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tv   After Words with Tamara Draut  CSPAN  May 29, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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>> this book is so critical and timeless, thank you. sleeping giant, explain. the definition of the sleeping giant is something that hasn't reached its full potential so it's really a nod to political power to today's working class and i think you are seeing the sleeping giant is start to go wake up in rise in the form of fight for 15 movement, in form of black lives matter, immigration rights movement. i think we are just begin to go see the potential of this working class and the political power they have. >> before we get to the new working fund, let's start where you did --
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>> my dad worked in the factory pretty much his whole life. >> in detroit? >> no middle town ohio. there were many factories and the town was built with support of the factories, they built the hospitals, all of that stuff. my mom went back to work when my youngest brother was five and she worked as an office manager in arthodonix office. here is the thing of a working-class, we were working class by education and occupation, but really middle class by lifestyle. they were able to send me to college without any debt. we took yearly vacations packed
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down in minivan. we were never really hungry. i wanted to begin to what happened to the idea of a working class. that title had been sort of scrubbed from our lexicon and we don't really refer to our janitors and home aids, we refer to them as low-wage workers. i really we wanted to bring back into our debate the idea that we have a working class and it's fundamentally different. it's more female and more racially deverse and we need to think of them as a political force that we need to pay attention to. >> now, back then while your father was in ohio, you talk -- you start with his death. >> guest: symbolically -- i'm
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glad my dad wasn't around to see the bankruptcy of detroit. i think it would have been painful for him. i think it's important because symbolically i think it was the nail in the coffin, it had been several decades before detroit went bankrupt but sort of put a pin in that finality and what that meant to an era of america where you saw when productivity went up, workers actually saw that in their pay checks. their paychecks went up and there was a period of time where income grew at the bottom faster than it did at the time, it's hard to wrap around the idea where we are today. detroit was a really blunt symbol of the passing of the torch from an industrial-era working class to a service
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sector working class. >> so there's working class and middle class and talk about that continuum and where they divide. >> guest: academics love to debate how to measure class and there are different ways but a common one is by college education and that's how i define working class throughout the book, so the dividing line is whether you have a four year degree or higher or nothing less than a four-year degree. that's how i describe high school graduate, high school dropout, some college, associate's degree, that's the working class and, you know, in reality i think it's a pretty good marker because what has happened in the last two, three decades is that the quality of life afforded to people in this country has diverged sharply with those college graduates and
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those without degrees. >> host: money was tight specially before your mom went back to work, but you never went hungry and you did feel the security of housing of food and explain that and explain the role of union as you were growing up? >> yeah, so i grew up with three -- two brothers and one sister, that's a big family to feed on one salary specially. and times were tough, you know, i was teased as a kid for my hand-me-down clothes. but i never -- never was hungry. i never experienced what is to common today for kids in working class households, which is hunger. i never had to worry about not having a place to live. my parents owned their home.
