tv Real Money With Ali Velshi Al Jazeera January 29, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
♪ just when you thought america's cold war with cuba may be over the castro regime takes a hard line and lifting the embargo could be tough sell in congress a new report turning plants into bio fuel is not the way to fight climate change and could put the food supply in jeopardy people who lost their houses when the market collapsed and looking to get back in again, i'm ali velshi and this is "real money."
♪ a little more than a month after president obama announced a historic diplomatic reboot with cuba and lifting restrictions on americans travelling to the nation 8 senators and 4 democrats and 4 republicans introduced legislation to go to cuba and this is the first on the trade with cuba and president obama eased some restrictions last month it takes an act to lift the full embargo in place for 50 years, any bill that eases or lifts embargo faces stiff opposition from many lawmakers. meanwhile cuban president castro is sounding his own opposition to a more normal relationship with the united states so long
as america quote blockade stays in place. he also renewed longstanding demands that the u.s. evacuate the guantanamo navel base on the eastern coast of the islands and u.s. leased the 45 square mile air from cuba since the early 20th century but since 1959 the communist government called the u.s. presence there illegal under international law because cuba insists the u.s. base was imposed on cuba by force. now, despite the still wide gulf separating the u.s. and cuban governments a lot has changed in a month, the two sides established diplomatic ties and u.s. people are allowed to enter cuba than before and bring back gifts like rum and cigars without getting hit with penalties. the cuban government released 53 from prison a u.s. condition put on last month's reopening of diplomatic relations and u.s. companies announcing plans to do
business with cuba credit card and american express said this week it's going to launch operations on the island and on line travel agency kiak has websites to cuba. nevertheless the cold war that poisoned relations between the two countries for half a century doesn't die easily and we explain in this report from nearby costa-rica. >> reporter: have not spoken publically since this was announced and many predicted the cold war between both countries was drawing to an end but after six weeks of silence cuban president castro had a lot to say to the country. >> translator: initiating diplomatic ties is the first step toward normalizing bilateral relations but they are impossible while the blockade exists. and until the legally occupied territory of guantanamo is
returned to us and t.v. ceases and until our people receive just compensation for the human and economic damage they have suffered. [applause] addressing leaders of the 33 member community of latin american and caribbean nations castro used harsh language to make clear that his communist government would not alter its one-party state system one iota to please washington. and he went further suggesting the united states has changed its methods but not its objective to provoke the over throw of his communist government. >> translator: everything indicates that the objective is to have an artificial opposition using economic, political and communication methods. >> reporter: here in san jose castro has support of meres and urging president obama to use executive powers to further
weaken the u.s. embargo against cuba and bypassing congress. not president obama plea to the republican controlled congress to lift embargo suffered president castro's position. the leader is clearly playing hard ball ahead of summit of americans where the first time in half a century united states and cuba will sit at the same table. and between now and then he is expecting more concessions from the white house without offering anything in exchange. this he said would be unethical. i'm with al jazeera san jose. more on the thaw we have david from a week long visit from the capitol havana the second trip back since a two year stint reporting from inside cuba we will start with the travel thing and whether or not there is legislation people can as you prove travel to cuba why does it matter?
