The poor need jobs, not dependencyDaniel Berger's...

SATURDAY MAIL BOX

August 10, 1996

The poor need jobs, not dependency

Daniel Berger's sarcasm-tinged column on the collaboration of Congress and President Clinton to change the structure of government assistance (Aug. 3) was written on the premise that the best way to help the poor is to keep them that way.

Instead of encouraging people to pursue upward mobility and delay having children until they have the stability to take care of them, Berger prefers the current system of fostering dependence through inculcating citizens into thinking they have the right to government cheese.

The poor don't need charity from liberals or anyone else. They need jobs and a sense of hope, the only ways to instill in them self-esteem and dignity.

Most advocates of the current system don't seem to understand this, accepting religiously the socialist creed of lowest common denominator.

Berger also believes that ending welfare will ''send more children into crime.'' How much misery does he need to see before he will show true compassion for these people and admit the programs he dogmatically worships have created the problems in the first place?

Not everyone who feels there exists no entitlement to government largess is indifferent to the plight of the poor.

Many of us think their best chance is through employment and self-reliance.

I find Berger's concern for their plight as phony as the pro-lifer's for the welfare of children.

Lorne Marshall

Baltimore

The justice system makes no sense

Every day The Sun prints ample evidence that many things are seriously wrong with our criminal justice system. On July 31 there were several examples.

There was the letter by Mary Louise Glorioso pointing out that when her daughter was caught smoking a cigarette she was formally charged with breaking the law. The logical thing would have been to call the parent and let her handle it. . . .

Then [there was a story about] the Court of Appeals overturning the conviction of Scotland E. Williams.

Why is it that the high court so often feels the need to demonstrate how much more learned it is than the lower court? Maybe we should arrange it so that after two overturnings a judge would be dismissed.

There was also a story about a report criticizing the priorities of the juvenile justice system. [Secretary of the state Department of Juvenile Justice] Stuart O. Simms says they don't have enough money. Of course they don't; they spend it arresting kids for smoking and retrying murderers.

Too often the ''letter of the law'' seems to favor the criminal over the law-abiding citizen, and too often what the judicial system does is not sensible.

Stephen H. Barlett

Chestertown

'Slots for Tots' hides dishonesty

As Maryland voters recollect, the lottery was supposed to help our schoolchildren and senior citizens. "Slots for Tots" is the 1990s version of just such a ploy du jour.

My grandmother played the horses every day they ran and bingo twice a week. In all her modest wins and losses, she never pretended she did it for us kids. She just loved to play.

Last summer, in a campaign appearance before the BUILD organization, the mayor and I both pledged to oppose casino gambling.

Slots, at that point, were merely the inevitable antidote should casinos come to Maryland and squeeze the profit out of Pimlico and other local tracks.

Slots are not about children. They're just about pols who love to play -- and are in serious need of grandmothers to keep them honest.

ary Pat Clarke

Baltimore

The writer, a former City Council president, was a candidate for ++ mayor in 1995.

The good and bad of Olympic coverage

It was refreshing to witness the women's victories in swimming, track and field and other Olympic events this year.

The NBC coverage focusing on U.S. contestants rather than many of the fine international athletes was a large disappointment, though.

David Kaliner

Baltimore

Many viewpoints in Beverly Hills

The Harford Road Partnership appreciates The Sun's coverage of our efforts to redevelop this commercial corridor for the benefit of surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

We are at the beginning of a long planning process that will

demand the involvement of our entire community, residents and businesses alike. For this effort to be successful, we need to build trust and a spirit of cooperation among the neighborhoods HARP was established to serve.

Hence, we are concerned that the July 25 article left a negative impression of Beverly Hills, the neighborhood most immediately affected by the development of a new grocery store.

Beverly Hills is a diverse community in many ways and there are many opinions about the proposed Safeway store. Residents' concerns about traffic, noise, parking and store hours are legitimate.

These issues must and will be addressed through a cooperative process involving residents of Beverly Hills and other neighborhoods, city planners, HARP and Safeway.

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