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Letters to the Editor - March 25

March 25, 2011

Powell missed the mark in ‘Countervailing Power’ column

To the editor:

Allan Powell’s March 20 column states, “... there is ample evidence from history to warrant a studied control of government,” yet tells us we need an application of J.K. Galbraith’s “Countervailing Power” of more government to offset the power of all those mega-corporations.

He fails to see it is only through the force of big government actions that big corporations are able to establish their monopolies in the first place. Consider the use of patents and copyright laws to suppress competition. Think drug companies and the days of “Bell telephones only.” How about the railroad and canal tycoons who made it when government “internal improvements” legislation set them up at taxpayer expense?

The history of Lincoln, his railroad buddies and 1861 tariffs to protect Northern interests, and the loss of personal liberties in the Civil War are enough to see which is cause and which is effect. The bigger the government, the bigger the piece of the economic pie goes to the “crooks.” What produced the horrors of the industrial revolution was a “mercantile system” backed by that day’s version of Galbraith‘s “enlightened government.”

At the start of the last century, Hilaire Belloc got it straight in his book, “The Servile State.” It was big government, big business and big labor that brings about, “That arrangement of society in which so considerable a number of the families and individuals are constrained by positive law to labor for the advantage of other families and individuals as to stamp the whole community with the mark of such labor we call the servile state.”

Sounds just like what the Tea Party and Wisconsin are all about.

Richard Giovanoni
Hagerstown


Del. Donoghue’s comments are alarming and offensive

To the editor:

Over the past couple of weeks, while the issue of same-sex marriage made its way through Maryland’s system of governance, your newspaper printed several articles that quoted elected representatives from local, state and federal government.

The comments by Washington County Del. John P. Donoghue are by far the most alarming and offensive of all comments I have read. Donoghue’s own quotes, “There’s a very basic belief with a lot of people that the law is the law, and it should stay that way” and “I’m trying to do whatever I can to protect them (Catholic charities) if the bill should pass” are indicative of a person who has complete disregard for governance, fairness and the rights of American citizens. Furthermore, Donoghue, by virtue of his own words, is guilty of disregarding the separation of church and state, and failing to put aside his own personal agenda in favor of equality and fair treatment for all his constituents.

Let’s take a moment to envision the world according to Donoghue. Of course, we have to take a little trip in the historical time machine to revoke all laws passed since the Constitution. So, no voting for women; no freedom for African-Americans; no Amber Alerts; no farmer subsidies; no protection for the innocent and elderly; no protection from discrimination based on race, creed or sexual orientation; no restitution for fraud; and no penalties for speeding, murder, robbery, etc., because in Donoghue’s world, where “the law is the law, and it should stay that way,” there would be no laws making those behaviors illegal.

I hope the voters of Washington County are as outraged as I am over this elected official’s inability to understand his responsibilities to his constituents and to his office.  What a shame we have to wait until an election to remove him from office.

William J. Moroney
Keedysville


Give our new County Commissioners a chance

To the editor:

It is true that elections have consequences and they aren’t always bad. The challenge for any observer of the political process is that most difficult policy matters are intricate business decisions and it takes a great deal of time for them to be proven. Nonetheless, the populace — sometimes with the lead of the news media — prefers to see instant results and seems to pass judgment the minute a decision is made.

Governments across our country are faced with making radical changes to turn the course of their taxpayers’ financial future. We are fortunate that in Washington County our past leaders have been good stewards of our tax dollars and that we did not spend far beyond our means. We are equally as fortunate that we seem to have elected another board of business-minded County Commissioners who understand that they must make changes if our local economy is to prosper sooner rather than later. In my observation, they are constantly mindful that the status quo will no longer be good enough and that controlling their expenditures, creating jobs and expanding the tax base will go a long way toward curing the challenges we have ahead.    

Elections do have consequences and, fortunately for Washington County, I think that we have elected leaders that understand their decisions are part of the solution. Next time you are puzzled by a decision they have made, I know they would encourage you to share your concerns with them. But also give them a chance — I think you will be happy with the outcome if you are patient.     

Jeremy Holder
Sharpsburg

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