The Federal Reserve Board has embarked on an experiment. It is printing trillions of dollars in currency, "QE Infinity," and buying bonds with that money to keep interest rates low. It is hoped that this will stimulate the economy.
This printing of vast amounts of fiat money, backed by nothing, has never been done before, and even the sharpest economic minds can only guess what the outcome will be. Many predict it will not be pretty.
So far the experiment has been a dismal failure. After years of the Fed stimulating the economy, the only things that are up are the national debt and the stock market. (Which is not a reflection of the economy.) The government manipulates or favorably distorts the economic figures. Housing, unemployment, GDP, manufacturing, etc., are all a charade.
For example: The official unemployment figures are always quoted; it was up 175,000 or 7.6 percent. However, total unemployment, which is never quoted, increased 17,000, to 11.8 million, or 14.3 percent. Only 63.4 percent of the work force is employed. Or, more than one of three is unemployed. All these figures are massaged, and are probably much higher.
Wages have been stagnant for years and because of inflation actually decreased in buying power. If this is an improving economy I'd hate to see a poor one.
Kenneth R. Lowe, Sr
Sun City Center
Laurel and Hardy effort
Regarding "Deputy scolded for chewing tobacco in Iraq" (front page, July 9): Seriously? The Pinellas Sheriff's Office had the Internal Affairs Division allocate time for a 79-page report and then a written reprimand for this? Apparently their department is running so smoothly they have nothing better to do. There are no citizen complaints against any officers for actual violations - they are just rocking along on cruise control?
Although I appreciate knowing about this Laurel and Hardy self-policing effort, I think your writer spent too much time even addressing the situation. Once again, a valiant front-line military servant has fallen prey to government bureaucracy and stupidity. This time it is on a local level. His choice to chew tobacco in a far away place under the duress of a very dangerous situation has absolutely nothing to do with the sheriff's office.
I could go on and on about how petty and stupid this is. Instead, I prefer to thank the officer, U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. James Bonanno, for his service in defense of our country.
TampaOrders for sheriff
How on Earth can 79 pages be generated about a soldier, in a combat zone, dipping a little snuff to control enormous stress? There are three things I want Sheriff Bob Gualtieri to do. First, rescind the letter of reprimand issued to Deputy Bonanno. Next, shred that 79-page report. (How can anyone fill that much paper on the subject of a soldier dipping snuff anyway?) Last, publicly apologize to Army Sgt. Bonanno for bringing it up in the first place. The sheriff's job is law enforcement. His jurisdiction is Pinellas County.
The devil's out
In the early years of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, people made excuses not to attend their ball games. People were heard to say, "I won't attend any game with a team that has devil in their name." Another said, "Who wants to see a loser?" Well, folks, the devil is gone, and the Rays are winners. So, where are those fans?
Sun City Center
Baseball bubble bursting?
Why are fans across the nation staying away from America's pastime, you ask? Players are paid millions of dollars while millions of Americans cannot find jobs. Tickets, snacks and drink prices are like those at the movie theaters - unreasonably high-priced. The price of gas to travel to and from the games is a factor. The price of food, housing and health care is escalating. Universities are clamoring for more money from taxpayers to support their institutions while graduates cannot find work. Governments at all levels are taxing more so they can spend more. The national debt continues its upward spiral while we the people struggle to make ends meet. The president spends $100 million to travel to Africa and pledges $50 billion more to light up the dark continent. And "Mother Trib" wonders where all the fans have gone? Building a new multimillion-dollar stadium at taxpayer's expense is not the solution. To sum it up, recall Bill Clinton's campaign slogan, "It's the economy, stupid." I say, "It's an 'Obamanation,' stupid."
T. Dorsey Yawn
TampaFollowing the program
When I first read Joe Henderson's column July 9, "Don't blame Meyer for Hernandez," I immediately thought, "What an egregious oversight on the writer's part. He was trying to justify the lack of ethics in big-time college sports." After I read the article a second time, I came to the conclusion that Joe was simply stating the obvious: Coaches merely follow the programs of institutions of "higher learning."
Many of these "learning" institutions not only look the other way when it comes to athletic academics, they also tolerate drunken student body brawls following NCAA-sponsored sporting events. The real bottom line is that there are no ethics at many colleges when it comes to big-time athletics. Just read about experiences at Nebraska, Ohio State, Miami, the University of Florida, Florida State, UNLV, Southern Cal, Penn State and numerous others. In comparison, it makes me proud to be among those graduates of colleges with lousy athletic programs but superior anti-cheating philosophies.
Advocate for care
At the Hillsborough County Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday (July 17), matters of vital concern to our elders, caregivers and family members will be presented that impact major changes for deserving and needy residents.
An ongoing increase in the Alzheimer's population requires commensurate care and respite for those impacted by this dreadful malady. We are concerned with the long-time residents who have served our community over their lifetimes and are now in need of care. We are talking about existing facilities and programs that may be eliminated.
While other arrangements are in progress, the timing of these actions will mean disruption to those currently involved in these programs. Provisions for an effective transfer of services should be considered prior to any rush to adverse action.
The associates of Elder Care Advocacy of Florida urge those concerned with the care of our seniors in their final days to attend the 9 a.m. commission meeting and sign up to voice their opinions on this critical issue.
Austin R. Curry
TampaThe writer is executive director of Elder Care Advocacy of Florida.
Speak the truth
C.L. Townsend Jr. ("Commitment and love," Your Views, July 8) writes eloquently about redefining marriage but is wrong in saying Christ demands we accept his definition. His reasoning follows that of our president, who quotes Jesus' Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
The implication is that the most loving thing is to affirm what others want to do and what others say is right. Yet, is that always the most loving thing to do?
I'd want someone to tell me if my actions were potentially harmful to myself or society.
I'd want someone to warn me if I'd deviated from God's purpose and what's best for my life.
In short, I'd want someone to speak the truth to me in love.