>> in many ways it doesn't. i think the bottom line is that what the white house did executive order is allow the 12 categories and travelers can go as tourist as long as they come back and self report something else and check at customs. the significance of what the legislation that is pending is this would take an act of congress and sort of remove one portion of the embargo and that is huge significantly. >> tip of the iceberg and when you cut the embargo. >> this is what they are talking about and the beginning step and the tip of the iceberg, once there is congressional where with all to make this happen the rest of the chips fall from what they say. >> the senators and rubio will stand in the way of this. >> this is a cuban american who is base is the hard line miami community. what they can do is kind of interesting because when you come back there are all sorts of checks so if you go down as a
tourist and report you were going on a culture exchange what rubio will say let's get enforcement in place and get customs. >> that is a little bit ridiculous isn't it really that is where we are going with this? >> there is not too much he can do, this is executive order and he will try to block the enlisting of embargo but wants some documentation and paperwork, some penalties placed on people. >> you went down there before you went to havana on the last trip you were in miami and talking to some hard liners who would support him. they are sticking to their guns on this. >> they are also getting old, this is an older community in south florida. you have three generations of people in south florida, the old generation that lost homes in havana and lost property and the middle guys who say my parents i still are memories of cuba and younger ones and say i'm a dolphins fan and this is my home. >> and in the piece we talked about castro taking a sort of a hard line or getting ready to
take a hard line at the summit of the americans, what does he get for doing that? >> castro needs dollars and we mentioned in previous reports the falling price of oil, that is really effecting what venezuela can do and an economy that is propped up by somebody, the soviet union or china or venezuela and oil subsidies but has to play another line that we have people in waiting in the wings that are not quite sure about this lean towards this market free market capital system so he has to play it. keep in mind when he gave the speech, sort of response to president obama on december 17th he was wearing army fatigues and the objects of that matter a bit and play kating to the base and saying we are here and cuban communism is still strong. >> do you see any real bumps in this road toward the direction that the u.s. and cuba a month ago announced they are going in or is this all expected and on the edges? >> all kinds of bumps here this is a country that is steeped in
red tape be it from the free market system starting to gain momentum to bureaucracy in place, keep in mind most of the economy is run by the military like egypt in the sense and having american companies partner with cuban military to go and negotiate deals with american express and hotel that is not an easy line to hoe for the south florida community. >> glad you are on top of the story on the cuban band, one place that stands to gain the most from the relationship with cuba is louisiana until 1961 the state was a major trading partner with havana and now louisiana rice farmers and other businesses are hoping diplomacy will lead to new opportunities and jonathan martin reports from new orleans. >> reporter: american businesses have been cutoff from trade with cuba for more than half a century, many americans still see the castro communist regime as enemy and others hoping to capitalize on a new market. for this fourth generation louisiana farmer it's
promising. >> rice crop here is a very high quality crop. >> reporter: before the u.s. trade embargo in the 60s cuba was the largest importer of louisiana's rice. >> they import a lot of rice. it's almost the size of louisiana's whole crop. so you can see it would be significant if we could get back to what we were doing before. >> reporter: with louisiana's ports straddling the mississippi river and 700 miles from cuba it's in a prime spot to trade with cuba and with rice poultry, beef and petrol chemicals to be exported. >> in the first year 15-20% increase in sales of louisiana products louisiana products going into cuba. >> reporter: opening trade with cuba could add millions to the state's economy and create jobs.
but critics say the excitement is premature. >> the embargo cannot be lifted absent congressional approval when they are going to get that. >> reporter: george fowler fled cuba in 1960 when he was 9 years old and he is an attorney for the cuban american foundation under castro he says opening trade does nothing for the people still struggling in cuba. >> the only one that benefits is fidel castro. >> what about countries like china and vietnam that we do business with? >> the chinese and vietnamese can make money from transactions and can become millionaires and billionaires or even just well to do. >> we stay away from politics. >> reporter: he too is sensitive to the needs of those in cuba but current trade restrictions put u.s. farmers at a disadvantage. >> we are the ones in my opinion that are getting hurt from not
being able to trade with cuba. rice farmers, i mean they get their rice from somewhere else. >> reporter: let's stay in louisiana where there is high anxiety over low oil prices and coming up, a project that was supposed to create hundreds of jobs there is now in jeopardy you are watching "real money" and next week this show moves to prime time and it will be 10:30 eastern and 7:30 pacific starting monday or set your dvr, we are back in two minutes.
