tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 1, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EST
at 8:45 a.m. yuri friedman will be here to discuss global conflict spots. >> that is a shot of union station in washington. thank you to casey duet for the suggestion. happy new year to you and the rest of us watching "washington journal" for the first day of 2015. a recent poll of americans found the majority of those who responded to the u.s. will be better off in 2015. for the first 45 minutes we want to ask you about your optimism. it could be on matters of the economy and politics but how optimistic are you?
here is how you can respond different lines this morning. if you think the u.s. will be better off. >> you can also reach out to us on twitter. if you want to make your thoughts known on facebook, and if you want to give us an e-mail. the associated press did a survey taking a look at folks and asking about 2015. when it comes to those sayings
48% or so saying the u.s. will be better. 11% of those responding said next year will be worse and 39% said not much different in 2015 then 2014. that is how we parsed the lines. >> be sure to tell us why when you give us a call. gallup did a poll as well as asking about the new year and their optimism, here is how they responded saying americans are now slightly more positive than negative of the economy cost direction with 49% saying the economy is getting better and 45% saying it is getting worse
for the week of december 22-28. this is a relatively good rating and aside from two weeks in may 2013 when the measure was in the net positive territory, last week marks the only time since january 2008 that it has been above water. a lot of people look at this in terms of economics but you may look at it in terms of other things. the numbers will be on the screen and we will start on the first call of the new year donald from oklahoma says the u.s. will be better off. how are you? caller: i'm doing good, thank you to c-span and your programming. i think the united states will be better off. the main reason i say that is because people are getting better jobs and the minimum rate is going up for a lot of states
and even in oklahoma, the rates are going up. i think everybody could have a little bit more money and can save a little bit more money and invest as well. that is the main thing, the investment, if we can all get into that stock market right now, we will all do better. host: you take a look at all of those, economically you say better off? jamie also says the u.s. will be better off in indiana. caller: i am pretty optimistic about this next year because for myself and the country in general because with the republican party controlling the house and the senate they will be more apt to get things done constructively as opposed to
their abstract of behavior toward the president simply because they are in controllable houses and they don't want to be blamed for reversing the cycle that we are on and the direction the country has been heading. i think they will try to get some things done so they can try to change total credit -- take total credit which is fine with me as long as the american people can benefit. if the republican party would have worked with resident since he was elected we would be far better off now even in what we are, but at least he reversed the trend and we are going in the right direction and hopefully we can have a trickle-down because the stock market is at record levels and we have minimum wage going up like the last caller said and oil prices are down so i am optimistic about the future. have a happy new year. host: will move on to tom.
he says we believe better off, from iowa. caller: i think the u.s. will be better off and looking at congress i think they will get some laws passed and hopefully rain in some unneeded regulations. i think the lower fuel prices will be a good thing to get the new year started off because of people having more dollars to spend. host: what would you like to see them get done? caller: the border has to be secured. they do have to pass immigration . they have more important things to accomplish other than building an embassy in cuba or iran.
i think they will be reluctant to let the president go off on his own and to do that. >> several of our collars this morning had mentioned the minimum wage going into effect across united states. this one saying it will go up in several states including massachusetts and rhode island and a state troopers in oklahoma will see their first pay rise in seven years. you may look at the terms of the economy and the u.s. will be better if you were to go into the world of politics or other fronts if you think the u.s. will be better off. host: deborah, hello. caller: happy new year. this is what i'm looking at, i
love to watch c-span and documentaries. please don't cut me off, but i am a baby boomer and i happen to be closely in raising the gen x generation and my daughter and grand daughter -- this kid -- this kid watches seasons with me and i would see how passionate he is as well as his mother and there is an upcoming justice situation between michael brown -- ok, but what we think is we
can put the things back in order and if we can take the supreme court and we got all this technology and all the stuff and we can see exactly what happens with eric garner we can put a lot of things in place here and allow the supreme court to make the decision. >> that is louise in chicago there is a story in the "new york times." changes were, soon as 2016, the chief justice wrote in his annual report.
chief justice roberts explain the court's approach to technological change in the balance of the report saying that judges had his esha obligation to move more slowly than the rest of society though he did not say so direct the some of his reasoning seem to apply to other areas in which the court has been resistant to change. justice is mostly communicate in writing on paper rather by e-mail. louise, texas, that is where mike is, he says the u.s. will be worse off. caller: the biggest problem i think i see on the horizon is the republicans effectively in a couple days will take over both sides of congress and i think what will end up happening is what the u.s. house has an trying to do, passing various bills and roadblocks by harry
reid and the senate -- in fact the president set himself recently that a lot of bills did not reach his desk because harry reid had road blocked it in the senate. with that gone i think we will have a situation where congress puts bills on the desk intentionally that he does not like forcing the issue of a veto knowing there is not a veto proof margin in either chamber -- i think ultimately what we'll have is the next two years and very ugly political situation and i think economically the country is going to see this in a manner in which unfortunately makes them very pessimistic and that is why i believe we will be worse off. host: that off, worse off or the same?
