New jobs? Far too few | July 7
Corporate greed hurts economy
Let's face it: Poor job growth in America is not the fault of the government, governors or presidents. The 3,000-pound elephant in the room is corporate greed.
I am a nurse working for a large U.S. corporation — one of the most successful insurance companies in the industry. Profits of 30 percent were celebrated in the last annual report, and our chairman/CEO can be seen regularly on the business news shows talking about our company's success. However, a large portion of this success comes on the backs of employees and those who have been laid off.
An example from my department: Layoffs, early retirement and "job redistribution" have taken place four times since March 2011. We began that period with 28 nurses and now do the same amount of work with 14. Instead of working eight to nine hours per day to complete our cases, we are working 11 to 12 hours without breaks. I should also mention we are "nonexempt" employees and are not eligible for overtime.
Despite working these hours, we are not able to complete our work and find ourselves rushing and forgoing the important "little things" nurses do.
We are tired, depressed and frustrated. When we express these concerns, we are essentially told that corporate doesn't care — they have 100 applications waiting for each of our positions.
So there you have an example of the current culture of corporate America. They would call this a "streamlined" and "more productive" business model. I call it corporate greed that is out of control.
Sheri Glass, St. Petersburg
On his way back | July 8
I saw the adorable child on the front page and fell in love. I was looking forward to starting my day right with breakfast and the Times. As I started to read Hunter's story I could not swallow my eggs. I could not fathom a mother keeping her child in a closet and other acts of abuse.
Then came the good news regarding the actions of his grandparents getting him the help he needed. Posttraumatic stress disorder takes a long time to recover from, if you ever do. There are so many triggers that can set you off.
Luckily Hunter's abuse was caught at a relatively early stage.
I hope teachers and relatives start to wonder why a child acts up so much. It might be signs of abuse.
Thank you, John Woodrow Cox, for such a compelling story.
Holly Haley, New Port Richey
More political games | July 10, editorial
Put people first
The acrimony displayed by many in Congress has reached a critical stage. These politicians have put themselves in positions where it is nearly impossible to accomplish anything of substance without bickering about motives, costs and who knows what else. Couple this with a lack of leadership from the White House and we have gridlock. This is not what we expected when we voted for these people to represent us.
At no time in modern history has the saying "together we stand, divided we fall" seemed more appropriate. One can only wish that these politicians will put the people and the country ahead of their own interests.
D.E. Bernier, Apollo Beach
Scott's arrogance is hurting Floridians July 1, John Romano column
Sad state of affairs
Thank you, John Romano, for the excellent column on the unmitigated arrogance of Gov. Rick Scott.
Not only has our governor deprived Florida of untold millions in federal benefits, he has deprived me of one of my significant pleasures in life. I can no longer call my twin brother in Minnesota and needle him about the antics and inane utterances of Rep. Michele Bachmann. Alas, she is a small-time incompetent in comparison to our illustrious governor.
Roberta Redding, Tampa
Stick to sports
Thank you, Gov. Rick Scott. Floridians don't need another Barack Obama welfare giveaway. John Romano should stick to sports; maybe he would be more believable.
Lou Moscoe, Palm Harbor
Found | June 30
From a lifetime of reading the Tampa Bay Times, I've come to expect that your human interest stories will include mention of a criminal background. However, I have to say that this "feel-good" account of the two survivors' "criminal past" seemed entirely inappropriate and unnecessary. Similar reporting in your rival publication to the east made no mention of the criminal charges. Why must you put such irrelevant facts into your reporting?
James B. Thompson, St. Petersburg
Affordable Care Act
Keep it simple
All of the debate over the Affordable Care Act could have been avoided if Congress had tried, for once, to do the right thing to "keep it simple, stupid." But as usual, it produces this complicated piece of legislation.
A partial fix could have been the public option with Medicare "as an option," with millions of Americans (including younger Americans) choosing to send their increasingly expensive health insurance premiums to the Medicare Trust Fund rather than private insurance companies. This could also have created more competition, with insurance companies competing with the public option, with the potential to lower health insurance costs.
But who am I to question the wisdom and judgment of our infallible and almighty Congress?
Pat Chevalier, St. Petersburg
Mute button gets workout
I will soon need a new TV remote because my mute button is wearing out.
For months now and months yet to come, we are subjected to one political ad after another. And the minute I see one pop up, I hit the mute button. I care not who they are for — the reasoning being that the ungodly amounts of money being spent on running them could be doing so very much good elsewhere in this country.
Lucille Willis, Pinellas Park