oil prices bounced around today and ended up rising 8 cents to settle at $44.03 a barrel and earlier in the day the light sweet crude was $43 and the lowest since march of 2009 and that was after the financial crisis when the stock market hit the lowest point and went up from there but not a great time in the world. don't get caught up in one day
moves and the big picture is 58% plunge in prices since june when oil cost $107 a barrel and that is from increased oil production in america and global drop in demand as economies in europe and asia slow down and cheaper gasoline may be positive news for drivers but a sharp reminder of negative economic effects of falling energy prices phillips lost $39 million in the last three months of the year and it's the first quarterly lost since 2008. the company slashed spending this year by another $2 billion in response to falling oil prices and earlier dutch shell is cutting $15 billion and shell is cancelling or delaying 40 projects worldwide because of lower energy prices. scotland british has announced plans to cut thousands of jobs globally and suspend some projects and causing anxiety in
aberdeen which is the company's north sea headquarters and we report. >> reporter: on the eastern coast of scotland this success story thanks largely to oil and gas and 30,000 people work in the off shore industry it's thought ten times as many employed in sectors like engineer but this month bp followed shell in announcing hundreds of job cuts and that has people's attention on the impact of low oil prices. this part is the original fishing village from a time when it provided jobs for much of the local workforce. in the 1970s the oil exploration took off and it has made aberdeen prosperous and wondering if the prosperity could be at risk. i caught up with a woman who used to work in the oil and gas industry and her husband still does as an engineer and confident it will be thriving when her son grows up.
>> it's a center of excellence so if the off shore and oil and gas off aberdeen slows down there is always work coming from overseas and we are skilled in the city so work will come from i'm sure foreign ways. >> reporter: union official jake is warning the future of the industry could be in danger unless the government steps in with take breaks for oil producers. >> oil prices were high government increased oil and increase taxes. when the oil price drops we should have a regime and it's not just about sustaining jobs but production of oil and sustaining revenue stream of the economy as a whole. >> reporter: it feels like it's thriving and catering to people above uk salaries at this champaign bar they are not
worried about oil prices and i asked the assist about manager why. >> being an oil and gas city being driven by oil, it's not 100 100% and there are a lot of differ industries here and not 100% to oil and gas. >> reporter: if it doesn't rise in the next few months confidence in major investors and hence jobs could take a further dip, al jazeera, aberdeen. at this country the slump in prices causing anxiety in louisiana the economist says for every dollar it falls louisiana loses $11 million. a south african company says it's delaying a dollar 14 billion investment in a plant to convert natural gas into liquid fuel in response to lower international prices and the plant by lake charles, louisiana
was going to create hundreds of permanent jobs. congress one step close ore the show down with president obama over the keystone pipeline and the senate passed a bill to force approval of the controversial pipeline even though the president says he will veto the bill and the bill passed 62-36 but 67 votes needed to over ride a veto despite opposition from environmentalist nine democrats joined republicans and the house passed legislation earlier this month that will have to be reconciled with the senate version and a bill is expected on the president's desk next week and believe developing bio fuels could protect the environment but a new report says it's not worth it. i'll tell you why in just two minutes. everybody has a purpose in life? well, at one time, i felt that selling cocaine was my purpose.
>> we was starvin', just lookin' for a way to succeed. >> the first time i seen rock cocaine was 1980. >> the murder rate was sky-high. >> south of the 10 freeway, was kind of a "no-man's land". >> you know, we're selling it for the blacks. i said, you go into these neighborhoods, there's no cops you can sell it where you want and when they start killing each other, nobody cares. >> i was going through like a million dollars worth of drugs just about every day. >> that's like gold! >> we can make a fortune! >> he was maybe the biggest guy in l.a. >> freeway rick was getting his dope from a very big operator. i think we're into something that's bigger than us. something we really can't deal with. >> they had been trafficking on behalf of the united states government. >> she could prove what she was saying. >> [rapping] crack in the system. >> [rapping] this is los angeles.
