tv U.S. Senate CSPAN September 30, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EDT
smart phone. being able to see a pin drop is a powerful thing. we had lunch with kevin who showed this interface. instead of a list of the mayor and council members they dropped a pin at all these places and immediately you get this image of where they are and with a click on the pin you see who was there and what they were doing. dropping opinion -- a in focuses policy issues. the city of boston did it with food trucks asking the question where do you want to eat and people dropped in this --pins focusing where permitted regulation was able to use. for their online apps dropping pins as well. we are back to the possum.
what might be a dead possum society because it is the problem and the answer. this was one of the pictures that came through there 311 apps. boston married it with maps and the opportunity to tweak and the social dimension of it. one night the problem was reported. there's a possum in my trash can. i don't know whether it is dead. in the normal course of things it would be a city employee responding the next morning. instead woman named susan looking at the apps a couple blocks away and got bundled up and salt the problem. was the possum living or dead?
alive. the person who owned the trash can wanted it out. she took the trash can over and left with the benediction good night, sweet spouse. i wanted to talk to a woman who would write that poetically. we spoke last week and she got it exactly right. when people solve problems themselves and for each other it makes this city a less faceless town by encouraging people to think this city doesn't have to solve every problem. that is the wisdom of crowds and what thomas jefferson called the highest office holder. and that is a citizen. thanks for your time. [applause] >> thanks to mark and paul. back over to jake.
>> now for the final keynote, let me introduce a member of the executive committee, vice president and general manager of media group, peter cherukuri. >> i am really excited to do this for a lot of reasons. a colleague of mine who doesn't need introduction but i have a story. howard and i share something important. we went to the same undergrad school. wonderful institution in our country, colgate university. it became upon me that i wanted to get into media and working to d.c.. i was told by career services which we realize how useless going to career services is that you should write to this guy
howard fineman. i grew up watching him on television and i got the address for him at newsweek where he was a wonderful pandit to national discourse. i wrote him a letter and said my name is peter cherukuri and so on. i never heard back. that was a problem. i held it in and never mentioned it to him because unlike me he has been a huge steward of a lot of careers coming out of colgate and more importantly what he was a steward of in the newsroom as editorial director for a new aol huffington post media group is harnessing everything we're doing as an organization. he is qualified by the wonderful things he has done in his career. addition to being with us he is
a senior nbc analyst. he is all the time espousing great things and before that at newsweek had several roles and winning every conceivable award in our industry. we are excited to have howard. let me turn it over to howard fineman. [applause] >> for me this is the beginning of a period of atonement in my religion. the first thing ninety-two do is apologize to peter cherukuri for not answering his letter all those years ago. is this mike on? i am really sorry. i really missed a bet because if you play your cards right you will be running the company some day and then you can refuse to answer my letter to you. i was supposed to be speaking at
lunchtime. i apologize to all of you that i wasn't here because when peter asked if i would do this i didn't look at my calendar and didn't realize it was the first day of the high holidays in the jewish calendar. it has only been on the calendar for 3,600 years. seventh day of the seventh month. while peter was frantically calling me asking where i was i was at that moment asking god for forgiveness. so i ask peter as well and i know i am speaking before you all for happy hour in georgetown so i will try to be brief and succinct. not 140 characters worth but brief and succinct. the guys who preceded me are
fantastic and glad you had a chance to hear them. i have done everything in my career but skywriting in journalism. i worked for a local newspaper when i was a kid. are delivered the local newspaper when i was a kid. when i was at columbia journalism school of spend a month on the desk at upi which was the trip. the be wires were the weird local stories. they never let me at the a wire. i worked for a newspaper. the louisville courier-journal which was the best regional paper in the country. i was a stringer for the new york times. i went to newsweek. probably one of the first baby boomers to be on broadcast television on washington week in review which still exists. i started doing cable television in addition to newsweek first at cnn where i had a contract and
for the last 13 years or so at nbc and ms nbc. i started writing for the internet in 1998 at msnbc.com. i have the everything but star ridings they get newsweek and making a line extension into other media. almost exactly a year ago i left newsweek at the invitation of arianna huffington to go to the huffington opposed. ironically the newsweek washington bureau is at 1750 pennsylvania avenue. huffington post at 1730 pennsylvania avenue so i didn't even have to change starbucks. but i did change my entire outlook on everything.
is one thing to file columns that are put on a web page. it is even one thing to file tweets as prodigiously as mark knoller does. he downplays some self when he have a small public fallen. he has 80,000 twitter followers. that is powerful. even when you are doing that as mark was explaining you are not essentially changing your whole outlook on things. when i moved from one building next door to another building i went from one world into another, world that had been developing under my nose which i now see from the inside. i am having the time of my life at the huffington opposed. i am working with people who are at least half my age if not a
third my age. i try very hard not to attempt to be cool because i know i am not. are haven't stopped wearing a tie. it is my destiny. but i love them and i think they have tolerated me so far. i went to the huffington post oct. first of last year. at the time it was a plain old huffington opposed. you know it. it had 20 to twenty five million unique visitors a month. there were nine or ten in the bureau. of was the 1040 eleventh counting the office manager. everyone was huddled around a couple tables they got from office depot or something. it had a wonderfully cobbled together feel even of the way they were changing the way news
was distributed. the key to the huffington post was and is that it is a combination of a web site and social networking site. arianna was the first to realize because of her networking nature that way news is going to be delivered in the twenty-first century digitally is a combination of news and communities of that when you file a piece of the huffington post if it is interesting or good it might get 10 or 15,000 comments. unheard of in journalism the way it used to be. it was a lot of fun trying to build a news organization in washington but we were going about it rather slowly and a few months after i joined in october officially in march of this year we merge with a o l.
the founding parents of the digital age shrunk to 100th of its formal size. it had a market cap of the one hundred billion and known two hundred billion. it has a lot of energy still in it and the lot of knowledge and good hearted people. we are trying to turn it from combined a o l huffington post media group from distribution and communications company into a content company. it is working. any of you see the movie apollo 13 where they get stuck having to come back? apollo 13. there is a scene when they are stock up there and running out of there and they say we have a problem. we have to do something. so the chief of operations comes
in with a big box full of disparate tools and parts and pieces and dumps it on the table and says you have one hour to turn all this stuff into an air filter to save the astronauts. we are trying to do the same thing. we have a lot of disparate pieces and try to put them together in new and exciting ways and we are succeeding. a aol.com is becoming a news sight. we are taking the best content and the traffic is going up. the huffington post which has a lot of traffic from a o l is booming. last month we have 1 hundred nine million unique visitors. this month it should be 115.
it is the largest web native independent site in the united states. we are not as big as yahoo! news or msn or cnn but for something that didn't exist six years ago that is independent and blowing past everybody else is exciting. that doesn't answer what is different from what i knew. does everybody know who walter cronkite was? i am not being facetious. he was the avuncular everybody's favorite hike smoking uncle who was the danger of the cbs evening news in a 60s and 70s. he was regarded by the american people in a poll as the most trusted man in america.
he used to do the cbs evening news and end his broadcast by saying and that is the way it is. october 1st, 1968. this is walter cronkite. twenty-five million people or more would sit there and say that is the way it is. uncle walter told us that is the way it is. and the three network news broadcasts in those days had a combined audience of 75 or eighty million people. there was at that time and i am taking the late 60s at the apogee of this a hierarchal structure of journalism in media with network news broadcast at the top, the national newspapers the new york times and washington post and wall street
journal, the news magazines including newsweek and the great regional newspapers and wire services and that was the way it was. when walter cronkite was the most popular of the anchors said at the end of his broadcast and that is the way is every night at 6:30, then that is the way it was. that world has completely disappeared. you still have brian williams and diane sawyer and scott pelley on cbs evening news but the network news broadcast is third at most if not a quarter of the audience they had in the great days of the pyramid but that is just the beginning of what changed. i will go through quickly what has changed based on my experience in all me and having lived through a lot of this
history. i have identified and i am old media because i don't have a video to show you but here are the changes as i see them. we now live in a news community that is not one way any more. it is on the directional with everyone speaking to everyone else. mark knoller is inundated with responses. i can assure you walter cronkite would be tweeting today but in those days the idea was walter cronkite with a huge cbs news machine behind him and all the collected wisdom of the new york times of that day and the consensus that there was would tell you what the news was and was unshakable in his belief in his duty to have a 1-way conversation with america about what the news was. it was one way.
it is no longer one way. is a news community. huffington opposed stands for news community. that is number one. number 2, is no longer a mass discussion. it is individualized. purveyors of the news are not speaking to everybody. they're speaking to people individually and discreetly based on what their interests are. at huffington opposed to the look at the main site we have 30 different sections. of an individual sections draw more traffic than the front page does. if i'm not mistaken the huffington opposed politics which is one of the most popular sections often draws more traffic than the front page. people don't come in the front door. everybody doesn't see the same
front page at the same time. everyone sees what they want to see. what they are focused on. that is change number 2. change number 3 is it is constant and immediate. not periodic or episodic. as mark said you have to wait for the next radiobroadcasting. there is no news cycle anymore. in the old days in the days are talked-about there were two news cycles. the morning newspapers and the evening news and the next morning's newspapers. there were two news cycles. now we have so many you can't count them any more and the notion of a news cycle has disappeared. it is constant.