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and it was a nice home. two-story home with three, four bedrooms, the first home i grew up in. so there was a level of security that was afterred by my dad's job and that's largely because it was a union job. and so he saw his income go up as the company did well, he got vacation time, he got paid time and a half if he worked on a sunday, if he did a double, which is working a shift back to back. so there were ways when money was tight he could work more, he could sign up to work doubles and he often did do that. >> host: how come unions become so villified? >> guest: well, it's a long checker story. >> host: you do so well in the book is telling stories. >> guest: thank you, i appreciate that. so it begins with -- as part of
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the new-deal package. president roosevelt signed into law what is called the wagner act, it essentially said the procedures for allowing workers to vote in the union and workplace and have real economic democracy. and as soon as it passed, guess what happened, workers took advantage of it, they started unionizing the workplaces. then we had world war ii, we had labor peace because of all the big unions agreed not to strike during the war, but after the war we had this huge outbreak. labour peace, which is an agreement by unions that they will not strike during a certain amount of time and in exchange the company supports the union. so there was all this tentative energy. there was lots of speedups during the war. lots of grievances that accumulated and then we have this huge just outbreak of
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unionization and strike. and the elite scott were worried about this and thought, well, we've got to tamper this down a little bit. this union thing is a little more powerful than we expected. so the conservatives in congress with a law basically written by the national association of manufacturing passed what's called task hardly. it's so relevant to what is happening today. it did a lot of things to make it harder to unionize but two really big ones that are important for today, one is it allowed states to pass right to work laws and we are seeing an emergence again of new states passing right to work laws. >> host: explain what right to work law is. >> guest: if you're in a state that has right to work law, it
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means that if you are represented by a union, if the union has voted in the workplace and you don't want to be part of the union, you don't have to pay in i -- what's called fair-share fees, you don't have to pay for the costs of all of the negotiations and contracts that happen. you don't have to pay for any of the administrative costs of maintaining economic democracy in the workplace including negotiating for better benefits and pay, so what that does is it greatly weakness unions because people love to free ride. you know, you still get the same paycheck as the pal next to you who is paying union dues, but you don't have to pay them if you don't want them. >> host: but you're gating gatie deal. >> guest: you're getting the deal and it's free riding. conservative tends to look down at what they're seeing as free
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loaders in our society. that's what they call them. that was the idea and one of the animating reasons for right to work was the jim crowe south. southern states wanted to protect their very rigid worker where unions couldn't come in and building solidarity between white and african-american working class people. >> host: so you talk about the power of the union then. how did those jobs get lost over time? >> guest: well, that's another story that is really starting to be the center of our political debate right now. you know, we had an era of what's called free trade and we made all of the trade agreement that is we are now, i think, in evidence that it has not been a
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gain and we lost millions of jobs as a result of these contracts and it hasn't really been a gain for méxico either whose, you know, farmers, for example, are now competing with our major big businesses and actually the squashing of small farmers in méxico is one of the drivers of immigration to our country. the population that immigrated during the 90's and 2000 came from rural areas because they could not longer sustain a living farming, and so they came to america to find a new lively hood for themselves and their families. >> host: i went to san cristóbal, chiapas when the revolution happened the day when nasto went to effect. understanding that this was not going to help working people.
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>> guest: what we have from the 70's to now is a real takeover by our elites in this country, whether it's political elites, media elites, cultural elites of our governing system where economic power has been so consolidated and then used to translate into political power and so the people writing the rules for economy, whether it's trade agreement or minimum wage or regulation that is protect people from predatory lenders, the people writing those rules are now the titants of the industry. unions used to be part of that elite. that was a good thing because they came to the table where working-class people's interest and mid--class people's
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interest. now that they have been shoved out by a conservative assault over the last 30 years, the elite don't have any force. unions -- one of the big threats, and i think this is really important to understand that the case that corporations make against unions often centers on, you know, we will have to cut workforce and raise prices because wages will go up. the biggest threat is political power that comes with the unionization. that's the real threat. less economy threat but the idea that you have now an institution who is educating its members about what is going on in the world around them and how they can have real power and influence over the decisions that frankly impact our lives very deeply.
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>> host: how much did she weigh in at the time? >> guest: you know, that's a good question in the book. i wrote the book before. i knew trade was going to be at the center of our debate but i think it's fabulous, i think it's time that we had a conversation about the real trade-offs. it's real easy for political elites to say overall it's been good and, you know, this is -- this is what's really dye didi -- desturbing and now everyone
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can afford a microwave and we have seen increase in living standards for the working class in this country. they define it by whether they have a savings for retirement. they define whether they have a house that's safe so that they can live in. those are the living standards that really matter to people and all those of those things have been chipped away at till the thread that's left of social in this country. >> host: so talk about how the jobs change over time. >> guest: i would like to short-hand this by saying we went to a working class that made stuff to one that serves people.
