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Investing in the Poor

August 17, 1986

Dr. Stanley van den Noort ("Step Back in Time to Help the Poor" Aug. 3) states that he doesn't understand what happened to our priorities when it comes to caring for the poor versus building marinas.

The answer is really quite simple. The overwhelming majority of middle-class Americans truly believe that people are poor and unemployed because they are lazy, good-for-nothing people who only want to live off of welfare. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What the ordinary taxpayer has to understand is that by not caring for the deprived and the dispossessed, it is costing us millions of dollars due to theft and destruction of property. And then there's the additional cost and upkeep of prisons, upon which there is no return on the investment.

If we took preventive measures by building "county farms," which included educational facilities, there would be a return on our investment. People who are productive feel good about themselves. And people who feel good about themselves don't commit crimes.

Our county fathers should take heed from what van den Noort has recommended in his thought provoking article. Sometimes we should take one step backward before we can move two steps forward. If we don't do it now, we will all pay for it later.

BENNY WASSERMAN

La Palma

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