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Continued: Readers Write: (Dec. 10): State budget surplus, violent video games, random acts of kindness

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  • Last update: December 9, 2013 - 6:02 PM

These increased costs create a severe competitive disadvantage and stifle economic growth. Ultimately, the taxes harm employees and consumers through higher prices for goods, lower wages and fewer job opportunities. They also cripple border cities like Fargo-Moorhead, where consumers are lured to the other city that enjoys the fruits of a booming economy.

CRAIG WHITNEY; president and CEO, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce

• • •

Noted economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said that “the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”

As the politicians look to use Minnesota’s “projected” budget surplus to their advantage, let’s remember that.

This surplus is real only if all the economic assumptions used by Minnesota’s finance department come true.

And should they play out as forecast, let’s not forget the last six years. Over time, economies only do two things: They go up, and they go down.

The Star Tribune’s call for an expansion and funding of the state’s rainy-day fund makes good sense. While the sun may be shining now, storm clouds are never far away.

TOM BAUMANN, Isanti, Minn.



Those who play actually know the difference

The Dec. 8 Letter of the Day parroted a tired trope about the relationship between violent video games and violent actions. This belief, that violent video games cause violent behavior among those who play them, is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of the psychology of media consumption. As evidence, I would direct the letter writer to a recent open letter to the American Psychological Association asking the group to reevaluate its stance on the correlation between media violence and outwardly violent behavior. The letter was signed by 228 media-studies scholars, sociologists and psychologists, and was an effort to prompt the organization to abandon the politically motivated position that it and the letter writer are supporting.

I am one of the many young people who have spent a significant amount of time playing both football and video games such as “Grand Theft Auto 5.” I have yet to act out violently. Why? Because I come from a loving family and because I am capable of adopting a nuanced view regarding contact sports and media violence.

BRIAN KRAUSE, Minneapolis



… of kindness: They’re appreciated, advanced

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