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i think that distinction and that shift in addition to who is doing that work, is one of the reasons why we have seen a working class that's so marginalized and invisible in our political process. so today's working class is, you know, employed in retail food and leisure and home health care. those are the really big ones as well as warehouse workers and janitors. that's where most of the working-class men are. that involves serving people and certainly caring for people. so we now have a working class that is much more female and much more people of color than the industrial working class
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was. and that very definition who is working class is one reason why we feel a real disappearance of the idea of a working class in this country. >> host: you talk about -- animate the trends that we see and the changes to the new working class with stories, tell us about eric and damon who worked for coca-cola. >> guest: so eric and damon both work at warehouse distribution center in atlanta for coke and their jobs are what they call internally our poolers, officially they are orderer builders, so what they do is take cases of beverages and put them onto pa lots and wrap that truck driver moves them over where they need to go to be shipped out. so at the time i interviewed
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eric, he was really trying to organize the warehouse with the help of the teamsters and he was starting to get a lot of support. and the reason why is the working conditions that these pullers are under is insane and dangerous. they are paid by the cases they move. when they show up for their shift they are giving a pool quote, so let's say they have to move a thousand cases during their shift u if it takes them 6 hours they are done. if it takes them 10 they are done. they're not allow today leave until they finished. if it takes you ten hours, your wage is a lot lower than if it takes you six hours to meet your quota. so what does that mean? that means that these workers are running around in aware house with big machines, forklifts, what have you, running around with the wrap
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guns and people are getting hurt and their bodies are wearing out. damon is 32 year's old on medical leave, his knees and back are shocked. this was always going to be a long-shot battle, but you speak to eric and the calling he feels to do the work of trying to help workers find their voice and find their power and you can't help but be inspired and to be hopeful that workers like eric and damon are taking big risk to build solidarity and bring democracy into the workplace in this country is contagious and i'm optimistic that they're going to win, but the thing that eric and damon, they were some
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of the first people i met and talked to when i started writing the book and what they chronicalled and the words they used to describe their treatment by their bosses ended up being being disrespect, a gentleman who a commercial truck driver, it's like the working class, the lepers of society, completely disregard it when it comes to our needs. i talked to people who work in retail, fast-food, more than reference that they can almost relate to slavery or call it the new plantation, a truck driver said it's like we are croppers on wheels. that's deeply detushing that in america we have workers who see
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the way they're treated and equated with our nation's original most brave sin. it's deeply detushing and just how far we have left protection fall and how far we have left the protection of dignity fall in this country. >> host: you write about cubilce jobs. >> guest: yeah, think of your administrative assistant. the people on the other line when you call the bank and need somebody to help you with your statement or you see a charge you don't understand. customer service representatives . bank, the ellers and it was a surprise to me that bank tellers actually have become salespeople
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and have quotas themselves that is they need to sale, push as with many bank tellers push new products on new customers. >> host: for example. >> guest: why don't you check out this new line of credit, why don't you think about getting a new cd open and evaluated on how many new products they can get existing customers. these are customers of the bank to sign up for. how about a savings' account, why not add a savings' account to your checking account. >> host: they know about your finance, they can look at your account. >> guest: they are a big part of the working-class economy. we have a lot of customer service reps, it's a lot of people who answer phones and file paper and keep our offices and workplaces running.
