Regarding the Opinion page article "1986 Tax Reform Act - The Culprit," Jan. 13: Much of the analysis on why Americans don't save more money misses a major point.
The S&L disgrace will cost the American taxpayers about $550 billion. That money, which was severely mismanaged and often stolen, was money people had put into savings.
Some analysts warn that we are in for more trouble in the banking industry and that the same kind of massive failure may take place in the insurance industry.
The industries involved and the government agencies responsible for regulation of those industries have not fulfilled their responsibilities. They have not inspired the confidence required for the people to entrust their money into the hands of private business. Jon Remmerde, Livermore, Colo. Germans in Texas
The Opinion page column "The Engine of Emigration," Jan. 8, gives an excellent review of the book "News from the Land of Freedom: German Immigrants Write Home." It brings up the particular situation of German immigrants to Texas.
As I point out in my book "The Golden Free Land," the Indian threat in Texas forced the Germans to settle not as individuals or families, but in organized colonies.
These immigrants comprised three groups, each separated by time and locale of settlement: the intellectuals, the artisan-farmers, and the revolutionaries. Although they differed, all left their special mark on Texas history. Crystal Ragsdale, New Braunfels, Texas Speaking for the Palestinians
In the article "Why Arab-Israeli Peace Could Come in 1992," Jan. 13, not one word is mentioned about the cause of Palestinian frustration and outrage: the continued seizure of Palestinian land for Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Israel's harsh denial of Palestinian rights has alienated my once vigorous support for aid to Israel. Liz Furst, Springdale, Ariz. Parental participation in education
Regarding the editorial "Gambling with Schools," Jan. 16: I agree that helping finance public-school systems with lotteries is wrong. However, I take issue with the suggestion that what is actually needed is our willingness to submit "to taxation as well as participating in the educational process as concerned citizens and parents."
When my son was at a California public school, I made every attempt to "participate," but the doors were constantly slammed by the education bureaucracy.
I agree with the critics cited that the real problem is "a lack of leadership and professionalism in the US education system, rather than a lack of dollars." Diane Mutchler, Manchester, Mo.