tv Real Money With Ali Velshi Al Jazeera December 21, 2013 7:00pm-7:31pm EST
... . welcome to al jazeera america. i am jonathan betz with tonight's headlines. mompom says the u.s. will try again to help americans trapped in south sudan. an earlier rescue mission had to be called off after four soldiers were shot trying to evacuate americans. three aircraft came under fire while trying to land. proceed europe protesters in ukraine say they are not backing down. they are angry over the president's decision to back away from a deal with the european union. it has galvanized those who support closer ties with moscow. there is renewed violence in the central african republic. 30 people were killed in the capital overnight including a peacekeeping soldier as fighting there continues between muslims
and rebels. human rights groups say about a thousand people have been killed so far this month. >> 25 years after the lockerbie bombing are remembering victims. 273 people were killed when pan a.m. flight exploded over scotland. >> a kink in holiday's travel plans, the system is prompting warnings from the east coast to the plains states. that includes ice, snow and reports of tornados. those are the headlines. "real money" is up next on al jazeera america. you can always find us online at al jazeera america aljazeera.com. it's the beginning of the end for the fed stimulus program. i will tell you what that means for mortgage rates, the broader economy and you. taxes in america, sure, the rich get hit hard but the middle class and the poor shoulder their share, too.
i will break it down for you. also, the boss is watching you. american workers under surveillance on the job like never before. and what you don't know about tracking technology, i am ali velshi, and this is "real money." this is "real money." you are the most important part of the show. join our live conversation for the next half hour on twitter: on facebook, facebook.com/aj. "real money." the big decision from the federal reserve indicates a vote of confidence in economic recovery. the fed announced a $10 billion pull back starting in january on its $85 billion monthly bond purchases that have boosted the economy. the stockmarket rallied after the news was announced. here is what ben bernanke in his
last conference as fed chair had to say about the fed's thinking and the general state of the economy. >> today's policy actions reflect the committee's assessment that the economy is continuing to make progress and it has much farther to travel before conditions can be judged normal. notably despite head winds, we expect grope growth will pick up in coming quarters. the fed has been expected to start to taper its monetary stimulus. interest rates were inching upwards with mortgages rise to go an average of 4.24%. up a full percentage from may. >> that's near historic lows. lower borrowing costs have helped fuel a spectacular housing market six years after it collapsed. rates will continue to rise in 2014 as the fed decides to taper even more bond purchases, we are seeing a noticeable drop-off in the number of mortgage access.
last week, they fell 5 and a half percent from the previous week, dropping to their lowest level in more than a dozen years evenso so, home construction continues to surge. the government reported permits to build new homes rose by 7.9% in november compared to november of last year. the biggest jump in almost six years. building permits along with home sales numbers are key indicators. so study gains in permits show housing's recovery is on track. here is some interesting. the growth for single family homes were double that of multi-family homes, apartment in november. >> that's the reverse of the state of play that we have seen in the past months and years. the construction of single family homes is out pacing other residential construction, shows that housing's recovery could ride out rising interest rates in the months and years ahead. the rebound in the u.s. real estate market we have been focusing is on enticing buyers from around the world. the national association of realtors says sales of american
real estate to international buyers reached a record $82,000,000,000 in 2012. after canada, the country with the largest appetite for u.s. property is china. some real estate developers are now marketing their projects on the chinese mainland even before breaking ground in the united states. here in new york, chinese buyers are looking beyond the trophy addresses on manhattan's manhattan average. >> travel 10 miles away to ing, queens, and you will find s skyview park, a luxury development that's pulling in money from china. >> how big is this one? >> three bedroom. 1,217 square feet. >> this unit sold for about a million dollars. smaller apartments have gone for about half that price fueling the trend, the chinese government is loosening restrictions on citizens investing abroad. for some, the appeal of skyview was a familiar community. the neighborhood is largely
chinese american and its proximity to brooklyn and the bronx. and in employees, the chinese are not just buying in manhattan. >> rose 7% in the year ending march 2013. single family homes rose 5%. those gains are higher than in other cities targeted by international buyers including london, hong kong, motiving on you, singapore and congress. helen yee is an executive with. >> we have developed -- the chinese community is tight knit. i can have relatives here that live in new york but know somebody in china and through word of mouth, they know that projects at skyview park exist. >> for chinese investors looking to spend between 500,000 to $1 million, some say it offers great value. >> real estate in this country tends to be cheaper than abroad for the same.
