tv Your Money CNN March 10, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST
won't have the drugs you need. our susan candiotti examines a nationwide drug shortage problem. plus the new ipad out next week, our gaming and gadgets guru, marc saltzman, has the pros and cons at 3:20 eastern time today. and once you've had a job interview, there are five things that you need to do. we'll tell you about it in our reclaim your career segment and the 4:00 eastern time. i'm frederiricka whitfield. i'll be back in one hour. right now time for "your money" with ali velshi live from austin, texas. good afternoon, i'm ali velshi at south by southwest here at the cnn grill in austin which is where all the cool kids are. even brooke bowman. this is such a great place to be. this evolved into a music festival as well.
what you may not have heard yet is it's also probably the world's biggest interactive digitalfest cal. foursquare got its kickoff a few years ago. twitter really exploded here at south by southwest. cnn has a presence here every year. i'm here with two guys when i really, really like. i tweeted that i've got a man crush on mario armstrong. i think i said it was a tech man crush. and of course baritunde thurston who i said was a little intimidating, one of the most fun guys around but you really understand this world. for people who are watching this, before you change your channel because you don't know what south by southwest is or you don't care, why do we care that we're here? >> we used to think of the internet as a separate space, as a different place. as a culture, distinct from the rest of the world. it's too big for that now. the internet is not some other thing. it's in all of us. and so this festival, which began as geek culture, that's now mass culture.
so to understand the future that we're charting, these tools we're making affect all of us. how we learn, how we spend money, how we find our mates, how we do our politics. so with the big picture of the whole world now, not something you can isolate as separate from the rest of us. >> that's a good point you make. if we can do our politics the way people make deals about technology and come up with ideas for social media, it would be -- decision-making would be faster and probably more effective. but, mario, give us the candy. the fact is there are gadgets here, there are things that will be uncovered here, apps for your phone that we're going to be using for years to come. >> absolutely for years to come. so folks that are watching at home right now, you're using many of the apps that have been here before that you were like i don't care about this stuff. why does it mean anything relevant to me. apps are made relevant for our life, for education, for health care, for politics. but also we're starting to do more around people discovery and really learning more about the people around us. i call them ice breaker apps, if you will.
so we're seeing that as a trend. but we're also seeing other trends for social, for good. i'm really excited about apps that are being developed around the nonprofit space or these hybrid models of profit and nonprofit coming together like cause world and a couple of other really interesting apps that bring in donations and momentum and movement and missions all at the same time. all of that's here. >> you're very big into this idea that this allows people to get access to better education, but it's not just that. there are people here who have nothing to do with an app but they know this is a progressive-thinking community that knows how to change things. there are people here with causes who come here to link up with other people with causes, ideas and money. >> and when you think about what this festival is, it is music, film and interactive. it's art and technology coming together and there's magic. this idea of new ways to raise money and new ways to raise politics, at its heart, it's about a redistribution of power in our society. the voices that we as individuals have, the ability to
connect each other and form ad hoc communities and get more done for good, for change, that's amplified into the rest of the world which we're a part of. >> we're glad to be here and glad to have you guys kick off our show. stick around, we've got a lot going on here at the grill. let me tell you about the cnn grill, by the way. this is a place that took 35 hours to convert from the restaurant, the wine bar that it was, into the place that you're looking at right now. every table in the place has power running to it. there's a full menu here. the most popular item, i'm hoping to get one moment airily, is a chicken slider. we made 336 of them on the first day. i say we made them like i had anything to do with it. unless it's made in a microwave, i don't generally have anything to do with it. all of this transition has created the cnn grill. we even replaced the sign outside the restaurant and here we have it. we're in here. it's a must-stop place at cnn. it's the place that all the
