Bringing Internal Markets to Corporations
The opinion-page column "Corporate Perestroika," Aug. 6, offers an innovative suggestion to "large US corporations like General Motors and IBM": that they create internal markets by allowing subsidiaries to do business with each other as separate, independent entities.The author fails to note that GM already implements this excellent principle; its wholly owned subsidiary, Electronic Data Systems, provides in- formation technology services to non-GM customers as well as GM internal customers. EDS, with its own CEO, its own corporate headquarters, and its own publicly traded stock, earns about 45 percent of its revenue from contracts outside General Motors. Craig Osborn, Seattle
Wetlands and purple aliens Regarding the article "Land Trusts Saving Much Wetland and Open Space," Aug. 5: Through my long association with The Nature Conservancy, I have been active in preserving prairies and wetlands. I am delighted that the land trusts are proving so successful in this important cause. Also, I grew up on the banks of the Sudbury River and canoed through its wetlands to the Concord River at the "rude bridge" of Revolutionary War fame. So I am particularly pleased at the success of that trust. However, I am disappointed that the photograph chosen to indicate the beauty of the wetlands emphasizes Purple Loosestrife, a European alien. We in the Midwest are trying to protect our wetlands from the spread of this plant as it threatens to drive out native plants and wildlife. Edmund C. Bray, St. Paul, Minn.
Taxes, sports, and rock and roll While Mayor Michael White has paid more attention to neighborhood housing than his predecessor, he by no means has changed the focus of city government away from downtown, as might be surmised from the article "Cleveland Mayor Tells Story of City's Rebound," Aug. 12. Indeed, White campaigned for a regressive $275 million tax on beer, cigarettes, and liquor to pay for a new stadium for the Indians and an arena for the Cavaliers. He now wants neither facility to pay property taxes, though his campaign literature estimated $80 million in tax revenues over 20 years. The mayor has campaigned vigorously to offer a tax plan that would divert 75 percent of taxes from the city's newest and largest downtown development of offices and luxury stores, called Tower City, to finance the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum strongly desired by downtown business leaders. In both cases, White will be giving up taxes that would have gone primarily to the Cleveland schools, which now face a $32 million deficit. The mayor wonders where the federal government's priorities are, but some observers in Cleveland wonder where his are. Roldo Bartimole, Cleveland
Henry VIII: more than a boor Regarding the informative article "Notorious Henry VIII Reassessed," Aug. 13: I am more than a bit surprised to discover that to credit Henry with more than boorishness and a taste for multiple marriages is part of a "revisionist" movement. It has been more than half a century since I was intrigued by Tudor history at the University of Minnesota. But even in those long-past days, my professors made it clear that Henry VIII was a multifaceted, multi-talented monarch with an overriding interest in preserving - against Spain and the papacy - the nationalism and independence of England. Perhaps historians' views of kings run in cycles - rather brief ones, at that. George W. Rice, Vashon, Wash.