More immigrants won't hurt nationIn a Jan. 3 letter ("More...


January 19, 1996

More immigrants won't hurt nation

In a Jan. 3 letter ("More immigrants, more problems?"), Carleton W. Brown finds fault with columnist Ben Wattenberg for his opinion (Dec. 15, "The demographic deficit") that allowing more immigrants into the country will solve some of its economic woes, particularly the coming collapse of that intergenerational Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. My antipathy for such government-run scams aside, Mr. Wattenberg is quite right.

Mr. Brown's objection seems to be based on fears that increased immigration will result in a ''paved-over, built-up country with wall-to-wall people,'' and the new immigrants will, in turn, consume resources at our seemingly disproportionate rate compared to the rate at which the average, say, Bangladeshi consumes.

I think Mr. Brown's fear of overcrowding is groundless. Take a look at Great Britain, certainly a civilized place with quite a few wild empty places. It has 56 million people living in an area slightly smaller than the state of Oregon. If the United States were to have the same population density as Great Britain, it would have a population of about 2.1 billion. I don't think any of us wants to see that many people in this country, but 342 million by 2020 is certainly tolerable and is typical of the population growth this country has seen since its founding. And it will still leave us with vast tracts of howling wilderness that would turn a European green with envy.

As for Mr. Brown's second fear of resource exhaustion, it is groundless when we have all of the solar system to play with. Granted, the short term may be a bit touch-and-go, but why import oil when many of our energy needs can be met with nuclear power? Why worry about pumping aquifers dry when it is within our power to end our dependence on them by piping water to many places from those fresh-water seas called the Great Lakes or to bring fresh water to coastal cities in the form of icebergs?

Certainly, immigration on the scale that Mr. Wattenberg proposes will present problems, but they are hardly new. Our ancestors of a hundred years ago handled them very well. Certainly we can do as well and not give in to the America-first, nativist claptrap that so bedevils us now, as it did our ancestors a century ago.

mos Hale Adams


Two NFL teams would be better

In a Jan 10. article, "Opponents of stadiums draw a line in the dirt," your reporter quoted me but failed to capture the essence of my comments. What I said was that the indirect and long-term benefits of gaining two NFL teams would far outweigh the short-term loss of redirected tax revenues.

Making our area attractive to ''big league'' businesses and talented individuals is essential to creating jobs and expanding the tax base. If you want to see more revenue flow to education, highways, social projects, etc., then you must do the things that will attract the necessary revenue generators to this area. We are a ''big league'' population center, and we need to act like one.

If the same reporters who whined for years because we lost our team would try to break their habit and stop looking for ways to proclaim that the sky is falling because they got their wish, we might just end up with two top NFL franchises. Believe me, this will definitely benefit us economically for decades to come in many ways other than the often debated direct impact of concession, hotel and travel revenues.

If The Sun's staff would try to look at the bigger picture more frequently, rather than ride every fuzzy sounding cause, The Sun might stop losing subscribers. Our region needs serious rejuvenation regarding job creation, crime, poverty, education, social fabric, etc. The most meaningful step we can take in addressing these problems is to fuel the engine of business growth to create the needed jobs and tax revenues. Remember, you can't get blood from a rock.

Tom Brindisi



The writer is the owner of an executive search business.

Baltimore County pols ignore taxpayer needs

Laura Lippman's Jan. 13 article,''Plow Envy,' touched on the truth of the snow removal system in Baltimore County.

As I write, it is now seven days since the snow began falling, and we are still waiting for a snow plow to actually plow our street. Neighbors have reported sightings of a snow plow on our street -- with its plow in the air.

We still have approximately a foot of snow on our street. Numerous vehicles have become stuck on our street and in the ditches. Our road consists of two tracks down the center which you must carefully negotiate. I have a 4-wheel-drive Blazer, and twice I was stuck in front of my own driveway due to the depth of the snow. We made calls every day to Baltimore County and continuously receive promises of ''tomorrow.''

The Essex area seems to be the first place politicians want to place the city's welfare recipients, but the last place they want to spend any of our tax dollars.

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