those are the choices you have we call us about your optimism for the u.s. on twitter, i hope congress will finally jump baseline budgeting. nancy from california, you are next. caller: i am very positive about the coming year, i am in california so we have a lot of environmental stuff coming with clean energy and i think ultimately jerry brown will put stuff forward even with the republicans in congress. >> at your state level your optimistic. >> i think california is about whether and i think once we start to see the economy and jobs tipped toward clean energy will be an avalanche, i got
solar today turned on and i'm thrilled. >> how much of an investment did you have to make ended hats credits cover them? >> we have not got there yet but solar city has paid the finders fees for each cottage in my bmb. so i haven't pay them anything yet. >> alex is up next. what you think about 2015. caller: i am looking more toward the pessimistic side because you brought up the point of raising the minimum wage and i actually believe that really hampers the economy here in small-town nebraska. what you believe about that? host: when it comes amid own wage whitey think increasing it is a pessimistic thing? caller: you look at it, there
are struggling businesses that barely get by paying $7.25 or $7.50 an hour and by raising that and all the new benefits, they will have to -- sorry i am nervous, they will have to pay more to their employees -- am i making sense? host: as far as the employment situation, you make more than minimum wage or how does that work for you? caller: do why, yes about $15 an hour. host: what kind of work do you do? caller: i am a gynecologist. host: that is alex in nebraska asking about the optimism they feel. the new york times this morning writing that the effort to write the taliban has by some
estimates cost $1 trillion as of december the 16th the total is 2242 troops have died in afghanistan and 19,945 have been wounded. operation enduring freedom as the pentagon called the war will now become operation resolute support. a scaled-back mission involving about 12,000 troops who will definitely advise forces in the fight against insurgents. sean in missouri. caller: social security has not gone up but 2% this year and minimum wage is going up i don't see how we will get ahead if they keep treating us on social
security and disability like this and the same with minority people and the way they are being treated right now and the people who have an incarcerated and i would say 50 years ago they were treated like they are incarcerated yesterday. so i don't know. host: the first color of 2015 to say the year should be the same, this is willy. caller: happy new year to everybody in america and throughout the world. my name is willy and i think things are going to be the same -- they could be better if people would allow it to be better. people are tired and what we need is the truth to come out --
we need to let god be god and we need to work together and everybody talking about the republicans need to get with obama and obama with the republicans -- they need to meet each other halfway. the republicans and the democrats need to drop everything and make this thing work and make america what it is supposed to be. i am a vietnam veteran and i fought for this country and everything and i am a black man so, white people and black people need to work together. it could be better but we need to think positive and make positive moves in the right direction. republicans, democrats libertarians, we need to come together and forget about the
past and what happened in yesteryear, this is a brand-new year. host: willy in florida, minimum wage going up thanks to state laws and other laws coming into effect as well today. when it comes to crime this is a story of the washington times. in california, a yes means yes standard for sex takes effect requiring a affirmative conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity meeting silence can no longer be gauged as consent. in new york becomes illegal to pose with a lion, tiger or other big cat the measure which specifically run of its contact with the members of the public and big cats at animal shows past after self orchards of animals online became more popular online particularly with young men on dating sites. and weapons on january 5, a law
takes effect giving the national rifle association giving a better chance of challenging local firearms ordinances in court. in general pennsylvania bars municipalities from enforcing ordinances that are stronger than state law but the nra has complained that dozens of local ordinances go unchallenged. from north carolina he says country we better off, tell us why. >> i think it is good because of the things president obama has done. i think he or his team has not run a good job on telling the country what he has done. i think really the republicans wanted chambers and they have it now and they are pretty much well boxed in because if they want to have a chance it 2016 they will have to show they can govern.
i want to disagree with the devious caller saying that harry reid let bills come to the floor, he let ills come to the floor by the republicans presented him with bills they knew the president wasn't going to pass so -- the republicans have to show they can govern because they cannot sit back there and say, obama this and obama that. they have to show they can govern. host: what is that mean specifically? caller: they haven't had to in the past the only thing they fought for was big business and corporations. i would like for one republican to tell me that they voted for republicans and tell the one thing the republican party has fought for that would make their life better. they would go to and nail for corporations but i haven't seen
anything or they would actually fight for republicans and show how they would make their life ettore. -- better. host: from florida, sean is next. caller: happy new year. i say it will be the same because there is a dress trend in the 2000's i call it the four these, people in positions of power making poor decisions. there is no accountability for a think anyone does all the way down the line from the police to congress to the president and i'm talking about military people -- no one is held accountable for the decisions that they make. if we the average person did have half the stuff we would have been in jail along time ago but these people do things in there is no calls or public is
this -- a lot of these people are still in office. there is no accountability for any and until someone is held accountable things will never be better. host: tell me what would improve accountability. caller: they to stop letting the people that make the offensive police them. if someone in the executive office does something bad if someone in the executive ranch or in that district will decide what happens to them. if the police do something bad it is the police who decide what happens, you know what i'm saying? where is the outside independents to be like -- you messed up and you have to be accountable for that. there was a lot of that in civil society and with regular people
but when you get up -- people in positions of power, people with money -- a talker about people who make decisions and decide how the world is run those people have no accountability. host: because they are self governed and police themselves? caller: pretty much, it is been that way forever and until that changes i don't think anything will change. it will be back and forth but at the end of the day nothing will change because they have no responsibility. host: if you're just joining us we're asking you to give us your thoughts on what you think about 2015 when it comes to optimism, the poll from the "associated press" asking do you think we will be better off in the new year? we divided our lines into three
categories, if you think that are off, worse off or the same. this is based in part on findings we found from a recent poll in the "associated press." when it comes to didi fredericks from twitter she asked if the border was still an issue. in her estimation, it would make things worse. as far as facebook you can post on there as well. as of today when it comes to employers, companies with 100
workers or more have to provide affordable insurance to at least 70% of their employees or pay heavy fines under the mandate which was supposed to take effect at the start of this year. employers with 50 workers to 100 will have start and 26 at which point all employee or's must ensure at least 95% of their employees. with fewer than 50 workers they are exempt from the mandate of implementation that should pass without much notice. for most companies it will not be a major problem. most companies offer comply meant -- compliance insurance anyway. and arizona lawmakers considering medicare saying that arizona's legal battle will be allowed to continue.
meaning that continued uncertainty for low income arizona citizens, a high court considered a challenge from 34 republican lawmakers to return to court for the decision on whether or not it was legally enact it. a republican had asked the court to reject the challenge citing that leaves it? of one of their hardest. policies and also poses an immediate or political decision. that is in the pages of the arizona republic. >> better off, that is what tom says from michigan. even right now we are doing better, and will be better next year.