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host it's from the cubicle to caring job. >> guest: it really is going to explode to what is one of the lowest-paying occupation in our country and that is home health aids. so if you look at who does the work of a home health aid it's overwhelming women and it's overwhelming women of color, often immigrant women. these jobs pay roughly minimum wage and they involve hard work because care asking hard work. they involve of manual labor. they are lifting patients without machines, lifting patients that are much bigger than they are and this is work
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that for so long was expected to be done for free. now, it's done for pay but the same groups that were doing free throughout history, women, and particularly african-american women. >> host: and women without college degrees. >> guest: most home health aids get six weeks of training, the best ones get really good training. that's not always the case. but these are very low-paying jobs often without health insurance. often $9 an hour and these are individuals that are caring for people in their most vulnerable state. often people that got discharged from a hospital after a surgery or something like that or someone who is disabled and needs help on a daily basis, and we devalue that work so deeply that we are willing to only pay 9, 10 bucks an hour for it. >> so talk about what unions
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like the service employees,fciu are doing, remarkable activists, what she's doing. >> guest: has really brought to the forefront the need of domestic workers, people who work in other's people's homes for pay. and finally has undone some of the exclusion that happened way back within the fair labor act was negotiated. >> host: explain. >> guest: basically put out guidelines for minimum wage and overtime. they include deliberately domestic workers and at the time farm workers. at the time all domestic workers by in large were african american and so these jobs
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throughout our history have been denied the right to minimum wage and the right to overtime. so what i did in the national domestic workers appliance -- alliance have accomplished is we are finally in 2016 going to ensure that home health workers get paid minimum wage and overtime pay for the work they do. i mean, this is unbelievable that we still are having this fight today but that is -- i have a whole book about the lingering effects of racism and sexism on the work, the pay, the job quality of the new working class. >> so talk about what's happened in new york, for example, around changing laws and the pressure brought on the legislature, and
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this is truly collective organizing. >> yes, it's a new model of organizing. a long side with union but also outside union and i think what you had and what has been so brilliant of the strategy of domestic workers alliance is that they have built coalitions that include the caregivers and the people being cared for and the families of those caregivers and we passed a domestic bill workers' bill of rights. i think california was first, but basically sets out basic worker protection for people who are employed in the service of somebody else in somebody else's home. whether it's nannies, house keepers, and it really was water shed and i think those wins really set up the ability for
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president obama to mandate the department of labor finally update these guidelines to include all domestic workers in minimum wage protections and overtime protections. >> host: so how does it work? do domestic workers make minimum wage, and we will talk about this, the push for 15? that applies to them as well. >> guest: absolutely, the way it works is i chronical marla in the book, this is somebody who is a home health worker, she's very active in these fights, activists as well as caregiver and she would often have to spend the night at her client's house. she would work all of those hours, even if she's sleeping, she's still at work, she might have to get in the middle of the night to help her client go to the restroom. at the end of the day when you divided her hours she was making less minimum wage because she
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wasn't getting paid for the sleeping time that she had to be there for. that no longer is going to be the case, that can't happen. if you need a home health worker to sleep overnight in addition to being there during the day, you will have to pay them for those hours. >> host: who are you appealing to when you're not getting that? >> guest: you have to file a complaint. >> host: where does the fciu come in play, for example? ..
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the new working class is the service sector and voting in the onion is one part of the battle but raising the stakes stakes in the pudding inequality on the table in the fight for 15 which has been enormously successful in terms of actually passing the new minimum wage law and impacting the public debate.
