Let the market determine where wealth accumulates I...


January 28, 2000

Let the market determine where wealth accumulates

I don't think Bill Gates is "laughing at his predicament in the Microsoft antitrust case," as Jeff Gates believes ("Remember to keep an eye on the monopolists," Opinion Commentary, Jan. 14). More likely, he's trying to understand why the government is doing the work of his competitors.

Jeff Gates throws around facts but fails to connect them to his theme. How the wealth of our richest citizens compares to our poorer citizens tells us nothing.

If that wealth was acquired legally, let us address that. If it was acquired legally, we have no moral justification for liberating it in the way Mr. Gates suggests.

Mr. Gates complains that the personal assets of Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Warren Buffet exceed the combined Gross Domestic Products of the world's 41 poorest countries. "So much for being a beacon of hope for democracy," he writes

But nothing in his writing connects these two ideas. If Mr. Gates believes those men's personal assets were acquired at the expense of those countries, he ought to say so, and explain how that occurred.

Jeff Gates belongs to the brotherhood of people who can't make billions of dollars, but aren't shy about giving instructions to those who can.

This whole piece was nothing but envy and economic ignorance parading around as enlightened social policy. For those who have no idea how wealth is created, redistributing it is always a popular idea.

The market Mr. Gates despises does a much better job of policing these matters than any convoluted scheme he (or the U.S. Justice Department) can dream up.

Joseph J. Miller Jr.

Linthicum Heights

The writer is treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Maryland.

Gloomy report about Sunny's a disservice to a fine store

The Sun's article "Sunny's files for bankruptcy" (Jan. 20) did a grave injustice to a fine Baltimore retailer.

It quoted a local headhunter and a New York consultant who put Sunny's Great Outdoors Inc.'s chance of survival at five percent and 50 percent, respectively.

This sort of journalism does unfair harm to a long-standing and well-established company. It causes employees to fear losing their jobs and gives the public a false impression of Sunny's future.

I have had the opportunity to speak with Steve Blake, Sunny's chief executive officer. His plan to close eight under-performing stores and concentrate on the strengths of the remaining 18 is sound.

I fully expect Sunny's to be around for many years to come.

The Sun should concentrate on reporting stories about the many great local companies that are thriving. Stop creating doom and gloom that just leads to additional problems for local retailers.

Bill Glazer


The writer is president of Gage Menswear.

Governor deserves plaudits for backing `prevailing wage'

In reference to The Sun's article, "Loyalty pays off for Md. unions" (Jan. 23), I feel honored and pleased that Maryland has a responsible and progressive governor, who is not ashamed to endorse the good causes supported by organized labor.

Organized labor has a long history of promoting honorable causes, including the eight-hour workday, health and safety regulation, social security and public education.

To suggest otherwise is a gross injustice to American workers.

The usual attempts to label unions a costly expense the corporate world cannot afford are unwarranted.

There is nothing wrong with having employees, private and public, share in the enterprise.

And even to suggest that it is too costly to pay a worker (union or non-union) the prevailing wage to build our schools, while the state issues "sunny day" funds to profitable corporations, is an insult.

Maybe what we need to ask ourselves is this: Would we want to be paid what is paid to others?

Doug J. Schmenner


Iowa trip doesn't detract from Townsend's service

I beg to differ with the recent letters "Does the lieutenant governor really focus on Maryland?" (Jan. 19).

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a very motivated and brilliant woman working hard in Maryland.

Her No. 1 priority is the safety of her constituents, especially our children, who should be first on anyone's agenda.

Who gives a damn if Ms. Townsend went to Iowa with Al Gore?

That has nothing to do with her excellent performance in Maryland.

Lisa Hurka Covington


`Smart officials' need to act to cut crime

The Sun's recent editorial listing key issues for the General Assembly made no mention of mandatory sentencing for criminals, or building more prisons, or some corrective action for the inept Baltimore City state's attorney's office ("Agenda 2000: A time of plenty in Md. State House," Jan. 9).

It appears that Mayor Martin O'Malley and Police Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel are on the right track to fight crime in the city.

But without major improvements in the justice system, we'll still have a revolving-door system and criminals will be back on the street to commit more crimes.

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