Value-Added Tax Is Better Than a Consumption Tax

Economists tell us that two-thirds of our GDP, the accepted measure of economic health, is consumer purchasing. That's why other economists offer ideas to increase consumption to save our faltering economy. But with so many homes today equipped with several personal computers, televisions, stereos, walkmans, and automobiles, what more can the American people possibly purchase?

We cannot possibly consume our way to economic well-being as it is now defined. Neither will more consumption nor greater savings repair our highways, rebuild our bridges, improve our schools, or clean our air and water. We need a new definition of and a measure for our own economic health.

Continued tinkering with tax codes is useless until we have a national consensus on what we want to do with our vast capability of skilled people and resources and then develop plans to do it. Robert W. Zimmerer, Longmont, Colo.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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