when you see what the president has done without the help of the republican party, look at gas rices and the stock market and you look at the automobile industry, it has roared back. with you look at the housing the percentages to buy a house is better now. houses are going to take a trend upward and if you look at what we need to do to make it even better, the republicans have been structuring when it comes to building bridges, highways infrastructure and may have obstructed the president because they don't want him to get credit for it. even now the republicans are trying to take credit for what is going on in the country but when things were bad they blamed the president and now everything is going good and they want to take credit for it and they have
done nothing but struck. looking at relationships all around the world, in russia they say canada was weak when he has a chokehold on the economy. host: tell us a little what you think about detroit, we've heard a lot of stories about them economically, where you think it is going? >> detroit has visits is coming in and a lot of the rich people in the city are coming in to detroit and helping to rebuild. what detroit needs to do is the same things in other cities, the infrastructure, the bridges and the highways, those put people to work and at the republican stop obstructing the president and work with the president on that, why can't the two of them agree on that -- because they don't what the president to have any credit. host: that is tom in detroit,
michigan. my question this morning as far as up ms. him in the u.s., let's hear from cornell in jersey. he created a new category called all. caller: i'm glad there is a lot of dialogue about the issues. one of the things i heard this morning was a gentleman making $15 an hour as a problem with someone making more than $7.25 an hour, that is part of the problem and i think he is underpaid. a gynecologist making $15 an hour but he has a problem with someone making $7.25 an hour, the problem is we are a divided country and it seems like we are getting divided even more. but now as far as optimism, i
wish the president would have used his executive orders 350 filibusters ago. if he would have done that __ like a lot of people aare saying, things are going very well __ tthe stock prices, the gas prices. good thing that romney didn't win the election because one of the things that he said was that if he won the election, he was going to get gas prices down to two dollars. he would've taken credit for that. the reason why things are going well is because president obama is one of the most effective presidents we have ever had in history. but yet and still come with all the filibusters __ and this congress, i'm glad they're taking over because now they have to govern. that is the thing now. they can keep coming up with _
the only thing they are going to try and do is repeal the affordable care act. they are going to have to govern. now, once they have to govern, people are going to get tired of the shenanigans. host: john from salem, virginia. caller: if you look at the economy, any economy anyplace in the world, one of the major indicators is the value of the currency. the value of the actual dollar bill sitting inside your wallet. the value __ it has gone down consistently every year since 2006. it keeps going down, cutting in half, cutting in half, cutting in half. the only thing going for surgery thinks. the other countries around the planet are hurting. europe is hurting and their economy. we are actually filling a void
right now. but when they start turning around with a half,and they're going to have a starter country than what we have, it is going to be a fight out there. and we don't have the value of the dollar to take them on. the fed tried to keep the country alive and moving, okay? they have to stop. that money also has to be paid back to the fed. the businesses know that. the businesses know they are also facing, what, 20% additional tax from obama care this year? it happened on the first of the year __ the penalties to be $99. now it is going to be $299. everything is going up. there is this hammer weight. when kennedy was president, when nixon was president, when
reagan was president, wwhen clinton was president __ they all look towards one major ally. you have to stop and make some decisions along the path. host: .that is drawn from virginia we will hear next from blake and mississippi. hi, blake. caller: hello. it is going to be better for some, better for others. i think it is going to be better for african_americans. since the end of the civil war, the african americans contribute to almost 90% of the u.s. economy. but yet we don't talk about reparations. this criminal justice system creates trillions and trillions of dollars for other races, yet __ yyet the criminal justice system is totally wrong.
i am a table game manager at casinos. i have been a manager of popeye's restaurant, in which i was responsible for, at times, millions of dollars. i walk by a car and i'm accused of attempting to break into it. i say accused. there was no broken locks, no tools, broad daylight __ middle of the day. i walked into the worst prison in america __ cook county jail. i'm convicted right now. i can't work in the industry i have been in for 20 years. host: wwith all these issues specifically affecting african_americans, what job does the president have in addressing these things? and has he done a good job of that? caller: i think he has done a good job.
he is only trying to address issues that have affected this country forever. african_americans __ we paid the biggest price of anybody. why can't we share in this economic recovery? we have always been locked out. while the country send __ bbring millions of people to this country legally and illegally when you know, historically, that black people have been the bedrock of this country? host: blake in mississippi talking about those issues. you can talk to those issues, other issues, in terms of how 2015 is going to go. if you think it is going to be better off, warsaw, or the same. you can make those views and points made online this morning. 202_748_8000 better off.
202_748_8001 worse off. 202_748_8002 the same. on this very first day of the year, the "washington post" has chosen its lead story __ taking a look at jeb bush. particularly looking at boards that he is served on. it says that he is resigning from all of his boards __ including his own education office. he also resigned as a paid advisor to a for_profit education company that sells online courses to public university students in exchange for a share of their tuition payments. aides to jeb bush say that he wants to devotes his time to exploring return to politics, rather than pursuing his business commitments. if you want to even throw in politics taking a look at 2015, you are free to do so for the next few minutes.
add from salem, new york, saying that the country will be worse off. hello, you're on. caller: yes, i wanted to express my thoughts on the general attitude oof our country __ is very poor people who are not coming out, you know, and going to your town hall meetings. they are also not attending mmeetings with congressmen, senators. the power of the people is what is important. not the power of the court system, not the power of abusive police, not the power but the cooperation and the attitude of our people has been lost. host: why do you think that is?
caller: well, i think we are a spoiled nation aand we are not looking at ourselves in a mere. i think that we have to start __ host: go ahead, ed. caller: i think it is very important that we all change or attitudes and start being more kind and considerate of each other. we also have to understand that our constitution has been trampled on for many years. host: so, ed, what do you think is going to improve people's engagement with the government? whether it be in the state, local, or federal level. caller: i think it is all about attitude. i think it is really important that we change our attitudes.
host: connie will be up next, from south carolina. caller: hi. host: yyou are on, go ahead. caller: yyes, i think it will be the same because the republicans have their thumbs up there butt the entire time __ their butt the entire time that obama has been in office. they have tried to block everything. and, as far as jeb bush, we do not need another bush in office. host: a couple of __ a couple of __ go ahead. caller: wwhat got us into trouble to begin with, economically, was when bush sent our soldiers over into iraq, where we were not fighting and we should have stayed in afghanistan.
