Working poor are better off on welfareThe July 28 letter...

the Forum

August 06, 1993

Working poor are better off on welfare

The July 28 letter from Rosalind Ellis, regarding welfare, requires comment.

She wants to know why able-bodied persons are on welfare instead of holding jobs. Obviously there are persons who cheat on welfare. But anyone who lives completely legally on welfare is statistically living in poverty.

Yes, there may be able-bodied persons on welfare, but how qualified are they to take jobs? Remember, there are over 9 million unemployed in this country, many of them with good skills and long work records. So what are the chances for the less-skilled persons?

Besides, many of those now on welfare were once dedicated workers who were kicked into welfare by "downsizing."

The shame of it is that anyone working full-time in a minimum wage job is worse off than one living legitimately on welfare. Where is the incentive to hold a job, especially when one has a family?

The biggest shame of this country is that there is a statistical category of "working poor!" Working and poor?

Harry E. Bennett

Baltimore

Spiritual revival

The Joyce Foundation report confirms what any reader of this paper already knows -- gun-related violence is becoming a fact of life for young people across our nation.

How is this menace to be addressed? The Joyce Foundation suggests a public information campaign to refocus the gun issue as a public health concern. Such a proposal is inadequate because it fails to recognize the depth of the problem.

When will we learn that the mere impartation of information will cure no social ill? Witness the rising teen pregnancy rates which follow in the wake of sex education programs and condom distribution in public schools.

Government programs are effective at disseminating information but not at nurturing the wise use of that information. For wisdom takes its bearings from a higher moral code which government, for all its messianic aspirations, cannot dispense.

Gun violence among youth, like teen pregnancy, is but a symptom of the profound moral and spiritual degeneration in our culture. This cannot simply be educated away.

A spiritual problem requires a spiritual solution. Information campaigns and gun control measures have their place, but they will never change the hearts behind young minds seeking to cope in a dangerous world. That will take genuine spiritual revival.

May God bless the prayers and deeds of individuals and churches working together for spiritual renewal in our city and nation. Therein lies hope for lasting change and a safer tomorrow.

Steven C. Wright

Freeland

Full employment

Unemployed citizens of Maryland, rejoice! In a bold and unprecedented move, our esteemed governor has created a solution to the state's unemployment problems.

In light of William Donald Schaefer's belief that John Arnick deserves sympathy and a position in state government, despite Arnick's sexist and disparaging remarks toward individuals and women in general, our unemployment woes are about to come to an end.

Anyone who is unemployed need only refer to Schaefer as "a sawed-off, egotistical, overbearing, tantrum-throwing tyrant," and he or she should instantly qualify for a position in state government.

No doubt our governor would immediately dismiss these actions, as he did Arnick's, as being "human nature," and show his forgiveness by offering a job to every one of his detractors.

However, we must not allow our enthusiasm to overshadow the slim possibility that the entire idea could backfire.

Schaefer may decide, instead, to follow his time-honored tradition of sending letters containing disparaging remarks to everyone who deigns to refer to him in anything less than glowing terms -- a right not accorded to the lower masses -- thereby spending enough on postage to bankrupt the entire state treasury.

At the very worst, each recipient would own a document signed by a man who will, no doubt, one day enter his name in nomination for a Nobel Prize for humanity, right up there with Mother Teresa.

Judy L. Payton

Edgewood

Ill-starred

TC

The summary stars that follow reviews of restaurants, plays and movies are a disservice both to the public and to the reviewed.

When a restaurant serves meals at very modest prices and is rated less than one which charges much more because they are both on the same scoring system, everyone is poorly served.

When a new play is reviewed on the same scale as a successful play, new playwrights are discouraged.

How can the same scoring evaluate a new show in a community theater and one that has had a long run in New York and London? To use the same grading system for professional actors and community players dampens support for some very entertaining local theaters.

We need the arts. Let's encourage them. A thinking description will help the readers both make wiser choices and become more understanding of the art.

;/ The star rating is the ultimate sight bite.

Dorothy G. Siegel

Baltimore

Just causes

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