Letters: Auto industry and philanthropy

Marketplace Staff Dec 23, 2008
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Letters: Auto industry and philanthropy

Marketplace Staff Dec 23, 2008
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Tess Vigeland: The auto industry has dominated the news, not to mention our inbox, for the past few weeks. Last week commentator Harley Shaiken took us for a ride back to the time when Ford’s profits soared after boosting employee wages. Listener Kayleen Larsen of Brainerd, Minnesota, wishes all companies would take the same tactic today.

Kayleen Larsen: You can’t have a self-sustaining marketplace if the employees can’t afford to buy what it is they’re producing. That kind of a system, where all of the wealth floats on the top like cream in coffee and the lower you go the thinner it gets, that kind of system can’t be sustained.

Vigeland: Commentator Virginia McConnell revved up another idea in the car debate — fuel efficiency. She said a gas tax could jump start demand for greener cars. But Tess Weaver of Cleveland, Ohio, wants to put the breaks on that idea. She says to encourage good behavior, the government should not encourage taxes.

Tess Weaver: They should encourage other incentives, for example, maybe not taxing stock investments or research and development investments. Maybe offer tax breaks on environmentally-friendly vehicles, rather than taxing gasoline.

Vigeland: Since the holidays are here, we also spent some time looking at trends in giving. Religious charities might not be able to choose who they’re hiring based on religious affiliation once President-elect Barack Obama takes office. Kirk Gulledge of Albuquerque, New Mexico, says a person’s faith says a lot about what they can bring to a charity.

Kirk Gulledge: Faith-based organizations have always had the prerogative of being able to choose persons based on being of like mind and spirit. If they could not, they could not simple be able to develop the kind of cohesive team and outreach that makes them so effective right now.

Vigeland: And finally, what you might call an editor’s note. In our philanthropy series this month, we talked to Holden Karnofsky, of the website GetWell.net, about how to make sure your contributions are being used most effectively. Many of you wrote to point out that earlier this year GetWell publicly reprimanded Karnofsky after he promoted the group inappropriately. You can learn more about it on our website, Marketplace.org. While you’re there, tell us what you think about the other things on the broadcast — click on the link that says “contact.”

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