host: you mentioned republicans. a couple callers said that republicans, now that they control the house, have to do a better job of governing. what you think of that and what does it mean? caller: that means they are not going to do anything as long as obama is in office. they said, from the start, that they would prove him to be a failure. and not give him credit for everything. he has done a wonderful job. host: ooff of twitter this morning adding to the conversation, which you can do so as well __ depending on your choices, it could be better or worse. you can also like us on facebook, as well. john from pennsylvania says things will be better off this year. caller: yes. host: you're on, go ahead. caller: yes.
i think that this 2015 is going to be one of the best years ever. i think a couple things need to happen. number one, the president needs to be able to communicate his successes much better. you have heard a lot of people this morning express themselves about the car industry, wall street, the economy, gas prices, obama care, all these things are positive for the country. and he has done them without the aid or help of the republican party. they have been totally obstructionist. just think if they had cooperated, just a little bit, and some things. how much farther we would be. another thing __ we need commentators that, when they have these panels on tv and people say things like, oh, yeah, this terrible economy now.
people were saying this in october, november, and december. the economy had been improving steadily, but yet we won't correct these people right then and there at the time. we have had 10 months straight of employment __ employment has picked up for 10 months straight. callout the people right then and there and tell them, hey, that is not to. they did it with the ebola scare. they did it with putin. stop allow it __ people saying those opinions as if they are facts. also, the guy that said we have to change her attitude. that is to. we do need to be more positive. host: that is janet pennsylvania. the financial section of the
"newyork times" says that the strengthening of the dollar has implications far beyond americans thinking of visiting paris the spring. we'll talk about our economy in the first segment of this morning. we're talking about what you think, as far as your optimism about 2015 __ economics, political, other things, as well. mike, good morning to you. caller: good morning. happy new year. host: happy new year. caller: i would like to say that i don't think america knows __ to have been applications that they have constantly.
[inaudible] money is flowing into these people. it is just getting more corrupt daily, as far as taking the american people away. i would think that anybody in this country could be on the phone with the representatives. not to say that doesn't a good because you get an answer of okay this, okay that. host: did you call your representative? caller: i call them everyday. we have a right to contact the people we put an office. you need to do the same thing. you need to quit with keeping
your head down. you're not allowed to put anybody with any other views __ i don't care if it is bush or clinton. you have the tea party coming in. they just want, you know, the most radical things you can think of. i don't see that changing, but what i do see changing is the attitudes. i'm going to ask america this and let you go. i have been watching politics now for about 60 years. and i thought that when you go to the polls you say __ wake up, america. host: tthat is mike from north carolina. "the hill" sending out a tweet.
the first house democrats calling for scalise's resignation from his gop leadership post. that is representative sean patrick mahoney, a democrat from new york. tom from kansas city. untie, kansas, says that 2015 will be __ i'm sorry. kansas, says that 2015 will be better off. caller: ooh, absolutely. i'm listening to all these people and, wow, it is amazing. it is going to be much better. host: wwhat is the top reason you think so? caller: well __ 20 states just passed a higher wage law.
20 states. and republicans will get behind that. national republicans, in the house and in the senate, are against that. they say it is going to cost us jobs. well, baloney. everywhere that a higher minimum wage has gone into effect, it has employed more people. it is just a fact. you can check it. the more __ you know, us little guys, just as little guys out here __ every single cent we ever make in our lives is going to be spent. so if you give us more money to spend,yes, of course everybody is paying for it. it is just like a __ a tax that you can see. but say __
host: judy from iowa, go ahead. caller: i have lost $600 of income. they took away my elderly waiver, which means that i lose medicare. and if they raise the wages, i'm still going to be worse off. i got an increase of $20 a month on the social security, and my medical when up $20 a month. as far as the republicans go, they better watch the house and senate because the democrats are going to block every bill that is going to be put through. and then get up there and say it is the republicans. no, it is not.
host: charles from california, asking people about the optimism for 2015. hello. caller: everyone calling in on this phone is so divided, so mixed up because the united states cannot be divided. but let me just quickly tell your story __ i'm a vietnam veteran. when i was caught up in an early age, we used to have yellow buses here in oakland that picked up black people and took them to the farms. we don't have that anymore. now, we look up and down the street here __ we have a street here called high street. everybody on that street is mexican_american __ mexican, rather __ and they are out there looking for jobs everyday. they are going to do whatever __ they are doing all this work now.
i'm sure it is all over the country. they are looking for jobs, and people are talking about them coming here to take a jobs. i have not seen one black brother out there among them, trying to find work. but i have seen a lot of my black brothers standing on corners selling drugs. host: one more call this morning. joe in south carolina. caller: hi, pedro. happy new year. i am optimistic, primarily based on the price of fuel. of course, that can change on a dime. you know as well as i do, presidents get too much blame for expensive fuel. and too little credit for cheap fuel. that did not include the cost of fuel and food. we know the cost of fuel has gone down while the cost of food has gone up.
but social security recipients received a 1.7% raise. we all have more spendable income. i spent more on christmas because i'm spending less of the gas pumps. if that carries over into 2015, it translates to lower operating costs for industries. we are going to have more spendable income, and that should help stabilize the economy. every locale and every person has their personal situation. ever since nafta hit south carolina, the decimated the tobacco industry. but overall, if fuel goes stable or stays lower, it just helps us out. host: we have to leave it there. coming up on this first day of the new year, a discussion about economics. and what it holds for 2015, when it comes to how the
country will look economically. friedman talks about global issues and rates for "the atlantic." will talk about hotspots across the united states, particularly hotspots across the world that affect the u.s.. "washington journal" continues on his very first day of 2015. we will be right back. >> the c_span cities tour takes
"american history tv" and "book tv" on the road. this weekend, we partnered with time warner cable for a visit to austin, texas. >> we are in the private suite of linden and lady johnson. this is the private quarters for the president and first lady. when i say private, this is not a tour that has been offered to the public. you are seeing it because of c_span's special access. vips come into the space, just as they did in lyndon johnson's day. the remarkable thing about the space is that it is really a living, breathing artifact. it has that changed at all since president johnson died in january 1973. and there is a document in the corner of this room signed by, among others, the then ppresident of the united states, and lady bird johnson
telling the predecessors that nothing in this room can change. >> so we are here at the 100 block of congress avenue in austin. to my left, just on the block, is the river. the colorado river. and this is an historic site in the city's history, because this was where waterloo started. i'm actually standing at about the spot where held was. this was where lamarr was staying when he and the rest of the men got wind of this big buffalo herd and yosemite. they jumped on their horses. and went on the avenue, well, it wasn't in avenue in those days. a muddy road to the north.
