan Jacobson's article (Nov. 27) on people being evicted from their homes.
It is a shame and a tragedy that there isn't enough affordable housing. But there will always be jobs at the lower end of the pay scale. I am troubled by the implication that all people should be paid comparable wages.
It is also a shame and tragedy that we have a class of working poor. But I am troubled by the implication that I should feel shame or sorrow for a person who lost a well-paying job through circumstances entirely within his or her own control ("absenteeism . . . blamed on marital problems . . .").
It is a shame and a tragedy that some landlords prey on the helplessness of others. But there are many unscrupulous tenants who take advantage of an overburdened system to deprive the owner of his lawful income. Eviction day comes after months have passed during which the tenant can make alternative arrangements. I am troubled by the implication that marshals are storm troopers and all tenants are innocent victims.
Yes, I am disturbed and troubled by the implication that people like the Millers are never, under any circumstances, or to any extent, responsible for their own lives and fates.
I represent the young Jewish community of Baltimore. I watch TV and go to the mall as much as any other teen-ager in Baltimore. But I feel that I am being shortchanged in my religious beliefs. I do enjoy the holiday season, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, that is. I do not celebrate Christmas, but it seems that as far back as I can remember, I have associated Santa Claus and Christmas trees with the winter season.
I just think that something is wrong when Jewish children associate winter with Santa Claus before they recognize Judah the Maccabee. Today I watched the news as the national and state Christmas trees were decorated and lighted. What ever happened to separation of church and state? Religious celebrations are perfectly OK when conducted in a private environment. I just don't feel that religious displays belong so dominantly in the public eye.
What must be done
Our national economy is in a severe slump. Everyone awaits the "consumer" to make his move so that the dominoes can start their move in the opposite direction toward prosperity and increased employment.
Unfortunately, we have taken away the incentive for the consumer to spend with an accumulation of tax laws that have resulted in crippling our economy. These measures were enacted by our lawmakers because they lacked the courage to cut back on government spending while the economy was still healthy. Now the economy has reacted to these ill-conceived tax measure, and I hope our lawmakers take notice.
What do we need? We need to give business an incentive to replace capital goods by restoring the Investment Tax Credit for purchase of domestic property. We should also extend this Investment Tax Credit to purchases and leases of real estate where they result in an expansion of business. We also need to shorten depreciation schedules to provide further incentives to acquire new capital goods.
We need to provide incentives to consumers to spend. Bring back the deduction for state and local sales taxes and for consumer interest. Restore incentives to individuals to own resort and other real estate. Eliminate the 10 percent luxury tax.
What will the result be? Consumers will start buying again. Businesses will modernize and upgrade. Unemployment will shrink drastically as businesses hire to expand and keep up with demand.
We need government to stop strangling both business and consumers with ill-advised and ill-timed taxes and programs. We need to get our lawmakers to wake up and take action now to get our economy moving in the right direction before we end up with an even bigger problem than we have now.
Gerald J. Stank
Aberration or trend?
In the past six months we have witnessed the gruesome deaths of 17 young men in urban Milwaukee, the relentless slaughter of nearly two dozen in rural Texas, the calculated execution of four on a Midwestern college campus and the rageful killing of four more in suburban Detroit.
None of these killers was destitute, psychotic, drug-addicted or presently addicted to alcohol. They were as diverse as a loner, a rich kid, a foreign-born Ph.D. and an ex-government employee. The four of them combined managed as many murders as occurred in Montreal, a city of 2 million, in the entire decade of the '80s.
Something is profoundly disturbing in this which goes well beyond the germane issue of gun control. Will historians look back on the early 1990s in America as an aberrant period of unleashed human rage or as the beginning of an ominous trend?
Louis Brendan Curran's letter (Dec. 2) regarding controlling the population brings to mind one thought: What a pompous jerk!
The unlimited financial subsidy of families via the dependent deduction? Sir, that tax exemption is a pitance in relation to what it takes to raise a child. We considered many things when we decided to have four children; the tax deduction was not one of them.
". . . Wanton family growth . . ."
Try wanted family growth.
... Christina M. Cordell