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Reader's View: Blame wood prices on COVID-19, not Biden

An entire article about the lumber shortage lays the blame on COVID-19.

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I see John Phelan and the Center of the American Experiment have decided it's time to once again convince readers that up is down. (Phelan wrote the June 22 “An Economist's View” column in the News Tribune, headlined, “ Biden, media failing us on soaring lumber prices .”)

Apparently, the high lumber prices that we've all suffered from for the last year are the fault of our new president. Yes, Phelan assures us, COVID-19 played a role and so did the last president's raising of tariffs on lumber from Canada. But really, he argued, the blame should squarely be placed on President Joe Biden's shoulders. The reasoning? Some vague, unsupported threat that the Commerce Department is planning to do something in the future that would raise prices. No actual tariffs to point to now, of course, which means we continue to deal with shortages shaped by COVID-19 and President Donald Trump.

Luckily for Phelan, he has no shortage of bad-faith arguments to build his fantasies. Don't believe me? Take a look at the Business page of the same day’s newspaper. An entire article about the lumber shortage lays the blame on COVID-19. No heated rhetoric and no points to score. Thanks to the News Tribune for helpfully providing needed context!

Andrew Streitz

Duluth

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