change number 4. distinction between local and global has disappeared. in the old days the networks send correspondence to cover news in the world but it was thunderbolts from the start. it doesn't work that way. tip o'neill who is the speaker of the house used to say all politics with local but even that is meaningless. there is no distinction between local and global. we were in tahrir square when the revolution happened in egypt and one of my favorite pictures is the one that some of you may remember on the front page of the new york times, bunch of people your age or younger sitting around their laptops with bottles of water and soda and cigarettes in the ashtray on
their facebook accounts sending stuff to youtube connecting instantly about events. all those people were in an apartment in cairo. you may remember the picture. to me is iconic of the new age. number 5 is the old style narrative's are done. people don't do long narratives for the most part. what captures the attention of people now are items that are shorter, live blogs are popular. they form a narrative in and of themselves but when we do a live blog of a presidential debate i am astonished how many people follow the live blog. each individual, and does not a narrative make. it is the collective narrative from the different comments of different people. it is not one writer doing a
narrative in the manner of a novel or long nonfiction piece. that is not the dominant form today. next big change in the video and pictures. nothing moves without video and pictures. if you watch that walter cronkite show i am telling you about from the 60s you would be amazed how little video there was. there were lots and lots of readers. times when walter with his convincing style and the boys would just read a long piece and pieces were longer. he would spend a minute or two just reading or something. that doesn't happen anymore in the media. number 7. this is obvious what i was leading up to. there is no one authority. no pyramid of authority the way there was before. the editors of the new york times may think they still run
the show and as much as i respect them and i do very highly, jill abramson is the new executive editor and a friend of mine longer than either of us would admit and one of the great journalists of our time and my generation. the first woman in that job. but she doesn't have the clout that her ancestors in that job had because the pyramid has not flat out if not entirely disappeared. in public life on this earth there is no such thing as truth with a capital p. there was a consensus that started with world war ii and lasted roughly until vietnam and watergate started breaking things down in which we accepted that pyramid of journalistic authority that walter cronkite sat at the top of after he read
the day's new york times. that is completely gone. that isn't necessarily a bad thing but it is different and more complicated and in my view it means everybody has to be his or her own editor today. as a consumer of news you have to be educated to be your own editor. look for sources you trust as get outside your comfort zone and look for other things to be an informed citizen is a much more interactive thing taking us to the early days of the republic. number 8 follows from number 7. the media is more openly ideological and given to a platform for crusades. here we are reinventing the wheel. american newspapers started as partisan sheets. they were not supposed to be objective source of -- sources
of authority. objectivity is impossible even though you strive for it. i have been taught to strive for it. it is impossible to reach that point. now people more openly talk about the bias they bring to the table. this has happened intellectually in academia called deconstruction is some. look for the motives behind the alleged truth. social and political underpinnings of them. that is held the. we should assume any one source of authority is the one to look at and if you want to use the media to promote your point of view, fine. as long as you say so. transparency is important. the last thing i would mention and i will stop is this is an all enveloped in world we're talking about. in the old days if you read a
partisan newspaper that had a partisan point of view that only told you certain things about the reality of the world it was not the envelopeing. it was just a newspaper. you could look up from the newspaper. it took maybe half an hour and you fold it in your pocket and threw it away and looked at the real world. now people spend so many hours in the digital world that the danger is if you only look to one source and one point of view it will consume and replace the physical reality we live in with a digital one. fact is a lot more of our politics are and will be conducted solely on the internet. people are eventually going to be able to vote in lots of places on the internet. they will get their news and the
internet and to their lobbying on the internet and political organizing on the internet. barack obama's campaign was the first successful campaign of the digital age. the first was howard dean's campaign. he was the path breaker that barack obama follow up on. barack obama has eighteen million facebook friends. his challenge will be to expand that to win the next election but he will be using the web to try to do it. we will cover it on the huffington opposed. with that i will stop and see if you have any questions. if you have no questions i completely understand because you want to get across town to georgetown. as long as you have got me here i would be glad to answer how many questions you have. >> building on the last point,
be eco chamber through news shared by franz. apart from the obvious trying to make yourself go to news outlets you don't agree with. what are ways individuals or outlets that offer varying viewpoints can guard against or provide consumers with a way out of the echo chamber so you don't have to think about it every time? >> very good question. just because that pyramid has collapsed and everyone should be frank about their viewpoints doesn't mean each news organization shouldn't try to do that educating or opening up to other views. on the huffington post we are proud of our origins. they began with arianna and her friends saying let's start a new
progressive news and community site. niko pitney was howard dean's first lager --blogger. now he is one of our top officials. if i have anything to do with it we will never deny or obscure our progressive routes. i hope we are always known for that but i think we should invite more conservative in to make shore on our left hand side which is our blogging section that we try to have more conservative voices. if we succeed at being popular and handy for people to use people will spend more time on our site and we should try to do that on our own. the other thing is silly for me to say. i agree with you to say to
can you do that on your investigative side? how do you balance it? >> great, great question. deep question. i did know anything about that before i went to the "huffington post." and and somebody took me into a little dark room and explained it all to me. sure, i mean, part of this in co thing is overdone. what that means is you don't write a list of headlines. i come from newsmagazines where we write these literary allusive and elusive headlines. sort of hint at the story but to really tell you what it is. on the internet, as you know, on a site like "huffington post" if you don't put the keywords in their come if you don't hit people over the head with a mallet and tell them exactly what the story is they will not click on it. and i've no objection to that. but the deeper question that you raises what kind of commitment there is to investigative
journalism, deeper journalism, to longer form of stuff, two things that are just responding to the herd instinct of the instant, right? that's what you're asking about. the answer is where making a deep commitment. when i joined the "huffington post" we had a washington bureau of 10 people. we now have over 30 people in washington bureau. we went on a hiring binge to try to get the best including those are really good at investigative reporting. we have two full-time investigative reporters in washington bureau right now. neither one of them, i think they both have a chance to be as good as my to i work with at "newsweek" for ever and is now at nbc. we do have a commitment to that. we defined, by the way, that when we do a good job of reporting and writing this piece is an putting pictures with him and even putting video with them and even if we don't put pictures and video with them, people will read a long. people will read a long piece and read it on our site. so we have a much aware of that
year we know there's a counter to the trend that i was talking about. so we have tripled the size of the washington bureau. we've doubled or tripled the size of original reporting staff we have a new york. you're all aware i guess of patch.com which is a thing we're doing with these micro-site which is something that aol started before we have emerged within. we now have 850 local reporters and 850 towns and suburbs doing original journalism. one of the things we're trying to do, to answer your question, without taking them away from their local jobs and focus on local community, in whatever deep dive stuff they can do there is we are trying to synergize that and get them to do national reporting program. the last two years combined and fired more than thousand journalists. they are not all there just to respond to the instant stuff. so we know we have a
responsibility to do that. and i think you'll see us try to do. as a matter of fact, just today we are having a big structural meeting about how to edit long form pieces together, about how to keep track of them and and embedded. we really want to do it. i come from the tradition at "newsweek," the top editors in new york come from "the new york times" and elsewhere around, and we've got people submitting five, six, 7000 word stories in trying to do that. but it will hold us to account because we really want to do it. we really want to do it. as anybody else have a question? >> i think we have to go. >> listen, thank you all very much come and go look to you and hope to see you soon. thank you. [applause]
>> the head of the small business administration, karen mills, called on congress to pass president obama's job act. focusing on provisions to help small business. we were showed as much of this as we can into live coverage of the brookings institution conversation with afl-cio president, richard trumka. >> i've got to tell you, i love this song.
welcome. welcome everybody to the 29th annual minority development week conference. i'm going to take a little executive privilege and as everybody in the back to please move up. we a family here so if you could please move up from the back. we would very much appreciate that. on behalf of present barack obama, and acting secretary of commerce doctor rebecca blank, we are delighted that you're able to join us at this very important event. this year in addition to our guests from around the nation we have guests on turkey, from england, from china and other parts of the world. and we all come together, not just to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of this nation, we come together to learn about business opportunities in the global marketplace. to network, and to build stronger relationship across industry sectors. we come here because it is crucial to our nation that we work together to rebuild their
economies within our communities. and it is business owners, those of you who have taken it upon themselves to accept the risks and the challenges to build a business for leading the way. that is why the theme of this years conference is emerging industries and markets, a blueprint for success. over the next three days you will have the opportunity to discover how these trade fairs and trade missions to expand your business. to learn about the international financing alternatives made available to you through the federal government. to learn how to expand your business through acquisition, and we have a wonderful seminar that will teach you how to buy a business. and to learn how to leverage the vast resources of the small business administration. at this year's midway to hear from cabinet secretaries and senior members from the obama administration. you hear from ceos of fortune
500 companies, and you hear from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in our nation. who have built their companies from small mom-and-pop organizations to global enterprises. i cannot promise you a lot of sleep over the next three days. but if you take full advantage of this conference, if you bear down and focus on the opportunities that are available to you at this time, i can promise you that when you leave washington, d.c., you leave with a new contract. a new strategic partner, greater access to capital and a greater appreciation for the opportunities in the global market. but all of this would not be possible without our expert a group of sponsors. and what makes them extraordinary is that during these difficult times when companies both small and large are struggling to maintain, they stepped up big.
they recognize the power of diversity and understand the future of our nation exists with a minority business community. by 2042, america will be a nation that housing majority minority population. it is imperative that the minority business community grow and prosper. like many other corporations our medweek sponsors understand the business case for we building the minority community. so i would ask that you join me in getting all of our sponsors a warm round of applause. [applause] >> the today, we are in a difficult economic period. when the president first took office our economy was losing 750,000 jobs per month. and while we have created 2.2 million jobs, they're still far too many of our fellow citizens
who are unemployed. over 40 million americans are unemployed, and another 6 million have given up looking for a job. and we know that in this administration that the best way to create jobs through privates business ownership and stimulating the entrepreneurial spirit that makes america great. and the most productive companies that create jobs in america are your companies. those companies that are minority owned, women owned, and those that are small businesses. minority owned companies great 6 million jobs for american citizens, and creates an additional 10 million jobs simply to their economic activity. but if we're able to eliminate the impediments to the growth of minority owned businesses, this sector of it to me has the potential to create 18 million jobs. the role of the minority defendant agencies to deserve -- for job creation by helping to
overcome the challenges that you face in accessing capital, accessing contracts, and accessing the markets. we have been successful. since the beginning of the obama administration, we have helped minority owned firms gain access to nearly $7 billion of contract and capital, grading 11,000 jobs and saving tens of thousands of existing jobs. going forward we will continue to set greater and greater goals. we will work to better integrate our activities with those of our corporate partners and other governmental agencies and other stakeholders. and we will work to reestablish our nation's economy by helping minority owned businesses embrace 21st century growth strategies, growth through merger, growth through acquisition, growth is a joint venture and growth through strategic partnership. and we will strive to help minority owned firms leverage their unique competitive
advantages in the global market. why is this important? because the bigger your firm is, the better able you are to create more jobs for your fellow citizens in need. and in bda is here to help you. in the coming months one of the areas where in bda is providing dramatically higher support is in the area of federal government contracting. and i'm pleased to announce the establishment of our new nbda federal procurement center. this is a center which will be located in washington, d.c. is the first center of its type in the nation. it will provide minority owned businesses you're interested in obtaining federal contracts with the tools, information, and relationships necessary to compete for federal contracts, and to win. center will join our national network of nbda business centers, and the opening of the center is a direct result of the obama administration's
commitment to ensuring that all businesses share in the growth of jobs and economic opportunity created by the federal government. i would like to add that we just opened two new nbda centers, one in denver and one in cleveland. [applause] very good, thank you. and in the coming months we will open centers in new york, boston, connecticut, minneapolis, riverside, california, and anchorage, alaska. [applause] so with all the members of the nbda business center and network please stand, all the members of the nba center network please stand. [applause] spent thank you so much for your effort and your commitment. i want you to take note of these people. so before we leave, we implore you to please get to know the senior business consultant from our nbda business centers and become clients of the minority business development agency. but even with the support of
nbda, sba, and others in the executive branch, our nation's businesses still need help so that they can prosper and create jobs. that is why earlier this month president obama unveiled two nations the american jobs act. this plan which congress should pass without delay will provide significant new tax cuts to small businesses. specifically, it will cut payroll taxes in half on the first $5 million of wages paid to companies, and it gives incentives to higher veterans returning from war. the american jobs act extends 100% expensing for capital expenditures in the 2012. so if you are thinking about buying new equipment, buy new computers, buying factory equipment, or if you have a biotechnology company, buying equipment for your biotechnology company, you can expense 100% of
that equipment today. the american jobs act will also empower states with new flexibility to allow out of work americans to continue to receive unemployment benefits while they look for internship and apprenticeships. and this will create the stronger workforce for you and provide you with better candidates to hire as our economy moves out of this downturn. deeply for, the american jobs act payroll tax cut puts more money in the pockets of consumers today. under the americans jobs act, the american american family 1000 i've hundred dollars to spend that they otherwise would pay income taxes. we believe this will dramatically increase consumer spending which should help create greater certainty in our economy. these measures and others in the american jobs act which is modernizing our schools in rebuilding our infrastructure will boost private-sector activity and put more people
back to work. most important thing in the american jobs act is you. we need to hear your voice of support for this act. and so i want to conclude by saying, we are indeed in challenging times in this nation, and it is at times a challenge that we have the greatest opportunity to show our value. the president once said that we are who we have been waiting for. we are the ones that can truly change the world. but we must be willing to embrace this view. the alternative is to cede ground to other countries, to let somebody else lead. but i would submit to that allowing someone else to lead is not what made you great. and it's not what makes america great. i'm quite sure that there's not one person in this room that would be comfortable with
america being a follower nation. and certainly our administration does not accept following as a standard approach. as a country, we do not compete to place. we compete to win. so doing this medweek conference, let us all work together and win. thank you very much. [applause] >> i'm very excited to introduce our first speaker this morning. our first speaker has been involved in small businesses for her entire career, as an owner, manager, mentor, an investor, and now as the administrator of the united states small business administration. at sba she leads a team of 3000 public servants, helping entrepreneurs and small business owners grow, and create jobs by providing access to capital. counseling, contracting
opportunities, and assistance. each year through her leadership, the agency leverages nearly come and get this, nearly $100 billion in federal contracts to small businesses, and supported free counseling, technical assistance to more than 1 million entrepreneurs. before joining sba, care and service president of in mp group which invested in group businesses in such sectors as consumer products, food, textiles and international components. karen understands firsthand the experiences that small businesses are having out here in the market, and she understands that small businesses are truly the heart of our economy come and critical to american competitiveness. we are indeed fortunate to have a strong voice, national voice on small businesses, and supporting emerging entrepreneurs. so it is my distinct pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, to introduce to you sba administrator karen mills.
