Learning from the past
Vaccine efforts sagging | July 24
In 1929, members of my family had been waiting for seven years to join their husband, father and brother in America. At that time, the scarlet fever pandemic hit many children in Europe. My sister Mary was 7, and she died. My brother John was 6 when he got it. He lived, but his growth and brain were stunted from the high fever. Science has proven they can eradicate many diseases, among them polio, small pox, measles, mumps, shingles, etc. We must not pass up the opportunity to eradicate COVID-19 and the delta variant. This is about you! This is your opportunity to help us all eradicate this dreadful virus threat that is again growing among those not vaccinated. Get the vaccine.
Elizabeth Dean, Hudson
The Florida Legislature has declared war on direct democracy | Column, July 25
As columnist Howard Simon so clearly described, many of Florida’s legislators have decided to abandon the part of their job that calls for representation of the citizens. If they enacted legislation that the majority of citizens wanted, there would be no need for petitions to amend the state Constitution. Our “representatives” think that what they want is what we want. Too many of them follow the practice of using hot-button issues to scare voters into thinking they are doing what’s best for us, but they’re only trying to secure their reelection or opportunity to run for higher office. Our Legislature is great at solving problems that don’t exist, and ignoring what the majority of citizens really want and need.
Dale Carr, Dunedin
Burst that bubble
I’m fine living in a Democratic bubble | Column, July 26
I appreciate Perry Bacon Jr.’s candor regarding his comfort level living in his partisan bubble. Yes, one is certainly more comfortable surrounded by those we agree with, but compassion and empathy for others begins when we start to listen. When characterizing a political party based solely on the radical fringes, you’re dismissing the majority in the middle. No matter how much the powers that be try to otherwise convince us, we are more alike than we are different. As a 40-year health care veteran, I can attest to this fact: All blood is the same color. Mr. Bacon, take a chance and pop that bubble.
Mark Campbell, St. Petersburg
Learning on the job
Why do so many employers require a college degree? | Column, July 25
For many years a job was a wonderful source of education and possible advancement where you got paid. Even starting at the bottom, you could learn every aspect of your responsibility. You could absorb the purpose of your company’s business and the methods it practiced. What business in its right mind would ever knowingly stifle the progress of someone who strived to do something better and more efficiently? It was only natural for some people for people stocking shelves, loading trucks or operating machines to wonder how products were made, used and distributed. Having a hunger for such knowledge was many people’s key to success, and it wasn’t difficult for employers to see who was excelling and who was just going through the motions.
Companies had the luxury of knowing the character and work ethic of individuals who had proven themselves from the day they started. Companies that raised and nurtured people had greater loyalty and less turnover opposed to today where everyone is expendable for a nameless applicant who fits the job description and qualifications. College provides information and knowledge but does not create intelligence, motivation or character. Many of my generation started at the bottom and worked our way into the upper levels of business by learning everything we could about the businesses and industries we had adopted. While others watched the clock, we learned by doing, trying and sometimes failing, but we always knew how important we could be because investing in our knowledge made us valuable. I cannot disparage a college degree, but to blindly discount the value of a person’s capabilities for the sake of it has hurt workers and businesses alike. Let’s judge people on character, communication skills and potential and stop creating an educational entitlement that discriminates against capable workers while improving businesses and people’s lives.
Steve Hemingway, Tampa
Which is it?
COVID’s still with us, governor | Miami Herald editorial, July 22
Can I bill our governor for my physical therapy treatments on my neck due to the whiplash I received watching him on TV? Exhibit A: The governor goes on TV and tells us vaccines save lives, so “go get vaccinated!” Exhibit B: The governor pushes the sales of his campaign merchandise mocking masks and medical experts.
Cathi Greene, Dunedin
A new history
Whoever steers the ship makes the rules | Column, July 24
Was this satire or the new Florida civics curriculum?
Ed Bradley, Boynton Beach