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Letters: Carry-on luggage and commodity speculation

Marketplace Staff Jun 29, 2011
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Letters: Carry-on luggage and commodity speculation

Marketplace Staff Jun 29, 2011
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Bob Moon: It’s a Wednesday, how about we check the inbox?

Politicians in Washington aren’t the only ones looking to strike a spending deal. As the fiscal year closes, states are still scrambling to solve shortfalls. In a moment, we’ll hear how Missouri officials are handling their budget woes. Last week we looked at Connecticut, where the public employees union voted down a proposed reduction in pensions.

Judith Simon of Saugerties, N.Y., says our coverage of the vote lacked something important: an explanation of why union members rejected the proposal.

Judith Simon: Was it that millionaires and billionaires in the state are not contributing their fair share? Was it that union members had already accepted cuts for the past few years? Was it that their pensions were already rock bottom? What was the reason? I have no idea.

As we pointed out in our story, it was actually a minority of union workers who voted to hold out for a better deal. But the majority who voted to accept the cuts fell short of the threshold required to approve the deal.

Airlines are trying once again to board passengers onto planes faster. Several of you wrote in to say the biggest hold-up is people with carry-on luggage. Here’s Alison Najman of Durham, N.C.

Alison Najman: Ever since it was no longer free to check bags, or even a reasonable price in my humble opinion, most of the airline boarding delays I have experienced have been due to flight attendants trying to play Tetris with bags in the overhead bins. How much would the time decrease if bag fees were $10 or even $5? I bet that’s an experiment the airlines aren’t willing to try.

And finally, farm and food officials met in Paris last week to discuss ways to reduce global food prices. One proposal? Crack down on commodity speculation. Sarah Kavage from Seattle says such hedging is far from legitimate. She’s traveling, so she voiced her comment through her computer for us.

Sarah Kavage: Wall Street has recently decided that commodities are a good investment, just like they did with mortgages. And just like the mortgage crisis, this is wreaking havoc on the “normal” functioning of commodities markets and food prices. Plus Wall Street deals in volumes that were unheard of before — they are the “market movers” now.

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