Long workdays take a heavy toll on families, kids The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 07, 2001

Long workdays take a heavy toll on families, kids

The combination of the article describing the International Labor Organization's finding that Americans work far more hours than their counterparts in other industrial nations ("U.S. working more hours," Sept. 1) and the Sunday Sun's Parade Magazine article "Why are we so angry?" (Sept. 2) was ironic.

Americans do work too hard: They frequently arrive home exhausted, unable to focus on the concerns of their kids or their spouses. One result of this work ethic is a divorce rate in America that is unconscionable and costs this nation dearly.

Why can't American employees be allowed more free time? Why can't a parent leave work in time to meet his child when he or she arrives home from school?

Why can't employers allow workers more vacation time, or at least allow them unpaid leave equal to their paid leave time, without fear of reprisal?

The consequence of this would be a decrease in demands on social services, reduced juvenile delinquency, a reduction in crime and substance abuse, as well as improvement in schoolwork as parents would be able to address their youngsters' homework more attentively and better attend to a child's many needs.

There should be governmental financial assistance for those employers who would take part in such programs.

Richard C. Lang

Glen Arm

Through the looking-glass on taxes and missiles

President Bush's $1.4 trillion tax cut is driving us into deficit spending while threatening the viability of Social Security, but that's OK because he is now proposing a capital gains tax cut for people who don't need Social Security to survive ("Bush open to tax cut, he says," Sept. 5).

In the same curious vein, Mr. Bush is about to tell China it's OK to build nuclear warheads because that will help justify building a defense against nuclear warheads ("Bush intends to acquiesce in Beijing's missile program," Sept. 2).

If this is the Republican version of Alice in Wonderland, I must say Lewis Carroll's version made more sense.

John D. Venables

Towson

Criticism of Bush on budget is just partisan politics

It is both ludicrous and disingenuous for the Democrats to blame the diminishing budget surplus on the Bush tax cut.

The fall in tax revenues is related to the current recessionary phase of a global business cycle, the signs of which were evident well before Inauguration Day.

And are the same Democrats and liberal pundits who blame the administration for the budgetary and economic problems now suggesting that taxes be raised in the midst of an economic downturn?

It is a growing economy and not a growing tax burden that provides budget surpluses and fiscal health.

I suspect the president's opponents are welcoming a recession and hoping that it will aid their election goals. Higher taxes would certainly help accomplish that end.

John Covington

Stevenson

Silly lawsuits enrich lawyers as they cost the rest of us

Next time you see Peter G. Angelos in the grocery store, thank him for the higher prices as well as for all the warning signs stores will put up to protect themselves against lawsuits.

Mr. Angelos' multi-million-dollar tobacco lawsuit not only names Philip Morris Inc., it also accuses Giant Food in the wrongful death of a Baltimore County smoker, because the grocery chain sold the man cigarettes ("Suit seeks $100 million from tobacco company," Aug. 28).

Such ridiculous lawsuits serve only to increase the retirement funds of certain greedy personal injury lawyers. Meantime, American consumers are left to foot the bill as grocery chains and other businesses increase prices of products and services to pay their legal costs.

Common-sense reforms are needed to restore fairness to our legal system and ensure every legitimate lawsuit serves the interests of the victims, not the lawyers.

Phillip D. Bissett

Annapolis

The writer is chairman of Maryland Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.

Susan Leviton really is a champion for children

Susan Leviton is a true "Champion of Hope" ("Giving state's children a shot at success," editorial, Sept. 2).

She works quietly behind the scenes to see that all kids get the assistance they need and the rights they are entitled to under federal and state law.

Ms. Leviton has touched our lives for 10 years now. Thank you for recognizing her.

David Hecht

Beth Hecht

Owings Mills

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