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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 14, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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for a moment time there is a blending together of a lot of the commonality, fundamentalism. the something -- and i am one, a difficult time and knowledge in. one of the reasons they had a difficult time repudiating is because they had a difficult time acknowledging that it was, in fact, part of the past. >> you can watch this and other programs online at up next, ted fishman assesses what the world will be like in the year 2013 when 1 billion people will be over the ages 65 and they will up number people under 17. just over 45 minutes. >> hi, everyone.
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worldview. from 12 to one every weekday. become quite friendly with ted fishman of the years. we talked about his previous book. shock of gray. don't delighted to be here. talking about the book. .. >> when i wrote "china inc.," i would go to china to the businesses that you need to go
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to understand china which are the big power cities, and it just struck me over and over again how flush with youth they are. and then you'd come home back to your american city, and you'd fly in, and the city you used to think was bustling seems a little slower, and then the employment statistics in the u.s., in europe, elsewhere in east asia tell you there's a huge employment problem with older workers. they're not old people, but they're older workers, 50 plus. and i was wondering whether the youth that was pouring into the cities, you know, on the trails of a trillion or maybe now it's $2 trillion of foreign capital flowing into china to attract young people to chinese cities to work in factories that serve the world had something twood disenfranchisement of older workers elsewhere in the world. and i was interest inside this
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question, was there a kind of mass massive form of age arbitrage going on around the world because they had these age-related expensions, long vacations, higher salaries, big benefit packages that the world's capital was trying finds to shed that. and china seemed to be that place. it was so successful at attracting young people to the cities. you know, maybe now it's 200 million people have come off the chinese countryside into chinese cities, and you go into a chinese factory, and be i was hundreds of chinese factories, the thing that seems like the most essential bit of employment information in the hr office is whether you're under 25. >> how can china stay young with a one-child policy? they are manufacturing themselves to a grayer society. >> yeah. well, china right now is one of
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the world's youngest places, but it's -- ironically, it's one of the world's most rapidly aging. so demographers do talk about this one statistic which is the dependency ratio, how many people are working as compared to how many people need support from those working people. and then there's how many people are working for older people who need support. china is one of the lowest in the world, it's 1 to 12 which means there are 12 workers for every person who needs support. it's a little bit more than a generation into the one child per family policy. so the birthrate in china's been driven very, very low which is the thing that makes your country age the fastest, and china is now a very rapidly aging country. sometime this century, you know, it'll go from that 1 to 12 ratio to having about 30% of its population over 60, a huge and
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very, very rapid change, far faster than japan went through the change. it's about four times the rate of change. >> this whip saw ratio, though s is not going to be unusual as we will see it play out in many countries. you mentioned japan, but spain is another and lot of others. >> yeah. it seems to be almost a determine fistic thing. often the places we think of as flush with youth, you know, developing countries are really quite rapidly aging. mexico will be an older country demographically than the united states about two-thirds into this century if everything goes as we expect it to. um, and i was just at this event in aspen, the aspen environmental forum, and the head of the u.n. population division was there, and she went through the's new numbers which were just -- the u.n.'s new numbers. about 40% of the world is far below or enough below fertility,
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replacement fertility which means families are small enough to put them on this aging curve, about 40% are roughly at the replacement, and just under 20% are going. so this means that 40% of the world is on its way to where japan is today, where older places like spain is today. 40% we don't know and then all of the world's growth, population growth will come from just about 18% of the world's population. >> and japan has the eye-popping statistic of being the first modern nation to shrink unrelated to war or disease. that's an amazing thing. >> yeah. it is amazing. it's amazing when you're there because young people talk about it. you know, if your a young person -- if you're a young person in an aging japan, you feel like you have to do everything you can to separate yourself socially from this aging country. tokyo's huge. here we are in chicago, our metro area has around nine
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million people, tokyo has close to 40 million people. so there is a downtown chicago for every kind of age group in tokyo. there's a downtown chicago for people 16 and under. [laughter] and in the book i talk about, you know, the kind of radical fashion statements that young people have in be japan to separate themselves from anything that has to do, and it's like several standard deviations beyond lady gaga. [laughter] and then there's the downtown chicago for the people over 70. you know, and it's a long walking mall where all of the curves have been smoothed, where the street is smoothed, where the shopkeepers have been briefed to be patient as people recount their change. [laughter] it's the only mcdonald's in japan where you can bring your own sandwich. [laughter] because if you can't let people bring their own sandwich, nobody goes.
