Population boom, new middle class fuel food prices
May 4, story Susan Taylor Martin
World's population must be controlled
Congratulations to Susan Taylor Martin. She is one writer who has the courage to speak out about overpopulation. When she said, "Yes, there's a striking correlation between countries where people are rioting over food and countries where the population is exploding," this summed up a huge problem. Overpopulation has been considered a security problem since the 1970s, but the government and the media have barely mentioned it.
The story goes on to report that CIA director Michael Hayden said that "unbridled population growth will pose one of the greatest security challenges this century." The 1975 National Security Study Memorandum 200 said, "Where population size is greater than available resources, or is expanding more rapidly than the available resources, there is a tendency toward internal disorders and violence and, sometimes, disruptive international policies or violence."
The population of the world needs to be controlled. Margaret Mead said, "We need to invite fewer people to the table."
The Earth has finite resources. If you have one pizza for four people, they all might be happy. But if you have one pizza for 40 people, you have a problem.
Charles Sollinger, Safety Harbor
Gas tax holiday
is what nation needs
On Sunday, Hillary Clinton was asked to name an economist who agreed with her proposal for a federal gas tax holiday. Her answer was, "I'm not going to put in my lot with economists."
Let's see: Do we go with the people who are pandering to the shortsighted interests of admittedly stressed consumers (who will actually receive minimal gain from a gas tax holiday) as an element of an energy policy or do we think energy independence requires a more rational, thoughtful and admittedly more painful approach? Is the development of a conservation ethic and the development of current or alternative energy sources helped or hindered by lowering, even temporarily, gas prices?
As a society, if we're interested in solving some of the long-run problems we face as a nation, we need more rational thinking than Hillary Clinton and John McCain are bringing to the table at the moment.
Tom Oberhofer, economist, St. Petersburg
We could all win
John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Charlie Crist are for a gas tax holiday. Barack Obama and your editorial board (Gas tax gimmick an insult to voters, May 5) are not.
I think the flaw in your thinking is that you anticipate that we are all going to use the savings to buy additional gas. But from an economic point of view, a large part of the forgiven tax will be spent for goods and services.
Historically, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, lowering the tax burden has resulted in increased tax revenues. A gas tax holiday is a win-win situation.
David Brown, Sun City Center
Pat Oliphant's cartoon in Tuesday's paper insulted me, and I resent your paper's publishing it.
Oliphant is saying that Hillary Clinton voters are "Just dumb, dumb, dumb, dumbitty, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb."
I guess Barack Obama supporters were delighted when they saw this ridiculous slander of Hillary, but those who are not so dumb should be offended too. Shame on you!
Morris Grossman, Sun City Center
On economy, candidates are bankrupt | May 4, editorial
Offer some answers
The editorial describes how the three remaining presidential candidates are being dishonest about the economy and promising spending programs and tax cuts that are the same formula that caused the current mess.
A boss of mine used to say, "Don't bring me a complaint unless you have an answer." It's easy to criticize. Tell us what will work, and tell the candidates, too!
Carol Castleberry, Tampa
Insulated by wealth
We hear frequently that a politician is "out of touch" with the American public, so I must ask: How can they possibly be "in touch" if most of our congressmen and senators are millionaires, with many being multimillionaires?
How many of them know what it's like to go into a supermarket week after week and see staple items rise in price at an exponential rate. How many of them actually fill up their personal autos with fuel? If in fact you are a millionaire, what does an extra $30 a week mean to you? It is only a bit above $1,500 a year, a spit in the bucket to them.
The problem is that our current political system will not allow a person who is "in touch" to run for office, as the money just isn't there. Now doesn't that stink!
Burt Yellin, Sun City Center
Bush sends $70B war request to Congress | May 3, story
All that money
I just cannot believe that our president wants to spend that much more to fund this war. When is enough going to be enough? Just think how much good that exorbitant amount of money could do here in our country.
With the loss of so many of our soldiers' lives combined with the overall fiasco of all the job and budget cuts, programs being shut down or cut to the bare bones, health care and rising homelessness, what is he thinking? He wants to spend $70-billion more on top of our already out-of-control debt. And while he might not want to call it a recession, in my opinion, that's just what it is. I feel sorry for whoever is elected as the next president walking into this mess.
Carol Levey, St. Petersburg
U.S. to give $40M in food aid
Take care of our own
How can this country give $40-million in food aid to Bangladesh when we have to borrow money ourselves?
Why not use this money that we don't have for our own people who are losing their jobs and their homes?
Where were these countries when our own people lost their homes and possessions in the tornados and hurricanes?
The people in Washington should start taking care of our own people and stop trying to look like "Barney Goodfellow" to these other countries.
Kenneth Hopkins, Largo
It's a small cut | May 3, letter
The writer of this letter makes it sound like all teachers make about $48,000 a year but does not say how long it may take to get to that point. The writer also states that teachers only work nine months a year. My teaching contract has me teaching 11.5 months a year, and I don't make $48,000 year.
I also think people may forget about all the courses we as teachers have to take to stay updated with things during the year on our own time and own expense.
Gene Culp, St. Petersburg
It's a small cut | May 3, letter
Any cuts will hurt
As educators in Florida with college degrees, we have never made and will never make the salaries we deserve because we are government workers. What other college professionals in other fields make less than we do?
Unless our spouses have degrees in different fields, many teachers never enjoy a full-time retirement. We must take on part-time jobs upon retiring, because our salaries throughout the years have never kept up with inflation. We do not get paid for the summer months and many teachers must work summer jobs so we don't go through the money we worked so very hard for during the 10 months we do work. The same can be said for support staff, like cafeteria workers, custodians, teacher aides, etc. Any cuts will hurt all of us!
Leigh Taylor, St. Petersburg
Education is worth it
In as much as the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, education should be our No. 1 priority.
If we raised the sales tax by 1 cent, earmarked exclusively for eduction in Pinellas, not only would the students benefit, but we all would. The sales tax is paid not only by the people who own property but also renters (many of them have children in school) and tourists as well.
Marie Wolf, St. Petersburg
Look at lottery extras
With all the problems our schools are facing with cutbacks of teachers and reducing their paychecks and all the foreclosures of homes, as well as gas and food prices increasing, why is the Florida Lottery able to give an extra $10-million or $25-million to the lottery winner when this extra money could be given to the school system?
Ellen Jameson, Clearwater