Private ExpertiseThomas Toch's July 11 Perspective section...


July 23, 1993

Private Expertise

Thomas Toch's July 11 Perspective section article failed to take into account what is working about the student loan program and who is making it work.

If, as the government's own auditors claim, the Department of Education has done such a poor job in supervising the current student loan program, then how in the world can the solution be to turn the entire operation over to the same federal agency?

Lenders, guarantors and servicers are making this program work ` despite the government's persisting ineptitude in screening out the minority of schools that do not operate in the public interest.

We agree with the notion that the key to reform is in well-placed incentives and risk-sharing that induce the private sector to run this program even more efficiently, accountably and cost-effectively. The Senate legislation is an important step in that direction.

Under direct lending, students will be left with the government as the sole source for funding and administering their loans.

The government is not the source that has reliably delivered this program for them at any point in the past. Indeed, private lenders and guarantors started the student loan program more than 30 years ago.

Their knowledge, expertise and experience are essential to ensuring that students continue to get access to loans and quality service.

Roy A. Nicholson


The writer is chairman of USA Group Inc.

Serpent and Eve

Anyone who believes that putting blocking devices on TV to warn parents about violence -- or anything else they feel their children should not see -- has most likely never had to go through the trauma of trying to control this situation with their own children.

In the everyday operation of the home it is just plain too difficult to do. The children get angry and the parents get frustrated and usually finally give up -- and the children will seek out the violence, or whatever they shouldn't, even more than they did before.

It is unfortunately true that to be exciting or titillating situations involving violence and sex are the easiest way to produce these results. And that most certainly leads to the desire to find the same thrill in real life.

For some at least, it becomes the norm or "natural." Any lingering feeling of guilt can quickly be put down because "everyone's doing it" on the tube.

The only way to solve this problem is to get rid of these dangerous influences that are flooding our TV screens now.

This, as we all know, is never going to happen in this country with its belief in unrestrained freedom in all areas of personal life. The conclusion then as to the fate of our country is obvious.

It all started when the serpent said to Eve after she took a nip out of the forbidden fruit, "You will not surely die."

E. Arthur Bonney

Seaford, Del.

Point Missed

The July 15 Associated Press story on Medicaid presents several arguments pro and con tightening the spend-down rules but misses a key point.

According to the reporter, unnamed advocates for the elderly worry that people who have saved all their lives will have to spend their last dollars on nursing home care. But as other representatives of the elderly once pointed out to me, what else are they going to do with their money? Leave it to their children?

Is it in the public interest for the government to protect the estates of wealthy or middle-class elderly? Why should taxpayers subsidize care for people who have the means to pay their own way?

This is a complex issue which cannot be fully explored in a brief newspaper article, and the writer points out a few of the difficulties in making fair and equitable rules that would close loopholes while not penalizing the unfortunate. However, any survey of the problem should reflect all sides -- including that of fiscal responsibility.

Bonnie Sether Hasler


Don't Tell

"Allow homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they don't declare their sexual orientation." Wow! Why not try this in the private sector, too?

Perhaps if women didn't tell that they are women, and blacks and Hispanics didn't tell that they are black and Hispanic, private corporations would eliminate the glass ceilings on promotions, give them equal pay for equal work and not put them on the last-hired during upswings and first-fired during the even more frequent and longer downswings in the economy.

A. Robert Kaufman


bTCAH: Danger to Green Spring Valley

This letter is in response to The Sun's June 4 editorial, "Keep the Green Spring Valley Green," a June 20 letter from Jeffrey L. DeBois, a June 14 letter from Jon Erickson, an article on his project and comments from a meeting at Mr. Erickson's house on May 10.

The May 10 meeting was attended by representatives of environmental and preservation groups as well as owners of property surrounding the proposed retirement community site.

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