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[laughter] but now they go, and they sit, and they sit, and they sit. [laughter] and, you know, this is what can happen as a place ages is you get these radical shifts. now, it happened in japan, i think, for the same reasons that are surprising elsewhere in the countries that really aggressively assert that they are pro-family, you know, that family means everything as part of our values. so in east asia, in southern europe these are the places that when you talk to people, they say, you know, we put family first, family is always first, every weekend is with family, we reserve sundays for family. but the places that are the most pro-family also put the most burden on the women in the families. so when women have an out from those burdens either as daughter or daughter-in-law through education, through the accessibility of birth control, through the job market, they tend to take them in any way they can. so japan did this very early in
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a surprising way. following world war ii, the japanese were worried that mixed marriages between the japanese and the gis would create a mongrel race, so they allowed for abortion laws. and when those abortion laws went into effect, japanese women took advantage of that possibility for themselves, and the japanese baby boom unlike every other baby boom post-world war ii, it only lasted four years. and that's why japan is ahead of the world demographically in terms of aging, because its baby boom is so much shorter. >> i guess the thing that strikes me as really scary about japan is the way they don't have any immigrants. and in this country if you go around and look at who's taking care of our elderly, it is lots of immigrants. and we're importing nurses and doctors and everything in between.
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and in japan they don't import anybody. they rely on their family members, and this is crushing the whole situation even more. >> yeah, that's exactly so. um, they do have robots. and part of the japanese robot industry is designed exactly to serve the lack of younger people who would otherwise if ill -- fill in these care jobs. so there's lots of robots that will feed an older person at the table. and they have all kinds of household systems that monitor people. um, but the immigrant situation in japan is peculiar because politically you can't be pro-immigrant. in fact, politically you have to be very anti-immigrant. but when you drill down into the companies and you walk into a japanese factory or into the japanese fields, you see a kind of stealthy immigration that's there. they have a trainee program that allows people to be there, i
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think it's five years. and they incentivize them if you learn japanese after three years, the government will give you or the company a payout. and they bring in first ethnic japanese from other places. so you see these people that look sort of japanese and sort of don't, they've got red hair, and they speak portuguese, but their part of japan's previous attempts to ameliorate its threat. when japanese families were too big and sons of large families had to move to brazil, to peru, to the united states to alleviate the demographic pressures of that time. but you also see indonesians, filipinos. you know, jerome, i lived in indonesia for some time, and i speak the language, so when we were out in the fields north of tokyo, i saw all of these dmawcial hanging on a line, and i said, oh, are there end news yangs here?
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and the gentleman who was our guide who has fields there, and he also has giant fields in mongolia, he said, yes, we do. and we got out and talked to some of the indonesian girls who are there. and they said, oh, yeah, the japanese guys are really interested in us. [laughter] >> one of the things about your book is demographics are so interesting, and what's going on there you can really get drunk on the numbers. and the trends and the wonkiness of all of this. but in your book you go to great lengths to personalize all this and to tell stories about people, your family, all sorts of individuals who are experiencing what it's like to live really long lives. how did you balance the wonkiness and the personal story telling here? >> oh, thank you. well, that's exactly what i'm
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after, you know? i do believe we often are in a position where we live these big, global trends, you know? like the emergence of china or the demographic shift, and we only read about them in the vocabulary of numbers. but these are the trends that we are changing ourselves, you know, from the ground up. so in my own family, you know, i like to think about my dinner table at a big holiday gathering. you know, when i was a kid, you know, thanksgiving had this giant, rowdy table of 20 kids or, you know, depending on who showed up that year, and then this small, sad table of really old people over 50. [laughter] >> they ate on the china, and everything was nice and clean. >> right. and they were talking about their ibm stock. [laughter] and we were having a lot of fun stealing each other's food and running around the table. now when i go to thanksgiving, there's this really fun table of young people over 50 --
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[laughter] and there's this small table of the children of the family. and when i go around the country and i say how many people have this -- why don't we do this test right now. how many people in the audience have fewer siblings than their parents had siblings, raise your hands. okay. i don't know if camera caught that, but about two-thirds of the hands went up. if i said how many of you your parents had fewer siblings than your grandparents had siblings, raise your hand. okay. that didn't work so well. [laughter] that was about half. must be a lot of immigrant families in the room. but that's the story, that's the story of the world. you know, we're all in this kind of shrinking pyramid. and, you know, once you start thinking about is this, you see it changing the way your family works, in your workplace, you know, your boss is east trying to -- either trying to shed the older workers, depending on the knowledge.
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you see it in politics here in the city, you know, is the city going to -- in chicago or any city in america, is it going to continue to attract young people in a world that is not producing more young people? you know, the proportion of young people staying very constant. and you see it in geopolitics. the arab spring, for example, we see huge squares of people in foreign lands filled with young people, and then americans start to get nervous. and i wanted to get to the bottom of that by talking about the people who are living the change at every step, you know? from your own life all the way to geopolitics. >> and it's interesting that, um, i mean, people are living longer, so even though there are places that are shrinking, the number of years humans are living on the planet is going up exponentially. it's kind of crazy. >> i don't know if they're going up exponentially. [laughter] but they are going up impressively.
