Letters: NACA, supermarkets and childhood development

Letters in a computer with red mailbox flag

Kai Ryssdal: This being a Wednesday, what say we check the inbox?

I've been away for a couple of weeks, and while I was gone, Tess went out to visit with the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America -- NACA, as it's known. They help homeowners adjust their mortgages and keep their houses, or at least that's the theory.

Therese Hernandez-Cano of Los Angeles went to a NACA event last year, and didn't have much luck.

Therese Hernandez-Cano: Unfortunately, the best NACA could offer me was a forbearance for three months -- principal only -- and then I'd have to file again for another forbearance in three months, but still most likely would lose my home. I was disappointed that was the best I could get with them and I wonder if it's worth trying one more time.

Patrick Lee of Ashland, Mo., was taken aback by something I said the other day about supermarkets and how they drive what we buy. What I actually said was, "What if grocery stores used what they know about us and our buying habits for good instead of evil?"

Here's Patrick.

Patrick Lee: Would you prefer dark, dirty dingy stores with minimal merchandise? I love bright, clean, attractive grocery stores with thousands of products cleverly competing for my attention. Business isn't evil. Neither are people who use both psychology and common sense to boost the bottom line. It's called capitalism.

Well, when you put it that way.

Finally, a response to yesterday's installment of Freakonomics Radio, in which Stephen Dubner and I talked about kids and how much parenting plays a role in their eventual success, including whether those kids go to college. Dubner cited some academic research on adopted kids and their education levels.

But Rob Formica of Philadelphia says we left some things out of our analysis.

Rob Formica: Many children are adopted through the medical foster care system because they have serious health problems. Children adopted as toddlers may have missed out on crucial early childhood development. And of course, the older a child is when adopted, the less impact the adoptive parents will have on the child's eventual educational attainment.

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