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when the first workers in new york city had $15 an hour they were laughed at. nobody is laughing now at the demand for the 15-dollar minimum wage. >> host: it is a central part of the cover. you have the images of people fighting with various different images among them. french fries say $15 an hour. but talk about how it's too cold in how they reached for what seemed like the impossible to new york where the governor said it's not going to be possible. it's ridiculous and suddenly they are championing it. >> i think if there's a couple things. i give them a lot of credit because they've been supporting
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this effort of the financial resources in so far have not succeeded in getting the union workplace mcdonald's, burger king, taco bell. that said, they have made huge gains in people's lives in terms of the increases and i think the reason it happened is because people said enough and they were willing to go out into the street, risk being fired to stand up and make a demand that they deserved. it's been sustained. when i first pitched this book right around the time of the first walkout i said something is happening. if you look at the cities and states across the country, there is a bubbling up of new working
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class organizing happening in into the first question is yeah but are these movements really going to stay around. think of occupying it didn't go on as a movement that's still out on the streets today. the success belongs to the workers that are still doing it, still going out on strike, still protesting coming and i think what you also see today is a movement collaboration so you have adjunct faculty members now standing in solidarity with fast food workers saying we are with you. you have health aides standing with them saying we are with you and they kept bringing out more and more workers as they decided that they have a had a common cause in the fast food workers and people helped make that fight a reality. >> host: and then you have wal-mart. talk about the power of how
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large it is. >> guest: nothing epitomizes the working class today more than wal-mart because in the industrial era of working class, gm was the nation's largest private-sector employer. today the largest is wal-mart, and the difference is pretty much the difference between the old working class and the new working class. wal-mart is extremely powerful, and it's powerful not just in terms of its scale. it's powerful because it exerts pressure through the entire supply chain, so it negotiates with the suppliers to drive down cost and then they need to drive down cost in the warehouses for the people packaging the goods getting them where they need to go. so every step in the supply-chain wal-mart has the
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ability to drive down wages to the point where you have workers who aren't getting paid for all their hours are expected to work at the stores. it's a cost-cutting mentality that is i think the real innovation of wal-mart. it is a complete paradigm shift where people, their workers and their employees are viewed as costs to be minimized. that's how wal-mart views workers in the country. when you join wal-mart as an
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associate, you watch an antiunion video. it's a company that is antiunion, deeply powerful and is unwilling to negotiate and come to the bargaining table despite many attempts. >> host: talk about how the public subsidizes wal-mart, particularly wal-mart workers. >> guest: there has been some great research. the reality is that when wal-mart or other fail to pay their workers a decent wage that means they can't feed their families, they don't have health care and so they have to get that through the safety net and so what you have is billions of taxpayer dollars providing food
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stamps and healthcare coverage to the wal-mart workers. >> host: and the exposé is about how you could call the line as a wal-mart associate, wal-mart worker if you were really struggling and they would actually direct you to how you get basically welfare, how you get public subsidies. wal-mart will be telling you at the same time they are all for deregulation and not interfering in the private sector they rely on the government and taxpayer money to subsidize the workers. >> guest: completely corporate welfare and its commonplace for them to have a toy drive and food drive for their employees around the holiday. mcdonald's got busted in a huge and embarrassing pr for having a website for their workers to help them learn how to stretch
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their measly paycheck. and it included i think it was choose lower so you don't feel so hungry. these are american companies who have full acknowledgment that the people they employ can't feed their families or buy toys for their children at christmas. they work at the stores everyone shops at during these holidays and their own workers can't shop there and feed their families. it's shameful. >> host: talk about how they've brought pressure and the victories that have been won from mcdonald's to wal-mart. >> guest: what we are seeing them and i love that the companies put out these press releases and they refuse to admit any pressure to voluntarily raise the minimum
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wage so they have mcdonald's, wal-mart, all who have volunteered to raise the wage of their lowest paid the lowest paid employee. it's a start. $10 is much better than $7.25. what remains to be seen is -- >> host: talk about what happened with mcdonald's. >> guest: so, mcdonald's agreed to raise the minimum wage with a giant giant disclaimers that was only in the stores that operates. if you don't know this, when a mcdonald's here in new york city and mcdonald's in cincinnati ohio are probably owned by different franchisors most outlets are actually franchises what that means is mcdonald's only owns and operates a very
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small percentage. those are the only people that will get a raise. what's interesting now there've been lawsuits filed basically make the claim mcdonald's really does employee all these workers across the country because in the contract with their franchisees they are so minute and details the cost of operating expenses they are allowed to incur they are setting wages they may not directly hire or fire employees but they have enough say which means they have responsibility over the working conditions and all of their franchise works and this is playing out right now.
