Letters: Social impact bonds and not feeling bad for CEOs

Letters in a computer with red mailbox flag

Kai Ryssdal: It's a Wednesday, so what say we check the inbox.

We did a story the other day about social impact bonds, government spending that's more results-based than government spending tends to be. That is: if a program doesn't work, investors don't get paid.

Beth McConnell from Philadelphia says profit loss is a lousy way think about human beings.

Beth McConnell: What happens if a program aimed at reducing prisoner recidivism fails to perform because the prisoners have no jobs to go to (despite job training), or can't get hired (because of racism or stigma associated with being an ex-con)? Do we stop doing our best to offer ex-cons a chance at a decent life because "investors" get no return?

We talked about boutique butchers last week and
the snout-to-tail movement -- chefs serving up all the parts of a given animal. We said feeding animals to fatten them up to feed people isn't necessarily the most resource-efficient thing to do.

Which got an email from Barbara Corson, a veterinarian in Dauphin, Penn. She raises cows and chickens at home and she wrote to defend the barnyard.

Barbara Corson: In many places on earth, plants for human consumption can't be grown without heavy inputs of energy in the form of petroleum for plowing, cultivating, fertilizing and irrigating. Consider the alternative: A cow or sheep on pasture is essentially solar powered. Domestic animals also contribute other necessities besides food, including leather, manure for fertilizer, and draft power.

Finally, Henry Paulson. I talked to director Curtis Hanson Monday about his HBO movie about the financial crisis, "Too Big to Fail," and I said at one point as we were talking that you wind up feeling sorry for the former Treasury Secretary and the others. I also said we'd get some letters about that. And I was right.

Here's Sam Mandke from Houston, Texas.

Sam Mandke: Which one of these awful characters is penniless and on the street? Which one of them no longer lives in a million-dollar mansion? How many of the CEOs depicted in this movie lost their jobs like 14 million Americans, save Lehman Brothers' Richard Fuld?

So there you go. We wanna hear from you. Send us your letters.

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