properties. right now, we seem to have more land and somewhat lower places. >> international buyers were involved in six % of u.s. deals in the year ending march 13th. >> that's about $68,000,000,000 worth. most spent less than $300,000 but not the chinese. >> they tend to buy towards the upper end of the market, anywhere from, say, $400,000 for a house up to several million or more. involves a chinese buyer. aside from new york, the most popular u.s. cities for chinese investors are los angeles, irvine, detroit, las vegas and orlando[delete]. >> they buy them for vacation purposes. sometimes, they buy them for their children so they can go to school in a specific city and rent out rooms or something in the house. and in many cases, they buy them for investment purposes. >> on the commercial side, new york city is king among mainland
investors. one of the richest women on the planet a chinese national bought a 40% steak in new york's gm building for roughly $1,000,000,000. >> the chal of chinese investment in new york commercial real estate increased nearly 1700%, to more than 2 and a half billion dollars. these high profile employees are marking new york's skyline more familiar to chinese investors eyeing second homes. skyview park's developers will build more towers to keep up with global amend for american -- demand for american property. >> the most recent data shows more than 2/3 paid all cash to buy property in the united states while the rest took out mortgages to finance their purchases. next, the truth about taxes in america. straightening out some common misconceptions about who pays the bills. i will break it down for you. american workers under surveillance on the job like never before. we will reveal the different ways your boss is watching you.
this week's budget deal in washington buys america time to grabple with, you know, like tax reform. >> that's great. i will discuss reform with an expert in the moment. first, i want you to understand why it's dangerous to under estimate the complexity of taxes in the united states. think of it as a multi-headed animal who lives in every state, county and town in the country. this animal's appetite affects everyone from the rich to the poor. aside from federal income taxes, there are payroll taxes, state taxes property taxes and loads more taxes. as this chart created by business insiders josh barrow shows, as earn them together, americans who earn the least shell out 13% of their income on all of these various taxes compared to 25 first for the middle income group and the rich who pay about 43%. so, we all share the burden, but all that money gets paid to a dizzying array of places. changing the federal tax code is only part of the challenge.
the enormity of the tax issue in america has grown over time. here is one reason: the governmental units that can tax you has ballooned from 81,780 back in 1982 to 90,056 last year. what is a governmental unit, you ask? the census bureau said it includes everything from counties, to school districts to mosquitos abatement districts, to water and sewer districts. all of them have the ability to tax you. here are the states that have the most units of government. leading the list is i think now, 6964. texas with 5148. pennsylvania and california round up the top four. only states have among the highest tax burdens except taxes which has no state income tax. as we begin the see bate about how to make our tax stim more fair and rational, let's not lose sight of the big picture which includes far more than just the federal income tax. in your view of the tax picture can have a lot to do with the state and city and county that
you call home. now, let's dive into what steps can or should be taken by congress or local authorities to make the tax situation in america simpler and more fair no matter what you earn or where you live: david k johnson's knowledge of taxes is vast and deep, a pulitzer prize winner andbell best selling authofferor of "the fine print" how big companies use plain english to rob you back. i asked him if it's a fact that the rich pay most of the taxes in the country? >> that's correct although little of the rich play little or no tax. if you are very wealthy, bill gates or any billionaire, you can borrow against your assets and the interest rate right now is about 2%. so why would you pay a minimum 15% tax. warren buffett revealed his tax rate was within a 10th of a point of what i had predicted it was, 17%. what he does is borrow against his assets. when he has income -- he had
$64 million the year he disclosed it, incidents income. he had no choice but to take the money. wealthy people can, in fact, legally live free of the federal income tax, and many do. >> so people pelowest part of the income scale do pay a percentage, as we showed, not as federal income tax but they pay a bunch of other taxes. >> especially state taxes. >> when you earn that little money, you need more of it. >> yes. yes. well, that's the fundamental concept that the athenians brought to us 2500 years ago. the athenians when they decided we were equal, each person, also said why should the rich have more of a voice than other people? and when they thought about that for a while, they came up with the moral basis of progressive taxation. the greater the gain you are able to achieve because you live in athens with its courts and its military and its laws and rules and all of the things that make it possible to become wealthy, the greater your duty to give back to athens so that
it will endure. every classic worldly philosopher has endorsed that. george bush supported the idea of more progressiveitty in the tax program. his policies cut it off at 99.9%. >> when people run for president and say we need a flat tax, that's not progressitch? >> it's regressive. it pushes the burden down the income ladder down. the flat tax, by the way, remembers, to wages. if -- i call it the steve forbes never pays taxes again tax because it wouldn't apply to capital gains dividends and that's where people like steve forbes get their money. >> that's why they are in favor of that law. >> how do we deal with a federal government that's intransigent on the issue of taxes if it's that complicated because we have to think about taxes more holistically? >> we do. i think it has to do with lobbying and exam pain finance. we have gone to 13,000 lobbyists and until they changed the laws, there were thrive 5,000.
