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Letters: Housing, cameras, ink, politics

Marketplace Staff Feb 2, 2010

Letters: Housing, cameras, ink, politics

Marketplace Staff Feb 2, 2010


Kai Ryssdal: The news from the American housing market on this Tuesday was pretty much flat. A report on pending home sales, that is, the contracts have been signed but not yet sealed and delivered. They rose just a hair. It’s better than falling, to be sure.

But a story we did about an unexpected drop in actual sales a couple of weeks ago raised a listener hackle or two. We pointed out that housing experts were a bit confounded by the sales decline.

Ron Greer from Tallahassee, Fla., said forget about analyst anxiety already, will you?

RON GREER: Where is the sympathy for those shut out of the home market because prices galloped far ahead of inflation and even ahead of incomes that continue to drop in real terms?

So I have this theory about the numbers we do on the show. I always figured that people just listen for the first couple of bars of the music, you know, whether it’s “We’re in the Money” or “Stormy Weather,” just to figure out if things were up or down for the day and then they tune out. They don’t pay any attention to what I actually say about the markets.

Robert Jennings from Columbus, Ohio, has proved me wrong. The other day I mentioned Eastman Kodak shares, and I called Kodak the company that had invented the digital camera. Mr. Jennings takes it from there.

ROBERT JENNINGS: I was prepared to send Marketplace my first comment ever, chastising you on your misinformation. Instead, I am happy to send you my first comment ever saying thanks for helping me to learn something new.

Staying with electronics, we ran a story not too long ago about printer cartridges. And how the National Conference on Weights and Measures wants to regulate them, so you know how many pages you can print with the ink that’s left inside.

Kim Alexander from Sacramento, Calif., wrote to say that reminds her of something she’s been meaning to bring up.

KIM ALEXANDER: How automobiles also lack standardization in how much gasoline is actually left in the tank when the fuel gauge reads empty.

Finally in letters this week, money in politics. A couple of weeks ago the Supreme Court said companies do indeed have a First Amendment right to spend their own money for or against specific candidates in political campaigns.

That prompted this thought from Robert Fischer of Patchogue, N.Y.

ROBERT FISCHER: If corporate rights are equated with individual rights as the Supreme Court determined, then corporations should have the right to bear arms. Imagine Exxon Mobil with a private army.

That is actually the Second Amendment, Mr. Fischer, not the first, but I get what you’re saying. If you don’t get what we’re saying, please let us know.

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