Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Our democratic system is at risk

American politics

Our democratic system is at risk

There are thoughtful, informed people who are worried that our democratic system of government is not working and the whole enterprise is at risk. I think there is only one solution to the problem: to elect people who have demonstrated the ability to work cooperatively with others and solve problems.

It is foolish to think that the personalities of members of Congress change when they arrive in Washington. A worrisome number were fools, buffoons and rigidly ideological before they were elected, and there is no realistic possibility that anyone or anything can change their personalities after they are elected and while they are in office.

It is a crisis long in the making. Most students finish high school with little or no understanding of American history or the way their government works. There is no understanding of the idea of citizenship and the heavy responsibility imposed on citizens who live in a democratic republic. There has never been so much information so easily available that could allow people to make wise use of their votes. But without the perspective of education and a deep understanding that voting is everything in our system of government, it all may slip away.

Roger C. Benson, St. Petersburg

Birth year as political destiny July 9, commentary

Worries are more basic

While David Leonhardt's column is on the mark, his New York Times liberal pedigree shows when he twice says that younger voters support climate policy and oppose inequality, whatever that means. The job shortage for recent college graduates, working at a job below your educational level, and handling student loan debt are the realities young voters encounter and talk about on a daily basis — not climate change or income inequality.

David P. Carter, Seminole

More U.S. companies heading overseas July 10, commentary

Cut the rate, grow jobs

When a U.S. company decides to relocate its incorporation overseas, it does so to avoid the taxes and the regulations that it faces domestically. But it is also fulfilling a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to maximize return on investment.

Perhaps more critically, we are losing the well-paid jobs and the investment in plants and equipment that a company may now decide to do elsewhere. Would we not be better off if we reduced the current 35 percent corporate tax rate to a competitive level and got some of that $1 trillion repatriated and, more importantly, kept the jobs and investments here?

Half a loaf is better than none.

Ed Germond, Apollo Beach

Seminole withholds support for Greenlight July 10

Transit drives economy

I see that the Seminole City Council has decided not to support Greenlight Pinellas. This is so shortsighted. Our local governments should recognize that public transit is a prudent strategy that can relieve congestion and, most importantly, get people to and from jobs. This is good for the larger economy, though each town in Pinellas may not see direct benefits right away.

Great cities keep their economies pumping by providing excellent access to everything, and they all provide public funding for their transit. Subsidizing public transit is more important to me than roads. Why would we continue to build publicly funded roads and not provide publicly subsidized transit on those roads?

The future depends on better management of our assets, and pouring money into pavement is not the answer. Public transit in all its various forms — whether bicycle lanes or buses, taxicabs, trains or shared-ride programs — are all good and necessary.

Diana Carsey, Dunedin

U.S. teens mediocre on money matters July 10

Boosting financial literacy

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which cites financial literacy as an essential life skill, found that American students were "in the middle of the pack" of students from around the world when it comes to understanding basic financial concepts. As we saw with the financial crisis of 2008, this lack of understanding can have dire consequences when these young people become adults.

Junior Achievement is actively working in our community to promote financial literacy. But financial literacy involves more than just gaining knowledge. It means understanding what it means to be financially responsible. JA helps accomplish this by bringing role models into the classroom to share their personal experiences about what it means to manage a budget, pay bills on time and invest in ways that benefit the individual and the community. During the 2013-14 school year, over 91,000 Tampa Bay area students had the opportunity to apply these important concepts in hands-on, experiential learning activities.

If we want to improve financial literacy in this country, there are ways to do it now. It just takes some dedication and commitment. For our part, JA is here to help.

Robert Mossbacher, Clearwater

Palestinian victims | July 11, letter

Israel diverse, democratic

I read with disbelief this absurd anti-Israel letter. To say that Israel "is obsessed with ethnic purity … and purging non-Jews from the region" could not be farther from the truth. Israel, in fact, is a democracy and one of the most ethnically diverse and free societies in the world.

Israel's 20 percent Arab minority enjoys all of the political, economic and religious rights afforded to the Jewish majority. In Israel, Jews and Arabs live and work together. Arabs are represented in the Supreme Court, and Christian and Muslim holy sites are protected by Israeli law. In contrast, no Christian or Jew is allowed to visit Islam's holiest site in Saudi Arabia.

Political leaders in Israel unequivocally condemned the brutal murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the Palestinian leadership when it was discovered that Hamas abducted and murdered the three Israeli teens. In Palestinian communities, these three innocent deaths were a call for celebration.

I challenge the letter writer to find any country in the Middle East and around the world that does more to protect individual rights and freedoms of expression, religion, organization and the press.

Alon Frank, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant As a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant tin rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from my home. It will run 1.4 mile...
Published: 05/21/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18