tv Washington Journal CSPAN August 31, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
institute joins us. former congressman dan glickman will talk about humanitarian aid to foreign countries in the federal budget. then james kinter of the center for ocean-land-atmosphere studies will talk host: consumer confidence is at one of the worst levels, according to the latest numbers. the conference board said americans were never convinced the economy emerged from a recession. credit card use is down. blog" magazine's money says the new consumer is killing the economy. we will begin with getting your take on consumer confidence. do you plan to spend more or
less in the next six months? we will divide the lines by in come. you can track the "time" magazine story. another story written by kevin hall says the number of consumers who indicated they would be purchasing vehicles in the next six months rose in august. two different things are happening here in differing publications. we turn to all of you this morning and get a little informal survey. let me read
deborah makes under $50,000 in north carolina. what are your plans? caller: i think it is absurd to blame the consumer for what is going on here. there are several issues at stake. line retaileron- and i have noticed that consumers are very smart. they are buying. they are just not buying garbage made in china that falls apart in two months. they are not buying overpriced luxury goods. they are buying practical things that will help them through this rough economy. it's not right to say they are not buying at all. the other thing i wanted to say is that it is ridiculous to blame consumers when it is the bankers and politicians that
have put us in this position. if we have become smarter as consumers and retailers, that's a good thing. i hope it never stops. host: on the consumer numbers, it says it's one thing to find a job when more than 20 million people are trying to do the same thing, but quite another to claim political leaders are playing politics instead of getting down to business and working on the country's fiscal ills. let's go to jackson in wilmington, north carolina. you are on the air. good morning. caller: good morning. as far as what we plan on spending, there's no real difference. i am painfully aware that in my
area, those of us that have a job are spending some money, but there are so many that don't. our unemployment rate is over 9% in this county here. it is just troubling. it really is. host: what does that mean for spending then? caller: for instance, we probably put another $3,000 in our home this year -- purchases like that. you know, other items that we bought for the home. there are houses for sale in my neighborhood. we have been in this neighborhood for 11 years. there are more houses for sale then i have ever seen before. we feel like we're doing well, but we know there are a lot of people who are not. host: when you talk about $3,000 to $4,000 of four things for
your home, what kind of things? if the economy were better, with that number be more? caller: for instance, we put in a new sprinkler system, but we are paying cash. will there be other people doing those things? probably. host: you puaid cash. otherwise, would you have put it on your credit cards? caller: i do not have credit cards. that is just our habit. host: mike, under $50,000 in illinois. good morning. what are your spending habits are your plans for the next six months? caller: unfortunately, with the price of energy in this country, considering they have shut down all the oil wells and everything
else, you do not have all the to go out and purchase suppose of luxury items. unfortunately, there are a lot of people in my category that are also feeling the same thing. i do not see any kind of relief on the horizon. gas prices continued to climb. $4.10 in my area right now. the median bills will go up pretty soon. that will take more money out of the pockets of consumers. washington needs to realize one thing. if they do not try to start mining our own resources in this country, this country will continue to fall. we do not have that kind of extra money to be using to, you know, heat our homes or put gas in our cars.
things like that. they need to bring down the gas and oil prices, so we do have the extra income to spend at target, sears, or whatever. host: what kind of car you drive? how much does it cost? caller: about $80 per week. host: do you commute to were? caller: yes, i do. unfortunately, that's where the jobs are in chicago. thank you. host: we are posting this question on our facebook page. we're asking folks to tell us if you are spending more, less, or the same. here are the numbers so far. and let us know what you plan to do over the next six months on
our facebook page. you can also send us a tweet this morning. you can send us an e-mail. lonnie in north carolina, go ahead. caller: hi. thank you for taking my call. i have to agree with the last caller about energy. it looks like we have lost our industrial base, our manufacturing base. it is gone and it has been gone for a few years. now that we have a recession, we're trying to get out of it. there are blue collar jobs that filtered into the middle class. spending is not going to rebound mysteriously by stimulus spending from washington or by
cutting taxes, which has gotten us out of the past. it doesn't look like either economic option will get us out of this unless we can revitalize our manufacturing. one way to do that would be to drill for oil, go get the natural gas. we are never going to get those jobs from overseas because of labor costs. i think attacking the high cost of labor here would maybe help that. the big level. i do not see a turnaround right now. host: that is how you view the economy. how does that translate into how you spend your money? caller: are spending has not changed very much. my wife and i are small-business owners.
we were all the time could we have very little time for -- we work all the time. we have very little time for leisure spending. we have focused very much on reducing our debt. we eat out about the same amount of times. we do not have a lot of luxury's as far as cars or clothing. we never did. i have been marveling at the way our spending rate has not changed at all. around us, our area is devastated. in the last 25 years, we have never seen the vacancies in commercial buildings, homes for sale, unemployment. we get besieged at both of our businesses every day by overqualified people looking for work. i'm getting people coming out of the college's here looking for
some of our $8 per hour unskilled jobs. they do not have an option. host: here is a tweet this morning from fred bingham. take a look at this charge. this is the personal savings rate over the years. the blueline is the years we have recession. it goes from 1959 all the way to january 2012. red line is the savings rate. you can see how much americans were saving in 1975-1976. you can see the savings rate declining. where we were in 2006 was less than 2%. we are back up to about 5%, but that is down from a recent high of 5.5%.
we will go next to donald in arizona, under $50,000. caller: good morning, c-span. i'm right between phoenix and las vegas, one of the hardest- hit areas for housing. people are walking away from their mortgages. we have had our house up for sale for a year-and-a-half and we cannot sell it. host: why? what is happening? caller: i have not had a call on this house in over one month. i live in a really nice area here. i am not the only person. there are just people -- they have a sign up and they cannot sell them. a couple streets over, they just walked away.
you are pretty much stuck. if you ask me what's wrong with the economy, it's the housing. everybody is stuck. host: let me read this story appeared a number of callers mentioned the housing market. here's the front page of "the wall street journal." this is an article that also in "the washington post" looking at the man in charge of fannie mae and freddie mac right now, edward demarco. it says --
it is a lengthy piece inside "the wall street journal" and "the washington post" has a similar one, looking at the role of fannie mae and freddie mac and what the president might include in the speech next week looking at the economy. let's go to craig, who makes more than $150,000. caller: yes, i just think we need to renew our manufacturing base in this country. everything is going to china. i am a small manufacturer.
we have been able to stay in business by return on investment and being smarter than those in china. it is very difficult. it is very, very difficult. every month, i have to look at the bottom line and decide if i'm going to continue with the number of employees that we have or cut back. host: you decide that every day? caller: every month. host: have you cut back or added? caller: we have not cut back or added at this point in time. we have a little over 200 employees. it is just difficult. host: what will be the deciding factor for you on whether or not you cut back? caller: black numbers or red
numbers. if it is in the black, we are ok. it is red, we have to look at it very carefully. we decide who we are going to cut. it is the least productive people and the ones who have been around the longest who are the most productive -- we have to make a balanced decision. host: you have not let anybody go yet. does that mean you are taking a hit to your bottom line, to your income, to your profits? caller: that is correct. host: why? caller: well, at some point, the mess that the bankers created going all the way back to the clinton administration and nothing was done in the bush administration -- it has resulted in this entire mild
depression. it could slide into a major depression. if that happens, if our bottom line is impacted severely, then we will cut back severely. host: let me bounce this tweet off of you from robert cralle. caller: the average high-school graduate, which makes up half of our employees -- we train them and it takes about three months to determine whether somebody is not.ainable or they all, and with the idea that they know they are either going to make it or not make it. in that three-month period, we decide. after that, we moved them into
their best fitting position -- we move them into their best fitting position to the bottom 50%, we do not even look at them. we know they're not the kind of person who is going to be successful. host: how much does it cost for you for those three months? caller: about $20,000. host: per person? caller: yes. host: that was craig in houston, texas. i want to show you this chart from "usa today." look at the third quarter of 2008. you can see that number is starting to decline. it ends up at 11.4% in the second quarter of 2011.
those numbers come from the federal reserve bank of new york. let's go to keith in arkansas. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. your question is about the money that we make. let me clarify something. there's a misconception. banks make money. governments make money. counterfeiters make money. everybody else has to earn their money. that's a bad way of phrasing it. to pay off all the debt that we have -- we will spend as little as possible in order to do that. host: in some other news this morning, here's a story about the deficit reduction committee. the republicans on the bipartisan committee met for several hours on tuesday.
we are learning that the democratic members of the meeting and are slated to hold a conference call later this afternoon to discuss their work. also this morning in the papers, the two top officials ousted in the fast and furious scandal. it says here -- that is an update on that program. here's an update on "the new york times" story. hurricane irene ranked at the top 10 of u.s. disasters. it says here --
this is something we learned on the "washington journal" yesterday when the director of research and development of that country joined us on "washington journal" via phone and talk to us about their analysis and how they do it. go to c-span.org. go to our video library and you can listen to that interview. caleb, under $50,000 in baltimore, maryland good morning. caller: we are blaming consumers who are more economical. we need to question our definition of an economic recovery. a couple of people said we need to work on our manufacturing. if we cannot manufacture efficiently and economically,
and the unions have made sure of that, then its not clear to get this economy going. when it comes to how i have changed my spending, i have more of my aggregate income reserved for investing. host: can i ask you what you are investing in and why you are choosing to invest? caller: mainly in growth stocks. i try to stick to companies that had an ipo in the last 10 years to 15 years and have great earnings. host: are they cheaper? caller: no, they're usually more expensive. they have higher p/e ratios. buying a house is an investment, just like stocks. the government does not bail me out when my stock price drops. why should they do the same for mortgages?
people who walk away from their payments or ask the government to help them renegotiate their payments, it's like they're asking for a government- guaranteed investment. host: here is a tweet. let's go to seattle, washington next. you are between $50,000 and $100,000. go ahead. caller: yes, this is a very complex issue. the answers cannot even be discussed in a phone call. i want to just say that this is a global crisis. it's a crisis of post modern techno-capitalism. that means a few things. fundamentally, the erosion of the middle class and the
inequality of the distribution of wealth and income. of course, technology gets in the way positively and negatively in terms of the financial instruments people have. that can be negative, like we have seen in the financial bubble bursting. also, the immense complexity of it makes the average perspn unaware. is global. we cannot assume labor unions are the problem. consumers do not have the capacity or the demand. there's an economic basic theory, supply and demand.
