Congress is beginning debate on decreasing taxes on business profits and on personal income. We will hear much about job growth. They will argue that such tax decreases will stimulate the economy, an argument that has repeatedly been proven false. But there is a change that would almost certainly help business and job growth.

A single-payer health system (for example, Medicare for all) would clearly enhance the competitiveness of American business. It would relieve businesses of the $10,000 to $20,000 per year per employee cost of health care. Decreasing the cost of an employee would stimulate hiring, and the decrease in the cost of labor would make the business more competitive. Consider a business making and selling products in a price-sensitive market. Relief from the financial burden of medical care of its employees would decrease the cost of making and selling the products, prices of the products could be lowered, more products would be sold and profits would rise, possibly more than would have been saved by a lower tax rate.

In essence, it would allow business to do what it does best, with the government doing what it has demonstrated it does well — Medicare.

Thomas Detwiler, Minneapolis

• • •

John Marty’s comparison of health care to education is spot-on (“On single-payer: What if we treated schools like hospitals?”, Sept. 25). If our educational system were run like our health care system, we wouldn’t stand for it. I frequently compare the two systems and ask why we don’t consider health care to be a fundamental right, as we do education. We would never consider going back to the days when children with money could go to school and poor children went to work as soon as their small fingers could be useful. Yet we allow many children to go through life without regular health care.

How can we talk about a level playing field where anyone can work hard and succeed when having a child with a birth defect, or a spouse with cancer, may lead to bankruptcy? Don’t we need to provide a basic level of medical attention for all to claim a somewhat equal chance at success in life? Marty did not point out one crucial point about our education system — we do not provide an optimal education to everyone. We provide the basics. And we constantly argue about what that includes, but we know we can’t afford private tutors for every child and Harvard for all. Wealthy people will always be able to provide a better education by spending extra money, but at least we provide a base level of schooling for all.

We need to do the same for health care. Yes, it would be rationing, just like we ration education. I prefer to call it providing the basics for all. It would be a good start.



In taking Trump to task, editorial, too, was divisive

It was profoundly shocking and disappointing to read some of the statements in the editorial “Once more, Trump chooses divisiveness” (Sept. 26).

Am I to understand that the Star Tribune Editorial Board is calling the president of the United States a “would-be dictator”? And urging that Americans step forward to resist this so-called tyranny, which would supposedly “quash” the right of these millionaire athletes to speak and think as they choose?

No one is saying that the NFL players, or anyone else for that matter, do not have the right to sit, kneel or otherwise show disrespect for our national anthem, flag and country. They unquestionably have that right. Instead, the question is whether the NFL and its owners want to continue to employ those who insist upon such conduct, which is patently offensive to many other Americans.

The president’s point, which I believe is shared by millions of other Americans including myself, is that national symbols like the flag and anthem are above politics and should bring us together. Instead of stating their opinions and the reasoning for those opinions, the actions of the NFL players kneeling, sitting, etc., during the national anthem are offensive and disrespectful toward our country and all those who have sacrificed to ensure our freedom, including the freedom of these players to make millions of dollars for playing a game.

We live in a divided country, with serious issues to confront, and few symbols that should unite us all. If, as you say, it is not only the right of someone to disrespect those symbols, but also deserving of condemnation to question such disrespect, it is difficult to see any realistic prospect for maintaining the cohesion needed to address those serious issues. And that is what is truly divisive.

Todd Vollmers, Shakopee

• • •

We are walking toward a very difficult road that does not need to be taken. As Americans, we are the most creative, forward-thinking country the world has ever known. As such, I believe it is our responsibility to come up with creative (out-of-the-box) solutions, rather than let our politics and those with ulterior motives steer our society into an “us against them” mentality. One idea would be for the NFL to invite any off-duty officer to join the NFL players on the field to stand and show respect to not only our country but also to one another. They would not stand for any political or philosophical beliefs but stand in unity as Americans regardless of our differences. This would give the police the respect they deserve and the players an opportunity to open a dialogue directly with those they wish to convey their concerns to. Let us walk toward the future of hope and prosperity that our forefathers worked so hard to provide for us rather than a future of division and animosity.


• • •

In response to a letter writer (Readers Write, Sept. 26), I would like to offer the following litmus test for those who disagree with the protesting athletes: Stop voicing your opposition to these athletes’ protests if you have done any of the following in the past year: 1. Physically or verbally assaulted your partner or spouse after your team’s big loss; 2. Hired a prostitute or gone to a strip club after a big win; 3. Gotten so drunk after a loss/win that you don’t know how you got home; 4. Used illegal or illicit drugs; 5. Displayed a Confederate or Nazi flag; 6. Assaulted, discriminated against or insulted a person because of their race, religion or sexual orientation.

I feel that both my, and the letter writer’s, litmus tests are false narratives. The majority of both groups are good, decent people. The majority of professional athletes are not guilty of the acts described in the letter but are good citizens who are willingly and generously giving back to their communities and this country.

Whether intended or not, the letter and its litmus test for protesting athletes illustrates that systemic racism is alive and well in this country and, I feel, that this is what these athletes are saying. We need to stop dehumanizing these athletes and must start listening to what they have to say. You don’t have to agree with what they say and how they express themselves, but you have to listen — this is what truly makes America great.

Susan Corbin, Minneapolis


It’s quite simple: Listen to us

Harlan Anderson’s commentary alerting us to why voters supported Trump is arguably the most significant piece the Star Tribune has published in a very long time (“Beware the silent protesters — in the voting booth. Or we’ll ‘march’ again,” Sept. 25). Though I have complete contempt for Trump, I respect and value Anderson’s comments and urge citizens and especially politicians to listen to him. We have a Trump presidency because both parties have utterly failed to listen to the voter. They are preoccupied with their own thirst for power and see the citizen as incidental and useful only as a means for them to stay in Washington. “Beware” indeed.

Louis Lavoie, Plymouth


Author David Siegel’s name was misspelled on a Sept. 26 Editorial Counterpoint concerning local infrastructure fees.