Letters: 'Our Black Year,' dirty cash, living alone

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Kai Ryssdal: We start letters today with John and Maggie Anderson. I talked to them Tuesday about the year they spent looking for and shopping only at black-owned businesses. A search that Maggie said they did some of by the phone. She told me that, I said this.

Ryssdal (from Tuesday): This is the thing that's going to get us emails calling me a horrible person, but you don't sound black over the phone, right?

Which is where I got into trouble. Randon Hall from Nashville, Tenn., sums up some of the kinder letters we got.

Randon Hall: The couple sounds like the black people I know. And they certainly sound like the black president we have in this country. So I am just not sure what black sounds like.

Got a whole lot of not-so-kind letters as well.

A couple days ago, David Wolman came on the program to talk about money, and how he wants to get rid of it. Cash, specifically -- the coins and the paper stuff -- at least in part 'cause it's dirty. As in actually filthy.

Had a lot of comments about the idea of doing away with cash, about how it's easier to do without it if you have a lot of money to begin with. Mick Archer works at a piano bar in Chicago.

Mick Archer: When we count our tips at the end of the night, we've got Purrell and rubbing alcohol and everything. We know that money is filfty, but there's no other way to get tips. It's between 20 to 50 percent of our income. So no cash, you would wipe out the piano bar industry.

Finally, the virtues of living alone, as expressed on the broadcast this week by Eric Klinenberg. One of Erik's points was that those dwelling solo can be good for the economy.

RJ Howse lives -- and I might add, lives alone -- in Venice, Calif. For him, it's more basic.

RJ Howse: I never have to pick up after someone else and the laundry and the dishes can pile up for as long as I can stand it. The best part: Total control of the TV remote!

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About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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