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it has them all up in arms doing everything they can to stay if this happens kind of the big companies like mcdonald's and burger king are responsible in part for what happens in their franchise stores come it will end april and the industry as we know it and that's not true. we are basically saying you do have a responsibility to make sure people are wearing the uniform with your logo are treated fairly and are paid the wages they have a right to. >> guest: they recognized early on that if they just went to the owners they said we can give you that money because we are getting pressure from taco bell and wal-mart. they went right up the chain and
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had significant success. in a second to last chapter of the book i spent a whole chapter interviewing the new leaders who are innovating command that is a great example that isn't in my book but you have in texas people who are trying to improve the working conditions, the safety of the construction industry, and instead of going after the companies who employ the workers, they went after the builders because that's who has the power and you see that it's the same with the watershed is sort of innovation and organizing that really happened with the judges for janitors campaign where instead of going after the company's employee and the chambers they went after the building owners so going to the people exerting the leverage that have the power to set the
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condition for the whole system i think has been a brilliant strategy that has paid off time and time again. >> host: we talked about low-wage workers, working class people. 2006, the seminal moment he began the chapter began the chapter on the immigration list when immigrants come activists, people have dared to come out of the shadows. >> guest: it was incredible. what's great about that is for example you have the unionized part workers in california and los angeles starting work and shutting down the ports. we want to talk about the businesses where it counts. make them lose a lot of money in a database topping the goods from moving? that's significant and the fact that you have the workers who are standing in solidarity
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walking off the job is amazing and we are seeing more of that. shoving up for black lives that are showing up for fight for 15. dreamers are showing up for black lives matter. we are witnessing the beginning of what has always been an elusive which is a multiracial solidarity of progressive movements in the country. it's difficult to maintain and sustain but it's beginning to happen. >> host: you refer to the dreamers as being young people who are not documented. >> guest: that's right, brought here by their parents. and the dreamers have i think one can't talk about bravery. all these movements are fueled by people that have a level of bravery but i don't think exists and it would be great if you did it did or among the politicians. we are lacking people in
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congress who are willing to be brave and do what's right instead of going to be the political wind. i met giancarlo. he came into the office. we were working on some higher education stuff in new jersey and he found out he was undocumented when he was going to get his driver's license and his mom told him i have something to tell you and as he got older and started applying for colleges when he first heard he was undocumented, the full implications didn't really hit him. the driving thing was like okay we have public transit. i can get around that and he started applying for college and realized this was a serious problem for him to get a job. at the community college he went to he have to pay the international student rates. so he couldn't get state
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tuition. this is the first demand was to allow undocumented immigrants the right to pay the tuition. he became an activist and showed up for a meeting at the school where he was and he went all in. he now got award after a couple of years dot coordinate full scholarship in large part through his activism in his fight for human rights for his family and his friends. >> host: you have a whole chapter that applies to this and even goes back to the free-trade discussion that we had. in the '90s all the so-called free-trade deals but today you have the presidential candidates
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bernie sanders and interestingly for all the racism and is races magazine phobia, donald trump opposing what's called free-trade saying it's not fair. they joined together and bernie sanders puts enormous pressure on hillary clinton who then also has to weigh in and shift the position on everything from the transpacific partnership because he has laid out the case for how this is hurting people. the fact we are finally having at least one issue that matters to working-class people at the forefront of the political debate is fantastic. the working class particularly the white working class has been written off as a red meat conservative and on most economic issues, the working class of all his more
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progressive. they are more likely to want a minimum wage and to believe the government should do everything it can to make sure everybody has food and housing and make sure colleges affordable and anybody that wants to see these things we they fundamentally believe in where it breaks down and this is what we are seeing with donald trump. the working class is more likely to believe that they are the victims of racial discrimination they are the one group that is an anti-immigrant sentiment greater than everybody else's and feeling like they are taking away their jobs and that is fueling the presidency. i happen to believe that if the democrats offer a full package, if they created a working class platform-independent in the center of the party that they could peel off a significant
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percentage of those working-class voters that are voting for trump and get a higher turnout and close what you're seeing is an enthusiasm gap among the working class which is working-class women and people of color. >> host: you ended your book with a blueprint for a better deal which is what? >> guest: i'm a policy person at heart. i want to give solutions. so i say that it's time for a better deal. the reality is we haven't updated our social contract as a basic agreement of what we have in this country what we owe to one another and guarantee to one another and so it's time for a better deal. it's a competence of plan aimed at addressing the whole people so it's the democracy to the rules of the game and the economy and the fact that we
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need to finally join the rest of the world and to provide family care and paid leave. it's about finally having a debate about how racism has kept our country from achieving its full potential and kept individuals of all races from achieving their full potential. >> host: explain that. >> guest: since nixon there's co. since nixon has been a strategy to divide america by race to associate the benefit of government is going to african-americans. that has been a deliberate. >> guest: it's in the book of politics i highly recommend people to read. if that's what happened is that people internalized unconsciously when they hear government, they think of those people getting benefits.
