Dr. Carl Van Horn on the Reality of U.S. Employment Figures | Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed.TV


♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>WELCOME TO OP-ED.TV. WE KEEP BEING TOLD THAT THE ECONOMY IS GREAT. IT IS TRUE THAT UNEMPLOYMENT IS AS LOW AS IT HAS BEEN IN NEARLY HALF A CENTURY, AND INFLATION IS ALSO LOW. IF THE ECONOMY IS SO GOOD, WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE FEEL FINANCIALLY INSECURE? WHY ARE SO MANY WORKERS AND FAMILIES STRUGGLING? THE GALLUP ORGANIZATION TELLS US THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS DO NOT THINK THAT THEIR JOBS ARE GOOD ONES. SEVERAL STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT 40% OF AMERICANS WOULD BE UNABLE TO COME UP WITH $400 TO COVER AN UNEXPECTED EXPENSE, LIKE A MEDICAL BILL OR AUTO REPAIR. WE WILL TALK ABOUT THIS AND MORE WITH MY GUEST, DR. CARL VAN HORN, AN EXPERT ON UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUES AND THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF THE JOHN J. HELDRICH CENTER FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY. HOW ARE YOU? THANK YOU FOR COMING IN.>>THANKS FOR INVITING ME.>>LET’S START WITH THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. THAT DOMINATES THE HEADLINES, BUT IT CAN GIVE A FALSE SENSE OF WHERE THE ECONOMY IS AT.>>THAT IS A QUESTION ASKED BY THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS AND BASICALLY IS HEAVY WORK IN THE LAST WEEK. WHAT THAT LEAVES OUT IS PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT OF THE LABOR MARKET, THEY HAVE GIVEN UP LOOKING FOR A JOB, THEY MAY ONLY BE WORKING TWO HOURS THAT WEEK, BUT THEY ARE COUNTED AS EMPLOYED. WE CALL THAT UNDEREMPLOYMENT. SO, IF WE COUNT ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO WORK OR NEED A FULL-TIME JOB, IF WE LOOK AT THAT WHOLE PICTURE, IT IS ACTUALLY EXACTLY TWICE THAT NUMBER. IT IS ACTUALLY 7% OF PEOPLE. THAT DOES NOT GET INTO THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE JOBS ARE SUSTAINING, AND HELPING THEM EARN ENOUGH MONEY TO SHELTER THEMSELVES. THAT IS A DIFFERENT QUESTION. IT IS VERY MISLEADING. IT LEAVES OUT ALL OF THESE PEOPLE THAT I CALL THOSE THAT ARE LEFT BEHIND. IN PARTICULAR, THE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED WHO ARE NOT COUNTED AT ALL BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN PERHAPS OUT OF WORK FOR SIX MONTHS OR A YEAR AND SUFFERING FROM ALL SORTS OF MALADIES AND THEY STOP LOOKING BECAUSE THEY ARE DISCOURAGED. IT ALSO DOES NOT COUNT PEOPLE WE CALL INVOLUNTARY PART-TIME WORKERS. THEY NEED A FULL-TIME JOB BUT CANNOT FIND ONE, RIGHT?>>BUT THEY ARE COUNTED AS EMPLOYED.>>EXACTLY. THIS PROBABLY WILL NEVER CHANGE, BECAUSE THE PRESSES HAVE BEEN STUCK ON THIS STOP LINE FOR MANY YEARS. PEOPLE THINK IT IS A LIBERAL CONSPIRACY WHEN WE LOOK AT THESE OTHER QUESTIONS. BUT JUST THE FACT THAT THERE ARE THESE PEOPLE LEFT OUT.>>ONE OF THE POINTS YOU MENTIONED THAT IT DOES NOT TELL YOU THE QUALITY OF THE JOBS. WHETHER THESE JOBS ARE SELF-SUSTAINING OR NOT. WHERE ARE WE IN TERMS OF JOB QUALITY IN THE GENERAL SENSE? IF THERE IS SUCH A THING AS THE TYPICAL TYPE OF JOB THAT MOST AMERICANS HOLD — ARE THEY DECENT JOBS? ARE THEY FAMILY SUSTAINING?