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June 2009 Archives

  • Text messaging fees too high?

    • Posted by Jo Easton
    • on June 26, 2009 11:00 AM

    In 2008, U.S. cell phone users sent more than one trillion text messages. Text messaging is a growing source of revenue for mobile phone providers, especially as pay-per-text rates have doubled in the last couple of years.

    Marketplace wants the scoop on what you pay for text messages, if you’ve ever complained about the rates, and if you’ve ever had to justify your texting to your parents, your partner, or even your boss.

    Share your insights here. And to keep it fun, why not write an SMS love text to your provider?

    From the Public Insight Network:

    “AT&T, have you no shame? We all know a text is data by another name.” —Daniel Rosan, Somerville, MA

    “Charging me for unused capacity on your network is silly. Receiving texts should be free, and sending them should be cheaper than talking.” —Sarah Katz, Madison WI

    “It’s not fair to pay for all incoming texts. There should be a block feature so I wouldn’t have to pay for spam or texts I don’t want.” —Wendy Bolton Brown, Richmond, VA

    “Why is texting so expensive? I download 100s of MBs of data every month for $30, but my <1 MB of texts costs me $5.” —Joel Creswell, Madison WI

    Got a good one? Add it below!

  • What do you know about global warming?

    • Posted by Jo Easton
    • on June 24, 2009 9:49 AM

    wstera2_snowpeople.jpg(Photo: Flickr/wstera2)

    The greenhouse effect… global warming… climate change. Do they mean the same thing, or are they different?

    Marketplace wants to know what you know about climate change, where you get your info, and what we can help you learn. What do you know — and what do you believe?

    Help us tell the stories that will compel you, and give you the information you need. And, while you’re at it, why not be a guinea pig in a little word association game too! Click here to share your insight and ideas.

  • Is the bad economy ruining your sleep?


    Sure, it’s easy to lose sleep in stressful economic times like these. But what about when you finally DO catch some zzzzs?

    Marketplace wants to hear how the recession is affecting your subconscious, once the lights are off and you’re asleep. Have you had any surreal dreams, or scary nightmares, where the economy played a role? Maybe you found yourself being chased down the street by a giant credit card? Or your boss was wearing a gorilla suit when he told you about the latest round of lay offs? And was that Timothy Geithner who just showed up at your dinner party, in a toga?

    Tell us about your dreams here.

  • When it came to financial advice, did your father know best?


    Dads often act as their household’s Secretary of the Treasury: they pay the bills, decide on expenditures and occasionally bail people out. And they also act as financial advisors, teaching personal finance habits directly and by example. To celebrate Father’s Day, Marketplace Money wants to hear about the financial lessons you learned from your father and whether they worked or not.

    What, if any, financial advice did your father give you? Did it work?

  • Is your health savings account confusing?

    • Posted by Jo Easton
    • on June 13, 2009 9:00 AM

    The number of Americans enrolled in Health Savings Accounts is growing quickly. But even if you’re in one, do you know how it works?

    And don’t think I’m not asking from personal experience: I received a document from my HSA recently that confused the heck out of me — and then I realized I had no idea if I was using my HSA funds correctly… or even legally!

    Have you received documents from your HSA that confused you, too? Marketplace Money is collecting your questions about health savings accounts (HSAs). Tell us what made you scratch your head — and share the documents with us too, if you want.

  • Any environmental phonies on your radar?

    • Posted by Jo Easton
    • on June 12, 2009 12:00 PM

    The word is greenwash. What is it? calls it “the dissemination of misleading information by an organization to conceal its abuse of the environment in order to present a positive public image.”

    A bottled water company that claims “green” even though its water is shipped across the planet… Food producers that can’t quite claim “organic” and then put “natural” on their labels… “eco-friendly” 5,000 sq feet homes… suspiciously subtle wording of advertisements…

    Have you encountered anything like these — or more subtle examples — in your local area or field?

    Be our eyes and ears in your field and in your community, and let us know what greenwash is on your radar. (Greenwash Brigade standing by!)

  • Are you dreaming about the recession?



    (Photo courtesy of Reggaeman)

    We’ve been hearing a lot about the “American Dream” lately. Whether it’s still attainable, how its definition might need to change, etc. But what are Americans actually dreaming about right now? The recession’s got to be affecting more than just our waking lives.

    Is Tim Geithner wearing a toga in your subconscious? Any nightmares where you’re naked at the bank? (Or maybe that’s just me….)

    Has the recession affected your dreams?

    Tell us about it here.

  • Will your ethics survive the recession?

    • Posted by Jo Easton
    • on June 9, 2009 11:51 AM

    Okay, maybe it’s a stretch. Or maybe it’s not! Desperate times can call for desperate measures, and for someone looking to protect their job, family or business these may well be desperate times.

    We’re looking for stories from you — our listeners and our Public Insight Network — of any time you’ve been motivated for financial reasons to make a morally or ethically questionable choice.

    You can leave a comment on the blog, but if you want to talk to us privately (and so we have the info we need to contact you if we have questions), use this questionnaire instead. Tell us: will your morals survive the recession?

  • How's that resume coming along?

    • Posted by Jo Easton
    • on June 2, 2009 2:12 PM

    resume wordle_juhansonin.jpg(Flickr/juhansonin)

    With an unemployment rate approaching 10%, the numbers of applicants for available jobs are up. And in some fields (such as journalism, one near and dear to my heart), WAY up. What do you do to make your resume stand out from all the other resumes employers receive?

    We’re curious if you’re looking at your resume different lately. Have you tried to emphasize — or conceal — certain parts of your experience? Have you removed some qualifications for fear of appearing overqualified? Have you outright lied?

    And no matter your strategy… the key question is… has it worked?

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