Hey, do we need more corporate tax cuts? | May 27, John Romano column
Workers need fair share of profits
I share John Romano's skepticism about the subsidies and tax cuts that are being offered by government at all levels. The tax structure rewards income from investment over that of wages by taxing income from wages at a higher rate. After nearly 12 years of doing that, if it could be shown that it had produced greater job growth than before, then maybe one could justify such a policy.
I can understand incentives, but I wonder why further subsidies are necessary in industries where there are already sufficient natural incentives created by high demand (like the oil industry). At the state level, Florida has become known as a haven for businesses looking for a quick handout and who within a short period of time pull up stakes, leaving the state and community in the lurch. Most of the major industries the state has, which are coddled by state officials as the saviors of the state economy, enjoy low pay scales and provide few benefits for the average worker.
This probusiness climate that our state officials say will help us has obviously helped someone make a greater profit. Have average workers benefited? That is a serious question. For instance, in this recession companies have cut back employees and are demanding that remaining employees do more for the same wages or maybe even for less. This increased productivity has benefited the companies, which reward their CEOs with higher pay and benefits for squeezing blood from the turnip. The worker is told he or she should be grateful to even have a job.
What is obvious is that the pendulum has swung too far to one side. Over time, if the average worker's share of the national pie continues to decrease, America as a whole will decline. The workers are the energy that powers our economic system, not CEOs getting a bigger cut.
Rene Tamargo, Tampa
Contractors would 'hire local' | May 27
An injustice to taxpayers
Some members of the St. Petersburg City Council push a feckless policy of hiring only "local" Pinellas County workers for some city contracts. They are being goaded by the political group FAST, which hides behind the church and claims to work for "social justice."
The local hiring policy will serve injustice on workers and taxpayers. More qualified workers living outside the county will be denied a job and their family an income. Justice? Taxpayers will be denied the competitive advantage of a wider market for hiring and may be forced to pay for workers of lower quality and higher cost. Justice? How long until the governments of neighboring counties choose to refuse jobs to Pinellas County-based workers?
Justice? FAST should focus on asking its 3,000 members to work for true social justice, through individual charitable action and legitimate economics, rather than political agitation for bad ideas.
David McKalip, M.D., St. Petersburg
Life Force scores suffer | May 26
Public schools bear brunt
The thing that struck me most about the article on the Life Force school failure was that the governor, Legislature and the Pinellas County School Board are using Pinellas County schoolchildren as pawns. How sad.
Paying exorbitant fees to incompetent for-profit schools while draining much-needed funding away from our public schools is yet another reason why we need to clean house and restore common sense to our school system. If Pinellas County is ever to return to its role as a quality place to live and work, top-notch public schools are a necessity.
J.A. Barkley III, Belleair Bluffs
Negative ads do real harm
I believe the prospect of acerbic, negative, hyperbolic and frequently false television advertising for the presidential election campaign is not only worrisome but a potential public mental health problem. Although many of the ads are subjected to PolitiFact and found to be rarely true, the corrected information often comes — if at all — too late to prevent serious mental harm.
Instead of millionaires and billionaires flooding our airwaves with toxic trash, they should redirect those funds to much more worthwhile entities such as symphony orchestras, homes for veterans, humane societies and other rewarding projects.
Jane Young, Tampa
This is to express my appreciation for the Saturday Reading Files columns. While affording easy access to the original articles, the condensations get right to the point. Unlike op-ed items, they are seeds that stimulate thought rather than arguments that shape conclusions. In addition, the print space saved permits a much wider diversity of subjects. Thank you, Tampa Bay Times.
Seymour S. Bluestone, Clearwater
A coming clash | May 27
Thousands were peaceful
The coverage of Occupy Chicago's NATO protest was less than objective. If this had been a feature story, I might understand the limited view taken by your reporter. However, it was the main, front-page story told virtually entirely through the eyes of the visiting Tampa assistant chief.
Thousands of peaceful protesters took part in this demonstration. Your reporter mentioned a couple in passing: an old woman with a peace sign was one. However, the bulk of the coverage was about a fringe group of anarchists with ugly attitudes. Yes, they are there too, but to make it sound like they run the show is just plain incorrect.
This feeds right into the hands of those on the right who think all of us on the left are cop-hating anarchists.
Anda Peterson, St. Petersburg
Antitax pledge loses some GOP allegiance May 26
Too many sheep
The most powerful man in the United States is not the president. It is Grover Norquist. His pledge has effectively stopped any thought of bipartisan solutions to this nation's problems.
I thought the 236 "sheep" who signed this pledge took an oath to represent the people, not the rigid ideas of one man. I salute the few who refuse and think for themselves.
Madelyn Lawson, Clearwater