The real reason behind Baltimore's population decline: High taxes and rotten schools

January 25, 2012

At a time when birth control is cheap and readily available, it's deplorable Baltimore City has such high rates of abortion. But unlike your columnist, I don't think this has anything to do with the shrinking population of the city ("Abortion and population," Jan. 23).

Whatever the 18th-century French philosopher Montesquieu said about the great cities of the past, it has no bearing on Baltimore in 2012. The reason people flee Baltimore is twofold: Exorbitant property taxes and a rotten school system.

I grew up in New York City and had the privilege of attending private schools. However, the New York Public School system was adequate, and in some cases (the Bronx Science High School, for example) it was superior. And while property taxes were high, they weren't outrageous.

Today when I return to New York, I'm struck by the number of children I see on the streets. How different from my downtown Baltimore neighborhood!

Also, Professor Schaub's data on abortions in Baltimore are lopsided. She compares the rate of terminated pregnancies in 1970 to those in 2005. The 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision made abortion legal, and that needs to be factored in.

It's no secret women have lost respect for themselves "as the bearers of new life." But this isn't what's causing Baltimore's depopulation.

Finally, when you recognize that today's global population is around 7 billion and growing, I fail to see why population increase is a "natural sign of political health." To many of us who deplore the ecological damage being done to our planet, population growth is seen as a liability, if not an impending disaster.

Baltimore needs to attract individuals and families, but the city also must show a lot more respect for the productive folks who already live here. Sadly, that's not happening.

Roz Ellis

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.