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Letters to the Editor - June 20

June 20, 2011

Great Depression is greatly misunderstood

To the editor:

The Great Depression is one of the most misunderstood events in American history. We are told from middle school through college that the Great Depression was the result of capitalism gone wild. Even more pervasive is the belief that FDR and the New Deal brought us out of the Great Depression. People tend to believe that the many public works projects during the Great Depression stimulated the economy and brought us out of economic turmoil, but spending is not how an economy grows. Economic growth comes from "saving." Saving allows for the market to determine the most-efficient way for money to be invested — investments which increase firm efficiency and innovation.

Investments are allocated by looking at the profitability of the investment. Profitability/price of an investment is a signal which helps us communicate where money is most needed. Government spending does not come through saving and does not rely on price signals. This results in inefficient uses of money.

This is illustrated perfectly by looking at the City Hall building in downtown Hagerstown in the 1930s. In 1935, the federal government paid for the building to be renovated in an effort to stimulate the economy. A mere three years later, through the New Deal's Public Works Administration, the federal government paid for the newly renovated city hall to be torn down and rebuilt.

Is this how you grow an economy — by taxing the public (income taxes were increased for both the lowest and highest income brackets under FDR), renovating a public building, destroying that building, then rebuilding it? This is what the New Deal did in one way or another through the NRA, AAA, PWA, CCC, etc. Maybe instead of relying on politicians to invest money during the Depression, we should have done it ourselves through saving.

Andrew Joliet
Hagerstown



Travel, tourism growing in Franklin County, Pa.

To the editor:

Travel and tourism is alive and well in Franklin County. The Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) is the lead agency that develops and implements Franklin County's tourism strategies. The FCVB was created by the Franklin County Commissioners. They have appointed an advisory board that works closely with the commissioners and FCVB staff.

The FCVB is primarily funded through a 3 percent room tax generated by visitors who stay in our many lodging facilities. No Franklin County tax dollars are used to promote the bureau. There are approximately 1,300 rooms throughout Franklin County that generated nearly 209,000 room nights in 2010. The $500,000 collected by the 3 percent tax in 2010 grew by 7.5 percent over 2009. We have seen that trend continue through the first quarter of 2011.

The travel and tourism industry supports thousands of jobs. While the travel industry provides tremendous economic impact, it also creates the impetus to promote and preserve our rich cultural and historical resources. Franklin County residents should be proud of the local efforts that are ongoing to expand the travel and tourism industry. Throughout 2011, the FCVB advisory board will be working to keep the public aware of these efforts.

Judy Pellicano, chairperson
Franklin County Visitors Bureau advisory board



Endangered women need protection

To the editor:

Time and time again, I read of women being stalked, harassed and threatened by a man of a former relationship. When this happens, the woman often lives in terror and fear of being harmed, and in a lot of cases they are injured and killed by this person. We need to have new ways to protect these women. Our current methods have proven to be ineffective.

It seems to me that if it is proven that a man is stalking, threatening and harassing, he should be arrested to protect the woman. The restraining order now used in law enforcement does not work. This is a real dilemma for our lawmakers.

It is time to change this policy of waiting until a man commits a crime of injury or even murder. Let us find a way to correct this dilemma in our society that will protect these women.

Jack Myers
Hagerstown



Fifteen-round mags are so New Jersey

To the editor:

Tim Rowland's column on flexible history (June 13) was, for the most part, spot-on accurate. It made total sense. However, the entire argument was ruined for me by his mistaken reference to "15-round magazine clips."

As any real Marylander can tell you, we fought World War II for the right to buy and use 20-round clips. And they are not just for shooting squirrels. They are also crucial for eradicating infestations of snail darters, which is a big deal if you want to build a dam in your backyard.

Fifteen-round mags? That's so New Jersey.

Larry Zaleski
Hagerstown

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