and reduce oil dependence but a paper from environmental think tank institute says bio energy guy is not living up to expectations and say dedicating crops and lands to bio energy is making it harder to sustainably feed the planet and that using bio energy to meet even a small traction of the world's total energy demand is unrealistic and unsustainable and he agrees and president and ceo of renewable fuels association and trade association for america's ethanol industry and thank you for being on the show with us. >> good to be with you. >> let's talk about this you put out a paper today saying debunking the dooms day theories again and basically a few cases here one and i'll outline them and you have heard them before and we talked about them ethanol is inefficient and bio fuels and
do not produce as effective as other ways of doing it. number two they are replacing crops that are used to feed people. we have decided it's okay to grow fuel for our industries and our cars instead of feeding people and number three that it is you know it's an industry that doesn't need to be subsidized. we put these subsidies in effect for all intents and purposes and made some corn farmers an industry wealthy but we don't need the subsidy. have at them. >> well let's take them from the last to the first. >> okay. >> the ethanol industry is not subsidized today. there is a program that requires refiners to utilize our products but there is no tax incentive and no subsidies whatsoever. >> let's, you are right, i used the wrong word. >> there is a mandate that 15% of our fuel or percentage of our fuel has to come from ethanol and serves as a built in market for people who grow car. >> it serves as a mechanism to
make sure consumers have a choice. >> no no a built in market if somebody says 15% of all television anchors had to be bald i would be employed the rest of my life. >> i think you should be. >> that is what i'm looking for. >> oil companies are not in the business of providing renewable fuels to their customers. and they have walked away from alternative fuels. the only mechanism that has allowed renewable fuels to take a, gain a foot hold in this country is the renewable fuel standard and 10% of the fuel today is supplied by u.s. produced ethanol, that is a great thing. it's less expensive than gasoline today. it is cleaner than gasoline. and it is revitalizing across the country. >> this is the assertion it's putting food supply in danger to
take land that would have been used for feed and turn it into land that is used to grow corn for fuel. >> absolutely. this sounds like a modern day thomas malphis and you remember the social commentator of the 18th century who would warn that population growth in the 1800s would lead to devastating starvation, well he was wrong in the 1800s and tim has been proven wrong today. because this is not the first time he has come out with this theory. he did it eight years ago. and the fact of the matter is we now have real world data showing that the concerns that he has raised are completely unfounded. >> yet from industry groups that you would also know from groups that represent food growers and manufacturers in america, the number one concern they always outline is that we need to improve yield per acre because we don't have enough food to feed the world so we are talking out of both sides of our mouth and they site survey after
research paper saying if they could do that and we don't have enough power to do that. we don't have enough in the world today and we have to make sure we are not wasteful of what we produce but the search engines argument is that if we are growing crops for bio fuels that there is not going to be any crop land for food. >> other land will have to be used and cleared to grow food. we don't have enough food or not efficient and if food is not there and we have to grow more the argument is right at least on that front. >> his argument is still wrong because farmers are ever more productive look since the renewable fuel standard the program for ethanol to be used has been in place. crop land in this country has fallen not to grow and at the same time yields increased and
coming off the single largest corn crop in history. yields have increased. last year we produced a record 171 bushels of corn per acre shattering the previous record. one of the reasons you see such gains in productivity in yields is farmers are not getting more for their crop. so they are reinvesting in new equipment, companies investing in new technology and across the globe you have seen production increases. >> you've got some powerful adversaries and senator diane and pat-toomey have the corn elimination act of 2015 what would happen if this mandate went away what would the effect be? >> well refiners as i said do not want to be through-putting carbohydrates, renewable fuels and want to be able to maximize property by through putting carbons and the danger to economic security is
significant. >> we have an oil glut at $44 a barrel and we have the too much oil in the country, will we suffer? do you think the price of gasoline goes up by 10 cents because of it? >> a little bit ago you said not to be too concerned about one day's price on oil. we all know that the price of oil is going to increase again. we know that $48 a barrel of oil is not a long-term future of this country. we need to have renewable fuels to provide some alternative to provide some relief at the pump because ethanol is today and has been for the last several years much cheaper than gasoline even at $44 a barrel of oil, ethanol is a bargain in terms of octane and consumer gasoline prices. >> bob, we will continue to have the conversation president and ceo of renewable association and next i will look at another organic resource and marijuana