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so americans have added, you know, between one and a half and two and a half year of life every decade for the last 120 years. that's huge. and, you know, one of the things i think that's really hard to understand about an aging world is that it's also a growing world. you know? so as the places where we all live are on this aging trajectory, the world's still going to add around seven, i mean, three billion people to the seven billion already on the planet. i learned this weekend that the u.n. projects that the clock will turn on seven billion people on halloween. [laughter] and it seems like a frightening scenario, but, you know, we have three billion to go, and one of the reasons for this is that we add years of life. it's not just that we're adding people, but we're adding years of life. so if you take the cohort that lives on the planet now and you compare them to a seven billion people who might have lived at the time of the caesars, there
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weren't seven billion people then, but the difference in life span is so long that we are now living around 280 billion more years than we would have if we were all living in the time of is caesars. when you think about that, 280 billion additional years and life span is still growing. sometimes you wonder whether we need another planet to support it all. >> and while we're living so much longer, it's, it's an amazing thing to think about. reading about the woman who gave -- [inaudible] the money. she's 100 years old, she's still doing pilates. [laughter] and, you know, one of the statistics in your book was if a couple lives over 63, the odds are one of them will live to 90 or beyond? >> that's right. that's right. and i'm going to live to 63, but i think the odds are that my wife will live to 90. [laughter] yeah, these are the statistics we all have to live with.
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you know, one of the things that really strikes me about this aging dynamic is, first of all, it's the best news the world's ever had. we are not going to give back this gift of extra life. you know, we're living twice as long as our forebearers did for nearly all of human history. and we're living that long for good reasons, because we have better health, because we're educated, because we're literate. literacy is one of the greatest life-giving things the world has because it gives you access to information about how to live long. and those are all fantastic things. but, you know, just to prove the challenges of an aging world -- i lost track of the question. >> um -- [laughter] well, i was, oh, i just asked about, um, basically, you know, older -- how, you know, you end up doing pilates at 100 and things like that. >> oh, yeah. i was just in aspen where i was
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a speaker, and there are all of these women running around, you know, really young women with really perky breasts who have had plastic surgery done to make their faces look old. [laughter] maybe there's a new longevity chic going around. [laughter] but then you think about who's there in aspen, you know, and you need money to live ins aspen. usually it comes later in life. but people with hip replacements, with knee replacements, with cataract surgery, they're hitting the slopes in their 60s, 70s and even 80s. and it's pretty amazing. and, you know, as medicine gets democratized, this is also going to be a fact. the tragedy is that we have all of these active years at our disposal, but the workplace doesn't want to see them as valuable. you know, there's a big disconnect between when you're old in life and when you're old
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as a worker, and that's one of the tragedies that i explore in the book and how to overcome that. >> and different countries have different solutions it seems like. there's a lot of countries that do employ people older. japan, people stick with their jobs until they're older, but other -- europe, people get out. >> yeah. so, you're right. there's very, very big differences. japan, people do retire. they retire in large numbers around 60, but they retire with too little money to live on because they're going to live longer than anyone else in the world, and they're fearful of this, so they look for ways to reenter the work force. and because there's a dearth of younger people, employers are anxious to employ them. but it happens like this. you work in your japanese company, and i was at a really wonderful japanese company that makes auto parts for nissan cars that some of us drive. and you get to 60, you retire, you get your lump sum retirement
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payment, you get all kinds of thank yous. you go home, you sit at home. japanese men when they retire, they're called rotten garbage or stinky leaves by their wives. [laughter] because their wives have very busy social lives, and they kind of languish at home, they get a call, how would you like your old job back? and the guy goes, oh, yeah, i'd really like my old job back. and then they say, well, great, we'll have you, but you're going to make half your pay. you have your pension, and with your pay you'll be close to even, and the workers take it. japan has, um, of the g20 japan has the highest older work force participation of any country. um, korea actually has a little bit higher. >> that is a sneaky good deal for the company. >> it is a really -- and it's happening everywhere in the world. and this is the conversion of the work force to the contingent
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work force, especially in developed countries. for the first time ever, jerome, 50% of the world's work force is contingent labor which means people who most likely have lost their salaried jobs come baa in as contract -- come back in as contract workers, and in an aging work force this is what older people want and desire. they want to work longer, they need to work longer, but it's not always on the terms that they want. and employers in order to compete are willing to have great workers who are older at half the wage. >> you've got a section in the book on rockford, and rockford is really trying to compete and make itself viable again. it's got one of the gigantickest unemployment rates in the country, and they're really trying to noodle this whole competition thing. they've got some older people, but they're bringing in be immigrants, they're bringing in
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people who are former refugees, i think there's a burmese population in rockford now. >> that's right. i think there's 1600 burmese in rockford, midwest's best burmese restaurant. [laughter] well, rockford is emblematic of a kind of city that's all over the industrial world now. the mid-sized city that really couldn't keep up with the tides of globalization. it had a robust economy filled with companies that took advantage of the deal that the rest of the world offered them. they could move jobs out, hire low-cost, energetic workers unencumbered by age-related expenses elsewhere in the world. sometimes it's the american south, sometimes it's the south of china, but they leave places like rockford. and when the jobs leave rockford, young people don't like to stay in that kind of
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town either. so they go to other metropolises. maybe there are thriving other size places, very often bigger places like chicago or minneapolis. and then the town begins to feel old. and in rockford the majority white population there which is more than 70% of the population will tell you whenever you talk to them that rockford is an abling town -- aging town. the problem is we have to reverse our aging. and they elected a young mayor in his early 30s to turn this around. he ran on the platform of rejuvenating the town. but underneath the surface what those people don't talk about is the young rockford that's taking shape, the immigrants who are coming in to fill in what those young natives have left in the care field, even in industrial jobs. so the minority population in rockford is quite young even when you compare it to the minority population across the united states. >> and their growth rates are pretty good. >> and also rockford recruits.
