Feel Good BillRecently I wrote a letter to Sen. Barbara...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 12, 1992

Feel Good Bill

Recently I wrote a letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski regarding her ''American Automobile Labeling Act'' bill (S. 2232). I emphasized that, if enacted, the bill would serve no purpose other than to increase consumer costs for new vehicles.

I doubt that Senator Mikulski or any other member of the Senate has any idea of the massive effort required to trace the origin of all parts plus the administrative burden in tracking parts by vehicle when one part may be obtained from several different sources. A very common situation would be three or more vehicles of the same model, all identically equipped with each requiring a different label.

A good example would be catalytic converters. All precious metals required for the converters are imported from either South Africa or what was the Soviet Union. The metals then go through a chemical (origin unknown) process before being developed into substrates. Then various processes including the use of additional metals (source of ore unknown) are required to complete the final product.

This would necessitate tracing, starting with the mines from which the ore came, and a maintenance of records of origin for all materials through to the end product. Then if these converters were shipped to Mexico, etc., for use in final assembly, an additional tracking of labor would be required. Considering that the average vehicle has more than 32,000 parts, one can begin to realize the enormity of this task.

S. 2232 is another example of ''feel good'' legislation which in essence looks good on paper, sounds good to an average layman, but, in reality, means nothing and ends up costing consumers a bundle.

C. Douglas Smith

Brookeville

Blue Cross Spiraling Rates

Your coverage and follow-up editorial on Blue Cross/Blue Shield were excellent, both in their facts and commentary.

It was about the time that Blue Cross/Blue Shield began their mega-salary increases for executives that I dropped them as my health care insurer because of spiraling costs and inadequate coverage and service.

It would also appear that the annual compensation of $20,000 per board member is excessive. Particularly so when equated to the lack of oversight demonstrated to date.

0$ This group cries for regulation.

Edward G. Jones

Cockeysville

Saving Life

When a people disregard basic values, the people will resolve each individual situation as best fits the moment. With no foundation, law becomes the tool of those in power, or those who are loudest or most persuasive.

The rights of the weak and silent become fair game. A common government was established to protect the people and especially those who could not protect themselves.

Your editorial page Sept. 27 provides such a clear example of that disregard of basic values. At the top of the page, you discuss an ancillary issue in the abortion question. You say that the issue is "phony" and then leap in your conclusion to how people should vote on the question. You do not consider the deadly result -- children die.

Yet, on the same page, you discuss the motorcycle helmet law. (( Here you derided state lawmakers who "caved in" to pressure from those "demanding freedom of choice." You acknowledged, "It proved a deadly mistake." Wearing a helmet "is such a common-sense practice that it is difficult to fathom why all motorcyclists don't already wear helmets . . ."

Having a baby is such a common-sense practice that it is difficult to fathom why all babies wouldn't be allowed to be born. Yet, no child in the womb can write to you. These children are silent in the debates.

They are so weak that they depend on others for survival. And if we, the rest of us, don't have a basic respect for human life, we could succumb to the loud and persuasive arguments that make no more sense than motorcyclists not wanting to wear helmets. You have fallen into the trap of listening to the loudest and

ignoring those who are silent and the weakest.

Keith W. Zimmerman

Freeland

Politics and Jobs

Your editorial, "Wooing -- and Losing -- New Jobs" (Sept. 24) cites the recent decision by After Six to stay in Philadelphia rather than bring 300 jobs and new tax revenues to Maryland as an example of how politics affects decisions by business that mean jobs for Maryland.

In 1986, Maryland lost a similar contest with Philadelphia concerning location of a new Kodak facility.

You suggest that Harford County had everything it needed to win its bid for After Six -- available land, buildings and transportation -- except one thing: political advocates in Maryland to counter those in Pennsylvania.

The recognition that politics directly affects economic development is welcome.

For a long time, many of our leaders have been timid in acknowledging that the political climate of a state is as important to attracting and retaining businesses as other factors such as fast-track processing, water and sewer, road network, and cost and adequacy of the work force.

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