Why take economists seriously?The "dismal science" rears...

the Forum

July 30, 1993

Why take economists seriously?

The "dismal science" rears its ugly head again (Business section, July 23, "Fed to replace its guide for growth").

How can the average spender take seriously people who call themselves "economists"? Does anyone know what these little elves actually do for a living?

Now we have the Federal Reserve Board dropping its "guide for growth" and replacing it with another superstition.

Apparently the public has fooled the Fed and moved their money to a location which they shouldn't have. Now economists must concoct another scheme to determine if the economy is moving forward or backward.

It appears that the main focus will be on "real" interest rates (I guess you merely throw out the "unreal" ones.) Economist John Silvia helps to clear up the problem, stating, "Under one definition, the real interest rate is zero, but I pay 18 percent on my consumer interest and when you subtract 3 percent inflation, doesn't that mean a 15 percent real interest rate! The Fed hasn't analyzed this very much."

All I know is that economists are going to be almost as well liked as lawyers if they continue to convince the public that they actually do something of value.

Let them play their little games. My main concern is that the price of my 20-year-old house remains three times what I paid for it.

3' How much more American can you get!

R. D. Bush


Haitian refugees

President Clinton's decision not to block the entry of HIV-infected Haitian refugees into the United States is contrary rTC to the well-being of this country.

If (or when) allowed to enter, they will add to a health care and social services delivery system that is already overburdened.

Our elected officials have the responsibility to use available and limited resources to provide for the citizens of the United States.

Our domestic problems are expensive enough without the added burden of immigrants who will add to the expense of the health care system.

Lawrence Schaffer


Powerful weapon

If every gay in military uniform would send an overripe peach to Sen. Sam Nunn, and if every other gay American would systematically boycott not only Georgia's famed peaches but its tourist attractions and miscellaneous goods and services, perhaps the senator would begin to understand just how treacherous a game he is playing.

Not since the days when Joseph McCarthy soured the cream of Wisconsin has a senator so blatantly and outrageously trampled on the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens . . . But as Anita Bryant and the Florida Citrus Growers learned more than a decade ago, gay Americans are pretty good at seeing which varieties of fruit go into their compote.

Money, as Colorado and Arizona have discovered recently, is more powerful even than bigotry.

Faced with a major economic boycott, perhaps a majority of fair-minded, decent Georgian voters who still bear the lingering stench of a long standing legacy of intolerance might relegate Sam Nunn back to a peach orchard, where he can be as selective as his masculinity requires.

Stan Sparks


No latitude

How interesting to read in your story on the Tawes crab and clam bake that Anne Arundel County Executive Robert R. Neall says he no longer has "the latitude" he once had to contemplate whether or not to run for governor.

The reason Mr. Neall no longer has that latitude is House Minority Leader Ellen Sauerbrey's explosive entry into the governor's race.

Several hundred people attended her headquarters opening in Cockeysville the other day. I was there. Television, other local papers and even a Washington paper were represented.

Carol O. Shear


Think of lawyers as a class of gladiators

I viewed with great dismay the Oliphant cartoon in the July 23 Evening Sun portraying lawyers as nothing more than slovenly prostitutes in a seedy hotel.

I supposed in this era of "bashing," lawyers are just one more target, but I am tiring of never seeing the other side of my profession portrayed by the media.

Many of the rights and protections that we have come to hold so dear were secured for all of us by the efforts of lawyers.

It took a team of lawyers to prepare, present and win case after case that led to the dismantling of our system of apartheid -- "separate but equal." Groups that vigorously support the rights of women to make their own choices and that howl with fury any time the government tries to creep into the bedroom have lawyers to thank for persuading judges and juries that our society must respect the individual's right to privacy.

The ability of a society of consumers to be able to trust that the products they buy are free from life-threatening defects stems from the efforts of lawyers in the courtroom in the area of products liability.

A person who is disabled because of the negligence of a driver of an automobile is able to obtain medical care and other services because a lawyer was able to secure for that person a settlement or judgment from the driver's insurance company.

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