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so i talked to one health care system in rockford, they centre cuters to the philippines to bring back 100 nurses to their health care system which is in rockford and elsewhere in the state, and they got them. and so now rockford has churches that are filled with young filipino families. and you go there, and it's a very different picture. so if rockford overall feels like the world of yesterday when you delve into that community, it feels like the world of tomorrow. and this is one of the features of of the aging world. it doesn't just move money and capital around, it moves people around. >> you were showing me a video before we came in here about grand rapids, and grand rapids was deemed a, um, a dying town by what magazine? >> "newsweek." >> "newsweek". >> which itself was a dying town. [laughter] >> and so they wanted to make a statement that they aren't a dying town. >> yeah. so grand rapids was identified in the pages of "newsweek" magazine as one of america's
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dying town. there's a lot of dying towns that would kill to be grand rapids. [laughter] grand rapids has an apple store. rockford probably won't get an apple store for decades. and grand rapids answered it with this wonderful video that i recommend everybody see. just put in grand rapids video and american pie in your search engine, and it'll come up. it's a nine minute video where the whole, it seems like the whole town is lip syncing "bye-bye, miss american pie." it was shot on may 22nd,s it was on the web on may 27th. pretty amazing. done by a 22-year-old which shows you the value of keeping young people in your town. and it was a polemic to say we're still here, we're vital, we are thinking about our future. you know, one of the things in an aging world which is so clear to municipalities and to those of us who love our towns is that
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the tides of globalization can sweep through our town and move jobs away very, very quickly. we live in a very flexible world, as you all know, and one of the bulwarks against this is by making your place as special as you can possibly make it. what are the industries, what are the educational opportunities in your town, what are the civic virtues, the cultural virtues in your town that will make people want to stay there, want to come there? interestingly enough, shock of gray, one of the biggest audiences for me around the country have been these economic development councils. they call, and they say your book is about us. it's not something i really considered when i was writing it. how so? everyone in our metro area is talking about the aging, and your book is about how do we, you know, combat it, how do we protect our economy. and can to me this is, you know, very gratifying because i do describe in the book ways in
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which communities have to realign their priorities in order to combat the forces in the world that really work against those workers over 50. >> and it seems like creativity is such a big factor if it's with the grand rapids singing songs or having the imagination to get yourself out of it like the rockford mayor just trying to really rethink everything, you know, i mean, even in detroit -- and nobody wants to be detroit, but you go, and you see their urban gardening projects, and you think, gosh, i like urban gardening, i think that's a good way to use your empty space and land, and that's attractive. and they paint entire neighborhoods. there's interesting things that can happen in even the worst places. >> remember during the super bowl where chrysler had those ads, you know, this is what we do, you know, and it's in detroit? this is what we do? of course, chrysler's owned by fiat. [laughter] >> so fiat does.