what people need, if they do not have the capital or money, they cannot spend. that is what is causing this. we are never going to see 70% consumer spending. that's going to be -- who knows what the future is? obama and neither the democrats or republicans have a clue what is happening. host: why do you say 70%? why is that important? caller: people are thinking of that as gravity. i am a former boeing engineer. i am retired now. people do not understand. 70% is not based on any natural law. this is just something that happened in the last several decades. host: let me read this paragraph
in "the baltimore sun" this morning. "71% of the economy is dependent on consumers." caller: yes, that is exactly right. whatever the rate is, the real problem is -- but that rate is just a grade you get. it does not reflect what you learned in a course in school, for example. it's just eight metric. these metrics also confuse people, if they do not understand the underlying systems that are involved. they are technological, economic, financial, and institutional. host: we have to leave it there. other economic news in the papers this morning. "the wall street journal" has this story.
aaa credit rating back, if you are interested in that story this morning. also, a story that has made several papers about executives being paid more than their companies pay in taxes. we will try to show you that one. first, let me show you the latest on our facebook poll. we're asking all of you to go to facebook and let us know if you plan to spend more, less, or the same. we will punch up the numbers. 12 people more. 71 are spending less. 24 are spending about the same. john is next. you make under $50,000 in new york. go ahead. caller: the last guy made a great point. 70% -- i do not see that coming
back. people blame the unions and stuff. people are making about $9 per hour. they cannot afford to buy a new car. the middle class is what fuels the whole economy. that is basic economics. if you want to learn economics, it's better when 1 million people buy a ford car than 10 people buying a rolls-royce. i threw away all my credit cards. i did that years ago. i purchased a used boat to go fishing in and stuff, but i used cash. i am a little bit older. these young people, if they do not have a good job, the demand will never be there. the 70% number they are throwing around for consumer spending -- that is long gone. host: executives making more than uncle sam.
highest-paidar's chief executives to call more than their companies paid in federal income taxes -- executives took home more than their companies paid in federal income taxes. why don't we take a look at who's companies -- what they're executive compensation is. we will talk to jason, who makes over makes150,000 -- who makes over $150,000 in tennessee. caller: your last caller is 100% right. i'm not sure politicians have realized this yet. on both sides of the aisle, i hear them talking about this. we have to stop the bleeding in this country. what i mean by that is, we have
to have tariffs. if we continue to ship jobs out of this country so they can make the products and sell them back to the middle class of this country, eventually, we are going to run on the money. we cannot buy the product anymore. host: this tweet -- "the new york times" business section has the story.
also from the business section of "the new york times" -- who: let's go to joshua, makes between $50,000 and $150,000. caller: good morning. i agree the middle class is eroding. i do believe we need more jobs. a lady called a while ago who said we are spending, but we are being smarter consumers. i would like to offer one perspective. this is my personal spending habits. i will probably spend less in the next six months. my anxiety does not come from my fears about the economy. a lot of fears come from my confidence in the government. if you think about how our government operates, if it were
a company, nobody would invest in it. the government as a whole operates in the red annually pretty much. you know, at some point, i think we're going to see a large bubble. it will become an extension of the housing bubble. it will be a credit issue. we have a country that basically operates with debt every year. we have the foreign countries, china, that continue to buy are dead. my confidence in the government, i guess, is what prevents me from spending money. host: on a day-to-day basis, you are thinking about not buying a big-ticket item because we might default? caller: the market responds very drastically to people's perception of how stable our
government is. we saw that just recently with our aaa rating and how the market responded to that. people have investments in the market. they lose a lot of money based on people's confidence in government. i'm not so much worried about our government falling apart, but there is a lot of uncertainty in the future for our government and it does not look like our political leaders are taking our concerns seriously. that's what drives my spending habits. that's my perspective on how comfortable i feel with our country as a whole. host: remember, you can send us an e-mail. here is one. debbie makes under $50,000 in michigan. you are next. caller: unions have nothing to
do with it. corporations want to make the big bucks. what has happened to us, me and my husband, we lost our jobs 10 years ago and now we drive trucks. we are only home every two months and holidays. it takes all we can do driving the trucks and making our payments at home to make what we used to make. it is just overwhelming. they took all the jobs. they took all the jobs on the west side of michigan out. then they could go after the big three and hit them. i said this a long time ago. you will hear the biggest sucking sound ever when they take the jobs out and they did.
this is not right. ford and all them old men that designed these factories -- if they knew what their kids had done to these factories, they would be rolling over in their graves. they wanted the american -- they wanted the united states to be strong. host: can i ask you what you and your husband did before you had to start driving trucks? caller: we both worked in factories. i was a factory worker all my life. host: do you both drive trucks separately or together? caller: together. we have been married 25 years. this is taking what we could do to keep our home. we have no health insurance. host: in foreign affairs news,
here is the front page of "the washington post" on the situation in libya. "the opposition control tripoli, the capital, and much of the rest of the country, but the center of libya remains firmly in the hands of gaddafi loyalists." also, yesterday the rebels said they would like the wife and children of gaddafi to be returned to the country to face military trial. also, this is "the washington times" on colonel gaddafi. that is the story on that.
here are the latest numbers on the afghanistan war. august was the deadliest for u.s. troops in the afghan war. ted in oregon, go ahead. good morning. caller: good morning. getting back to the question, i see that we have been on a race to the bottom since the ronald reagan years. he took us from a manufacturing to a service economy. now we're at the bottom. i think we landed with a splat, but it did not really affect me. i listened to dear old dad who went through the great depression. i have been a union journeymen plummer all my working days. a couple days ago, i turned 53. in two years, i can collect and retire on my union plumbing
pension. after being a plumber for 35 years, you get a little tired. i feel sorry for most people who listened to their mortgage people who said you could afford that house that cost a quarter of $1 million on a $15 per hour job. it seems that everything has been tried. mr. obama -- i am a democrat and i back him 100%, but when you are dealing with republicans like boehner, mcconnell, coburn -- talk about entitlements. i will tell you what entitlements are. coburn, kyl, they are not going to seek reelection in 2012. they are going to retire. when they are active -- when they retire, they will collect
$139,000 in a pension when they were collecting $175,000 when they were still working. to me, that is an entitlement. when you get down to social security and medicare and medicaid, like all of my generation, i'm a baby boomer and proud of it. this is the sum of the total. host: a tweet in response to some of the compensation stories we had. an update on the pg&e situation. here is the front page of the "los angeles times."
"the national transportation safety board also said pg&e exploited the lack of monitoring by regulators who mistakenly placed a blind trust in the utility." that is the front page. we have done segments on "washington journal" on that. if you want to watch those, go to our web site, c-span.org. go to our video library. it is in the upper right-hand corner. in politics, here's the front page of "the boston globe" this morning. it has a picture of elizabeth warren. it says --
host: we will go to new york. john joins us. he makes under $50,000. what do you plan to do over the next six months? caller: i am going to spend less, but i give credit to the last two callers you had. they are absolutely right. ross perot said it. big business has taken us right down the tubes. between the banks and big business, they are ruining this country. people forget, if it was not for the unions, we would not have a middle-class. went the union moves into the area, they bring up the standard of living for all workers. we set the base scale. if a non-union worker gets out of a job, i, too, and a plumber. i am retired navy.
disabled retired. if it was not for the middle class, big business would not have people in their stores. it was the unions that made the middle class. host: we will go on to george in texas. caller: i will just make this brief. i learned a long time ago, you do not do business with crooks. i will tell you what. i spend the least amount possible. possibly, i will be one of the last ones to fall down. you asked -- i used to invest in the stock market.
1987 is when i dropped out of that. when you deal with these crooks -- you are going to get corrected. it's plain as the -- you are going to get crooked. it is plain as the devil. host: go ahead. caller: if people look at their bible and the part that says capitalism is evil. democracy cannot survive within a capitalistic society. if you look at the tea party, they are run by big business. the republican party is run by big business. we have a guy running for governor right now, a republican. we put this man in, kentucky will be suffering like wisconsin.
the only people working for us is barack obama and the middle class people. you cannot get any jobs. there are no training programs. nobody wants to do anything to help anybody. that's not about racism or being a christian. that's about greed and capitalism. host: scott in wisconsin, under $50,000. caller: good morning. i would first like to salute our men and women fighting for our country and my condolences to all the people who were affected by that attack. i do not plan on spending more than i have to this year. host: has that been the case over the last couple of years? caller: i have always been like that. i have never made a lot of money. i buy what i need. once in awhile, i will buy things i want.
the commission is holding a press conference today to outline their final report. the cochairs of the commission will be our guest on "washington journal" tomorrow morning. if you have questions for them about the final report, be sure to tune in tomorrow and give us a call. charles i. in virginia -- charles in virginia, go ahead. caller: the article you read underscores the fact that the government cannot run anything efficiently. that's our problem. the second thing is -- everybody has to take this too hard. if you just put your entire effort are looking at our exports and the free-trade agreement, every american. stop worrying about democrats and republicans. when we signed an agreement with
a foreign country to open up trade, what does that do? it makes it easier for manufacturers to send their products over there and make them for 50 cents per hour versus the minimum wage in the u.s. the u.s. creates this. what do they do to compete? they cannot keep continuing paying americans to build things. they have to go overseas in order to compete. sure, there is corporate greed. by and large, companies are doing this as a backlash to what the government is doing during it is absolutely political theory we have to stop these free trade agreements. if you were to send a card to korea, there's a 30% tax on that car. a hyundai coming into the states get $1,200.
host: a new book -- that is the front page of "the washington times" this morning. this is inside "the washington post." former vice president dick cheney made the front page of usa today. he has been in the papers of late because of his memoir. he is quoted as saying, "not all the candidates are interested in my endorsement." that is the front page of usa today." coming up in 45 minutes, we will
be talking about foreign aid. when we come back, we will be talking about regulations on small business and the impact of them. we will be right back. >> he is a partisan guy who wants to unite people. why we could not elect him is the same reason we eventually went to war. >> he had the misfortune of running against a great military hero, dwight eisenhower. i do not really think stevenson could have won. >> in 1928, smith lost overwhelmingly to herbert hoover, but paved the way for
franklin roosevelt. there are 14 people in this series, many of whom people have never heard of them. all of them, i can pretty much guarantee, they will find interesting, fascinating, and surprising. >> history professor gene baker, carl cannon, and richard norton smith talk about the 14 men who ran for president and lost. it is a preview for "the contenders" on c-span, beginning friday, september 9. >> machiavelli has become inactive. -- has become an adjective.
not too many people would call themself machiavellian. >> his name is synonymous with the selfish pursuit of power. sunday night, mile unger argues that his theories might have been a response to the corruption around him. >> this weekend, a three-day holiday weekend on booktv on c-span2. secrets." the influence of racial politics on the first african-american president. sunday, ellis cose on race in the media. >> "washington journal" continues.
host: we are back with dan mitchell. we're talking about the impact of regulations on small businesses. republicans on the house side say these regulations are an impediment to job growth and that's what's causing small businesses to not expand. their plan is, when they come back on september 7, they will have 10 regulations that they take a look at and vote on. what is the evidence that regulations stop small businesses from hiring? guest: there are a series of things you look at, including a small business administration study in estimating -- study estimating $1.7 trillion. regulation, just by itself, is getting in the neighborhood of the total tax burden. another thing is the world economic forum's ranking.
the u.s. is down around 50, behind countries that you would almost think we would be embarrassed to be behind. the most important thing to realize is that companies, whether they are big companies or small companies, they only create jobs if it is profitable to hire a new worker. as an employer, if you factor in whether to hire someone, you are looking at the wages. you are looking at the taxes you have to pay. you are also looking at the regulatory burden. your company is having to spend a lot of money to comply with regulations, to deal with red tape, and we have new regulations on rolling out because of the dodd frank bailout bill, obamacare, and all this epa stuff going on, it becomes a nightmare. host: i want to show our viewers what you are referring to. the united states ranks 49th,
behind canada, thailand, sweden, switzerland, uae, etc. brazil has the least burdensome regulations. what does that tell you? guest: that is actually the worst position to be at. singapore is the best. that's no big surprise. singapore has been rapidly growing. the average person in singapore is now much better off, by thousands of dollars, than the average person in the united states, which is remarkable to if you go back to 1960, singapore was a third world country -- which is remarkable. if you go back to 1960, singapore was a third world country. host: you referred to the epa. here is the president's letter to the speaker of the house yesterday, referring to speaker
boehner's letter. "the agenda is merely a list of rules that are under general contemplation provided to the public to promote transparency." guest: imagine you are an employer and you see this big list of rules. you know these things are potential liabilities for your company. you know these things will make it more costly for you to hire people. you know that the regulations may turn workers into future liabilities. what are you going to do in that very uncertain economic environment? when you add to that that the
government is threatening to increase marginal tax rates on your company, threatening to increase the double taxation dividends and capital gains -- it is not just one issue to you have to look at regulation, taxation, trade barriers. there are a lot of things you're looking at as an employer before you decide to hire somebody. washington is an anti-job center, it seems. host: the director of public citizen's watch was on our show monday and here is what he had to say. >> the economy is bad. we say it will improve the economy. it is really wrong. you do not grow the economy by making the air dirtier or by refusing to clean the air. you can grow the economy by requiring cleaner air, if you
require power plants to clean up their emissions. oftentimes, new technologies have to be developed. the most kind of types of technologies on smokestacks is the scrubber. a lot of people's entire businesses are focused on these scrubbers. regulation can spur innovation and spur jobs. host: dan mitchell, what is your reaction? guest: this is the perpetuation to release all this with obama's so-called -- this is the perpetuation. we solve this with obama's so- called green jobs. it turns out that if you impose additional cost on companies, that does not create jobs. that's not an argument against regulation, but it is an argument for cost-benefit analysis. even though the white house
claims that is happening, i think the evidence is that they have their thumb -- they have their elbow on this scale. it's going to backfire. they are not going to get reelected host: the man in charge of looking at regulations across the government talked about that last week. the administration has identified millions of regulations that are costing millions of hours of paperwork that could save about $1 billion . guest: i want to see the actual evidence. the irs proposed a regulation that would require u.s. banks to report the deposit interest they paid to foreigners.
foreigners have hundreds of billions of dollars. we do not tax that in come. we want to help grow jobs. the irs -- we have more than 90 years of laws that says we want to attract this money. the irs wants to impose this regulation. so we could drive hundreds of billions of dollars and we will drive lots of money out of the u.s. banking system and this is something that has nothing to do with the enforcement of american law. if the obama administration cannot withdraw that regulation, i have little hope they will do the right thing. host: let's hear from callers. you are on the yair. caller: speak to the needs of
corporations for certainty. i didn't get any government certain sea. i do not have many government certainty in job security or in anything. you all say you want to get rid of regulation and on the other say you want to enforce government security. on shipper nor's -- on japan entrepreneurs do not have the certainty. guest: let me address the role of certainty in the process. there is no such thing in the private sector as certainty. is a government tilting the playing field in a way there is a seemingly endless amount of regulations, red tape, government spending, that are
turning companies very cautious. we see this. the amount of excess reserves that banks are holding because they do not have a profitable opportunities to lend that money. keeping cash on their books. more than $1 trillion and that is an example of money sitting on the sideline because the economic climate is on friendly. i am not saying this to attack democrats and obama. we had intervention under president bush that drove financial business to london and hong kong. i did not care if you have an r or d after your name. it is not going to be good news for job creation. host: kevin from north carolina.
caller: i cannot believe they put you on the air. you were speaking nothing but the truth. people never seem to give a definition of rich people. thank you. guest: the standard definition in washington -- a rich person is someone who makes more than $200,000 a year. is it a single person? is it a family with three kids? politicians will adjust that definition dependent on what date think is to their political advantage. i want more rich people in america. i would love to be rich myself someday. when washington opposes high tax rates, you better believe the warren buffetts of the world
figure out a way to get around those. high tax rates are like a ceiling that make it hard for the ordinary entrepreneur to get rich. i want more and more millionaires being created every day and governments making that carter. -- making it harder. i mentioned the irs regulation that would force american banks to lose money in order to enforce bad foreign tax law. the republicans on capitol have a list of regulations they want to go through that they think the do not meet the smell test. i'm not saying that because i think republicans are picking out the best list. they voted for sarbanes-oxley.
now they are against it when obama is in charge. let's be suspicious of their motives. they are identifying regulation that even by the obama administration's efforts are very, very expensive. host: let me give vivian and others some details. this is a story from "the washington post." it restrict the effort to transfer an assembly line to south carolina. they are seeking a spot for cheaper labor.
int: let's hear from ann chicago, an independent. go ahead, ann. caller: it seems like more of the same. it doesn't make any difference. if it's something a republican has proposed, the turn around and say, let's don't. rwanda is up there with singapore. a next to no regulation -- next to know. this seems to be more bickering. if we had more people that would be buying our riches, we would
hire more people. we need people who have money to get jobs. i think that things like rebuilding the infrastructure in this country would bring forward a lot of the job opportunities. every time the president has a good idea, it is not a good idea. host: let's take your first point, countries on this list above the united states. some of these are hot spots. less regulation leads to less protection of their constituency, and their consumers, and that leads to government unrest -- can you make the point? guest: a survey system. if you were to ask me if that is a perfect system, i would say no.
i would prefer a system that is put out every year from canada. these objective measurements of the burden of regulation rather than reporting what the local businesses said. if you were to match the rankings on regulation, it would at least roughly match up what the world economic forum. the world economic forum ranking is notable is because the world economic forum is so established parenment. this is work french politicians feel comfortable hanging out with these people. host: here is an e-mail.
guest: two good points that are worth making. putting seatbelts in automobiles was an example of regulation. the cost is there, but the benefits are fairly substantial. even a cranky libertarian like me would say maybe thomas jefferson would not force me to wear a seatbelt, but you can recognize there are big benefits at a small cost. this could save lives if we had a 5 mile per hour speed limit regulation. but what we want that? there's a tradeoff. they do not look at trade-offs. it is the common sense our rage of the american people that sometimes stops them from going overboard in terms of this red tape and nonsense they come up
with. host: we have an e-mail. guest: this ties into one of the previous callers. when a business is looking to hire someone, they look at the potential cost that the government imposes on that. they will not hire somebody unless there is demand. if you make can debars that makes -- the fate company makes candy bars that tastes like that. -, nobody will buy you will want economic growth. host: we had a caller during our previous segment and we were
asking about how to expand. he said that most of his workers are unskilled or on educated in the sense that they don't have a college degree -- they are an educated -- unedu cated. they are making less. is your regulation burnt just as great as a bigger company? -- easier regulation burden just as great? guest: maybe their numbers -- which should be skeptical of them. the regulatory burden on small businesses per employee is 38% higher. that stands to reason. if you are a big business, you can spread the cost of regulation and you probably
have a compliance department. if you're a small business, you have to hire a consultant or a new person just to deal with the red tape. that will be a bigger burden then it will be for general electric. there probably have hundreds of people on staff to deal with government red tape. host: let's hear from jill. one last call for jill. question or comment for dan glickman. i will move on. caller: i am a doctor here in washington, d.c. you are not thinking about the unintended consequences. we have a supreme court right now based on current case law
that wants to return to the locker era. if we were -- if we remove the child labor laws, if we remove things like inspections, foods, these are things that may not turn out to be onions and peppers, can vastly harm the general public and will increase medical cost, so you'll end up with a net loss rather than a net gain. guest: question is assuming that companies want to deliberately poisoned their customers, that businesses want to incur a cost. if you look at the evidence, the one thing you'll find if you look at safety or child labor, the recent countries give up child levy is because of economic growth. -- child labor.
little kids at age 5 and 6 are working because that is the only the family avoids starving to death. more than to wonder years ago, we had a child labor -- more than 200 years ago, we had a child labor because relatively speaking we were a poor country. it became very easy for families and now we had the resources for society to say we can educate children. they do not need to be working. we see the same thing with safety data. i remember having a beer cat show me a chart about what osha was created and how workplace -- i remember having a bureaucrat show me a chart. here is the previous 50 years before osha was created and you
see the same line. as we become richer, companies want to minimize death and injury in the workplace because it is the profitable thing to do. after osha was created, workplace injuries and fatalities were falling. no difference in how fast they were falling. host: opponents might say alan greenspan said we have to ease regulation because companies will know not to put themselves at too much risk. they will not go that far, and they did. guest: the financial crisis is a perfect example. why were banks and mortgage bankers making these ridiculous loans? you had a system because of fannie mae and freddie mac where you could make a loan as a banker in the financial sector to somebody and you didn't care
what their income was because you know that you could take that loan and packages with similar loans and sell as a mortgage-backed security because fannie mae and freddie mac under regulation had no choice but to buy it. so yes, banks were making stupid decisions, but they did that because the government intervention created the incentive and it was alan greenspan's federal reserve that inflated the housing bubble in the first place. it is an outrage that alan greenspan bears more responsibility for the financial crisis than any other human being and has the gall to shift the responsibility on some canals. host: the morning, george -- good morning, george.
--to shift the responsibility onto someone else. caller: we have got the sidewalk cut out and there are no sidewalks. we have buildings in our area and they are going to put a second story on and hire more people, but they have to put an elevator in because there might be someone who has a wheelchair who cannot walk up the steps. those are the kinds of regulation -- the cost benefit analysis might be good, but you can't always see what the benefit will be, especially with technology. look at some of the things the came out of nasa. there is no way we could have estimated what that research and development would be. guest: i am proud that this
country can make more accommodations for disabled people. does the americans with disabilities act an example of good regulation or bad regulation? there was an expose of a man who would made dozens of lawsuits against small business owners supposedly because they violated the americans with disability act. who knows what they were suing him for. the local news station found him going on these big morning hikes up the mountains in california. he was scanning the system, using government regulation as a tool of extortion. if you're a small-business
owner, every lawsuit could be a potential death knell in terms of some jury with a huge award. that is an example of how regulations inhibit small businesses and entrepreneurs from engaging in wealth- promoting activities. host: darrin, in indiana. caller: i have a quick question. who is responsible for enforcing the patent laws who seem to ignore the patens and then sell those products at a cheaper price back to us? i'm curious what your answer is. guest: that is not an area that
i know enough about. in the trade dispute is the world trade organization. countries are always engaged and usually in negotiations but sometimes it fighting about pan of stories. there are these efforts to try to harmonize patent laws. this is not my area. i do not know if that will make things better or worse. i do not know enough to give you a competent answer. i like to admit when i do not know something. host: an overall legislation is being discussed. another e-mail -- a tweet. guest: i am not sure why that would be the case.
look at the growing companies. look at apple. it was a small company in a couple of decades ago. so was microsoft. what you want is a lot of churning in your economy. you want people to go out and try and fail. a great thing about america it is that we have a culture where it is ok to fail as an entrepreneur. they know that maybe nine out of 10 of their investments are going to go bust. it is the willingness to try and to try again. that is part of what makes america in the long run a better bet than some of the other economies in the world. make sure you have cost-benefit analysis. we're talking about entrepreneurship in silicon valley. i am not being partisan. if it drives business to hong
kong and london, are we helping america or are we driving businesses to other countries? caller: good morning. when asked how you define rich, you know how to define rich. the families that finance your think tanks. the only bit of a truism that did come out of your mouth is your view and your corporate bastards' view of labour being a liability. labor has been the engine of this nation. to say a few decades ago, apple came into being. host: we will get a response. guest: a couple of decades ago, we probably had some corporate
system that we have today. i like that we now are in a world where there is more churning. i like the fact that some of the big corporate fat cats have to worry about corporate takeovers. there has been at deregulation on wall street that opens up the system. it doesn't mean the system is perfect. one final point about labor. labor is an asset, not a liability. government intervention, regulation and taxing is making it so employers are now looking at employees as a potential liability. every economic theories agrees that you have to mix capital and labor together to get economic of growth. they are both assets host:. we have arguments that were made
on the show on monday. the response that people get. guest: it led to so many people being out of work. that happened under democrats, not just republicans. that is been a trend for the past several decades. a lot of the deregulation was done under the clinton administration and contained by the george w. bush administration. it is bipartisan. there is an overwhelming national opinion against regulation when you frame it as abstract regulation. people think regulation it sounds bad. when you act about individual protection -- do you want green mair?
they always say yes. guest: i give him kudos for not being partisan about it. we have had regulation under democrats and republicans. the entire reason we have the financial crisis was alan greenspan inflating the housing bubble with artificially low interest rates. fannie mae and freddie mac made it profitable in the short run for people to complete give up on any semblance of a good loan underwriting standards. that is going to have a negative result. i will say that our housing sector always sec into a nuclear power as the most regulated
sector of our economy. -- always second two nuclear power as the most regulated sector. host: mary has been waiting on the republican line in kentucky. caller: good morning. do you know of any new regulations? what they do is -- a person cleans up and looks set the oil fields. it has nothing on them. they say, ok, we got oil. i don't know anything about this stuff. i owned the land and the partial mineral rights. who'd you contact in washington
up?et a mess cleanned guest: that is a great question. a farmer complained about the regulation and the president said, call the department of agriculture and they will clear things up. several news organizations to the president's word seriously. they would spend all day for a couple of days on the phone getting shot from one bureaucracy to the other and never getting a straight answer on what the rules would be. imagine you're a smart journalist and you know how the system works and you're not just a person in the midwest who is not familiar with the government. even though you're a bright person, you cannot get a straight answer out of the government and you are spending two days of your times.
imagine a person taking the president up on his advice and trying to get a straight answer out of government. it is not just you don't know which regulations are coming down the pike with the dodd- frank bill and obamacare. of course still have a chilling affect on your ability to invest. host: one last question for dan glickman -- dan mitchell of the cato institute. caller: as they make all these regulations, you take somebody like general election that made it $19 billion and got $5 million in tax credit and sent jobs overseas.
people did not pay income tax. they are not consumers. guest: the general electric story is one that i have torn emotions about. i like it when companies get to keep more of their money because that is good for shareholders, workers, and consumers. has figured aric way to lower their taxes. i do not like where big companies get in bed with big government. the ceo is sitting on the advisory council. byy're always trotted out the white house as what a good corporate citizen they are. they get these favorable rules and contracts and subsidies from the government.
let me make one point that is critically important. believing in free markets does not mean you believe in big business. in means that you want a better rules that are naturally applied it to everybody whether you are big or small or rich or poor or whether you or an average guy on the street, everyone has equal opportunity and the government is not trying to interfere with your ability to barter or exchange as a consenting adult. host: 25 of last year's 100 highs paint chief executives took more harm than the company's paid in federal corporate income taxes. guest: if you are in a weak economy, it is not a surprise that you're probably not making money as a corporation.
you look at a corporation that has zero profits and the average factory worker is making more than the company is paying in taxes. let's knock on wood or knock on glass that we get back. we have a 35% federal tax rate which is higher than in every european welfare state, it is no surprise that we're losing jobs overseas. our tax system and our regulatory system is making it difficult for american companies to compete. i want jobs in america. we have a good economic system with those simple, neutral rules evenly applied to rich, poor, powerful, not powerful. that's not what happens when you
have big government. they manipulated for their advantage. host: dan mitchell of the cato institute. we will turn to foreign aid funds. dan glickman, now chairman of the center for u.s. global leadership. he will be joining us. here's an update from c-span radio. >> craig fugate in remarks today says his agency will have enough money to aid those flooded from their homes by hurricane irene. he downplayed suggestions that congress will not a corporate emergency response funding without corresponding budget cuts. he said the machinations of
congress will not affect his agency's mission. all but one community, off by flooding has been reached by ground crews. the vermont national guard has been airdropping ready-to-eat meals and watert to three of the stranded communities. president obama is set to talk about a federal highway bill that will protect about 1 million jobs. the house is considering a six- year bill. the senate proposal would cost $109 billion. congress returns to work next week. live coverage on c-span2. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> it by night's surprise you
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: we're back with dan glickman, a familiar face to many of you. the discussion today is about foreign aid. the republicans met yesterday. democrats will have a conference call today. foreign aid could be on the chopping block. what do you mean by foreign aid? guest: foreign assistance is referred to in two basic areas. food aid, humanitarian assistance around the world, helping countries become more self sufficient. we're providing food aid to the horn of africa, somalia. the reconstruction of pakistan and afghanistan.
the total foreign aid budget is about 1% of the total budget of the united states. host: how much in billions of dollars? guest: about $50 billion. a lot of folks when they are asked -- when i was in the house, i would say, how much do we spend on foreign aid? it is about 1% of the budget that covers food assistance and humanitarian assistance. a very small part of the total budget of the united states. host: $50 billion sounds like a lot of money. in these economic times when folks do not have jobs, why should we be spending that amount on foreign aid? guest: we spent probably 20 times that amount in the defense
picture to protect the national security. a lot of the foreign aid is part of the national security function. they become politically secure so they do not revolt. we saw in north africa, tunisia, parts of libya and egypt a lot of the insurrection occurred because of economic problems -- food, prices. providing this assistance can keep these countries stable and can provide long-term economic development and allows jobs to flourish here. a big part is in its humanitarian assistance. it is for people who are hungry and who are starving. that is where the united states has been a leader. no area can be totally exempt from budget cuts. this is a very important part of the u.s. projection of power.
it is just as important as the defense dollars that we spend every day. host: why is the u.s. global leadership part of this? are you advocating for more money? what is the worst-case scenario if half of foreign aid is gone rid of, or more? guest: no area it is immune from looking at the budget process. you cannot say cut everywhere else but not here. the question is one of degree. we're not making giant cuts in our defense budget. these dollars goal in many respects to augment our national security budget by providing an assistant that builds stable societies. food aid, vaccinations, medical
assistance. we have cut their rate of polio in africa almost in half largest in part because of foreign assistance. if we were to cut it dramatically, it would have grave humanitarian consequences around the world. we're seeing one the largest famines in history in east africa. we're going to see a lot more of these problems involving food in sufficiency -- insufficiency or around the world. other countries will pick up the slack. they are moving strongly in africa and in asia as well. no longer will the united states be the strongest, the dominant force in these parts of the world. host: answer the question -- guest: this is a coalition of
some of the largest corporations in the world's like care and other humanitarian organizations. veterans groups and we have lots of former flag officers, and generals, animals who are pushing for smart power -- admirals. for us to build the relationships that we need around the world that will give us economic relationships and political relationships. these relationships have coalesced together. they are fighting to maintain foreign assistance funding. it is interesting to find veterans' leaders, former generals, admirals joining with corporate leaders in wanting to make sure that america maintains
its leadership because it has a national security consequences. when you build stable societies, they tended to buy more american products and that means jobs in this country as well. it is a coalition -- some people call a strange combination of bedfellows. host: let me show our viewers some numbers that were put together from april 6, 2011. about $30 billion for the united states. why are we almost double -- more than double than these other countries? what if we were to scale back to their level? guest: were probably five, six,
and seven times greater in previous years. consider all of the economic humanitarian side of the picture. if we were to cut back, the other countries would not go up. china and maybe the indians might go up. i think that food assistance is in great jeopardy. there was a 30% cut in food assistance for humanitarian purposes. i think a lot of people would go hungry. it is not in our interest to see that happen. our power and influence is in large part due to our military power and our economic power and our power of values and to help those who are struggling. this is one% -- 1 % of our
budget. host: we're talking to dan glickman of the center for u.s. global leadership. let's. to ray -- let's talk to ray. good morning. caller: hello? this is ray. i feel that the economic value in our country is not as rich as what it is made out to be. i feel that we should put more -- more focus to our country and not to the other countries. i do believe that america was a
power in the past, but with their recent credit rating dropping and with our economy, i think that we should spend more money taking care of our own country. guest: i understand that and i kind of agree with that. the heart of what our country should be is to take care of ourselves. 1% of theing about budget. we spend far more than that in defense figures to do a lot of the same things. the second point is that most of the jobs of the future for american workers will be based upon exports around the world. that is work 90% -- that is where 90% of the population is.
they need to be stronger so they can buy our stuff. and so the market opportunities are great, but they are greater or these countries around the world are much more stable. to help people from starving to death and be immunized from the serious disease. i understand what ray is saying. host: you mentioned other mentions like china and india if the united states were to withdraw its foreign assistance. does china and india attach strings to the money that they give? guest: we attach less strings then they do. the chinese have been active in africa and they come in and the quid pro quo for their coming in is extracting minerals or other precious resources that are
needed. by and large, the u.s. foreign assistance program is geared towards rebuilding national infrastructure, health, agriculture, building basically the foundations of a modern society. i would say that over the years, at the heart of our assistance has been much more humanitarian and much less strings related in other parts of the world. host: should we put strings on this money? guest: when you have loans and not direct aid and we would want to make sure that countries that receive our aid have democratic principles because people are throwing out totalitarian leaders in africa.
the big chunk of our assistance has been in food aid, health aide, immunizations, and trying, sanitation, sewers, so they can become economic partners and so they can buy our stuff. host: the state to pour in, about $9 billion. mike inext to it m minneapolis. caller: i am little nervous here. i am listening to this going back and forth. a delayed reaction. anyway, can you still hear me? host: that is a problem.
turn the volume down. caller: you are living in a la- la land. look out there. it is falling apart. you're talking about stabilizing other countries. look at our own country. it is a mess. you're talking about feeding children in other countries. i think it is one out of four kids in the united states are going to bed hungry. you're talking about a global economy. we don't need a global economy. you're exactly on the wrong path. guest: we do need a global economy. if you work for boeing, the 60% of the airplanes and 60% of the workers are sale overseas. we need people to buy those
airplanes. caterpillar, john deere. we need people to buy those tractors. we need to sell more than we do right now. without a global economy, we will not survive. i do agree that there has not been enough attention to rebuilding the american infrastructure, the american work face, the american economy, and that has to be the heart and focus of what we're doing. for the 1% of the budget, it goes to foreign assistance, we can do two or three things that can help us with the economy. we can help build the infrastructure of companies and countries that will then grow and buy things from the united states, and that is beginning to happen in africa and asia where these countries have become much stronger and they
are buying these airplanes and farm equipment. america has always been a leader in helping the rest of the world survived with disease and hunger. we are the moral course of the world. that does not mean we have to take on the total responsibility ourselves. i am not arguing for 5% or 10% of the budget. but 1% augments american power in our ability to influence the world so we can continue to be strong and continued to provide jobs. that is why military leaders all over this country, general petraeus and others have said this part of our budget is critical to america's national security. i argued with the fact that we should drop all of our
assistance to the rest of the world. it does not help american workers. host: 8 republican in columbus, georgia. caller: one thing that concerns me with foreign aid -- we have everybody -- host: we are listening. caller: the one thing like haiti. ec adult men sitting there and waiting for us to go over there -- you see adult man waiting for us to go over there and do something for them. guest: i agree with you. in some respects we created a culture of dependency in some parts of the world. under the assistance provided by the department of agriculture and the department of defense, the idea is to help people help
themselves. help people to feed themselves. help people grope their own economies. i think you are a spot on -- help people grow their own economies. host: we have a tweet. guest: i am not aware of any foreign assistance that is going directly to china any more. i think over the years we have assistance going to india and that is waning as the indians are becoming much more powerful. but the chinese are big competitors of hours. the chinese are all over east africa building roads, sewers, water systems. they get access to precious minerals that help them become a much stronger economic power. to some extent, the new challenge in the world is for us to compete with china and other
countries who are developing these relationships and building these societies so that they can ship things and produce more back at home. host: usaid is part of the state department. they do their own foreign assistance. these are the numbers. guest: but the state department is in many respects in war- related developments like an afghanistan and pakistan. the part of the u.s. foreign assistance is run to the u.s. agency for economic development. we have been leaders in the world. the united states has supplied over half of the food assistance to hungry people around the world, and that is in great jeopardy right now. it is something that we're going to have to have a top focus on
in the future. host: we have a comment on twitter. guest: i think she is making my point in a sense. host: the reason for going into these countries? wofold.that is to fo i still think we're the richest country in the world. that has been jeopardized. we have not invested enough at home over the past. that is no reason for us to withdraw. years ago, will rogers once made a comment. he said america has two of the greatest friends in the world. they are the atlantic and the pacific ocean. we have always had a bit of an isolationist streak in this country.
we have not had to deal with foreign governments because they have been separated. which is that canada and mexico -- we just have canada and mexico, who are allies. a number of american jobs will be dependent on exports. we have to develop markets all over the world. the developing world has to be positioned with an adequate amount of sewers and roads and with people so that they will grow and buy our products. host: columbus, ohio, an independent. caller: this is another global, plot that sends our money overseas. we give so much money to israel and egypt, both of which have caused more problems in the area. israel will not make peace.
we continue to spend billions of dollars in wars in the middle east, which are unnecessary. guest: i would take issue. we may disagree with the policy. thanks to american development assistance, the number of children dying before their fifth birthday in the world has been cut in half. polio cases in africa have been reduced by over 90% in 20 years. thanks for president bush and president clinton and president obama aids relief plan, over 2.5 million people have received drugs and we've made significant progress in the fight against aids all over the world. hundreds of millions of people have been helped.
said recipients around the world have become self sustaining business owners, and many of them are now importing products from the united states. i understand the concern there. i am not necessarily saying that i agree with all u.s. policies in terms of the allocation of resources. but most of the develop assistance goes to help people who are hurting around the world. host: that is the definition of foreign aid verses military aid . guest: largely what i'm talking about today is development assistance. host: afghanistan tops the list
at $3 billion. guest: that is by a large economic assistance numbers. host: right. spokane, washington, a republican. caller: thank you for c-span, a great network. a great segment. i thank the left and the right hand out reaches in this country to take a step back and realize what they have and what this country offers all loss. i felt a couple of weeks ago that maybe we should not be giving that much money away and maybe we should be focusing more on the homeland.
the listing to segment and how intelligently you are speaking, you make complete sense. a majority of this world is hurting. let's think about maybe pakistan and some other countries that might funnel this capital into a different way. he took a quotation from will rogers, which is ironic. he was right on. we are blessed. we are lucky in this country. people should listen to what you have to say and be grateful to the country we live in.
guest: a few comments. that is not my brother who called. [laughter] it was president herbert hoover who president roosevelt that its ties to to do a massive effort to feed the world. it was the effort under truman which quite eisenhower continued and expanded. it was the program under president kennedy that president nixon continued strongly did i was in africa in march, and went to tanzania, mozambique. they said america had three great leaders -- president george bush, for his efforts on pepfar, aids, malaria, bill clinton, through the clinton initiative, and barack obama. here in africa, i find that the
three heroes of the african continent of american leadership or a republican president bush, two democratic presidents, clinton and obama. we are very popular in that region of the world. we are not popular in a lot of places, all we are popular in sub-saharan africa. almost 1/3 of the countries in the u.n. general assembly are in africa. it is a political benefit for us to do the right things as well. host: a tweet about africa. guest: well, it is our problem if you think they are going to be citizens of the world who are going to be contributing and growing and may be buying our products and providing help for america's national security. you just cannot neglect a continent. they have great natural
resources. they have not had adequate legal assistance, infrastructure, roads, water system. there is a lot of movement happening around the world. especially in the developing world. when you look at the future of the world, the growth is likely to take place in the developing world, like africa and asia. that is where the economic power is going to be bid i predict 20 or 30 years for now, you are going to see great economic development at great economic power in the places of the world where you have not seen it over the last 30 or 40 years. the united states needs to be engaged in that part of the world or we are going to lose. we are going to lose the chinese, lose to the russians, lose to a lot of other folks who have become economically superior to us. i think that is in our national interest. host: charles, a democrat in jacksonville, florida. caller: i would like to ask a couple of questions, but first of all, i want to know, since we are the richest country in the
world, like it has been said, why is it we never said anything about -- host: charles, i'm sorry, about what? caller: australia. if i can convict the man for a little bit, australia is the -- if i can contradict the man for a little bit, australia is the only continent that is literally surrounded by water. australia also has here, in this country, at gas stations, several other types of businesses that are taking -- what do we get from australia? guest: well, australia is a fine country. it is also a very small country, and its population is largely on the coast, because australia is primarily a desert, arid country, although they do
produce a lot of wheat and are a strong agriculture country. very small population, does not have nearly the economic power of the united states. host: another tweet. alluding to the waist and the corruption and fraud. guest: a lot of it has not reached somalia because you have warlords and al qaeda operations to have kept humanitarian assistance, at united nations, other humanitarian organizations out. just recently we have managed to get humanitarian aid into somalia -- host: how do you prevent that? guest: it is a very big problem. we have had in fact in other parts of africa -- ethiopia, kenya, djibouti. there have been less problems than there would have been because there is greater economic growth and greater agriculture practices.
somalia is a country that has been run by warlords, has no legal system, basically is a chaotic, almost on civilized country. it has been extremely difficult to astonish and economic system -- to establish an economic system. in somalia, the challenge is to feed people and keep them from dying as they die in somalia and move into refugee camps in other parts of the world. host: indianapolis, independent line. caller: hello, this is ted from indianapolis. guest: yes, sir. caller: just a minute. i have a few comments for you, mr. glickman. i am a former manager, retired, at age 70, have a master's degree in ag-econ, and i disagree with you on the final stages of economic growth. i agree with you that roads and sewers and economic
infrastructure are required. but my statement to you is, i don't think we can afford it anymore. i think that the nation has too much in debt, and maybe we cannot afford -- i believe in foreign aid, but the problem is, it is very inefficient. the state department had an interview the other day and said that they only get 20% to the people who need it when they ship food to somalia because there is no infrastructure and the warlords steal it. host: all right, we were just talking about that, but -- guest: somalia is different because of the warlords and al qaeda-related operations to other parts of the world, people get virtually all the aid sent to them. as a farm manager, you know that producing agriculture, you need a lot of things, roads, sewers, ways to get crops to market, you need to understand farming practices, marketing.
all these things are part of what is now happening in that part of the world, sub-saharan africa and south asia. within the next 20 or 30 years, these people could become great producers of food, which means they are the great fires of american products, seed, farm equipment. it is already beginning to happen. when i was in tanzania, i saw a number of a john deere tractors. it is complicated. i am not saying it is an easy thing to do. for less than 1% of our budget, we basically provide this kind of assistance to the rest of the world. host: carlisle, pennsylvania, republican line. anastasia? caller: i was actually calling in at a reference to the tweet from earlier with a comment that we use 25% of the resources. my comment is that even though we use 25% of the resources, we also ship out so much aid and help to these other countries
that a lot of the resources we use to get spread around the world. also, with food shortage going on at round the world, why are we paying our farmers to keep their fields fallow? is that the search for the all- american dollar, which actually isn't all that great right now? or is it, you know, or some other purpose, because i get really confused whenever i read reports and see the news on that. guest: that is a good question. by and large, we do not pay our farmers to keep their fields fallow anymore. we did that in the 1980's and 1990's. the only place we do that is the conservation program, the conservation reserve program where we basically a people to keep highly erobale land out of -- erodable land out of production to preserve it. we are looking to see if we have too much of that land in
conservation fields. we are ending the period up surpluses in farm supplies. for years we had excess supplies of wheat and soybeans. those days are over. the big problem in the venture is going to be can we produce enough food for the world -- the big problem in the future is going to be can we produce enough food for the world? when we have lots of surplus of food available, it was easier to feed the world. now it is going to be a lot trickier, because the equilibrium between supply and demand in food is going to be tighter than a was before. guest: i think that is a good
question. if you talk to the folks at the agency for international development, they are in the period of changing the methodology of foreign assistance to invest and to help countries grow themselves and to become more self-sufficient. there is a program called "feed the future," geared to helping farmers become self-sufficient so that they don't have to rely on food aid and grants. the ford foundation, gates, clinton, rockefeller and others are all over the developing world trying to encourage self- sufficiency, not reliance, but self-sufficiency. that is fairly new. a friend of mine is howard buffett, warren buffett's son, heavily involved in efforts in eastern and sub-saharan africa. the focus over the last five years has changed from pouring gifts in it to one that encourages self sufficiency and
economic development. host: ohio, it democratic line. caller: good morning. i just want to say, the midwest is full of evidence that free trade has not worked. no, it is not worker wages, not our standard of living, not our unions. it is a classic economic policy that has done this to us. secondly, the times of the last 50 years has been to pocket the difference between our way of life and the ways of four world countries. -- third world countries politicians and economists have used import rates to increase demand in this country, increasing employment and all the things that i encourage industry in this country. guest: first of all, i cannot go into detail about how our industrial policy over the last 30 years has it worked or not worked.
in a sense i agree with the caller that we have made serious mistakes. the country is benefiting from a significant increase in farm exports overseas and we have some of the harvest farm prices in history, and a lot of that has been caused by the growth in demand are around the world. regardless of what the gentleman says, and he may be right in terms of industrial policy, in terms of our ability to keep involved in the rest of the world and growing economies so they can buy our stuff, i think that is very important for the future of workers in this country. we will not produce a work force without some and a dependency and the rest of the world. now, we have to make sure it is fair, we have to make sure that trade laws are properly being enforced. i don't want to blame everything on this idea that we have relationships with the rest of the world. second, on the humanitarian side, we have saved tens of millions of people from dying. the united states of america, in the last 30 to 40 years, has
saved tens of millions of people from dying, from starvation and from disease. you know, i think that is one of the things that is part of our value system in america. maybe the rest of the world doesn't share that, but i think that is a damn good thing for our country to begin. host: anchorage, alaska. caller: is an absolute necessity, and i agree that we should always have -- help foreign countries and so on, but i don't understand why we are minimizing -- only 1% of our budget goes into foreign trade, up 1% of our budget is trillions of dollars. for instance, we have foreign trade money to two point-some billion dollars goes to turkey, we also have a . defense budget of billions of dollars on the pakistan border to defend our country and the train -- to train soldiers from
other countries. the long and short of what i am saying is that we are minimizing it 1% of our budget -- it is a lot of money. guest: is a lot of money, but it is not trillion dollars. i need to make that clear. when i was in congress, i would go to town hall meetings, and i would get numbers wrong, but my constituents would get numbers wrong. 1% of the budget in this case is roughly $50 billion going into international development and assistance. it is a lot of money, i don't want to minimize it. but the benefits, if less than well, is a very great to the united states. host: dan glickman, thank you for talking to our viewers. guest: i enjoyed it, a lot. host: coming out, climatology's our topic, but first, at a news update from c-span radio. >> an update on the job market.
in a new report, they said that u.s. employers plan to cut another 51,000 jobs from the perils, but the cuts represent 23% decline from last month. cuts from july hit a 16-month high. one week before the president outlines his jobs plan, republican presidential candidate jon huntsman will offer his own detailed job creation blueprint at a speech today in new hampshire. the former utah governor will be the first gop candidate to offer such a plan. c-span is covering his address. you can hear it later on c-span radio. general david petraeus leaves the army today after 37 years. many thought the general would become chairman of the joint chiefs of staff after being credited with turning around iraq and afghanistan wars. but president obama asked him to take the top job at the cia. he starts next week as cia director. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio.
>> every weekend, it is american history tv on c-span. saturday mornings, 48 hours people and events telling the american story. our history bookshelf features some of the best known history writers. revisit the figures, battles and events during the 150th anniversary of the civil war. visit college classrooms across the country during lectures and history. go behind the scenes at museums and historic sites on "american artifacts." "the presidency" looks at the policies and legacies of past american presidents. get our complete schedule at c- span.org/history. >> he is not partisan guy who wants to unite people -- a partisan guys who wants to unite people. all the problems of this era, we
get from this guy. >> he has the misfortune of running against a great military hero, dwight eisenhower. i don't really think there is any way that adlai stevenson could have won. >> you think of allen smith in 1928, lost overwhelmingly to herbert hoover but paved the way for franklin roosevelt. there are 14 people in this series, many of whom i guarantee viewers may never have heard of, at all of whom i pretty much guarantee they will find interesting to fascinating, and certainly surprising. >> history professor jean baker, realclearpolitics editor carl cannon, and historian richard norton smith talk about the
candidates who ran and lost. a series beginning friday, september 9. "washington journal" continues. host: and we are back to talk about our weather series this week, "tracking the weather." what date we look at disaster relief and preparedness, -- yesterday, we look at disaster relief and preparedness. tomorrow, the role of noaa, and friday, the role of the national weather service. today, climatology. james kinter is a climate dynamics professor at george mason university. let's begin with what is climatology. guest: climatology is a study of the statistics of weather. a lot of people confuse weather and climate. they tended to think of climate is just the same thing as weather. what we do is study the long- term variability and statistics
of weather. we look at temperature records, precipitation records, sunshine, cloudiness, pressure and so on in the atmosphere. we also look at how the variability in the world's oceans happen to transpire from year to year and decade to decade. host: what is done with the information? guest: there is a lot of data collected. we have an apparatus a classic mcculloh, both in the united states and -- and apparatus across the globe, both in the united states and other countries, to collect the information. we have a lot of resources deployed in the atmosphere and in the ocean to try to measure those quantities i was just talking about. all that data is publicly shared with people -- anybody who has access to the internet, or people like me who do research with the data. 8 is also used for what people call operational purposes, which means they make weather and
climate forecasts with the information. host: and what government decisions are made based on the information? guest: you have the reason everybody is talking about, hurricane irene -- recent events everybody's talking about, hurricane irene. the data is gathered and put into computer models to make weather forecasts. fema, state emergency management people, people ought to make decisions about whether to put sandbags in front of their property, all of those decisions were based on the information coming from weather forecasters. host: what is climate dynamics and how does it differ from climatology? guest: they are very similar, of course. they are both the scientific studies. in the case of climatology, we are thinking of a long-term statistical relationships. in the case of climate dynamics, climate means change or movement, so we're looking at how things are changing, particularly how things are interacting. we study the atmosphere, the ocean, lan service, including
the organisms that live on the lan servers. we try to understand how they all interact to produce these sorts of variations we observe. host: white to you differentiate between climate and weather? -- why do you differentiate between climate and weather? guest: there was a famous quotation from a professor at mit that weather is what you get an climate is what you expect. if you look at the w -- look out the window, the weather is beautiful in washington that is exactly what we expect for late august. if you go back a week, we were having to run for rain, it was cloudy, the wind was blowing vigorously, and that is not what we expect trade in principle, -- not what we expect. in principle, irene is the weather. host: what agencies partake in
it? guest: the principal agency is noaa, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and they are responsible for monitoring the atmosphere and the oceans, and they are responsible for archiving and maintaining the data when we take measurements of the climate system. in de thirdly have the responsibility of producing outlook on -- climatethe -- they thirdly have the responsibility of producing outputs on climate time at skills. other agencies are also involved, primarily supporting research like what my group does. we are federally funded. we write proposals to get competitive research grants that are principally funded by the national science foundation -- also by noaa, nasa, in our case, the department of energy. other agencies are involved, including the environmental protection agency, the faa, federal aviation administration, the department of interior -- i
mean, i could go on. host: what is gun with the information that you gather? -- what is done with the information that you gather? guest: we have a scholarly papers, so all of our work eventually is described in a scholarly journal, which is pe er-reviewed by other scientists who are experts in our field. we provide that information back to government agencies to help them improve computer models they are using to make a better forecasts, to find better ways of making use of the information. we work very closely with scientists who are in federal laboratories. host: here is a headline from "the christian science monitor." explain that a little bit more. guest: in the case of hurricanes, we have a fundamental observational problem. is a bad place to go. if you want to launch a weather
at bellona or something in the instance of a hurricane, you are more interested in preserving your life and gathering data what they are doing now is finding robotic ways to gather the information. we have data coming to us from space in the form of satellite information, but we would like to get a closer look. particularly with hurricanes, the problem of forecasting hurricanes is getting the intensity of the storm right. that means we have to know a lot about the internal structure of the hurricane. the way we represent hurricanes today is vastly superior to what was a fuse ago, but they're missing pieces we don't understand. host: that was a criticism with hurricane irene, that scientists could say it is heading towards a new york, this is its path, but we don't know if it is going to be category 3 or category one. what is the future of predicting its intensity?
guest: first, i should say, in my opinion, the forecast for hurricane irene was spectacular. the track was predicted very tightly many, many days in advance. if you talk to emergency management people, they tell you that 72 hours in advance is the sweet spot. they have to deploy resources with the aftermath, protection of life and property, and that timescale is exactly what they need, about three days lead a parade of. the forecasts were spot on a three days in advance. as far as i'm concerned, it was a wonderful forecast. what we expect an added feature is that the two things that were missing right now is, as i said, better information about the internal structure of the hurricane, particularly the internal part, which is in the clouds. clouds are a very difficult problem for us.
the other thing we need is the computers that we are using for all weather prediction and climate research and climate prediction are still not adequate, even though they are very large, very fast super- computers. they are by far not the fastest supercomputers in the world and not what we really need to do the job. host: if you look at how precisionker's has grown over the years -- "in 1970, forecasters predict that fall to within four hundred miles three days in advance. by 2010, the path and intensity could be forecast a five days out to within 200 miles." guest: you are reading from the bible, from my point of view. it is exactly what we expect. we are seeing a steady, unfortunately a bit slower than we like, progress to getting forecast. one thing we look at in our research is whether there is an
irreducible limit to that uncertainty, whether we can decide if now we have done the best we can. that still remains a bit elusive, but what you are seeing in the statistics you just read is that forecasts are getting better and we can expect to continue to do that for at least another couple of years and decades. host: we are dividing the lines along region here. we hear from vicky 1st in florida gue. caller: good morning trade first time caller. host: welcome. caller: i love and c-span. i am so happy that a topic like this is on c-span. i wish that the topic it could also be, in our local weather channels, and agitating the communities -- as far in indicating the communities as
far as the weather patterns but on not just local weather, but we just discovered this hurricane in florida, we are a hurricane state, and it is well known about hurricanes, but all over the world there are things happening. there is earthquakes, typhoons hit the philippines. sometimes i just wish that we would emphasize education for our children that local weather is an avenue for that to be expanded. my question to you there, sir, is that what effect do these 20 grids owned by various countries -- i think we own four or five of them, and the last one was built in alaska -- that affects the jet stream? in your research, do you take
that into consideration? host: to you know what she's talking about? guest: no, i don't. host: can you explain grids a little more? guest: i know in vietnam they had this weather warfare. the history channel had this program about what was being made, and certain countries build them. i apologize for not knowing the official grid name, but the last one that was built, i guess it was finished a couple of years ago in alaska. host: james kinter? guest: i am not entirely familiar with what you're talking about, but there is a history of weather modification research that has gone on. the military has been involved in that, as well as civilian researchers. this is not my area specifically, but my understanding is that our times
to make changes to the weather have not -- our attempts to make changes to the weather have not been all that successful. we have some capability to alter the amount of precipitation in a strong, if we happen to have storm clouds available to us with cloud seeding and those sorts of techniques. but the idea that has been there that we would be able to steer tropical storms into a different place or that we might be able to somehow influence a very large scale circulation in the atmosphere, like the jet stream you mentioned, is probably ill founded. we don't really believe that is particularly possible at this point. host: herre is a tweet. guest: i think a five degrees is probably quite a large number and not realistic. there are people who are studying that. that is not really weather, a problem. problem.ather, climate
host: it does not impact climate and weather? guest: probably in his goal fact. -- probably a minuscule effect. host: greg. caller: it is important to note that the government bodies that help us track climate phenomenon and issues that relate to climate change, like noaa and others, are being cut at our slated for cuts by the republican party. in that regard, i would like to suggest that this super committee that is being put together, that has been put together, to cut the budget have as a guiding principle not cutting anything that is going to help us track, learn about, mitigate, prevent or otherwise address carbon loading of the atmosphere and climate change and, conversely, cut first everything that helps subsidize and promote carbon-loading of
the answer, like corporate jet subsidies. talk about a fight carbon footprint for individuals. and of course, subsidies for the oil and gas and coal industries. if we cannot do at least as much as we go about putting our budget to also cut our carbon, the future is really bleak on every front, and our political system, i.e. the republican party, which seems to dominate it, will properly be condemned by every future generation if we cannot at least to that. host: that as gregory in california. here is a tweet. guest: sure. one of the things we get asked a lot about the work we're doing on climate prediction, climate predictability, future climate change, is how that impacts extreme weather and particularly be sorts of things we experienced on the east coast.
our answer to that is that climate change is happening, it is likely to be associated with human activity, and we believe that the way things are going in the climate system will lead to more extreme behavior of the weather. that being said, is a very general statement, and people want more specific information about things like specific hurricane. the problem, of course, is in the climate research world, those are the things we cannot answer. the analogy i like to use with the students is if you think about -- do a thought experiment where we are dropping little pieces of paper and we mark on the floor where all the paper of lands, what you find is that there will be a preferred spot where the paper plans and then it will spread out from all directions to have less and less paper piling up. that would be what climatologist at you as a probability
distribution, basically telling us what the likelihood is of where the paper is going to land. if we put a fan at one end of the world and keep dropping pieces of paper, the distribution will shift. if you think of the extreme at places where paper might land, hurricanes if we are thinking of an analogy for the weather, wind blowing in one direction will give us more of that extreme behavior in a direction away from the fan. that is where we are looking right now, trying to understand how the change in weather affects the predictability of climate. host: so climate change is the study of probability and variables? guest: exactly. we have to wait awhile to see whether or not the climate has changed. we collect statistics, we construct the distribution to tell us how different things are, and then we wait awhile and
see how different things are compared to previous statistics. host: catherine, north carolina. morning, catherine. catherine? north carolina. all right, i will move on to will in oregon. caller: good morning, c-span and "washington journal." host: we're listening, will. caller: i would like to comment on what the lady from florida was talking about. she's talking about the harp, a project in alaska. i am very disturbed by the level of ignorance of the general public on things like harp. they of the result of, as i see it, just sheer misunderstanding of what the atmosphere is all about. could you comment on the education level of american citizens and what we might do to raise that level?
guest: yes, i am glad you brought up at point. it is a serious problem we have in this country. there seems to be what people in the education community called a leaky pipeline for scientists. most of my students art graduate students who are working towards ph.d.s in climate dynamics. many of our students are from other countries. we don't see as many americans coming into the program as we would like. that is not really a big issue for us. it is a big issue for the country at large. we're not seeing people thinking of a science or scientific research as a career possibility. we are trying to understand that, trying to understand how we might do a better job of educating the public. one thing that we're doing is using a social media at, the internet, to try to put information out in a form that is more palatable and more
acceptable to people so they can digest it more readily. we also try to do a lot of things in terms of reaching into a secondary education, high schools and also to graduates to see a path towards scientific careers at. with the general population, there is a crying need for people to become informed about what the real risks are and what the real issues are with regard to weather and climate and climate change. host: joe, washington, d.c. caller: two quick questions. first, what is the role of the commercial sector in climatology second, what kind of impact will the forced discretionary budget cuts have on commerce, noaa, and you guys? thank you very much. guest: the private sector is very active in the weather world. you can probably named several private companies yourself that are very obviously apparent in
producing weather products, weather forecasts, weather information, producing the weather on television and so on. for climate, the private sector has not been quite as vigorous, principally because the government is providing a lot of information, but also because people don't really know what to do with the information. that is a rapidly growing sector. there are a number of companies that are starting to provide a climate forecast information, climate change information. there will be a big need in the future of for the next couple of tickets for what i will call translators, people who are -- but he added a feature for the next couple of decades of what i will call translators, people who are adept at explaining the problem and communicating the issues to the public at large. your second question on budget cuts, there is one that is very obvious right now. we have, as i mentioned earlier, a reliance on satellites to provide us with a global coverage information on weather
and climate. the satellites are very expensive to develop, launch, maintain, collect the data and make use of it. the u.s. government puts a lot of money to satellites. that is where the commission comes to you on the internet or private companies like the weather channel. those satellite mission will be in jeopardy if we have budget cuts such as are being discussed today. i think that, along with the fact that we have and invested -- we have not invested as well as we should in computing infrastructure for weather and climate and also, of course, research, we see a dwindling capability to provide the sorts of cutting edge research activities that are needed to advance weather for cats and climate prediction -- weather forecasts and climate prediction. host: bill in mobile, alabama. caller: we have heard lots of information about the presence of el nino and la nina and the
presence of hurricanes on the atlantic coast. this year i have not heard anything could be just me, but anything on that? guest: yes, a routine said predictions have come out from the u.s. government, the climate prediction center, no way, that relates el nino, la nina, to hurricanes in the atlantic a center. this past winter, el nino has been in its "feminine phase," if you like, and has been translating into a neutral state. currently, the tropical state is near neutral in temperature, meaning it is about at its expected value, it's climatological average or expected value. that ought to provide some capability for the atlantic hurricanes to be more vigorous than normal this year. that was forecast by the climate
prediction center, as well as by the hurricane center. that information should have gotten out. it is a little surprising to hear that people were not aware of it. are closed la nina to my heart. the relationship to hurricanes and weather on the west coast as well as indonesia, australia, micronesia, south america, all of those areas are significantly impacted by the state of the ocean in the tropical pacific. host: what are you studying next when it comes to la nina and all that? what is the prediction for the future on these weather patterns? guest: we have the ability to protect el nino with several months lead with some are on the order of the 70% accuracy. el nino turned out to be quite dependent on whether it is
summer or winter. particularly if it is spring in the northern hemisphere, we have that difficulty predicting how el nino and la nina will evolve beyond that point. we are working to understand if that is a basic limitation that nature is providing to us that is basically hiding el nino under the covers and we cannot make those forecasts or if it is a limitation of our understanding in the computer models. we are trying to understand if we can push beyond the barrier we have today and not make more accurate, -- lead forecasts of el nino. host: bill is next in washington. caller: i went to the seattle area in 1995 and worked for a big asphalt company. i said, "what is the best way to forecast the weather around here?" there is not rain, it is
going to rain." that is probably the best way. host: [laughter] guest: in meteorology circles, week you persistence as the best work -- gas. -- we view persistence of the best forecast. whatever is happening today, you ought to expect something different tomorrow. host: texas. caller: a couple of calls about harp and tim trail. i'm wondering if you knew what was in the kinter a little bit if we pay more carbon taxes, will hurricanes and tornadoes go away? host: [laughter] guest: i don't know a lot about the atmosphere chemistry programs people talking about. the answer to the second question is a resounding no. we will seek hurricanes and tornadoes regardless of whether climate change is going forward or southbound up from happening.
i don't think that we are expecting such huge changes in the climate system that we would have tropical storms disappear. but what we are wondering, and trying to understand, is whether climate change will have an impact on storms entrance up changing intensity or the probability of recurring. right now the jury is out. we have research that supports both sides of the question. we expect that in the future, 50-100 years from now, there might be more intense tropical cyclones, and we might see basically the same distribution that we have today. that is an area of a very active research right now, to understand how climate change will impact hurricanes and tropical storms. host: cindy in alabama, will come to the conversation. caller: i am curious, are you doing studies on the effect of weather due to the bp oil spill?
this last winter and spring, where i am at, we rarely get snow, and we had over a foot and several snows, and the tornadoes in april. is there any relation between the two? guest: in relation between the bp oil spill and tornadoes, probably not. although there is this notion that if you perturb or alter conditions on the earth's surface, he will have an impact on the weather. what we don't now is precisely what the impact is going to be. i would say that it would be irresponsible to say that the excessive oil spill on the gulf of mexico was responsible for the tornado outbreak. but that being said, we do know that changing surface conditions in the gulf of mexico has a big impact on things like the amount of heat that is exchanged between the ocean -- between the gulf of mexico and the
atmosphere. that provides energy for tropical storms, convection, thunderstorms. it is a serious issue if it persists for a very long time. my understanding, and again, this is not my area, but my understanding is that the oil was removed quite readily from the gulf, particularly from the surface. our expectation is that it had a relatively minor effect on the weather. host: how you distinguish between a trend in the weather, like hurricanes and tornadoes, and just a string of bad weather? guest: no weather is that weather -- bad weather -- host: [laughter] guest: no value judgments here. i think what you are talking about is extreme weather, and hurricane irene or the tornado outbreak we were talking about -- what we do is rely on the
idea of probability. for example, what el nino best tropical atlantic hurricanes. it does not give us any age to know that there is el nino in terms of predicting a particular storm, but it tells us if there is a higher or lower probability of the storms forming in the atlantic, and the more storms in the atlantic, the more likely it is they will make landfall and cause trouble like irene did. host: go ahead, robert. caller: i encourage listeners to go to their libraries and check change, and climate if at the library's don't have them, buy them. "six degrees" -- the race from our space -- [unintelligible]
the temperature problem from polar ice melting, which would cause some of the problems that it shut down the atlantic ocean conveyor. host: james kinter, you are shaking your head. guest: what you're describing is a series of mitigation activities designed to reduce the negative impact of climate change. it is also called the deal engineering -- called geo- engineering, because people are talking about changing whole planet in terms of the energy budget. there is a certain amount of energy being received from the sun, and we are exporting a certain amount of energy to space to keep the planet at a steady temperature. what you're talking about, the theref mirrors in space, is also the idea of putting it aerosol into the atmosphere to it people are also talking about putting pumps in the oceans and having its gray ocean water into the atmosphere to break in the clouds in the topics -- brighten
the clouds in the tropics. all those ideas are to reduce the amount of energy coming to the earth from space. all that is intended to get the energy coming into the planet to be reduced. what our view is on that is that those are all very interesting ideas, and in some cases they are quite feasible in terms of costs and actual and limitation, but there are some very serious potential -- in terms of costs and actual implementation, but there are very serious potential unintended consequences with those. we feel a lot more research is required to understand precisely what would happen if we were to reduce the energy budget by cutting off the sunshine or by putting aerosol particles in the stratosphere. those all have a quite different effects on things like clouds and what precipitates the
atmosphere to reach the surface. we would like to understand much better before we do a large scale planetary experiment. host: tom in illinois, you are on the air with james kinter. caller: i am a farmer in the midwest, and i heard on the news the other day that went the hurricane came through, they closed close to 2000 jet flights. i wonder if there was ever done any research on -- like, if you stand beside the road and you have a semi go by, it will almost knock you off your feet if you have that many jets flying in the air, and each jet from washington, d.c., to california burns over 2000 gallons of diesel and jet fuel in at this year, and you have that many jets --diesel jet fuel in the atmosphere, and you have that many jets -- has there been
any research on that? anything above 25,000 de pretty much stays there, and anything below can be washed out by rain. guest: you raise a number of interesting points. it was a sort of fortuitously for meteorologist and horribly for the nation, the experiment of seeing what happens with airplanes and and this year, what happened on september 11, 2001, where all airplane traffic was cancelled for several days. we had all the information on what was going on in the atmosphere with respect to the time fire and the time after, the cessation of aircraft travel, and during that time we had the satellite data. we were able to do studies, and when we say "we," i mean my community. it was not something my group did. we look at the effect of airplane traffic on the atmosphere.
contrails to produce bright white lines in the atmosphere. you have quite a bit of reflect into the side. there was a significant impact. it depends on cutting off all the airplane traffic there is. then we see a significant impact. if we have a situation like with irene, where a fraction of the airplane traffic is changed or canceled, it would be smaller effect. but it it does have an impact and we are studying what that might mean for the future. the other thing, with climate change, although it airplanes are burning airplane fuel, is a fossil fuel, it is generating carbon dioxide and other affluence from the backs of the jet engines, and as you see, at the very high altitude, those tended to stay in the atmosphere for a long time because there's nothing to rein them out, no precipitation at as
high elevations -- at those high elevations. we are also studying that. it is not a major player. the major players are power generation and vehicle traffic on the service. host: a question on twitter. guest: ah -- causes -- you think of. host: [laughter] i am not sure what he is referring to. what other causes are there? guest: of climate change? civilization depends on the climate being very, very stable, as it has been for thousands of years. we are in a period that happens to be a very stable climate period, but if you look at what is called the pale leo-climate record, looking back in time, very far back in time, we know
that the climate was considerably more variable than it is today. i am sure many of your viewers are familiar with the ice ages -- the last ice age was 20- 30,000 years ago. that is when a sizable faction of the land surface was covered with several hundred to thousands of meters a vice. glaciers are basically covering most of north america and scandinavia. that was a different climate and had nothing to do with their plan for automobiles or power generation. the main reasons -- first of all, energy from the sun varies over time. that is over a very, very long time scale. the variations in human lifetime, or the period of the last hundred years, have been fairly small. we also know that the orbit of
the earth changes over time. let me be scary to people, -- that may be scary to people, but it changes very slowly. those changes and it orbits are enough to change the amount of sunshine that reaches different parts of the planet and can give rise to ice ages. host: linda in tampa, good morning. caller: thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. what do you think the effects of our oare of the ph levels in the ocean? guest: the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is only half of the issue with carbon dioxide. as we continue to pump carbon dioxide, carbon is, odorless gas, and most people are not aware of it being around, but it is one of the main influence from the backs of our tailpipes
and the vehicles and airplanes and power generation -- that carbon dioxide is being pumped into the climate system. some of that is showing up in the atmosphere. we see the concentration of carbon dioxide as slowly increasing overtime rate we have been measuring that in hawaii, the top of the mountain in the middle of the tropical pacific, for decades. we have incontrovertible evidence that carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere. we also know that the carbon dioxide enters the ocean and is dissolved in the water to form carbonic acid. that chemical reactions associated with carbon dioxide is of an icy water is lowering -- carbon dioxide at dissolving in seawater is the warring th -- is lowering the ph in the ocean. that has a number of implications. one is that the number of organisms in the ocean at a very sensitive to the ph level, the
amount of a city in the ocean. the organisms that from the calcium carbonate shells, the shells you see on the seafood that he might be eating, those shells are very sensitive to ph, and as we lower the ph, organisms are less capable to form a protective shell and they are dying off sooner in their lifetimes and we might see extinction of species associated with that. a bank or at the very bottom of the food chain, -- that as those -- they car at the very bottom of the food chain, so as those become extinct, we may see other species of fish that humans eat or even larger scale species that would be damaged. host: james kinter is the director of the center of ocean- line-atmosphere studies, also a climate dynamics professor at george mason university. one last on call on climatology. it comes from rochester,
minnesota . morning, russ. we lost him. guest: two questions here. the global cooling idea, which was prevalent in the 1970's, had to do with a list of the short- lived -- a relatively short- lived dip in the service temperature of of the earth. there was a relative minority of climate scientists who felt that might be an indication of future trends toward a new ice age or whenever it was relatively quickly debunked. it was a short-lived trend. a longer-term trend we have been measuring for more than a century, a censure and a half, is upper trend. clearly, global warming is taking place. it