the more at anything congress shot this __ eighth and congress shot this anonymous buffalo. >> watch all of our events from austin on saturday on c_span's "book tv". >> "washington journal" continues. host: we start our program today taking a look at the economy in 2015. two guests joining us for this conversation. elise gould, a senior economics hhere in washington dc. and robert graboyes, aa senior research fellow at george mason university. happy new year to you. guest: hhappy new year to you, too.
host: bbefore we get into that, what are the factors that led us into 2015? guest: wwe have seen the employment rate taking up. that is absolutely a positive sign that things have been improving throughout the year. we still have a far ways to go, in terms of the labor market, we have seen some positive signs. guest: for the most part, i will agree with that. it has been a better year than we have seen in quite a while. we still have a long ways to go. some of the statistics maybe not quite as clear. actually, i know tthat she has done fine work there on alternative measures of unemployment. we still have a problem. we still have a lot of underemployment and people not getting back into the labor force. host: and you think that the trends that we are seeing will continue into 2015 or will we
see some changes ahead, mister graboyes? guest: i think tigers could do some things to improve things over the immediate term. host: and ms. gould? host: i think there more cyclical than structural. as the economy picks up, all those people __ we calculate the people who sort have left the economy because they think there are no jobs for them. i think as the economy picks up, those people are going to come back in and six jobs. we will see an improvement in the economy. host: as far as those who are still not part of the labor force, is it a perception force? or are the jobs, people are just not actively searching? guest: i think that today, there are not jobs.
there is a realistic view that those workers have that their are not jobs today. they are discouraged and haven't been looking in the last month. they think that, okay, if they see more jobs out there, if they hear about more jobs, if we just are picking up, we will start to see them coming back. host: what are some of the issues or strategies? guest: sure. now, i know we are not talking healthcare, but i'm a healthcare economist. and i think that you can find things in that sector that are indicative all through. we have some serious regulatory constraints. restraints to prevent in the stratus, as i would like to say, the steve jobs type of people in creating new products and new jobs. i recently wrote a study that suggests, in ways, that they could unleash those innovators.
for the millennial generation, it is the perfect thing. they are suffering. a lot of them have really never entered the workforce, aand they are losing those early productive use of their career. host: on the congress side, it is the regulators. ms. gould, when it comes to congress __ what do you see congress possibly being able to do? guest: well, being able to do is one thing. we can point to today, in fact, as we saw an increase for 20 states. by large, our country has a demand problem. people do not have the money to buy the goods and services out there. if they did have more money, then you have to produce more. then you would have to hire more people. so, one of the things you can see is that we see wages improving __ figure out ways to
improve wages, either through legislation or through tightening the labor market. people have more money to spend, and that spurs economic growth. host: is it increasing a minimum wage, or other factors? guest: i think it is increasing the minimum wage in one way. adjusting the regulations. back in 1965, 65% of salaried workers were covered. the threshold is far too low. people are not getting the wages they deserved. again, we're talking about spurring economic growth and making it better for typical american families. guest: i will respectfully disagree. i'm afraid that the main effect of raising minimum wage will be to cut off employment opportunities for those who are sort of on the ragged edge of the economy. those who are just getting a
start. in particular, those with lower educational skills. immigrants, ppeople whose english skills are not up to par yet. people who have not had a chance to start. i'm afraid, also, in the overtime __ iif you increase that net, you may discourage some employers from hiring in the first place. host: our guests talking about the economy and out will perform in 2015. we can talk about economics, wages, and other interests as well if you want to make your thoughts nonintuitive, you can follow us and tweets there. with many states rolling in
minimum wage increases, has there been some evidence saying exactly what you're saying that you see some type of decrease in jobs? guest: i think the literature is overwhelming that the primary effects of raising the minimum wage is to cut off those people who, for various reasons, their productivity is not rising into those ranks. let's remember that most of the people who are on minimum wage are there for a very brief time. like at the beginning of their careers. so the minimum wage laws don't affect most of the american workers. host: ms. gould, any parallels do you see? guest: respectfully, i don't agree that people are not productive enough to earn a wage.
people are working a full_time job and not able to get their families out of poverty. i think there is a moral imperative there. at the same time, if you like of the wage effects, you can see __ the minimum wage increases that have happened in the first part of 2014 __ you look at the wages in the first half of 2014, compared to 2013 __ the only group that saw the wage increase was the 10th percentile. that group __ the minimum wage did have a very important effect. particularly in the states that had a minimum wage increase. and i suspect that we'll see this effect from the increases we see happening today. host: both of our guests __ on the very first day of the year. your first call __ from mississippi. the republican line. go ahead.
caller: yes, i'm calling to mention a pay raise that the federal government gets. that is a good thing, but you have to remind yourself that the taxpayer pays for that pay raise. also, the state and the economy and the people that have to live __ like the man said previously __ a minimum wage job should be a starter job. it shouldn't be a career. you should have more ambition than to work for just a minimum wage. obviously, waiting for somebody to hand out something to go along with it. host: ms. gould, the idea of a minimum wage.
guest: yes, the fact is that most minimum_wage workers are providing a significant share of their family's income. these are women, with kids. workers out there who have been working for many years. and they're providing a significant share of the family's income. workers, i think they __ calling them not ambitious enough is a mistake. there are barely surviving. host: iis there some type of responsibility for the government to account for that? guest: the question is whether the government can account for that. actually, again, i'm a health eeconomist. this is a secular trend. so much more of it is going into benefits.