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so that drumbeat has been so successful that it was within ronald reagan building -- brilliant. we can't as a people agree on things like finding affordable child care because we are so worried and have been convinced that there is a population that's going to take advantage of it and paul ryan likes to say this safety net has become a hammock. these are all racially coded terms and people's mind when they hear these, today anti-immigrant sentiment is of the same piece. what it does is divide people from working together for things that would benefit all americans and racism has undercut the
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solidarity in the sense that we need to demand more from our government in terms of economic security. >> host: black lives matter has been astounding and interrupting business as usual discourse in politics today, and they've had a demonstrated effect particularly on the democratic party. they are not letting these candidates go without saying they address everything from mass incarceration to the tremendous inequality in the country. >> guest: that is what is so powerful about the black lives movement. it's connecting the dots in a way that no other movement has. it's talking about criminal justice and about the oppression by the police and the lack of
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investment into neighborhoods and communities that have been happening for decades. it's talking about inequality and how the democracy has been hijacked by wealthy interests. it's pulling all of us together in an analysis about race and i think it's high time we had that conversation and it's been brilliant on the message they need the parties to put out a platform to address what is one of the greatest challenges to the country. it's high time that we address that. >> host: you "-begin-double-quote your dad, the old working-class as you put it, and again you talk about
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your own personal experience into the directory. it was the whole is the whole issue of the sleeping giant. my parents got got the first one i was in college and had a great defined pension benefit from his union job. but what happened is my siblings didn't finish college and the only ones who finished college i have seen the shift being able to provide for your family and enter a decent wage without a college degree to being poor to working-class in the absence of a college degree and so among my family there've been three bankruptcies, one for close to home. my mom was laid off for her job and didn't have health insurance the first time in her life for
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over three years until she turned old enough to get medicare so i watched this downward spiral that is by no means unique to my family and one of the things i talk about is unlike many families my family does have the privilege of asset accumulation thanks to being born white and was able to buy a home and sell the home and and buy another that was bigger and then sell it off when it was needed and enjoy the proceeds of that. my dad got stocks from his dad. these are blue-collar families that have been passing on stocks and procter and gamble of all places saved us so many times it will continue to. >> host: talk about the disparity between your her family and a family of color. the astounding wealth gap in the
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country. it's an enormous and it grew in the great recession because the reality is it was the african-american and latino households that were sold as toxic mortgages to ensure they couldn't pay them. it's about 10 cents on the dollar involve that's the wealth disparity and 12 unlike income begins with a huge income gap. there is still a white male wage premium in this country that's very real. while it is a cushion and an aspiration allows you to dream and to protect yourself or your family. >> host: in the last minute that we have company working
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class transformed america. i fundamentally believe if we want a more secure economic future. >> guest: i think they will do that by continuing to stand up. sleeping giant, again, thanks so much. >> weigh-in on criminal justice
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reforms and recalled his 19 years in prison. he argues measures to alleviate >> we have a deep and long
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history in this country up under evaluating the work that involves serving people and caring for people so we now have a working class that is much more female and much more people of color than the industrial working class was and that very definition of who is working class is one reason why i think we have seen a real disappearance of the idea of the working class in this country. ..

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