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Tuesday
Aug 22nd
Letters August 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BT Readers   
August 2017

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945Call It the President’s Revenge

Regarding “Trump’s Miami Hustle” (July 2017) by Jack King: I found the article interesting. The real issue is that Trump doesn’t care about Cuba, Cubans, Marion, Marco, etc.

His sole aim is to dismantle everything President Obama did in eight years. His revenge for the Correspondents’ Dinner.

That is all Trump cares about.

Stuart Frankel
Miami

 

King Fan

If there’s some argument the BT editor has with Jack King (“Trump’s Miami Hustle”), I’d like to know what it is. With the country deconstructing and falling down around us (to the extent Congressional Republicans haven’t completely lost their nerve, and continue to enable Trump), was there something else the BT editor wished King would discuss? There are certainly more than enough local consequences.

The only thing King left out of his report was that a poll of Cuban-Americans taken the day of Trump’s visit showed that a majority of them wanted more open relating.

Almost no one agrees with Trump, Rubio, and Diaz-Balart. But since it’s clear Trump and his very few remaining friends don’t really want anything, and mostly just go off on their own bizarre tangents, it shouldn’t matter to them that no one agrees with them. Even Ros-Lehtinen doesn’t agree? Yeah, so?

If King omitted anything else, it was to make even more clear how insular and irrational is the new policy. It has nothing to do with the U.S. or with Cuba. It’s just the satisfaction of the pathetic fantasy lives of a few Cuban-Americans.

And perhaps much more than anything else, it’s a deaf, blind, and stupid reflex attempt to repudiate anything Trump and his phony minions associate with Barack Obama. This appears to be Trump’s singular agenda.

Trump has no meaning, and neither any more do congressional Republicans. Their only concerted aim is to undo anything Obama accomplished. They try to undo things they think are bad, and even things most Americans think are good. All that qualifies something to be a target of Trump and his stooges is that it have been an Obama initiative or act.

As King concludes in his piece, the new policy is a return to the old, failed policy. The only thing different is that it is quirky and uniquely meaningless. Very many Americans, and certainly Jews, had strong feelings about the Germans and Japanese after WWII. But they didn’t make an endless career of insisting their government punish the defeated Axis powers.

When I grew up on Miami Beach in the 1950s and ’60s, there were plenty of Jews who wouldn’t buy German cars. But they viewed that as their own protest and they didn’t expect the whole country to join them or accede to their sense of injury.

Imagine constructing an entire agenda, domestic and foreign, as a means of repudiating one president because he was half-black. It seems we don’t have to imagine. We can watch.

Fred Jonas
Biscayne Park

 

No More Business as Usual

I appreciate John Ise’s essay on butterflies (“At the Boiling Point,” July 2017). Climate change is real. It is caused by us.

And if we continue business as usual with our carbon dioxide emissions, it will be very bad for creation and for our children.

Steve Coleman
Marshall, Wisconsin

 

Not Thrilled with Job Insecurity

Thanks, John Dorschner, for the info on workshare (“Welcome to Gig World,” July 2017). I’ve been shopping around for a space to rent and this article helped a lot.

I’m not thrilled about being part of the freelance economy, but at least I’ll be in good company -- if not in a company. I’m also not thrilled to read that a third of U.S. workers lack job security and are now making ends meet juggling freelance jobs.

It makes me queasy.

It’s also unsettling to read that most of the work that was highlighted in the story was just more “service work.” Not the kind of work that in itself creates more jobs.

This is not my vision for “making America great again.” It is paving the way for more support of universal basic income, though.

Claudia Shafer
Brickell

 

Pioneers’ Pipe Dreams

I’m grateful for “Welcome to Gig World,” explaining the co-workspace phenomenon. John Dorschner more or less confirmed my suspicions about the bleak future for this country’s employment, but the degree of bleak took my breath away.

The companies buying out their full-timers and hiring part-time workers are saving millions since they’re under no obligation to offer part-timers and freelancers the health insurance, 401Ks, sick leave and vacations, and other benefits they used to have to offer to attract and keep workers. Good for their bottom line and their shareholders; bad for the working stiff.

Meanwhile -- shocking statistic -- the “co-workspace” companies have been leasing massive amounts of space and converting them into cash cows, collecting rent from 33 percent of downtown’s new tenants.

So kids get out of college, saddled with student debt and facing fewer job prospects, and get sucked into the marketing BS that they should be happy, that they’re mavericks, urban trailblazers, true entrepreneurs.

As Dorschner notes, these kids don’t realize this is their new permanent. They’ve joined that one-third of the U.S. working population for whom steady paychecks are a pipe dream. There won’t be jobs six months down the road for them. That firm they’re freelancing for? It’s not going to hire them.

Instead they’ve become the steady paycheck for the co-workspace landlords. Neat trick.

Nicholas Theiman
Miami

 

Freedom to Be Uncertain

Co-working company Quest has a motto: “Freedom to work the way you want.” I think that is creepy, Orwellian. Anyone who works gig to gig would hardly call their financial uncertainty “freedom.”

And why is WeWork getting billions from venture capitalists? Because this kind of freelance workplace “hoteling” is the future. If companies hire only gig workers, there’s no worker leverage anymore, and income disparity just gets even worse.

For newcomers and immigrants, being able to show a “real” business address may help them establish credit. But for young people who want the freedom of bringing a pet to work or access to the juicer or pool table, please keep in mind that this warehouse workspace fad is not about helping your business -- it’s about the value of the real estate in this moment.

When that changes, you’ll be back at Starbucks again.

Olivia Martinez-Cobo
Upper Eastside

 

Don’t Pilfer for the Playground

Eleazar David Meléndez story (“Kid Gloves,” July 2017) about the dilemma of apportioning public funds among competing interests for downtown children annoyed me. Why?

Because once again, you just have to scrape down to the bottom of the mess and you’ll find public officials who break promises and play the shell game with finances.

The Omni Community Redevelopment Agency should get to keep their $2 million. It was earmarked for them. This is no different from the federal government pilfering the Social Security trust fund.

While a playground in Museum Park is desirable, the need for affordable housing is critical, and not just in Overtown. Give a child the haven of a safe home, and she may just grow up to run for office and find a fair-minded solution to our green space problem.

Maybe Meléndez should consider a political run, too.

Mario Guttierez
Midtown

 

Please Get in Line  

So yuppie downtowners are complaining that their kids have nowhere to play (“Kid Gloves,” July 2017)? Most of those parents are probably living in high-rise towers with pools, rec rooms, and other amenities. So I don’t sympathize too much.

Sure, they want to be able to go out their back door to a slice of green. So do we all. Most don’t have any safe parks within walking distance, and most don’t have the luxury of living near the downtown museums.

In most neighborhoods, there is no safe place that doesn’t involve driving some distance. But our neighborhoods have been waiting longer for some kind of playground relief. It’d be nice if they’d get in line with everybody else.

Carol Huff
North Miami Beach

 

Teens and the Tipsy?

I can’t imagine letting my young children ride public transportation alone these days (“Unlicensed Mobility,” July 2017), and think that Jenni Person has gone off the deep end this time.

The free ride service Freebie “in large part exists to avoid a lot of drunk driving.” So it’s safe for her 14-year-old daughter to hop on? With tipsy or drunk tourists and other revelers?

Really?

Name Withheld by Request
Miami Shores

 

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