Why are we bashing U.S. companies?Japan bashing is in...

the Forum

March 05, 1992

Why are we bashing U.S. companies?

Japan bashing is in these days. But lest we forget, we do a good job of bashing our own companies.

The United States has always had problems with profit. We extol the virtues of the pursuit of profit. Yet we are unsure of the virtue of profit once achieved. We tax profits twice and, accounting-wise, often force profits to be maximum for greater tax revenue.

We have diminished and distracted our great international companies with antitrust suits -- General Motors, IBM, Xerox, Kodak. Recently, Exxon had the misfortune to spill oil in Alaska. The federal judge in the case wanted the penalty based on profitability instead of an agreed-upon amount. I wonder if he ever stopped to think what a wonderful profit-making machine Exxon is. Exxon dividends fuel pension plans, mutual funds, put kids through college and give prudent investors a comfortable retirement.

Sooner or later the U.S. must develop a consistent policy toward our companies and their profits so they can compete in the world market.

Saul Schulhoff

The writer is president of Scully Rubber Manufacturing Co. in Baltimore

Bush-whackers

No wonder the "Bush-whackers" are having a field day! The longer this presidential campaign goes on, the more foolish and desperate the president's campaign appears.

The latest ploy of Vice President Dan Quayle to try to blame President Bush's betrayal of his "No New Taxes" pledge on the Persian Gulf war is simply absurd. The president's capitulation to the whopping tax increase proposed by the tax-and-spend Democrats occurred a full five weeks before Saddam Hussein even invaded Kuwait! Furthermore, why haven't we heard this "turkey" of an excuse long before this . . . like during the New Hampshire primary, for example?

The consummate irony about this is that the war was a fraud from the beginning. The Bush administration couldn't even agree on why we were fighting it. First, it was to restore the Emir of Kuwait to his throne, then it was to protect American oil interests in the Middle East, then it was to stop Hussein's "brutal naked aggression." Remember? That latter claim was exposed as a complete fraud when the president stopped Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf short of invading Iraq and capturing Hussein. Hussein is still in power. Thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed and those who remain suffer still. So what was really accomplished by this war? The answer: Israel's greatest threat in the Middle East, Iraq, was destroyed and the United Nations was heralded as an effective police-keeping force, vital and necessary to the implementation of Bush's New World Order, a euphemism for One World (socialist) government.

That's precisely why this war was fought, and Pat Buchanan was absolutely right in opposing it.

Robert Hohl

Laurel

A win-win plan

The Baltimore County Board of Education has offered an early retirement incentive program that creates a win-win situation for the school system and eligible teachers.

Baltimore County will save money by reducing the number of teachers on the high end of the salary schedule. The teachers who decide to retire will receive part of the savings in the form of an incentive of at least 20 percent of their last year's salary.

Besides offering teachers an economic incentive to retire, teachers who choose "retirement" will have many opportunities open to them. And for those teachers who find themselves in an ever changing educational environment which increases stress, the program opens the door and allows the teachers a palatable way out. Given the recent appointment of Dr. Stuart David Berger as superintendent, a man whose reputation precedes him, the program offers educators a timely getaway!

Another economic plus for teachers is that the incentive can be partially sheltered in a tax deferred annuity. The incentive can be used to reduce your debt, take a dream vacation, buy a new car or fulfill numerous other goals.

An opportunity like this should be seized by every teacher who will "profit" from it. One thing is for sure, those who retire this year will see their retirement check increase next year as the cost of living is added. Teachers who choose to remain will not see their pay increased and could even see it decrease as furloughs, a special tax on government workers, could become standard operating procedure.

It behooves all 1,400 plus eligible teachers to "think long and hard."

Ray Hofmann

Baltimore

What is foreign?

The complaint that American jobs are being exported is little more than a farce, since those who doing the exporting are those who are complaining the most about foreign competition.

The Dodge Dart was built in Japan with Japanese workers. The Ford Fiesta was built in Germany with German workers. The Ford Festiva is being built in Korea with Korean workers. The Dodge Stealth is being built in Japan with Mitsubishi workers, as Chrysler now owns part of Mitsubishi. Ford now owns Jaguar and 25 percent of Mazda.

So how do you tell what is a foreign car?

Howard H. Green

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