Money for nothing
How do you get to a desired $15 per hour federal minimum wage without legislation? Step 1: Use a pandemic-caused recession to give people who are out of work the equivalent of nearly $15 per hour in unemployment benefits. Step 2: Continue to offer those benefits even after there are more job openings than people looking for work, thereby incentivizing the unemployed not to work for less than $15 per hour. Step 3: When employers can’t fill positions, tell them to “pay more.” Totally brilliant strategy. In the interim, consumers only have to deal with poor service from understaffed companies and higher prices everywhere we go.
Scott Stolz, St. Petersburg
A woman’s right
A woman’s choice | Letter, May 24
Thanks to this letter writer for the clearest and best illustration of the hypocrisy of those who feel that the government or, for that matter, anyone should be able to make health care decisions for anyone other than themselves. I fought this battle in the 1960s and am appalled that women are still classified as chattel, here only to do the bidding of ignorant, selfish, spineless men (and unfortunately some women). To those men who are of the 21st century, thank you. To all the others, please return to your cave and roll the stone over the opening once you are inside.
Cathi Greene, Dunedin
A history lesson
Marker highlights Dansville’s history | May 24
Thank you for the story of this self-reliant Black community. It shows resilience in the face of oppression, and pride and respect for where you live. As stated in the story, “It was tough living, but there was also a strong sense of community. Residents watched each other’s children, held a fish fry to raise money for a community fire truck and brought plants from their own front yards to help landscape the newly built Ridgecrest Elementary School in the late 1950s.” This shows, historically, that segregation and poverty do not automatically lead to crime and property neglect. It’s a good lesson for today’s “woke” generation who seem to believe their destinies are predetermined.
Joseph Brown, Tampa
Christopher Grider and others who were arrested in connection with the insurrection, damage and riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 have stated that it wasn’t their fault, that it was the fault of the mob. Perhaps lawbreakers need to admit that they were the mob. To use such an absurd defense is, well, indefensible.
George Petrick, Riverview
Worse than Benghazi
‘Isn’t it time we moved on?’ | Column, May 24
Leonard Pitts is correct. I watched in horror and shame as a sitting president called his supporters to Washington, incited the crowd and told them to march on the Capitol and try to stop another branch of our government from doing their constitutional duty. My former political party has been slipping off track for some time, but Jan. 6 was the end of the line for me. More loyal Americans were injured and died during the bedlam in Washington, D.C., than in 2012 at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. And how much time and money was spent on that investigation? I’m very clear on what I saw and what I heard. I know what the Republican leadership said and did that day. To claim it does not warrant an investigation is insulting and offensive.
Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg
Preserve the preserve
We hiked the USF Forest Preserve to show why it must be saved | Column, May 24
The University of South Florida administration, which sought the “Request for Information” for the Forest Preserve, is painting itself into a corner. While a lease of the land may generate revenue, the probability of lawsuits being filed could cost the university dearly. Are the monies from developing this land worth the ecological devastation, the lawsuits, the loss of a teaching lab/outdoor classroom, student transfer to other universities and a myriad of other scenarios? I don’t believe it is in USF’s best interest to pursue this idea.
Lynn Hurley, Tampa
Caring for kids
Kids will still go hungry | Letter, May 23
I am always amazed at what people think about those with little or no money. I read with interest about President Joe Biden’s plan to give money to families, and never did it cross my mind that families would buy beer and cigarettes. Families have suffered through this virus without a paycheck have done just that — suffered. Thinking that because you are living in poverty, you do not respect and care for your children is an insult.
Angeline McTighe, Tierra Verde