movers and shakers come to. and i've got to tell you, at south by southwest, it's kind of a place where people do deals. they have ideas. they hope to find people to finance or market or distribute their ideas. and ultimately why do we care? well, those people will get rich. but ultimately why we care is because if people have great ideas, those could become jobs down the road. this is america, it's about entrepreneurship. but let's talk about jobs. another month and another strong jobs report in the united states. here's the breakdown of what we saw for february. we have -- we had the creation of 227,000 new jobs in the united states. 233,000 jobs were actually created in the private sector, which is where you want them to be created. 6,000 jobs were lost in government. so that's kind of -- that's the good story. that's 17 months in a row. i know a lot of you were worried about the fact the unemployment rate is still above 8%. don't worry so much about the unemployment rate, worry about
actual jobs created. the unemployment rate will fluctuate for the next few months. as we keep on creating jobs like this, more people will go into the job force and start looking for jobs. the labor participation rate will increase. as a result, the unemployment rate may go up, may go down, but we're creating jobs. speaking about a guy who has created many jobs in his past, steve case is the co-founder of aol. he's the chairman and ceo of a company called revolution. he's the chairman of this start-up america partnership. he's also a member of president obama's jobs council and was responsible for what remains the biggest merger in the history of the business world with aol/time warner. steve, good to see you. >> good to see you. >> you made a speech recently where you said entrepreneurship can become the next american manufacturing. and that 100 years ago would have sounded great or 50 years ago. you meant it as a warning. >> i think it's a little bit of a wake-up call for our nation, particularly our leaders in
washington, d.c., because america was built by entrepreneurs as you mentioned. they started companies and entire industries and that's how it became the leading economy in the world. but we're still great in some sectors like technology, digital media here you see a lot of momentum. but manufacturing, services, a lot of other regions in the country we don't have the same level of entrepreneurship. in fact start-ups are down 23% over the last five years. if they stayed at the time same level, we'd have two million more jobs. meanwhile other nations are stepping up their game. >> we seem to think this is the american dou main, the thing people can't steal from us. >> i'd be careful about that. american entrepreneurship. other nations are recognizing the secret sauce that's driven america's economy has been entrepreneurship and they're putting policies in place to make it friendlier for entrepreneurs and for capital. we need to respond. now, the good news is people in washington recognize it. the president in starting this
jobs council, we laid out some proposals in the fall to try to get entrepreneurship back on track. >> there's very specific things in there that you have advocated that will help entrepreneurships. for instance, a big tax credit if you invest in anything, if you create jobs. what are the other things? making it easier for people who are educated here but don't have visas to stay. >> some of it is the issue of winning the global battle on talent. to make sure we have immigration policies to encourage people to stay here. right now they come here, we kick them out and go back to their country and start a company there instead of sdaurgt a company here. last week the house passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 390-23 something called the jobs act which allowed for crowd funding. so companies like this don't have to rely on venture capitalists. >> you mean the ability for companies to raise money not just from venture capitalists. >> exactly. >> but to go out and say i've
got a great idea. anybody want to finance it? >> it creates a more access to capital for startups, up to $10,000. but crowd funding can unleash a whole slew of new companies. the other thing in the jobs act was on-ramp for ipos. companies don't go public because it's so costly so they put an on-ramp in place so eventually all companies would be subject to -- >> but smaller companies have a different set of rules. >> just temporarily. >> a lot of small companies can't bring on the staff and the r regulatory ability to ramp up. >> and that's the problem when you look at our unemployment rate. 90% of job creation happens after the companies go public, so we get more companies public -- if they don't go public, oftentimes their investors get tired and want to sell. when companies get sold, jobs decelerate and when they go public, they accelerate. last week we built momentum
around this and this week the battle shifts if you will to the senate. senator reid will be introducing some legislation. hopefully he just takes the jobs act, puts it on the floor for a senate vote. i think it will pass and i think the president will sign it and that would be great for entrepreneurs, great for access to capital and ensure that we don't go the way of manufacturing, which 50 years ago was the core business and now we've lost some of that. entrepreneurship still is a core business for america. we can keep it but we need to act. >> all right, steve. we are talking about jobs here. take a look at this. christine romans is going to break down everything you need to know about the state of the jobs situation in this country in 90 seconds. christine. >> reporter: ali, by now everyone has seen the headlines. 227,000 jobs created in february, unemployment rate steady at 8.3%. let's go inside jobs and take a look at some important distinctions in this month's report. for example, look, 233,000 private sector jobs created.