>>WELL, THEY ARE NOT. THE DATA POINTS YOU CITED ARE VERY IMPORTANT. THE FEDERAL RESERVE COLLECTED INFORMATION THAT FINDS THAT 40% OF AMERICANS DO NOT HAVE MORE THAN $400 IN THE BANK. THAT IS A CAR REPAIR, A DENTAL TRIP OR WHATEVER. AND THEN THEY HAVE NO MONEY. CLEARLY, PEOPLE ARE NOT EARNING ENOUGH MONEY. I THINK MORE IMPORTANTLY, MOST PEOPLE THESE DAYS FEEL THAT THEY HAVE WHAT I CALL PRECARIOUS JOBS. THEY CANNOT PREDICT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THEM THE NEXT WEEK. I WROTE A BOOK YEARS AGO CALLED WORKING SCARED OR NOT AT ALL. WORKING SCARED IS THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOBS, THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS COMING NEXT. WE HAVE THE EXPANSION OF JOBS THAT ARE ON THE SCHEDULE, ON DEMAND JOBS WHERE THE EMPLOYER DECIDES PERHAPS A FEW HOURS AHEAD OF TIME WHEN YOU NEED TO SHOW UP TO STAFF THE ORGANIZATION. THERE IS A LOT OF FOLKS FEELING VERY ANXIOUS ABOUT THAT. I SAY ANXIOUS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT EARNING ENOUGH MONEY AND THEY ARE NOT SURE WHAT THEIR FUTURE HOLDS.>>AT THIS POINT, WHAT YOU MENTIONED ABOUT INCONSISTENT OR UNPREDICTABLE WORK SCHEDULES, THAT IS A SORE POINT. YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHETHER YOU’RE GOING TO WORK TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY OR FRIDAY, THREE OF THOSE DAYS OR TWO OF THOSE DAYS, AS YOU POINT OUT, YOU WILL NOT KNOW YOUR SCHEDULE. HOW DID THIS BEGIN TO TAKE HOLD? WHY HAS THERE NOT BEEN MORE PUSHBACK AGAINST THAT?>>THERE’S A LONG ANSWER, BUT THE MAIN POINT IS EMPLOYEES DO NOT HAVE A VOICE. IT USED TO BE THAT LABOR UNIONS, WHEN THEY REPRESENTED 35% OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR POPULATION, THEY SET THE STANDARD FOR WHAT WAS THE WORKING CONDITION. NOW IT IS ABOUT 6% OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR. INCREASINGLY MUCH LESS RELEVANT. THE OTHER SHORT ANSWER IS EMPLOYERS DO IT, BECAUSE THEY CAN. THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT. IF YOU ARE A SINGLE MOM, HOW DO YOU SCHEDULE CHILDCARE IF YOU DO NOT KNOW IF YOU’RE GOING TO WORK THE NEXT DAY? IF YOUR CHILDREN ARE IN SCHOOL? THAT WALLS OUT A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM EVEN HAVING THOSE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ON DEMAND ECONOMY. THAT IS — WE HAVE A VERY RETAIL ORIENTED ECONOMY. A LOT OF JOBS ARE SET UP THAT THEY ARE ON DEMAND. IT IS BECOMING VERY DIFFICULT, EVEN AT THE LOWER RUNG OF THE LADDER TO HAVE A STABLE POSITION.>>WHAT IF YOU’RE GOING TO COLLEGE AND YOU ARE TRYING TO ADVANCE YOUR POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES AND SO YOU HAVE GOT COLLEGE CLASSES SCHEDULED FOR WHEN YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED BE WORKING, BUT THE EMPLOYER CAN CHANGE YOUR HOURS AT ANY TIME IT THROWS THAT RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW.>>THAT IS ANOTHER DOWNSIDE. ALL OF THAT TYPE OF WORK, WE TALKED ABOUT THE QUALITY OF JOBS. I THINK THE OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUE TO BRING UP IS WHETHER EMPLOYERS PROVIDE FAMILY LEAVE, TO TAKE CARE OF A SICK CHILD OR RELATIVE. MANY COMPANIES DO NOT DO THAT. OF COURSE, WE CONTINUE TO HAVE A SITUATION WHERE MOST PEOPLE ARE AT WILL. THEY CAN BE LET GO IF THEY DON’T LIKE THE CLOTHING OR THE TIE YOU’RE WEARING OR WHATEVER THAT DAY. TO PROVE DISCRIMINATION OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, IT IS A VERY HIGH BAR. YOU HAVE TO PROVE INTENT.