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Letter to the Editor: A solution to the salt problem - new tires

To the editor:

I read your article about the ongoing salt problem ("What to do about salt," Jan. 4) with interest. I am a Smithsonian subscriber so I've been thinking about it for a while.

Rebates from the government for high efficiency water softeners is a great idea. In a free market society, incentives from the state are often necessary to convince people to make financial decisions that are in the interest of the common good. They also stimulate the economy.

People in our society are too accustomed to making short-term decisions in the interest of short-term profits or savings. These economic concepts play themselves out in a unique way every winter when, at times, we must all share the roads with others who have not made a seasonal upgrade in their choice of automobile tires.

So — why not help people pay for new tires? We could certainly use less salt on our roads if more people used the best snow and ice tires. I purchased new ones and the difference is mind-boggling. It's a unique joy being able to obtain traction on glare ice.

Not only could we get by with less salt, but most importantly, we could all be safer if more of us were properly equipped for winter travel.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Judd Hoff

Forada, MN