that's important. two years now of private sector job creation. take a look at this, 6,000 public sector jobs lost. that has been the drag on the labor market, quite frankly, but it's better than we saw last year. 22,000 jobs on average in the government lost every single month, so a little bit of an improvement there. i want to look quickly at the trajectory because this is something that you and i both know is so important on the campaign, right? this is the labor market under the last months of george w. bush. you can see the financial crisis taking hold. hundreds of thousands of jobs lost. this is the beginning of the obama presidency. a very terrible, terrible 2009. this is what a financial crisis and jobs crisis looks like. and here is a slow, slow plodding recovery that's gathering momentum by the end of this year and the beginning of 2012. this is the part of the chart that so many people are focusing on. will this mean the labor market can continue to gather some steam into the summer and can put some of those people who
have lost their jobs here back to work. ali. >> what a great explanation, christine, thank you. small business. steve case just said this, small business is critical to add fuel for this recovery that christine was just talking about. i was talking -- talking to. south by southwest is so important for so many of these small tech companies which are trying to catch their break. how about if you've got a great idea. is starting your own business an option for you? we'll find out what makes a start-up successful and what ideas are doomed to fail next on a special "your money" live from the cnn grill at south by southwest. [ male announcer ] the cadillac cts sport sedan was designed with near-perfect weight balance from front to back... and back to front.
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welcome back to a special live edition of "your money. " we're at the cnn grill at south by southwest in austin which is why i'm eating. these are the chicken sliders we made -- perhaps eating on tv is not the wisest thing. we made 336 of these just yesterday. and they're going strong. but i do have to do some business here so i'll move on. south by southwest, for those of you who don't know what it's about, it's a launching pad for start-ups. foursquare launched here. twitter was out there but wasn't as big. south by southwest was the place to make it big. so we want to explore what it takes to create a successful start-up in this economy and what role start-ups could play in fixing america's job crisis. back with me is steve case. reid hoffman joins me now. he's the co-founder of linkedin, early stage investor in facebook in zyng achl. you worked for paypal. these guys know how to start companies.
over on the end is my friend peter, chairman and founder of the x pride foundation. c co-author of abundance. these guys know about starting things up. steve, you and i talked about entrepreneurship facing the same fate as manufacturing in the united states. that's worrisome. reid, do you share the view that we have to make it easier for people to create businesses? what does my viewer need to know about the state of creating a startup in this country? >> i think one of the things that we have traditionally had a competitive edge in the u.s. is we're great at entrepreneurship. we're great at bringing people around the world to do it. we're great at trying new things. so i think bringing the network around you, advisers, financiers, employees, people that understand the industry and launching. how do you assemble a network in order to make your startup more successful. this is how we create the
future. the world is changing in a faster and faster pace. being able to adapt and innovate is critical. >> peter, let me take a sip. peter, let's talk about you have been involved and you know people who just had little ideas. in fact i think you said that every day -- the day before something became a great invention, it was just another stupid idea. tell me what people need to know about creating ideas and getting them out there. >> having a real breakthrough requires taking risk. before it's a breakthrough, it's a crazy idea. so in large corporations and governments we don't take big risks because we're concerned about large public failure that say could hit a congressional investigation or stock price. really it's the entrepreneur, the small team that's willing to risk everything to go and make their dreams come true that drives real innovations. and the entrepreneur today has
extraordinary resources at their fingertips. >> tell me about startup america. it really is a private sector effort to try to mobilize resource to help companies get started. go to s.co and get resources. over 70 companies have contributed things to help launch startups. there's local reej ogions like startup texas. it helps the entrepreneurs and that's alongside what we talked about earlier. what the government needs to do around passing this jobs act to allow for crowd funding and ipo on-ramp. there's a role for the government. ultimately we rely as entrepreneurs to be -- as peter said, they're the attackers. they are disrupting the status quo. large companies are typically defenders. we need to unleash the attackers in this country so these companies and industries start and grow here and don't find themselves growing in other countries. >> do you still find those
attackers at places like this? >> absolutely. one of the things that's great about south by southwest is it brings a large segment of media and innovation and austin is a very good center for design, which is one of the things that's important on the new web. one of the things that we see through investing across the u.s. is that we still -- we can still do it. we just need to apply ourselves and no longer take it that the future is for granted, we can coast. it's how do we invest in ourselves and how do we go forward. >> peter, you're annie ternl optimist. generally speaking a place by south by southwest is populated by optimists because they have got great ideas to power the future. but you're a real optimist based on the fact that the name of your new book is "abundance." you think there's stuff out there that is going to make us work faster and better in the future. >> if you're an entrepreneur, you believe you can otherwise you wouldn't be doing it in the first place. that's half the battle. mindset is half the battle.