>>WHEN I CAME INTO THE NEWSPAPER BUSINESS MANY MOONS AGO, IT WAS STANDARD TO HAVE A CERTAIN RANGE OF BENEFITS WITH YOUR JOB. I STARTED AT THE STAR-LEDGER IN NEW JERSEY. YOU WOULD — BEGINNING WORKERS WOULD GET — PAY WAS NOT HIGH BUT BEGINNING WORKERS WOULD GET TWO WEEKS VACATION. YOU GOT HEALTH CARE, PENSION, IT ONLY INCREASED AT A PLACE LIKE THE DAILY NEWS. WE KNOW THAT THAT HAS BEEN DRASTICALLY ERODED, DO WE JUST ASSUME THAT — EXCEPT FOR A CERTAIN CADRE OF HIGHLY PAID WORKERS IS THAT GOING TO BE A THING OF THE PAST — JOBS WITH THOSE KINDS OF BENEFITS?>>IT’S CERTAINLY BECOMING MORE SO. PENSIONS ARE PRETTY MUCH GONE AWAY FOR MOST PEOPLE. YOU HAVE TO SAVE ON YOUR OWN, THAT’S WHY –>>I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY SAVING THE KIND OF MONEY THEY NEED.>>THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO. WHAT THAT MEANS IS PEOPLE ARE NEEDING TO WORK LONGER. BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO RETIRE. SOCIAL SECURITY IS NOT ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN THEM. EVEN IF THEY DO HAVE VACATION BENEFITS, PAID VACATION, FEWER PEOPLE DO HAVE THAT, WE FIND THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO TAKE THE VACATION FOR FEAR THAT THEY WILL DISAPPOINT THEIR EMPLOYER. ALL OF THE CARDS ARE STACKED IN FAVOR OF THE EMPLOYER. WE HAVE WAYS IN WHICH GOVERNMENTS HAVE TRIED TO INTERVENE TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD TO SOME EXTENT, BUT ABSENT A STRONG WORKER VOICE WITH A UNION, RIGHT NOW IT IS COMPLETELY ASYMMETRICAL.>>THAT IS INTERESTING. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO TAKE A VACATION BUT YOU MAY NOT TAKE IT BECAUSE YOU ARE AFRAID YOU MIGHT LOSE YOUR JOB, BUT YOU MAY LOSE OUT ON A PROMOTION, OR YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE FAVORED BY YOUR EMPLOYER.>>YOU WON’T SEEM AS PRODUCTIVE AS SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT TAKE A VACATION.>>WOW. ALL OF THIS IS — AS YOU’RE POINTING OUT — MOST OF THIS IS RESULT OF THE FACT THAT WORKERS ARE NOT ORGANIZED. LABOR UNIONS, FOR THE MOST PART, FOR MORE THAN 90% OF WORKERS HAVE BECOME A THING OF THE PAST. WORKERS ARE NOT ORGANIZED IN ANY WAY. NOT JUST LABOR UNIONS, THEY ARE NOT JUST ORGANIZED. WHEREAS EMPLOYERS ARE ORGANIZED. HOW DID WE GET TO THIS, AND WHY IS IT NOT MORE WIDELY RECOGNIZED THAT WORKERS WILL CONTINUE TO GET THE SHORT END OF THE STICK IF THEY ARE NOT ORGANIZED?>>THAT IS THE $64,000 QUESTION. [LAUGHTER]>>FIRST OF ALL, IT HAS BEEN GRADUAL. IT HAS NOT HAPPENED OVERNIGHT. I THINK THAT UNIONS DID NOT DO A GREAT JOB IN MANY CASES.>>I AGREE WITH THAT.>>OF SHOWING THAT THEIR INTENT WAS TO HELP THEIR MEMBERS AS OPPOSED TO UNION LEADERSHIP. THAT IS A BROAD STATEMENT, NOT ALL UNIONS AT ALL.>>UNIONS HAD A TREMENDOUS NUMBER OF PROBLEMS.>>THERE WAS THAT. SOME OF THE INDUSTRIES WHERE UNIONS WERE STRONGEST HAVE BEEN OFFSHORED, OR –>>SOME DON’T EXIST. THERE WAS A PRINTERS UNION AT THE NEWSPAPER.