Layoff of 500 adds to woe | July 31, story
Penalize those who ship jobs overseas
There is a very simple solution to the problems of U.S. unemployment caused by companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers firing 500 American workers to take on cheaper workers in India.
Simply place an "unemployment tax" for each person laid off by PWC switching to hire workers in India, a tax which would make employing a person there equal to the cost of employing an American worker.
Let us say an American worker costs, say, $40,000 per annum; an equivalent Indian $25,000. The tax would be $15,000.
Therefore, if PWC still insisted on hiring Indian workers, the government would have the extra tax to help in unemployment pay, and if PWC didn't choose to take on Indian workers, American workers would still have their jobs. Simple, isn't it?
John Starkey, St. Petersburg
Take back our country
When will our "leaders," and I use that term loosely, wake up and realize that sending jobs to other countries is hindering our economy? Time and time again corporations are laying off workers just to save a buck. Why aren't they being penalized? Higher taxes?
Something needs to be done. It is scary seeing the numbers of foreign countries that have control over our country. This country was founded with hard-working people trying to make this a better place, and look at it now.
I know that most of the American people are talented and hard-working, and are more than capable of answering phones in English and also manufacturing products. Why can't we put a limit on what is imported or work that is exported? When can we, the American people, start to take back this country?
Jennifer Little, Largo
Who's hiring? | July 31, letter
Higher taxes won't help
This letter writer wants us to believe that "rich folks buy property, fences and locks." And then asks, "What jobs does that create?"
Let me see if I understand him. Rich folks don't buy furniture, computers, TVs, clothes, toiletries, towels, bed sheets, cars, CDs, DVDs, office supplies, lamps, etc. Sorry for the pun, but I'm not buying that. I don't think he believes that, but he is trying to defend his stance on tax cuts and that is the best he can do.
The evil PricewaterhouseCoopers of Tampa is shipping 500 jobs over to India. Maybe this person believes that if we had have raised their taxes more, they wouldn't have laid off the 500 workers.
As the conservatives keep bringing up, "I have never been employed by a poor man." The liberals are wanting to make everyone poorer to feed their need for our money.
Ronald Melone, Clearwater
Ben's wealth wisdom | July 31, commentary
Get back to making things
This was an interesting article on Benjamin Franklin's view of economy. But it got me thinking that in his time we built the products we needed, we knew the people we lent money to, we trusted the trade markets were not fixed like gambling dens.
Today is quite different. We need to adjust the tax code to promote American job growth. If business wishes to trade paper, let them pay a heavy tax, If they wish to outsource jobs or set up shell corporations overseas, tax them heavily.
We must become a country that produces products so all can enjoy the American dream again.
Doug Bohnhoff, Spring Hill
Undercutting incentive? | July 29, letter
A decent job preferred
The letter writer indicates that the people collecting unemployment who set up interviews at her company did not show up when the benefits were extended, and therefore concluded that they would rather siphon money out of the government than even interview for a real job.
I would ask what positions were being offered, and what the hours, pay rates and benefits would be for these perceived freeloaders.
Unemployment benefit rates have a cap and no one on unemployment is collecting a decent wage. If the position offered pays less than what current unemployment rate pays those candidates, then they have every right to continue collecting and search for a better job option.
They are not compelled to accept the first position that comes along. They have the right to expect to find at least the same quality of employment that they lost when they filed for unemployment in the first place.
I am employed, but I have many friends who are not; I can tell you with certainty that their choice would not be to continue on that trajectory, whether benefits are extended or not. They would like to be able to keep their shelter and be able to eat, for which unemployment benefits can be a lifeline.
Michelle (Mich) Sullivan, St. Petersburg
Chamber endorses McCollum in primary July 29
Jobs needed now
In this story there is a statement that gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum has a plan to create 500,000 new jobs. If his plan is as good as he says, why do the unemployed in Florida have to wait until next year? Jobs are needed now.
As attorney general, he is one of the five most powerful people in the state government. Why doesn't he propose it now? Or is he is just like most politicians running for office, a promise in the wind?
Gene Kannee, Sun City Center
Immigration facts don't match hype July 29, commentary
Solution still required
It is true that immigration — both legal and illegal — is down over the past two years. After all, who wants to uproot themselves and their family to move to a country suffering from an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent.
That does not in any way mean that a permanent solution to illegal immigration has been found. The question that readers should be asking is: What will the picture be when the unemployment rate returns to 5 percent? That is why action to stem the tide of illegal immigration needs to be taken now.
Stephen Small, Indian Rocks Beach
Collins will be missed
On Thursday, Tampa lost one of its most distinguished citizens, Adm. LeRoy Collins Jr. Adm. Collins was one of the kindest and most considerate human beings you would ever want to meet. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served this nation with distinction, was a submariner, and rose to the rank of admiral through his many years as a reserve officer.
He was a man of principle, the son of a governor who instilled in him that all men are created equal. He lived that philosophy and always gave his all to everything he did. He was the executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.
For the years that I have known him, he and wife Jane were inseparable and just the perfect team in marriage and in life. His children had the same character and commitment that he exhibited every day.
Tampa will not be the same without LeRoy Collins and he will be sorely missed by all.
John Osterweil, Tampa