[applause] >> good morning, everybody. thank you very much, david. it is just terrific to be here. welcome, welcome, welcome. we are delighted to see everybody at medweek, and to have you here with us. and i really want to thank all of you who support medweek, particularly our great sponsors. again, let's give them a round of applause. [applause] >> how many of you out there are small business owners? regime. yes. well, everybody knows that minority small business owners are one of the fastest-growing segments of the american business. and we also know that this community was especially hard hit by this recession. so our job at the sba is to make
sure that you have the tools that you need so that you can grow your business and you can start creating jobs again. let me just look back for a minute. when i stood before you last year, we were just about to pass the small business jobs act. this was the most significant piece of legislation for small business in over 10 years. and i really want to thank you very much for the support you gave that. it passed almost a year ago this week. [applause] >> and it was well worth passing, for a lot of reasons that you know. it resulted, for example, in the biggest quarter of lending in sba history. and at the end of this week we are going to close on a record year of sba lending. so thank you. [applause]
>> now, you may know that at the sba we are three-five times more like, three-five times more likely to make a loan to a minority owned business or a woman owned business and a conventional lender. three to five times more likely. but they're still i got out there in lending to minority owned businesses and underserved businesses. so last year we need passionate we did a number things to help that situation. for the first time we are allowing mission-based lenders to make sba loans. they apply and qualify to our community advantage program, and we gave them streamlined paperwork. who doesn't like streamlined paperwork to make it more easy? and many of you participate in the eight day program. we strengthened that program to make sure that benefits are
flowing directly to the small businesses, like yours, and we went after the bad actors who didn't qualify. we also rolled out the women's contracting program. that was 10 years in the making. i'm very pleased about that and we're helping women in over 300 industries where women small businesses are underrepresented. and, finally, the sba convened our first ever council on underserved communities. it's chaired by cathy hughes of radio one. if you don't know her, you will because she is fabulous. we have members like ron from the black chamber. and they are advising us on where to go next with regard to what we call our three seas, capital, counseling and contracting. so, what are we going to do for you this year? well, how about the american jobs act?
as david just said, this is an absolutely critical priority, and the number one thing in this bill, i hope you noticed, is to help small businesses. and to help you do what you do best, which is to create jobs. it's smart, it's bipartisan, it's paid for, and it puts more money in your pockets your so congress should pass it now. [applause] >> david talked about what's in it for you. i'm just going to rephrase that a little bit from the small business lands. what will it do right now for you small businesses? it cuts in half the payroll taxes for all small businesses. and it eliminates completely attacks that you're going to pay if you add new jobs and give raises to employees. that's going to affect about
350,000 african-americans and hispanic owned small businesses across the united states. 350,000 small businesses. it's also, this is also going to extend 100% expensing through 2012. and that means more money in your pockets to buy the next piece of machinery or equipment, and to hire the workers to run it. the bill also means tens of thousands of dollars of tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed, and getting even more tools to help them either get hired or start their own business. so we need this right now, especially in our underserved communities, more than ever. [applause]
>> there is hiring credits if you hire veterans, and as the president said, these are people who, as you know, when out and fought for their country. they should not have to fight for a job when they come home. [applause] >> and one last point but not least, $50 billion in infrastructure. i know some of you are contracted out there. small contractors are really going to benefit from the infrastructure investments that are in this bill. i'm also particularly happy with something else that we are doing for small business. and these are the small businesses who do business with the federal government, like many of you here. a couple weeks ago the president announced, and then told all federal agencies, to start paying their small business government contractors in 15
days instead of 30. it's an idea called quick pay. [applause] so i want to thank ron busby and a lot of other of you who supported this. and i'm always delighted to talk to an audience of small business owners, because, you know, people may say why is that such a big deal? we are going to get paid in 30 days, you just get paid in 15. well, you all know what i know, right? when you consistently pay a business 15 days sooner, that is a permanent infusion of cash flowed into their business, right? you can put money towards working capital. you can expand your business. you can market your products, and you can create more jobs. [applause] >> one more thing. last week i stood next to vice
president biden, at a minority-owned business in cleveland. and we made a big announcement. i am pleased to say, very pleased to say that the sba has locked down $20 billion in commitments from our 13 largest banks, to increase small business lending over the next three years. increase small business lending by $20 billion in regular conventional lending. and i talked to the ceos in this process, and after our meeting, and i am very pleased to hear that they're going to continue to focus on driving more and more of this capital into the hands of minority-owned businesses and women owned businesses, particularly in our underserved communities. so i'm very happy about this 20 billion. >> so welcome to medweek.
we have come as david said, a lot in store for you. i want to thank all of the teams here for their hard work in pulling this together, it's going to be diverse. i regret to say i'm actually not going to be with you after this morning, because it is the jewish holidays, but you're in good hands. you are going to hear from a number of my terrific colleagues, including arafat and his deputy administrator marie johns is going to keynote tomorrow, and secretary kathleen sebelius from health and human services. you could not ask for a more committed set of advocates for small business. and as you know, you have a president who really gets it about small business. so i'm pleased about that. [applause] >> and let me just close by saying, i get it, too.
i grew up in an immigrant family, in a family of small business owners. my grandpa jack came from russia about the turn-of-the-century, came to america. he was given access and opportunity. and that allowed our family to build a business and live the american dream. so, my pledge to you, and our pledge across this administration, and at the sba in particular, is that we are going to provide access and opportunity. for all small businesses, and to minority owned small businesses, and we are going to close those gaps. ..
and jim bolan of the bricklayers union. and the same statement i just made about those three gentlemen can also be made about john wilhelm, who is the president of unite here and very importantly one of our trustees at brookings and therefore one of my bosses. when i first met john, and that was, i calculated this morning, 45 years ago, he was hard at work organizing service and maintenance employees on a university campus about we were both hanging out at the time. having john on the brookings board of trustees and investigation president trumka on this podium this morning underscores our commitment here at brookings to the importance of having the voice and the perspective of organized labor as part of our national effort to come together and solve the jobs
crisis, which is, it should be noted, not just a national crisis. it's also a global one. unemployment, especially unemployment among youth, fueled the arab awakening after the beginning of this year. it is fueling right now the populace backlash against the political status quo in capitalist democracies in many parts of the world, including of course notably in europe. because the jobs issue is so pervasive and because it is so consequential, both for individuals as well as for whole societies, and indeed for the whole world, it is amajor focus of the work in all five of our research programs here at the brookings institution. our scholars are looking for new ways to meet the needs and promote the aspirations
of all citizens, especially the least well-off and they're looking for new ways to encourage investment in long-term, sustainable, export-driven economic growth that will revive the jobs market. the head of one of our programs, darrell west, vice president and director of governance studies, will lead a discussion once we have heard from our guest of honor. but now, rich, the podium is yours. [applause] >> thank you, strobe, for that very kind introduction and thank all of you for coming here this morning. i guess i would start off by saying for almost a century the brookings institute has provided independent research and innovative recommendations and solutions to problems that the country and quite frankly the world
were experiencing. i think that's why president franklin delano roosevelt commissioned a brook kigs study to understand the underlying causes of the great depression. well, here we are today, we're discussing the causes and the cures of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. and it seems crystal clear to me that we don't have a debt crisis, we have a jobs crisis. america isn't broke but america's basic promise on ever-rising, ever-widening prosperity is being broken. counting all the casualties on the jobs crisis our real unemployment rate is over 16% right now. earlier generations of economists would have called that a depression. the nation has lost almost
seven million jobs since december 2007. and another four million jobs that should have been created as people entered the labor force, giving us an 11 million jobs hole in our labor market. quite frankly, that number, that number, should be on every bulletin board and every screen safer in every public policymaker's office every day. this is not an equal opportunity recession. the official rate, unemployment rate is 16.7% among african-americans. 11.3% among hispanics. 23% among teenagers. but this, quite frankly this jobs crisis isn't only about cold statistics because work
isn't just what we do. work quite frankly is who we are. it's how we support ourselves and our loved ones. it's how we connect with our fellow men and women. it's how we contribute to the world and it is how we leave our legacy. so when one in six people can't find work, that defines and dignifies their lives, the harm that results is the lasting and deep. it's lasting and deep for individuals. it's lasting and deep for our families. quite frankly, it's, lasting and deep for our entire polity. if policymakers and policy elites are indifferent to the broad, deepening suffering the public will look to answers anywhere they can find them. purveyors of irrational hatred will step into the
void, making it more difficult to solve the very problems that our are polarizing our politics. see today's economic crisis has roots that date back a generation. for three decades we've pursued a contradiction. a low-wage, high-consumption economic strategy. our trade policies have depleted our manufacturing base. our tax policies promoted inequality and rewarded wealth over work. leaving us without enough money to fund our public infrastructure or the education and training that we need in a global economy. and now we see conscious and coordinated efforts to delegitimize government, and to destroy unions and other progressive voices in order to eliminate counterveiling
powers to corporate interests. see when the recent release of the census bureau's poverty and income statistics we see how these policies have downsized the american dream. for the first time since the great depression most americans lost ground between 1997 and 2010. so after a generation of wage stagnation, the rich really are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. and the middle class, well, it is on life-support right now. while household incomes declined in 2010, ceo pay jumped up by 27%. now why were so many ceo's getting double-digit raises while working americans were
up against double-digit unemployment? and in the land of plenty, the official poverty rate is 15.1%. that's the highest in half a century. think about that. one out of five children, one out of five of our children, live in poverty right now. how can schoolchildren win a race to the top while the economy is running a race to the bottom? so with obviously with unemployment and poverty rising, inequality is increasing as well. it's sobering to note that the median wealth for african-american households has fallen by two third since 1983. and now stands at about $2200.
think about that. median wealth for african-americans, $2200. it is about 99,000 for white americans. meanwhile the right-wing populism is being fueled by the anger and the frustration of working men and will who are watching their jobs disappear and their paychecks decline. as adam loony of the brookings institute and michael greenstone of the hamilton project have reported, the median real earnings of working men of all races age 25 to 64 declined 28% between 1969 and 2009.