for example, we just launched with qualcomm foundation the a device that can diagnose you better than a board certified doctor. there have 145 teams around the world that will do this so that will create an abundance of health care with better diagnostics than the best doctors today. >> i have a copy of peter here somewhere. i'm never eating on tv again. >> are you sure you don't want another bite? >> reid, you said something in a book that you have to think of yourself as a beta. >> yes. >> as being in permanent beta, which is you're never a finished product. if you think the world is changing, globalization, increasing competition, and the industries are being disrupted, you never look at yourself as a finished product. it's always how do i invest in myself and play the next curve. this is borrowing a term from silicon valley, which is we release software in bait avmt g-mail was in beta like eight
years. we're in production but we're not finished yet. >> i feel so much better about myself knowing this is not a finished product. there's somewhere that we have to go from here. thanks to all of you. peter's book "abundance" is near the top of the new york times -- >> we hit number two on the new york times. >> that's dpleexcellent, i'm gl. people should read this book. i'm in the middle of yours right now. somebody is probably eating a slider and enjoying it right now. >> i don't have a book but i would tell people to use the hash tag jobs act and push the senate to pass this act next week and make sure entrepreneurs have the resources to succeed in this country. >> very good. good to see you all of you. from facebook to google to twitter, the majority of the startups all share a familiar lead character, and it's usually a man. where are the women when it comes to leading the next generation of technology innovation? we'll beat the women who are trying to change that situation next on a special live edition of "your money" from south by southwest.
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and you'll say...my money. my choice. my meineke. why is there a digital divide when it comes to women working in the tech world? we've got a panel here ready to change that. rachel who you've seen on the show before is the founder of change the ratio. sharon is the chief operating officer of mashable. kelly is founder of lover lee a wedding idea site and katherine is ceo of the daily news, an online community for professional women. first of all, do we think that there is -- do you want to change the ratio? the ratio is not good? >> the ratio can be better. there's two different ratios. the ratio of what actually is women to men and then the ratio of who's getting funded, who's getting highlighted in the press, who's keynote speakers at
conferences. women tend to have a less clear, straight path to mentorship, to funding, to all of these things than men tend to do. i'm generalizing but that's how we've seen it. more than ever now, every industry now is open to disruption and women are right in the middle of that doing it, as you can tell. >> let's talk about this for a second. mashable is a media blog that covers websites and social networks. is there a difference in the way women in the industry market themselves? >> oh, absolutely. we're covering technology and digital, which has become very mainstream. but you have women who are networking themselves. i think women are less likely to go as far as men to network themselves. you know, they're a little shyer about it. >> kelly, you've got a tech company. you're hoping to inspire women to do what you've done. were there any unusual -- any unusual challenges that you felt because you're a woman? >> you know, i think that most
entrepreneurs face the same challenges. you know, you need to be confident. i think women tend to be a little bit more shy and bashful sometimes. i always tell entrepreneurs be aggressive, be confident and don't back down, just keep going. >> and do you think that places like south by southwest which create a marketplace for people with ideas to get funding and to go further, does that work as well for women as it does for men? >> 100%. if you put yourself out there and you go embrace the event and put yourself out there, just be confident and just go ahead and do it. >> katherine, is there a market niche for women or should they be competing in exactly the same places men are competing in? >> i think there's absolutely a market niche. we've seen that women are interacting with the web in different ways. they are being attracted to different interfaces, different designs and there are an incredible niche here. i think it's an opportunity rather than a digital divide. there is a incredible opportunity where you have all
of these products that have been designed by men for men and i think we're just now seeing the resurgence of consumer products focused -- >> are we starting off, rachel, on the right foot, wrong foot or same foot as women competing in all other industries in other all spaces. >> tech is a meritocracy. i think if you create something and you get users and you get traction, you're halfway there, obviously. i think it's important to recognize that the unconscious institutional biases that every industry has, and i think also important to emphasize that women make things better. diversity makes things better. you have different perspective, access different markets, find different ways to get things done and it has shown thfoundin teams with women this key roles performed much better. >> is diversity in the digital world sort of a must more than it is in some industries that haven't caught on? >> absolutely. and i would say there are parallels between the digital