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>> yeah, it's what fiat does. but it's getting at this idea that what you do is what other people cannot do. and a lot of times people think too much, you know, about their town in the past, what were we. and i hear this when i go to places and i talk to people about their town. they talk about their former virtues, can we build on those. and, of course, those are very, very important. but there are creative elements in a community that sometimes aren't regarded as creative elements. in rockford the engineers, there's a very high proportion of engineers in that town. that is one of the core creative spheres in rockford, and those are the people who lose their jobs in the 50s but then go on to start new businesses, find new vistas. i talk about one gentleman in the book, his name is john elliot. he lost his job at a manufacturing company that made things for the power sector, things that controlled the flow of water through dams, and he lost his job. he felt deeply betrayed. he'd been working there since he
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was 18 years old, and he's a really energetic, self-starting guy. he had a lot of jobs in his company. he went out, and he bought a dairy ice cream place in town. might not seem like a great mix, but he saw his own creativity, you know, he'd been governing the flow of water through dams, and he knew everything he needed to know to service the machines that governed the flow of soft serve ice cream ice cream machines -- through ice cream machines. so it served him, and it became a really, really popular dairy. it won the best ice cream award from a local magazine, and then some former friends called and said, hey, you know, all those things you used to service, they're not being made by the company anymore, but they still need to be serviced. so here's a guy that didn't travel very far, now he finds himself on tops of dams in mountains, this business was started with three people, now
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employs 75 people in rockford, and it was really just him allowing him not to feel betrayed, look for his assets, look for his net worth and recreate himself. i hate to say it, but this is what we are all charged with doing in this shifting dem demographic. >> and we want to take some questions, and if you want to come up to the microphones, we want to do that. but quick tell the kalamazoo story. a lot of people might have heard about kalamazoo offering a free education. >> so kalamazoo, another midwestern industrial city that was hit hard is similar to rockford in some respects. it has these great characteristics of mid-sized towns. great museums for their size, but kalamazoo, it lost a couple big employers including the upjohn company which just got taken over and absorbed, and kalamazoo lost i think it was nearly 2,000, it might be more, ph.d.-level jobs left the town, and the people left with
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them. so the downtown got gutted, the city wondered where it was going to get its audiotape audiotape of, and some other industrialists, they remain industrialists, people seem to know who they are, started a program called the kalamazoo promise. who here has heard of it, raise your hand? okay, everyone ought to know about it. the kalamazoo promise is local philanthropy getting together and making a promise to everyone in kalamazoo if you finish the public high schools, the fund will pay for your full education in a state university, public university in the michigan. so the number of children from the kalamazoo schools who now go to the university of michigan has gone way up. it was available to them before, but now their imagination is rodder -- broader, and their resources are broader. families are moving into town to take advantage. i heard that for sale signs in
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kalamazoo outside houses say take advantage of the kalamazoo promise on the for sale sign. hopefully, they're moving to a bigger house this kalamazoo. [laughter] and, you know, this is the combination of all those things you were talking about, jerome. it's it creativity, it's love of your place, and it's the feeling that your people have worth, and all they need to do is have a path to unlock that worth in a changing world. >> um, we've got a few minutes for questions. sir. >> um, yes, mr. fishman, we -- you commented earlier about the divisions in japan between the different generations. in the book the woman wrote, "never say die," she says even the aging people are, um, prejudiced against the much older aging people than they. what observations have you made about that? >> you know, i reviewed "never
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say die" in "the new york times"es book review, and i thought it was a very thoughtful book. i differ with the author in some ways. i'm much more hopeful about what we can do for ourselves than she might be. um, you know, one thing about age discrimination, and i think susan jacoby, who wrote that book s right. there is no age division in age discrimination, that older people don't want to be regarded as old themselves, and they don't necessarily want to give important tasks over to other older people in their lives. i remember this moment when i was in sarasota which is a community i profile in depth this book. it's one of the greatest places in the world to be an older person. i was at the senior center there, and there was a dance going on, and all of a sudden 70-year-olds were dancing to the music of their era, you know, pretty, swinging music, and they were pretty, swinging crowd, and there's a guy in his 90s up on
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the balcony, and be he was talking to the director, bob carver of the senior center there, and bob was trying to say, hey, why don't you get down there? look how much fun they're having, and he goes, not my group. [laughter] >> yes, ma'am. >> is there more unemployment for people in their 50s or people in their 20s? and -- >> that's a fantastic question, yeah. t related. it's related. is there low employment for people in their 50s and their 20s? the i would say both, and it's related. for people in their 50s, unemployment is higher than it's ever been since it's ever been tracked. it's getting close to 10% which is, you know, close to the national average. it's a little lower than unemployment overall, and that has to do with some peculiarities of the way it's counted. but if you look at the job search of people who lose their jobs in the 50s, it's far longer than any other age cohort
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when they go looking for jobs. it's getting close to a year, and i think it would exceed a year if numbers allowed it. right now it's 51.5 weeks. and when they do reenter the job market, older workers tend to come in for between 20 and 50% less than what they were being paid before. so if you're an employer looking around and you see that there's this huge pool of older workers who are experienced, who have been vetted as workers, who have some skills, know how to show up for work, and you're measuring them against a young job entrant who's in his teens or early 20s who you know will probably have four jobs before their reach their 30s, who do you hire? do you hire the person who's already been honed as a worker or the new person? and for lots of employers, particularly industrial employers, they're often going for the older worker now. but they're related.
