Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Inequality shreds social fabric

Fact vs. fiction in income gap debate | Jan. 26

Inequality shredding social fabric

It would appear that all of a sudden politicians of all colors have discovered the appalling inequality in this country. President Franklin Roosevelt over 70 years ago famously said: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Unfortunately, inequality has increased exponentially since FDR's words and very little has been done to help. Politicians on the right resist any effort to help the people in need, based on the mantra that it would be wealth redistribution from the top to the bottom, which they equate with socialism and/or communism.

Nobel laureate economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have warned for years of the serious dangers of inequality in our country. It erodes the social fabric of our society.

Those who argue that redistribution from the top to the bottom is socialism have no problem whatsoever accepting redistribution from the bottom to the top, which is exactly what is happening. In a system where the top people earn ever more and the middle and lower classes earn ever less, serious societal problems will arise.

Frederick Douglass also understood this back in the 19th century when he said: "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."

And so it is clear that fighting inequality is not some obscure communist tool to eradicate capitalism in this country, but rather a just, moral, and fair goal to achieve.

Patrick Bauer, Wesley Chapel

Strengthen privacy of drug database Jan. 24, editorial

Prescription for trouble

The first sentence of this editorial is all you needed to write: "Florida's prescription drug database is a valuable weapon in curbing the public damage from drug-related deaths, narcotics tourism and criminal trafficking."

There was a huge problem, that to some extent still exists, and there's no better way to help stop it than the prescription drug database. You need to view prescription narcotics as deadly weapons in the wrong hands. They can be as deadly as a gun. To rationalize that some people's personal privacy is at risk is ludicrous when the focus is to help stop illegal prescription drug distribution at the source and try to prevent the practices of these "legal dealers." Please don't take away the victims' rights.

Jeannette Fraser, Deltona

911 calls rang with fear | Jan. 25

Raising the temperature

An average person entering a mostly empty movie theater and encountering a noisy area would probably move to a more quiet section. The retired policeman entered the theater with a gun. Did he feel that this made him a more powerful person with the ability to argue with noisy people and escalate it to any level because he had the ultimate means to protect himself? This strange ability to raise our testosterone levels above and beyond our rational control is the scariest thing about guns.

Tom Reid, Seminole

Which one is the thug? | Jan. 25

All of the above

In reply to the question of Dean Obeidallah of the Daily Beast, asking which one is the thug, Justin Bieber or NFL player Richard Sherman, the answer is: both. Both are wealthy people who act very inappropriately in public, showing that money and fame do not convey good sense.

Richard Driscoll, Clearwater

First step: Accept money | Jan. 25, letter

Redistribution magic

This letter, along with most of your stories chronicling the evil Florida Republicans refusing to take the $51 billion from the generous federal government for Medicaid expansion, fails to mention that they haven't offered to fund the program indefinitely, just to help with the kickoff. Where is the gargantuan pile of money supposed to come from to keep it going? The answer is the Florida taxpayer.

Now that we've moved on from watering-down and making more expensive health care for the middle class in the latest Democratic wealth redistribution sleight of hand, perhaps the new initiative to equalize incomes for all will produce the needed funding. What happened to freedom and how did we get to a place where your income isn't really yours?

Funny that Obamacare and now income equalization have one thing in common: The more pro-Democrat a particular interest group or societal subset, the more likely it is to be on the receiving end of redistributed confiscated income. What a coincidence.

Dwayne Keith, Valrico

Mayor steers clear of Cuba | Jan. 18

End the embargo

I'm so over the embargo on Cuba. Kudos to Rep. Kathy Castor, the University of Tampa team, etc., for their efforts to bring us closer to mending fences.

The embargo has been a failure, the Castros are still in power and the people continue to suffer.

We lost more than 50,000 soldiers in Vietnam, but they are now our trading buddies. We only lost money in Cuba, but we maintain this failed embargo 90 miles from our shores. It's a sad statement about our values.

Ana Golan, Tampa

Ukraine unrest spreads beyond Kiev Jan. 25

Striking image

The AP photo of the Ukrainian unrest on page 3A of the Times is quite striking. The lighting, color, framing and staging is as beautiful as a movie promotional photograph.

It captures the current political unrest in the Ukraine and at the same time looks medieval with the robed priests in the foreground and the shield-bearing line of enforcers in the background.

It's stunning how this photograph arches over a millennium, reflecting how the fight for influence over these lands has been going on for centuries.

Emmett Walsh, Gulfport


Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18