Bad PurchaseThere has been a great deal of press recently...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 22, 1993

Bad Purchase

There has been a great deal of press recently about the positive effect of the state's purchase of downtown office buildings on the depressed real estate market in Baltimore.

I suggest that these open accounts are totally misleading and that in fact the state's purchase of buildings at depressed prices constitutes a negative action in our marketplace.

The state's employment is not growing. Therefore, its acquisition of buildings and relocation of employees from leased facilities will further depress the market in our area.

This will occur as a result of two effects:

1. The state's purchase of buildings (as a creditworthy purchaser) at depressed prices will tend to drive down the values of comparable building throughout the area.

2. The relocation of state agencies and employees from leased space owned by the private sector to state-owned buildings, will result in no net gain in occupancy and a further depression of the market from an increased vacancy rate in the private sector.

The state's actions are advantageous to the state budget because they lower occupancy cost for the state. But they are extremely negative for the real estate market, and therefore I question the wisdom of these moves, as the state's economy is ultimately affected to a very large degree by the value of the private real estate sector.

In this case, I believe the state's objective should be to promote the overall health of the economy and not to act as a "vulture" in the market, further driving down real estate values and increasing vacancy rates in the privately owned sector.

C. Patrick Creaney

Baltimore

The writer is a Baltimore developer.

Left Out

Congratulations. You have finally done it. I have long had a feeling of distrust as to what you print as news.

On Jan. 22, the March for Life took place in Washington, and I was there as a participant. The article which you printed on Jan. 23 bore not even the remotest semblance of what I saw and heard. You took the opportunity to slant every sentence into a pro-abortion statement.

Along with me for the March for Life were well over the 75,000 you reported. There were over 20 cardinals, archbishops and bishops of the Catholic faith, two archbishops from the Orthodox Church, other preachers and ministers.

A rabbi spoke and prayed for and with us, and he had brought his 11-year-old daughter with him, as he has been doing ever since she was 9 months old.

There were 50 people who flew for over 22 hours from Guam in order to participate.

There were many others as well, including the presidents of numerous organizations such as Doctors for Life, Lawyers for Life, a representative of the Pro-Athletes for Life. . . .

Simon M. Driesen

Darlington

Do No Harm

To all those (especially senators sworn to uphold the law) who so piously threw stones at Zoe Baird, please raise your hands if you have driven at 70 mph on I-95.

Not only are you breaking the law, you are endangering the lives of other drivers. Whose life did Zoe Baird endanger?

Patricia Owens

Baltimore

Ignorant Boobs

Nowhere have I read about Congress making any sacrifices as part of President Clinton's economic plan.

Apparently the president has to be careful about stepping on the toes of Congress in order to have any chance of getting new legislation enacted.

What a shame. The members of Congress are going to continue to collect outrageous pensions and medical benefits.

They are going to continue the current system of having political action committees exerting undue influence over the legislative process.

They are going to continue to exempt themselves from laws that apply to the rest of us. They have no intention of cleaning up their act.

With few exceptions, members of Congress are lacking in probity and sense of duty for doing what is right for the average citizen.

I can only say this about incumbent members of Congress. The newly elected haven't yet learned how to maneuver for a place at the trough . . .

It's our own fault. We keep re-electing them, and they keep treating us as ignorant boobs.

Vincent Gallagher

Timonium

Social Security

I cannot let the erroneous information in the editorial on Social Security, Feb. 8, go unchallenged.

First, the retirement age will gradually be phased into age 67 by the year 2024, not 2027.

While the age of 65 was, indeed, originated during the 1930s, those of us who reach the age of 65, and either desire or are required to keep on working, do so while paying a penalty for that decision. That is the "earnings test," which is completely outmoded and totally unfair.

That is probably one of the most pressing matters requiring change by the Congress at its earliest opportunity. Furthermore, persons who continue to work also continue to pay into Social Security and Medicare.

You mention the "integrity of the Social Security fund." As indicated by Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Jan. 31, the trust fund is currently in surplus.

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