world and larger business world but technology is becoming main streel and people leading these companies need to reflect the consumer that say they're reflecting to and building products for. >> and that digital consumer is everybody. >> exactly. >> have you found that the barriers, one of the reason women generally do well in business because barriers to entry that the corporate world imposes aren't there as much? >> i think that the startup world is the same thing. it's a matter of having a plan, taking action and going after it. i think oftentimes female mentorship helps give you the confidence to make that jump. you know, i work with corporate america for three years before i started my company and i did not -- i didn't realize that there was an issue as far as being a woman until actually when i came into startup world and i was approached by investors. like where's the male founder. and i can do it by myself, thank you. >> and you have done it pie yourself. thank you. four successful women in the space and rachel is out here waving the flag. she's really out there having
this conversation with people. thank you for joining us here. south by southwest is known for its startup power. three years ago one of those companies completely changed the way you interact with your friends and family today. i'll introduce to the man behind foursquare and what he has to say about all the data companies gather on you. that's next from the cnn grill in austin. roc® retinol correxion deep wrinkle night cream. it's clinically proven to give 10 years back to the look of skin. now for maximum results, the power of roc® retinol is intensified with a serum to create retinol correxion® max. it's clinically shown to be 4x better at smoothing lines and deep wrinkles than professional treatments. new roc® retinol correxion® max. nothing's better than gold. oh. let's go. from the crack, off the backboard. [ laughs ] dad!
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welcome back to cnn's special live coverage of south by southwest. dennis crowley came to austin three years ago on a mission to launch a company called foursquare. you can call it mission accomplished. foursquare now has 15 million users. think back to your initial trip here. really, were you like writing code tul the last minute? what were you thinking? >> yeah, my co-founder and i were writing code up until the
point that we got on the plane. we were the guys like, sir, you must close the lid on your laptop for the flight to take off. as soon as you land, you make a phone call is it still running? >> here's the weird part about south by southwest. you, all 22 years or whatever you are, are the old man of south by southwest. how do you manage the idea, because this is where great businesses are born. >> south by southwest has the same feel to it every year. there's always the incumbents and there's always 20 or 30 startups who are really trying to make their big launch event, really tell their story and get a lot of attention. this is my seventh time being down here. our third anniversary for foursquare. so it's nice everyone knows what we're doing. it's part of the fabric that is south by southwest. >> just in case my dad is
watching, which he should be, he may not know what foursquare is. what's your simple explanation. >> we make mobile phones that help people connect with their friends and find their friends and also find new and interesting places nearby. so people are using it down here what parties they should go to, where their friends are hanging out and just a general awareness of what's going on in austin. >> and this concept, which was very cutting edge when you got big with it, has now become very common. people use location-based services. those who don't are still concerned about safety and the amount of data that's collected and information. you have made the argument that that data that you collect is useful. >> yeah. >> what do you tell people who think it's not? >> what we're trying to do is collect little bits and pieces of the types of places that people go to and work really hard to recycle that data and give it back to people. hey, because you like these places in new york, you're really going to enjoy these places in austin. every time you use foursquare, it gets a little smarter and we
can give those smarts back to the user to help them figure out what to do in the real world. but it takes people a little while to warm up to these things. >> frank abagnale, you know him, one of the things that he talks about is the dangers people face. how do you confront that on a daily basis? >> i think people that are most concerned about parts of 4square, the ones that have never used it before. there are people afraid of facebook and always people afraid of twitter. i think you get some people that are a little bit skittish about using foursquare sometimes. but when people start to play with the app and realize all the things it can do and the way it can unlock the world, people warm up to it. >> when people get off their planes to austin like you did three years ago, what is that startup thinking? what do they want to achieve at south by southwest? is it funding or somebody to pick up their platform and run with it? >> it's a little bit of everything. people talk about what's the breakout app at south by southwest. for us it was us in 2009 and us
last year, maybe 2010 too, three years in a row. but you get to see other people having that same experience now. it's playing out on the streets. it plays out in the conference rooms. it plays out at bars and restaurants. people experimenting with new technology trying to figure out what's going to be the next big thing. >> and it takes less time to do a deal here than it does in congress. >> things move very, very quick here. >> thanks so much. continued great success for you and foursquare. >> thank you. if you don't know the name frank abagnale, you surely know his story. he was once known as the world's most famous con man. his story inexpired the leonardo dicaprio movie "catch me if you can." we'll catch up and talk to him next here on this special live edition of "your money" here at south by southwest. , uh, checki. nice. but, you know, with every door direct mail from the postal service, you'll find the customers that matter most:
