Letters: Wisconsin, living near public transit

Marketplace Staff Feb 23, 2011
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Letters: Wisconsin, living near public transit

Marketplace Staff Feb 23, 2011
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Kai Ryssdal:It’s Wednesday, time to dig through the inbox.

First up today, Karyn Rotker of Milwaukee, Wis. You might have heard about the brouhaha over union rights there? Karyn says our coverage of the protests just hasn’t up to snuff.

Karyn Rotker: You didn’t say that the state employees union agreed to accept the benefit cuts but wanted to keep bargaining rights. Walker rejected it out of hand. You didn’t mention that Wisconsin’s pensions are in good financial shape. You didn’t mention that the current budget crisis was worsened by tax breaks the GOP legislature pushed through in January, at the governor’s request.

Here’s something else we apparently left out: How the looming lockout in the National Football League might affect the domestic housing market. Seriously. Gary Rosenberger of New York City says our Freakonomics segment yesterday could have been way freakier. Rosenberger — who, it should be noted, runs an economic forecasting firm — says we should’ve talked about how the spring home-buying season would be affected if team owners are able to add two extra games, as they say they want to.

Gary Rosenberger: That means the season gets extended later into February, and home sales will be lost, or they get played in August, which will be bad for summer home sales. If there is a players’ strike and there is no football next year, a lot of bored husbands will be looking at homes on any given Sunday. And this could beckon a nice housing rebound during football season.

Finally, as long as we’re on housing, last week we looked at how home buyers are moving closer to public transit. Mary Kandray Gelenser listens to us in New Cumberland, Penn.

Mary Kandray Gelenser: Many, many communities do not have public transportation and even those that do — like in Pennsylvania, the state where I live — a small minority of the population uses it. And as for the story about the increasing value of houses that are on public transportation routes, that may be true in huge metropolitan areas like Washington D.C., Boston and New York City, I truly doubt that this is true in the rest of the country.

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