Poverty is the problem, not welfare systemSince the...


November 07, 1996

Poverty is the problem, not welfare system

Since the presidential campaign of 1992, the American public has heard about ''ending welfare as we know it.'' This objective assumes that the problem is the welfare system. How absurd.

The real problem is poverty, and until we focus our policy making within this context, no welfare reform will be effective.

The first step in making policy is to define the problem. Politicians have done the American people a disservice by framing the debate around changing or eliminating the welfare system. That misses the point.

The real problem lies with the millions of Americans (80,000 Marylanders) who cannot afford to feed their children or pay their rent even with the $315 (average monthly welfare grant per Maryland family) that the government provides.

It is time to set our sights on eradicating poverty. This is a significantly more difficult task than altering the existing cash assistance programs, but one that promises great rewards for America.

We need our elected representatives to lead the way, or better yet, get out of the way.

ark Millspaugh


City vote method called antiquated

The missed opportunities, inefficiencies and wastefulness of the election in Baltimore City should be addressed.

The city uses 19th century technology and solutions to meet the challenges of an election as we prepare to enter the 21st century. Instead of cumbersome mechanical election machines, residents should vote on computers. Computers would save money.

Unlike the current machines, computers would not need to be moved by a moving company to election sites. They would not need to be stored in large warehouses 99 percent of the time. These same computers could be made available to schools in the city for all but a few days surrounding the election itself. Our children would benefit and the election would be less expensive.

The city also errs by closing schools for elections. Children should go to school -- to observe an election up close. Schools should look for appropriate ways to involve children in the election, explaining what an election is, its importance and allowing the students to witness the process first-hand. If you want people to participate as adults, you must allow them to participate as children.

We have been stuck in the past too long. Closing schools may have made sense 50 years ago. Using the dinosaur voting machines did make sense 50 years ago. Not today.

Scarce resources need to be better husbanded. We should do it now.

T. Herbert Dimmock


Orioles announcer should be a fan

Mike Littwin's Nov. 4 column about Peter Angelos choosing not to renew Jon Miller's contract as an Oriole baseball play-by-play announcer compels me to register agreement with Mr. Angelos.

Jon Miller, although an excellent sports broadcast journalist, is a little too generic for my taste.

Mr. Miller would be better suited to full-time employment with ESPN or any of the TV networks broadcasting the game of the week. In that capacity, he can deliver all of the trivia and nuances of America's pastime without a hint of bias.

I prefer to hear Oriole baseball games announced with all the emotion attributed to the hometown team.

I want to hear pride or disappointment coming through that speaker loud and clear. I want the announcer's excitement to augment my excitement.

I will enjoy listening to the game much more if the play-by-play is colored by someone with an obvious preference for the team I root for.

Of course, I also want this announcer to be as smart, insightful and entertaining as possible, but he must act like he knows who signs his paycheck and realize that his listening audience is mostly made up of Oriole baseball fans.

I absolutely agree that the Oriole game announcer must be an advocate for the team.

J. D. Zissimos


Angelos wrong to let Miller go

If Peter Angelos wants a broadcaster to be a ''micro-phoney'' who is biased, bland and ''tells it like it ain't,'' perhaps he might consider doing the Oriole games himself.

Ruth Fried

Owings Mills

When the history of the Orioles is written it will note that thmeddling, lawyer-owner drove an acknowledged superstar and future Hall of Famer out of town.

Thus, Edward Bennett Williams drove star first baseman Eddie Murray out of town in 1986. Similarly, Peter Angelos drove star radio announcer Jon Miller out of town in 1996.

As that noted philosopher Yogi Berra once said, ''It's deja vu all over again.`

Suzanne Cohn


New test in schools will be meaningless

As the city and state prepare to go to court on the joint issues of school funding and school mismanagement, the public should be aware of an impending tremendous waste of resources known as the Baltimore Quarterly Assessment.

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