Austerity twisted into death spiral | June 3, commentary
U.S. spending crisis runs deep
I agree with economist Paul Krugman to some extent. We should ramp up federal spending by convening a blue-ribbon task force to determine why anyone still listens to economist Paul Krugman. Joined at the hip with John Maynard Keynes, Krugman dismisses the realities of 80-plus years of creeping socialism.
That government involvement of some type in the free market economy could now reverse any adverse trajectory ignores the fact that our problems are no longer cyclical. Shackled to the cumulative weight of decades of profligate government spending, our problems have become systemic.
Despite Krugman's assertions, our economy is exactly like a family. Unfortunately, globalization has simply invited about 2 billion more relatives to the dinner table. His conclusion that we owe our debt to "each other" or we provide products to "each other" illustrates the micro of the new macro. Instead of loaning $20 to junior for gas money to get to work, we now borrow billions from crazy Uncle China and hand it over to Aunt Solyndra or down-and-out brother Greece.
It is human nature to sate our desire for quality goods at the lowest possible cost. This in turn has driven manufacturers to seek out "family" members willing to work for $18 a day. Should we pay a third more for a GM product of equal or lesser quality to save American jobs? Ask the people who open their wallets for a Kia or a Hyundai.
Globalization has laid bare the soft white underbelly of our unsustainable economy, and people like Paul Krugman are running out of Marxist fairy dust to sprinkle on the unwashed masses.
Joe Paige, Clearwater
Mayor turns up in ad on flipping | May 10
Business does good work
This story by reporter Michael Van Sickler omitted key details about our business, and as such failed to reflect the significant accomplishments and good work we have done in the community. Yes, the Community Development Network of Pinellas has returned 12 percent to their investors since November 2009. But it's been through sound business practices that have also improved the community and created jobs.
By picking wisely, we have been able to rehabilitate homes and get them under contract in an average time of 33 days, which is good not only for buyers but also their neighbors. You can go to any house that we have rehabbed and talk to the buyer and they will tell you how much they love their amazing home. We have been able to rehabilitate and sell seven single-family homes, one triplex, two four-unit buildings and a 3,383-square-foot waterfront home in Treasure Island in just 2½ years.
That information would have better served readers than learning about my business troubles during the height of the real estate bust.
Joseph Cavaleri, St. Petersburg
Whooping cough now in 10 schools | June 2
Hold parents responsible
Can we pass a law stating that if parents do not vaccinate their child, and then the child comes down with whooping cough, that the insurance company does not have to pay for that illness and that the parent cannot use public health to treat it?
Carlos J. DeCisneros, Tampa
Picture of civility | June 4, letter
We're not alone
The letter writer states that no other country has a transfer of power with the "grace and dignity" of the United States. Not true. Britain has a totally smooth transfer of power, and it only takes three weeks for a general election campaign. In fact, most European countries have very smooth power transfers and much shorter campaign periods than this country.
Gillian Maden, Spring Hill
Positive step for marriage equality June 4, editorial
Meaning of 'marriage'
In its push for "marriage equality," the Tampa Bay Times seems intent on making the word "marriage" meaningless and embarks on a slippery slope.
In this editorial, the newspaper lauds a court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act. But where will the newspaper draw the line? Legalization of bestiality? Polygamy? If the newspaper advocates expanding the definition of marriage to one group, how can it deny others?
Readers may think this argument is ludicrous, but 20 years ago, the thought of gay marriage in the United States was ludicrous.
The Times also touts polls that show support for gay marriage. The ballot box, which is a more accurate gauge of the public's opinion, shows differently.
Both the Times and the courts seem to be bent on running roughshod over marriage and the people's view of it.
Christopher D. Martinez, St. Petersburg
Stop trampling voter rights | June 1, editorial
Accuracy is essential
Apparently the Times doesn't think it's important that only citizens vote and that since the state databases are inaccurate no attempt should be made to correct them.
Citizens who are asked to verify their citizenship should be pleased that the state is trying to update its database and protect their right to vote. The process being used is as fair as it can be given that the federal government refuses to provide access to databases that could reduce the number of unverified voters.
The database will never get better unless the data in it is verified. How do you propose that the data be verified? County election supervisors need to do their job — not refuse to do it because it's hard.
Finally, anyone erroneously removed from the rolls can vote using a provisional ballot and have the opportunity to establish their eligibility.
Ronald Hall, Lutz
Uneven ground | June 3
In this well-documented article on the consequences of Florida's "stand your ground" law, one tragic result seems to stand out: People are using guns to settle everyday disputes. Often it involves an armed citizen attacking or shooting an unarmed citizen.
One example was a dispute between two neighbors over a dog. Another involved the alleged harassment of a parent, and there was an argument over a person in someone's back yard.
In every case — and there are others — someone uses a gun to kill a person over a trivial matter instead of talking it out or walking away and cooling off. Is this what the NRA wanted? For the gun owner to become judge and jury?
Tom Burke, Clearwater