Why must the poor live in urban hells?In your editorial...

the Forum

February 06, 1992

Why must the poor live in urban hells?

In your editorial, "Public housing, high and low" (Jan. 27), you seem to grope around for an answer to the miserable environment we provide the poor in Baltimore City and conclude by saying, "There's no law that says . . . [high-rise buildings] have to be incorrigible magnets for crime."

I suggest that the physical environment is infinitely les important to the success or failure of a family than their social environment. Giving the poor a decent place to live can't be achieved by knocking down one building and constructing another in the same crime-ridden neighborhood.

It's the people in children's life who most affect their outlook on life and shape their futures. As long as we herd the poor into tightly packed, crime-riddled inner-cities, they will continue to have little chance to escape poverty.

A wiser investment would be to purchase single-family homes in scattered areas of the state and let the poor breathe the "fresh air" away from the self-destructing ghetto. Let these families live in a part of our state where there is less crime, better schools and a higher value on human life, and their kids will learn and the cycle of poverty will be broken.

After all, there's no law that says the poor of Maryland must be housed in urban hells.

Kelley Brohawn

Baltimore

Hayden's straying

It looks like politics as usual in Baltimore County. Remember the criticism of the previous county executive regarding his trip to Israel? Well now, County Executive Roger Hayden goes to Wales in the name of economic development. Wales is one of the most depressed countries in Europe. How can Mr. Hayden expect this trip to help Baltimore County?

The executive also took this trip during a time of fiscal crisis: a large deficit, employee furloughs, school nurse cutbacks and police and fire cuts. Mr. Hayden should have stayed home to tend to Baltimore County problems.

Michael Eaves

Baltimore

Curb execs' pay

The Japanese purchase tons of dungarees and American music. They don't buy our cars because the prices are too high, and the steering wheels are on the wrong side.

The average CEO in Japan earns $300,000 a year, while our top executives are paid 10 times as much. Legislation must be passed to require executives' pay to be tied to productivity. If this could be done Uncle Sam could be more competitive.

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

The poverty cycle

This letter is in response to Edward Martone's comment (Evening Sun, Jan. 22) on the proposal to reduce the number of children born to mothers on welfare. Mr. Martone says, "It's like the government dictating the size of someone's family simply because they're dependent on welfare."

I would like to remind Mr. Martone that this program was set up to aid families that fell on hard times - not as a life style. He should be looking for the fathers of these children instead of bashing government. How can these women get back on their feet if they are having more children? Does the mother respect herself and these children, while bringing them into poverty? Who will support these children and all the expense that comes with them? If Mr. Martone wants to support them, fine. But my two jobs will support me and the candidates who agree with my point of view, not someone who does not even contribute to society.

Sandi Dorsey

Baltimore

Informed voters

It cannot be said too often, especially as election time nears, that if we want our president to be able to function in a manner that benefits the nation, we must elect a Congress that will cooperate with him.

When our government does not function to our benefit, the outcry is almost always against the president rather than the uncooperative, foot-dragging, disgruntled connivers we elect as his co-workers. We must give more thought to whom we send to Congress. We need to research our candidates' positions closely rather than rely on information provided by outside organizations if we expect to achieve good government.

Blanche K. Coda

Baltimore

Confidence man

One-third of top business executives in a recent survey said they were preparing for more layoffs in the new year.

George Bush has been exhorting citizens to spend more in an effort to strengthen the economy. But how much confidence can an employed worker maintain when he knows there are millions of his counterparts across the nation facing mortgage foreclosures, having cars repossessed and losing medical insurance?

How much confidence can a worker maintain when thousands of companies, including the giants of industry, have filed for bankruptcy?

How much confidence can a worker maintain when he is aware that large corporations continue to move their factories abroad for cheaper labor?

Why is the enormous burden and blame for the economic plight invariably shackled to the backs of the most vulnerable in our society?

Leon Peace Ried

Baltimore

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