>>TEXTILES, WHICH IS NO LONGER IN THIS COUNTRY. OR COMPANIES WERE ABLE TO MOVE THEIR PLANTS TO WORK STATES. THE AUTO INDUSTRY FIRST WENT SOUTH AND IT WENT REAL SOUTH, TO MEXICO AND OTHER PLACES. THAT IS PART OF IT. I THINK THE OTHER POINT IS THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY — WHICH IS THE GROUP MOST ASSOCIATED WITH UNIONS, DID NOT FULLY EMBRACE THEM AS A PARTNER IN MANY CASES. NOW, WE HAVE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS, WHICH ARE THE STRONGEST VOICES, AND THEY STILL HAVE INFLUENCE, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO MANUFACTURING, RETAIL AND SO ON, MUCH DIMINISHED.>>THE GIG ECONOMY. CONSULTANTS AND FREELANCE WORKERS, SO-CALLED INDEPENDENT WORKERS, THINK OF LYFT DRIVERS, THAT HAS BECOME A BIG DEAL. WHO BENEFITS FROM THAT? WHO GETS THE SHORT END OF THE STICK?>>CLEARLY, CUSTOMERS THINK THEY BENEFIT FROM IT BECAUSE THEY USE IT A LOT. THERE IS A DEMAND FOR IT. COMPANIES ARE MEETING THAT DEMAND. THE PEOPLE THAT OWN COMPANIES OF COURSE BENEFIT THE MOST. THE WORKERS THEMSELVES DO NOT. AGAIN, WHILE MANY PEOPLE WILL SAY THIS IS JUST A WAY FOLKS SUPPLEMENT THEIR INCOME, MOST OF THOSE CONTRACT WORKERS — THAT IS THEIR INCOME. IT IS NOT THAT THEY HAVE A JOB ON WALL STREET AND THEY ARE LYFT DRIVERS ON THE SIDE. [LAUGHTER]>>AND THEY HAVE FAMILIES.>>MANY OF THEM ARE DRIVEN BY THE GREAT GOD OF THE ALGORITHM WHICH TRACKS THEM VERY CAREFULLY AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE CONSTANTLY PRODUCTIVE. IN THE CASES OF SOME COMPANIES LIKE AMAZON, ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO DELIVER THOSE THINGS THAT YOU GET AT YOUR DOORSTEP OR APARTMENT ARE ACTUALLY CONTRACT WORKERS. THEY ARE AVOIDING ANY LIABILITY.>>A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK OF THEM AS AMAZON.>>THEY HAVE TO MAINTAIN THEIR TRUCK, THEY HAVE ACCIDENT, INSURANCE, ETC.. AGAIN, IT IS A WAY OF PUSHING AWAY RESPONSIBILITY THAT THE COMPANY HAS FOR THE WORKER, AND GIVING THE COMPANY MORE FLEXIBILITY. IN THE PROCESS, WHAT HAPPENS IS THE WORKER LOSES PREDICTABILITY, STABILITY, BENEFITS, AND PEACE OF MIND. THERE ARE FEWER JOBS THAT HAVE SWEETER BENEFITS YOU ASSOCIATED WITH THE STAR-LEDGER EARLIER.>>YOU HAVE FOCUSED IN YOUR CAREER QUITE A BIT ON LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED. THIS IS A GROUP THAT GETS FORGOTTEN ABOUT, BUT ONE OF THE POINTS YOU HAVE MADE MANY TIMES IS THAT THE LONGER YOU ARE OUT OF WORK, THE MORE DIFFICULT IT IS FOR YOU TO FIND WORK. THERE IS ALSO OTHER PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT?>>ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENS WITH LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT IS THAT — JUST TO UNDERSTAND IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED, THERE ARE ALMOST NO BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO YOU UNTIL YOU BECOME REALLY POOR. THERE IS NO CASH ASSISTANCE. WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET BACK INTO THE LABOR MARKET. EMPLOYERS, UNFORTUNATELY, ATTACH STIGMAS TO THOSE PEOPLE AND THEY SAY WHY AREN’T THEY UNEMPLOYED? THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM. SO THEY DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THEM. FURTHERMORE, THE — OVERTIME, THE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED SKILLS ATROPHY. THEY DO NOT KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH ALL THE SKILLS THEY NEED. OLDER WORKERS DO NOT KNOW EVEN HOW TO LOOK FOR A JOB. OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, WE PUT TOGETHER A PRIVATELY FUNDED PROGRAM WHERE WE SERVE 5000 INDIVIDUALS WITH FREE COACHING AND ADVICE AND ACCESS TO TRAINING TO GET THEM BACK IN THE LABOR MARKET. MOST OF THEM HAVE GOTTEN BACK. BUT AT SIGNIFICANTLY DIMINISHED WAGES. WE ALSO FIND THAT THEY EXPERIENCE A GREAT DEAL OF MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS. THE MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY, IT IS VERY TATTERED. LOSING A JOB IS A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE. LOSING YOUR HOME, YOUR INCOME, GOING BANKRUPT, YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT THAT DOES TO PEOPLE. EVEN IF THEY HAVE THE SKILLS, THEY OFTEN STRUGGLE. THERE IS NOT MUCH AVAILABLE TO THEM IN THIS COUNTRY.>>TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CENTER. WHEN WAS THAT ESTABLISHED? WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS? GIVE US THE NAME OF IT AGAIN.>>THE HELDRICH CENTER FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY. WE FOUNDED IT 22 YEARS AGO. THE PURPOSE WAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW COULD WE STUDY AND DEVELOP STRATEGIES THAT WILL HELP ADDRESS SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS WHICH WERE EXISTENT THEN AND THEY ARE EXISTENT NOW. FROM THE BASIS OF A RESEARCH UNIVERSITY, DEVELOPING STRATEGIES THAT ARE EFFECTIVE. OVER A PERIOD OF TIME WE HAVE DONE POST 9/11 REEMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR JOBS SUDDENLY THAT DAY. WE HAVE HELPED PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, HELP THEM FIND COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT. STUDYING STRATEGIES TO DO THAT. THOSE ARE OUR GOALS, HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE LEFT BEHIND AND COME UP WITH STRATEGIES THAT MIGHT HELP EITHER IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR OR THE PRIVATE SECTOR.>>YOU MENTIONED OLDER WORKERS, I WOULD IMAGINE — BUT YOU CAN TELL ME IF THIS IS TRUE OR NOT, THEY ARE PARTICULARLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO FALL INTO THIS GROUP OF THE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED. ALSO, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER CHALLENGES OF OLDER WORKERS ARE FACING? I’M THINKING ABOUT BABY BOOMERS NOW WHO ARE THE OLDER PEOPLE.>>THEY DON’T HAVE SAVINGS, AS WE SAID. THEY STILL FACE DEBTS, OFTEN TO HELP THEIR CHILDREN WHO WENT TO COLLEGE AND HELP THEM CONTINUE TO PAY THEIR DEBTS. PERHAPS HELP AN ELDERLY PARENT. THEY ARE IN THE SANDWICH GENERATION THAT IS REALLY HURTING AT BOTH ENDS. IF THEY LOSE THEIR JOB, THAT IS A VERY DIFFICULT PROBLEM. THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO RETIRE. WE WOULD WANT THEM HOPEFULLY TO BE MAXIMIZING THEIR EARNING POTENTIAL SO THEY COULD AFFORD TO RETIRE AT A REASONABLE AGE. OLDER PEOPLE ALSO FACE ALL SORTS OF DISCRIMINATION, AGEISM AND SO ON. EXPECTATIONS THAT ARE ATTACHED TO THEM THAT THEY ARE NO LONGER CAPABLE. HARD TO TAKE ACTION LEGALLY, BUT WE KNOW IT IS TRUE BECAUSE WHEN YOU DO AUDIT SURVEYS, YOU SEND OUT IDENTICAL RESUMES, AND IF YOU PUT THE AGE OR TAKE THE AGE OUT, PEOPLE WHO ARE OLDER MUCH MUCH LIKELY TO GET CALLED BACK FOR AN INTERVIEW. IT IS A FACT THAT THEY STRUGGLE. AS YOU SAID THE POPULATION IS GETTING LARGER, BECAUSE OF THE NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE OF THE BABY BOOMER GENERATION.