28% decline in the standard of living. and for men without college degrees, the median earnings declined by 47%. and even college graduate men's earnings declined by 12%. quite frankly it's only women's entry into a workforce that has kept families from falling more desperately behind. so in this era of remarkable technology and innovations and productivity growth, americans are working harder, and they're working smarter but most families are still losing ground. they play by all the rules and get further behind. and the fault quite frankly is not with working people. the problem is that public policies that just aren't delivering what they say they would. and we need to rethink some of the assumptions that
distorted the debates and the decisions of the past 30 years and today i want to talk about three of them. i want to talk about the cult of the corporation. i want to talk about the faith in free trade. and i want to talk about the addiction to austerity. see almost 60 years ago engine charlie wilson who went from ceo of gm to secretary of defense mem aably delayed -- declared what is good for general motors is good for america. and we chased at that at the time. but in many ways, he was right. see back in the '50s general motors profits were shared with its unionized workforce, lifting production workers into the world's first middle class majority in history.
60 years later president obama's rescue of the american auto industry has saved tens of thousands of jobs. not only in the detroit big three companies but in all companies that supply the industry and serve its employees. see with the new collective bargaining agreement between gm and the auto workers, the workers will gain or share in the gains that they worked so hard and sacrificed so much to achieve. but many multinational companies want to be treated as american institutions while they treat the stars and stripes as a flag of convenes. think about this. the big brand name companies that employ 1/5 of america's workforce, well they cut their u.s. workforces by 2.9
million during the 2000s. while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. that's a big switch from the '90s. see when they added jobs everywhere. in the '90s they added 4.4 million jobs in the u.s. and 2.7 million jobs abroad. so u.s.-based global corporations simply no longer have the same interests as domestic businesses and as the american people. this is a fact about the new global economy where capital is mobile, where labor is not and it should shape our government's response when these same global firms demand lower taxes, less regulation, and more free trade deals. see america is our people
first from steelworkers to software writers. our country's resources are our infrastructure. our education system, our natural resources, and the businesses whose operations are actually located here, whoever owns them, and whatever alphabet their corporate logo are written in. public policy should be focused on improving our competitiveness as a nation, and not on improving the cash flow of global enterprises that are ultimately indifferent to our fate as a nation community. so when we consider how to reshape our economic policies, such as corporate tax rules, let's remember to reward the companies that invest and produce in america. and the surest way to move
jobs out of america? is to let corporations pay lower tax on the profits that were earned overseas than they pay on profits that were earned here in the united states. and it also time to have a have a 21st century reality-based trade policy. we can talk all we want about free trade. comparative advantage, free markets but our competitors to their credit are consciously pursuing national economic strategies. while we're borrowing almost half a trillion dollars every year from the rest of the world just to buy the goods we used to make right here. see the chinese government manipulates its currency, to hold down the prices of its products throughout the world. the chinese government's
unique style of engagement in the global economy undermines both international trade rules and all of our best efforts to rebuild our manufacturing sector. as the economic policy institute and the alliance for american manufacturing recently reported, our imbalanced trade with china has cost the united states more than 2.8 million jobs since 2001, including 1.8 million manufacturing jobs. but i got to be clear. our relationship with china is about more than currency. see a prosperous china could be an enormous boon to the united states and to the global economy, but only if workers can build a middle class life and they can have
a strong voice through independent unions. and if the chinese government plays by the same rules. see the question is, what is our government strategy for ensuing -- insuring that our relationship with china is mutually beneficial and not a zero-sum game played by unfair rules where workers both in china and the united states are sacrificed to corporate interests. see these kind of questions are not just limited to china. congress will soon consider three agreements with south korea, with colombia, and with panama. the core reason deal will boost korea as on export platform to the united states and it will likely cost almost 160,000 u.s. jobs.
but the real killer is colombia. almost every week i see come across my desk the face of a new dead colombian trade unionist, or, another dead priest, who preached gospel of jesus the carpeter. once again i ask you if 51 ceo's had been assassinated in colombia last year, instead of 51 trade unionists, and nothing had been done about it, and no one had even been charged, you think we would be signing a trade deal with colombia right now? we happen to think the trade unionists lives are every bit as important as ceo lives. see, we also need to reconsider the economic
baseless idea that deficits are the problem and austerity is the answer. four fridays ago we learned unemployment was stuck at 9.1% and the interest rate for 10-year bonds was approaching a record low. now, if the nation really were in danger of a debt crisis, the interest rates on u.s. bonds would be climbing, not cratering. take a look at greece. see we have a massive jobs crisis that's caused by collapsing demand and austerity will make it worse, not better. the economic crisis and the growing budget deficit created a opening for tea party extremists and the hypocritical obstructionism
of congressional republicans. and they succeeded in creating a fake fiscal crisis last summer that needlessly jeopardized our country's credit. see there's a difference between phony crisis and real ones. our challenge today is preserving jobs and creating new ones. not throwing people out of work and cutting off essential services and benefits. as the new managing director of the international monetary fund christine lagarde has explained, budgetary austerity should not be pursued at the cost of economic growth. one shovel-ready project we don't need is to dig ourselves deeper in a hole with the same failed policy that got us into the ditch
to begin with, common sense would tell us we ought to stop digging. see we need a bold, new approach that creates 21st century jobs and invests in 21st century technologies, and the skills and the strength that america needs to make the most of them. now president obama's job bill puts america on the right path. and congress, i believe should pass it right away. and then do more. because, if we have the will to tackle the jobs crisis, there's no mystery about how to do it. i will outline six pillars very quickly. first we need to rebuild america's schools and transportation and energy system. that investment in infrastructure that we direly need will put millions of people to work while literally laying the
foundations for long-term economic growth and competitiveness. we can start by renewing the building star program to create jobs by installing energy saving technology. we need an infrastructure bank to fund public infrastructure. but that infrastructure bank must have a buy america and davis-bacon safeguards so that american tax dollars create good, family-supporting american jobs. not jobs somewhere else. and congress must enact the fully funded surface transportation act reauthorization to support millions of jobs and to build a cleaner, safer, more efficient 21st century transportation system. second, we need to revive american manufacturing and to stop exporting good jobs overseas. we need to end currency
manipulation by china and other countries. we need to reform our trade policies and end the tax incentives that encourage and reward the off-shoring of manufacturing jobs. we can't afford to replace trickle-down economics with trickle-out economics. third, we need to put people in the hardest-hit communities back to workers specially in communities of color. their unemployment rates are two and sometimes three times the average. we need to do it with direct, targeted government hiring. it's time to face the truth. . .
>> public is dragging.name the economy, making a double-dip recession far more likely. congress should not lay off anymore federal employees and should prevent additional state and local layoffs. police officers, firefighters, health care workers, and public service workers of all kinds quite frankly deserve medals, not layoff notices. we need to reform wall street so that main street can create jobs. the financial sector's supposed
to channel capital to productive sectors of the economy, but wall street diverts far too many resources from the productive economy, and it endangers the global economy with its reckless gambling. the administration should support, and congress should pass legislation to encourage more lending to small businesses. we should enact the financial speculation tax to discourage harmful speculation, and to make wall street pay to rebuild want economy that it helped destroy. just as the european union can doing, and we must enact and enforce tough safeguards to stop the kind of fraud that caused the crisis in the first place. sixth and finally, we need to restore consumer demand and jump
start our economy by extending unemployment compensation and keeping homeowners in their homes. see, congress and the administration should provide for mandatory reduction of principle for homeowners facing foreclosure through bankruptcy reform, through mandatory mediation, or other means. if banks lower the principle balance of all under water mortgages to their current market value, more than $70 billion would be pumped into the economy every year. millions of families would be able to stay in their homes, and over a million jobs would be created in the process. these past three years have been a winding and rocky road. president obama once again is heading the nation, i believe, in the right direction. the labor movements proud to
stand with him as he takes on the challenges of job inequality and investments in the future. the american jobs agent is a -- act is a great start, and we'll work hard to shape it, strengthen it, and build support for us, and we'll build support for sound majors to begin paying for job creation such as the buffet tax to ensure millionaires pay taxes at rates as high as their employees. america faces historic choices now that will shape our society, economy, and country for years to come. it's no whether he's appealing to his base, but whether we'll rebuild the manufacturing base of our economy. the question is not whether the administration is moving away from the middle. it's whether we'll restore the
middle class which is the heart and the soul of the american dream. what's ultimately at stake is the oldest question in american history -- whether we, the people, can bring our country's course closer to our interest and our values. together, we can continue the work that the brookings institute has conducted from its founding during the progressive era to the ground breaking research during the great depression. as your mission statement declares, we must strengthen american democracy and foster the economic and social welfare and security and opportunity for all, all americans. well, the labor movement will do our part, and we're counting on your intellectual inspiration
when we do it right, and your constructive criticism when we fall short. i want to thank you for having me today. i look forward to discussing some things with you in the question and answer period. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> thank you, president trumka, very interesting in hearing your thoughts and possible remedies. it's a challenging time. you appointmented out the poverty rates and 28% decline in
earnings. i'll start with comments, and then we'll open it for questions and comments. it is clear the power of unions is a major factor in the increasing inequality you highlighted in your talk, but it is hard to see in the short run how labor can gain new members quickly. you want to change the labor laws to ease organizing, but how can the labor movement help workers who are not organized any time soon get a larger share in the economy in terms of higher pay and benefits, and then also what are the new strategies organized labor is pursuing on behalf of those workers? >> well, first of all, there's several ways that we can and we do help workers whether they are in a union or they are not. advocating for increases in middle wage every time the minimum wage is increased, everybody benefits from that.
the benefits that we provide. we'll reaching out to them right now and bringing them in. take people who are excluded from the law whether they are worker centers, maids who are not covered by the law, we reached out, formed partnerships with them, helping them organize, finding new ways to be able to negotiate with people to give themselves much better raise and a better standard of living because if you look, and i just want to highlight one thing you say -- with the fall or decline of the lie boar movement was the decline of the middle class. from 1946 to 1973, productivity in the country doubled, and so did wages. unions represented about 40% of the work force back then. we were driving wages for everybody. we drove wages for non-union workers in industry as well as union workers so people at the
bottom end of the spectrum, their wages were increasing higher than people at the top, and the wage gap was closing in the country. the middle class was born. from 1973 forward, you've seen productivity increase, but wages have stagnated. there was a conscious decision by many to eliminate regulations to eliminate workers, so from 1973 to date, productivity's increased, wages have stagnated, and all of that money, the money between -- the money we lost that didn't go to workers went to the top 1% by and large because the last 20 years, 100% of the income gains went to the top 10%. in the last 20 years, 56% or 57% of all of income gains have gone to the top 1%.