wealthy people get special rules that they want. it's not you and me and the people watching the show. so people have to demand they want a simpler, fairer system and they want to end the practice of corporations literally profiting off of their taxes, which i have written about extensively, as you know. >> so we have to separate the concept of simpler and fairer from flat and even? >> yeah. >> they don't mean the same thing? >> that's exactly right. the key issue has to do with what's called reelszation. you get your paycheck, whether you cashed it or not under the law, you realized that income. multi-national corporations take profits earned in the u.s., use accounting devices to turn them into deductions they send tothems overseas, then, with the money they didn't pay the government, they loan it to the government and collect interest. >> a change in our tax system, it's an issue we'll stay on top
the stream is uniquely interactive television. in fact, we depend on you, your ideas, your concerns. >> all these folks are making a whole lot of money. >> you are one of the voices of this show. >> i think you've offended everyone with that kathy. >> hold on, there's some room to offend people, i'm here. >> we have a right to know what's in our food and monsanto do not have the right to hide it from us. >> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> watch the stream. >> and join the conversation online @ajamstream.
... >> whether you like it or not, chances are, you are being watched when you are at work. bosses have always found a way to keep tabs on their workers. but now, technology allows for a level of surveillance never before seen. some, you can see. other tracking tools are so secretive you can't see them at all. workers might cry "big brother" bosses say they need to protect the company. david shuster shows being watched at work goes beyond the office walls. >> at first glance, the small boston office looks like any other startup. but thanks to these unassuming white badges, every movement and conversation of these startup employees, even their stress levels, is being trapped. >> as daniel and i are interacting, there is a few things happening. first of all, i am using a microphone, looking at my tone
of voice, looking at my volume. they can figure out right now that daniel and i are facing each other using the red trans receiver, the window right there. >> van waver is co forber of socioeconomic solutions and a test subject foits own technology. >> we have an accelerometer in the middle here, a motion sensor and a bluetooth radio which does proximity to other people and location within an? >> sensors in the badge record everything from how often workers get up from their desks to their conversational patterns. it allows companies to collect hard data on the soft science of employee behavior. one example weber likes is how tracking data from bank of america call center workers show they completed calls faster just by taking lunch and coffee breaks at the same time. >> when you forecast them out, a minimum, are saving the company about $15 million a year. >> it may seem novel, but these badges are just one example of an increasingly high level effort to monitor workers in the
name of productivity. >> the average employee spends anywhere between an hour and two hours a day on their computer for personal use at the -- while at work. >> brad miller is ceo of awareness which sells monitoring soft is the wear used by businesses and u.s. government agencies. >> we can see if there are alert words showing up more than others. >> the software allows managers to set up alerts to tell them whenever workers use words like sexy or visit certain web sites. anything from online gambling to facebook: as a fail safe, supervise cores watch a recording of a worker's computer screen. >> miller has seen demand for the software exploit in the last three years as more companies allow employees to work from home. >> by monitoring their computer amtivities, they can at least
attempt to supervise the employee the way they were. employer can product its interests without this kind of wide, invasive spying program. >> lou malty president of the national work rights institute said it can hurt productivity it makes people nervous and slows people down. >> miller counters most people today accept workplace monitoring as a part of the job and says it gives data without individual employees names attached. >> now, 60 markos moulitsas people who work outside the office in industries like trucking, oil and gas, and even construction. >> it's a blind spot for the business. what we do is turning on the light. >> newt morris says a black box hard wired into the vehicle feeds data wirelessly to software back in company offices giving supervisors realtime
