Readers Write (March 8): Congress, worker flexibility, economic growth, Mayo, Dennis Rodman

  • Updated: March 7, 2013 - 9:42 PM
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CONGRESS

Witness a winning new leadership style

Finally! I have been getting so irritated with our elected officials accomplishing nothing lately, but that ship has clearly sailed. Two bold moves — House Democrats walking out on U.S. Rep. John Kline’s job-training agenda, and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s rare talking filibuster against John Brennan’s nomination as CIA director — prove that they are again putting in an honest day’s work.

Deadlines and legislation used to just be shelved until an apparent catastrophe would take place, as in the case of the sequestration, but in this bold new Congress there is unprecedented active stalling in order to get nothing done. Doing nothing to get nothing done was infuriating, but doing something to get nothing done — that’s genius and has bipartisan support!

Brett Larson, St. Paul

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THE WORKPLACE

Flexibility: Somewhere between the extremes

Fascinating perspectives from the polar-opposite sides of the flex-work debate (“Worker flexibility gets time-out,” March 7). Now here’s a perspective from the middle, where the vast majority of us live and work:

I am fortunate to work for FindLaw, a division of Thomson Reuters in Eagan. About two years ago, FindLaw management implemented a flex-work program that requires employees to qualify by first meeting tough performance and production metrics. To remain eligible, we are held to high standards for meeting our metrics, as well as accountability to the team. We are encouraged to come to the office for special meetings, and we have a comfortable work space available when we choose to. Most of us “full-time flexers” work at least one day a week at the office.

Supervisors hold us accountable, and their training and skill sets include overseeing a diverse workforce in a changing world. I assure you that nobody is lounging on a beach chair and sending in just one e-mail a day. Oh, and whether it’s related to the flex program or not, Thomson Reuters stock continues to go up.

Rick Schuette, Bloomington

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ECONOMIC GROWTH

We don’t get by on manufacturing alone

A March 6 letter writer claimed that “wealth is solely created by manufacturing, including mechanized farming.” Professional economists wouldn’t agree. Look it up. Wealth is created not just by tangible assets, but also by intangible ones. Manufacturing, farming and natural resources are all examples of tangible factors, and they are obviously important.

But we can’t disregard intangibles such as human capital; that is, a skilled and educated workforce. It’s not possible for a nation to develop lasting wealth without people who provide services. Consider the contributions of accountants, mechanics, lawyers, medical practitioners, plumbers, sales people, teachers: The list is virtually endless.

Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park

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