Readers Write: (Aug. 13): Judicial races, unemployment benefits, corporate inversions, restaurant bills, Clinton's foreign policy

  • Updated: August 12, 2014 - 6:25 PM

Voters are not equipped to vote when they lack useful information.

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Why do we have judges running for office rather than appointed? In my precinct, this year’s ballot contained seven candidates for one seat and five for another. I did research as I always do, but this year was even worse than usual: For one of the seats, only one candidate had his bona fides posted on the website, and for the other, only one candidate had full information on background; two others had “minimal” information. You can guess which I planned to vote for.

We are not qualified to pick judges, and if a judicial candidate doesn’t care enough about the voters, he or she should be eliminated from the choices. That’s how I see it.

William Darusmont, Greenwood

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If the editors of the Star Tribune wanted to perform a great public service, they would do election endorsements of judges. All of the candidates I knew of seemed to have appropriate credentials, and there was nothing adverse about any of them. How can I vote when there is no way to distinguish among them?

Why doesn’t the newspaper send editorial writers out to ask questions of judicial candidates and make recommendations on who seems to be best?

The bar rates the performance of incumbent judges. Maybe the bar should rate the performance of prospective judges.

And, maybe it all points out that elections are not the way judges should be chosen.

Steve Cross, Minneapolis

UNEMPLOYMENT

Which was absent first: Benefits or hiring?

Cynthia M. Allen (“Benefits run out, people go to work,” Aug. 11) noted studies by economists finding that unemployment compensation prolongs joblessness. Yes, these economists claim unbiased research, but I question the theory. Was it really cause and effect?

A better correlation might include the number of open positions at companies. If the economists could show that full-time job openings were available but not filled because it was easier for prospective applicants to collect unemployment, then maybe the theory is relevant. But if industry wasn’t hiring, the claim is erroneous.

One thing that was neglected in the discussion: Every cent spent on unemployment benefits went back into the economy. No one got rich, but business received the funds in the end. And businesses can prosper when money circulates in the economy. Families were able to stay together, and children were fed and educated. I thought this is what conservatives want.

Linda Schneider, Omaha, Neb.

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The economists theorize that long-term unemployment benefits force companies to raise wages to get people to take jobs. In the real world, where is the evidence that wages have been going up? As for North Carolina illustrating the positive effect of cutting off unemployment benefits, take a close look at the numbers cited from the Wall Street Journal. For every person who found a new job in North Carolina in 2013, more than eight left the labor force. When large numbers of discouraged workers drop out of the job market, the unemployment rate goes down. But, is that good news?

David Aquilina, Minneapolis

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