Letters from our listeners

Marketplace Staff Aug 12, 2008
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Letters from our listeners

Marketplace Staff Aug 12, 2008
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Kai Ryssdal: Top billing in listener letters this week goes to an interview I did with a pair of reporters from the Los Angeles Times. Julie Cart and Bettina Boxall spent a year looking into how much the government pays to fight wildfires. It’s more than a billion dollars. Listener and former Forest Service firefighter Jason Burke argues the money is well spent.

Jason Burke: Sure, main camps have showers, generators, etc., but command-level people need communications, weather and computer equipment to safely direct and support people on the line. And since they’re more experienced and older, they get AC and cold drinks.

Older Americans were the focus of a different story last week. We looked at geriatric medicine, doctors who specialize in treating the elderly. And how there aren’t enough of them. Meg Bourbonniere from New London, New Hampshire, agreed with us, but she says we forgot another critical group of caregivers.

Meg Bourbonniere: Geriatric nurse practitioners and registered nurses. The shortage of specially trained nurses should also be a grave concern, because, outside of friends and family members, nurses provide the bulk of care to America’s elderly population.

Commentator James Galbraith took aim at conservative economic policies last week. His point was that they’ve left corporate America with too much power to the detriment of the rest of us. Tyler Tate wrote from Lexington, Kentucky, to say he thinks America is still ripe for true Reagonomics.

Tyler Tate: The current miseries Galbraith outlines have not been caused by free market policies, but by a lack of them. Far from being dead and buried, unilateral free trade, deregulation and low taxes combined with low government spending is the path forward to becoming a more prosperous nation.

We tapped into the wise perspective of Dr. Robert Coles recently as part of our summer book series. He built a course at the Harvard Business School around classic stories by John Cheever and William Carlos Williams among others. And I asked him why.

Robert Coles I’ll tell you what we’re trying to do is change people in the sense to get them to stop, look and listen, just to think about life and its meaning.

Sandi Campbell from Siler City, North Carolina, said she thinks Dr. Cole’s priorities are right on the money.

Sandi Campbell: Whenever we watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” every Christmas season, it seems that everyone cheers for George, but then they to their jobs next day and try their darndest to be Mr. Potter. It was just a wonderful renewal of faith in human nature that there’s somebody actually trying to clean up the greed and “me, me, me” that’s out there.

Speaking of me, I mentioned the other day that the Securities and Exchange Commission twitters now. That’s the microblogging service that’s so popular. Too bad I didn’t get it right, though. I’m told the proper verb is “tweeting” or “to tweet.”

If you’re online tweeting or whatever, drop us a line.

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