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PUBLIC FORUM : PEOPLE IN POVERTY.

Re ``Poverty in '90s: Silver lining has its dark cloud,'' (Opinions, Aug. 10):

The persistence of poverty in America today is due mainly to oppressive laws of local government. Liberals have long sought to end poverty with transfer payments from the rich to the poor. Conservatives seek to end poverty through economic growth, to create more wealth. And both approaches have worked wonders in helping people. But both have failed to end poverty.

American workers typically earn 10 or 20 times as much as workers in Third and Fourth World countries. But no matter how much wealth you create and distribute, some people will have more than others. As long as housing is in short supply, it will be unaffordable to those with below-average incomes. High rents (and housing prices) are what keep people in poverty.

Local government creates this crisis by refusing to permit the construction of adequate supplies of affordable housing. Then they forbid you to cram a lot of people into one house. They forbid you to rent out a guest apartment on your property. Then they forbid you to sleep in your car on the public streets or under the stars on public property.

People have to sleep somewhere, but local government does not think so. This is the cause of poverty in American today.

- Ron McMullen

Mission Hills

Not a ``shakedown''

I read with amazement your editorial ``Peace at any price,'' (Aug. 18) regarding officers suing the citizens of Los Angeles. The complaint system of the Los Angeles Police Department is designed to investigate those officers who, intentionally or unintentionally, violate the law, department policy and procedure, or any other act deemed as misconduct.

Once a complaint is investigated and the officer is found guilty of misconduct, then that officer is punished. As an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department, I abide by the law, and the policies and procedures set forth by the state and my department. However, nowhere in my job description does it say that I must tolerate slanderous and libelous conduct purposely directed at me on the part of a few disgruntled citizens.

If I were to intentionally provide false or misleading information during an official investigation, then I could expect to be terminated from my employment. If a citizen lies, then he or she should expect to have a smaller bank account. This is not a ``shakedown.'' Personal responsibility goes both ways and it should be demanded from everyone!

Our union's role in this matter is of assistance and guidance only.

- Ronald Traynor

Canyon Country

Big surprise

Looks like the NRA was right when it sounded the alarm back in 1989 about the Roos/Roberti registration scheme. Back then gun owners were assured that this ``common sense'' gun control legislation was ``not'' an incremental step toward confiscation. And if they would simply pay a fee, provide detailed personal information, and submit to fingerprinting, they could lawfully keep their private property.

We now hear that state Attorney General Lockyer has chosen not to honor the amnesty period granted by his predecessor, which allowed citizens more time to comply. As such, some 2,000 Californians whose earnest efforts to obey the law came after the 1992 deadline are now subject to arrest fines, imprisonment and seizure of their guns.

Additionally, Sheriff Lee Baca, District Attorney Gil Garcetti and Sen. Diane Feinstein have announced their intentions to totally ban civilian ownership of the ferocious looking firearms and ``collect'' (confiscate) them from their innocent and lawful owners.

What clearer proof could there be that the left's piecemeal tactic of eventual, civilian disarmament is happily goose-stepping forward.

- Donald Stachowiak

Northridge

PC nonsense

Principal Frank DeAngelis of Columbine High School told his returning students that they must have respect for all people who may have different opinions or ideas, and that they cannot deny friendship to such people.

Really? Hitler? Osama bin Ladin? Anti-Semites? Buford Furrow? Trench-coat Mafia? Child molesters? Sexual harassers? Foul-mouthed troublemakers?

I always thought that respect was earned and that I could choose my friends. Whence cometh this order reminiscent of ``1984.'' Not only must the students act in a politically correct manner, they must believe in their hearts that the politically correct nonsense is correct.

Nothing much has changed at Columbine. All philosophies are still equal, and the kids are free to choose evil over good. Whatever the case, you can be sure that every child's moral compass is seduced by situational ethics.

One thing the principal does seem to have learned is that some kind of security is necessary. Perhaps this time the guards will be trained to run to the sound of the guns.

- William O. Felsman

Woodland Hills

Cardenas praised

Re ``Cardenas chastised,''(Public Forum, Aug. 10):

Through the years, inch by inch, moment by moment, step by step, and people by people, our city, state and country have consistently moved forward. Momentum is sustained by sincere, fair and equal efforts from all. Assemblyman Tony Cardenas proudly delivers the message of how city, state and country have come a long way.

The letter writer presumed the assemblyman's trip was with tax money. Not true.

Let's look at the American issue and not the race issue.

- George Osborne

Northridge
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Aug 23, 1999
Words:870
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