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the disemployment of one group relates to the other. and for the first time older workers have to be competitive with the high-value, low-paid workers everywhere in the world. not only young americans, but younger workers abroad too. >> here's a frequent contributor to world view with the cultural arts organization here in chicago, the iranian-american group. hey, nahri. >> hello. ted, if you can correct me, please, but i think you're kind of hinting at a sensible immigration policy being needed both in terms of revitalizing urban spaces and also just introducing economic vitality, am i wrong? >> i'm loathe to correct you on anything because i usually agree with you on everything, but -- [laughter] but i will correct you that i'm not hinting at it, i'm actually a little bit more strident about it. [laughter] you know, of course, i'm for a
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sensible immigration policy. [laughter] but, you know, immigration is really part of it. you know, one edge that the united states has above every other western industrial country and, um, the other industrial powers in east asia is that we are younger demographically. but all of our demographic advantages is from immigration. all of our demographic advantage is from immigration. >> so what do we do? >> we have a sensible immigration policy. [laughter] >> we do? >> you know, interestingly enough -- no, we ought to have. interestingly enough, when you're in chicago, when you're in new york city, we have, i think there's people in the audience who i know here who are my friends who can correct me on this, but i believe we have a higher hispanic population than even some of the border states of the united states that have really contentious immigration debates. i believe there's more hispanics in metro chicago than there are in arizona. and, um, we don't talk about
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limiting our immigration in chicago. it's like, welcome, come, we need you. you're part of our history. and then you go to these border places, and it's like they're cutting off their nose to spite their face. this is their one great advantage. >> and they're the growing group in our city, in chicago. the growing population. >> i think chicago's the second largest mexican city in the world. >> yeah. yeah. and, ma'am. >> um, in your book you talk about, um, the denial of aging and usually i say to my friends that's the one thing i kind of quote, you know, we're all in denial, and my friends say, well, we're not old. would you like to comment on that? [laughter] >> well, first of all, thanks for reading my book. [laughter] i hope you found it rejuvenating. [laughter] you know, it's nice to be in
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denial of aging. you should be in denial of aging because a lot of the things people assign on to you as a result of aging are negative. but one of the deep points of the book is that, you know, this is something that is irrefutable. and one fact about the aging world is that a more diverse world than ever. so if you take any age cohort under 60, pick a decade, people tend to be a lot like each other in terms of their health ability. once you get to 60, things start separating. there's a big group of the population where bad things start happening right away, and there's a big group that are really, really dynamic and healthy for decades to come. and this is why, you know, cookie cutter solutions really don't address the problems that we have. you really have to have a sophisticated network of policies and personal practices
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which address the realities of an aging world. >> it's interesting, maybe the scariest chapter of your book is where you go through the decades of what people, what's going to happen to people as they get older and what they cannot avoid really. and -- >> yeah. well, your fifth decade is when you start answering your moderator's question, and you forget mid way. [laughter] what we were talking about. um, so there is this chapter in the world, i refer to it as the ladder. it's like all of the thing that can happen to you progressively, you know, decade by decade of life. and they accumulate, and it's just a way to start seeing the nuance of an aging world. and you have to overlay this perspective over any discussion of policy or even when you're thinking of your family or what might happen to you in the future. >> reading it makes you, made me kind of try to have a more honest assessment of my own situation, you know?
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and one of the other things i was left with from your book was where you walk out with the, um, physician who cares for older people a lot, and you go around, and you look at the people. and he kind of tries to predict what their situation is and how long they'll live, and he's kind of ruthless about it. [laughter] and he's very clinical, and he likes the fast-moving older people, and as a big kind of slow-moving guy, i was like, darn, i'm not moving -- i've got to be snappier. i've got to move. so i'm envious of all the snappy-moving older people. >> well, i've been on your show, jerome, and i've seen how fast you go to breaks. [laughter] so i think -- >> some aspect of me is speedy. [laughter] >> question? >> just a note of pessimism, perhaps. the large debt or deficit we have and how it will impact entitlements which affect the
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elderly, especially, hasn't been mentioned. and also, as you say, the population is escalating very quickly, the global population, and how that effects the, you know, carbon footprint and so forth like that. it doesn't seem to me that -- it seems to me that it's really some very negative things lying in the future that didn't get mentioned. >> yeah. um, i do talk about each of those things in the book. um, the book' a global book, so the solutions to all of those things, you know, are very often dependent on the local realities of a different place, so i don't want to go into those in too much detail here. um, one of the goals of the book is to get people to see this age shift as one of the undergirding dynamics of all of the problems you just mentioned. you know, we tend to think of them in our bunkers whether it's economic or from climate,
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environmental standpoint or standpoint of climate change. and i would say the overriding argument of the book is that before you talk about all of those things, you ought to understand the demographic shift too because it is driving all of those things. um, in terms of entitlements, you know, i am hopeful. i think there are ways that we can reengineer the economics of this country and nearly every place else so that we have life course planning. but until you get people to think about what i describe in the book, you're not going to get there. one of the things that really stands out to me in the current political debate is that maybe it's particularly true on the conservative side, but not only on the conservative side, there is no discussion, no, zero discussion of retirement security. there's all kinds of discussion about, um, fiscal responsibility, how we can save money, but nobody is talking about security. that's what we all want. the number one fear among working people in this country, according to a recent gallup
