The many ways that armchair viewers pay


The Nov. 20 Letter of the Day suggested that instead of the Minnesota Vikings issuing personal seat licenses for revenue, all TV-viewing households should be charged a set amount each week in order for the game to be broadcast. Are you kidding me? TV-viewing households ARE being charged a set amount already for watching the game, in the form of the taxes required to build the stadium. As much as Zygi Wilf and, apparently, last year's Legislature would have us believe it, the Vikings are not entitled to our money. They need to figure out a way to fill those stadium seats themselves. Perhaps a winning team would do the trick.


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First of all, let private business operate in a free-market system. If you don't like the policies of the Vikings, simply don't buy your ticket (or seat license).

Second, I do pay to view the Vikings on television. It's called a cable bill, and believe me, it is not cheap. The Vikings have a television contract with television networks, and that cost is passed on to all television viewers through subscription fees.


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Regarding making the Vikings games pay-per-view: That only continues the trend of moving NFL football and all pro sports to an elitist crowd. The Twins moved to a new stadium with taxpayer funds, raised the ticket prices, put an inferior product on the field and moved all games to FSN -- only available to those paying for cable TV. I haven't followed the Twins since. Besides, those watching on broadcast TV already are paying for the game -- we have to sit through the beer commercials.


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If we have to pay to watch the Vikings in the comfort of our living rooms, then they should remove all the advertising we are subjected to.


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Our conscientious choices haunt us


After reading about several business closings and cutbacks in the newspaper these past few days, I can't help but think that each of us is playing a role in keeping unemployment rates high.

While Hostess clearly struggles to manage labor costs, a recent article suggested that our healthy eating habits have played a role in the decreasing sales of these treats "of a bygone time." A recent paper also reported that soda sales are flat, as mayors ban super-sized sodas and as critics single out soda as a health risk. Decreasing soda sales will certainly impact jobs in production, sales and transportation in the soda industry.

We also learned that the lumber industry is cutting jobs as we become more "green" and forgo newspapers, magazines and mail for their online alternatives.

It seems pretty clear that our healthier choices are having an impact on these retail markets and consequently on the unemployment rate. It's a vicious circle.


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Liberals in New York and California want to ban cooking with trans fats, forbid salt shakers in restaurants, ban burgers with too many calories, limit sugar use, ban 36 ounce drinks (in New York City), etc. etc. Liberals have been demanding government stay out of our bedrooms for years, but I guess they think camping out in our kitchens is acceptable.


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Mistakes? Yes, but blame game is worse


Gen. David Petraeus was a leading candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, and probably still should be. If he had been a leading candidate to be the Democratic nominee, can anyone doubt that the ire directed at Susan Rice would have been directed at Petraeus as the head of the CIA? Clearly the CIA response in Benghazi failed, but with the short timeline, someone made calls that seemed best under the circumstances. That was not Petraeus, the president, nor the U.N. ambassador. It is appalling that politicians on both sides of the aisle are so intent on second-guessing. And any discussion about a political cover-up is just nonsense, as well as being useless. There are too many real needs to be addressed by Congress.


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'Majority rules' isn't the best argument


A Nov. 21 letter ("People have spoken; raise the top rate") was a great example of why the founding fathers correctly chose to make this country a republic and not a democracy. Of course, the opinion of the majority would be to raise the taxes on the rich; the majority would much rather have someone else pay. If your strongest argument for raising taxes on the rich is that 60 percent of the electorate demands it, well, it sounds to me like a mob is speaking, not the people.


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Krugman gets nuance of Social Security


I'm not sure what Paul Krugman article a Nov. 21 letter writer ("Krugman's hope isn't a sound strategy") read, but it certainly wasn't the one I read ("Deficit doesn't require higher eligibility ages," Nov. 17). The letter writer claimed Krugman said the life expectancy at age 65 has not changed since 1970. This is simply false. Basically, Krugman wrote that life expectancy at 65 has increased since 1930 (but not nearly as much as suggested by people like Alan Simpson), with gains since the 1970s going mainly to the affluent and well-educated.

The letter writer then accurately quantified the gains in life expectancy at 65. The increase is about five years, but with the full retirement age rising from 65 to 67, today's new retirees will receive three more years of paychecks than did those in 1940. Again, compared with what "experts" like Simpson believe, this isn't a significant increase. It also should be pointed out that increases in life expectancy are already part of the long-range financing of Social Security.

Krugman is an example of an adult who should be included in this discussion. The likes of Alan Simpson should be shown the door.