Compassion has appealThe election would have been a lot...

Letters

November 17, 1996

Compassion has appeal

The election would have been a lot closer had Bob Dole been as compassionate as he was in his acceptance of defeat speech.

Richard N. Elliott

Baltimore

Unionism costing Maryland jobs

Allow me to address a significant omission in Timothy Mullaney's article (Nov. 27, "A vote on the jobs of the future'') about tomorrow's jobs.

Maryland's economy, unlike the economies of its most successful competitors, is handicapped by an old, yet vigorous, nemesis -- organized labor -- that chokes existing industry and drives away new high-tech companies such as the software giant Oracle Corp., which otherwise might move to Maryland.

Oracle settled in Virginia, a right-to-work state. Maryland, as Oracle duly noted, does not have a right-to-work law, which prohibits compulsory unionism.

According to Mr. Mullaney, Maryland now has ''much less'' manufacturing than other states. Let me suggest that Maryland will also have many fewer of the high-paying, high-tech jobs of the future if organized labor is not restrained in its efforts to compel unwilling workers to support its more counterproductive activities.

You can be certain that other states like Virginia that are in competition with Maryland for those jobs will point out Gov. Parris Glendening's unprecedented invitation to unions to impose monopoly bargaining and ultimately compulsory unionism on state workers.

Charles R. Serio

Baltimore

Scarcity may bring harsh life to people

While I mostly agree with Hal Piper's Nov. 10 Perspective article, "Good New Days," certain key facts are curiously omitted.

Mr. Piper writes that improved health and nutrition are largely responsible for global population growth

That is partially true in many areas of the world, but it must be kept in mind that the doubling time of Earth's population is now about 45 years. That means the world's population will reach startling 12 billion by the year 2050. Some estimates place the doubling time at less than 40 years. In the year 1900, the doubling time was about 130 years.

Indeed, it is the growing affluence of many societies' populations, accompanied by the alarming growth, that could precipitate food shortages in some areas by the year 2030. With increased wealth comes a shift in diet from one of principally grain to an increased consumption of animal products such as beef, poultry, fish, dairy products and even cooking oil, each of which requires grain diverted from direct consumption. Increasing industrialization in China and Indonesia is removing needed crop land from production. Irrigation water shortages are now apparent in many areas.

It certainly seems that with population expansion coupled with soil degradation, crop land loss to other uses and a reduction in availability and purity of irrigation water, the world could face a food scarcity in coming decades. There are, after all, biological limits to how much technology may increase crop yields.

How many people can Earth sustain? An unlimited number? It will be nice when all people have electricity at the punch of a switch, but what's the use of a refrigerator if there's little to put into it.

Thus, the "good new days" might become the good old days.

Donald Andrew Wiley

Baltimore

The more jazz in Baltimore, the better

In response to the Nov. 4 letter regarding the Chamber Jazz Society, the more jazz in Baltimore, the better! Readers of the letter may be left to wonder, as the writer did, why the Baltimore Jazz Foundation was singled out for editorial recognition (Oct. 19) while the Chamber Jazz Society, which has been presenting its concert series for five years, was not mentioned.

The Baltimore Jazz Foundation is a fledgling organization in its formative stages and thereby qualifies as news. The Jazz Society, founded in 1991, is not.

The BJF focuses on providing Marylanders with a world-class jazz repertory orchestra showcasing the formidable talents of Baltimore's premier jazz artists (much like New York's Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Washington's Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra). It seeks to advance an ambitious educational agenda (including a jazz camp, composition and performance competitions, a jazz library and a school concert series) that will ensure future jazz audiences, composers and performers. The Chamber Jazz Society is focused on presenting a concert series that enriches Baltimore audiences by bringing in out-of-town musicians for the purpose of pure entertainment.

Baltimore, birthplace of so many jazz legends -- Eubie Blake, Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway -- can only benefit from renewed interest in an art form once considered moribund but actually America's most precious musical legacy and the only one it can truly claim as its own.

Ruth Goldstein

Baltimore

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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