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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  June 20, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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we will have beat argument and about 30 minutes. we will hear from one of the plaintiffs in the case. >> mr. president, thank you very much. i feel deeply honored to be nominated to become the director of the cia. >> learn more about the general david petraeus.
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with more than 150,000 people and every c-span program since 1987, it is washington, your way. >> earlier, sec chairman said the fcc will be laying out new rules to prevent charges in telephone bills. they are placed on bills on the phone carrier as well as third parties. this is half an hour. >> thank you for being here. a very warm welcome to our c- span audience. this morning's discussion about protecting consumers. as families across america are
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struggling to buy groceries, save for the future, and to make ends meet. last month, hourly wages have fallen 1.6%. consumer prices continue to rise. the cpi rose again last month. the economic recovery is slowly gaining traction, rising costs and stagnant wages diminish the purchasing power, making it all the more important for average american family is that they have the tools to avoid unnecessary cost. today, we will discuss what the fcc is doing about cramming. can tell you that we have very little time to spend carefully going over our monthly phone bills line by line to double check every charge.
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if this is hard for us, and mountain what it is like for most american families. -- imagine what it's like for most american families. the fcc has taken steps to protect and in power consumers. the agenda draws on the internet on the 21st century technology to give consumers the information they need to make smart choices. the chairman was here back in october to announce rules to provide consumers with simple and easy to understand tools to prevent a phone built shock. that is when you have a dramatic increase in your payment. he will talk about steps that they will be taking to empower consumers to protect themselves on their phone bills. we are very pleased to welcome the chairman back here.
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let me give you a quick background. the chairman served as chief counsel to former sec chairman. he was an executive in the technology industry working to start, accelerate, and invest in technology and other companies. he was a senior executive at interactive corp.. his career is also rich in social enterprise. it specializes in serving the needs of rain entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses. he served on the in visored board. as an adviser to his harvard law school friend during the presidential campaign, the chairman and urged obama to harness the power of the
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internet, introducing strategies that will change the way campaigns are run for ever. since his appointment in 2009, the chairman has focused on protecting the consumer and ensuring better telecommunications and technology systems work for real american families. by helping them to become aware of their rights as consumers and providing them with the tools to protect themselves against unfair practices. they aim to help american families keep their hard earned money by becoming a savvy consumer. the chairman deserves our thanks for his ongoing efforts to make a positive and long-lasting effect -- impact on the livelihood of american families. please join me in welcoming him. >> happy father's day to everyone here.
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i see some nice new ties in the audience. i am pleased to be back. i was here last october to announce the launch of a major new effort to crack down on bill shocke. when mobile subscribers see their bills jumped unexpectedly by a lot of money, thousands of dollars for -- from one month to the next. i said that our efforts were part of our consumer empowerment agenda. it is focused on harnessing technology and transparency to empower consumers with the information they need to make smart decisions and make the market work. the day after that announcement, the commission voted to move forward toward an automatic alert system that allows consumers to avoid surprise over the charges. that process is on track and i expect we will see a practical
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solution -- a bicycle solution in place. the commission took strong action to deter the mystery of fees. they mysteriously can appear on consumer phone bills and are usually on authorized by the customer. we investigated reports that verizon wireless had charged 15 million customers improper mystery fees. at the conclusion of the investigation, and they agreed to repay the consumers more than $50 million in overcharges. to make a $25 million payment to the u.s. treasury, the largest settlement in the history of the sec. -- fcc. we have proposed higher fines for companies that have taken millions of dollars from consumers through unauthorized fees. we're taking new steps to educate consumers about cramming.
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tomorrow, i will circulate to my colleagues on the commission, an item that will empower consumers to better protect themselves from cramming. bees are important next steps. -- these are important next steps. the cramming party can be the customer's phone provider or an unaffiliated third party. the improper charges ton before the voice mail or long-distance service that the consumer did not request, and they can also be for unrelated items. we have seen people getting on authorized charges for the yoga
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class is, cosmetics, diet products, psychic hotline memberships. these improper charges typically range from $1.99 to $19.99 a month. may be small for any specific unauthorized charge, but it can add up to real money when so many americans are trying to get bite and struggling in this tough economy. these industry fees are often buried in bills that can run 20 pages. they are often labeled with hard to decipher descriptions. we looked at one last week that was an author is -- unauthorized long-distance charge. what appeared on the bill was usbi. these charges can go undetected
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for months or more. sometimes they are never detected. only one in 28 cramming the victim's ever noticed the charges. as a result, consumers get billed out of hundreds of dollars or more. it is simply unacceptable. we must do whatever we can to protect consumers from getting nickel and dime to by these unfair practices. anyone can be a victim of cramming. we estimate that this problem may affect up to 20 million americans a year. people like a st. louis woman who was charged for 25 months of long distance services she never authorized or use. when she protested the charges, the company sent her a copy of the former that she had
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supposedly used to authorize the service. the form had a different name, a different address, different e- mail address, and different birth dates. even so, the long-distance company offered to credit that only a fraction of the cost. cramming is not only illegal, it erodes consumer trust in communications services. it makes it both unfair and -- to consumers who are getting ripped off and unfair also to most communication companies that do the right thing every day. the fcc will not tolerate cramming and mystery fees, will not tolerate unauthorized charges, and we are turning up the heat on companies that ripped off consumers. at the end of last week, the commission, acting on our
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enforcement investigation and recommendation, proposed $11.7 million in fines against four companies that appear to have engaged in widespread cramming. the enforcement bureau found that each of these companies was charging thousands of consumers for a type of long-distance service they never ordered or used. this resulted in the parent overcharging of consumers to the tune of about $8 million. this commission action was bipartisan, it was unanimous, and we all want to send a clear message. if you charge consumers unauthorized fees, you will be discovered and you will be punished. we also want to communicate to consumers that they should be vigilant in protecting themselves from grammars. the statistic that i mentioned before, that tells us that something is wrong.
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consumers can play a part to in addressing that. consumers should review their bills every month. i know we do not have the time, but it is worth the money. review your bill and did you see potential unauthorized charges or discrepancies, reports that your phone company. it can be hard to stock -- spot. that is why we are issuing a consumer tip sheet on cranny. it will be available today on it provides a series of questions that you can ask yourself. derecognize the names of all the companies listed on the bill? -- do i recognize the names of all the companies listed on the bill? are there rates i am being charged consistent with what i signed up for? we encourage consumers but think
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that something is wrong on their bill to contact the companies that are billing them for the third parties that are putting on charges, and request adjustments to their bill. if you need help resolving your dispute, contact us. you can contact the fcc at consumer complaints served as the foundation for last week's enforcement action. they play a -- an important role in protecting consumers. as to events like this that get the word out that if you read of consumers, you'll get caught and punished. i am also announcing not tomorrow, i will be circulating a proposal to my colleagues on a commission to explore new ways to empower consumers and protect
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against cramming. the commission is united in believing that companies that put its unauthorized charges on bills must be punished and i believe we will be united in crafting sensible rules that empower consumers with the ability to make the market work. the steps we will proposal to increase transparency and smart disclosure. steps that are part of our larger effort to, one that we are taking across-the-board. i believe that technology driven transparency, technology driven smart transparency is critical to empowering consumers to make informed choices. i am pleased that other parties are looking into this issue of cramming, including the senate commerce committee, the federal trade commission, and a number of states.
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i welcome chairman rockefeller'' call for a hearing on this issue. i look forward to working with all of these parties. our work on cramming, bill shot, mystery fees, and other issues like this are all part of our larger consumer empowerment agenda, which focuses on empowerment, education, and enforcement. consumer empowerment and protection are among the commission's highest priorities, along with promoting competition, innovation, and job creation. these go hand-in-hand. once again, the strong staff of the fcc has done great work. on behalf of all consumers, i think our enforcement bureau and our consumer governmental affairs euro, -- bureau. we have achieved, the deputy
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chief, and they will be joining me up here in a minute. today, we are saying loud and clear to consumers tried to navigate the complexity and constantly changing communications landscape, the fcc is on your side. we're focused on helping all americans seized the tremendous opportunities of communications technology. thank you very much. happy to take some questions. >> [inaudible] thank you very much. i think your colleagues are going to join you, that is great. these are questions some of them have come from members of the audience. i will go through these. let me start with -- is there a way that i can block companies from putting charges on my phone
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bill? >> if you did not sign up for something, it -- if you do not sign up for something, there should not be anything on your phone bill. is there an opt-in mechanism so that nothing ever appears on your phone bill without prior consent? >> when they call a company and notice they have been subject to a craming charge, their land line provider will offer third- party charges. this is something that you can explore with your carrier. most carriers do have the technical ability to block a third party charges at your request. >> great. these are two related questions. what would you do if you think you have been crammed?
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how did you file a complaint? >> if you think that you have and i advise t-- people to look at your bills. there is no substitute for looking at your bills and seeing if there is something there that is suspicious. if you find something there that is suspicious, starts by calling the company. you can call the third-party charge, that company, the phone number should be on the bill. or call your phone company. in many cases, that will resolve it. if that does not work, call the fcc, 1-888-call-fcc. we have a complaint centers set up and we will take appropriate action. either something that we will look into, investigate.
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the for multimillion-dollar fines that we issued last week started with consumer complaints coming in to the fcc. if the complaint concerns something that is not within the jurisdiction, we will refer its to the agency that has jurisdiction. >> the one thing i would add is that one of the things that the fcc does that many people are not aware of, is that we will not only listen to your complaints, we will act. we have dozens of people to handle calls and are very skilled at helping to get a dialogue going between you and your plan or your phone carrier. if you are having trouble getting satisfaction from them. we urged people to take advantage of that service. >> just a word of thanks for the employees who do this.
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we have a terrific staff of people who operate our call centers. we have a mixture of people you been doing it for a long time and they have seen patterns. it can help them act efficiently. we also have newer people coming through. we're proud of the team that we have. they do excellent work. >> if you mentioned yoga fees -- there are charges that is telling your phone company that you bought a service when you have not purchased it. i was a little bit confused bj [inaudible] some of these charged -- i was a little confused. if i get to a yoga charged on my phone bill, i know is unauthorized. that is an easy example. you really sad that the answering your question. some charges that are improper
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charges are charges that your phone carrier itself might put on. some of the charges can come from third parties. there can be at least a couple of different types of third parties. the third party might be long distance companies, voice-mail companies, companies that are within the jurisdiction. the four companies that we issued notices on last week are in that category. would note company'ies be in hard jurisdiction. if we got that call, we would refer that to the federal trade commission. between us and the federal trade
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commission, we look at making sure that we have a landscaped covered. we have a joint fcc-ftc task force on consumer issues to make sure that we are in power and consumers. -- empowering consumers. we make sure that nothing is calling for the >>. -- through the cracks. >> if i get a charge on my credit cards, but i do not think i am post, and they do not make me pay it. are there similar procedures and for phone companies? >> there is nothing formal.
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there is nothing like this in this space. we have seen a variety of practices. there are cases where consumers complain and they are made will fairly quickly. there are other cases that are out of the investigation -- people have had charges month after month that added up to 200, 300, more than $400. they would have to go to the state public utilities commission to get satisfaction. there is a large -- there is a wide variety of practices. we think that consumers to have been subject to cramming should be able to [inaudible] >> you are circulating an item to empower consumers. >> this would be a proposal sent to the other commissioners to look at ways that we can improve disclosure and transparency on
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phone bills to help consumers do what we are asking them to do. one of the complaints we hear from consumers is that even when they look through a bill, the unauthorized charge can be hidden. we will be looking at that together at the commission so that we can empower consumers and make it difficult for unscrupulous companies to get away with what they try to do. >> i have a couple more here. is cramming also happening on internet or cable billing? does this only apply to your phone bill? >> their record that we have so far shows significant problems around telephone service. that is so we are focusing on. we want to focus were there is a
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problem and where we no government action is appropriate to tackle it. we are monitoring the other areas. we certainly encourage consumers to let us know if there are complaints. if anyone who is thinking of cramming in other services should be aware that if we see evidence of a problem, we will attack it. >> are listed services -- are listed service is a type of cramming? this person says, my charges range from $1.89 to $3.15. >> i do not remember as coming across that particular one. our advice to be the same. abc a charge that you do not think you authorized -- if you see a charge on your bill and you do not think you authorized it, call your carrier.
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>> this is another question about if you have the capacity to anticipate -- put yourself in the mindset of the clamor for a second. -- crammer for a second. is there an effort made to target these practices to particular consumers? does it seem to be a blanket practice? >> we are not aware of any particular targeting, but there is something about the way they operate that is poor and to understand. -- that is important to understand. all they need is your telephone number. a woman asked to see the supposed authorization form and it had a different name, date of birth, address, and e-mail. that is not a unique situation. the companies are supposed to
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get your authorization. we have another case where a company told the woman that she had authorized the charge on line and a response was, i do not own a computer. they technically can do this simply by having your phone number. that is a very important thing to realize. it shows just how open consumers are to this kind of illegal activity. >> it is also by this process of finding companies -- fining companies is important. the companies need to understand that we're trying to catch them. if we catch them, they will pay a very large fines. hundreds of millions of dollars. we're not going to let it be a good business to rip off consumers. >> i added couple of questions that are related. there are multiple agencies and
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the federal government that have jurisdiction over consumer practices. what is being done to create a more seamless web of both regulation and enforcement? >> working together at inappropriate coroneted ways. the task force that week -- working together in an appropriate way. we have very well-worn practices. we will refer to the justice department and in the last two years, there has been criminal enforcement actions that came out of our referrals. there are historical reasons why improper conduct are handled by
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different agencies. congress may or may not -- we jointly have an obligation to coordinate, to cooperate, and to make sure that it is seamless from the perspective of consumers. >> i think that is the last of the questions. i want to give you a chance to say anything, closing remarks. >> thank you very much. we regard this as very important. protecting consumers is a part of our mission. we see every day the tremendous benefits that communication technology and services can bring to consumers, particularly in these economic times. there is no sector that can contribute more to economic growth and job creation. a lot of that turns on consumers having confidence in communication services. it is one of the biggest
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barriers we see to adoption. it is one of the reasons that we make this a priority. consumer protection is a priority, but also because we see a straight line between getting this right and job creation and economic growth. thank you, everyone. >> thank you. [applause]
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>> jon huntsman will officially announce he is running for president tomorrow. he will make the announcement at the liberty state park in new jersey and use the statue of liberty as a backdrop. president ronald reagan spoke there in 1980 when he was running for president. live coverage at 10:00. several of president obama as ambassador nominees will testify before the senate foreign relations committee. they include four in it -- former ambassador to pakistan break -- to pakistan. live coverage its underway at 10:00. >> the supreme court ruled today that a gender discrimination lawsuit against walmart cannot
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proceed as one large class- action. that is a victory for the discount retailer and other corporations. the justices all agreed that the lawsuit against walmart could not proceed as a class action in its current form, which reversed a lower-court decision. in a separate 5-4 votes, the court said the plaintive did not have enough in common to pull all their claims in a single case. here is the argument from march. the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the cohesion requirements as reflected in commonality and adequacy requirements.
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plaintiffs highly individualized claims for monetary relief failed to satisfy the edification of a mandatory class. regarding will 23-8, because the plaintiffs' claims hinge on the delegation of discretion to individual managers throughout the country, they cannot meet the cohesion requirements. the delegation of discretion is the opposite of cohesive claims that are common to everyone in the class. the common policies are neutral and not argue to be discriminatory, or they are not discriminatory. the company has a very strong policy against discrimination. its corporate headquarters had learned that the subjective decision making or the delegation of decision making to the field was resulting in
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several discriminatory practices, the decentralized process was leading to a disk -- discrimination, that could be attributed to the policy adopted by headquarters. >> no, your honor. if there was a pattern at a particular store -- in one >> they have thousands of stores. every week, they get a report from another store. there is an allegation of gender discrimination. at some point, can they conclude that it is their policy of decentralizing decision making that is causing or permitting that discrimination? >> that would be an inquiry. i do not think it would rise to a pattern or a common policy. companies do look at the situation throughout the company and seek to root out discrimination. it would take more than some report, especially in a company
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that has so many stores. the plaintiffs claim simply are not typical. they are supposed to represent a million or more people and stand in judgment. to represent all of those people. the claim is that the individual decision makers in those other cases exercise their discretion in a way that was biased. >> it reminds me of our rule under 1983. would you think that we could use that as an analog to determine whether or not there is a common question? >> the catalog is that if a company had a policy of discrimination, and it was --
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saw a pattern throughout the companies because of gender continued to allow the patterns to -- >> there is a show of deliberate indifference to the violation. would that be a policy? >> deliberate indifference raises a different question. the test would be, was the company not allowing discrimination to occur because of gender? there is no evidence of that here. >> is there any responsibility -- the number has been what was left out so far. the company gets reports month after month showing that women are disproportionately passed
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over for promotions. there is a pay gap between men and women doing the same job. isn't there some responsibility on the company to say, isn't there an obligation to stop that? >> yes. there is an obligation to ensure -- for a company to do its best to ensure that there are not wage gaps. one looks at the abrogated statistics. it points to a completely different issue. it does not show that there were gender gaps at the store among coffers of people. that is the fundamental flaw in their case. their argument is that individual decision makers for making stereotyped decisions and that had a common effect.
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date is added everything together. they have not shown a pattern across the map. >> i thought there experts did not abrogate them together. he did regionally, not store by store. he performed in the number of controlled variables comparisons, including job history, and other things and found the disparity could not be explained on any of the normal variables that one would expect. the disparity was much higher than the competitors of walmart, and what they were paying their labor force. what if speculative about that?
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why is that kind of statistical analysis inadequate to show a policy of some sort? >> they did in national aggression and estimated the regional results. he did not do a regional regression. even if he has, at the statistics go more to the merits. we have a strong argument on the merits, responding to those statistical arguments. >> that begs the -- -- that begs a legal question. what the district court concluded that on the basis of your experts, he discounted because your expert was basing analysis on premises that the court found not to acceptable, that there was enough here. after a rigorous analysis.
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what is the standard that the court should use in upsetting that conclusion? >> the district judge did not discount walmart's expert. it was not the stage in which to make a determination. the standard would be the standard that the second circuit adopted. there needs to be a choice. there has to be some demonstration that there is a common effect throughout the system. our experts show that at 90% of the store, there was no pay disparity. the plaintiffs in is to come forward with something that showed that there was this miraculously recurrent to every decision across every store of stereotyping. the evidence does not show that. the other problem is on the cohesion analysis is the tip fatality inquiry. each of the plaintiffs have very
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different stories. one of them was promoted into a managerial position. one was terminated for disciplinary violations. one was promoted and and was demoted. in each of these cases, they would have to show that they were treated differently. >> what do you think is the difference between the standard that the district court was required to apply at the certification stage? whether there was a companywide policy and the standard that would be applied on the merits. >> at the certification stage, the plaintiff did not have to prove there was an actual policy of discrimination. did these tended to point to a policy that was a common that linked all of these individuals,
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the locations together. their argument is that the common policy -- that is not commonality. >> i do not think that is quite fair. the common policy was one of complete subjectivity. it was one of using factors that allowed gender discrimination to come into all employment decisions. we suggested that was a policy, in a policy of using subjective factors only when making those decisions. that is exactly the policy that was alleged here. >> they did not argue that it was entirely subjective. they argued that it was accepted subjectivity and that there were general overarching company's standards that control its. on page 13, they said the
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discussion was indicted. three pages later, they say was guided by these nondiscriminatory policies. it is an incoherent theory. >> client merrill bit confused as to why -- i guess i am a little bit confused. >> and watson, the court did suggest to the subjective decision making could be challenged. there needs to be the identification of a specific practice within the policy. title 7 does not govern policy, it governs practices. subjectivity is not a practice, wal-mart has a combination objective and subjective standards. within that, the plaintiffs have pointed to some criteria.
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people with a great personality, they are the ones will push up. they were trying to tie that to an impact. >> there was a case in the 1970's, and it was a class action against at&t for promotion to middle management. what was at issue there was in the end, the final step was a total person task. women disproportionately flunked. the idea was not at all complicated. that was found -- it was found
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to be in violation of title 7. this sounds quite similar. it is not subjective. you have an expert's -- i know you have some questions about the experts. you have an expert saying that the gender bias can creep into a system simply because of the natural phenomenon that people tend to feel comfortable with people like themselves. >> this is not like the total person tests. but that is a very good example of something that could be a practice. if you had a case where a particular decision making units and you had disparate results in that unit comment -- units, it they would have a much stronger case for a class action.
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the sociologists who is the glue that is supposed to hold this class together says he could not tell if stereotyping was occurring one-half of one% or 95% or at all. every decision maker active in the same manner and a way that had the same -- the same interest and the same injury. that assumption is not supported by the record. that is why there is not this cohesion that is necessary to protect the rights of the class members. >> that suggest that plaintiffs would have to demonstrate discrimination in every individual case. that has never been a lot. all the plaintiffs have to demonstrate that there is a practice or a policy of
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subjectivity that on hold, results in discrimination against women. not bad each one of these women were discriminated dance. >> that is correct, your honor. we are not -- work discriminated against. >> there must be approved by the standard operating procedure of discrimination. it is undisputed that wal-mart's policy was anti-discrimination. you are correct that each person does not have to come forward. the other big problem here is that the district judge said in phase 2, under teamsters, walmart would not be in -- women would not be able to come forward t.
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the plaintiffs are trying to cut off half of the teamsters framework, which is due process. title 7 states very clearly that only victims of discrimination -- >> what happens to the damages claim of an individual woman who as part of this class if this class prevails? >> if the class prevailed, the claim would be resolved. it is unclear what the district court had in mind. >> would she be eligible for only back pay it? compensatory damages as well? >> the plaintiffs retain compensatory claims for themselves.
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that is a fundamental -- >> with the woman with a claim for compensatory damages be able to sue after the class prevail? >> she would not be because that would of been part of the -- >> even though she could have not received notice and not had an opportunity to opt out? >> that is the problem. this case did to be looked at under rule 23-b3. it was created for this sort of circumstance, the growing edge of the law. the language speaks of injunctive -- >> i thought your position was that this could not be certified. >> the played this role will not be able to satisfy those provisions. that is why they brought it under 23-b2.
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>> if their claim is that they are seeking declaratory relief against a discriminatory case or pattern and practice case, wouldn't that have value? within that the value be standing alone without the damage is a component? the plan does that come in later have a presumption that -- the plaintiffs that come in later have a presumption to prove that there was a nondiscriminatory reason. >> there could be a benefit from an injunction of the plaintiffs met the standards. the end of the alleged damage claims -- individualized damage claims --
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>> why couldn't you separate out the issues of whether monetary damages have enough common facts in law? >> some courts have done that. that can raise other complications. that is at least a possibility, and it would be better than this. >> would you address them separately for me? tell me why a b2 class couldn't exist? is your attack merely that the monetary component of this, the back pay, why that cannot be
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separated out and put into the b3? >> the injunctive relief claims still has significant problems. on the adequacy point, this case include at least 544 store managers that are alleged to be discriminators. if that is not a conflict, i do not know what is. the women who are compelled to be in the class, and they cannot opt out. their current employees, former employees, their cut across every position and the country. there is no demonstration that they are being affected in a common way. because of the nature of the plaintiff's case, the notion of the common policy being given discretion --
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>> correct me if i'm wrong, but i thought that the district judge said that the class members would get noticed and have an opportunity to opt out. a member of the classy wants to go for compensation -- of the class who wants to go for compensation could opt out. >> its and punitive damages back. that would simplify things because there would not have to be noticed. in back pay, monetary relief for individuals. they were not a party. this court talk about fundamental rules, that an individual is not bound by a
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judgment. we need a crisp rules with sharp corners in this area. that is why we think it needs to be rule 23-b3. >> are you talking about any monetary relief? you are claiming that monetary relief includes equitable relief. >> yes, your honor. >> the fifth circuit has described a test for it does not use the predominant question, it uses the incidental test. what is wrong with that task? >> that test is much better. the plaintiffs have walked away from the two tests that were applied in the lower court. they have never contended that they could meet the incidental damages test. only automatic back pay that goes to the group as a whole would qualify for that. this is individualized. >> that is where i'm going to
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grade would you accept that incidental test as appropriate to the question of when monetary damages predominate? >> the text is jury clear. -- is very clear. the only ambiguity created is from the advisory committee notes. we do not look to legislative history to create ambiguity. the other parts of the advisory committee notes made very clear that the drafters were concerned about the historical antecedents. the drafters would have been shocked if they had learned that this case, that involves millions of claims, were being saw to be included in the class. the incidental damage test is far superior because it is at least clear and would be closer to a sharper rule.
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>> i would like to go back briefly to the point i made earlier about individual relief and taking away the rights of walmart and the absent class members. the procedures that would be used tear is a typical sampling method. the plaintiffs do not defend that. it would allow a prediction about who might have been hurt, who -- how many might have been hurt. the district court precluded the fundamental teamsters hearings which would allow the defendant to show that it did not discriminate on an individual basis. it would allow individuals to have their day in court it
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violates title 7. it shows some of the core flaws of the case. >> what if the class does not prevail? does that bar an individual woman at a particular wal-mart from bringing the same claims? >> yes, your honor. class actions -- the bigger the class action, the better. the class will win. none of those presumptions can be counted on. if they try to bring a case, there would be significant questions. it is not fair to anyone to put this all into one big class. >> you are not suggesting that they would be precluded on individual discrimination claims? >> no, your honor. that might pose a different question. >> what if it were the same
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theory? the reason this person was able to discriminate is that they had total subject of discussion in the hiring. >> there would be a real problem. i would like to reserve my remaining time for rebuttal. >> thank you. >> make it please the court, this case follows from the teamster models of a series of discrimination and as a consequence, there is no requirement to have a formal policy of discrimination here. >> what would the injunctions look like? >> it would look like a series of remedial measures that would direct walmart to provide more detailed criteria by which to make pay and promotion
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decisions in a way that has not been true of to now. it would provide for -- to hold managers accountable for decisions they make. it would insure affected oversight of these pay and promotion decisions in a way the company -- the company didthe ce information that is rarely submitted about payment decisions. and they took no action. that allowed these problems to fester. >> on this scale, there is the subjective process that is illegal? >> if this were -- how many stores are we talking about? >> several thousand stores. how many examples of abuse of the subject of discrimination delegation needs to be shown before you can say that in the
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policy rather than the bad actors, we are going to have some bad apples. >> we have examples in the record. >> how many examples to you need to have? if someone wrote one letter as saying that the store was discriminating, this cannot be enough to support the theory. >> we have not submitted this theory. >> the teamsters are an example, with about 40 examples. but they were not required. in order to establish a practice of liability, in order to have a practice of liability, if that is the case, teamsters -- they hold that what you need to do is show that there was a sufficient disparity to create an inference
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of discrimination with respect to this practice. >> is it true that the disparity is less than the national average at wal-mart? >> i do not know that this is a fair comparison. the position that they have advanced makes no comparisons, and this is with the general population and not the people in retail. they want to make certain that the managers to not make payment decisions because of gender, and the comparison that is relevant as between men and women of wal- mart and not the general population that includes people are in retail, railroad workers and all kinds of other people. this is not the appropriate comparison. >> what is the unlawful policy and that they have adopted under your theory of the case? >> the theory that we have is
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that wal-mart provided to their managers unchecked discretion in how things were addressed, this and this was used to pay women less than men who were doing the same work at the same facilities at the same time, even though those women had higher seniority and performance, providing fewer opportunities for promotion. >> the complaint goes in two directions. you said that the headquarters knows everything that is going on. and then you say the supervisors have too much discretion. it seems to be inconsistent. i am not certain what this unlawful policy is. >> there is no inconsistency, in that is inconsistent with their own personnel procedures.
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they have the discretion that is very discreet, and we're not attacking every part of these payments and promotion decisions. there are specific features of this process but are discretionary. with respect to the discretion, every store provides the same level of discretion, but the company also has all of these respects. the purpose of this is to make certain that in these different stores, the decisions of the managers will be informed by the values that the companies provide. it is a form of poor treatment
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because they're making these decisions based on gender, and we have evidence -- as well as the statistical results. >> on the one hand you say that the problem is that they were utterly subjective, and then you say that there is a strong corporate culture, that guides all of this. the individual supervisors are left on their own, where there is a strong corporate culture that will tell them what to do. this is a broad discretion, but they do not make these decisions in a vacuum. they do this in the company. >> you see that there is no discretion? >> they are given this discretion been formed by the company about how to exercise this discretion. >> if someone tells you how to
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exercise discretion, you do not have discretion. >> the bottom line is that they did not do this and the results show that consisted dispersing the discrepancy. >> what do you know about the unchallenged fax -- facts that they had an announced policy against sexual discrimination, so that this was not totally subjective at the managerial level. you make hiring decisions but you do not make them on the basis of gender. is this not a simple policy of the company? >> this was a written come -- a written policy but this was not affectively shown to the managers. >> we have evidence of, for instance, at the sam walton institute where every manager has to be trained, they have a response to a question, why are
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there so few women in management? the answer is that men are more aggressive in seeking advancement. this is provided to everyone going to the management training program, and they will inform their decisions with this when they have the discretion to make promotions. >> and this causes them to discriminate on the basis of sex? how could this possibly cause them to discriminate on the basis of sex? >> they have and intention to take this into account. they do this when they make their decisions. there is a stereotype that women are less aggressive when it comes to assessing the suitability for promotion. >> this is just an assessment of why the percentage is different, if not only at wal-
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mart, but throughout the industry. to say this is the explanation is not telling your people not to promote women. >> there have been women promoted. but justice scalia, i think that the questions that you are raising, are questions that they can raise at trial. the question at this juncture is about whether there are questions -- we have identified what has been recognized as a common policy. the fact that at this juncture -- we have shown this to satisfy commonality, we have the means to show this to the testimony, with the other evidence that we
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can provide a connection between these two. >> you have shown that despite the fact of an explicit written, a central policy of no discrimination against women, do you think you have shown that this policy is a fraud, and that what is really going on is that there is a central policy that promotes discrimination? >> we have testimony in the record from the vice-president of the company that this policy was lit service at the company. we have testimony -- >> we were talking about certifying the class. you may well lose on every one of these things. 23-a standards are not supposed
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to be difficult to overcome. >> i am sorry. >> the problem in this case, how do you work out the back pay? we get to this threshold, 23-b- 2. the judge says that there is no way to possibly try each of these individuals. how are you going to calculate the back pay? >> the approach that was endorsed by the district court, that we recommended has been endorsed over four years, is that the circumstances which are the exception to the rule, where the company had no standards, i
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wish to make promotion and payment decisions, they kept no records of the people being promoted and the reasons why they paid certain amounts of money. as a consequence, the team's decision made it clear that the district court, upon the finding of liability is to attempt to reconstruct the decision that would have been made in the absence of discrimination. the district court says here, that the more reliable method for doing this is to use the formula relying on the robust database in which wal-mart captures seniority and a host of other job-related variables on pay and promotion decisions, and permits a comparison, a very concise comparison, rather than
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having this based on memories -- >> what if you had a company with a very clear policy in favor of equal treatment of men and women? the answer your question was that managers discriminate against women, in hiring and promoting. they have the suggested delegation system. do you have a class of women who were harmed by this subjective policy, even though it is clear that the policy of the corporation favored in employment opportunities? >> if they were as clear as the hypothetical suggests, the company had a policy of that sort and it was inappropriate to seek summary judgment. >> you see that this is not enough that this be a subjective decision.
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in 1000 stores, you will find a number who are exercising their subjective judgment in a way that violates the right to equal treatment. can you bring a class of people as a result of this policy? >> mika bling -- you could bring the glass case, but you would have to bring the people who were subject to discrimination as a consequence of that unchecked discretion. we should not lose sight of the fact of evidence of results from this that are extraordinary. >> this is the law or the fact, giving -- given the trading the central management knew, and the fact about what people say and how they behave -- and given the
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results, the central management knew or should have known, should central management have withdrawn some of the subjective discretion ordering to stop these results? >> this is a fair way to put this. >> is this something that every woman here shares in common. >> they have all been the subject, to this very broad discretion. >> the district does say that -- some people get a windfall from the back pay. >> the judge did not find this. what he found was that the formula, and the formula we tend to use is a regression analysis and we permit the comparison between each woman, the amount that she was paid, taking into
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account performance in seniority, and you'll find that there were women who were not underpaid and they should get no back pay. >> i thought that his point was not simply that women are not underpaid, but if you have the individual case, the implore it -- employer might show that this person was fired or disciplined and was not of any back pay. he compares favorably to a male peer. >> the kind of factors that enter into this economic model, performance in particular, should captured a somebody should have been fired. this is a very important part of
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the model that permits people -- and the evidence shows that women had a higher performance than men but were still under paid. >> doesn't glass include both those women who were underpaid, and those women who were not underpaid? as the class include both of them and this is commonality? >> every class has some portion of the membership who were not harmed by discrimination. but what is common about them is that they were subject to the same highly discretionary decision making, and is still leads to a question, to the class. >> i thought the teamsters case was an action by the government, and not a class action case. >> this is the paradigm that we use to determine what we need to
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establish with a pattern of discrimination. >> help me with this if you can. let's suppose that the expert testimony established that the industry generally, -- women are discriminated against by mathematical factors. you have a company with a very specific policy against discrimination. and you look at the way employees are treated and you find a disparity by that same mathematical factor. does this give you a cause of action? >> the disparity with -- that the women are subjected to, is this the same as in society? they do have to deal with discrimination? >> the responsibility of the company is to ensure its managers did not make safe
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promotion decisions. if the comparison comes between the pay that women receive, who were similarly situated to men with in the company, is such that they are underpaid, compared to similarly situated men in the company, the company would have a legal responsibility on its side, regardless of what happens in the rest of the industry. >> and this would be true even without delivered in difference? >> i do not know about the standard of deliberate indifference. i think with the court's decision -- >> there is no deliberate indifference for this, can he still proceed? >> announcing a policy by saying -- did not discriminate, if this were to be affected against liability with class actions, i
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imagine every company would have free license to discriminate as much as possible. >> the question seems to be that this typical company would be in violation. that is with the academic literature is on which were theory is based. >> i think it is not just academic literature, i did this is the premise behind teamsters. and makes it clear that he did not look to populations outside the company. >> this is typical of the entire american workforce. and let's say that every single company had exactly the same profile. and then you would say every company is in violation. >> i think title 7 holds the companies responsible for the actions that they take with
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respect to their employees. the industries of 30 or 40 years ago, the entire industry may have had evidence of discrimination. there be a negligence said under this statute, >> what is your answer, to assume that there is a disparity between the best of women and men, this can only be contributed to sexual discrimination? otherwise, how could she said that all these companies are engaging in these kinds of discrimination? >> in this instance, it is not just any old analysis that we are using. we isolate and take into account the factors, such as performance and seniority.
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>> it may well be that every industry in the united states is guilty of sexual discrimination. unless there is equality of promotion for men and women. >> i did not take this position. i would make clear that there are other companies, where they were behind the other retailers, this is not mean the company is any less liable for discrimination in their own workplace. i have no reason to think the entire society is engaging in employment discrimination. >> can we go back to the remedial question? you have described the kind of formula that you would use. when is the formula approached?
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>> we should leave the district court in the first instance. it would include whether or not you have the kind of information that we do here, from the data base with which to be more reliably construct the kinds of decisions that would be made in the absence of discrimination. there could be companies with better records or more substantial standards to have those individual hearings. i am not attending that you could always use a formula approach with connection to these cases. the evidence that they have kept with no standards -- because of the numbers, we could not possibly have a hearing in each case, that a particular
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woman was of back pay. >> the district court did make the comment that the sheer number of class members would make individual hearings difficult. but the district court went on, >> this is more than difficult. >> he may have said that this is impossible. but the district court made specific findings about the extent to which the particular records here show that the use of a formula would be more reliable than individual hearings. >> i am little bit confused. you see the individual hearing is impossible, but that is what you say that you will do and you say that through your statistical model, you will identify those women who deserved pay raises.
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what this does not answer is when in this process, the defendant is going to be given an opportunity to defend against that finding? these suggest the district court would prevent a defendant, when there is no intention alley with of keeping the records, that they were intended to stop these women from collecting their money, except for. when did they get a chance at the individual hearing? >> wal-mart will have many chances with the arguments over which variables to use. there was an argument already about which variables to use and the impact on whether women are shown to be underpaid or under promoted. wal-mart will have this opportunity.
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>> it seems like you are saying the only opportunity will be on the model, and they will not show any individual efforts -- evidence if a particular decision is not made. >> if they come forward and they have not done so so far, and campers with the district court that in a way that is consistent with a reliable determination of who should have been paid what and promoted, -- you are not answering me. when you say is that we will preclude them from doing anything but offering a mathematical model, because it will be too hard for individual hearings. >> i am not saying this. wal-mart has a chance to make the case that they wish to make. they can reconstruct these
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decisions more reliably in a subjective environment and offer evidence in certain circumstances. i do not believe that they'll be able to do this. >> it takes evidence to establish that it is more reliable to have a hearing with evidence on a particular promotion or dismissal of the individual, that is more reliable than using, i don't care how admirable a case you make, is this a question? >> i believe that this. >> it is not the judicial system, it is the record keeping of the company, and the record- keeping, that means 10 years later, these managers will come forward to speculate about what they did 10 years earlier with no records to cross-examine them on. this is not the model for a
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reliable adjudication. >> we should use this in the jury trial, we should put a statistical model before the jury. is this really due process? >> the circuits that have been considering this for 40 years -- in a narrow set of circumstances that we have here, with a record loss decisions, -- >> if there are no standards or records, why is there commonality? there is a flaw in your case with commonality. >> the aspect with no standards -- is trying to reconstruct these decisions years later. i have said before that we have a common policy represents a common question.
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we have shown evidence that would show a pattern or practice under teamsters, and we have satisfied three components of commonality. >> one thing you have not touched on is to have this question, if it is limited to this territory. if you call the notes of the advisory committee, if damages to dominate, and you cannot do this. one factor is that half of the class is gone. they're not interested in injunctive relief. but everyone is interested in money. why do you say that the injunction -- the damages are
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lesser when this could be the other way around? >> nobody knows this, because they continue to have more employees added to the company. more importantly, the advisory committee makes it clear that whether or not an action or inaction with the statement of the second class -- and doesn't depend on the number of people adversely affected by the action. and as a consequence, the former employees would be included in the class because the question is not on a daily basis, who should have been in the position to reach the
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employment. >> you have four minutes remaining. >> thank you, mr. chief justice. mr. sellars has made it clear, wal-mart would never have the opportunity to prove that they did not discriminate against the woman seeking back pay. the district court did not suggest that this would be difficult, the district court said that he found this would be impossible, not just because of the number of people but the nature of the claims. this discretionary decision was being implemented in a way that affect different people differently, and the problem here is that the records are not available. then he said we will have a proceeding with the district judge, only on the record that he says is inadequate. this is not a process that
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comports with due process and it takes away the rights of wal- mart under title 7, injuring the rights of the individual women. >> you are not content that the plaintiff, if the policy fights discrimination, the woman could not say that they put an x in. i had far superior job ratings, with no criticisms of my work, and i was not promoted. would this not be enough to show that the policy shows a lack of selection, and your personal data base has this, so why is it -- is impossible to try these cases under different issues? >> what you have just outlined, we agree a woman should be able to say this.
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the records don't show what really happened. i was a better employee. under the plaintiff's theory, they have thrown out the window. wal-mart would not be able to say this person was a terrible employee. on the record is not impossible to create these decisions. there are declarations that she violated company policy, and that she was fired for infractions to keeping her hours. >> we have a common issue. wise is not enough to support this? >> there is no dispute about the policies -- this is just cert. my question, how cannot have
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this based on the injunction? >> this policy affects everyone differently. these plaintiffs are not typical, and they did not argue that everyone was affected the same way. maybe some men or women stereotyped in the other directions. maybe the plaintiffs or female store managers. generalization is what stereotyping is supposed to prevent. if there is no way for a fair process here, on the policy question, the plaintiffs talk about the general policy, but the one policy they cannot confront is a policy against discrimination. this was not just a written policy on paper. they laid out the very aggressive efforts by the company -- >> what about the vice president
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who said that this was window dressing? >> this is what he said. he testified about the diversity goals of the company at the time to get more women into management. he said until they had communization of managers, -- he wanted to be more aggressive. his goals were 20% and other people's work at hand. >> i think he is just making their point, that you started paying women the same as men they would get more diversity. this is the whole issue. >> thank you counsel, the case is submitted. >> that was the wal-mart supreme court or real -- oral argument from march. the court ruled that 1 million of the former female employees
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could not pursue a class-action lawsuit for gender discrimination. one of the plaintiffs in the original case talked about her past employment and what led her to join the lawsuit. she spoke at the american association of university women. >> i hope that you enjoyed yourself last evening. i also want to have a special welcome for the audience at c- span, for the national convention. we are happy that you are joining us. i am honored to introduce target -- to introduce our guest for the first discussion this morning, a conversation on justice.
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she serves as the executive director of the equal rights advocates, a civil rights organization dedicated to advancing equal opportunity for women and girls through impact litigation and advocacy. her legal career provides legal representation to those who would not otherwise have access to this. she has litigated over one dozen jury trials, representing juvenile and adults, misdemeanors and felonies. she has represented people on death row, arguing cases before numerous courts including the california supreme court. this is one of the main plaintiff's in the anti discrimination lawsuit. wal-mart vs. dukes.
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[applause] she and her fellow plaintiff argued before the supreme court that wal-mart, the country's largest private employer, systematically discriminated and retaliated against women in hiring, the decision is due any day about whether the case should be qualified for a class action lawsuit representing 25 million other women. but should this be denied? they are working with the plaintiff to make certain that they receive justice.
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>> thank you for being here. we are very happy to talk about this important and very impact will case. let me introduce edith, she has been involved with the class- action lawsuits since the first day, and i can tell you that she is an amazing woman. she has five children and four of them are daughters. let's get started on the conversation. i want her to have the opportunity to tell you how she got involved and how this is impacting not just herself and her daughter, and how this will impact all women across the country and your daughter as
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well. can you tell us about your experience at wal-mart and wife decided to work their? >> my reason for wanting to work out wal-mart was that they had a pitch line, if you want to call it that. they told me that this was a wonderful company that you can work for and if you work hard -- once you come to another camp -- this company, there is no other company want to go to. if you want to be an assistant manager, worked hard and you can achieve that. the sky was the limit as far as where you could go in the company, they just needed dedication and a person to work hard, and this is not something that is way out there.
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>> and did you have prior experience in retail and management? >> i have always been in retail because i love people. the need to serve people is to be in retail. when i went there, i was already in retail years before that. it only took me a couple of weeks to do that. they could see that i was determined, and i was just one of those people would be better in management, in a level like that rather than being on the floor with the other girls. >> how long did you work at wal- mart? >> i worked there for six years. >> can you tell the audience a little bit about the different positions that you held there?
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he started out in management. >> the position i started off with, i did not apply to. and when i looked to the resin in all the paperwork, they said he would be a good personnel manager. i reluctantly took this position. i did this for six or more months in this position. then i went on to be a test scanner, scanning everything to make certain that the price is accurate. then i was putting the information in for the universal product code, and i was also in invoicing, which pays the bills.
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you have to make sure. there was a position i had with the support manager, and this was a buffer in between a regular department manager and a salary manager. >> you did any job that they ask for you to do. >> whenever that they ask me to do, if you show me how to do this, i will do it. >> did you show that you were interested in a management position. was this part of the management team? >> i knew that to be an assistant manager, i wanted to know everything there was to know about the store. i wanted to know what every part of the store, what they did.
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when i became an assistant manager, the cashier said that this happened, i would know they were telling the truth because i had been there. i wanted to know everything in the store to be an effective assistant manager, i wanted to know everything myself. >> to ask to be put in the management training program? >> i did. >> did they acknowledge your request? >> the first time i requested this, that only comes around once or twice per year. then you have to ask your store manager. you want to be put in the assistant manager program.
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i have done this several times. >> was disinformation something that you could read in your handbook? how does it become part of the training program. >> i do not find that there was. the assistant manager program will come up. this is not something that you can actually take a paper, print this out and look this up on the computer. it says that the assistant manager is needed in any particular store. there was no paper work like this at all, this was word of mouth. >> when did you become aware you are not being treated fairly? >> this was a slow process because you do not want to think that you are being treated that way with -- by such a large mit
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company. -- large and mimighty company. [laughter] >> i work hard for that, researching everything i could about being an assistant manager, paying attention to the other system managers. >> did you have to work long hours? >> long hours were a given. my shift was 40 hours, but i would work 45 hours, and i still had children at home, small children. at that time, i have three smaller children. and i knew that was spending a lot of hours, but i had something in mind.
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and that was that i would work hard and get to a system manager position, and it will make up for all those times that i wasn't there for homework, soccer and things like that. >> it is difficult, when you were spending a lot of time at work, you were missing out on things at home. and that one. your husband became ill. you were still at wal-mart and what happened then? >> it was during one of the times when i was the test scanner. that was a major job i did because of inventory in different stores. this one time i was away helping with the inventory, my husband became ill. i did not realize that he was not feeling well.
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i told them, you look horrible, let me take you to the doctor. he said that this was ok. i kept telling him we would go to the doctor. he had something -- and he did not do very well with that. they knew that he was sick, and i would have to take up the slack. this was like a family store as far as the associates. everyone knew that he was sick, and i would have to be the breadwinner in the house, which is ok with me because we are family. he did not do good with this and he passed away a month after this. so of course, you think about all of these things.
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you have to make up for your family. a lot of things go through your mind. >> and you became the sole breadwinner. this motivates you to speak up for yourself? >> at this time, it was just me, and the children. some people take this as a disadvantage, but i did not. i love myself and have to speak up for myself. but it was always -- whatever happens in your house, you keep this in the house and the cat me from saying too much, and as if i don't pick up for myself, how can i teach my children to speak up for themselves.
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once i got to that place there was no turning back. >> use som and promoted to positions that you wanted? >> i saw this often. by the end, it was more of this. at this time i almost had six years, and i found out that you have to be a department manager before you can go into the system manager training. mind you, i was already doing those particular jobs already on a daily basis, and some of these positions, the guys would get them, and sometimes they would have a year of experience but they would get the department manager's job over and over someone -- and some of the
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women were temporary department managers and had been there for six months, and when the gentleman would come in, they would give the position to the men instead of the women, but the woman would have to train the man. >> this must have major upset. >> my thinking was that he had to eat, too. >> eventually left, and you had no idea that there was a lawsuit at that time? >> i was totally blown away. >> she has already filed a claim earlier in 2001 and you became involved later. can you tell us how you became involved? >> there was the 1800 number. this was the hot line. i was thinking to myself, i will
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wait and call, and i thought that this would work out. i waited three weeks-one month and i explain to the hot line, what had happened to me, and that i wanted to speak to somebody, to see if there was something to do. three weeks later, they called me back. they spoke to me and after a couple of meetings, in san francisco, they finally asked me how i found out about the lawsuit. i told them i did not know about the lawsuit, i told them i did not know anything about this. i think that there were more surprised that i did not know. someone else said, they would stick up for themselves. and i said, there are two of us.
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>> and so, you attended the argument this past march. how did you feel about being before the nation's highest court? >> this felt awesome. >> it has been 10 years since the lawsuit has been filed. are you still less committed to the case after 10 years as you were on the first day? >> yes, because what happened 10 years ago -- this didn't changes because of 10 years. this still happens. and yes, i am committed. >> what do you hope to accomplish? >> i want people to know that it does not matter how big they
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are, if you are doing something that's wrong -- my mother would say that you may get by, but you will not get away. they may have gotten by but there will not get away. >> how has life been since leaving wal-mart? >> i am doing ok. this is different. the only hang up i still have is that i one except a full-time job, and the reason is because even though my girls are older, i still have that slight guilt in the back of my mind that i spent some much time away from them, and i don't want to do that. i am only four hours or part-
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time, and i feel good about myself and about my life because i stood up. i sit up for the women to men have had family were spiritual support, to stand up for themselves. this is not easy. >> one last question. is there anything else to tell this audience about the case, or anything to share with our supporters? >> i want to thank you guys. this is so humbling for me. i did not expect this and you could not have given me a buck and said, this will happen, this case. i was just somebody who wanted justice.
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i was the only person to say, i love myself enough to know that this meat -- needs to be made right. all of your support, i don't know how to put this in words. this is so humbling for me, because i did not expect this. and even without support, this would not change what happened to me. i wish this on no other woman or man. i like them, too. i thank you for all of your support, because sometimes when i am up against the wall, and i say i can't, i will not go back to that. sometimes i have to stand still and just take the time until something moves forward.
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you are the support that keeps me. they keep my back as you have done. i appreciate this. i really do. >> we will clout for them, too. >> i don't want to cry. >> we do want to give everyone a chance to ask any questions that you may have. we have two more minutes. if anyone has questions we are happy to let you ask them.
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i want to echo the feelings that she expressed, that we appreciate your support. your financial support and support outside the supreme court from last march, this means a lot to us and it does make a difference. and hard work we have to do on this case. >> are you still working at wal- mart? where are you working part-time? >> she is working in los angeles county, i library in l.a. county. >> you have three daughters to have grown up with this. how are your girls dealing with this. >> my older girls, they did not have too much opinion on this. but i have smaller girls, and
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they are more teenage than their age, they ask me, who taught you how to talk like this, when we were watching it, it was like, who is that lady? >> i think that this is admiration of the of. >> two questions. did wal-mart try to settle with you, and the second question, looking at the female commentators -- they talk about all of the improvements in the workplace. are you aware of what major improvements they may have made? >> as her attorney we don't talk
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about anything related to the lawsuit itself, although i would love to tell you more about that. what i will tell you is that there have been changes made, presumably, although we do not know for certain. when they started to appeal the class certification, we stopped getting information on current practices. the improvements that have been made happened since this lawsuit was filed. and there is the incentive to try to appear as if they are making changes. we don't know if this is actually the case. we would love to push this case to trial to find out what is happening with the company. the improvements have been driven by a public relations firm and the effects of having this lawsuit out there.
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>> i don't think that she sees. should i go ahead? i don't know if you see me back here >> i would just like to know, why does this take 10 years? >> the class was certified many years ago. we are not even at the point of deciding whether the discrimination in fact occurred. we have not even gotten to that point. were we are now is, can these
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women received together as a class? the district court said yes, that can carry the trial court looked and an extensive amount of evidence and decided yes, they have rejiggered treated the same, they can go forward at a class. walmart has appealed that all the way through the ninth circuit. the ninth circuit affirmed that decision several times and now they have appealed it all the way to the in the state supreme court. now we are waiting for an opinion from the court about that, but that is what is taking so long, the amount of appeals that walmart has filed and how vigorously they are fighting this case. >> in 1990, i was fired from a hospital in the washington d.c. area which was owned by a very large corporation.
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that case, it went on for 5.5 years for international labor relations. i had some of the most wonderful young women lawyers that absolutely won the case. when all the way to the supreme court of the united states and was not heard. i went back to that hospital and worked for 12 years until i retired. i understand intimately the courage that it takes and the support of your whole community to sustain on that roller- coaster of appeals and good news, bad news. then your personal life interspersed in there and how you meet all that need -- all those needs, the support of family and friends and organizations. i am so proud to be able to support you through that. [applause]
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>> maryland roberts and. i personally do not trade at walmart because of this case. i wanted to know how many of us actually do. we have about three more minutes. if you have any more questions, please let us know. do we have one in the back there? >> just a quick follow-up -- i am one of those individuals who does not shop at walmart. i was a career counselor for years. repeatedly, in my workshops, i would see women looking at a career change, often just looking for a new job.
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they were walmart associates. i kept hearing the same story of how they were mistreated, so my household stopped shopping at walmart. you have confirmed it was a good decision. [laughter] [applause] >> hello. i am from poland originally, but i have been living in this country for the last 30 years. the last years, i lived in poland, going back and forth. i never liked walmart anyway. and all of these other big malls and things -- i think they -- you get lost in them. you do not get treated in a human way. it is just the feeling in the store. my daughter, who is 23 years now, two years ago, when she was 21, she showed me a movie
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on youtube about how walmart functions or dysfunctions, how they treat women, how they work all the time, sometimes have another job because they do not want to give them benefits. that is a good old trick. i thought, this is slavery. this is impossible. what about democracy in america? i think young women realized that. let's just make it louder. i am not sure how to do it. like you said, your attorney cannot speak much about it. talking about it more to younger women is essential. thank you very much. [applause] >> and i have to really commend the aauw communications team because they have been trying to
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get the word out on the issues. you can also go to the equal rights advocates website. we try to maintain that and keep you updated. we are on youtube, facebook, everywhere we can be trying to get the word out. we're here with you today. we're traveling all over the place to let young women, particularly young women, know what is happening and how big an advocate for themselves. we have a toll-free line -- how they can advocate for themselves. we have a toll-free line where any woman can call in and get free legal advice and counseling. it is not just about walmart. it is about the entire labor sector in this country that may be experiencing similar problems. if you have anything that you want to get advice on, please feel free to call that a toll- free line.
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i will have someone get the number. >> do we have time for one more? ok. not. zero. >> we're happy to stick around and talk with you afterwards. >> that would be terrific. i want to thank you so much for coming this morning and sharing your story with us. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [applause] >> i want you to know that aauw has your back, edith. it is through your support of the legal advocacy fund that we are able, as an organization, to support edith and her fellow plaintiffs. thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you guys.
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>> that was one of the plaintiffs in the class action suit against walmart. >> the supreme court has ruled for walmart in its fight to suit on behalf of women who work there. the court said they do not have enough in common to pull all of their claims into a single case. >> of next, some of the nation's governors talk about the financial challenges that state space. later, the head of the federal communication commission announces plans to crack down on unauthorized phone charges. and tomorrow's "washington journal," wisconsin center ron johnson will give an update on medicare spending and the federal debt ceiling in negotiation and we will talk to gretchen morgans and about the
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recent economic slump. she is the co-author of the book "reckless endangerment." supreme court reporter david savage joins us later. "washington journal," each morning at 7 eastern on c-span. >> i have the honor of representing the great people of the state of florida, and i am here in the senate. today i speak for the first time on this score on their behalf. >> of 13 freshmen senators have given their first speech on the senate floor. said at c-span and congressional chronicle. there is video of every house and senate session. keep up-to-date at /congress. >> a burdo state centers were in washington earlier to discuss job creation and economic growth.
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this event includes a discussion on the growing challenge of state budget deficits. the conference begins with remarks from the former education secretary, margaret spellings. >> good morning, i will ask everyone to take your seat, please. but monday morning. i've thank you for being here. i am dejected vice president of the u.s. war policy and innovation here of the chamber of commerce. i'd like to welcome all of you to the 2011 sec rule -- the second annual governor summit sponsored by the campaign for free enterprise, a project of the national chamber foundation and the u.s. chamber of commerce. we are thrilled and honored to have with us today six of our nation's governors, representing a cross-section of the country,
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a cross-section of injury -- industries, challenges, and success stories, and we will hear from them through our program this morning. i want to welcome and thank the cochairs of the events. a warm welcome to governor marc elrich from delaware, governor scott from florida, who is still doing some press area and governor scott walker of wisconsin. in addition to the governors, we are joined around this table by chamber and business leaders from each of these states, and welcome to all of you as well. i want to acknowledge a few of my chamber colleagues in addition to tom donahue, who leads this fine organization. stan andersen, who leads the
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campaign for free enterprise, the senior vice president of the national chamber foundation, and built little, who chairs the national chamber foundation. all of this is being broadcast live on c-span. we are going to hear from all of the governors with us today, but before we do, we will hear from tom donahue, president and ceo of the u.s. chamber of commerce. we are going to hear from the top researchers in the field to develop the study before you entitles enterprising states it provides an analysis of state job creation strategies and identifies high performers and a number of policy areas.
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this study demonstrates that states really are the laboratories of reform. it shows just how much human capital and economic potential states have. it provides practical examples of creative policy-making from around the country and makes clear that the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation has weathered the economic storm. it is now my pleasure to introduce the president and ceo of the u.s. chamber of commerce, tom donahue. >> thank you, margaret. good morning, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to the chamber. governors, particularly thanks to each of you for coming. i had a chance to speak to most of the governors this morning and there is some current things going on between their state and what we are doing here at the
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chamber in every instance, and i came away with a lot more information than i started the day, and with a very strong view about the extraordinary progress these governors are making, without any regard to political position, but all about the fundamental economics of what is going on in our country. margaret, thank you and your team for putting this together and for this extraordinary study which we have just put out, and particular thanks to our cochairs. we cannot have chosen two more innovative and effective governors in the nation today. in colorado, we have seen an aggressive cutting of red tape, fostering a private development, leading the way on green energy, and working hand-in-hand with cities and localities to build a better business environment in
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the state. governor mcdonnell in virginia has done a seemingly impossible task by turning up at $2 billion deficit into a surplus in a very difficult economic environment. what a hell of a job. at the same time, he has nurtured his state's high-tech in the industry and leverage private capital for infrastructure projects, something we have been pushing very hard here. definitely something we should be doing on the national level with $109 billion of private capital ready to go into those projects. arco shares were strong supporters of trade -- our cochairs are strong supporters of trade. a particular thank you for pushing the efforts that you have done to get korea, colombia, and panama on done before we waved goodbye to hundreds of thousands of jobs in
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this country that will go elsewhere, as the eu and canada have already made those deals. the 25 governors have signed on to a letter including our cochairs today, pushing this in congress, and i am very thankful. our cochairs are bringing innovation, accountability, and economic growth to our states and our country, and we appreciate their leadership. i would also like to join margaret in thanking all of the governors, state chambers, and business people for attending this event. together they represent the three most important routes to our economic recovery and long term growth. the importance of the private sector is self-evident most places, sometimes not here. it is the only thing that can create the 20 million jobs we need in the next decade to make up for most of those lost during
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the recession and to accommodate all the young people coming into the job market. companies are creating the products, innovations, and services. that is fundamentally what drives our economy and our jobs. state chambers are critical because they play a fundamental role in advancing economic development. they help businesses get started and promote their growth and they can bring the private and public sectors together to formulate shared goals, copper to actions, and solve challenges. -- cooperative actions. the chambers here do all these things exceptionally well comic- con and the state level is where the rubber meets the road. that is where the tough decisions are made. remember, states have to balance their budgets. they cannot just print more money like the federal
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government, although there are a few states that are beginning to think they can. as justice brandeis said, states are laboratories of democracy. you are more likely to get common-sense solutions, innovations, experimentation, bipartisanship at the state and local level then you will hear in washington. this we know for certain. a robust economic recovery will come from the ground up, from the states and the cities, and not from the top down. what unites everyone here today is our pursuit of a single goal, creating jobs. you saw the sign on the building when you came in. but when it comes to job creation, the question is, what works and what doesn't? what can states learned from one another? what are the economically successful states doing that others should consider, and what can the federal government
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learn from the invasion in our laboratories of democracy? that is what we are here to talk about today. just a few questions about what is before us. it is no exaggeration to say that this is among the most difficult times we have experienced in recent years. we not only have suffered the worst recession since the great depression. we are now suffering the worst recovery since the great depression. growth is tepid and uneven. the housing market is worse than it was in the 1930's. the percentage of the work force with jobs is at its lowest point in decades. the unemployment rate is 9.1%, which does not include the millions of folks who have given up looking for jobs or who are underemployed. money printed by the fed has
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pumped into the state's in the form of stimulus and is running dry. the federal government is beyond tapped out, and the states or on their own. on top of that, the federal government has weighed down the states with more taxes and regulations. for example, the financial reform walt will restrict access to credit for main street businesses, discourage capital formation, and undermined our global competitiveness. when it comes to health care, volumes that more than half of the state were involved in some type of lawsuit to overturn it. and there are deep, structural problems that have built up over the years under both democrat and republican administrations and congresses. massive debt and deficit, a dangerous over reliance on imported energy, and a lack of common sense national energy
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strategy are crumbling infrastructure, a troubled education system gives us some cause for concern. there are federal problems -- these are federal problems that deeply impact the states, but the states also have their own problems. for many states, the short-term prognosis is by air all although all together, 44 states and the district of columbia are projecting budget shortfalls from 2012 of $112 billion. the upcoming fiscal year will be one of the state's most difficult budget years on record. retiree benefits for state employees add yet another strain with the states facing a $1.30 trillion shortfall.
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isn't it great to be a governor? with washington effectively forced to the sidelines, states will now have to address fundamental economic issues on their own. that means cutting spending or raising taxes, or both, and states must balance these decisions against the need to retain and attract private enterprise. no private enterprise, no jobs. states have a choice in how to deal with these challenging times. again tax, spend, and regulate. they can treat business as nothing more than a cash cow. they can turn to an all-powerful federal government that will effectively make all their decisions for them, or they cannot innovate, invest, inspire, nurture businesses, fostering job creation and empowering people to make their own decisions.
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one approach is based on the belief that a benevolent federal government that knows best for us is what we need. the other is based on free enterprise, individual initiatives, and personal responsibility. today, we are releasing our second annual study that shows that states that pursue a cause based on free enterprise principles fare better than those who do not. the study, called enterprising state, highlight of successful state strategies for job creation and economic growth. it does not seem to make a difference which party the governor comes from. it is the decisions that are made by the administration and legislators in those states that seem to affect the results. the study focused on what makes dirk -- certain states attractive places to locate, and get -- unless your building
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airplanes, i guess. the unintended consequences of cutting certain items from a state budget and what types of investments the public and private sectors can make now to improve the economy in the future. it cites specific examples of innovative state policies based on free enterprise that have attracted more businesses, more economic activity, more jobs, and more investment. by sharing the success stories and lessons we have learned, we hope to create a roadmap to economic revitalization and an ongoing dialogue that makes every state stronger than it was today. what we do economically, barbara states do, according to the study. they keep taxes low. the study down high tax rates do not lead to either healthier economies were better budgets.
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on the contrary, many states with the highest tax rates and the most onerous regulatory regimes have experienced the worst budget crisis. taxpayers and businesses are leaving their state. a target investments in infrastructure projects and create rope friendly environmental communities. they work hard to attract science and technology based companies that would generate the jobs of tomorrow. they help companies, large and small, export. they welcome foreign direct investment. they cultivate people for work force development and strong schools. one of the most interesting debates that the federal and state level is how to strike the right balance between fiscal responsibility and investment. the truth is, we can neither cut nor spent our way to prosperity. fiscal responsibility is
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essential. for example, unsustainable public payrolls and pensions in many states have generated a lot of heat. different governors have different ways of addressing these issues. one thing you cannot do is ignore the reality of this problem. that is why is the republican and democratic governors in states as different as massachusetts, ohio, wisconsin, and your making some very tough decisions and taking a lot of knocks for it. fiscal responsibility is essential. austerity alone will not cut it. we must never forget the importance of growth. growth helps solve all our problems. we need good infrastructure, worker training, abundant supplies of energy, well-paid teachers who get results and can be held accountable. we need to help our small
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businesses export. these things, unfortunately, all cost money, but that offer an exceptional return. we cannot cut off our nose to spite our face. we need to channel more of the resources we have into job producing initiatives and other factors that will lead to long- term growth. this is a very tough balancing act. there is not in any way to get it right from washington, not yet, anyway. you are holding the back, and we would like to be helpful. as governors across the country way these tough choices, just one frilly reminder. businesses will examine your policy and vote with their feet. companies, capital, and jobs go where they are welcome. if states want -- states wants strong economies and jobs for their workers. they must embrace free enterprise, the principles that will help businesses grow,
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prosper, and higher. states have a choice, promote private enterprise and create jobs and growth, or embrace an agenda that will force business out of your state, rebel capital, and decimate grow. this is not at all about partisan politics or rigid ideologies. it is about what works. as owner study shows, and we have learned from experience, states to embrace free enterprise principles are economically stronger than those that do not. let me conclude. the bottom line is, we need smart policies at the state level to get our economy is performing to its potential. we need state leaders like you to foster the free enterprise system. we need federal leaders to remember the 10th amendment of the constitution, that powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution are
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reserved to the states respectively or to the table. states need the freedom to innovate and experiment. they must not be unduly constrained by federal mandates and the unintended consequences of massive federal legislation. as the people who most shape of the business environment at the state level, governors must lead. the facilitators or partnerships between public and private sectors, state and local chambers, must lead as well. as the world's largest business federation, the chamber must be a part of this action. the message we must carry is that free enterprise is the solution, not the problem. given the freedom and the incentive to do so, states and businesses can jump-start our economy, create millions of new jobs, and put us on the path to
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long-term prosperity. most wall, our recovery will come from the bottom up, not from the top down. again, i want to take you all for being here and for listening to this rather lengthy view from the chamber, but with all these cameras here, what else could an irishman do? ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for being here. governors, thank you for what you have done, but more particularly, for what you are going to do. [applause] >> thank you, tom, and margaret, for helping bring us all together. my chief counsel is with us over on the inside. i am the governor of colorado.
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ken is here in place of my former chief of staff when i was mayor of denver. she did hour ride the rockies last week and she was a little tired. she could not make it. as time laid out, we find ourselves in a situation where the easy choices have all been made. we need to chart a new and in many ways more painful course or wrist bankrupting the country and crippling beecher generations. in many ways, we are creating a
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new norm, to diminish the size of government, reforming our schools and universities, but with less dollars to do it. we need to bring in -- i spent 16 years and the rest from business. there is no other governor who has washed more pint glasses and i have. on a daily basis, how we began to measure what are risks and rewards or in making investments? that is a lot of what we are going to get to this morning. this report lays out the competition between state, which states are leading an which are lacking, and we are different states need to focus and
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improve. we focused and colorado over the last six months and really going out and trying to listen, as tom said, from a bottom up perspective, where the people of colorado think we should be focusing. we asked all of our call writer and counties to create their own plan, what do they want their economy and their county to look like in 20 or 40 years, and how do we get there? do we need more access to capital? how do we increase the capacity of our broadbent access so that rural areas can have the same opportunities to let small businesses grow and create jobs? how we address educational reform? competition drives improvement, but we also have to look at collaboration. in colorado, in many ways we
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focus on how to bring people closer together. i am not trying to brag, but i guess each of the governors will spend a moment bragging. with the republican house and democratic senate in colorado, we passed our budget with at least 75% in both houses. we passed legislation that creates an exchange program to harness the forces of free market economies to assist small businesses with their health insurance. we did that with republicans and democrats working together. we thought it was remarkable that both democrats and republicans sponsored the bill and rebel to work together to make sure it works. we focus on education reform in a non-partisan way, focusing on evaluating teachers and measuring their performance at
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schools and finding ways to reward that. we are doing that with excellent teachers being intimately engaged in that effort. we are still waiting for the broncos to get a winning season again, but we are not waiting for superman in colorado. if you look at the amount of money is country exports to bring foreign oil into this country is in the vicinity of billion dollars today, and yet we have vast natural gas reserves all over the country. we have to make sure that as we extract that resource, we hold ourselves to the highest environmental standards. we not only can improve our balance of payments, we reduced the amount of money that leaves a our country for buying foreign
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oil. we made the country safer. natural gas burns cleaner and at this point is almost half the cost of gasoline that is refined from imported oil. the real challenge here is as we look at this report and hear from our folks today, how do we get people working together in addition to fostering this competition? if states are just going to go around and offer incentives to other businesses in other states, that is not helping the country. it forces states to look at where they are making investments, but it does not help those businesses grow and does not get them the access to capital and the trained work force that they need. i am lucky to be joined by the ceo of the sierra nevada
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corporation space systems. he is indicative of people that are working in every state and focusing on bringing together something like 35 ceo's of the last several months, looking at refocuses. biotech, aerospace, and looking at kaline tech -- clean tech. happen to make sure we are beginning to focus on not just competing with each other by sharing those resources where a rising tide will help everyone. there is a spirit in colorado where we do believe that in many ways, collaboration becomes the new competition. there is a way we can all benefit by focusing and working together for the benefit of all of us. tom donahue, they do so much for leading the chamber and all you have done and to margaret for
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pulling all of this together. bob.w begin to introduce bal bob mcdonnell. [applause] >> i thought the current incumbent in the white house needed a little competition and i thought you would be perfect. you are pro-business, so you would fit on either ticket. thanks so much for having me, margaret. appreciate you coming to virginia last year to do a seminar for all our business leaders. tom, thanks for giving my speech. i do not have much else to say.
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you covered the waterfront on what needs to be done in this country to promote growth and free enterprise. for all you governors, welcome to what we call northern virginia. it is a treat to be joined by so many distinguished leaders from the other states that are here with us. i am grateful to the chamber for doing this analysis. we are friends but we do like to compete against one another. it said that mr. jefferson did think that these were the laboratories of democracy and also the laboratories of competition. finding ways to work together is critical for the future so i appreciate the chambers work. we are here to help and talk about some of the things that
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are working in our states. more importantly, for me to learn from you by your questions and your ideas about how we can promote a better free enterprise system here in the united states. like all my fellow governors, we focused a lot in virginia on job creation and economic development because it has been the biggest challenge most of us have faced, with an average 9% unemployment rate around the country and stifling deficits. most of us have concluded we are going to grow our way out of this by putting in place policies that allow us to compete better. we are looking at what is happening in europe and asia. it is amazing how the have grasped the essence of capitalism and are frankly doing it better than we are in some of those countries. over the last year in virginia
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we have gone to 6.1% unemployment rate. i think that is what drives a lot of us governors, when we see people that do not have access to the american dream and cannot provide for their family and have to rely on the government for the expanded safety net. we have to find ways to create more jobs and opportunities for citizens. that has helped to drive virtually all the policies i have tried to put in place these last 16 months. we have been fortunate to have some natural advantages in virginia. we talk a little bit about what has worked in our states, and we look forward to the dialogue. we have been fortunate to be
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ranked either no. 1 or no. 2 in the overall business climate. it was nice to see lacher getting ranked number one for cost of living adjusted median family income. there are some fundamental things that it takes to keep a stake or make a state competitive, things that are well known to the business leaders here. it is taxation, regulation, and litigation. it has to be certain and kept to a minimum. those are the three great cancers if they get out of control that stifle innovation and growth within the states. we have an advantage in virginia being a right to work state. that is certainly an advantage
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to attract businesses to our state. it is important as john mentioned to have solid energy and transportation and higher education policies that focus on the future in this structure and a future well-trained work force so you can compete with countries around the world. we have been fortunate with great help from the chamber who have been ambassadors for virginia to attract countries like hilton and northrop grumman to come to virginia from states that have a much less friendly tax and regulatory environment. that would be california, for instance, where most of those companies have come from.
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it is critically important that we attract jobs. this area around northern virginia is historically under the national unemployment rate. we tried to focus a lot of our economic strategies on bringing up the employment rates in those areas where we spend at chronic double-digit in some of our rural parts of the state. getting your fiscal house in order is critical to create confidence in your critical community, but also making sure the government is not consuming vast resources for the private sector. during the last year we have had
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a $6 billion deficit in fiscal years 2010 through 2012. we decided we are not going to raise taxes and we reduced spending and created a government reform commission to help to restructure parts of government to balance the budget without raising taxes, and it worked. within five months we had a budget surplus and are headed towards another one in about two weeks at the end of this fiscal year. it did require a lot of tough choices. the dollar's just are not there. you have to balance your budget. you cannot borrow significant amounts of money by the federal government does. you cannot keep the can down the road. governors are tasked with making decisions on time and balancing that budget. i think 49 out of 52 of us do have a balanced budget statute.
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we have done a wholesale review of regulations. i was attorney general couple of years ago and my plans for promulgating most of those. we thought it was an impediment to business growth. we have been very aggressive in virginia to oppose federal policies that do not make sense and undermined the entrepreneurship of virginia as businesses. i think we all have a great deal of hard earned. these are things that are not helpful for growth and economic development. it is critically important to have a coherent energy policy. we are trying to create those in our states. i know you have a lot of things
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going on in delaware, but we have great reserves of coal and natural gas. offshore resources with oil and natural gas, and told my friends we have the best class a wins outside of congress. we are trying to develop those resources. having a good energy policy is critically important long-term. by lee, higher education. we invested tremendous new money this year in higher education. focus more on stem areas. that is where the growth is. i just got back from a trade mission to china and japan.
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there are positives with tax incentives that are significant. those are things that help us long-term and create a well- trained work force. one of the things we did early on was to generate a strategic marketing plan to assess virginia, our own self report card if you will, to say what are we good at and then build economic policies and incentives around it. we figured we were good at technology, aerospace, tourism, and things like that. even while we are cutting in other areas, we worked with the general assembly to generate tax credits and other incentives.
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we created money borrow offices in china, india, and the u.k.. i think you have to be there and look people in the eye and ask for the deal, just like you do in business. we are doing a little bit of international travel. we created a job as commission to get top leaders of business at the table with policymakers and say what is working in what is not working. tell us what we need to do better in virginia and then we implemented a number of those over the last couple of years in our general assembly session. we are trying to reestablish a good manufacturing base. i think everybody agrees with this. we have to start making things again. it is good for national security at american independence. for us to grow, all these jobs
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that have been exported over the last decade or two, we have to find ways to repatriate them. it will take better of federal policies. this was the topic of our conference of governors in roanoke, virginia at last week with governor barbara and governor perdue talking about how to improve manufacturing. we are trying something in petersburg, virginia that is centered around the rolls royce aerospace's manufacturing facility. it has been an enormous -- i am going to paris tomorrow where every aerospace company in the world will be there.
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that is part of our strategy to focus on aerospace and high-tech advanced manufacturing. i am delighted to be here. tom and mark, thank you for being here. it is an honor to be here to listen to you and share some ideas about what is working for the states. we have to do a better job of convincing the federal government to control spending and to put program policies in place. especially of the past couple of years, some of the things that have happened had not been good for free enterprise. thanks for having me. [applause] >> i want to do a quick go around the table. you all represent big, small,
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high-tech, and everything. bill, tell them who you are and what you do. [unintelligible] [unintelligible] >> we are in the transmission repair, rebuilding, and resurfacing business. >> ashley furniture industry
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located in wisconsin. >> i am president of a company called competitive edge in iowa. >> i am the chairman of the i would chamber alliance, the 14 largest chambers of commerce in the state of iowa. >> we are right along the mississippi river in iowa and we make food ingredients for humans and pets. we like to feed your whole family. we also make alcohol, not the motor fuel kind. >> i am chair of the chamber's campaign for free enterprise. >> now to the guts of the program.
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joel is a distinguished presidential fellow in orange california, a senior fellow with the center for urban future in new york city and a senior consultant with the strategy group in florida, north dakota. he is an author, columnist, an internationally recognized author on political and social trends. his book explores how the nation will evolve over the next four decades. the norris is a strategy consultant with 25 years of experience with local and regional economic development groups.
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she has been the author and co- author of numerous books. the floor is yours, gentleman. >> thank you very much, margaret. i will try to go through a whole bunch of stuff, a lot of it is kind of depressing, but there is a happy ending. since i live in hollywood, i suppose that is the way it should be. you have to build up the drama. it is a great opportunity to be here. i want to talk a little bit about what has been happening about the jobs numbers. as tom mentioned, for all the unemployed that we see registered, there is a huge army of people who have dropped out of the work force. some feel our unemployment rate is closer to 15%. in my state of california, what
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we see is there is a much greater amounts of unemployment, people dropped out of the work force, and underemployment. one of my recent student says he thinks he will park cars when he gets out of school. the unemployment rate is extraordinarily high. this is the kind of unemployment rate we used to associate with europe. now i guess we are catching up with the europeans. >> it makes the growth of the state's hard to achieve. you have to keep paying for all these people who are unemployed. even in the state of california, people continue to leave because
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there is no opportunity. you would have to be crazy not to like the weather. who is being hit the hardest? young people? right now the unemployment rate among african-american males is at the highest it has been since the 1930's. hispanic unemployment has gone up considerably. many of them were involved in the construction industry and that is where their opportunities were. there are really three bubbles. maybe the reality is not so clear to them, but in the rest of the country, it is very clear. a cab driver on the way to an event i was going to have a
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third generation cuban american business and was now driving a cab because the recession had taken away his business. on the way back, it was a guy who was driving a truck to had lost his job. i always hear from -- when mumbai comes back from my daughter's school about people who are losing their jobs. a next-door neighbor is moving to dallas from california because of the business climate. it is about a lot of real people and real things that happen to them. particularly intense is what is happening to young people. they really have no place to go. if we look at for the jobs have been lost, the manufacturing part of it is obviously critical. the private sector has lost.
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at some point you have to pay for things. you do not have the fed to keep printing money. even if there is a slight private sector gain, the government gains are going to start to reverse, so that is a problem. manufacturing has been hit really hard. there is a lot of productivity, but manufacturing is really the key. i spent a great deal of my life in asia. you have to start with the industrial sector and the internationally traded sector. i was in china recently and my i was in china recently and my host handed me a


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