Questioning the Policies of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
As pointed out in the Economy page article "Reinventing the Bank That Is Remaking Europe," April 27, there is debate regarding the extent to which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should allocate financial resources between private- and public-sector investments.
That debate distracts us from a flawed element of the bank's character: EBRD cannot make loans for agricultural projects.
This policy is a result of pressure from the European Community's agricultural sectors, which do not want the EBRD to promote competition for them through its lending policies. Such a policy is myopic. Besides protecting Western European farmers, it perpetuates the same industrial emphasis that the Soviet Union foisted on its satellites, devastating both their economies and the environment. It is time that EBRD policy be exposed and questioned. James M. Wolf, Fair Oaks, Calif. Presidential business
Regarding the Opinion page article "The Business of the President Is Not Business," May 7: Ross Perot has not talked about micromanaging the government but rather has talked about national themes which he will continue to fill in with specifics. It is the lack of "micro" that has gotten him into trouble.
A great deal can be said for the author's suggestion of voting a straight party ticket. A Democratic Congress and a Republican presidency for the last 12 years have led to stagnation and frustration.
But I think that Mr. Perot can lead the Democratic Congress because he holds social views that are in line with the majority of Congress and the American people and his economic views hold pieces that can appeal to each party.
What most people look for in a presidency is a sense of honesty, integrity, vision, and the will and ability to win. I think Perot meets all of those criteria. Boyd B. Lewis, Washington
Obviously the author has chosen to ignore the other reasons why Ross Perot is gathering grass-roots support. Mr. Perot espouses the age-old idea that a nation should balance foreign issues with domestic issues. In fact, I don't think the idea of running the United States as a business is what enamors many Americans about him; it is that he possesses strong leadership, enthusiasm, and common sense. Christy Fischer, Palm Bay, Fla. Death-penalty options
Thank you for the editorial "California and the Death Penalty," April 20. While I am in personal agreement with all of your arguments against the death penalty, I wish to comment specifically, in behalf of our organization, on the argument you raise concerning "insanity defenses" and executions.
Obviously we agree with the high court that persons who are insane at the time of the commission of a crime should not be put to death. But, along with the Monitor, we take issue with the court's ensuing provision for allowing those same persons to be executed if and when they are "restored to mental health."
We hold this ruling to be not only inconsistent but grotesque. It is akin to punishing a person as an adult for an act of unacceptable behavior committed while that person was still a child. Madeleine M. Goodrich, Concord, Mass. National Alliance for the Mentally Ill