in particular, only mandated benefits. that is, unfortunately, for many years to come likely to be something that holds the wage rates down. healthcare benefits, insurance benefits, other things. it __ employers care about what they pay for a total compensation. which includes both the wages that the employee actually season takes home, and also at they spend in all the benefits. host: harvey. maryland. thank you for calling in, go ahead. caller: ggood morning. i would like your guests' opinions __ we have exported so many of our jobs overseas __ so many other places. what we have to do to reclaim these jobs aand get them moved back?
the so_called american company should be employing american workers in the united states. we have billions in hundreds of billions of dollars in offshore accounts that cannot be tax, cannot be touched by our own government. what is it going to take to get our economy moving by reclaiming our jobs and having american companies move tthe money that they have earned from us back to our own country and the united states? guest: i think that one of the things we want to think about __ i want a response to a couple things that bob said __ we want to return to the bargaining power back to workers, in terms of increasing their wages. and bob also pointed out the literature that might suggest that there could be some job loss from raising minimum wage. i would like to say that, really, the literature is pretty clear that the job
losses zero when we think about what happens with minimal wage increases and we see wages going towards the bottom. that is really what the purpose of the minimum wages. also, in terms of healthcare __ fundamentally, healthcare reform will change what it looks like for minimum_wage workers. historically, we cannot point to healthcare aas the culprit for keeping her wages down. because historically, they have not gotten healthcare from their jobs. there's nothing to suggest that rising healthcare costs __ previous, we did see increasing health care costs and you could think that is what is keeping low_wage workers down. but, in fact, a very small percentage of those workers are getting healthcare from the job aand, therefore, not putting
much pressure on their jobs. guest: for a lot of employers, indeed the cost of hiring an employee and maintaining them is going to go up. and i tend to __ i tend to bbe on both sides of the aisle. i think much too much of the affordable care act focuses on insurance reform, not actually changing the system __ tthe way that we change the care and why we don't do the same sort of innovation in health care that we have seen, for instance, in information technology. the fact is that if you increase the cost of hiring people, as the act is done, you will reduce the number that are hired. host: from washington dc, david, your next. caller: good morning and happy
new year to you all. this is a comment. many of the viewers may not be aware that the __ was founded and funded by the koch family foundations. the brothers gave $3 million to george mason, and then the center move there. it has been described as ground zerofor deregulation policies. which, of course, is being argued for this morning. after your guest answers, your viewers can google and see for themselves the actual evidence on this. host: do have a question for our guest:? caller: no question. i think it is important for people to be aware of the political and social context for what is being offered as an
independent or university_based __ guest: absolutely. the center is an university_based research institution. i have worked in a number of places. i have never worked in any place that has given as much independence to its scholars as the center does. the donors are now allowed to direct our research or direct our findings. so, i __ i and extraordinarily proud of the independence. host: does the money come from the koch brothers? guest: there probably is some, but i don't pay any attention to who contributes. host: joe, go ahead, please. caller: yes, good morning. a question for both of you this morning. i feel that one of the points
that you touched on earlier __ that in the united states, what has always made us a strong nation is that the individuals in our country should always strive to have a job __ a paying job. and i do feel that there is a pretty high significant number of individuals in our country in the working age that are not consciously seeking employment. i think that is a deeper issue that i would like each of you to comment on. i think that is one thing that has set us apartfrom other nations in the world. i think it is fundamentally going in and getting a job, having a job, paying taxes. as opposed to someone else who is not working. and there are a lot of entitlements in our country that individuals are receiving comes i do think that if each of you could comment on that,
there does seem to be a pretty significant incentive of individuals who are not currently in the job market or trying to get jobs. i think that is a major challenge that i think our country should be addressing. host: joe, thank you. guest: thank you for the question. you had a very important issue, and that is that there are many workers out there __ or would be workers out there __ who are not actively looking for employment. they may have looked in the past 12 months, but then i counted in the unemployment because they have not looked in the past four weeks. the unemployment, wwithout these workers as they would be officially counted, is 5.8%. if you were to put all these missing workers out there, back into the labor market and have them be counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate would be
9.2%. so there is a fundamental weakness in the labor market that, at its core, is not being represented by some of the official statistics out there. 9.2% might be more indicative of the economy today than it would be if we just looked at 5.8%. guest: there are a number of factors, and these are not the short_term factors that i think are restricting. actually, i spend much of my time working on regulatory issues. i used to work with small businesses, and i ask a came from a small business family __ actually came from a small business family. my 92_year_old mother regularly says that she cannot have begun the business that she begun in the 1940's __ she could not have begun today.
also __ again, part of the work i do in healthcare, but also in other aspects __ we have all sorts of prohibitions throughout the economy that prevent __ i would say, risk_averse. that prevent people from taking calculated risks, such as my parents did. i would like to compare two sectors of healthcare and information technology because for the last 25 years, we have really allowed it to take the risks __ i.t. to take the risks. host: two guests joining us for the discussion of economics. jd from north carolina, good morning. caller: good morning to y'all. i think that one thing i have heard a lot is that these trade deals that the united states have smeared with other
countries has really hurt workers __ have made with other countries has really hurt workers. tthey have cut unions out of the workforce. that is the middle class because, if you look at the growth of unions, the parallels the growth and death of the middle class. another thing is that when corporate taxes were higher, historically higher, corporations would reinvest in their businesses. and by reinvesting, they needed more workers. and they bought more equipment. and now that the corporate taxes have been lowered, they just take all the profits and pay the shareholders and the folks at the top of the corporations. they're not spending the money around.
