LOWER PAY ISN'T AN RX

Job creation column doesn't pass smell test

I have a question to ask Kevin Hassett of Bloomberg News ("Want to help the jobless? Accept lower wages," Sept. 8): If your dream of lowering workers' wages comes true, who do you think will be buying the products and services that would be produced by a nation of low-wage-earners? This is nothing more than blatant class warfare against 95 percent of us.

I have part of the solution that will sideline nonsensical ideas like this: Please get out and vote for Mark Dayton and the rest of the Democratic candidates. These people best represent a decent future for Minnesota!

LEE PETERSON, TOWER, MINN.

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Hassett's column stands out as the most odious and ridiculous piece I've read in weeks.

Hassett, who is the senior economic adviser of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, suggests that the Americans are unemployed because wages are too high for the American workers who are employed. High wages are the cause of unemployment? I suggest that Hassett is either lying or flat-out crazy.

The current economic trouble comes from the Wall Street shell games that led to massive foreclosures in housing. The troubles stem from the United States no longer having a healthy manufacturing base.

Wages over the past few decades have not kept up with the cost of living. In other words, in terms of buying power, wages have gone down.

Again, the right wing attacks its favorite victims: working people, unions, the poor and people of color. When will people wake up to these falsehoods?

I wonder what kind of money Hassett gets from the American Enterprise Institute?

BILL STIEGER, RIVER FALLS, WIS.

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Reading the Sept. 8 editorial pages made me glad to be a Minnesotan. Kevin Hassett of Bloomberg News promotes lowering the minimum wage, seems glad that union jobs are declining, and urges people to pick up and move to find lower-paying jobs so they can reduce the unemployment rate. Accept poverty and don't buy a house so you can move easily, he seems to say, for the good of the country.

Letter writer Gary Immel of Plymouth laments the fact that today's children "struggle to pay their bills and taxes" and "would not want to be in their shoes" and says he "doesn't mind paying higher taxes for the higher standard of living" he and his children have.

Thanks, Mr. Immel: It's enlightened businessmen like you that make this state great -- and help Minnesota have a lower-than-average state unemployment rate.

ARVONNE FRASER, MINNEAPOLIS

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Why does Hassett ask only the workers to accept lower pay? Isn't it just as reasonable to ask CEOs to give back a chunk of their compensation so more might have at least some?

CHARLES H. EVERSMAN, ST. PAUL

What about illegals?

Editorial failed to draw a critical distinction

There is one word missing in your editorial on immigration, and probably not by accident ("Sorting fact, fiction in immigration talk,'' Sept. 8). You did not mention "illegal" anywhere in the editorial.

I, and I think a lot of your readers, have no problem with immigrants and immigration. We have a huge problem with illegal immigrants, however. Legal immigrants go through an established procedure and, yes, they contribute to our society and our economy. Illegals are not faced with any quotas, waiting periods or screening for criminal activity.

Do us all a favor and conduct another survey comparing legal vs. illegal immigrants. That would be enlightening.

TOM DINNDORF, BAUDETTE, MINN.

Important question

It's time for polls on the looming stadium issue

Now that the results of the Minnesota State Fair poll have been published and discredited as being unscientific, why not take an actual poll on the same subjects to see how Minnesotans actually feel about them?

For example, with a nearly $1 billion stadium about to be considered once again, it's likely that candidates would appreciate a clear indication of the public's willingness to participate in its funding. Expanding the stadium questions to include its proposed location, local tax participation, and even whether it should be built at all could go a long way toward resolving what's certain to become a contentious issue.

RAY ROSSBERG, EDEN PRAIRIE

Worry about wealthy?

Kersten should focus on those with real needs

Katherine Kersten's recent column reads as an apology for the same wealthy interests that crashed this economy with their arrogance, intemperance and obsession with short-term gain over long-term growth ("Obama & Co. are obstacle to recovery,'' Sept. 5).

These elites continue to hold a gun to the head of Main Street America, and the advice of Kersten and her ilk is: "Just do what they say, or they'll shoot!" Ordinary Americans who find themselves nodding in solidarity with the "plight" of the wealthy and powerful should be warned: They are suffering from economic Stockholm Syndrome.

ROB MCINERNY, Excelsior

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Kersten ended her column blasting President Obama with a partial quote from Mort Zuckerman saying that Obama is presiding over "the most fiscally irresponsible government in American history."

That led me to find the story she was quoting. The full quote reads: "Obama must know that if he doesn't address this, he will be the president who drove us toward a debt crisis. And so too must Congress, for both have now participated in the most fiscally irresponsible government in American history."

Somehow it all falls on Obama when it is Kersten's retelling of the story.

CHRIS CHAMBERS, SHOREVIEW