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Your opinions on Business news

By Times Staff
Published November 18, 2007


Builders brace for shakeout Nov. 15

Buyers ultimately to blame in collapse

Who, or what, actually caused the housing market to collapse? Can we put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the building industry? I think not. After all, our capitalistic society is based on supply and demand creating more and more profit.

How about the lending institutions? Nope, they're in business to make a profit. I admit that the amount of profit they make, if not on a level that should be considered criminal, is close to it. But, all's fair in love, war and business. That leaves only one other faction who could, and rightly so, be held responsible for the monumental number of foreclosures that we're seeing today. That's right, the consumer.

When people throw caution, common sense, logic and financial reality to the wind, the resulting consequences can be seen in the situation that millions of people are now facing. But fear not, it will eventually end. But for many, it will end tragically, and as a very psychologically devastating event, an event some will never fully recover from. Let's face it. All of us want things, things we cannot afford and never will be able to afford. But today, some people believe in starting at the top and working their way down.

David Robinson, Brooksville

Racial divide in income progress Nov. 13

Failed experiments are cause of inequity

Of course there is a racial divide in income progress. The social experiments of the '60s and early '70s have failed. As a result, black America is worse off. Is anyone surprised? Conservatives predicted this outcome. The Democratic Party takes their votes for granted and is quite content for them to continue in their belief that they cannot get ahead on their own. Combine that contentment with the destruction of the black family unit, and the liberal politicians have a voting block that can be counted on for years to come.

Jeff Clarke, Tampa

Prince payout could cost Citigroup $95-million Nov. 9

Don't compensate failure at the top

This is what is wrong with America! A CEO mismanages the bank is there any other word for it?, causing it to lose more than $6-billion, thus lowering its stock price drastically. Then the CEO decides to "retire," but walks away with millions! I am sure he had a contract, but what is wrong with these companies that they would write such a contract handsomely rewarding an employee - yes, he is an employee - for doing a deplorable job?

Great example for our youth. Do a horrible job and you rake in big bucks! No wonder America is slipping - nay, sliding fast - out of first place!

G.G. Williams, St. Petersburge_SClB

About the estate tax

Isn't Buffett's plea a little two-faced?

Billionaire Warren Buffett told the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday that Congress should keep the estate tax rather than repeal it and help a few rich Americans like him. "I think we need to ... take a little more out of the hides of guys like me," he said. By the way, Warren has placed his wealth in a trust to be managed by Bill Gates to shield his wealth from taxes. Trusts are vehicles used by the rich to avoid the estate tax.

Isn't that a little two-faced?

Patrick W. Brown, Tampa

Companies bolster doctors Nov. 3

Surgeons deserve compensation

While the article states that Dr. Bernasek and Dr. Gustke "perform hundreds of hip- and knee-replacement surgeries on patients each year," the complexity and full scope of the critical medical care provided by the doctors is not addressed.

We should all be grateful that there are such dedicated surgeons who take on complex medical cases that include trauma injuries, major orthopedic reconstructions and serious complications from infections. Who would be more qualified to advise the manufacturers how to develop implants that are safe and effective than the doctors who do these types of surgeries and deal with the patients face-to-face over an extended period of time? These doctors deserve to be paid for their expertise, extensive knowledge and their time - whether they are doing a surgery or developing the implants.

Paula Burk, Palm Harbor

Big banks warn of fallout Nov. 10

Bank made its subprime bed

Bank of America is warning that it faces hard times due to the subprime mortgage fallout. Unless, of course, someone comes to the rescue. There's more to that story than appears in the Times article. When the Federal Reserve reduced the discount rate in August, first in line at the teller window was Bank of America, which, with little trepidation, got $2-billion at 4.75 percent. Bank of America then "invested" all of it in Countrywide Financial (you know, the subprime's biggest loser so far) by purchasing convertible preferred stock at 7.5 percent interest. Too bad the Federal Reserve could not loan the money directly to Countrywide and bypass the middleman. It would have been cheaper for taxpayers.

The Federal Reserve should think long and hard about what Bank of America did with the money it shoveled out to them last time before opening the vault again.

Bill Boyd, Apollo Beach

Tomato growers deny picker's raise Nov. 8

Are they picking this many tomatoes?

If pickers are currently paid 1.3 cents a pound, the Tomato Growers Association states that these pickers earn an average of $12.43 per hour. If my math is correct, that would mean that they pick 956 pounds per hour! Therefore, in an eight-hour day, they would pick 7,649 pounds each or 3.8 tons per day. Truly unbelievable.

Richard Wasylowski, Bradenton

The hybrid explosion

America, regain supremacy

Is it any wonder that "all of a sudden" the hybrid automobile explosion has arrived? Toyota leads the "pack" with six entries and it will continue to do so, as its "drive" is to lead. This is both an embarrassment to the American Dream as well as an example of American arrogance.

I am a seventh-generation American and proud of it. But we either have to move into the 21st century of technology and save our environment or take a back seat to the industrial expertise of our allies who are outpacing our technology.

Wake up, Americans, and remember how this great country of ours has survived over the past 231 years. Let's reawaken our drive to be No. 1, respected worldwide and at the same time conserve our resources so that the next generations can survive with enough resources to maintain the American Dream and be a respected member of the world community.

William Newmark, South Pasadena

Tampa auto show and vets

Show should be free for vets

I am a veteran and went to the Tampa auto show with my family on Veterans Day. I could not believe they let children in for free and made us veterans pay! I went over to the management and asked them why, and their response was: "Oh, we forgot it was Veterans Day." What an insult and outrage this is! You serve your country and you are forgotten for the sake of a buck! Nice going, Tampa.

Aldo Boselli, New Port Richey

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[Last modified November 16, 2007, 22:44:37]

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