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Letters to the editor 2/24

February 24, 2003

'Competition' would cost us



To the editor:


I'm writing this in reference to Thomas Firey's letter accusing the Washington County Delegation of endorsing unfair competition; his article couldn't be further from the truth.

When Prohibition ended almost 70 years ago, our legislators were given the task of regulating and controlling alcoholic beverage sales in Maryland. All retailers in Maryland are offered the same product from wholesalers at the same price, regardless of business size, allowing all retailers to compete equally.

Firey's idea would eliminate this regulation and permit the big chains to sell alcoholic beverages, which would result in running small family owned/operated establishments out of business. That would be fair competition?

Firey claims that our legislators were wrong because they wouldn't allow gasoline to be sold under cost. Who would win in this setting? Big business. Who else can offer a product under cost until all competition is out of business? Again, big business, which then can raise prices to where they want, as high as they want.

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I would like to thank our delegation for not giving in to "big business money" and in helping to keep the mom and pop stores open. Fair competition keeps the prices reasonable. As a father of teenage children, I appreciate the controls that Maryland legislators have on the alcohol industry. The regulations are in place for the safety and welfare of the community. Our delegation is aware of that, more people should be.

Louis L. Thomas

Washington County Restaurant and Beverage Association

Hagerstown




Public schools tools of dictators



To the editor:


Seldom does one see such a blatant misunderstanding of the basics of our history and the function of government as shown in Alan Powell's letter (Feb.17) regarding the proposals of Commissioner John Munson relative to our public school system.

Munson has articulated the only sane thoughts on the subject by an elected official of our county. The public school system cannot be repaired because it is inherently flawed. I challenge him or Commissioner Doris Nipps to present any coherently logical proposal to fix the defects. Spending more money, by default, cannot be part of the plan. We have tried that for the last 50 years and that solution ranks right up there with our welfare programs when it comes to failure.

It is apparent that Ms. Wagner, who he quotes about free public education being a democratic principle, must be a victim of some of that "free education." Nowhere is such a dogma included in the concept of democracy. Just ask the Greeks who invented it, or the Founding Fathers of our country.

Compulsory public education has always been a tactic of dictatorial governments. History tells us that our system was put in place to convert the flood of non-WASP immigrants into good little clones useful to the factory owners of the Northeast. It was so obvious that it was then that the parochial school systems were started to defend the faith and culture of the newcomers.

Parents are the ones who must be in charge of the education of their children. Governments are only there to see that parents are not hindered in carrying out this responsibly. Hopefully she would know that democracy was one thing the founders did not want.

The evil of "factions" which is inherent in this form of government was well understood by them. The original form of the Constitution shows this.

The only possible need for any public involvement in education would be in the case of "reform" schools for those in trouble with the law or for providing services for special needs children in terms of special equipment, therapy, expert medical and instructional personnel.

Vocational schools should be provided by the contractors, unions and businesses who need the people to fill their needs. It is not for us, the taxpayers, to provide plumbers, etc., free of charge to the contractors or computer slaves to the data processing companies.

The only thing that we should be doing to Munson is thanking him for bringing reality to the discussion.

Richard Giovanoni

Hagerstown




We're protected against a J. Munson meltdown



To the editor:


What's all the fuss about County Commissioner John Munson? People are demanding his impeachment, resignation, removal, or whatever it takes to get him out of here.

Now I ask, isn't that a bit ridiculous? Less than four months ago Commissioner Munson was swept into office, receiving nearly 17,000 votes from the citizens of Washington County, which was less than 6,000 votes than the leading vote collector, Commissioner Greg Snook.

Commissioner Munson has done nothing to hurt us. Look at his voting record to date. No harm done, right? And I don't expect any will be done.

Keep in mind he has but one vote. There are four other votes which should assure that no drastic decisions will be made.

Never would I expect Commissioner Munson to hold the swing vote on any critical issue, and if he does it would mean that two other commissioners agree with him.

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