in the last 20 years, 30% of all the income gains have gone to the top one-tenth of 1%. we represent now about 12% of the work force. we don't drive those wages for everybody, so if you're looking to right the economy in the long run, i don't want to fast forward past this. you have to look at collective bargaining and say it has to be a part of the solution. unless you're willing to mandate that workers get x share out of the pie, collective bargaining is the most efficient way to be able to make sure that workers have the money in their pocket to be able to drive the economy because you know and i know that the economy's 72% driven by consumer spending, and wages, we did it by borrowing -- that doesn't work. we're working with those non-union people in the short run and in the long run.
we're trying to drive wages. we're trying to change policies that will give workers a bigger share of the pie, and, yes, we're trying to change the labor laws because they are the most antiquated in the world, most a pressive of my -- oppressive of the developing world. they gasp when they see the things that go on in the united states. they consider us uncivilized quite frankly. >> you mentioned the collective bargaining laws, and, of course, recently in wisconsin and ohio we've seen major challenges to collective bargaining. i'm curious, what lessons are we to take from what has happened in wisconsin and ohio, and in particular, the recalls in wisconsin just lodged two republican senators, and yet the senate is still under gop control. was what happened there a defeat, victory, or something else? >> it was a major victory for
workers. i mean, take a look at this -- we've been trying for three decades to get a national debate about collective bargaining. scott walker gave us the national debate that we were looking for, and guess what? here's the good news. 70% of americans think every worker public or private ought to have right to collective bargaining and nobody should be able to take it away. that's a win within itself. let's look at wisconsin. we organized nine hospitals. we've organized a number of grad students at different universities. we brought 30,000 working america members into the afl-cio into working america. there's eight unions organizing with each other. there's more solidarity and determine -- determination on the ground than we've seen. we are vibrant and up and together. here's the real skinny about the elections. in 2008, president obama won
wisconsin by 14 points. those six senators won their elections, republican elections by about an equal margin so they defied the trend in wisconsin and got legislated by double -- elected by double digit margins. we didn't pick the six senators. they were the only six that could be recalled because the laws. now, think about this. we got collectively from the six of the biggest, highest performing republican districts, we got 49%-plus of that aggregate electorat, and they got a little over 50%. if i'm a strategist, i have to say in my six best performing districts, i just broke 50%, i got a problem, and we won. we took two of them out, and by the way, one of the republican
senators voted against that bill so effectively we have the working majority when it comes to collective bargaining in the wisconsin senate. i consider that a real victory, by the way. >> okay. [applause] >> so there's been some discussion in wisconsin about the responsibility of an effort to recall governor walker. would you support that? [laughter] >> would i support going after lose fer? let me think for awhile. [laughter] that's a tough one. [laughter] of course we're going to be there. i mean, the guy is overreached. he's been a bad governor. he tried to use a contrived deficit to take people out. look, let me go back to the jen cigs of all of -- genesis of all of this. it was not like this state and this state and this state decided they would all take on
labor. hear of the griewb called alec? the american legislative economic council? after the 2010 election, they had a large meeting bringing in 2,000 republican state legislatures. they had a stack of model bills this big. they said take these bills back and give it out because our goal is to suppress the progressive vote by 10% in the 2012 election, so they didn't just go after workers. they went after students. they went after immigrants. they went after the elderly. they did these seemingly incompetitive advantage -- inoculous approach. this is who it disenfranchises. you have to show voter id. 24% of the elderly don't have a
voter id. they don't have a government id. 56% of hispanic women don't have a government id. 53% of african-americans don't have a voter id, and 78% of african-american males between the ages of 18 and 24 don't have that id. now, i say that's real simple. you can just go and buy one. well, first of all, they shut down the mv's on saturday so people have to take a day's work to get the mv, and it costs them $20 to $30. a lot of the elderly don't have that. you say there was no voter fraud in wisconsin. this is about suppressing the vote. this whole attack was about going after every progressive voice that was out there to shut them down making us defend
collective bargaining and spend money. what they didn't count on is the uprising that would happen, and they are spending more money than we are, and quite frankly, i think we're winning. we have the student or the citizens veto in ohio. we will -- i believe, win that citizens' veto and stop that. they did an id bill in ohio. we have enough votes to get that on a ballot which will stop that voter id bill from changing the rules for the 2012 election. it's -- i wish it were us having a crisis and everybody was genuinely trying to solve the crisis. they are using this to try to take every last player that offers any opposition to their point of view off the playing field, and that, to me, is not the way america functions. that's not the way america
operates best. suppressing the vote is not something that should be cheered for by the american public. if ought to be condemned because it's an attempt to disenfranchise americans from the system. >> one more question and then we'll go to questions from the audience. in the past, you've expressed frustration with president obama, but in the last couple weeks, you have support for his jobs proposal. where does he stand with you and more importantly, where do you think he stands with your members right now in the lead up to the 2012 elections 1234 >> well, i think he stands in a lot better position than he did three weeks ago. if you asked me three weeks ago, i would have said our members are concerned that he's not leading and he's not leading and fighting for jobs because that's what they care about. not just my members, but all
american workers out there and workers with a job are concerned and fearful they'll lose their job. jobs is the number one issue. they want somebody to fight for jobs. they want somebody that's going to go to the mat for jobs, and he made a strategic mistake when he started talking about debt reduction and he got into the -- he made that seemed like it was the number one issue. i knocked on doors, talking with members, hearing them on the phone, i tell you, precious, precious few say we have to do something about the deficit. it's jobs. we have to do something about jobs, health care, make sure pensions are there to protect them, social security and medicare. those are the issues that affect their lives, so he made that turn, andic he's not fighting for that, and i think going out to city after city laying down
the gauntlet saying we need jobs. jobs is the most important crisis right now, and if you don't pass them, shame on you, senate, shame on you, house, for not doing that. i think he's starting to lead, and because of that he's in a better position with our members, and i think he's in much better position than, you know, the other side if you look at this stuff they've proposed. mt. romney's book is 160 pages. give rich people more money, take away the rules, and that'll create jobs. that's what it is. i'll end with this. think about this. for eight years, george bush was president, and ated end of his two terms, there were fewer jobs in america than when he started being president. he did every one of the policies that these guys are now add
voter id kateing. he cut taxes, took away regulation. he did it all, and it brought us to a crisis, and what is their solution? let's go back and do it again. maybe it will happen a different way this time. well, it won't, and i don't want workers to be the ginnie pig one more time. we need somebody to create jobs, not destroy more jobs. >> okay. let's take questions from the audience. in the very back there's a question with his hand up, and if you can give us your name, and if you're with an organization and also keep your questions brief so we can get to as many people as possible. >> certainly. lloyd chris, america's democratic action. my question actually has to do with the occupied wall street protests that are going on in new york city, and there's been some recent activity where some
union locals are kind of becoming involved in that, and i was wondering if you have an opinion on some of the afl-cio national member organizations, kind of beginning to take a role in that because i sort of think that that street demonstration activity is sort of forcing dialogue on the issues that you're talking about. just wondered if you have any thoughts on that, thank you. >> i happen to agree with you. i think being in the streets and calling attention to issues is sometime the only recourse you have because god only knows you can go to the hill, and you can talk to a lot of people and see nothing ever happen because it doesn't happen. in the streets, i think, a lot of people are there. our international unions are involved. our locals are involved, and you'll see a lot of working
people. you'll see a lot of small business people. you'll see a lot of manufacturing people who actually produce in this country that are being stepped on the same way by multinationals in wall street. i think it's a tactic and a valid tactic to call attention to a problem. wall street is out of control. we have three imbalances in this country. the imbalance between imports and exports. the imbalance between employer power and working power, and the imbalance between the real economy and the financial economy. we need to bring back balance to the final economy and calling attention to it and peacefully protesting is very legitimate way of doing it. god only knows i've done it thousands of times myself, and i'll do it again. >> question here in the front row, bill, brookings.
>> president trumka thanks for coming today. i wanted to ask about the jobs bill infrastructure and the relationship with the chamber of commerce. over the years, afl-cio and chamber of commerce are not allied on issue, but on infrastructure, you have been or you wanted to. i'm wondering both with respect to the jobs bill if you could update us on your alliance with them with respect to the jobs bill, how that's playing out, and then on issue you talked about in the speech, the repatriation, two --s. one is the repatriation of foreign earnings of corporations and the earnings potential. i wonder what you think of those particular points. >> well, that's -- you gave me a lot of things 20 talk about right here. the first part was about the jobs bill, and can you just
repeat that for us? >> yeah. your work with the chamber of commerce on infrastructure. the infrastructure bill, how do you see that part playing out? >> yeah, actually, tom and i went in and had a brain transplant for both of us. [laughter] we don't normally agree on many things, not that he's wrong and i'm right, of course. on this though it's such a no-brainer. look, the country has a $2.2 trillion infrastructure deficit, and there's a $2 trillion deficit with new infrastructure. things that are necessary to get us into the 21st century like broadband and high speed rail and a number of smart grids and all of those things. it used to be that when you did the reauthorization, the surface transportation bill, it was
bipartisan. it was a no-brainer because if you don't build the infrastructure of the country, you can't compete. look what's happened. we were top five in infrastructure in the world to number 17. our infrastructure's going down. that means we're less competitive, less able to compete, and the hole gets deeper, and the bill gets bigger the longer we put it off, so whenever i started thinking about it, i called tom, and i said, you know, can we get lunch? he agreed. you know, i mean, on a personal basis, tom's an exceptionally charming and friendly guy, and i mean, he's fun to have lunch with. i thought maybe we could talk infrastructure, we did, and we agreed. we issued a joint statement together, did stuff together, and we'll continue to do that. i don't think the chamber supports the president's jobs
bill, but i think they'll continue to support infrastructure. how we pay for it we probably deviate a little bit, but the need and skill to get it done, it really is a no-brainer. the country is just slipping further behind every day because our infrastructure's falling apart. roads, bridges, schools, everything that we need to compete in the global economy's suffering so we went back on that, and i mean, i think he'll continue to support that. he won't support the jobs bill, too many things in it he doesn't agree with. they will not support taxes, any kind of tax increase. they'll support any tax decrease regardless of whether it's deserved or not, but not an increase, so we'll see what happens with that. with the repatriation part of it, here's the problem with repatriation. we supported infrastructure bank. i don't know if your proposal has by america in it or doesn't,
>> and not only is it every five or six years there's a repatriation, we'll get to bring it back on the cheech. that doesn't make sense to me or like good long term policy. do we need an infrastructure bank? i think we do. i think we already have one. you know, we have tipia which functions welcome like an infrastructure bank. a couple other programs that do that that we could extend, but if it doesn't by america, it
it's a bad policy and stimulates somebody else's economy rather than our economy. >> here in the third row. yeah, right there. >> congressional quarterly. if you were to read john kline's press releases, you would think it is ground zero with the fight. is there anything that can be done that would have a substantial effect on, you know, increasing the decline of union tensity, and is there any step the administration can take to have an effect? >> the mlrb is limited in what it can do. it can't change the law, and the law is bad.