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survey, is that they will run out of money before they run out of life. if we're not talking about retirement security, we're not talking about the thing that matters to us most. >> one of the statistic that took my breath away in the book was half of all elderly people rely exclusively on social security for their income. half. >> and that number's gone up since the book has come out. i don't want to end there. um -- >> darn. [laughter] >> um, you know, we all have, we all have this great gift. it's taken the maximum intelligence of us all to get here. if we just apply our maximum intelligence to figuring it out, um, that gift will just get better and better. >> all right. thank you very much. the book is "shock of gray." [applause] >> we'd like to hear from you. tweet us your feedback,
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>> what are you reading this summer? booktv wants to know. >> hi, i'm monica crowley from fox news channel, and i am reading two books currently. i am reading "the storm of war" which is a new history of the second world war written by andrew roberts. it's a masterful work. and i'm also reading a week called "-- a book called "the fight of our lives" written by bill bennett which is laying out the real threat the united states faces from islamic fundamentalism. >> visit to see this and other summer reading lists. >> well, one of the large displays here at bookexpo america 2011 is the perseus group book. several different imprints are under the perseus name, and one of them is publicaffairs. and the publisher of publicaffairs books is susan weinberg who's going to tell us
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about some of the new books coming out by publicaffairs and some of the future books coming out by public affairs. susan weinberg, where should we start? >> hi, peter, thank you. it's always so great to see you at bookexpo. and we can start with a book that is just coming out now called the philanthropy of george soros: building open societies. this is a book about george soros' work. he has given away billions and billions of dollars through his open society foundation which is based on his principles and putting his philosophy to work in the real world. it coffers his -- it covers his programs from around the world, and it includes an essay from george where he lays out his principles and what animates his giving. it's really turned out to be his major business at this part of his life. >> right next to that, susan, is "poor economics." >> "poor economics" is one of the most exciting big idea book we've had in a while.
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the authors are the founders of the mit poverty lab, and they have really pioneered the idea of let's do some on the ground work, experiments, observations to learn what really works in development, where we should put our effort, where we should put our money. and they are award winning, acclaimed, um, economists whose work is really getting a lot of attention and really being embraced now. when i read the proposal, i felt this is the most important work on poverty i've read since we published on microfinance and social business. and we just felt we had to have this book too. >> now, susan weinberg, does that book include the concept of microlending? >> well, this does have some about microfinance and microlending and some of the research on the ground that they've done on it, but it has lots of other techniques too. it looks at how poor people
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really live and what they will choose to spend their money on when they have money, how they make decisions. and then does almost like controlled experiments to see what will help in the long run. for example, what's the best way to distribute bed nets to protect against malaria? we're asking questions when people who seem to be not having enough money for food, why did they buy a tv instead of more nutritious food? so you can help understand that and affect decisions they might make about their lives. >> and i want to ask you about the cover of that book, very interesting with the knot down in the corner. doctor i think the -- >> i think the idea there is untying the knot of poverty, but really we felt the words on that cover were so strong that we didn't want any kind of illustration to get in the way of it. it's a very powerful statement this book makes. >> "unnatural selection," now, you were very excited about this book. >> one of those proposals,
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again, when i read it, this is what we're here to do, we're here to do these kinds of books. and the author, i call her a scholarly journalist. and she's worked at places like the chronicle of higher education, based in shanghai, she's going back to beijing, i believe, to be the editor of "science" magazine now for them there. but she, you know, a lot of us say one-child policy in china, you know, why so many more boys than girls in china, india and other places, and we saw, huh, that's funny. what's going to happen there? but then we move on to another question. well, march -- mara didn't move on. she said what does it mean that there's so many missing girls? what's going to happen when these boys grow up, and there's no one for them to marry? she has asked those questions both about the society and what's going to happen because of that, but she also went back and researched how did this happen? and some of it is what we think we know about things like, um,
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one-child policy, but some of it has to do with zero population growth and an enthusiasm for population control that has had great unintended consequences. and i think it will surprise people. >> and that book is "unnatural selection." right next to that two books about some troubled nations. >> yes. "dancing in the glory of monsters" about the congo by jason sterns, our editorial director got this book in from, actually, a friend of jason's, the wonderful journalist who has written also about africa, she's on the financial times. and she knew our editorial director, and she said, you know, there's nobody that knows as much about the congo as jason sterns. you should talk to him. he had a big, baggy manuscript, but clyde read it and said, there's a real book in here, and we're going the find it. he and jason went to work together to hone the book. clyde's claim for this book is that you can't understand
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anything in the newspaper about the congo if you haven't read this book because the story is that complicated, and the news stories are such a tiny piece of the whole in what's really happening there. and the reviews have borne this out, "the wall street journal," "the new york times" book review, the financial times, the economist, i could go on and on. but the reviews of this book have been just an amazing response, and we're really seeing people not backing away, but saying i want to know about this story, i want to hear more about this congo. >> dr. paul farmer. >> well, paul farmer is, as everyone knows, you know, partners in health and has worked so hard to develop health care in places like haiti, has a very interesting, you know, medical school kind of organization and practicing medicine on the ground in places like haiti and like rwanda.
