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Reader's View: Read more than headline before criticizing

Sawmills closed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been slow to reopen, while demand for lumber has steadily climbed, driven by robust demand for new housing.”

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In response to my June 21 column in the News Tribune ( An Economist’s View: “Biden, media failing us on soaring lumber prices ”), a letter on June 30 noted that, apparently, I “have decided it's time to once again convince readers that up is down.” The argument in my column was summarized by the letter as: “Apparently, the high lumber prices that we've all suffered from for the last year are the fault of our new president.”

The writer of the letter (Reader’s View: “ Blame wood prices on COVID-19, not Biden ”) might have avoided a good deal of embarrassment by actually bothering to read my column before responding. Here is what I wrote: “The reason for soaring lumber prices is a shortage of supply. Sawmills closed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been slow to reopen, while demand for lumber has steadily climbed, driven by robust demand for new housing.”

The letter pointed approvingly to an article on a News Tribune business page, noting, “An entire article about the lumber shortage lays the blame on COVID-19.” So did my column! Anyone who actually read my column would know that.

Let this be a lesson in reading more than a headline before hitting “Send.”

John Phelan

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St. Paul

The writer is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment (AmericanExperiment.org), a conservative public-policy think tank based in Golden Valley, Minnesota.


Readers' View and Local Views

Letters are limited to 300 words, must be the original work of the author and must be exclusive to the News Tribune. Letters are edited for style, space, accuracy and civility.

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Related Topics: CORONAVIRUSJOE BIDEN
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