Violence is repudiation of policies
It breaks my heart to see the violence and riots in London, but it does not surprise me. I was born and raised in the heart of London right after World War II and have always loved the city and its people. It does not surprise me because, as in the United States, the country's government has abandoned policies adopted after the war that were directly and purposely antithetical to the fascist philosophies against which the country had just fought.
As a working-class kid, I and my family benefited directly from being raised in London in those times. I received an excellent public education, a national health care system that assured my continued well-being even during periods of scarcity and suffering after the war, and a happy, enriched childhood amid the abundant cultural, architectural and historical offerings of the city that were equally accessible to everyone. That foundation fortified me with a lifelong capacity to make a living, endowed me with talents that make life fulfilling and enjoyable, and allowed me to contribute back to society.
Then came the '80s, a time when the governments of Europe and America began to be taken over by the will of the wealthy and their rapidly developing super-rich multinational companies, who apparently decided they had had enough of this democracy thing. They so-called upper classes were always more comfortable with a societal model in which they were the ruling class, casting just enough crumbs to the working people for them to maintain sufficient strength to do the dirty work and to propagate, so there was an eternal source of cheap labor.
The riots in London are a sign of the inevitable repudiation of that model. The ruling classes should take note all over the world. The world has seen the revolutions of peasants who had nothing but were starved into desperation, and they were bloody enough. The world has yet to see the revolutions of those who had something once and then had it taken from them.
Gail Morris, St. Petersburg
Sinking the economy
I have a unique perspective on the giant proposed rate hikes for sinkhole insurance coverage. I am in a contract to buy a home in the Tampa area. However, the expected $300 per month increase in sinkhole coverage would disqualify me.
What is frustrating is that nobody can tell me if this town house will require coverage. I would just skip the coverage if it were not required. But since there is no sinkhole zone map like there is for flood zones, I don't know. Both the lender I am using and the insurance company (Citizens) have said that they don't know — yet.
I cannot afford to take the chance of buying a home and finding out on Jan. 1 that my house payments have increased by $300. So I am backing out of my offer on the property and will continue to rent.
I would have needed the services of: a Realtor; title company; lender; moving company; carpet store and installer; paint store and painter; furniture store; landscaper; and the people they employ. But they won't get my business. And we wonder why our economy is not improving?
Jim Mullen, Tampa
Outsourcing is the problem
Many people are upset about the budget debate in Congress, but what did they expect? Over 200 members of Congress made a pledge, not to the people but to a lobbyist, not to raise taxes.
Now perhaps Congress will do something about the basic cancer in our economy: the outsourcing to Asia of American jobs. This is the root cause of the recession, and unless it is resolved our country will sink deeper into economic slump.
To resolve this there must be major changes in our tax laws to reward companies that bring jobs back and to penalize those that outsource. Congress should also impose punitive tariffs on goods from countries with artificially low currencies.
In 1980 we had over 19 million manufacturing jobs; today it's less than 12 million, while our population has increased by over 80 million people.
Bob Anderson, Largo
Who will pay? | Aug. 10, commentary
Too much of a bad thing
Editorialist after editorialist in your paper intone the liberal mantra that more government spending is needed to stimulate and lift the flagging economy. The Bush and Obama years saw a veritable exponential explosion of government spending. By the liberal formula of government spending equating to economic strength, the economy should now be juiced to the hilt, soaring to new heights every day. Yet the economy still limps along in the doldrums.
In the face of the manifest disconnect between spending-equals-growth theory and present economic reality, all liberals can do is say we're not spending enough and should spend more. Could it possibly be that the liberal formulation of government spending translating to economic health is way too simplistic and does not reflect reality? Could there even be a negative correlation between government spending (and high taxes) and economic strength?
Robert Beatty, Tampa
The little guy will pay
"Who will pay?" asks this column. If the tea party has its way, and if our local representatives continue to cave to tea party demands, the Wall Street types and bankers who flooded the market with bogus mortgage bonds will keep their ill-gotten gains, thanks to the Republicans' extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. The rest of us will pay their share of the deficit.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
Home needs help first
How could President Barack Obama approve $105 million for humanitarian efforts in Somalia?
Supposedly we have a huge deficit and American benefits must be cut. Where is $105 million coming from to help others above those citizens who elect the president?
There is no doubt Somalia is in desperate need of help. However, help should come from all nations, not just the United States, and from private individuals who can afford to contribute.
No help should be given until the help offered is assured it will reach the people in need and not be held up by militants or corrupt leaders.
I don't mean to appear heartless and selfish, but attention should be focused on our own problems first. November 2012 is coming. Ignoring citizens' problems is not a good way to win an election.
Lois D. Hawkins, Dunedin