that's weed behind me silicon valley is about the next big thing and capitalizing on legal marijuana, in the last year alone marijuana start ups have been popping up and malaysia chan visited some of them and has this report. >> reporter: the start up says it's like uber but for marijuana. >> so you can scroll through and look at the high resolution images and start adding to your cart and real time eta of 12 minutes. >> reporter: 12 minutes and you will get marijuana. and indeed pretty quickly a guy walks through the door. >> perfect. thank you, appreciate it thanks so much and is this a chocolate
bar? we have an 8th of blue drink which is some. >> reporter: started just six months ago the company eve raised $1.5 million in seed funding. it's like a start up in silicon valley and cannabis delivery service shares workspace with a bunch of other tech start ups, this is not some operation out of a garage, and venture capital funds specifically dedicated now to investing in the industry. marijuana still mostly illegal but at this special event where pot start ups pitch to potential investors you would not know and wants to raise half a million for the start up sweet leaf. >> it smells and looks good as well and actually use organically grown flower so if you want a nighttime body high you want this one. >> reporter: and this is a cannabis bakery based in berkeley. >> all of our products are either vegan, gluten free or
sugar free or palio or a combination of features and want to raise $1.2 million. >> reporter: the numbers are promising in 2013 the legal cannabis industry was already bringing in $1.5 billion. this past year 2014 it balloons 74% to $2.7 billion. by one estimate if all states legalized marijuana, the total market size would top $36 billion. >> that is larger than the organic food market and about the same size as the wine market so there is a real reason why investors and entrepreneurs are really excited about this market. >> reporter: but confusion about what is legal business activity and what is not still remains for investors and have to decide whether it's too risky to bet their money when the country still can't agree on whether pot should be legal. >> i think it's very dangerous to give the false sense that somehow or another because you
have a safe haven or partly safe haven in california and if you are out of state you can take advantage of that and invest in that kind of enterprise. because the federal law is still there, because it's still a violation of federal law. >> reporter: silicon valley lawyers have complex arrangements to make cannabis investments above board and federal government has taken a hands off policy looking the other way as business booms. but a new administration in 2016 could change that. >> i mean this is a little bit like creating an entire airplane industry two years before kitty hawk and the plane may stay newspaper the up in the air or not take off at all. >> reporter: they continue the fight going after marijuana grow sites often a few hours away from silicon valley but activists and corporate lobbyists expect full legalization of marijuana in california next year. and that is enough for them. >> people are ooperating like it's totally legitimate and
anybody who wants marijuana today gets it. i just believe the ginny is out of the bottle and no way to put it back in. >> reporter: they put in millions and wall street is fast on its heels and serious investors everywhere starting to see what the buzz is all about, malaysia chan al jazeera, san francisco. tough assignment melissa. last night on the show we talked about how the billionaire coke brothers plan to spends a billion influencing elections in 2016, here is how a different billionaire and wife are spending their fortune and this is bill and melinda gates and cofounder of microsoft and it's one of the largest foundations and has $42 billion and recently committed $500 million to reducing the leading cause of death and disability in countries and i sat down with sue helpman who heads the
foundation to see where all the money is going. >> we try to go in areas like e bow, like polio and may particular yeah where the market has failed the poor unlike the rest of capitalism we cannot depends on private companies on their own to go in the areas and we try to create a condition where people who might be spending their time on other illnesses that effect rich countries will start to work on problems that impact the poor. so in e ebola is using companies to lean in on ebola and company importants like gsk and j and jmerk are going in trials and they are expensive and additional capital is needed for clinical trials and manufacturing and getting it done. >> let's talk about market failure and there are three reasons there is market failure
