Life in Tampa is so hard
Why the power grid failed in Texas and beyond | Feb. 22
For those of you who think we have it so easy in Florida, I want to tell you something: It was only 62 degrees the other morning. And drizzling. I had to get a jacket. I had to decide between my Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup champions jacket, my Tampa Bay Rays American League champions jacket, or my Tampa Bay Bucs Super Bowl champions jacket. By the time I made my decision, it had warmed up to 74 degrees, and I didn’t need the jacket anymore. Stressful morning! Now it’s 87 degrees, and I’m headed to the beach.
Evan Brownstein, Tampa
$15 wage is simpler
Professor Murad Antia offers a list of better ways to reduce income inequality than to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Income inequality is the most vexing economic issue of our time, and the programs he espouses would be effective in creating a more equitable society. However, as worthy as his programs are, they all suffer from complexity. In contrast, upgrading the minimum wage is simple in concept and much easier to implement. There is the added advantage that increasing the minimum wage is becoming a mainstream idea, as illustrated by Florida’s adoption of a constitutional amendment this past election. I can’t see this happening with a universal basic income or a value-add tax.
A minimum wage increase directly targets those most impacted by income inequality and has the additional advantage of a staged increase over time. This makes possible adjustments to deal with unforeseen negative consequences, or even a speedup of increases if the results show more success than anticipated. I applaud that Professor Antia’s heart is in concert with his political leanings, but the realities of our economy and our deep political divisions call for the simpler solution of an increase of the minimum wage over time to $15 an hour.
Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
The rich pay a lot
Murad Antia’s piece on ways to reduce income inequality in the end suggests the rich should pay more. He cites that the richest top 10 percent of taxpayers account for 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. To put things in perspective, the Tax Foundation reported that for 2017 the richest 10 percent of Americans also paid 70 percent of the total income taxes collected. The bottom 50 percent of tax payers paid only 3 percent of the total. Obviously, the rich can afford to pay more, but let’s not leave the impression that the richest 10 percent aren’t already contributing substantially to the support of the country. Data such as this will contribute to the discussion of this issue going forward.
Thomas Klein, Tampa
Anti-Trump bias is showing
What does the attacking of a Hispanic man in a parking lot have to do with the doctor being a Trump supporter? What the doctor did was wrong any way you look at it, but why in the world does it matter who she supports politically? She’s a racist, and that’s what your article should cover, period.
Martha Ostria, Tampa