In a column on Sunday (“Equal work deserves equal pay, so why the dead silence?” Other Views), state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and state Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, expressed frustration over the lack of equal pay for women, and they blamed Florida’s Republican lawmakers for not doing anything to fix it. So to help out those two ladies I will reveal to Tampa that I am a powerful wizard, and I used the secret spell “Legislatum Creatum.” What I did is to go back in time and enact the Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 to give all women in the country, not just Florida, legal protection against unfair pay. That law also was strengthened when the Fair Pay Act of 2009 was passed.
These two female politicians can rest easy knowing something even more powerful than what they wanted has been done. Of course, my magic only works when all factors are, in fact, equal between a male and female employee. However, when that’s not the case, differences in rates of pay will exist. Expecting people to be paid the same when circumstances are not equal is beyond even magic’s ability and falls more into a liberal fantasy world.
Besides, they might want to begin with the pay gap between the male and female staff members of this administration’s White House staff. No magic needed — just some intellectual honesty on the part of these two Florida legislators.
Quantify the numbers
Democrats are very good at coming up with catchphrases that they never explain. An examples is “fair share of taxes,” but they never say what that share should be. They talk of “livable wage,” which is never defined. They want the “minimum wage” raised to $10.10 an hour, which seems to imply that would be a decent wage in Manhattan or Smallville, USA, regardless of cost-of-living differences. Now they are saying that everyone doing the same job should be paid the same amount.
Of course, they do not explain how they calculated the figures they use to prove gender pay discrimination. They do not say how to determine “doing the same work.” Is it based on job title? Does it consider experience, ability, years on the job and, most importantly, productivity?
It is easy to come up with sound bites that sound fair, but it is another thing to quantify the numbers. I am a son, husband and have granddaughters. I certainly want all the women in my life treated fairly, but, as a former manager, I know how hard it is to determine equal work or productivity.
Jack C. Bolen
Save our springs
Yes, a few more days before they close the legislative session in Tallahassee, and there is an urgent matter that will affect every citizen in Florida. Speaker of the House Will Weatherford has the ability to promote Senate Bill 1576 or let it languish and die. According to a recent Tampa Tribune editorial, business interests in opposition to this bill include the Florida Chamber of Commerce and fertilizer and builders’ associations — for obvious reasons.
The results to our springs and other streams have been disastrous. Old-time Floridians will remember the pristine condition of many of our waterways, which also were enjoyed by tourists and fishermen. Our family and friends always enjoyed a stress-free weekend of fishing at the Chassahowitzka River after the Plant-Hillsborough Thanksgiving Day football game. Tradition! Our family also enjoyed swimming in the ice-cold pool and the river at Sulphur Springs. The spring is now a polluted mess. My husband was on the crew at the University of Tampa. If anyone “caught a crab” with a sweep and fell in the Hillsborough River, a good clean shower was said to be in order ASAP.
I’m sure many of you have your own special memories of springs, lakes and rivers in Florida. Don’t let Big Business control this bill. How? Contact Weatherford and Gov. Rick Scott and express your expectation that they will do the right thing and save our springs and waterways before the session ends.
Jacqueline Davis Thomson
Preserve natural Florida
In June 1950 my mother loaded the neighborhood kids up in the station wagon and drove to Kissingen Springs near Bartow for the annual opening of swimming season. The springs were closed with a chain across the entrance. We kids jumped the chain and ran down to the springs to see what happened.
We found the springs, which had been as clear and beautiful as any spring in the state, were a mudhole. It was a shock for an 8-year-old old to see how thoughtless development destroyed one of the most beautiful features of our state.
What is Florida? A gaggle of houses built around roads and shopping centers where asphalt is the distinguishing feature? It should not be that way. We need to preserve the natural part of Florida, starting with spring restoration. Will Weatherford needs to get on with the job in the House.
Russell J. Watrous
Land O’ Lakes
Andor Szentivanyi established USF’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 1970. He attracted faculty from all over the nation, including Columbia, Stanford and Vanderbilt. While Steven Klasko served as USF dean of medicine, his administration combined the departments of pharmacology and physiology. Now that USF has a new dean of medicine, USF should restore pharmacology as an autonomous department.