Sunday, November 19, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Workers need fair share of profits

RECOMMENDED READING


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

Campaign ads

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

Reading files

Stimulating items

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

Comments

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17