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Marketplace Morning Report

Letters: Drugs in sports, the Consumer Price Index

Marketplace Staff Jul 6, 2011
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Kai Ryssdal: It’s a Wednesday so, letters.

Our commentary yesterday about the Tour de France, that one way to eliminate cheating might be to make performance enhancing drugs legal didn’t go over well at all with a lot of you. John Saylor of Clemson, S.C., says we missed the point entirely.

John Saylor: If you use a chemical to improve performance, this isn’t inherently wrong, only in the sense that it’s not inherently wrong to get four strikes at bat. What’s wrong is to get four strikes at bat when the rules permit only three.

Stefan Basinski from Thorndale, Penn., offers his own modest proposal: non-cheaters race with non-cheaters.

Stefan Basinski: Such as a “Drug-Free Tour de France” and a “Steroids-Only Tour de France,” for example. Athletes that want to stay clean should be allowed to stay clean and have competition available to them.

The collapsing case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn made its way to our live broadcast from Aspen, Colo., last Friday and our weekly wrap with our own New York bureau chief Heidi Moore and Chrystia Freeland from Reuters. It was suggested that perhaps we were too quick to assume Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s guilt after the sexual assault charges were filed. Several — many — of you wrote to object, including Madeline Lockwood from Astoria, Oreg.

Madeline Lockwood: Sadly, we have a long history in this country of not believing rape victims and defending their attackers. It is disturbing to me that these educated women would be so quick to assume that this woman is lying and Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who has a history of misbehavior, is guiltless.

In her defense, I’m obliged to say that Heidi assumed no such thing on the broadcast that day.

Finally a thought about the Consumer Price Index, one of the ways economists measure inflation. One source in our story last week said some consumers switch their buying habits when stuff gets expensive, and that they may be just as happy with something else. David O’Neill of Shoreview, Minn., said no.

David O’Neill: If he truly believes that, he should be willing to trade cars with me. He can be just as happy with my old beater as I’m sure I will be with whatever fancy new car he can afford.

We wanna hear from you no matter what you drive.

Also on our website this week, a special online preview our China series that starts Monday. We spent the first two weeks of June over there reporting, following up on our series from five years ago. Our web element launches today, with a video series we’re calling a “China Survival Guide“:
How to navigate Chinese cuisine, how to survive in traffic, my best insights. Check it out.

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