TWIN CITIES IMAGE
State needs to shed popular stereotypes
The effort to rebrand Minneapolis and St. Paul will get a boost when Garrison Keillor and Michele Bachmann retire (“Putting the ‘there’ there: A to-do list,” July 28). Both have done much to portray Minnesota and its two major cities as the home of hapless, eccentric rubes. The Coen brothers milked the same images and then moved on. Jesse Ventura didn’t do much for our public image, either, but he seems to be slowly fading from public awareness.
Such images didn’t start with the state’s current celebrities but go back a century to Nobel laureate Sinclair Lewis, who wrote satirical novels about characters and small-town life in Minnesota that have endured as stereotypes. Minneapolis and St. Paul have much to offer and will certainly prosper despite these humorous but negative stereotypes.
M.L. KLUZNIK, Mendota Heights
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Too many governments try to attract businesses instead of people. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker placed a sign on his desk that read, “Open for business.” North Dakota placed similar signs on its borders facing Minnesota. Gov. Mark Dayton, the mayors of Minnesota and county administrators should do likewise. Businesses don’t create people, but people create businesses.
MELVYN D. MAGREE, Duluth
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Excessive pay packages for minimum wage foes
I was stunned by the Star Tribune’s annual report on executive compensation (“Lots of options,” July 28). The corporations that pay these obscene sums also contribute to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce). The chamber is opposed to increasing the minimum wage. The mind reels.
JOHN DEITERING, Buffalo, Minn.
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Your CEO Pay Watch series has been one of your most important services, and your executive compensation report thrust that service to an even higher level. Such outlandish compensation is corruptive and ultimately undemocratic. Although money is power and power corrupts, I suggest a few changes in language or attitude. Do not equate wealth with intelligence (If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?). As to personality: Who is most successful in the climb to the top, the nice guy or the one with the killer instinct? How many bodies has he/she left on the corporate floor as he/she advanced?
BRUCE KITTILSON, Golden Valley
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The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.