Sunday, April 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Laws can remedy inequality

Democracy's failure to reverse inequality | May 15, commentary

To remedy inequality, change law

I was dismayed by this column's conclusion that there might be little that democracies can do to stop the rise of inequality. This is a false conclusion drawn from a false framing that only taxation policy can be applied to the problem.

Economies are the sum total of the laws and regulations that make them up. Laws that we write through our elected government have a huge impact on outcomes. For example, there is nothing "natural" about the fact that corporations are chartered at the state level instead of the federal. There is nothing natural about the limited liability joint stock corporation, the company design most of us work for. It is a creature of law.

A proposal that would go a long way toward solving inequality would be a National Companies Act that charters corporations for a national economy at a national level. Under the new definition, in return for limited liability, every corporation employee (and only employees) would be equal voting shareholders. Depending on company size, the employee-shareholders would regularly elect management or the board of directors. These corporations could raise money from banks, crowd-sourcing and selling nonvoting shares. That's it.

This is not some pie-in-the-sky proposal. This institutional design has existed in the United States as long as the corporation. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, every type of business has been organized this way for 100 years. It is called the cooperative.

Cooperative-corporations will compete and operate in a free market economy just like existing corporations they would replace, with no additional regulation or government intervention needed.

But can you imagine employees electing CEOs who pay themselves 1,000 times the average worker's salary? Broad, much more equal wealth distribution would happen "naturally" by design.

Robert Clark, Tampa

Jany exits Pinellas congressional race May 14

Democrats adrift

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long is spot-on in her assessment that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee does not appear to have the best interests of the county at heart with its misguided support of Ed Jany for the 13th Congressional District race. This is the prime reason that I refuse the many solicitations for contributions that I receive from the DCCC.

As the past president of the St. Petersburg Democratic Club, I could come up with at least a dozen highly qualified registered Democrats, longtime residents of the district, including Long, who would be very worthy opponents of the incumbent. The fact that many of these would receive no support from the DCCC because they are too "independent" and would not follow the dictates of the DCCC is the main reason we have a Republican representing this district in Washington.

James Donelon, St. Petersburg

Insanity? No, murder | May 16

Guns and crime

The next time there's a mass shooting (and there will be a next time), the legislators supported by the NRA will again trot out the notion that the real problem is mental illness, and the country's failure to address that problem. Then they'll do nothing to address the problem. Meanwhile, the Schenecker family tragedy proves otherwise.

Julie Schenecker had access to the finest mental health care and had even been hospitalized for nine months. Her years of treatment continued right up until the day she shot and killed her two children.

So, clearly, it wasn't lack of attention to her mental illness that killed her children. It was the gun.

Bonnie Agan, St. Petersburg

Drug test: small price to pay May 15, letter

Supreme Court has ruled

Those who continue to write in support of government drug testing for recipients of public assistance would do well to study the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure. The issue of government drug testing was resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court almost 30 years ago, in rulings that limit random government drug testing to "safety sensitive" positions such as railroad employees, certain airline personnel, truck drivers, and others for whom drug impairment could cause serious harm to the public and others.

With a few limited exceptions, those not in safety sensitive positions can only be tested as a result of individualized suspicion. Receiving public assistance does not constitute individualized suspicion of drug use. Period. As morally certain as drug testing supporters might be, they haven't a legal leg to stand on.

Charles N. Stewart, New Port Richey

Ex-detective's road-rage deal angers victim May 16

Special treatment

Thomas Pettis created a very dangerous situation and expected his status as a law enforcement officer to release him from responsibility. Apparently, he is right. If you or I had done such a thing, we would be in court right now facing multiple felony charges.

Unless Pettis is held responsible, his actions will taint public perception of law enforcement in general and the reputation of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office specifically.

Michael Rice, Clearwater

Silly, but it rocks anyway | May 15

Hilarious and fun

I think the reviewers all had their senses of humor removed before seeing this one. Stephanie Hayes joins others in slamming We Will Rock You as "totally contrived" and "incredibly stupid." Don't these critics know satire when they see it?

No wonder audiences love the show, which is often hilarious, fun to watch with its quirky costumes and sets, and features classic Queen tunes, inventively arranged.

Qualitywise, this show is miles beyond dozens of others I've seen, including the insipid Once, which somehow grabbed a slew of Tonys.

All reviewers who pan a show for "thin plot" should be booted off to Cole Porter re-education camp.

Liz Drayer, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18