Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on February 20, 2019


– Haven’t we got better things to do?

To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Over the last few months, the subject of plastic straws has become a political football, brought about by Democrats who contend they are not ecologically friendly. Not surprising, California was the first state to bring it to our attention. Since then, the subject has surfaced in a handful of cities here in Florida, most notably St. Petersburg, a stronghold for the Democrats. Last December, the St. Pete City Council passed a bill banning plastic straws, not the voters. This is related to their ban on Styrofoam which is commonly used by restaurants to save leftovers. As of this moment, you can only get a plastic straw in St. Pete if you ask for one, but the straws will be totally banned by 2020, and replaced by paper straws.

In my youth, I remember paper straws wouldn’t last any longer than a small carton of milk. As to soft drinks, twelve ounces and up, forget it, they’re useless. People would rather drink a soft drink directly out of a can, bottle or glass than using a paper straw.

The big question though, is the plastic straw a genuine problem? St. Petersburg is respectable in size and is listed as the fifth most populous city in Florida. During the winter months the city probably doubles in size due to the influx of “snowbird” tourists who enjoy the beaches and warm weather. St. Pete is also home to the Tampa Bay Rays, our MLB franchise. As such, there is a multitude of dining facilities in the area, large and small, all presumably providing straws to patrons.

The St. Pete council believes the plastic straw is an ecological threat to the beaches, but there is little, if any, proof that this is true. This begs the question, is this a political fad or is there any legitimate science behind it? So far, the answer appears to be “No.” It is reminiscent of Obamacare and the “Green New Deal” legislation introduced by Democrat-Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) which is a laundry list of items to create a Socialist Utopia, but lacking specifics, such as the costs to implement her program and precisely how it will improve the environment.

Because of this, the plastic straw has become an iconic symbol of Democrats pushing their agenda without any science behind it. Such lunacy would not play well in corporate America where you must quantify the return on investment of a proposal. In other words, the Democrats are weak on doing their homework and are acting on impulse as opposed to fact. Instead, they package their ideas and allow the news media to carry the pitch to the public. Even more disturbing is the public is not truly being consulted on this issue which is commonly used by everyone.

Fortunately, cooler heads are prevailing at the state level in Florida where the legislature is drafting bills to prevent cities from outlawing plastic straws. If passed, this will supersede the authority of the municipal level.

This rhubarb over something as simple as a plastic straw is much ado about nothing. The Democrats have simply not made their case and makes me wonder, don’t we have better things to do? It also disturbs me our government officials will entertain any hairbrain idea that comes along, particularly when it is not thought through and articulated properly. They could probably be more productive by counting the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

We could save a lot of time, money and effort if legislators could learn to draft bills more intelligently, such as how businesses write feasibility studies, but I guess that is too much to ask.

To help in this regard, my next column will be, “The Elements of a Good Feasibility Study,” which is intended to provide insight in the preparation of an intelligible proposal. Until then…

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.




  1. Dr. Rich Swier said

    Great. Published:


    On Wed, Feb 20, 2019 at 7:01 AM THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! wrote:

    > Tim Bryce posted: “BRYCE ON POLITICS – Haven’t we got better things to do? > Click for AUDIO VERSION. To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or > Podcast, send TIM a request. Over the last few months, the subject of > plastic straws has become a political football, brought ” >


  2. Tim Bryce said

    An R.B. of Dunedin, Florida wrote…

    “There is plastic waste in the Gulf of Mexico but it is coming from Central America and Mexico. Also plastics come from cruise ship dumps. I have never seen a plastic straw in the water in this area. I have seen lots of plastic bottles floating around. These come from people throwing them out of the car and then washed down the storm drains. Restaurants have their waste picked up and hauled to the County incinerator where it is recycled into electricity. This straw thing is all purely political.”


  3. Francis Dryden said

    Here in Mexico we have restaurants pulling the same crap but even dumber!… They have invented straws (and other utensils) made from avocado pits – goofy California should love those!… but some goofier restaurant owners won’t buy them because they ignore their availability! I FINISH THAT MEAL IN THAT RESTAURANT AND NEVER RETURN… We have a glut of restaurants in the ex-pat area I live in.
    Example! A restaurant my wife and I went to EVERY Sunday evening got the gate and about 6 months later I ran into our very pleasant young waiter who asked, “I haven’t seen you at the restaurant in a long time… So I filled him in with some numbers… Long story short… He did himself out of about 15,000 pesos and the kid 3,000 in tips… would buy a lifetime supply of biodegradable straws!

    That restaurant (and a couple of others) are off my list completely… By the way… Those straws sell for 165 pesos for 500!… How much is STUPID costing this dope!

    By the way, my wife and I eat at least two meals OUT per day! Some restaurants have bought the biodegradable straws!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lawrence P. Marlin said

    One can only hope this is the straw that breaks the Dem’s back. Maybe more people will understand how stupid both economically and environmentally this is.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tim Bryce said

    An A.B. of Tarpon Springs, Florida wrote…

    “I agree 100% with you. With a communist mayor though why would anyone expect anything else. If I lived in St. Pete my house would already be up for sale. Clearwater is not much better, but at least as you go north in the county you seem to be safer. I would prefer to live in Pensacola area myself. The beaches are FREE and the WATER is crystal clear like the islands. It get a bit colder in the winter but not that much considering the better life style you have.”


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