OverworkedDoes anyone notice that the strikers against...

the Forum

October 07, 1994

Overworked

Does anyone notice that the strikers against General Motors wanted the company to hire more full-time workers instead of demanding more overtime hours and employing part-timers?

Or that the average work week for males is now 42 hours (meaning that about half are working more than 42 hours)?

Whatever happened to the 40-hour week? Are we becoming a country of the overworked and the underemployed?

It is happening everywhere, from hospitals to steel mills.

If companies would hire the workers they need, instead of over-stressing those they have (minor supervisors are not even paid for the extra time, usually, thus multiplying the stress), there would be fewer unsupervised children, more families with medical insurance coverage and perhaps more female workers who could cut back on their current average 53-hour work week.

Mary O. Styrt

Baltimore

Narco-democracies

Your paper reported (Sept. 30) on a new international flap created when a Drug Enforcement Agency agent accused Colombia of being a "narco-democracy."

The media quoted Special Agent Joe Toft, who was completing a tour as the head of the DEA in Bogota, as saying that the President of Colombia had accepted millions of dollars from the Cali cartel while the people of Columbia looked the other way.

Mr. Toft complained that this money gives the cartel control over Colombia's political and economic institutions. His remarks stimulated negative reactions from Colombians ranging from the president to a Nobel laureate.

So how does this make Colombia any different than the U.S.?

In this country the president and Congress historically have accepted millions of dollars from the folks who push tobacco, the drug of our choice.

As payment back to the tobacco industry, our trade representatives who represent the administration and many of our congressmen do everything they can to force tobacco on other nations, especially the underdeveloped countries.

During my travels to foreign countries I am frequently asked to explain our dual standards on drugs. They cannot figure out how other nations can harangue and threaten them about growing and exporting certain drugs while we grow and impose on them a drug that kills more people than marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined.

I simply tell them that the U.S. tobacco industry owns the best president and Congress that money can buy, and until that changes things are not likely to improve. Perhaps we should not condemn other countries for pushing drugs until we put an end to our own drug pushing.

John H. O'Hara

Bowie

Hayden and youth

As a college senior who began participating in the political arena as a senior in high school, I felt compelled to respond to Pat Gilbert's article, "Hayden aide's action called inappropriate" (Sept. 24).

I applaud Baltimore County Executive Roger Hayden as well as his staff for trying to motivate Baltimore County youth to become involved in the governmental process, particularly at a time when their parents appear to be so apathetic (judging by the percentage of registered adults who actually voted in the primary).

The Hayden campaign if anything made a clear point that it recognizes the value of young people and the potential they possess in shaping our future.

It is a tragedy that Mr. Hayden's opponent and school officials failed to distinguish the difference between "desperation" and organization, as well as the difference between exploitation and encouragement.

Jennifer A. Nemec

Baltimore

Real issues

The comments of the gubernatorial candidates on the proposed smoking ban is a perfect example of what is wrong with politics today.

Ellen Sauerbrey is into negative campaigning and degrading the opponent instead of addressing the real issues.

Sure, it's easy to tell someone that they are wrong, but it's even harder to come up with your own ideas. Start telling us some of your real issues instead of lambasting everyone else's. Try to see the good in what government is doing for the people, like saving lives in this case. This is not a case of the regulatory "process run amok." This is a case where it is an election year, and it's time to bash the current administration.

It is high time our political candidates learn that we want to vote on what they can do for us, not on what everyone else is doing wrong or the current administration record -- we already know that.

In a society where being politically correct is such an important issue, I think it's time our government officials and candidates start acting as such.

David A. Fogle

Catonsville

ADL shouldn't attack friends of Israel

The Anti-Defamation League recently placed an ad in the New York Times headed, "The Religious Right: An Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism in America."

The ad was answered some days later in that paper by a group of prominent Jews who opposed the message behind it and called publishing the tirade an unfortunate incident.

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