Melvin Maddocks's column [``For 1986, is a social conscience back in style?'' Jan. 8] concerning prosperity and poverty in the United States: Much of this is due to imbalances in labor and salary rates. When I go to any neighborhood post office and stand in a long line because there is no one to man the extra windows, I think of how many people would be benefited if postal workers' pay were cut to allow more to be employed.
The same logic applies to banks, stores, and supermarkets. Some receive too much, others nothing at all.
If the middlemen between farmers and consumers took less profit, perhaps farmers could be remunerated sufficiently to stay in business.
I hope Maddocks is right that ``there is a new unblinking awareness'' and that ``the American social conscience is in the process of returning.'' If all were more unselfish, caring, and sharing, there would be fewer homeless, hungry, and unemployed. Rose P. Addy West Palm Beach, Fla.
Postal Service blues
I recall when it required only 2 cents to mail a first-class letter, and it seldom failed to reach its destination [``Postal shake-up sparked by ire over agency's deficit,'' Jan. 8]. Since then the price has risen to 22 cents, and in the past year 11 of my letters went astray. I assume a computer ``goofed.''
I have no objection to postal people receiving cost-of-living raises. I do, however, seriously resent having to subsidize junk mail from foundations, politicians, and businesses of every description -- some of questionable legitimacy. That mail inevitably ends up in the ``square file.''
While I was in England recently, Her Majesty's postal service announced a reduction of 1 pence for first-class letters. Is it possible they know something about handling mail that we don't? M. R. Hagerty Phoenix, Ariz. `Thirst for improvisation'
It was the words ``we thirst for improvisation'' and ``spontaneity'' that caught my eye in Rushworth Kidder's article ``Searching for clues to our fascination with Renoir'' [Dec. 23].
Isn't creativity the frosting on the cake for us all? As a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in classical piano, I can appreciate and respect the time spent in tedious, repetitious practice to perfect one tiny passage. My greatest joy has come from improvising my own melodies -- creating stories and pictures with music -- instinctive, unplanned, from my own impulses. With its freshness, this freedom of spirit touches the core. Priscilla D. Daniels Cohasset, Mass.
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