The Jan. 19 editorial “Pushed by Clinton, Sanders shows flaws” argues for an incremental approach espoused by Hillary Clinton vs. a qualitative change proposed by Bernie Sanders. The editorial states that “the world is not as dark as Sanders paints it.”
Let’s look at some broader reality. Steve Forbes cites a study today in which 75 percent of those polled see the federal government as corrupt. Oxfam reports that, as of 2015, 62 individuals in the world own as much wealth as the poorest 50 percent. Between 1999 and 2009, 37 banks in the U.S. consolidated into four. Currently, 51 percent of Americans make $30,000 or less per year.
Sanders paints too dark of a picture? Read Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything,” then let’s talk. Is it any wonder that those candidates gaining traction in this election cycle are those who are not seen as part of the established politics?
Wayne Lewis, a Dust Bowl survivor, said in 2012: “We always had hope that next year was gonna be better. And even this year was gonna be better. We learned slowly, and what didn’t work, you just tried it harder next time. You didn’t try something different. You just tried harder, the thing that didn’t work.” Bernie Sanders helps us understand that we need to do something different.
Ron Wetzell, Minneapolis
PAY AND GENDER
The state’s role in these specific fields is one culprit for inequity
A Jan. 18 letter writer noted the persistent differences in pay for women compared with men. A major driver for these differences is the low-paid work that women perform in occupations largely segregated from men — work performed in nursing homes and in group homes for the developmentally delayed, mentally ill and elderly. The pay scales in all of these segregated work settings are set primarily by our state governments when they specify the per-diem rates. Even though our politicians rail against pay inequities for women, they are responsible in large part for those inequities.
As noted in another letter the same day, there is a severe labor shortage for people serving people with disabilities. This is also true for nursing homes and group homes serving various populations. This shortage is again the result of extremely limited per-diem rates set by our state government.
Higher pay scales (controlled by our state government through per-diem rates) in the service industry would go a long way toward resolving pay equity issues for women, worker shortages and the sexual segregation of this industry.
Resolving pay-equity issues not only will cost businesses more in wages, it will require a higher tax burden for our citizens and a willingness of our state government to resolve this issue by raising taxes. Although pay-equity issues should be rectified, it will not be a change that can be easily remedied, considering our current political situation.
Tom Ebacher, Kensington, Minn.
‘MAKING A MURDERER’
The point of the series is that the process matters (and had flaws)
I believe Chris Duffy’s Jan. 18 commentary about the Netflix series “Making a Murderer” (“A riveting yarn, not the whole story”) misunderstood the point of the documentary.
Duffy stated that people should reserve outrage because the documentary addressed only a handful of the evidence. However, a “reasonable doubt” defense needn’t address everything. Undeniably, the documentary fairly brought to light the confluence of a dozen very key refuted pieces of evidence, the allowance of a police investigation operating under court-ordered restrictions due to conflicts of interest and a gross pattern of mishandling evidence. Each item is a very damning statement on its own. Combined, they create reasonable doubt.
Certainly, the defense didn’t address every piece of evidence. Neither did the prosecution. The man may or may not be guilty. That’s not the point. Our justice system isn’t supposed to practice Machiavellian tactics. Rather, criminal procedures were intended to reflect Voltaire, Sir William Blackstone and Ben Franklin, who all said, roughly: “Better that guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”
What’s clear to this outraged viewer is that I was watching a clear case of reasonable doubt unfold while the jury seemingly couldn’t see the forest for the trees. It’s the process I question, not the outcome.
I realize that Duffy was a cub reporter living the case, but I believe he’s confusing viewer outrage over a guilty verdict lacking due process with his personal certainty of a guilty verdict. Guilt or innocence is not the only question here. It never is.
Nick Dolphin, Minneapolis
PALIN AND TRUMP
‘Rogue’ is a compliment?
So now “Palin stumps for Trump” (Star Tribune, Jan. 20). Let’s hope this endorsement will get Donald Trump into the European countries that are wanting to ban him from ever entering. I mean, what an honor to not only get this endorsement from someone who has gone “rogue” in the past but to also be praised for “going rogue left and right.”
Sarah Palin’s overuse of this phrase sent me right to Google to look up the definition of “rogue.” Here is how the Cambridge Dictionary and Google Dictionary define the term: “A rogue is a sneaky person who has tricks up his sleeve, not like a magician, but like someone who would steal your wallet or cheat at cards. Dishonesty won’t get you far in life, unless you are a rogue who survives by lying and exploiting others.” Is this presidential material or what?
Karen Watters, Stillwater
REGIONAL SPELLING BEE
Orthographers in Minneapolis unite! The regional spelling bee lives on, thanks to your community, which believes in the value of spelling and supports outstanding opportunities for area students. As executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, I wanted to send a personal thank you to the Star Tribune for bringing attention to the challenge we’ve been trying to overcome in getting a sponsor for the regional bee (“Jeopardized Spelling Bee leaves loss for words,” Jan. 9). The article triggered an impressive response from businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals who offered their support and involvement. I am pleased to share that Minnesota Public Radio is the new sponsor for your region. MPR will coordinate the regional bee event in your area to determine which student will advance to the national finals in National Harbor, Md., in May.
Local support is critically important in establishing a robust program designed to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives. I wish your spellers the very best, and I commend Minnesotans for your generous spirit.
Paige Kimble, Cincinnati