By Mike Austreng, Editor
The snow storm about a week ago was interesting. Schools announced being closed on Sunday and the weather people were telling us we’d get blasted with snow – up to a foot here. It was supposed to be that really heavy wet stuff.
It did snow, but we don’t think there was much more than four or five inches and it wasn’t that sticky, heavy, wet stuff. It was wet enough that cars packed it down on the streets and they became very slippery. Something odd about the past storm, to us anyway, was the lack of people driving. When we were out and about it felt like almost everyone else stayed home. Even Highway 23 didn’t have the traffic it usually has.
After this past weekend the days are longer in the evening – a time of year we really like because we gain daylight every day and we no longer have to drive to and from work in the dark. It won’t be too long before we’ll hear motorcycles going by our office and warm weather activities get underway.
Since we have some making up to do with the time we lost at the end of last summer, we are really looking forward to a good summer full of activities. As the years pile up we’re starting to feel like it’s time to take advantage of every year we’re capable of being active because there will come a time when our body simply won’t allow it, or the good Lord will call us home.
We won’t be surprised if we get a couple more blasts of snow, after all, it is Minnesota we’re living in.
The debate rages forward about gun control. Currently there are lawmakers who want to move the age of ownership of certain weapons to 21. If you read this column and the letters to the editor in this newspaper you may have read some opinions about gun control and whether it will curb gun violence. We agree with the writers of those letters, this issue isn’t about gun control, it’s about mental health. Controlling guns “might” stop some violence, but the truth is, if someone is intent on doing damage to other people, they will find a way to do it whether that is with guns or other forms of weaponry (knives, cars, trucks, bombs, etc.).
Stopping the violence that sadly is becoming “normal” starts with better mental health. Controlling guns might prove to be an easier battle to win, but it won’t stop the violence that is being repeated over and over and seems to be happening more frequently.
President Trump enacted tariffs on imported steel and aluminum (with a couple exemptions). Basically any country that wants to import steel will pay a 25% tax and if it’s aluminum the tax would be 10%.
This is an attempt to protect American workers in those industries because the imports, like from China, are less expensive and take away the demand for steel sourced in America.
Naturally there are those who will argue this is a bad move because the cost of steel and aluminum will go up without the less expensive imports. On the news the other night it was reported the increase for one aluminum can will be about a penny. Is that going to be a reason for companies to raise their price? Maybe, but it shouldn’t amount to much.
Will the cost of cars and other things made from steel go up? Probably, but that’s become normal. There was one report from a smaller steel company that had to layoff a bunch of employees because the demand for steel from that company was too low. In the report it was said that the average salary there was $90,000. Maybe those workers should consider accepting a slightly lower salary so the price of steel won’t have to go up so much and American produced steel could be in even higher demand? The laid off workers should be happy to go back to work, even if it does mean a small cut in pay so they can have their jobs back. Too simple, we know.
Other countries have threat ened tariffs as well and there are producers who are nervous about what that might mean to their business volume.
We would imagine that no matter which direction is taken there will be negative effects, but our President is doing what he can to save American jobs. What other effects this creates only time will tell.
Have A Good Week!