here's the truth about the law. any law student that came from law school, graduated last in the class can delay unionization for years. it doesn't take a smart lawyer. the system is designed to prevent it from happening. every year, 25,000-30,000 people are fired illegally for trying to unionize. it takes years to get them back to work, and under the current law, guess what? if you got a job interim, they fired you illegally, and you got a job in interim, they deduct all interim earnings from anything the employer has to pay back so theoretically, if you got a job that pays a nickel an hour more they wont owe you
anything? . law needs to be changed. the mlrb can do things add min straitively -- administratively to make elections happen faster and a little more fairly. we would hope that they would do that. it's not going to be revolutionary. it's not going to change the system because they can't change the system. they can do things administratively to make things work a little better administratively. that's what they can do. now, i'm glad you asked about the mlrb because that gives me a chance to talk about the assault of the mlrb. i want to talk about boeing for a quick second. this has been one the most amazing things i've ever seen. for 70 years, the law has been, and if workers take assertive action and the employer retaliates against them, it violates the law, but boeing, the big sophisticated aerospace
company, announces to the world that they are discriminating against these workers because they did concerted activity. complete violation of the law. for 70 years, no precedent settings, didn't change or stretch any laws, didn't require reinterpretation, and it's been the rulings for 70 years. think about this. they issued a complaint which means there's an investigation, and then the case will go to an administrative law judge. the administrative law judge is neutral, use the facts and decide whether there's a violation or not. it goes to the full national labor relations board and then the court of appeals, and then it goes to the supreme court. the process has just gotten started, and people like lindsay grahm and others jump all over this saying this is an assault on boeing's ability to create
work everywhere. you're going after a thousand jobs that we need. well, there's people in washington who need a thousand jobs just as well. they are discriminated against in this big company that's violating the law. the only thing different about this case and the cases in the past is this is a major thing of the republican party, their giant corporation with giant government contracts. now, this is what i want to say, south carolina has nothing to do with this, nothing. there's a settlement in oregon or washington where boeing's at. they can bring jobs back from china, japan, from the other 50 locations around the world where they have jobs. they can bring all of those back to comply. this doesn't have to be south carolina. we've never mentioned south carolina in the case -- the
machinists have. it's about people being discriminated. what's the response? the national labor relations board bank investigated them, threatenedded to cut off their budget, do things to chill or influence what is supposed to be an independent agency. now, imagine if you were a judge what happens if there's a case in front of them and lindsay grahm says we're cutting the court's budget if you don't drop this case. we would scream bloody murder, wouldn't we? influencing the decision of a judge. the system do you want work that way. here they are trying to influence the decision of a judge or board. here's the other thing. then they pass this law in the house last week. it's so overly broad, here's what would happen.
i'll give you two examples. women are being discriminated against in a place. they file a complaint with the mlrb. they come in and say you bet, they are discriminated against because they are women. the company says, sorry, we're moving the work elsewhere. under the law they proposed, the mlrb can do nothing about that. another example. it's discriminating against blacks, hispanics, or asians, or anyone else. play at that particular timely dis-- blatantly discriminating. the company says too bad, we're moving this work to south carolina, don't care, mlrb could
do nothing about it under this new law, so it takes a weak law and makes it weaker. it's almost dispibility when you haven't thought about the bad law that can happen. the mlrb now has three people on the board. the republicans will not endorse or confirm anybody for the mlrb, don't care how good you are. that has nothing to do with it. they don't want the mlrb to work or have protection or have anybody on the playing field
other than preferred americans. we'll see what happens. there's going to have to be appointments made to keep the board running. otherwise on december 31st of this year, there will be two people left on the board, the supreme court already said two people on the board either when they agree and conduct business, that will mean the mlrb will be nonfunctional, precisely what they tried to do all along. >> right there in the aisle. >> mr. trumka, i'm part of the u.s.-china commission congressional think tank on trade with china. since 2000, we've had about $2 trillion worth of trade deficits with china. the commission recommended that we take action to countervail china's underpriced currency. leader reid announced he's taking a bill to the floor, a
bipartisan bill, to put pressure on china to change this illegal practice of underpricing its currency. i've seen where the u.s. chamber of commerce, the u.s.-china business council, the club for growth, and others all announced their opposition to that bill, so i wanted to get your view on why are they so opposed to this legislation? to what is the position of afl-cio on this legislation, and, three, what do you think the position of the obama administration should be on this legislation? >> i'm sort of amazed, pat, that you're surprised. [laughter] that they're against this bill. of course they are. they represent the multinationals. you know, there's been a group that's been crying from the national association manufacturers from the chamber of commerce, all the small employers who produce here, the small to mid-sized businesses
support that bill because they know they are treated improperly. here's one appointment to be made. when china cheats on its corp sigh, it's not just china there's 12 other countries in that rim that cheat on theirs as well because they have to do that to be able to compete with china. you have the whole area that's skewing currency and getting an unfair advantage over the american producer. we support the bill. we have supported it. we are out in front of it. we think they should -- everybody else should play by the same rules. we don't manipulate our currency, they couldn't either. they shouldn't get a 45% advantage over american producers because bay manipulate currency. that's wrong. we're for the bill, and i think chamber of commerce and the others are against it because
their big members on the multinationals who benefit them. you produce here in the united states, you would think why would you toll every rate that -- tolerate that until you think what i said earlier, remember. i said between 2000 and 2009 they industry destroyed 2.9 million jobs in this country and created 2.4 million jobs over there. they make a profit there and are benefiting now by the system working the way it didn't work rather than by being a fair system. that's why they support it or are against the bill and why they support china's ability to manipulate the currency. ultimately they support china's ability to to manipulate, and that's wrong. >> one here. i'm at the state department. i just wanted to know your opinion on the occupational training aspect in the obama
job's plan. >> well, you know, look, occupational training is a good thing. if you're talking about, there were things in the bill we disagreed with. if you talk about the georgia's work aspect of it forcing workers to go to the work for an employer for free, for free, that's not a good idea. they call it training. go to work for this country, there's 2,000 of you, you get it tree, and we'll train you. they may just hire one or two of you. that didn't work in georgia, and i think there's 14 people enlisted in the program last month, not a very good deal. look, the biggest supplier of adult training and skills training in the united states is the american labor movement. we skill training, more people than anybody else. the building trades doing outstanding jobs of training
apprentices, and now, by the way, we're going back to apprenticeship training. people couldn't pass the test to get into the program. we are teaching them skills to take the test and get boo it, and we train them, and then once they're in there, we give skills training. we pledged this year to retrain or train 40,000 new people and bring jobs skills and retrain 100,000 of our members. we made that promise in june. we've already gotten to 42,000 of our skilled people in retraining. we've trained almost 9,000 new people off the street into skill training. we needed the training. i think it's a great thing, but it's not the end all. people say education is one sliver of it. absolutely, but it doesn't create jobs.
you can be the best educated person in the world, and there's still people applying for every job opening that's out there. we need jobs. we need jobs. training for them, supplying those jobs is important. right here. >> there's a microphone coming, yeah, right there. >> i'm virginia, an opiu local two member, and i wanted to know what impact you thought your public statements three weeks ago saying we didn't just want to write a blank check to the democrats and hold all politicians accountable. what impact do you think that had on obama and the jobs bills? i think that our leaders need to be holding politicians accountable no matter what party they are, and in terms of jobs going overseas, it seems like that horse is out of the barn that really our main strategy should be to bring the standards
up for all working people everywhere because if we do that, it seems like the economic motivation for companies to just pull up and leave will be taken away, and lastly, the latest attack on collective bargaining rights is happening from the u.s. postal service. obama just came out for the five day delivery week, and i'm wondering what you think we can do to help save that public service and protect those unions jobs and workers' rights. >> you know, you just gave me two days worth of stuff. that's unfair. [laughter] hopefully i can address some of them. the horse is out of the barn, can't be redone. i think a lot can be -- you take the incentives they have by cheating, it's economically unfeasible for them to ship the products here and use that as a platformment i think the jobs can come back. i agree that we ought to do the other thing to prevent more
suffering or eliminating the incentive to take other jobs in the future. i'll start first with the independence i was talking about -- political action. here's what we used to do in the labor movement. six or nine months before elections, we build up the structure, people out in the field, doing phone banks, doing everything. election day would tear it down. we had no aid and ability or less of an ability to do advocacy or accountability. what we're going to do now is our program will go year round, but after election day, we'll be able to move seamlessly to add voter id cosigh to accountability. we'll hold everybody accountable. people support working people,
we'll support them. the other thing, the other change that we're doing is just talk with the members. now we're going out and start talking to non-union members as well, people that don't have a union yet, workers who need to be invested in the fight. the more we get back to them, the more we get them educated and mobilized, i i think the better off we are all, build a basis support around issues, and not around people because if you give all your money to a candidate or a party, the day after the election, workers are no stronger than they were the day before or ten weeks ago, and money always used for a candidate or party, it's said we'll use more of our money to create structure that stays in place to help workers and stands up for workers, and that politician's right, we'll support them on the issue.
if they are wrong, we won't. you mentioned something -- >> u.s. postal service. ? i know, but also collective bargaining? >> [inaudible] >> oh, okay. you know, here's what one thing we can do right now to talk about this. you know, they say the postal service is broke; right? they owe this $5 billion bill they can't pay. let me give you the facts. in 2006, the bush people really did want to privatetize the postal service, but they couldn't because everybody loves the postal service because it does such a great job. you live in a rural community where i am, people did to the post office, they join and they mingle and it's a great job. millions of pieces a mail a day, very efficient. they want to get rid of it. here's what they did. they passed a little law in 2006
that said the postal service, nobody else in the world, no other agency, no other company has to prepay for all their health care, 75 years worth in ten years, which meant that they have to pay this enormous sum every year to prefund the health care and pensions. nobody else has to do that. that's what it was this year. the payment was $5 billion this year. that's what their deficit was this year. $5 billion. here's the real kicker. they already have $42 billion in a fund sitting there prefunded. they are lucrative. if they could apply that, they wouldn't have any problems. the postal service is operating in the black.
they put artificial rules on them. now, let me take a company out there and say you have to prefund all your health care for the next 75 years in ten years, i guarantee you they're in the red next year unless they only have two employees, then you might make it, you know? it was just a strawman. look, six day deliveries are important thing. six days of delivery is important for business. it's important for families. it's important for the economy. i got to tell you, there's a lot of rural post offices. it's like ripping the heart out of a little community. that's where they go to socialize and see friends. that may not mean anything to people here in washington who are in seats of power, but in
small towns, it means a whole lot. people care about that, and especially when it's working. it's an efficient delivery system, and by the way, i don't know if you knew this or not, but ups and fedex is the federal government that delivers to over 2,000 cities in the u.s. because they can't get there. they use the postal service to get there. now, rip that out. if they go, we won't be able to help ups with on time overnight delivery. they will not be able to do it. it's a sin to take something that really works and destroy it artificially. what we can do to help them? get the facts out. i saw the heads in the crowd when they heard the facts. they go, wow, that doesn't make sense.
