Delaying inevitable

Bailing out the Detroit auto industry will only forestall the inevitable - eventual bankruptcy. Then, and only then, will these companies be able to reorganize, cancel their union contracts and legacy costs, and have a chance to fairly compete.

Charles Law

Malvern

Get focused

During the financial crisis, we've heard people whine about CEO compensation, autoworker pay, the need for regulations, poor business practices, and defending free markets. Some of these issues have merit, but dealing with them now is peripheral to what needs to be done in terms of bailouts and creating jobs through government spending. Time is wasting.

If my neighbor's house were on fire through his carelessness, I would still help him put the fire out before chastising him, because my house would be at risk of burning down, too.

George Magakis Jr.

Norristown

Treating offenders

Re: "A system failure," editorial, Saturday:

Most criminal offenders have treatable conditions including mental illness, addiction, and a generally poor educational foundation. As you said, true prison reform must take the focus away from retribution and incapacitation and put it back on treatment and rehabilitation. Primarily, there must be a complete overhaul of jailhouse schooling. This means not only diagnosing an inmate's needs but developing an individualized education program, including whatever skills will be needed to make him employable. Incentives for employers who hire ex-convicts also would be helpful. This is not coddling convicts. It stands to make the rest of us safer.

Gloria C. Endres

Philadelphia

Expand Fox Chase

While recent stories on the proposed expansion of Fox Chase Cancer Center have focused on the neighbors who oppose the project, not enough is being said about the majority of people in the neighborhood, the region and the nation who support it ("Fox Chase barred from using park," Wednesday).

As both an employee and former patient of the center, I can attest that Fox Chase is an amazing place. But, as it gets more and more crowded, the need to expand is not a choice but a necessity to allow it to treat patients and continue critical research. Also, in these tough economic times, it is hard to understand how preserving parkland is more important than providing 4,000 jobs, which now may go elsewhere.

Maria Carosella

North Hills

Rein in 'Big Ed'

Your editorial ("Shortchanging the nation's future," Tuesday) points out all of the problems with an unaffordable college education but glosses over the most obvious. Why does it cost so much? It appears increases in tuition miraculously match the increases in federal subsidies. It's about time Congress drag college presidents before its committees and treat them the way "Big Pharma" and "Big Oil" are treated. With the economy in a downward spiral and everyone tightening his belt, it's time colleges show some restraint. Parents need to be shown how their money is being spent when they send their kids off to "Big Ed."

Fran Steffler

Philadelphia

She was smeared

Former Sen. Rick Santorum should be ashamed of his character assassination of Sonal Shah. Santorum, who has never met or spoken with Shah, based his attack on a series of reports stemming from the false accounts of a single blogger on the Web. We - myself and 15 other signatories from a variety of backgrounds - are proud to have known Sonal in different contexts for many years, and can attest that she is an outstanding American with a profound sense of moral values. She has dedicated her life to justice, peace and public service. She has repeatedly condemned the acts of Indian extremist groups. Santorum's article is a sad example of the damage that can be done by spreading unsubstantiated stories picked up from the Internet.

Steven Radelet

Center for Global Development

Washington