Letters: Payroll tax cut, holiday sales, crap technology

Going over listeners' responses to past broadcasts.

Kai Ryssdal: Your turn now. Commentator Robert Reich took on the payroll tax cut a couple of days ago, and what he called the basic bargain: Companies paying workers more so that they can help the economy grow.

Ken Rapport got in touch from Highland Heights, Ohio, to say amen.

Ken Rapport: This money would surely be spent on consumer goods, housing and the like. It would provide exactly the kind of broad economic stimulus which the government would like to do, but which it is constrained from doing by its own budgetary woes.

Our coverage of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the shop-a-thon that this time of year seems to have become brought a response from Adam Webster of Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada. He says the obsession over post-Turkey Day sales figures ignores some bigger questions.

Adam Webster: One is the notion that we need to have growth forever, because that itself really needs to be questioned if we're going to build a sustainable, intelligent economy. And number two, consumption -- so long as it's linear and leads from basically China to the Apple store to the landfill -- really doesn't get us long-term repairs to our systemic problems.

Finally, speaking of the landfill, my interview yesterday with Thomas Hayden about crap technology brought shared stories of our listeners' old -- but underrated -- products. Michael Morris wrote from Stockton, Calif.

Michael Morris: I myself have a 1996 Subaru Outback that never gets broken into, and a 5-year-old Samsung flip phone that has been through hell and back three times and still works perfectly. A friend of mine has gone through six iPhones in the time that I've had my Samsung phone.

You can send us your thoughts via whatever technology you have, except perhaps, pen and paper. That doesn't work so well. Contact us here.

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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