right. i think people want to privatize the postal service. [laughter] >> right here in the aisle, fifth row back. yeah. >> hi, andrea cline. i'd like that talk about the use of technology. for instance, i didn't know that the postal service was that much assets in holding. why are we not using small organizations, small profits to push the message forward by way of youtube? 98% of minorities have cell phones and this is how they serve their computer needs. why not use those tubes to educate the populous and have a link to go to the website of the congressional representative, flood e-mails, bring them to the website, and then they'll hear
us. >> we are. go on our website, go to the representatives' or senator's website or her website, any one of them, but we are struggling. the bigger point you make is why not use social media more effectively. we're struggling to catch up with that. right now as we speak, there's a conference in minnesota with young people. we bring young people in. we started trying to make a concerted effort because the labor movement for the last two or three decades, we've made a bad mistake towards young people. we had a model, tried to get them to come into our model, and it doesn't work for them. i call it the gig society. they do a gig here, there, and a gig here, our model did not work. there's 800 of them now with the secretary treasurer talking about how to change ourselves to meet their needs, not telling
them how, asking them how. they are teaching us the use of social media a lot more effectively, how to be able to twitter and tweet and do facebook and a multitude of other things. we're also using a thing that's fascinating now. we use teletown hall conferences. i did one in ohio. we had 77,000 people on it. average length of stay on the phone was 12 minutes, so we talked to 77,000 people for an average of 12 minutes without moving, without getting out of the room. we are working at it, struggling at it, trying 20 get better, and i can only tell you this, it's on the radar screen, and we're focus the doing a better job using technology to innovate, motivate, and get people out. you're on the money, your point. >> okay. time for one or two more questions.
gentleman here in the red. there's a microphone coming over now. >> i'm cell kevin gary, and i agree with everything that you said, president trumka for the last hour, but one the issues never been brought up is the 30-hour workweek. i think it would really reduce the unemployment rate. nobody's talking about it, and i can't get anybody to raise it. >> we call a work share -- >> work share goes down, that's one step down, but you need a time and a half changed on the 40-hour workweek for 30. that's the key. once you do that, for instance, at verizon, you could put three workers on monday through
wednesday, same truck, and thursday through saturday, put the second driver on. you have few workers, one truck utilizing all the capital equipment. same with the post office. both of those contracts are open right now. why can't we do that? >> we can't. it's the rule. the ability, i told you about the two imbalances. the imbalances between employers and workers. getting it done would be difficult now. the tea party republicans in the house i can't imagine them doing that. the larger point you make is an important one. we have to talk about things like this, innovative ways to increase the economy and increase jobs, and work sharing quite frankly is another system. they use it in europe whenever they didn't have the demand. instead of laying people off, they reduced the workweek of everybody, and everybody still
had a job, and they still got benefits. that's a step up of what we do which is fire people without a safety net. there's no reason why other than political will they couldn't and shouldn't be done. >> thank you. time for one more question. you get the last question. microphone -- oh, over here, it's coming to you. >> hi, i'm joe, once was a labor union economist. any economist looking at what president obama's proposing in the jobs bill feel it really is not strong enough to make a major dent to get the unemployment rate down what it should be. part of what he proposed is an extension of what is existing like unemployment insurance benefits and payroll tax holiday. what is your position on how
much we should have in the stimulus? do you have a position on that or are you satisfied for what the president asked for? where do you stand on that issue? how much do we need? >> back to the first stimulus and we knew it was under funded at that point. second one -- this is an important step, not the last step, but an important step he took for two reasons. one, he's making jobs the focus of debate right now which it should have been all along rather than deficit reduction. 24 will not get everybody back to work and solve all problems, but it's an important first step. secondly, he's lead on job creation, talking about job creation, he's fighting for job creation, and that's a good thing for workers. that's a good thing for the factory, and coiincidentally, a good thing for him because people want a strong leader willing to fight for them. it won't solve all problems.
look at infrastructure. we have a $2.2 trillion deficit. $2 trillion for new stuff. it's going to take a lot of money to be able to do it. think about it -- more jobs we create, the lower the deficit. put people back to work instead of making unemployment benefits. they are creating, paying taxes, they are not taking out, but putting in. that's the solution, the long term solution to all of this. this bill is not the end, but it is a very important first step to have a national debate around a jobs crisis, and that's why we support. we don't agree with everything in it, but it's an important first step, and it will put people back to work if implemented, and my question is to our friends, the republicans,
you don't support it, what's your alternative? what's your alternative? here's what they say. it's all good like it was with george bush. we can do better than. this country can do better than that. that's why we support the bill. it's not the last one, and i told you if you listened carefully, i said we support it, will attempt to strengthen it, and will attempt to get it passed, and then we'll move to the next step. you have to go with step one the first. >> okay. president trumka, thank you very much for sharing your views with us. [applause] [applause]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> if you missed this discussion, you can see it all in the c-span video library at c-span.org. we have more live programming coming up for you today on the c-span networks. the cato institute is hosting a discussion whether or not to abolish the transportation security administration. speakers include legal, policy, and government affairs analyst. watch that live at noon eastern
held the 5 of the annual defense forum. this year's program focused on reintegrating war veterans and issues of readjustment in the workplace and at home. this was held at the ronald reagan building here in washington. >> privileged now to introduce our first speaker for the day, dr. john nagel. he's the president of the center for new security, garage watt the united states military academy, and served in numerous speedometers -- responsibility detailed in your program. he earned cam baht action badge and bronze star. it's earned recognition at numerous schools to include the george c marshall awards and
commanded a general staff, has a dock rat and taut at georgetown university security program. he served as military assistant to two deputy secretaries of defense and still has a full head of hair after that duty. he's published numerous books, articles, and featured in newspapers and radio news programs. he's giving two other talks today and two tv shows. if you see him later today, he earned his pay today. it's my pleasure to introduce dr. john nagel. >> thank you very much for all your dedication to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and all those who loved them and are now serving and those who have served. this last decade of warfare has been truly a revolution for the
united states military. we adapted to a very old kind of warfare for which we were not prepared, developed new tools to defeat terrorists, and most of all, we have seen truely extraordinary determination and courage from a new great generation, i think the new greatest generation of young americans for the first time since the revolution their warp have fought an extended campaign purely as volunteers, true truly an extraordinary accomplishment. as the wars wind down and the country struggles to pay the bills, we must ensure those who born the burden of the wars are not forgotten. we must ensure the nation remembers and cares for the veterans and their families as they have earned and as they deserve. i'm going to go back in time a little bit and talk about how we got to where we are and where i think we are and where i think we need to go from here. i'm going to start in the years following the collapse of the soviet union and the victory
over hussein's iraq and operation desert storm. i was part of an army who took the fourth largest army in the world and turned it to the second largest army in iraq in a period of about 100 hours. after that war, we improved the capability to fight a conventional war against conventional enemies even though there are few to be found. america attacked a government that shielded al-qaeda prompting the taliban in an up innovative campaign relying on special soldiers with the world's most powerful air force. ..
>> that the protect the people and develop local government in order to translate the needs of the people into words we could understand and programs we could fund. and we fought bitterly against enemies we could rarely identify. our town was in a great neighbor. it was situated between the provincial capital and hot bed of ramadi and the city of fallujah where four private security contractors took a wrong turn to their deaths in the spring of 2004. the american reaction to the killings was swift, powerful and sadly poorly informed spurring a national uprising that unified the sunnis and shia against us for a time. bridges blown and convoys ambushed and many units went on half rations because all we worked to build went up in flames. and my experience was a suitable
metaphor for the next two years in iraq. the destruction of the golden mosque in samarra in february, 2006 was the final straw the insurgency meat that time sized into a full scale civil war. in november, 2006, president bush replaced both his secretary of defense and his commander in iraq. and many thought it was hopeless. the new commander army general david petraeus had been preparing for this day. he implemented counterinsurgency doctrine that focused on understanding and protecting the population, taking advantage of an army and marine corps that had learned painful lessons what worked and what didn't during previous tours in iraq. the results were dramatic. violence dropped rapidly, with progress accelerated by the decision of sunnis to join with american forces in what became the sawa or awaken.