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and he had, you know, the effect of the earthquake in haiti and the work that they've done and the level that they got to know haiti, he just said i want to write about it. i want to write about what has happened, what is happening. is the response adequate? is the response from world leaders what it should be? is the aid being used in the best way it could be? he also in his book uses this as an opportunity to get haitian voices involved in this issue. he, um, he talks about how -- he gets different people involved in haiti that he has known often for many years to write about this, too, so paul is not only talking about the experience in haiti, but he has also been able to give voice to people in haiti who in all the bruhaha and all the publicity have not necessarily been heard from. >> sw susan weinberg, the photo on the coffer of this is really -- cover of this is rather powerful. >> it really is. we were looking for something that would convey the mix of
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emotions that you get when you think about haiti and the earthquake, and you think about the recovery, and it is such a mixture of hope and maybe despair, of, you know, grand plans but also understanding that everyone is so vulnerable. >> we are talking with susan weinberg who is a publisher of public affairs books, and over here on your board i want to talk about sally jacobs' new book, "the other barack." when is this coming out, and tell us about the book. >> sally jacobs' book is coming out in july of this year. and this is a book as the subtitle couldn't say it better, the world -- the bold and reckless life of president obama's father. she said she kind of did a profile of obama in kenya, but all through the phone and, you know, not really deep enough. she said, if he's elected, i'm going to go and pursue this story. she had never done a book before, she'd never found a
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story she felt that committed to. but she has been to kenya many time, she has talked to everyone who knew barack obama sr., and she has put together his life story this a way that is riveting, arresting, revealing, and i say -- i can't really know this, but i say, you know, i think if president obama read this book, he would learn things about his father that he doesn't know. and i think it's an amazing contribution to our knowledge of the president and his family. >> what's it like editing a journalist? >> well, it's an interesting process. um, journalists on the one hand can write very fluidly, and they're used to the idea of changes and rewrites, so, you know, they're not kind of hugging their precious prose. but sometimes the book, the arc of a book can be very different. and i think our editors often find that's the thing they most
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work on is getting the arc and getting the storyline together. the arc of this book is amazing. the focus is where it should be on barack obama sr., it's his childhood in kenya, it's his time in the u.s. which includes time at the university of hawaii and then time at harvard. it's the story of how harvard and the immigration service decided, you know, maybe you're a lot of trouble, maybe you should leave, and then what happens when he goes back to kenya. >> and very quickly, three more books we want to preview from public affairs starting with peter thompson. >> peter thompson's "the wars of afghanistan" is an epic book, and that's because peter thompson's knowledge of afghanistan goes very far back. he was very involved both through the soviet period, in between, the american involvement. he has had roles in, um, in afghanistan on the diplomatic level. he speaks russian and pashtun,
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he has a gift for languages, so he was able to read sometimes documents in the language which not many people are able b to master including archives from the soviet period that no one had ever used before in their research or work. and he brings a passion and a level of both detail and scope to this story that we think is unique. and it was, it's quite, it's quite an effort getting a book like this together, but absolutely worthwhile, and we're thrilled that it's going to see its reading public in july. >> two books on the media that are out or coming out, "the deal from hell" and "inside "the new york times." ". >> the deal from hell by james o'shea is a story about "the chicago tribune" and sam zell and what has happened to media businesses from an insider. jim o'shea was a longtime reporter at "the chicago tribune." he became the managing editor at the l.a. times, so he's had both the ground work as a reporter and the management experience of
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being, you know, not quite the other side, but, you know, in the decision making meetings. and it is the full, unvarnished story of what's happened to media businesses in america by focusing on the story of the tribune company. page 1 is a book in our series of books that we have done in the conjunction with participant media. we've done books and films like foodinc. and waiting for superman, and this is their new film. it's called "page one: inside "the new york times." " and we had an npr media reporter that has a collection of essays by many different contributors writing about media, again, taking this subject beyond the, um, the film's limitations. a film can tell you in a very visceral way the story, but it can only tell you so much. these essays in this book really tell you more fully what's going on with media today. especially digital, print, what
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the future might look like. >> and i know i said just two more, but we've got one more to look at, and this is "the unquiet american." rob, it's over on the wall there if you can get that, richard holbrooke. >> well, this is a book we're very proud to be involved with. richard holbrooke's widow came to us, a bunch of people, and said, you know, we think you guys would be perfect to put together a book that really captures richard holbrooke's spirit and what he stood for and the work he did. and our plan was always to publish on the upcoming anniversary of his death in december. samantha power is the editor. we have wonderful contributors writing about different parts of holbrooke's life and career, you know, vietnam, bosnia, afpak, and we also have some excerpts from his own work including his wonderful book and a lot of, you


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