Seek equality in capitalism | July 6
U.S. economy's winners, losers
Many of his contemporaries would likely agree with Joseph Stiglitz that politics and policies are at the heart of inequality in our current economic system. His assertion that our political system is overrun with money is true but not likely to change given recent Supreme Court decisions. Thus, as he states, economic inequality translates into political inequality, which in turn yields increasing economic inequality.
He goes on to say that an engaged citizenry can fight to restore a fairer America if they understand the depths and dimensions of the challenge. But few among us will take the time to read Thomas Piketty's excellent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century or otherwise begin to comprehend such economic dimensions of our system. Instead, they will measure their financial well-being on a local scale.
Most Americans do not care if the rich get richer as long as they get their perceived share. As one pundit put it: As long as there are more winners than losers, our economic model will stumble along. It is when these are reversed that America's real problems begin. By then it may be too late for us all.
Wayne Logsdon, Hernando
Florida can do better on HPV vaccinations July 10, editorial
Welcome push for vaccine
I commend the Tampa Bay Times for its editorial on Florida's need to improve its human papillomavirus vaccination rate among adolescent boys and girls. The development of a vaccine against a range of HPV-related cancers is truly a public health achievement. Florida has the lowest vaccine completion rate in the United States, which should be a source of embarrassment to those of us who value the health and futures of our children.
I also commend U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, for assembling a truly impressive coalition of parents, physicians, nurses, researchers, public health educators and community advocates to work together on this important challenge. I am honored to participate in this effort, along with other USF Health researchers and students. The commitment and energy involved in this public health initiative can result in increasing the number of adolescents — both girls and boys — vaccinated against this infection, which would be a tremendous achievement for our community and our state.
Florida should be leading the nation in protecting our children against HPV infection. No one likes to come in last — and although this is not a "contest," Florida does not want to rank last in the nation in protecting our children.
Ellen M. Daley, professor, USF College of Public Health, Tampa
Doing nothing raised to high art July 6, Daniel Ruth column
Nice work if you can get it
Bravo to Daniel Ruth for this column. He hit a home run on how the members of the 113th Congress are still batting zero. Ruth gives you true facts and lots of good humor.
Members of Congress earn $174,000 a year for possibly 115 days of work. Next time you vote, do your research and choose carefully the people you want to represent you in Congress. We want people who work in Congress to pass laws that will help affect the lives of every one of us living in this country.
Bernice Faraci, Tampa
The costs of cruising | July 9
Bigger isn't always better
As a highly experienced 80-year-old "cruiser" of a multitude of shipping lines, I can assure all future cruisers that bigger does not mean better.
Bigger does mean crowds, slower service and most importantly greater exposure to viral infections.
John R. Hahn, Gulfport
Obama rebuts border critics | July 10
A shameful display
I find it heartbreaking and disconcerting to see American citizens, people who represent our country to the rest of the world, blocking the way of a bus filled with women and children who have come to this country seeking refuge from a life of fear and strife, yelling at them to go back where they came from, holding up signs to ensure they know they are not welcome here, and standing with fists held up and anger and hatred on their faces. This further traumatizes these survivors who have suffered tremendous losses and tribulation just to make it to our borders.
I was raised to believe this was a country built on diversity, a promised land with open arms and open hearts, where all who seek life, liberty and happiness and who are willing to work hard for their future (whether through study or labor or both) were welcome.
I was also raised to have compassion for those less fortunate than me and to extend a helping hand wherever it was needed. So seeing this behavior by fellow citizens in the country of which I have always been so proud to be a part of is disappointing and shameful to say the least.
Kari Gabel, St. Petersburg
Organized border assault
Is there anybody who believes the arrival of those children at the border is a spontaneous event? I wonder how they got so far? Alone? Hardly.
This clearly is an organized effort to further break open our borders to Mexican and Central American people, all of whom "just want a chance at a better life." There are millions of people all over the world who would do anything imaginable for a chance at a better life. Fortunately, they don't live on our southern border, which has been criminally, I think, left almost wide open.
Who would think to use helpless children as political ammunition? The people from failed countries, of course, who now want to come here and live a better life.
Our government made laws about immigration to balance entries into America to fit in comfortably. Why ignore them?
Max R. Loick, St. Petersburg