for a drug and there is not a belief this is a problem for too long time and two there isn't enough of a market for it and not enough people who suffer from it and three you touched on is that it's a poor people's disease. and all of those three things are reasons why drug companies which have high failure rates and can shoot in the dark don't get these things done. there has been work on something like an ebola vaccine for decades, what stopped it from becoming real? >> the market forces you outlined are incredibly tough. if you look at ebola between 76-2013 there were less than 2000 cases worldwide and this was extremely uncommon disease and effects poor people and so if you were doing the math at a company and i think this is rationale, a rationale company wouldn't invest in ebola, so we see that as a market failure and there isn't a rich country version of ebola, so you say we will make money in a rich
country and take out where we don't make money in a poor country and in those places it can play a meaningful role and here we don't think that is a sustainable way for us to think about the world's health in the future. we want companies to want to think they can have a business including working on areas that effect poor people. >> and because of the scope of the gates foundation do you have the ability to move the needle on a company being able to get approval faster or get through regulatory hurdles? >> we do. now, we care deeply about patient safety and ethics and so those are not negotiable. but getting to the top of the heap getting to be first in line having a sense of urgency, knowing people are dying as in the case of the ebola epidemic all the global regulators has been as motivated as we have been to make things better and we can help to move those things
and it can be slow or take away from the urgency we want. >> we are among the top 1% of the 1 percent in the world and oxfan projected that it will control more in the world and with healthcare you said we are fantastic at providing healthcare and vaccines and medications and all sorts of services for the wealthy and we are particularly not good at doing it for the poor. >> we have traditionally not been good about doing it for the poor. what is exciting now is that globally and bill and melinda have been a big part of the leadership, the global leadership that exists today on saying that's not okay. it's not okay that when we have vaccines that can prevent disease, that children globally don't get them it's not okay for moms to die during delivery it's not okay for children to die before they even reach the
age of five so that is really what we are pushing in 2015 we've got even more ambitious goals for disease prevention ander ratification globally than ever before and it's because of this equity issue that all lives have equal value and we believe that when the entire globe gets together and says it's not okay for a child to die of a vaccine preventable illness that, in fact, we can make gains, i'll give you an example, in 1990 one in ten children died before the age of five. this year that's one in 20. still not okay but better. by 2030 that will be one in 40. so actually progress is being made and when you hold yourself accountable, set ambitious goals, get private companies to lean in and convince them that this can be good for their business, great things can happen. >> what are the poor people
vaccine preventable diseases that are on your radar right now? we talked about ebola and malaria. >> 600,000 deaths from malaria and a huge issue and we want to eradicate polio the news in africa is better actually 75% decrease in polio cases last year in africa. >> nigeria is about to be polio free we think. >> hopeful for nigeria and six cases last year and things are better tuberculosis is a huge issue globally hiv, aids a huge issue globally and one of the things that is happening soon is the replenishment of funds for gavi, the international organization that aims to prevent -- vaccinate more and these are good news items and can make a difference in global health including health for the
in the next eight years a whopping 7 1/2 million people who lost their homes to foreclosure during the great recession will be able to buy again. they are called boomerang buyers and fly from home ownership after 2007 during the housing bust and could fly back the other way because the 7 year window to repair credit has passed and can now qualify for another mortgage the miami area which took a huge hit could see 322000 new homeowners in the next eight years and great news for detroit which stands to see the same number in boomerang buyers or not because they could just as easily choose to rent the rest of their lives according to realtytrac and we have the vice president from irvine california i felt traps to the nonsense that we all fell victim to over the years that somehow this buying a house at any point was important to
fulfill the american dream and tell people this was a cultural phenomenon and not sure we should be telling anybody to buy anything they are not 100% sure they cannot afford for and pay for and stand. >> i completely agree with that so we are at a really important inflexion point where we have all these recovering homeowners who discovered that home ownership isn't quite as much as it's cracked up to be and sold to them as and what are they going to do. they now qualify and have the opportunity to buy again potentially but when we look at the market the markets where we see that they are most likely to actually be come buyers again and be homeowners again are those markets that are actually still affordable and i think that is the key. is these hopefully these homeowners these former homeowners as well as lenders and others involved have learned the lesson in the past eight years that. >> maybe they have.
