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Letters to the editor

January 29, 2004

Population not a problem


To the editor:

Contrary to the fear of population growth expressed by Ruth Davis in her letter in the Jan. 23 issue, it is really the time to worry about the lack of population growth. The figures from the United Nations show that we are in for a population implosion starting in the next 50 or so years. The so-called major first world nations, except for the U.S., are already going their merry way to extinction. Some may end up as new Muslim nations if they do not restrict immigration.

I recall a couple of decades ago when Peter Drucker said that Japan was committing national suicide by its contraceptive programs. Has anyone noticed that Japan is now in its longest-known recession, and has no prospects of recovery? It, like our country, is becoming a nation of old people with not enough young people to make the economy viable.

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I hope Ms. Davis is not young enough to face the prospect of old age in a gray society. The tax base will not be there and the only solution for the small base of workers will be to set up "Death with Dignity" centers for everyone over 55 who is not supporting themselves. That is to say all persons who are not net taxpayers will have to go.

According to U.N. projections, total world population will peak at approximately 8.5 billion in the second half of this century and then start a rapid fall, similar as to what is already happening in Europe. Even so, everyone could comfortably be housed on 382,000 square miles.

How much is that? Well, Texas and Arizona alone consist of 376,450 square miles. So we would certainly have plenty of land left over for food production, sewer plants, factories, parks and roads, etc.

Davis, who thinks highly of China's policy of condoms over Bibles in hotel rooms, might want to consider this also. The forced abortion policy in China has been particularly terrible for the baby girls, since parents will take a boy over a girl, all things considered. The woman shortage is serious and growing worse. Nature being what it is there will soon be a requirement for China to go out and forcibly obtain women. Whose daughter will Ms. Davis volunteer to help this model program of population control?

Richard Giovanoni
Hagerstown




Disabled need residential options


To the editor:

I was heartened to read in The (Baltimore) Sun's article "Rosewood's fate 'left hanging'" (Jan. 15) that said the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is not expected to recommend closure this year of any of the state's four remaining institutions for the developmentally disabled. But the article failed to detail why these valuable facilities deserve more than a reprieve.

As the parent of a resident of Rosewood Center, I have first-hand knowledge of the value of these facilities. And I know that there are, in fact, individuals with disabilities so profound and medical needs and so complicated that a state residential center is the best choice for their care.

But this issue is about so much more than the 400 residents who currently call these facilities home.

In fact, the Supreme Court decision that is often cited as the rationale for moving all disabled persons into community settings calls for no such thing. The ruling acknowledges that individuals are entitled to treatment in the most appropriate setting and that the right setting may be an institution such as Rosewood.

Individuals and families have a right to choose an institutional setting for their care. Any effort to take that choice away is misguided.

I hope state regulators and legislators look for new ways to keep these centers viable.

Harry H. Yost
Crownsville

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