a minimum wage increase would help spread those profits. in the last few years, they have made record profits, but they are not spreading the wages around. host: jd, thank you. guest: oone of the statistic says it all __ it is now more like 300 to 1. the bargaining power has shifted because of the declining of unions, the deregulation. __ in that role and sort of living on the great recession that we had in a bad way. and then if we look at worker pay going from about 20 to 1 to
300 to 1, who is holding all the bargaining power __ it is really the ceos and the people at the top. host: mister graboyes? guest: ooh, i have lots of disagreements, respectful, of course. the financial sector __ they unhinged certain parts of it. it was as little deregulation elation as you could imagine. the federal government was tightly regulating and spring many like a fire hose into that. setting up the downfall that would eventually become between 2006and 2008. so it was not a matter of deregulation. the most deregulated sector in
america was, again, information technology. and you saw incredible marvels there. you had incredible growth that has cchange the way we live our lives. there are reasons that jobs move from one country to another. the lower paying once moved to different countries so that higher_paying ones can move your. that is the way the world grows. as for the corporate tax __ you know, again, corporations do not pay taxes. people pay taxes. corporate taxes __ by doubling it, you pay twice. the real question is not __ the real question ought to be why we are driving americans' financial resources overseas. as the gentleman properly noted. i think the reason is because, in many ways, things like dodd
frank are making this an unattainable place to do business. host: so, people call for a lowering of the tax rate. with that alleviate issues? guest: i think absolutely lowering of the corporate tax would bring businesses back from overseas, sure. host: ms. gould? guest: i think there may be some confusion between corporate taxes and individual taxes. the upper bracket __ those are just for their income, the individual tax rates. when you lower those, those mean that the ceos at the top hhad a greater incentive to keep the money for themselves. when their only keeping $.10 to the dollar __ they thought, okay, i'm going to pay my work is more reasonably.
but when they get to keep more of that themselves, it changes the structure overall, and now they are keeping a lot more. and they are setting their own wages. it is not their productivity. it is not like their productivity has increased that much. it is that their friends are setting these levels. host: when it comes to economics, explain something to me. there is a report saying that from july to september, we had a 5% annual rate growth. economists think that is going to be like 3% going on into the year. what does that mean for the overall health of the economy? guest: i think it will be overall positive. the acceleration is actually a good thing, but coming from a negative place, it is not that hard to accelerate. but along with 320,000 jobs at
last month, and thinking about, you know, maybe some acceleration in job growth __ those are all positive signs. we look at production of goods and services, that is what we're talking about. overall gdp, income growth. guest: it has been a better year. the 5% figure is great. it is probably somewhat inflated in that there was some moving around of the numbers from the first quarter two things that were originally listed in the first quarter were moved into the third. so it has kind of comma after the fact, dropped the first quarter down. but the fact is is that it was a better year. i will not dispute that of all. i would just like to note on the ceo matter. it is an easy point to make that ceos make an aawful lot of money.
and, by the way, a lot of it is on wall street. but the fact is that if you took all the ceos income and give it away, it would make it trivial difference compared to the income of trivial workers around the country. if you spread it out, there aren't that many of them. so the idea of taking ceos paydown and spreading it around is not going to make that much of a difference. host: would you like to respond? guest: it is interesting, there is a lot of talk __ it is hard to imagine that there is much of an argument to be made that corporations cannot be paid to pay their workers more when ceos are raking in how much money. there is absolutely room for workers at the bottom, middle_class families to be
making more today. host: here is lee ffrom oregon. go ahead. caller: happy new year to everyone. i have a question for the gentleman __ so an employer can get somebody to work 12 hours a day for four dollars an hour __ is that all right? guest: i never said that. i am a professor, too, at times aand i always tell my students that it is okay to be in support of the minimum wage increase, but just be aware of the factors unemployment. i wouldn't go that far, but it would appear to what i said that if you want to raise the minimum wage, the effect is going to be tto increase unemployment.
host: at $7.25 an hour a good wage increase? guest: i just cannot say. host: llet's hear from lenny. caller: hi, good morning. i'm going to double down. my first statement is __ beware of free market solutions to government. but what we are hearing here is the infiltration of corporate interests with the state, which is called fascism. mister graboyes __ and i'm not sure about the young lady here __ is to try and sell the idea that if we privatize public assets, that somehow freedom will ring.
and we have an army who come on and tell is that economists know best and that corporate structures should ring and our democracy. which is a not_for_profit __ things that don't mean anything, but seem like they do. host: mister graboyes. guest: first of all, i would never say that i'm an economist. a little modesty is good on our part. talking about __ i think i would march with you on the idea that corporatism is a bad thing.
we had a __ we had a lot of __ one of my colleagues had a great role in producing a discussion, for instance, of whether the __ bank is a good idea. the government pouring money at selected corporations, and say, okay, well this doesn't actually take positions. there is a philosophy there, and one of themis that the government to not be picking winners and losers and funneling money to come in most cases, very large producers were more than capable of getting credit on their own. host: ms. gould? guest: i think that is right, absolutely. the government cannot necessarily support corporations. but i think that we want to make sure that the government
is there to help everyday people and make sure we are having people beyond level pplaying ground with the ceos of corporations, in terms of bargaining for their wages. we want to have support for the growth of unions and the ways that people can collectively come together to be able to get those wages and benefits that they deserve, i believe. and we have till to the scales over the last generation __ we have really till to the scales against everyday people being able to bargain for better working conditions. we need to move those back to where we were. host: let me elevate this to global politics, then. do you see any of those things happening in congress this year? guest: congress is one thing, versus what we can do at the state level. in congress, it would be great for them to just take effect and say, okay, let's raise the wage across the country.
