Readers Write: (Sept. 3): Mining, pipeline project, end-of-life planning, city fines, inequality

  • Updated: September 2, 2013 - 5:35 PM
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MINING

You want the jobs? The tax revenue? Or what?

It gets tiring to hear discussion of only the same old partisan arguments (“DFL leaders lay out agenda for session,” Aug. 30). May I submit that both parties get creative and think about an agenda item that supports new tax revenues and job creators instead of tax increases on existing revenue generators.

We as Minnesotans have a rare opportunity to unite and rally our representatives (state and federal) to give their political weight to PolyMet Mining in northeastern Minnesota. This should be nonpartisan and a no-brainer! No tax money, taxpayer financial risk or partner vetting, as with the Vikings stadium. All private investment and investor risk.

It has taken seven years and much private money spent to develop the environmental-impact statement. If Iron Range legislators could support the stadium and same-sex marriage for reasons of job growth, I would think they would lead the charge for PolyMet. This project not only provides permanent jobs but decades’ worth of millions of dollars in tax revenue for all of Minnesota.

We don’t have to look far — to North Dakota — to see a state that seized its opportunity.

W.W. BEDNARCZYK, Minneapolis

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TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS

Infrastructure projects are not the same thing

A recent letter writer commented that many liberals do not believe in trickle-down economics — which is true. However, the economic expansion that the writer described in Grand Rapids, Minn., that resulted from a pipeline construction project is not trickle-down economics in “its purest form,” as he stated. Rather, it is an expansion due to the stimulus provided by an investment in infrastructure.

Trickle-down economics is the idea that tax breaks or other economic benefits provided to businesses or the wealthy will benefit the less fortunate and improve the economy as a whole. Even though President Ronald Reagan’s primary advocate of this idea — David Stockman — now is skeptical of the concept, the GOP continues to tout reduced taxes for business and the wealthy as the means to stimulating a stagnant economy.

The late economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted that trickle-down economics was tried in the 1890s under the name “horse and sparrow theory … the idea that if you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” Galbraith’s analogous end product, no doubt, was also meant to be his one-word evaluation of the validity of “trickle-down” economic theory.

WILLIAM SWEENEY, Minneapolis

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END-OF-LIFE PLANNING

Muster the courage to think things through

When would you like to die?

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