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"catch me if you can" was all about fraudulent checks. who even writes checks anymore? now it's a whole different story. doesn't matter what the company is. if you dwif information to a website, it's stored and often sold to other companies. that's why you get so much free stuff on the web. protecting your personal information in this digital age is something you should be concerned about. frank abagnale has gone from cashing fraudulent checks to helping the fbi and other law enforcement and scores of financial institutions deal with fraud. now he says it's time to protect your information online. didn't to see you, frank. mario armstrong back with me. we just talked to dennis crowley of foursquare. their company only succeeds and offers you better services the more information they have on you down to who you are, what you buy, where you go, where are you right now. balance that out with me with the concerns that you should have about data storage. >> i think you always have to realize the information you're giving out. let's take facebook. we have ten million children on
facebook. 7.5 million of them under age 13. >> which is not supposed to be the case. >> and we have a million kids bullied last year on facebook. there's a software-like creeper where i can track a child on facebook. if i take a picture of you in the airport, there's facial recognition software that i can match that to any face on facebook. if i go to your facebook page and find your picture, i'll find out where you were born and when you were born so i'm 90% at taking over your identity. so i have nothing against the social sites, but when you put a picture of you, don't put a frontal photograph, put you on a boat, skiing down a mountain, something recreational. when you talk about your life, don't say where you were born, don't say the date of birth that you were born on, don't give away pertinent information that you know people can take to become you. >> what's the balance here, mario? we want free stuff on the internet. so we know we've got to give some information about us because these companies that use it sell it to advertisers who
exactly want to target me, my age, my demographic, my weight, everything. >> well, ali, here's the deal. you said the key word. free. if you're getting something for free, the monetary payment for that is your privacy. so you're paying for these things, these free tools with your privacy. that's what frank is talking about. what's really interesting about what frank is saying is little digital footprints are now being made. these cookie crumbs. so you leave a little information here or a little information there. in and of itself you think it's harmless because it's one little sprinkle of information. but the ease offing agating all of that data are of making a trend is so, so fast. >> so how do you live a life in 2012 participating in all of these need things that you want to participate in. i don't do a lot of location-based stuff because i'm not interested in people knowing where i am all the time. can i fully be a participant and yet keep safe? >> yes, but again, you have to be a little smarter. you can't rely on the government, your bank to protect
you. you have to be a smarter consumer and a wiser consumer. when you use those, you have to ask yourself what are my risks associated with that. i protect myself from identity theft by three simple thing. i do use a shredder, i use a microcut shredder. >> people still steal that stuff? >> yeah. >> dumpster diving is huge. >> most shredders you can put all the information back so you want to use a microcut shredder. i use a credit monitoring firm. i've used one since the '90s called privacy guard. and i don't use a debit guard. because in a debit card, i'm accessing my bank account so i use a credit card. >> which is protection for you. >> much better protection. >> and what's the trade-off? if you want all this location-based stuff, if i want the advertisers to advertise -- it's weird, right? when you surf the internet after you've been looking to buy something, every ad that pops up is what you were looking for. i'm too dumb to realize that that was information sharing, i just think it's a great coincidence all of these advertisers want to advertise
people, starting new conversations, creating new ideas, but the fact that that was done first without the forethought of privacy for the user first kind of worries me in this day and age. >> frank? >> the other side of that, it's a great law enforcement tool because today we can track people by their cell phone, we can track them by their e-mail, by their website, so it becomes also a great tool to use on the other side for the government to use. but i think the key here is you have to educate the end user -- >> yes. >> -- as the proper way to use it. as a government and as a bank and as a corporation, we do a very poor job of educating the end user about how to protect themselves. years ago we saw a lot of public service ads. we don't see those anymore. >> the whole mortgage crisis. >> with the technology we have today, would "catch me if you can" be easier for you? >> 4,000 times easier. >> great to see you, mario armstrong, frank abagnale. i hope you'll stay and eat some of our chicken sliders here at the cnn grill. the foundation of "your
money" is built on coming up with solutions. one of the top celebrity chefs in this country is taking on an important issue, it's hunger. hear how he wants to fix the hunger crisis right here in america and how it could help the nearly 50 million people affected by it next on "your money." to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
you may not know tom calicio best as "top chef." but he is a documentary about a hunger in america called "finding north." take a look at a clip from the movie. >> one student in particular, rosey, i just really felt she wasn't really applying herself in the classroom. i couldn't figure out why that attitude was coming from. i felt that she just really didn't care about what i wanted her to learn or that school was that important and what i realized when i brought her in one day was the main issue was she was hungry.
