Music for world hunger

I was pleased to see worldwide attention focused on African famine relief as a result of the Live Aid benefit concert (``The African famine,'' July 12). I only hope that a generous share of the money raised by the concert organizers for ``long-term solutions'' will fund measures to stabilize Africa's runaway population growth. Famine relief is an admirable goal. But all the good done by this biggest-concert-ever will be short lived if the root cause of famine -- overpopulation -- is not adequately addressed soon. M. Rupert Cutler Executive Director The Environmental Fund, Washington

One word, ``Love,'' describes the thousands of young people who participated in the largest rock television extravaganza ever held, on July 13. This should show all of us that there is a greater power than guns, threats, and violence. W. Murray Metten Wilmington, Del.

Though no fan of rock (which, to me, is not even music), I am impressed to the point of awe by what the recent international Live Aid event accomplished: the showcasing of its performers to an estimated audience of 2 billion, and the raising of at least $50 million [current estimates are that $70 million has been pledged] for African famine relief. Surely it was the degree of selflessness on the part of those involved that gave the occasion its special aura and assured its success.

The same approach might well be applied, for example, by US professional baseball teams. Once again team owners are resisting the demands of their players for higher pay. And once again the players are insisting on a bigger piece of the fiscal pie. Why don't both owners and players do what the Live Aid people did: submit themselves to the service of a larger purpose?

A consortium of Midwestern teams might, within limits, underwrite loans to farmers, for instance. A similar consortium could contribute to improving salaries for teachers, many of whom never make in a lifetime what a player may make in a season. Other projects might include funding for the training of Olympic-class athletes, who, unlike their peers in some other countries, receive no ongoing government support; international athletic and cultural exchanges; and similar activities too numerous and varied

to mention.

If enough ball clubs and other groups get involved, some states might have to abandon even the pretext for their lotteries, which, in certain cases, supply funds to significant local projects. The less state and federal funds are called on for such projects, the more dollars are available to help shrink the national debt.

The Live Aid affair should help to remind us all that not only is it more blessed to give than to receive; it is also more fun and more rewarding in the long run. Carroll P. Cole New Haven, Conn.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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