Ethics can be the same at home and workplace
Regarding "Post-Enron, spirituality gains" (April 29, Work&Money): Your article highlights how we've compartmentalized our lives into work, home, and church and how we apply different standards to each. But values, ethics, spirituality, however one describes them, can't be checked at the office door. Standards applied at home, in the church or synagogue, and among friends and family should be the same in the workplace.
If the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," had been followed at the highest levels of Enron, Arthur Andersen, and other corporations that recently have come under fire for questionable practices, there would not have been any scandals and congressional inquiries. It's time for us to take our "whole selves" to work.
Kurt M. Senske
Regarding "Keep the Pentagon green" (May 2, Editorial): My experience with military training spans two continents and more training areas than I care to count. The primary reason for training in "the environment" is to provide a realistic training area. It would be poor training to conduct exercises on areas devoid of terrain obstacles. The military rotates training in various areas to give nature time to recover as ground forces, in particular, have a vested interest in keeping the land useable for training.
In some instances the military seems to do a better job renovating land than local communities. You should send someone to Camp Pendleton, and have them tour it and then, step off-base to tour Oceanside, Calif., the local city, and compare their land use. Camp Pendleton contains the last vestiges of coastal oak forest on the coast. The rest was bulldozed for development. Massive base closings after the Gulf War put strain on land left for the military to use, but those remaining do receive attention.
Pacific Grove, Calif.
How many times must we be taxed?
Regarding "Who foots the bill for taxes corporations pay, avoid?" (April 29, Work&Money): The article on corporate taxation covers many good points, including the spider web of tax laws created by our government in their attempt to direct investment in this country.
I would like to emphasize one important point. These corporations are owned by the United States taxpayers either directly or through mutual funds or retirement programs. And these owners are being taxed twice on the earnings of their corporations. The owners are taxed first by the corporate taxes and again on the same earnings when the corporation distributes the earnings as dividends. How many times should our government make a grab at the same earnings?
Regarding "Pathways to housing the homeless" (May 1, Homefront): You quoted Chuck Currie of Portland, Ore. as saying that homeless programs which use a "housing first" philosophy, as Pathways to Housing does in New York city, are "lacking" here in Portland.
JOIN, the agency I work for which helps find homes for the homeless in Portland, has taken this "housing first" approach. We average one person per day transitioning from the street into permanent housing. Our retention rate for people staying housed the first year averages 80 percent. Portland also started a Transitions to Housing pilot program 18 months ago with this philosophy and it has over seven different agencies involved. I feel Portland's creative efforts to help the homeless were misrepresented.
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