Buy AmericanWhat single action by the U.S. consumer would...


April 03, 1995

Buy American

What single action by the U.S. consumer would satisfy the three disparate eco-socio-economic ends -- environment, trade deficit and jobs -- for Americans? Answer, buy American.

At a time when the cry in Washington is ostensibly for less federal bureaucracy and power to the people, I for one would appreciate leadership by knowledgeable, unfettered and unbeholden types. But, I do enjoy a freedom and individual voice, too -- in the marketplace.

To those who see jobs going south (or east) with NAFTA or GATT, I reply that we each have within ourselves the power of the purchase, to cast a patriotic vote.

Environmentalists have recognized for some time that a certain foreign auto maker's conglomerate parent company is the single largest destroyer of rain forests in the world. This fast-rising car with the center grill bar uses aggressive advertising and may soon challenge the top three eastern car makers for market share.

The trade deficit represents the net loss in revenues to the United States in the international trading of goods and services.

Since this position has a weakening effect on the dollar among other deleterious effects, corrective actions should be introduced. Included must be the elimination of trade barriers, strengthening of patent and royalty laws and prudent buying in the marketplace.

We applaud a reduction of unemployment in the U.S. to the low figure of 5 percent of the available labor pool. Why not aim for ZWP (zero worker pool)? This would help provide more jobs throughout the work force spectrum.

Many jobs have been lost through careless trading with our partners. You've heard of the gift of the transistor, of the microchip and now the works of performing artists on CDs and tapes.

We cannot as a trading nation in a competitive and environmentally fragile world give away our power to help right all three ills. Don't think it corny to be environmentalist or patriotic. Read a label. Buy American.

Thomas Carroll


Them and Us

It's clear that the lines are drawn within the bureaucracy of the Baltimore County public schools.

Working for this school system has had many bright spots, but today I am witnessing more and more cases of a "them and us" mentality. The situation at Kenwood High School is a perfect example of my premise.

Frederick W. Cogswell, Kenwood's principal, has decided that his school with all its ills needs to go to "zero-based staffing."

Are we to believe that this decision is tantamount to the wisdom of Solomon?

Low performance, low achievement and low attendance are the ills, as reported in The Sun, and Mr. Cogswell wants to revamp all this by having teachers treat students as clients and rendering customer satisfaction.

Such a dramatic effort draws a line and "they" (the administration) are on one side with "us" (teachers) on the other.

It appears to be an attempt at a quick fix without considering justice toward those on the staff and most importantly the interruption to students' education.

Where does creative problem solving come into play? How are the extenuating circumstances, such as home life or economics, factored in?

Having grown up in the area that Kenwood serves and having my brother still living there, I am very aware of the changing dynamics in the area. But "they" feel that changing teachers is the answer.

In a system that espouses values education, where does the value of justice fit into this whole scenario? Anytime you have a "them and us" issue, some one has to lose.

Is this justice? Is this in the best interest of the children? Would any educator ever set up a situation for someone to lose? Is this the state of education in Baltimore County?

Jim Antal


Maryland First

I suggest a bold course of action to vault our embattled governor into favor with Marylanders and enhance his national political stature: Advance the Maryland presidential primary ahead of New Hampshire's.

There are good reasons for doing so, among them the state's proximity to Washington, its rich diversity of geography, ethnicity and commerce and its traditions of political moderation and tolerance.

Maryland also has better food than New Hampshire, its people are smarter, it has a more illustrious history and better baseball.

Maryland is ready. Let's do it now.

Patrick Jackson


Wrong Penalty

As an officer of the Chesapeake Chapter of the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers, I oppose welfare reform requirements that call for professional and driver's licenses to be revoked for individuals who fail to pay child support.

While I have no problem with states collecting child support from delinquent parents, this clearly comes under the jurisdiction of state child support agencies.

Such an action would be an unfunded federal mandate on the states, since it would require time and money to track down deadbeat parents.

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