Letters: Mozambique, political golf, and failure

Marketplace Staff Jun 22, 2011
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Letters: Mozambique, political golf, and failure

Marketplace Staff Jun 22, 2011
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Kai Ryssdal: It’s Wednesday, cue the [letters] music. We went to Africa for a story out of Mozambique — how the government there is cutting subsidies on basics like food and gasoline.

Kevin Hall wrote from Seattle pointing out that’s not just a problem affecting developing countries. Rich countries, he said, like the U.S. also give out subsidies, and also have a hard time pulling back after the public comes to expect those subsidies. Think non-tolled freeways, non-taxed health care, child tax credits, mortgage interest credit, and on. This wastes billions of dollars, and creates enormous economic inefficiency.

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner teed off together for a round of golf this past weekend.

Our look at how political alliances are formed between the 1st and the 18th hole got this response from Yvette Yescas of Mount Lebanon, Penn.

Yvette Yescas: No one voiced concern that when business decisions are made on the greens, people who should have a say in those decisions are absent. Women make up nearly half our nation’s workforce, but only about a quarter of our golfers. They are incredibly underrepresented in our board rooms. I don’t think that this is a coincidence.

Finally to our commentary the other day from Rob Walker on the trendy idea that failure is in itself an accomplishment.

Catherine Nelson of Dixon, Calif., writes that people who work with their hands know the meaning of “unambiguous” failure.

Catherine Nelson: It seems to me that, in a “knowledge economy” many people have become either unable to distinguish between success and failure, or unwilling to accept the possibility of unambiguous failure. And what intervenes, in either case, is a great deal of psychology, and verbiage. And naturally this presents a marketing opportunity. Failure seminars, anyone?

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