>> not to be homeowners. >> we are one of the only developed countries with a mortgage interest credit and everybody gets mad when i say it doesn't do anything and doesn't get us a higher ownership and cost the government a lot of money and generally effects wealthy people more than poor people but we also have this business where the government is now back in the business of getting people loans, guarantying mortgages for people with very very little down payment. we are not really treating this as a serious issue as perhaps we should do we want the boomerangers back in the market? >> no we don't want all of them in the market but don't also want to go to the other extreme, these boomerang buyers got in the market in a time which was not of their own doing, they got into home ownership and some shouldn't have but a lot of them will be and could be good homeowners going forward. and so it's not a yes-or-no answer but some of them yeah. >> maybe. >> some of them should and some
shouldn't. >> talking about miami and detroit and atlanta is a completely situation, atlanta was one of those marks for whatever reason and maybe you can tell me where the institutional buyers got in a big way and go to auction and buy thousands of houses up and put a bottom on the market so it's not deeply as discounted as miami, miami is less discounted now or detroit and what happens in a place like atlanta, boomerang buyers there don't have the low prices they have in some of these other markets? >> no. not as low. although atlanta we still would rank as affordable because a medium-priced home requires less than 28% of the median income there and what is one of the things that puts atlanta ahead of the game and i think if you are a boomerang buyer in atlanta that makes it more accessible than a place like los angeles where the median-priced home now requires 50-60% of the median
income. >> yeah brooklyn 98% median income to afford a house in brooklyn. so we all love the fact all these areas are doing this but it's very hard for median income people to buy a house in brooklyn or l.a. >> yeah and brooklyn what is happening in brooklyn is you have millennials with a needle mover in the housing market that are moving to brooklyn but the problem there is housing is so unaffordable it's very unlikely those people making the medium income or less will be homeowners and renting is not so affordable there either but it's more affordable than buying a home. >> some places for the rich and good to see you, vice president at realtytrac and growing demand for rental units we were talking about in the wake of the housing crisis and sent rents soaring including new york and san
francisco and seattle where many traditional apartments and homes are too expensive for these may people and small apartments called micro living and we have a look. >> reporter: new york is a big city with thousands of tiny spaces people call home. >> this doesn't feel that tight. >> it's not big but it's enough. >> reporter: evan takes pride in his 295 square foot apartment in the manhattan upper east side and he drew a detailed sketch of his place before furnishings it to maximize every inch and rents it for $1800 a month and certain he got a good deal when he moved in two years ago. >> nobody had seen the apartment yet and i had to get it before anyone else put their papers in basically. >> you were that competitive. >> it's kind of cut throat. >> reporter: december 2014 prices for man manhattan went up
to $3,000 a month and he pays less because he is in a building before the 80s when zoning regulations went in effect prohibiting creating apartments smaller than 400 square feet. >> if i bring one thing in one thing has to go out because i'm max capacity. >> reporter: demand for housing for one person is so great new york has lifted zoning restrictions on one project in the city and allowing the development to create an entire building composed of 55 micro units. between 260-350 square feet these apartments will be so small they are being built miles away in a brooklyn factory, when complete they will be driven in manhattan and stocked on top of each other, this is the first one. >> one complete unit and representative of the units in our building and standing what is going to be the hallway right now. >> reporter: 22 will be set
aside for middle and low-income people and they will pay 949-1490 a month, because the units are small 70 more people will live in the tower than existing regulations would normally allow. the building will be incredibly densely populated so when the units are connected they will leave a half of inch or the tip of my finger between each one to reduce noise between apartments. in new york this is an experiment in seattle dozens of modern micro units have been around for years and some community groups say they are bad for neighborhoods. >> i think it's kind of a bad idea because it forces an up ward escalation in land prices and in urban areas one of the biggest challenges in producing affordable hoursing is the cost of the land. >>. watson with the citizens planning council disagrees and carefully watching the new york city experiment and says because of the lack of small apartments single people are forces to become roommates and compete
directly with families for a place to live. >> so it may be cheaper for them as a single person but actually the three-bedroom apartment that is taking three or four single people and renting it the landlord can get a lot more money for the unit than if a family was renting. >> reporter: cities in the country jumping on the micro bandwagon and san francisco developments are building tiny apps for whole families this unit has two bedrooms a kitchen, living room and less than 630 square feet but that is nothing compared to the 90 square feet she used to rent in new york. >> there were 23" between the bed and the ceiling. >> reporter: she paid $700 a month until her landlord saw an unline video of her and realized she was she was illegally subletting. >> there was an e eviction on the door and they doubled the price and changed the mind.
