During the '90s, macro multiplier effects had a very positive effect on the domestic economy. More recently the emphasis on supply-side economics and increased tax benefits for large corporations has reduced costs and competition while increasing unemployment. Additional multiplier effects are having a negative influence on the economy: foreign entanglements, inflation realized from increased economic concentration, higher oil prices, and higher medical bills. The cycles continue, as the favored are rewarded.
This scenario will result in decreased consumer spending and economic recession for the average citizen, with higher productivity (fake productivity, since business processes are being shipped off shore), greater incomes for the wealthy, and even greater offshore investment.
Sarasota, Fla. "Coverup at Boeing?" (Legal Affairs, June 28) missed an important point: According to the article, Judge Pechman ordered Boeing to disclose a series of internal salary analyses, which the judge felt showed pay disparities based on gender. The shortsighted message of this case is that an employer may be better off if it does not analyze its pay practices. Some courts, but apparently not this one, have recognized a privilege for an employer's self-critical analysis in order to encourage employers freely to examine and correct their practices. Penalizing an employer for its attempts to comply with the law undermines the purposes of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which encourages voluntary compliance. Is this the message that we really want to send?
New Canaan, Conn. In response to "Does your vote matter?" (Special Report, June 14), reader Thomas J. Cassidy suggests that the "winner-take-all" system grossly skewed the outcome of the 2000 Presidential election. Cassidy advocates a system like the one used in Nebraska and Maine ("How to fix a skewed system," Readers Report, July 5). He points out that, with such a plan, George W. Bush would have won only 14 of Florida's 25 votes. But Cassidy stops short of examining the effect nationally. Instead of winning all of California's 54 votes, Al Gore would have taken 31 to Bush's 23. Gore would have won New York, but Bush would have taken 4 of that state's 33 votes. And Pennsylvania, which gave its 23 votes to Gore, would have been a razor-close 12-to-11 Gore victory: Bush won 11 districts to Gore's 10, but Gore's overwhelming margins in Pennsylvania Districts 1, 2, and 3 propelled him to a close victory in that state's overall vote.
Although it is difficult to obtain votes by district for every congressional district, the evidence indicates that had every state apportioned its Electoral College votes, Bush would have won 293 votes to Gore's 245, thus magnifying, rather than diminishing, the discrepancy between the popular and electoral vote. With such a system, gerrymandering in particular would have increasingly important effects on future Presidential elections.
Count me as a supporter of our present system, which allows states to choose the "winner-take-all" system or any other apportionment of its Electoral College votes, as it prefers.
Atlanta In "A free pass for attorneys" (Legal Affairs, June 28), Mike France says: "Duty to the courts is monitored by lax judges and state bar associations." But Delaware lawyers get no "free pass." For three consecutive years, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has ranked Delaware's legal system as the best in the nation, in part, I submit, because of the high standards to which the Delaware judiciary holds Delaware lawyers, including with respect to the discovery process. The Delaware Supreme Court, and not the Delaware State Bar Assn., has inherent and exclusive authority to discipline members of the Delaware bar. In addition to the professional obligations imposed by the Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct, the court has adopted Principles of Professionalism for Delaware Lawyers.
Andrea L. Rocanelli, Chief Counsel
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
Supreme Court of the State of Delaware
Wilmington In "Messy life, messy memoir" (News: Analysis & Commentary, July 5), I am appalled by the callous statement, "Does anyone really care that on Apr. 29, 1994, Clinton hosted Native American and Native Alaskan leaders on the South Lawn of the White House?" On this monumental occasion for all Americans, Clinton became the first sitting U.S. President to host leaders of all the federally recognized tribes at the White House. In addition to proposing an unprecedented number of economic incentives, community-development initiatives, and increased budget allocations to Indian nations, he became the first U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt to visit an Indian reservation. He also named more than 70 Native Americans to his Administration.
Stacia N. VanDyne
Columbia, Mo. In "The best product designs of the year: Winners 2004" (Annual Design Awards, July 5), I was surprised to see the Chevy Super Sport Roadster a gold-medal winner. I agree it is gorgeous to look at, but the tests I have read indicate that it is neither a good car (small inside with a fair amount of chassis flex) nor a useful truck (small bed and low sides).