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Published: Wednesday, 7/10/2002

Corporate America's not doing us proud

When the scholars and writers of American history begin to compile their notes and prepare their texts for the year 2002, I'm sure much will be written about the financial chaos and ongoing rampant collapse of corporate America and its support services. And if the above situations continue at their current pace, it could cause our country to “self-destruct.”

Since 9/11 we have witnessed extreme negligence and covert actions by major accounting firms, escalated illegal insider trading, the surfacing of numerous inflated sales reports, questionable shareholders directives, and increased bankruptcy filings that have left the American stock exchange scrambling for its life.

Also, while there seems to be an endless reduction in the American work force caused by the secretive actions of corporate “inner circles” and indirect firing measures taken against “whistleblowers,” various companies still have the gall to ask for tax abatements from local governments in the areas where their businesses are located.

With the apparent abundance of information that continues to surface from the corporate “can of worms” assortment, enough fodder could be compiled to reissue the old TV game show, “Who do you trust?”

MARVIN GAGNET

Commonwealth Avenue

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The Ohio Prepaid Tuition plan ups its price again. The state of Ohio promotes a great savings plan for our children. The plan is that you purchase tuition units in today's dollars and then use them when your child goes to college. The program seems great and I currently purchase the units. Each unit is worth 1 percent of current college tuition.

The bad news is that the price of the units has increased from $51 per unit last fall to $78 today, an increase of 53 percent. Certainly, college tuition has risen, but not by 53 percent in the last 10 months. I reviewed the plan materials today and determined that units are currently worth $52.39 each. The state of Ohio is charging $78 for a unit that is worth only $52.39.

It appears that the budget crunch has resulted in the state of Ohio deciding to profit by taking money from those who save for college. Now I am at a crossroads. I decided to purchase the credits because there is no investment risk and I could guarantee funding my kids' college. Because the state of Ohio has decided to charge me $25.61 in profit for each credit purchased, I must look to some other investment option to save for my kids' college.

CHARLES T. VANBELLE, JR.

Perrysburg

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The cry for volunteers is always loudest when the GOP is in Washington. Why is this so? And does it reflect on volunteers? Volunteers are from every race and creed and represent a rainbow of political affiliations and non-affiliations.

Depending on your age, you may recall good economic times under both liberal and conservative chief executives, and bad under both.

The simplest answer to the question is in the typical political agenda of one party vs. the other. Whether times are good or bad, a liberal agenda aims at returning more tax money to the people in the form of direct social services, whereas a conservative agenda aims more at indirect services such as the protection of big business and huge defense expenditures.

I personally believe that volunteers do not wear one coat or the other. And that is the beauty, the blessedness of volunteerism.

They are needed always, but they may well be needed more when Republicans are in power. And this has everything to do with the expenditure emphasis of one party vs. another.

All volunteer programs depend on some support from public funds, whether that be in the area of jumping through licensing hoops or in administrational funding. And when the cry for volunteers is the loudest, the funding is the least.

Volunteers, right now, work harder than under President Bill Clinton, and they have fewer resources. So before we “hail” the GOP for volunteerism, let's consider why the task is harder, and the cry is louder.

DON KELLER

Foxbourne Road

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The Forum writer who felt that America had been loosened from the principles of its mooring might be more careful about the blind spots his nostalgia enforces.

The Founding Fathers were a diverse lot religiously, including deists like Washington, Jefferson, and Madison who rejected revelation and the idea of a personal deity. They did not represent, as the writer implied, a united front for the institutionalization of Christianity. How they then could represent a single set of principles for us to pervert requires perverse invention in itself.

Unless the same writer wishes our world to remain forever in the late 18th century, he should be neither surprised nor irate that social standards have changed.

As many in 1790 would be appalled at modern entertainment, so might they be horrified by the emancipation of blacks or the female franchise - or, for that matter, so might 13th century Inquisitors have burned modern physicians as sorcerers.

It lastly only bears reminding that for every murder, rape, or obscenity on TV, there is a biblical antecedent. The students cut off from free Bibles would have been better served with volumes on critical thinking anyway, which is the one Enlightenment asset whose loss I can bemoan.

TYSON BURGHARDT

South Reynolds Road

A recent letter suggested there was nothing wrong with promoting theology by passing out Bibles on public school property.

The writer evidently is not aware of the fact that this is a secular republic. It is not a theocracy. Public schools are not in the business of promoting any religion. The religious establishments do not pay one nickel of the billions they receive in tax exemptions toward the support of public education.

The writer might feel differently if those passing out holy books were not of his faith but were instead Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, etc. He would be the first to ask the ACLU to sue on his behalf.

As for the Founding Fathers, they were mostly deists and resisted all attempts by the religious to pattern this nation on the failed system that had governed the nations of Europe for centuries, and resulted in the Dark Ages, inquisitions, etc.

As for the insertion of the word “God” on our money and in the Pledge of Allegiance, etc., the writer would be advised to check out the history on this subject.

And, yes, the nonreligious have the right and the liberty to reject or accept the theology of any religious dogma.

LELAND W. RUBLE

Orchard Street

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I just received my tax bill. Up again since January! This one includes payment for mosquito control, street services, basic lights, and tree maintenance, which I can understand, but “specials”? Specials include small millages that you were told would only add up to a small amount a year. But when you add up these small millages such as ball parks, schools, improved sewage systems, sports arenas, water fronts, etc., your small amounts become large amounts.

What if you are on a fixed income or retired? Your income does not go up, but your bills do. Lucas County Treasurer Ray Kest is a CPA. Perhaps he can tell us. Is this a way that paupers are made or how you get on welfare roles? I don't have the answers. Who does?

Somehow I will pay my tax bill.

PAUL SEROTE

River Road

The Blade's July 2 editorial, “Ship of fools,” said that “Project America is corporate welfare we can't afford.”

I'm confused. Last month, you endorsed continued funding of Amtrak, a rat hole the government has poured billions into over the last 30 years. When is corporate welfare OK and when isn't it? I guess it is when it's one of The Blade's pet projects - trains, for example.

J. MICHAEL JESIONOWSKI

Perrysburg



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