Minnesota is hoping to return to some sort of equilibrium this weekend with two great events in the offing.
First, we are about to experience our first below-zero high temperature in more than four years. This is What important to us because we cannot brag about being tough when all our days are at least a few degrees above zero.
Second, the NHL lockout has ended and the shortened season begins this weekend. This state has lots of hockey fans who have been driven to madness by the inability of the management and players to agree on how to share the huge sums of money made in this sport. More seriously, the small businesses near the Excel Center have been badly crippled by the loss of business during the lockout.
When a small business owner loses 20-30 per cent of his or her annual income, that is a real problem. On the other hand, when owners and players haggle over a few million dollars here or there, that to me seems utterly petty. What possible real-world difference can there be between an income of five million dollars and one of four million? It is even more trivial when owners haggle over the difference between fifty million and forty five million.
The lockout not only results from America’s current love of wealth but from the fashionable illusion that standing on principle (however minor that principle may be) is more honorable than seeking a compromise which distributes justice equitably.
Clearly, the US Congress has no monopoly on small-mindedness.