I never met Pat Summitt and my sport wasn’t basketball, but I am sad to hear of her death because she was an idol of mine (“Pat Summitt, 1952-2016: Legions recall the fire, and the glow,” June 29). Title IX passed the year I was in eighth grade, and my high school girlfriends and I were in the vanguard of young women who learned about competing, and winning, and the power of teams while playing sports. I fell in love with sports — playing them and watching them. And I leveraged what I learned about playing to win across a 35-year corporate career. I would have loved to have played for Coach Summitt, the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history — men’s or women’s. The graduation rate was 100 percent across the 38 (I believe) seasons of women who played for her at the University of Tennessee. (University of Minnesota men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino, along with others, take note.) Once, I had the opportunity to attend a company sales meeting where the motivational speaker was Coach K — Michael Krzyzewski of Duke University. He was good. But I would have rather heard from Pat.
Kris Wenker, Maple Grove
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Summitt set the bar for all coaches of college student-athletes. You can win multiple national championships and still have 100 percent graduation rates. All of the people on your teams are students first. Thank you, Pat, for showing with grace, style and demonstrated ethics how it can be done.
Diane Yohn, Bloomington
The economic drawbacks of a leapfrog hike to $15 are clear
A $15-an-hour minimum wage, whether for Minneapolis or the entire state of Minnesota, appeals viscerally to liberals and some moderates. It only takes a quick look at the economics of this proposal, however, to realize how misguided it is. The concept of dead-weight loss is taught in basic economics courses and is critical to evaluating any policy involving wage or price controls, as it illustrates the economic cost of instituting a minimum wage higher than the market clearing wage (i.e., the wage at which the demand for and supply of workers is at equilibrium). This economic cost translates to a societal cost as a higher minimum wage — in particular, one drastically higher than the current minimum wage — causes employers to hire fewer minimum-wage workers and eliminate positions.
While a significantly higher minimum wage may put more money in the pockets of many workers, it also puts some workers on the street who previously would have been employed. Those of state Sen. John Marty’s view (“$15 an hour — first Minneapolis, then statewide,” June 29) either choose to accept higher unemployment of this group, one that can least afford to be unemployed, or are ignoring economic reality in favor of a proposal politically popular with the DFL base. Studies showing that minimum-wage increases have little effect on unemployment have focused on very small, incremental changes in the minimum wage, not the massive increase Marty and others are proposing, nor do those studies capture the disincentive that higher minimum wages provide for the creation of new businesses and jobs.
If one feels that a higher minimum wage is a necessary policy solution for helping alleviate poverty among the working class, an incremental, phased approach linked to inflation and a cost-of-living index is far more practical.
John Grimes, Minneapolis
Bending over backward to bash (and blindly support) Clinton
A news commentary often distinguishes itself as much for what it omits as what it includes. That’s not always a good thing. In the June 29 editorial “What we’ve learned from Benghazi probes,” the Star Tribune Editorial Board dug into the final report of the most recent investigation and pointedly engaged in some serious finger-wagging, incredulously characterizing the Obama administration’s response as “worse” than a stand-down order. The editors were stupefied as to why any recommendations that came to light after the fact were not already in place at the time of the attacks in September 2012.
Hey, Star Tribune, would it have killed you to mention that House Republicans cut the Obama administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012? Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, warned Republicans a full year before the attacks in Benghazi that proposals to cut the State Department budget would be “detrimental to America’s national security.” The funding got cut anyway. Whether or not it was a factor can be debated, but only if readers are aware that it happened.
Stephen Monson, Golden Valley
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Before writing “What we’ve learned from Benghazi probes” (editorial, June 29), the opinion page staff of the Star Tribune needed to read the New Yorker article “Chris Stevens’s Family: Don’t Blame Hillary Clinton for Benghazi.” Anne Stevens, speaking for the family, said that “[p]erhaps if Congress had provided a budget to increase security for all missions around the world, then some of the requests for more security in Libya would have been granted. Certainly the State Department is underbudgeted.” The Star Tribune Editorial Board and the Republicans on the committee missed a key component. If Chris Stevens’ sister tells us “I don’t see any usefulness in continuing to criticize her [Hillary Clinton]. It is very unjust,” then perhaps we could all take a lesson from her.
Jane Brodie, West St. Paul
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I am impressed with the Star Tribune Editorial Board staff, since they were able to read over 800 pages of the Congressional Benghazi investigation and render an opinion the day after it was made available to the public — nice job, Star Tribune. One thing we all can count on from the board is its blind support of Hillary Clinton.
A.E. Richter, Minneapolis
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Democrats on the House Select Committee to investigate the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi released their minority report recently after complaining vociferously that the majority report would be only aimed at damaging Clinton’s presidential campaign. The Democrats’ report mentions Donald Trump 23 times; however, Trump was not involved in any way at the time of the deaths and had not become a political candidate. It appears to me that it is the Democrats who are using the deaths of Americans for political purposes, just like Clinton uses the “it was the video” lie to the same end.
Bill Halling, Edina
It’d be nice if men would shut up and if editors would help them
To the two men whose anti-abortion letters were published on June 28: Unless you have a woman’s body, I don’t want to hear your opinion on what women’s bodies should or should not do. In fact, it would be a delight if the Star Tribune Editorial Board ceased publishing men’s letters about women’s bodies entirely. Perhaps newspaper readership among young people would grow if every time we opened a paper, we didn’t have to read old men’s fusty opinions about uteri.
Heidi Seltz, Afton