GOVERNMENT’S ROLE

Also, the tax coffers don’t fill themselves

I like straight-talking politicians like Elizabeth Warren (“Unapologetic, straight-talking — and liberal,” May 19). Here is some straight-talking by a conservative right back at her. Warren is correct in saying “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.” We are all dependent on one another. That factory owner needs roads to move his goods. Those roads were paid for by the corporate taxes and the taxes paid by the workers the owner hired. The firefighters and police likewise were financed by the same taxes. Remove the factory, workers and worker’s housing, and there would be nothing to protect.

Government produces nothing. Government can’t exist without the taxes paid by the factories and their workers. In other words, no politician ever got rich on their own. They need somebody to need them and to pay them.

True capitalism is, and should be, a constant tug-of-war between those who produce and those who administer the production.

Donald C. Campbell, Minneapolis

 

WATER ENGINEERING

Savings are realized from capturing runoff

The May 17 editorial (“Target Field Station is latest transit milestone”) mentioned extended environmental benefits to the Minnesota Twins stadium that include a cistern to keep water runoff from getting into the water system and to save water and expense.

Not mentioned was that the water in this reservoir adds significantly to the savings because it can be used to irrigate the field. The cistern and enlarged reservoir were added after construction began after the potential savings were recognized.

Similarly, such savings were recognized in the design of the St. Paul Saints stadium in Lowertown, with the water runoff from the adjacent Green Line light-rail service building roof captured in a cistern reservoir. This water will not only be used to irrigate the field, but also to flush the toilets!

Tedd Johnson, Minneapolis

 

LIGHT RAIL

Pedestrians are in peril on University Avenue

I think there is a real concern for pedestrians on the new University Avenue light-rail line. Though there are two lanes of traffic going each way, the pedestrian crossings have signs only on the right side. A driver in the left traffic lane often can have an obstructed view of the warning sign and any pedestrians present if there is a truck or a bus in the right lane. The only thing the driver can see are the two white lines crossing the lane ahead. In addition, these crossing lanes are often in the middle of a block, not at an intersection, not to mention the visual clutter along the avenue.

It is only a matter of time before a pedestrian trying to catch a train will be inadvertently hit by someone in the left lane who cannot see them coming nor anticipate the situation. And someone from out of town may not even realize that the white lines indicate a pedestrian crossing at those locations.

Why not have signs on both sides of the street? Or better yet, flashing lights activated by the pedestrian? Do we need to wait until someone is killed before this is fixed?

Lynn Barron, St. Paul

 

PAYING FOR PRIVILEGE

A matter of concern here and nationwide

Has anyone else noticed this disturbing trend? According to recent news articles, only those who are able and willing to pay extra get privileges that used to be for all people. For example, only those willing and able to pay $85 for the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program get to bypass the masses and arrive at their gate on time (“More travelers are signing up to breeze through airport security,” May 22). Only those willing and able to pay extra to the airlines can sit in a seat with legroom unavailable to the rest of the passengers.

At the new Vikings stadium, only those willing and able can buy the “right” to pay for good seats. On our freeways, only those who are willing and able can pay for the right to use the lane that bypasses all the rest of the poor drivers.

What is next? Will the skyways have turnstiles for the masses, but those willing and able to pay extra can go in the fast lane and beat us to Macy’s? I’m thinking that Marie Antoinette would be right at home in 2014 Minnesota.

Marsha O’Brien, Elk River

 

VOTER TURNOUT

You have a voice; why aren’t you using it?

The important May 23 story “GOP hopeful has skipped primary voting,” in citing the ridiculously low turnout in Minnesota primary elections, verifies how the two parties have successfully produced a small, closed system of political kingmakers with radically minority views, shutting out the vast majority of Minnesotans.

Three hundred sixty thousand primary voters out of 3 million registered? Shame!

Yet everyone complains about the state of politics and governance — and the lack of bipartisanship.

Way to go Minnesota voters, you lazy slobs! About 20 people are deciding everything that happens.

Lance Olson, Minnetonka