Patricia Tanji, St. Paul
The writer is president of the Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota.
Adam Smith knew how to limit it: Pay up front
I’m a veteran, and when I came back moderately intact in 1972, it was hard to get a job, just like today. A couple of years ago, I was supporting veterans facing, I think, unjust foreclosure. Out of curiosity, I googled “banks and war profits” and found a quote from Adam Smith, so far from anything I’d ever heard that I finally went and read “The Wealth of Nations” to make sure the guru of free enterprise really said it. He did. Toward the end of the 1,000-page classic, Smith says, “If a war is imminent, citizens should be taxed up front to pay for it, so they won’t let it happen needlessly, or carry it on endlessly.” He also has a long section on how nations are more prosperous during peacetime, due to building roads, bridges and buildings, not blowing them up.
A few years ago, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution saying that it was time to bring the war dollars home to deal with domestic issues like housing, jobs and health care. I support this over welfare programs for corporations that make weapons even the generals don’t want.
Larry Johnson, Golden Valley
Is the proposed solution chasing the problem?
Bill Mund, president of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, claims that sprinkler systems in homes of more than 4,500 square feet will greatly reduce fire deaths (“Why we need sprinklers in new homes,” April 14). How many of the 20 fire-related deaths this year in Minnesota, or the 305 deaths in the past 10 years, occurred in homes of that size?
Rhonda Kuehl, Minneapolis
In Anoka County, charges but no charges
Airline seat upgrade for boyfriend: $29. Rental car: $800. Avoiding felony theft charges for charging over $2,500 in personal expenses to a government credit card: Priceless!
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.