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Wednesday’s letters: Why are rising wages suddenly a problem?

Markets’ happy mood tumbles down | Feb. 3

Rising wages are now a problem?

Observers credit part of the cause of the recent stock market drop to reports of rising wages that may not match gains in productivity. In recent exit interviews, Janet Yellen, former Fed chair, also stated that pressure for rising wages that exceed matching gains in productivity can be a cause of inflation, suggesting they should be avoided and resisted by the business community.

I do not understand why we are listening to this reasoning. For years, wages did not keep pace with productivity. Employers have steadily allowed real compensation to stagnate as they lowered or dropped support for health care insurance, pensions, and increases in the minimum wage and made record profits. In the same time, families saw mothers being forced into the workplace, where they are systematically underpaid compared to male counterparts along with facing resulting wage-offsetting costs for child care and transportation.

If it is not a national priority to adopt policies that support family life and make room in our national economic framework for improving everyone’s lifestyle, something is dreadfully wrong.

Bob Larson, Sun City Center

Putnam seeks to ease gun licenses | Feb. 2

Rights aren’t absolute

No one has an absolute right to anything — be it status, possession or action. Most of our rights have limits on them for the general good. That is as true of Second Amendment rights as it is for any others.

It is perfectly reasonable for the state, on behalf on its citizens, to ensure that possession of firearms is limited to those who have not committed criminal offenses. The onus for demonstrating suitability lies with the applicant. If documents supporting your claim are not to be had, or doubts remain, then the state is duty-bound to act cautiously for the greater good and deny the permit.

Public safety trumps the desire of people with iffy documents to carry a gun. You don’t need to be a lawyer to figure that one out.

John Chandler, Largo

State of the Union

Like it or lump it

If coal is so clean and beautiful, why does Santa Claus put a lump of it in the stockings of naughty children?

Barry Kreiling, Brooksville

Allegations fly as memo goes public | Feb. 3

Playing politics with court

If they are so upset about the FISA court allowing the FBI to monitor Carter Page, maybe the Republicans, who hold the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government, should enact legislation to abolish it. They would probably get some Democrats to vote with them as it is one of the most covert aspects of American law enforcement.

However, it is more likely that the Republicans would rather complain when it is used to investigate Republicans, but use it to investigate those with whom they disagree.

Larry Bush, Tampa

House Bill 7055

School support at risk

As a teacher in Pinellas County schools I work every day to ensure that all students are safe from misconduct. HB 7055 would further drain the resources we need to provide guidance counselors, behavior specialists and school psychologists to help students correct their misconduct and divert unknown amounts of funds to private school vouchers for students whose parents feel they have been bullied. We need the resources to stay in our public schools where we can help every student become a successful member of our community. Please encourage legislators to vote no on HB 7055.

Barbara Wilmarth, Seminole

Please speak English | Feb. 3, letter

The immigrant experience

My experience with language and immigrants is different than the one stated by the letter writer that immigrants of generations gone by had to speak only English "to accomplish everything."

My grandparents also emigrated from Poland. To qualify to enter the country their primary task was to seem reasonable and healthy to the guy on Ellis Island. That was pretty much it.

As far as language is concerned, they spoke Polish almost exclusively, and so did all of their friends and relatives. The Mass in our neighborhood church was in Polish. There was a Polish newspaper. The culture was Polish, ranging from food to music to ceremonies and rituals. I recall clearly going hand-in-hand to the local shops with my grandmother and not a word of English could be heard, although by that time my grandparents could speak English if they wanted or needed to. Indeed, in our neighborhood in Buffalo, N.Y., I hardly knew anyone who wasn’t Polish until high school.

The next generation, my parents, spoke both English and Polish. By the time it was my turn, Polish fell by the wayside, save for a few terms passed down from my grandparents. That is my loss.

The idea that Latinos are somehow not becoming "American" as fast as other generations of immigrants is a myth.

Thomas Maciocha, Tampa

I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius | Feb. 3, commentary

Take a positive approach

I found this piece by Ruth Mayer unsettling. While she condescendingly acknowledged that all "rednecks" may not be bad, her visceral hatred of Donald Trump, the Republican Party and anyone who voted for or supports Trump sounded a bit unhinged. Videos of anti-Trump rallies in the past year all seem to have signs condemning hate, but most of the hate seems to be on the Democratic side.

Mayer seemingly lets her hatred take control of her day. She no longer participates in neighborhood functions because some of them voted for Trump. I don’t think the neighbors have changed, but she is allowing her hatred to disrupt what sounded like a nice place to live. Surely the haters could turn their attention to more positive things.

Bill Wilson, Tampa