the timing was for tuus uus - fortuitous. president obama tripled u.s. forces committed to afghanistan during his first year in office. and an intense fighting swiftly resulted as soldiers and marines struggled to implement the clear hold and build counterinsurgency doctrine that had been battle-tested in iraq. america poured resources into building and training an afghan army and police force, an effort that was hampered by the recruits inability to read than by their unwillingness to fight. american troops already serving as aid workers and local political advisors found themselves teachers in a campaign against afghan illiteracy as well as fighters against an illusive taliban enemy. the americans were helped by an improved intelligence system that had evolve from one designed to understand other tank armies to one that worked hard to understand local tribal power structures and political relationships and by a new
weapon of war that put taliban leaders at risk wherever they were. armed drones. these unmanned aircraft provided phenomenal loiter times, real time intelligence on enemy operations and precise firepower that did grave danger to the command. drones were part of the apparatus that located osama bin laden in pakistan in 2011 it was special forces operators who used the intelligence they and other sources provided to kill him. marking a critical date in the now decade-long war against al-qaeda. as impressive as all these accomplishments are, a learning army and marine corps, an air force that increasingly relies upon unmanned aircraft to rule the skies, and navy seals and special operations forces who conduct literally operations every night, to me the most remarkable fact of the past decade of war is that every
soldier, sailor, airmen and marine has served has been a volunteer. when america created the all-volunteer force at the end of vietnam, it could not have imagined that within a generation, volunteers would fight for 10 years in two protracted irregular wars and with no signs of flagging. recruiting and retention remains strong with all services regular meeting their goals for volunteers to fight for our nation in her hour of need. we asked a great deal of these volunteers. many have served multiple combat tours putting strain on their families and on their own mental well-being. suicide among military veterans now exceeds the rate among the same age population as a whole. and the veterans of our current wars are now unemployed at rates exceeding those of the general population. we have a solemn obligation to these veterans who have volunteered to put themselves in harm's way and to their families, which also carry the
scars of a decade of war. while many are stronger for the trials they have endured, all have been forever changed. many with visible wounds, more with damage that is invisible to the naked eye but no less traumatic for being unseen. as we draw down our forces in iraq and afghanistan, handing over control to increasingly capable local governments and security forces, and as we continue to pursue a damaged but still dangerous al-qaeda to the ends of the earth, we must hold in our hearts those who have paid a heavy price so that the rest of us can live in freedom. they have bourne the cost of war and we can never adequately repay them, but we can and we must do all in our power to ease their burdens and thank them for their service in this time of war. your efforts today are an important part of that, and i am immensely pleased and proud to have been able to thank you for
the work you are doing on the behalf of our veterans and their families. thank you all very much. [applause] >> dr. nagl tufor your outstanding remarks and i would like to present the press book the captain who burned the ships by gordon s. brown. >> it's harder to do now. [laughter] >> thank you very much. >> okay. good, good, good. [applause] >> thanks again, dr. nagl. my counterpart whom you'll meet, peter daly, the ceo has given me the privilege of also introducing our second keynote speaker for this morning. so it's my honor to introduce the honorable mrs. terrie suit who was appointed by governor bob mcdonald as the assistant
governor for commonwealth preparedness january of 2011. subsequently, she was appointed as the secretary for veterans affairs and homeland security where she works to make virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the union. as part of her responsibility, she works with local, state and federal officials to develop a seamless coordinated security and preparedness strategy and implemented a plan. prior to an appointment by the governor, she served as a member of the house of delegates, worked on business development and government affairs director for the law firm of williams, mullen and numerous additional positions of responsibility. she has received numerous rewards from several organizations, most recently in 2010 she was selected as one of virginia lawyer's weekly influential women of virginia and she certainly is that. recognizing her outstanding efforts in all fields including law of business, health care,
education and the arts. please join me in welcoming the honorable mrs. terrie suit. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, thank you. wow, what a great gathering. thank you, emma ryan for the warm introduction. i really appreciate that. it's great to be here representing governor mcdonald with so many accomplished and distinguished leaders of this military and civilian community. i understand that you're going to have some members of congress here today as well as representatives from the white house. and health care practitioners and, of course, our outstanding men and women of the united states armed forces whose dedication to their country provides us with the motivation to be here today, helping those wounded warriors who sacrificed so much. and do every single today along with their families. it is truly an honor to be with you, and i thank you for your
service. governor mcdonald has made a public commitment to make virginia the most veteran and military-friendly state in the nation and his commitment comes from years of personal experience as a military child, as an army officer and as a military dad with a daughter who was a platoon leader in iraq in combat zones, i've had the honor to serve side by sides with the governor both in his previous life as a virginia member house of delegates and now as a member of his cabinet focusing on these really incredibly important issues to us and to you. it is an absolute privilege to work with a boss who shares my passion for our military. the governor often quotes the nation's first commander in chief when talking about the importance of caring for our nation's warriors and i'm sure you all have heard before when general washington then president washington said the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified
shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation. so it's always great to start my day here in the nation's capital. washington, dc, reminds us all of what our country stands for and the enduring principles by which we live. i grew up as an army brat living on bases all over this great country and overseas and from time to time living in the civilian community that didn't quite understand what military families were all about. my father, who retired as a light bird in the united states army, a reservist, taught me at an early age never to take for granted the freedoms of america. and with that in mind, i can think of no better way to keep ourselves from becoming complacent than to give our absolute best effort to those who put their lives in harm's way each and every day to keep this nation free. as a navy wife, i have had a
profound appreciation for the ups and downs that family members live with when their service member is deployed. tom retired from the seal teams in 2007 but you can never really retire once you have been part of such a close knit community. the obligation to advocate for those who continue to serve is overwhelming. and it is a family commitment. one thing i've always found heartening about our modern day military is the universal inclusion of the service family, both during active duty and in retirement. the people of our great nation have come a long way in their appreciation of military service members and their families and our veterans. it wasn't always that way. there was a time when those who disagreed with our country's policies took that disagreement out on our service members. and i experienced those days through the eyes of a child, not
understanding the anger directed at my father who i was so proud of when he returned from vietnam. and in those darker days moaa as we knew you then troaa were there. you were the voice advocating for service members who could not politically advocate for themselves. and some of you experienced those days firsthand. and you were motivated to get involved to make a difference between of that experience. you got involved in order to change the way that our military members and veterans retreated. and you did change things. as a wife, i supported my husband through multiple conflicts, the gulf war, haiti, kosovo. america was supportive but not completely ignited. i still felt that our voices were somewhat muted. in 1999, i ran for office as a navy wife, never as a seal wife. that was very, very important in our community. you never exploited being a part
of that special operations group. so publicly it was just a navy wife, which is fantastic to be a navy wife and i won a seat first time out in the virginia legislature. my mentor was our current governor bob mcdonald. i was really motivated to make a difference and be an active voice for military members. and moaa was right there by my side as a partner in so many initiatives that we were able to muscle through together here in virginia -- well, across the river in virginia. we're very close. you can see us. [laughter] >> we made headway but it was a tough fight to get legislation passed to help our families with issues like school transfer, car registration, professional licensing for spouses and tuition costs. there was still a view of the military family answers transients. i heard that word so often. they're transients. they're not local voters.
they're not permanent members of our community. then in 2001, everything changed. america woke up and service members were given the heroes recognition that they have always deserved. our policymakers woke up as well. and as my husband deployed to afghanistan, in 2005, i deployed to the state capital. it took tragedy to finally get legislation like instate tuition rates for military families passed and, you know, we've always been really careful not to exploit tragedy but sometimes it's a little easier to ask forgiveness than for permission. and when we finally got that bill through the virginia state legislature that i patroned to get that instate tuition, it took some effort and it took some real life experience and when one of those members on that committee said to me once again, they don't pay taxes in
virginia, and i reflected on the loss of 11 seals whose helicopter had been hit by an rpg and waiting for four days to know if my husband was alive, i looked at that member and said, they pay the ultimate tax, for crying out loud. give these children instate tuition. [applause] >> well, from there it became a pretty easy ride to get a lot of those great pieces of legislation passed not only did we get instate tuition for the kids, we got it for the active duty and this past year we got instate tuition passed for every single veteran that wants to come to virginia. [applause] >> so over the past 10 years america has embraced our service members and our policymakers have recognized the importance of doing more for those who sacrifice so much to protect this nation's freedoms, we are a
popular cause which makes the job for moaa perhaps a little remembers, at least for the surface gains, the softer balls. but what about the future? that will change. make no mistake. get all you can while the getting is good because tough fights are ahead. as the wars draw down, as america becomes desensitized to the plight of our military families and veterans, the fight will be much, much harder. the benefits we have gained will become easier targets for cuts and reductions. as the american voters move on to other issues, moaa, must continue to carry the barner for our military service members and families issues and our veterans issues. remember, they cannot advocate politically for themselves when they're on active duty. you are the voice. you truly speak for those who pay the ultimate price to protect the political freedom of america and yet are not positioned to speak out politically for themselves. as the ranks of our disabled
veterans grow, the financial burden to keep america's commitment will grow. as our retired ranks grow, the financial burden of keeping the promise of health care will grow. and policymakers will look for ways to contain that cost. you are the voice that will fight to make sure that the popular promises made during wartime are kept during times of peace and complacency. so today you are focused on our wounded warriors. so let's talk about that just a little bit. unfortunately, for many families, their warrior comes home scarred from battle or traumatized by what they have encountered in theater. still others are wounded in training or by accidents which happen every day in military life. one of the main goals must be unrelenting vigilance and finding a sense of normalcy back to people who find themselves in the toughest situations as a result of their military service. so i was asked to share with you
a few things about the ways in which the commonwealth of virginia is pursuing these laudable goals. and that pursuit always starts with listening to the advocates. in virginia we have a unique organization called the joint leadership council of service organizations. together, they bind their voice and they speak jointly. moaa is a tremendous leader in this veterans service organization leadership council. they come together. they form an agenda each year and then jointly 23 members now but there are more organizations out there jointly they go to the virginia hill and they advocate for these issues. they were critical, critical when we did the fight for instate tuition. moaa's talented pools of leaders such as sam, jack hillsider -- i'm not sure if any of them are here today they have succeeded to shape these veterans' voices into an extremely effective organization and their legislative record has been
very, very impressive in virginia. and through their efforts, some of the legislation we've passed are things such as allowing localities to form special advisory councils to the judicial system so that the judicial system has some reachback capability to try to understand veterans' issues, when a veteran is in court, ptsd, behavioral issues, things that might be connected to substance abuse that resulted from disabilities acquired through their service. these are things we need our court system to have a better understanding of. and we've been able to pass legislation to form these councils. legislation that provided for instate tuition rates. we've talked about that. legislation this year that changed our entire constitution and is allowing for a real estate tax exemption for those who are -- 100% permanently and totally disability due to service-connected disabilities.
[applause] >> and, of course, moaa was key to getting passed the virginia wounded warrior program. [applause] >> and i'm going to talk about that in just a minute. some of the highlights of this year's package that's going to be coming before the governor and the general assembly. state dmv-issued veterans identification card. one of the things we've learned -- our homeless veterans can't even get into a center to get care because they don't have id. you can't get into a federal center without an id card issued by a government entity. we're working on that issue in virginia. sales tax exemption for veteran service organizations. we'd like to see that get passed. increased access to information about the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans. we want a list of the unclaimed remains so that we can run it against our veterans list and make sure every one of those veterans is buried and honored in a virginia veterans cemetery. and proposals to address
homelessness. that problem is only going to grow. as you can see, the joc has been very successful and very aggressive so let's talk about the wounded warrior program, one of our most important legislative and programmic achievements in virginia has been this program and as i mentioned, moaa was absolutely key to the program's birth. in 2008, moaa's own colonel sam wilder led the effort to champion the legislation which created the program. and the program in cooperation with the department of behavioral health and developmental services and the department of rehabilitative services monitors and cordinates behavioral health and rehab services as well as providing support through an integrated comprehensive system of public and private partnerships. the goal of the program is to facilitate these services for virginia veterans. and members of the virginia national guard and reserves and families affected by stress-related conditions of traumatic brain injuries
resulting from military service. this is all done under the leadership of our great navy captain retired katherine wilson who operates this program across the commonwealth. where's cathy. cathy does a phenomenal job for us. [applause] >> cathy has an approximately $2 million that came out of the fund out of virginia. i cannot tell you how incredible it is to get general funds out of a budget. the wounded warrior established five regional programs. ..
>> should shuffling people to the claims offices, we have officers to deal with the disability filings providing individual counsels, family counseling, peer support, and they are engaged in community activities. since its first year of operation, the number of veterans served tripled. as they come off the war roles, it's going to grow more. in the last fiscal year, staff presented outreach programs to over 20,000 people in virginia. they visited the commonwealth military basis to educate family members about the available services speaking with over 6500 people in briefings just last year. the program has been very successful in partnering with state agencies to obtain federal grants that in turn provide for robust training programs, expansions into the rural areas,
very hard to serve areas, and specific training capabilities for the criminal justice system. in the fall of 2010, they sponsored four three-hour workshops covering the assessment and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. presenters at the workshop provided in-depth research and origins of ptsd, symptoms, and latest evidence based practices for therapy and treatment. they had numerous national resources which have sited them and inclinations for use in their practices of all which feeds into the desired goal of providing better help for our warriors, and in the spring this year, they partnered with the virginia behavioral health addressing the issues of suicide prevention. each submit included a presentation by the coordinators
outlining services available from the regional as well as suicide prevention resources of the virginia and other partners. one thing kathy taught me is there's a lot of resources out there that people don't know about, and a big goal of the program in virginia is to bring people to those existing resources, not to create them again, but to put them in touch with what resources exist and get help where we have help for them. in order to improve access for the services, this year was a statewide public information campaign called "we are virginia veterans," and they lunched their website, www.wearevirginiaveterans.org, with an interactive site with blogs, forums, and other information. they have display boards and a conference of reintegration events, golf tournaments, and
other events. as you can see, we're proud of our wounded warrior program. it will be a national model. we've got a lot more work to do, and it's going to take more resources and just like the fight at the national level at the state level, we're going to have to continue championing the cause even if it's down in popularity as other issues rise as the popular issues de e jour. this gives us a chance to highlight great achievements in our nation, learn from what others do and duplicate, swipe, and adapt to use in our own communities. i'm encouraged by the progress made and the hope that next year we'll talk about more outstanding work that's being done. many measure of gratitude could be enough to show our thanks and appreciation for what