Home News Opinion | Florida Edits History, the Ron DeSantis Way

Opinion | Florida Edits History, the Ron DeSantis Way

by Staff

To the Editor:

Re “Florida Re-edits a New Subject: Social Studies” (front page, March 17):

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s push to eradicate ugly truths from our history, while pretending to protect young minds, is deceitful, cynical and manipulative, and will in fact harm young hearts and minds.

It will promote the use of denial, false narratives and other poorly adaptive coping mechanisms that will handicap youths as they face their futures.

Life is painful. That is a fundamental truth of our existence. It is only by examining a true and accurate history of our faults and errors that youths can become equipped to use only the healthiest coping skills.

Paul Rosenberg
Palm Beach, Fla.
The writer is a retired psychiatrist.

To the Editor:

Attacks on school curriculums emanating from Gov. Ron DeSantis and currently focused on social studies underscore the danger of such campaigns.

Economic intimidation leads to self-censorship, and some publishers as well as legislators are complicit in distorting or obscuring the historical record. It is a threat to education, and it reeks of hypocrisy.

Beginning as a negative reaction to political correctness, so-called anti-woke has come full circle to embody its own alarming form of P.C.

Diane Willen
Catonsville, Md.
The writer is professor emerita of history at Georgia State University.

To the Editor:

We have a new way to advertise books:

Banned in Florida.

Peter Bolton
Springfield, N.J.

To the Editor:

Re “Credit Card Points Are Being Paid For by the Poor,” by Chenzi Xu and Jeffrey Reppucci (Opinion guest essay, March 6):

It is not only the wealthy who benefit from credit card rewards. The vast majority (77 percent) of lower-income cardholders have a rewards card, and they use rewards for everything from cash back at the grocery store to miles for family vacations.

Merchants that accept credit cards also benefit through increased sales and security, decreased risk of fraud, and the reduced cost of handling cash and online payments.

Ms. Xu and Mr. Reppucci argue that the costs merchants pay to accept credit cards lead them to raise prices, but their view is not supported by the evidence. After Congress capped merchant debit card fees, the Richmond Fed found that most retailers did not lower prices, and researchers from Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania found that capping the fees likely made consumers worse off by increasing account fees and reducing debit card rewards.

These results should come as no surprise given that the benefits merchants receive from accepting credit cards easily outweigh the costs.

Rob Nichols
The writer is president and C.E.O. of the American Bankers Association.

To the Editor:

Chenzi Xu and Jeffrey Reppucci are correct when they point out that credit card perks favor the well-to-do and customers who choose to pay with cash are penalized, particularly if the credit card fees the merchant is charged are baked into the pricing and all customers pay the same regardless of whether they choose to pay with cash or credit.

Gas stations have long addressed this discrepancy by charging one price for cash and a slightly higher one (usually about 10 cents more per gallon) for credit.

Recently some merchants have begun introducing this dual pricing approach: Customers who opt to pay with cash get a discount (typically between 2.5 and 4 percent of the bill, depending on the size and type of business), or those who choose to pay with credit have the percentage added to their bill.

This transfer of costs from the merchant and the cash-paying customer to the credit-paying customer fairly places the credit card cost with the primary beneficiary of the card’s reward programs. The credit card user also benefits from the convenience of not having to carry cash (or a checkbook) when shopping and a year-end record of purchases made.

Eli Sadownick
Manchester Township, N.J.

To the Editor:

I have a credit card that gives me reward points for food shopping. Another gives me points for using a major retailer from which I purchase necessities frequently. I use the points I get back to help defray unexpected expenses (such as a car repair). I do not stay in resorts, fly first class or shop at Saks. In effect, the points I earn increase my income.

Chenzi Xu and Jeffrey Reppucci may be correct that the price of goods increases as point programs proliferate, yet there may also be many middle-class Americans with credit cards like mine who save money thanks to these point schemes.

I oppose the Credit Card Competition Act, which seeks to promote competition among credit card companies and lower the interchange fees (I also think it is unlikely to pass this Congress). But I could be turned around if it could be demonstrated that middle-class Americans like me would save more money.

Aryeh Raucher
Ann Arbor, Mich.

To the Editor:

Re “Left With Few Options, Biden Freely Approves Alaska Drilling Project” (news article, March 14):

The Biden administration and fossil fuel companies that want to drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic wilderness overlook an important consideration: It makes no economic sense.

As civilization uses up more and more of the easily accessible oil reserves on the planet, we have to use more expensive and inefficient methods to extract fossil fuels. Already, countless fossil fuel developments have been abandoned because the financial, reputational and legal costs of these projects outweigh their potential profit.

At the same time, solar and other clean energy costs have dropped precipitously, making them cheap and accessible to most everyone. Add to that the environmental and climate harm, and it’s like arguing that smoking cigarettes is cheaper and better for your health than breathing clean air. We are not buying it.

To the Editor:

Re “It’s Worth Braying About” (Science Times, March 14):

Thank you and kudos for your article about the donkey. An unequivocal yes!

Several years ago, I worked literally shoulder to shoulder with a donkey, planting trees to halt the erosion in a deforested area in Brazil. He carried the seedlings; I planted. He obligingly stopped every few feet so I could retrieve them. He was gentle, intuitive and accommodating, knowing when to halt.

I have always liked donkeys for their individuality, work ethic and musculature. This experience sealed my respect and admiration.

Paula Armbruster
New Haven, Conn.

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