Letters To The Editor

Friday, February 28, 2003 at 12:00am

Finance war with Iraqi oil

TO THE EDITOR:

A few Americans believe we should not attack Iraq for many different reasons. But Saddam Hussein is history. When the war starts, Saddam will catch the first comet that comes by Iraq.

The United States has the best-trained, best-equipped armed forces in the world. Let them demonstrate to Syria, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India, France and Germany just how much power we have in our arsenal of weapons.

It's time for the U.S. Air Force to blast Iraq like the Eighth Air Force destroyed Germany in 1944. It's time for U.S. infantry divisions to march through Iraq like the German Sixth Army marched through western Europe in 1940. It's time for U.S. armor to roll through Iraq like SS Panzer divisions rolled over the Russian Bolsheviks in 1941-42.

Financing the war is easy. Iraq's oil can pay for the war. American companies can help the Iraqi people rebuild their country paid for with Iraq's oil. The world will be a better place.

TERRY SMITH

37032

Drug prices set by supply, demand

TO THE EDITOR:

To say corporate greed is the cause of the high prices of prescription drugs implies that companies can set prices where they wish, that prices are not determined by supply and demand. Economists tell us that prices rise because the amount demanded exceeds the amount supplied. Pharmaceutical companies do not simply put a price on drugs.

Demand for new drugs has increased dramatically in recent years. It was inevitable that drug prices would follow suit. It's also important to remember that developing a new drug often costs in excess of $500 million. Millions of dollars are also spent on drugs that never reach the market. Drug companies - nay, all companies in our free-market system - are entitled to a return on their investment.

Canadian consumers pay lower prices for prescription drugs because Canada's government-run health-care system employs price controls. When they introduce drugs into the Canadian market, U.S. drug companies can charge just enough to cover manufacturing costs. Most of the burden of paying for research, development and distribution falls on American consumers.

Those people who think they're doing an end-around on the drug companies by running to Canada for prescriptions are only deluding themselves. Every American consumer who has purchased prescription drugs has already helped to subsidize those low prices.

So what's the easiest way to lower drug prices in the United States? The answer is not price controls. Price controls will only create shortages. U.S. drug companies should follow GlaxoSmithKline's lead and threaten to withhold drugs from Canada and Europe until they allow prices to rise to more sensible levels. We will all enjoy cheaper drugs if Canadians and Europeans are forced to pay free-market prices.

DR. JACQUES TORSONIER

37211

Be excusers, not accusers

TO THE EDITOR:

I remember seeing a sign once that said, "Let us be excusers rather than accusers." I thought of that sign when I read that Dr. Ron Harris had been sent home from his job as principal of Joelton Middle School because he would not allow students to use the telephone to call their parents.

Why would Dr. Pedro Garcia send an administrator home based on something he had heard? What happened to that old saying that a person is innocent until he has been proven guilty? Not only had Harris not been proven guilty, but there had never even been a conversation between him and Garcia so that Garcia could find out what really happened.

Having been a principal in Metro, I know Harris. I know that he is a conscientious person who believes in children and would do whatever he thought was best for all concerned when he handles any situation.

I have read in the paper since the incident that the students said they could have used the phone, and I also read that the callers were bus drivers and not parents. This makes it even more compelling that Garcia should thoroughly investigate any situation before he reacts in such a harsh manner.

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