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Child Care: Taxes Rather Than Talk

August 21, 1988

Regarding the article about increasing gang violence in Buena Park (Aug. 14): When are we going to stop spending money on talking to children about how to stay out of trouble?

Anyone who has ever taken a course in psychology knows that children are not "reasonable" people. They do not learn how to lead decent, fulfilling lives by listening to lectures, however well-intended. They learn that from caring individuals who provide love, consistency, motivation and positive role models.

There's no question that many parents no longer have either the time or the parenting skills to provide such an environment for their offspring. This brings us face to face with a predicament. Do we allow those children to grow up without guidance, simply because they are not our responsibility and we don't want to spend our tax dollars on programs that can really help them?

Here's what just a little extra taxation should buy: Child-care centers run by well-trained, child-oriented personnel; trade schools for young people who are not interested in pursuing academic studies; classes for those who need guidance in rearing their children. Those few dollars taken from our paychecks each week are indeed a small price to pay for the security of knowing that our lives and our belongings will be safer in the future.

ANNEKE MENDIOLA

Santa Ana

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