>> well about, 50 million americans are food insecure in this country. more shocking, 16 million children, that means people don't really know where the next meal is coming from, at least once a month. earlier, i spoke with tom about the issue of hunger across america as well as south by southwest and, of course, i had to ask him about "top chef." good to see you here. this, for us, for me, southwest southwest always involves a lot of food. why are you here? >> we're doing a panel, one of the interactive panels. we had a show sort of along top chef called last chance kitchen. it was only online. we actually successfully migrated the contestants from tv to online and then the winner got back into the actual competition. and it was wuldly successful. we're doing a panel on that. >> you also have a great film that you have done.
and it's about hunger here in america. i know, you know, a lot of people know that there is severe hunger and this uncertainty about where your next meal is coming from. i don't know if everybody knows how big a deal it is. >> it's a huge deal. i produced the film. my wife and partner directed it as well. but 50 million americans food insecure. so food insecurity means that during the course of the week, a month, they will struggle to put food on the table. that includes 17 million children. the problem that we can fix, that's why we did the film. for the last 30 years of being a chef, i've done a lot of fundraisers and active in raising money for various hunger organizations, whether it's feeding america or local food banks. and they're doing great work. the problem keeps growing. and so we thought that we needed to maybe do something else, a call to action to fix this. >> how is the fix for that problem different than the fix for all of the economic problems we have, joblessness and things like that?
>> it's an issue of poverty. but we make enough food in this country to feed everyone. the problem is connecting people to food. >> your point is there shouldn't be food insecurity for families in america because we have abundance of food. >> we have enough food. we have a system that is broken. one of the problems that we find is if you look at subsidies, subsidies go to corn, wheat and soy. $20 billion of subsidies. and so when you talk about people trying to struggle to put food on the table and three hours buys junk food or 300 calories of whole foods. we can do that by offsetting fruits and vegetables with subsidies. >> what is the aim of the film? it is to educate everybody bels the problem? is it to try to convince people struggling to put food on the table to switch to more nutritious foods? >> it's really everything. number one, to show that there is a problem. back in 1969, there was a documentary called "hungry in america." after that came out, they created the modern food safety
net and fixed the problem. now we're right back there again. we can fix it. we fixed it before. it's a matter of making it affordable for everybody and making sure that we get rid of food deserts where you can't find food. >> food deserts, urban areas -- >> and rural areas. >> where quality fresh food is not readily available. >> it's not available at all. the only option you have is to buy junk food and highly processed foods. and that is causing the obesity problem. look at obesity, it is the flip side of hunger. it's not that people are overeating. >> it's the opposite of the way it used to be. poor people were skinny. now we have poor people who put on more weight because they're eating the wrong foods. >> exactly. cheap foods. they're not healthy. >> and that extends to health care problems because a lot of these people develop diabetes. >> exactly right. if you want to fix the problem, experts say that about $20 billion will fix the problem per year. and associated health care costs are $120 billion. >> what's the best fix for it?
>> the best fix for it, it's a combination of really get down to it, it's changing the poverty level. there is not a president out there that will change the poverty level. for a family of four, you have to make $28,000. it's just not enough. it's not enough to get by. i think it is changing the poverty level. and there is a political fix to. this look again at subsidies. if you look at getting more people to access the foods. it's on so many different levels. our mission is to raise awareness. >> tom, i'm glad you're doing it. thank you for being here at south by southwest. hopefully we helped you raise awareness. good luck on the film and on "top chef" and all your ventures. >> thank you. appreciate it. what zbl what a great guy. [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota.