Reader’s Opinion: Read More Than The Headline Before Criticizing



In response to my June 21 column in the News Tribune (An Economist’s Point of View: ‘Biden, Media Is Trashing Us on Soaring Lumber Prices’), a June 30 letter noted that apparently I had “decided it was time to convince readers again that this high is low.” My column’s argument was summed up in the letter as follows: “Apparently the high lumber prices that we have all suffered over the past year are the fault of our new president. “

The author of the letter (Reader’s Perspective: “Blaming Wood Prices on COVID-19, Not Biden”) could have avoided a lot of embarrassment by 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 increased, driven by strong demand for new housing. ”

The letter approvingly pointed to an article on a News Tribune business page, noting: “Entire article on lumber shortage blames COVID-19. My column too! Anyone who has actually read my column would know.

Let this be a lesson to read more than a headline before clicking “Send”.

Jean Phelan

St. Paul

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

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

Letter writers are limited to one submission published every 30 days.

With rare exceptions, the News Tribune does not publish poetry; letters that are anonymous, defamatory or attacking other writers; consumer complaint letters; thank you letters; or letters generated by political or special interest campaigns.

We will consider Local View exclusive columns of 600 words or less. Authors should have unique ideas and their comments should demonstrate more knowledge of their topic than letters.

Email submissions to:

Mail to: Reader’s Opinions, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802.

Fax to: 218-720-5120.

Include a full name, address, and daytime phone number. Only names and hometowns will be published.



Comments are closed.