>>WE HAD THE GREAT RECESSION, IT ENDED IN 2009. 2008-2009 YOU HAD THIS GREAT RECESSION. WE HAVE HAD A RECOVERY SINCE THEN. THAT IS A LONG TIME. ARE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW LONG THIS RECOVERY HAS LASTED?>>YES, BUT IT HAS ALSO BEEN GRADUAL. WE DID NOT HAVE A HOCKEY STICK RECOVERY, IT WAS A VERY SLOW PATH. IT HAS BEEN SUSTAINED BY A NUMBER OF THINGS, WHICH IS A WHOLE OTHER PROGRAM. [LAUGHTER]>>ONE OF THEM IS A GREAT DEAL OF BORROWING ON THE PART OF BOTH PEOPLE AND THE GOVERNMENT. WE EITHER CUT TAXES, INCREASE SPENDING OR BOTH. OUR DEFICIT CONTINUES TO GO UP. WE CONTINUE TO SPEND. WE ARE CONSUMER DRIVEN. PEOPLE HAVE MORE MONEY AND WHEN THEY HAVE MONEY THEY SPEND IT. THAT IS WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON. WE HAVE ALSO HAD VERY LOW INTEREST RATES, LOTS OF LIQUIDITY, PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO BORROW MONEY, BORROW ON HOMES, BORROW ON CARS, BORROW TO BUILD NEW INDUSTRIES. ALL OF THIS HAS HELPED SUPPORT GROWTH.>>A RECESSION WILL COME AT SOME POINT. WE TALK ABOUT RECESSIONS PERIODICALLY, BUT AT SOME POINT WE WILL HAVE A RECESSION. AS YOU POINT OUT, DEFICITS HAVE BEEN RISING. I MENTIONED THAT INTEREST RATES ARE LOW, SO THERE IS NOT A LOT OF MONEY AVAILABLE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO FIGHT THE NEXT RECESSION. WE HAVE MENTIONED THAT PEOPLE’S JOBS ARE NOT GREAT AND THEY DO NOT HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF SAVING. SO, HOW SHOULD WE THINK ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF THE NEXT RECESSION, AND WHAT SHOULD ORDINARY WORKING PEOPLE DO TO PREPARE THEMSELVES?>>MY ADVICE WILL BE DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW. [LAUGHTER]>>THE BEST ADVICE IS ALWAYS DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW.>>FIRST OF ALL, KNOW THAT IT WILL HAPPEN. SAVE IF YOU CAN. KEEP YOUR SKILLS UP-TO-DATE SO THAT IF YOU DO LOSE A JOB, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO REPOSITION YOURSELF. THESE ARE HARD TO DO, BUT I’M CONCERNED THAT THE WEAPONS, THE TOOLS WE WOULD NORMALLY HAVE TO FIGHT RECESSION ARE MORE LIMITED THIS TIME AROUND. CERTAINLY, ONE DOES NOT EXPECT A REPEAT OF THE LAST ONE WHICH WAS THE WORST IN 70 YEARS. EVEN A SHALLOW RECESSION CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT.>>WE ONLY HAVE A MINUTE LEFT, IF YOU ARE LOOKING AHEAD, WHAT IS IN STORE FOR AMERICA’S WORKERS, WHAT KIND OF PREPARATION WE SHOULD BE MAKING?