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Letters: North Korea after Kim Jong-Il, brown vs. green

Going over listeners' responses to past broadcasts.

Kai Ryssdal: President Obama had a phone call with John Boehner today. He urged the Speaker of the House to go along with the Senate's deal on a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

We talked to small business owners yesterday, asking whether the standoff in Congress. and ensuing uncertainty is affecting them. 'Yes' was the general answer. But Bill Thon of Tallahassee, Fla., says there's no reason it really should.

Bill Thon: It's really pretty insignificant. I think businesses should hire when they've got a lot of business and need the help, and when they don't, they need to let people go. I think that's the way it's always worked, and you don't need to be an MBA to realize that.

We talked to USC professor David Kang Monday about North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-Il, and what it might take to get that country to something resembling a functioning economy. Kang said there's lots of potential there.

But Amanda Rich of North Bend, Wa., says we should be careful what we wish for.

Amanda Rich: The last thing the world needs is another China. North Korea's environment is already in a perilous state, and the country is home to several endangered species. While the people of North Korea might end up better off with a more active economy -- assuming the new government stops exploiting them under new prosperity -- the devil we know may be better than the devil we don't.

This week we told you that UPS is trying to make its trucks more energy-efficient. Brent Gardner-Smith of Basalt, Colo., said the headline on our website, "Brown goes green," gets it wrong.

Brent Gardner-Smith: I think "green" is really now an abused word, right up there with "sustainability." Driving trucks, no matter how efficient they are, is not good for the environment. Driving trucks is still a "brown" activity. The more accurate headline, and frame, for this story, is "Brown goes less brown."

Send us your comments. No need to call UPS; the Internet works just as well.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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