>> demand because the demand was great but don't feel bad for her because she saved enough money to make a down payment and buy herself a 600 square foot manhattan apartment. what is life after tiny? >> a lot less bruises. >> reporter: al jazeera, new york. and the developers of the micro apartments plan to start renting units this summer and coming up, thank god it's thursday and a growing number of american companies are saying yes to a four-day workweek and get excited for monday because this show goes to prime time 10:30 and 7:30 pacific, that is five days a week by the way.
>> on techknow cars... the science behind keeping us safe on the road >> oh... >> oh my god... >> the driving force behind these new innovations >> i did not see that one coming >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie... what can you tell me about my
future? >> can effect and surprise us... >> sharks like affection >> techknow... where technology meets humanity... only on al jazeera america ♪ the massive blizzard that blasted the northeast this week was the cause of what we celebrated a snow day and a four-day workweek for workers but for many it's not an anomaly but the norm europeans think working more hours does not mean more productivity and u.s. is experimenting it and fewer hours mean efficiency loyalty and productivity and having them saying thank god it's thursday and tim rogers has the story. >> reporter: it's thursday at the online education tech company tree house in portland oregon. for most companies this doesn't mean anything special, but here
thursdays are really fridays. tree house has a four-day workweek. >> wednesday comes around and you start to panic a little bit, tomorrow is the end of the week i got to get stuff done. >> reporter: ceo ryan carson and wife jill decided to work four days a week launching a start up in 2004 when they began tree house in 2006 carson decided to keep the tradition. >> i thought if everybody says you can't work less let's prove them wrong and see if it's possible. >> reporter: turns out it is. >> we found a huge correlation between working less and being more efficient and when you look at it it makes sense, the idea of if ifif i tell myself this is what i have to get done there is a huge increase in productiveityproductivity. >> a workforce on shorter hours and flexible arrangements tends to be happier, more loyal and more stable and all those things
tend to be good for the business bottom line if you like. >> reporter: world wild countries that work shorter hours tend to have higher productivity and germans work less and they are one of the most productive that is higher than italy and japan, among the hardest working countries in the g 7. >> that tells you you cannot predict an economy is going to be stronger because workers are working longer hours and it's likely that the economy will be either just the same or stronger if workers are working shorter hours on average. >> cool. >> reporter: carson says there have been some unexpected benefits for the four-day workweek and people take fewer sick days and leaving amountdoctor appointments for fridays and a good recruiting tool. >> people say they will steal my
people but we treat people like humans here. >> reporter: 36% of employers nationwide allow some employees to have a four-day workweek and usually that involves flexible hours during the summers on fridays. >> i think it has to come from the cos or executives or founders, you know and the trouble is a lot of those folks like working. >> several u.s. cities experimenting with this and hopes it will save money in the long-term as well as a few gm and chrysler plants and tech companies are more likely to work a four-day ten-hour workweek but not tree house. >> we work four eight hour days and not four tens we do not trick people. >> reporter: it's easy to think people are slacking but the stakes at tree house are high. >> sometimes i spend sunday evening, an hour or two to figure out my schedule for the week to make sure i have everything. >> reporter: he worked at tree house for two years and says employees are held accountable for how they spend their days
and productivity is tracked daily. >> we look at who is producing projects who is completing those projects within a certain amount of time there is red flags that will be pulled out if you are not pulling your weight in the company. >> we've had let people go. you have to be able to perform here. >> reporter: carson says his employees still get a full salary plus benefits and his bottom line employees are efficient and happy. even if the company grows more slowly as a result. >> i think short term we probably have been hurt a little bit but we are still growing at over 100% per year in revenue so i'm okay with that that seems good enough. >> reporter: i have enjoyed spending dinner time with you, that looks delicious by the way but starting monday let's take our meeting to prime time and have the teenager in your house set the dvr to record the series 10:30 p.m. eastern, 7:30 pacific all week i'll ali
velshi and thank you for joining us. hi everyone this is al jazeera america, i'm john. [chanting] missed deadlines, two lives in the balance, a look at the convicted attacker being offered up to i.s.i.l. threat level and video from inside a texas police station, officers shoot a teenage girl dead. the new questions about the use of force. cruel and unusual, a brutal sentence for a saudi blogger and talked to one of the u.s. professors saying he will take the beating for