information on whether a driver is braking too hard, using fuel efficiently or making deliveries on time. >> it's not really about watching them play. it's really about, you know, how can we give them the tools that they need in the field.a better job. >> touting major partnerships with ford and volvo, jason koch says it won't be along before they become the normal no matter the industry. >> it's not just truck companies but pretty much every company needs this kind of technology. >> david shuster, al jazeera. >> even the most strident privacy advocates admit there are legitimate reasons for companies to be monitoring employees, reducing theft, or even investigating harassment claims. being watched can be an 400 restaurants using theft monitoring software resulted in
a 22% reduction in server theft, not to mention researchers found the wait staff did work harder and drink sales were up 10%. start watching television. it won't can long before a reptile or a woman dressed in white starts telling you how to lower your insurance premiums. what they don't tell you is something most of us know. if you use that insurance after you have an accident, your rates will go up. they certainly don't tell you how much more you will pay. as stacitition dale reports, it's clear, when it comes to auto insurance, it doesn't always pay to make a claim. >> boy do we love our cars. >> it's precious to you. precious to us. >> a survey by trans union finds americans make their monthly car payments before they make credit card bills or mortgages. it can cost you big time particularly if the love affair hits the skids. >> this is why car insurance rates are going up after one
claim it's just a view that the consumer is now rickier than they were before: the company want to adjust the rate to make sure they are collecting enough in premiums to pay out potential future claims. >> a study by insurance quotes.com. if you make a claim of $2,000 or more, the most common be your premiums go up 38%. the 38% hike would raise it sto$1,092. there are three times of auto insurance. bodily injury coverage provides protection if you or anyone else gets hurt. it's required in the district of columbia and ought states except new hampshire. property damage, you get that in case your car or somebody else's car or a building or mailbox gets damaged. comprehensive coverage protects you if your car is a victim of
something like a fire or weather event. >> the two that cost the most are property damage and pbodily injury. those will increase rates about 40% across the nation. comprehensive claims are much less expensive. they only affect your rate about 2% across the nation. >> location does matter. insurance companies in massachusetts will raise your premiums the most if you file a claim almost 7% on average. california comes in second hiking premiums 62%. new jersey is number 3 at 59%. the state's that have the smallest premium hikes after a claim, maryland at 20% sglamz alabama 22% and michigan 23%. >> insurance is regulated on the state level, not the federal level. that means insurance companies have a lot of leeway in how they can adjust rates based upon your history. >> the smartest thing consumers could do when they it comes to
minimizing premium hikes did not file claims for a few hundred dollars. usually not worth the higher insurance costs. many people are surprised to find out that they qualify for discounts. >> being married or being a good student, even some professions like being a teacher or a doctor come with car insurance discounts. so, you've got to be pro-active and ask for these. >> and take a proactive approach to taking care of your baby. stacy tisdale, al jazeera, new york. >> increased premiums don'tlas last forever. usually three years if you don't make another claim during that time. if you want to see more about tonight's stories, log on tower our website, aljazeera.com/. ben bernanke going out with a bang, virtually no one expected the fed to announce it was tapering on his watch, last wednesday, which was his last press conference. ben bernanke says the u.s. economy is almost ready to stand on its own two feet without monthly contributions from the
fed. that i had that made invest organs heaps for a day but ben berneke t took you him months to admit that the economy was tanking. he stood side-by-side with then president george w. bush, henry paulsen, as they continued to try to convince americans that everything was fine when it clearly wasn't. that administration did americans a huge disservice. bernanke gave it credibility. he came it out and came out from under their shadow. his fed led the charge coordinating in the darkest days of the financial crisis, ensuring the global flow of money and credit. while congress spent much of the last few years actively sometimeying the economy, the if he had has replaced it as the adult in the room. ben bernanke was late to the game. he stepped up. for that, he deserves the nation's gratitude. >> that's our show for today. i am ali velshi. thanks for joining us.