>>WE TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO, BUT I THINK THAT FROM A GOVERNMENTAL STANDPOINT, I SAY IT SIMPLY WHICH IS THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN PARTICULAR NEEDS TO WAKE UP THAT WE ARE IN A DIFFERENT ECONOMY THAN EVER. MOST LAWS PASSED DURING THE POST-DEPRESSION. UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, ALL OF THOSE LAWS THAT WERE CREATED IN THE 1930s, MOST OF THEM ARE STILL BASICALLY TURNING ALONG AS IF THAT ECONOMY STILL EXISTS. IT IS GONE. WE HAVE A DIFFERENT ECONOMY. WE HAVE ONE THAT HAS PRECARIOUS JOBS, PEOPLE NEEDING TO MOVE AROUND MORE FREQUENTLY, TRAINING LIFELONG INSTEAD OF THE FIRST FEW YEARS OF LIFE. THE FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT IS THAT WE HAVE GOT TO CHANGE THAT POLICY FRAMEWORK TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE ECONOMY WE HAVE TODAY IS VERY DIFFERENT. IT IS A SKILL-BASED ECONOMY. PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE THOSE SKILLS WILL CONTINUE TO SUFFER. THAT IS A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT. I HAVE NOT SEEN A LOT OF THAT CONVERSATION IN THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS YET, IT COULD COME UP. CERTAINLY, WE NEED TO GET ON WITH THAT BECAUSE WE ARE LOSING — PEOPLE ARE LOSING GROUND AND OUR COUNTRY IS LOSING GROUND.>>WE HAVE RUN OUT OF TIME. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR COMING IN. I APPRECIATE IT, DR. CARL VAN HORN OF THE HELDRICH CENTER FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY. WE WILL BE BACK IN A MOMENT WITH A FINAL WORD. ♪>>HATS OFF TO JANE FONDA. THE 81-YEAR-OLD ACTOR-ACTIVIST HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATING AT THE CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. TO BRING ADDITIONAL ATTENTION TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS. THE WORLD CAN USE ALL THE HELP IT CAN GET ON THIS ISSUE. EVERY FEW DAYS, WE GET MORE BAD NEWS ON THE GLOBAL WARMING FRONT. SCIENTISTS ARE SAYING THAT THEIR EARLIER FRIGHTENING ESTIMATES ABOUT THE IMPACT OF SEA LEVEL RISE WERE NOT SUFFICIENTLY DIRE. THEY HAVE NOW TRIPLED THEIR ESTIMATES OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WORLDWIDE WHOSE HABITATS WILL BE POUNDED AND FLOODED, AND IN MANY CASES OVERWHELMED BY RISING OCEAN WATERS. AS ONE SCIENTIST PUT IT, REFERRING TO VULNERABLE RESIDENTS IN FLOOD PRONE AREAS, WE HAVE HAD A HUGE BLIND SPOT AS TO THE DEGREE OF DANGER. MS. FONDA MOVED TO D.C. FROM HER HOME IN CALIFORNIA, SO SHE COULD PROTEST EVERY WEEK AT WHAT SHE CALLS “FIRE DRILL FRIDAYS.” OTHER CELEBRITIES HAVE JOINED IN. IF YOU THINK THIS IS EASY DUTY, THINK AGAIN. MS. FONDA HAS BEEN ARRESTED SEVERAL TIMES. BEING HAULED OFF TO JAIL AT ANY AGE IS NO FUN, BUT WHEN YOU ARE IN YOUR 80s, IT IS AN EXERCISE IN MISERY. ON ONE OCCASION, MS. FONDA WAS ARRESTED, HANDCUFFED AND TAKEN AWAY WITH CATHERINE KEENER, ROSANNA ARQUETTE, AND 45 OTHER PROTESTERS. KEENER AND ARQUETTE WERE FINED AND RELEASED AFTER A FEW HOURS. AS THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTED, MS. FONDA WAS HELD IN JAIL OVERNIGHT BECAUSE OF HER PRIOR ARRESTS. HER BRIGHT RED COAT FROM NEIMAN MARCUS SERVED AS A MATTRESS AS SHE TRIED TO SLEEP. THE NEXT MORNING, DESCRIBING HOW SHE FELT TO THE WASHINGTON POST, SHE SAID SIMPLY, “MY BONES HURT.” SO HERE’S TO JANE FONDA: CONGRATS, KID. ANYONE WHO DRAWS ATTENTION TO THIS TERRIBLE CLIMATE CRISIS IS PERFORMING A PUBLIC SERVICE AND DESERVES ALL OF OUR THANKS. THAT IS ALL FOR NOW. SEE YOU NEXT TIME. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *