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Letter to the Editor

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  • | 4:00 a.m. March 15, 2012
  • Sarasota
  • Opinion
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+ ‘Free’ contraception isn’t free
Dear Editor:

Who does President Obama think he is? What gives him the right to tell people that they must pay for the recreational sex of other people?

That is exactly what he is attempting to do with the requirement that insurance companies must pay for contraception.

Keep in mind that we are not talking about sex for procreation here. We are talking about “sex without consequences.”

I was raised with a mandate for personal responsibility. If I do something, I expect to take the consequences of my actions. My parents inculcated this in me. Indeed, a person with character will be able to defer gratification and exercise self-control.

Mr. Obama is not talking about health; he is only interested in having responsible people subsidize the recreational activities of irresponsible people. I happen to like skiing. I do not, however, ask other people to pay for my lift ticket (pun intended). Do we really want to subsidize irresponsibility?

Second, contraceptives are not insurable. Mr. Obama does not understand what insurance is. It is to cover an expense, usually large, caused by something outside the control of the insured party. Sexual activity is not uncontrollable. Further, contraception is a regular, ongoing expense not caused by some disaster; it is certainly not akin to an earthquake. People who cannot afford contraception are not appropriately engaging in sex; they are not mature enough.

Now, nothing in the above is intended to argue that consenting adults should not be allowed to do what they want. They, if they are adults, should be able to purchase the contraceptives they want to. Profit-seeking drug stores will sell them if government allows such sales, which, clearly, it should. It is probable that competitive markets will even result in lower costs than the roughly $100 per year for the pills or $1 per condom currently prevailing.

I would suggest that Mr. Obama’s push for “free” contraception (which is never free since there are costs to be paid by somebody) is simply because he wants to shift wealth from producers to non-producers.
Lawrence Southwick
Ph.D., Economics

+ Dorfman wrong about Main Street
Dear Editor:

I am sorry to tell Richard Dorfman, but Main Street is drab (Feb. 15 guest column).

We have been vacationing here for the past five years and have seen no change for the better on Main Street. If it weren’t for the special events held downtown, the streets would be empty, or nearly so.

The Selby Public Library/Sarasota Opera area is lovely, and Burns Square is great. In fact, Burns Court is funky. Main Street is just old and unappealing. Without some updating for Main Street, I think Dorfman will be waiting a long while for, as he said, “the time when our sidewalks are overcrowded with shoppers, etc.”  

But, in general, Sarasota is beautiful, and we will continue to spend as much time as possible in the city, just not on Main Street, alas.
Elaine Gallinaro
Cape Cod, Mass.


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