Nicaraguan RuleYour Aug. 26 editorial stated that...


September 02, 1993

Nicaraguan Rule

Your Aug. 26 editorial stated that President Violetta Chamorro can't govern Nicaragua "unless she gets rid of the Sandinista infection."

That's like saying Bill Clinton should throw all the Republicans out of the House and Senate so he can get his agenda through. Then he should fire all registered Republicans in the armed forces and in government service.

If we as a nation can come to respect the African National Congress as a legitimate constructive power in South Africa after years of calling them Communist Marxist thugs and whatever else, then it's time we accept the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

However imperfect they may be, with broad public support they did establish the current democratic system of government in Nicaragua. Without them, it is quite likely that the country would revert to a right-wing dictatorship.

Steven Sorrow


American Song

I write to voice support for the Foreign Service officers who are resigning in protest of America's shameful abandonment of those Bosnians most deserving of our protection and pity.

If current policy be the faith we keep with those who are so like us in culture and common heritage, then God help those whom, when their luck runs awry, we, as today's only superpower, judge to hold religious and secular practices greatly different from our own.

Reasons for America's turning aside are easy and innumerable. It is undeniable that, as was the case in our early indifference to World War II, many Americans do not now see our interest in Bosnia. It is also undeniable that bad guys from Tiberius Caesar to Adolph Hitler have tried and failed in the Balkans. Must we become bad guys because we did not try?

Reasons for America's rolling up her sleeves and doing something are also many. Although these reasons are not easy, they can be simplified: stopping the outrage and righting the wrongs are the only right things to do.

In the year before our entering World War II, Paul Robeson sang, "Our country is strong, our country is young/Our greatest song is yet to be sung . . ."

After that war the cry arose, we thought forever, ''Never again!''

Please, Bill Clinton and Warren Christopher, change your tune that America may yet have many great songs to sing. If you will but lead us, men and women of goodwill will sing with you.

Christian Engleman


Government and Small Business

In an Aug. 23 Opinion * Commentary article, TRB (Michael Kinsley) argues that Washington "worships at the shrine of small business." It is a fascinating but flawed theory.

A tax increase opposed by more than 80 percent of small-business owners was recently signed into law.

Coming next is an administration proposal to force all employers to pay 80 percent of every employee's health insurance, a step which congressional and other respected studies show will cause a loss of jobs and, even worse, result in some firms having to close their doors.

If this is what constitutes "worship" in Washington, then Mr. Kinsley will certainly recognize the ritual sacrifice of small businesses which is sure to follow.

Mr. Kinsley makes the case that "tilting public policy in favor of small business" is wrong. He also states that small business is not all that it is cracked up to be when it comes to job creation. Both claims lead me inescapably to the same question: Are we living on the same planet?

I ask this because where I live, small-business owners with fewer than 20 employees account for 90 percent of all firms in the U.S. and comprise nearly 60 percent of the private sector work force.

Small firms created all net new jobs in the economy from 1988 to 1990 and accounted for two out of every three jobs created since 1976 . . .

I challenge Mr. Kinsley to produce even one small-business owner who truly believes government policy is tilted in favor of small business. Studies show that small business is hit three times as hard by federal regulations as big business . . .

But let us assume that Mr. Kinsley is correct about the "special treatment" that he says small business receives from the government but does not deserve.

If policy makers were to take into thoughtful consideration the impact that their laws have on the sector of the economy which accounts for almost all employers, a majority of employees and a frequently used route (according to U.S. Census data) to economic independence by women, minorities, immigrants and the poor, what in the world would be wrong with that? . . .

Mr. Kinsley suggests that the most profitable firms don't have to worry about the tax rates as long as they reinvest. This is false.

Small-business owners who have a very profitable year and then reinvest their revenues into a new piece of machinery that they cannot deduct in the year the investment is made will be taxed at the new, higher rates. In other words, there will be a tax increase in some cases on money that is already reinvested.

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