Letters Don't be fooled

To the editor:

I was born in Vermillion, and went to public school there and graduated from The University of South Dakota.

When I was in South Dakota it was easy to note that national legislators elected by the Democratic Party campaigned as strict conservatives in the state and voted liberal when away from their constituents in distant Washington, DC, for example, U.S. Sen. George McGovern (D).

It has always been a bit odd to notice this predictable Democrat strategy by saying one thing at home and doing the opposite away. The liberal urban media usually protects them from exposure.

Anyway, U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) fits the above pattern as I watch the political scene again this election year. He appears so less radical left in my state (South Dakota) than his wildly left actions/words in the U.S. Senate.

South Dakotans deserve better treatment and should vote for one of their own in philosophy, John Thune. Sen. Daschle is one of the handful of U.S. senators that still supports the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortions, he seems uncertain as to his party's support of the war on terrorism, and as always supports high taxes and the general big government/socialist agenda.

Friendly Dakotans, don't be fooled again by Democrat duplicity that has manipulated my/your state for so many years. Sen. Tom Daschle (D) is out of touch with the values of that great state with the motto, "Under God the People Rule."


Gene Malone

Kenosha, WI

COOL folly

To the editor:

Kudos to editorial writer David Lias for his well reasoned and researched editorial on country of origin labeling (COOL). He is one of a few voices crying in the wilderness, as in South Dakota both Democrat and Republican candidates for national office advocate mandatory COOL.

As suggested by Mr. Lias' editorial, it is the mandating that is objectionable. The need for coercion provides evidence that resources used to provide COOL are better used elsewhere. Let me illustrate with an analogy.

When I was in graduate school, I had a neighbor who fancied himself an artist. He thought the images he constructed from bending and hanging together a number of wire coat hangers were beautiful. While some of us admired his art, no one, unfortunately, was willing to pay him anything for it.

His lack of income required him to change occupations. The market nudged him into an occupation where others valued what he produced, and hence voluntarily paid for his services. The young man's income went up, and everyone was better off.

It is not hard to imagine, however, a well meaning and nominally compassionate politician who, noticing that this self described artist is poor, advocates legislation that requires everyone to buy at least one artistic coat hanger ensemble (ACHE). The coat hanger artist, of course, thinks this is a great idea. However, the proposed legislation is laughed out of existence since there is only one coat hanger artist, and everyone else can easily see the extra expense they must bear if ACHE is passed.

In principle, ACHE and COOL are indistinguishable. Each costs more than it is worth. If this weren't so, the artist above would have been wealthy, and someone could have become very rich by providing country of origin labels.

Mistakes in public policy increase as length of time spent in government increases. Both folly and presumption grow in public office. As time passes, incumbent legislators become increasingly unacquainted with the economy in which they have become so fond of meddling. They pronounce with confidence, but know little of economics or the art of governing beyond becoming ever more expert at leaving the impression that they, if reelected, will bring us wonderful things from Washington. For free, too.

Sincerely yours,

Dennis A. Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Economics

University of South Dakota

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