as the obama administration has the power, with the department of labor, to fix these overtime regulations. they are so outdated. i'm not sure congress, as a whole, is willing to do this year. guest: well, i have had a lot of contact oover the last year with innovators. and, by the way, i will stress that the innovators that i talked to are from all over the political spectrum. and probably more to the left and to the right. we have wonderful discussions. what i hear from them over and over and over and over and that the reasons they are not producing the jobs is that they are not able to create growth __ washington and the states are binding them up, preventing them. one of the very bright young
ceo's of a startup in silicon valley told me that the sense among innovators is known in washington, that no one in regulator who accidentally changes the word of the regulation and destroys her business. they are lacking and predict ability, and if you do not have predictability you cannot create jobs. that is one reason why some of the capitalists go overseas. pretty stability. host: the washington examiner has a piece yesterday 2300 regulations set for this year alone. guest: that is a bipartisan problem. our regulatory system -- and this is a very broad, secular thing -- the whole regulatory structure -- i do not want to
portray regulation as bad, we should wipe it out. that is not my position or anyone i know at arcata's -- at mercatus or probably anyone anywhere. but the regulatory institutions we have now are a 20th-century model based on a world in which information was scarce. if you look at the fda, and organizations like that, the whole idea was information was hard to obtain, hard to process hard to disseminate. you could make a very good case why in the 20 century something like the fda was a perfectly appropriate structure. we are now in a world where we are under a tsunami of information, and it is hard for the centralized structures like that to control it. when they try, they very often tend to mock things up -- 10 to tend o muck things
up. guest: i would not want to badmouth regulations and i think we forget the purpose of regulation is to make our lives safer, to make the food we eat healthy, all things across the board. this is not what is affecting the economy today. what is affecting the economy today is a demand problem. we do not have enough people with money to buy the goods and services out there. we have an austerity problem with the federal government not willing to spend enough money to spur economic growth. big government is hurting across the board. they are not able to spend money and have more futures and police force. spending private sector money as well. that is a far your impediment in terms of our growth -- that is a
far bigger impediment in terms of our growth. i think we have seen positive signs with 5% growth and the 321,000 jobs added. but we need to continue that. we do not want to do anything in 2016 to alter that growth. austerity would be one of those things. host: mike from oklahoma, you are on. caller: two questions -- first of all, the price of oil is low, which everyone says is great for the economy. what this does though, it hurts obviously the economies of texas and oklahoma and north dakota and alaska and wyoming. it also keeps jobs in the industry of those making $70,000 and up from making that. the good and the bad offset as far as the economy goes with the price of oil. my second question is, should we anticipate the fed raising rates
this year in 2015? if so, what effect will that have on the economy as far as hiring, jobs, all that? guest: let me take the second question first, the fed raising rates. one of the things that i mentioned, austerity, one of the things that can hurt growth of the economy is if we were to raise rates too early. one of the things the fed is looking at, what they are trying to look at, is wages. if there is pressure from wages. we have seen nominal wage growth in the 2% range. real wage growth is around zero for the past five years. there is no indication that wages are going to increase anytime soon. we would have to see the labor markets, putting the missing workers back into the labor
force, having a drop in the unemployment rate. that type of labor market, only then will we see wage increase, nominal wages increasing. at that point, after we have clawed back some of the labor share in the economy, would we want the fed to act. if they act too soon to raise rates, they will slow the economy down and it will stymie all the growth we've seen this year. host: and on oil? guest: overall i do not think this will be a long-term trend in terms of the drop. this will stabilize and we will see prices close to to what the fed is -- guest: as 12 years with the federal search -- with the federal reserve system, i never knew what they were going to do when i was there. that said, i think there will be a lot of pressure on the fed to raise interest rates probably in the middle of the year.
they are hesitant to do it now for the reasons elise just said. she knows much more about the dollars and cents. yes, we have seen the stagnant wages for a long time. but total compensation is to some extent a different set of numbers, and that is probably the more important one from a growth standpoint. what does a company actually have to pay to hire a worker which from their perspective includes the wage and the benefit side? >> on the oil side, the gentle is correct. when the price drops, some people end up better off. some people end up worse off. that is the way it works, and i am afraid that is something we have to see where the prices go. i do think it may be a longer-term secular trend. we will see.
i am not an energy expert. however, we do have a major change in this country that is being just barely realized, that we are suddenly becoming fairly quickly becoming the world's energy producer, replacing or at least passing by the middle east. and other opec countries because of what is going on in north dakota, was gone when -- what is going on in fracking and with energy production. i would say we are going to be on for a wild bronco ride and see where they go. i would not want to predict. host: as far as rides go, putting into perspective, the stock market. i do not know if you follow stocks and that world, but that factors into growth in the economy. what is causing the growth that we are seeing? host: i have always been something of a random walk person, which says the market is what the market is.
it reflects collectively the beliefs of hundreds of millions of people. i would say this. one of the real big question marks is whether it is a bubble or whether it is reflecting fundamentals. if i knew, i would be fantastically wealthy and not sitting here on new year's day. that is one of the risk factors we have to think about, whether we are seeing once again a stock market bubble, to quote alan greenspan, the "rational exuberance." >> ms. gould? >> i think it reflects increasing confidence on what is happening in the labor market. one thing to remember about the stock market, it's somewhat reflects the economy, but it is not real in some sense and does not have a real effect on the daily lives of most people. most people are not invested in
the stock market, even in terms of retirement savings. it is a smaller share of the economy reflected by the ups and downs of the market than would otherwise be thought. host: a few people are calling in this morning saying, you see a higher stock market and better oil prices. this is all to president obama asked credit. is there any truth to that or how much power in washington has over that kind of thing? guest: certainly washington has an influence. we tend to inflate how important any president or congress is. the economy is a big thing and it is a big world. washington does not control the rest of the world. one of the things that will be an important factor in the u.s. economy in the next year is what is happening in the european union, in japan, in russia with the financial collapse there. those are not things washington
dictates. so presidents deserve a bit of the blame and a bit of the credit, but not as much as we tend to say. guest: i think if congress had worked together with the president, we could have seen more stimulus and we would have been able to dig out of the sooner than we have. host: florida daniel on the democrats line, thank you for waiting. caller: a very happy new year to you and your guests. the previous caller -- the previous caller from arizona -- i only wish that providence would provide her with employment within the federal government, maybe as a secretary of the treasury or a higher up economists and she was -- i regret using this expression because it is a cliche -- but she was so spot on. i was on hold when she came on.
what do they say? brevity is the essence of wit and it takes a great mind to see beyond the obvious. economists were put on god's earth to give some credibility to the weather forecasters. it is a dice game. the whole thing is a dice game. my first employment as a child i was paid in silver dollars. eventually i had to leave that position mowing lawns with a push mower. eventually i worked for a newspaper in a nominal position. one day they announced that we were not getting pay envelopes we were going to have to go to the bank to get our checks. we would check our paychecks --
we would take our paychecks to the bank and there were all these duction's and one thing and another. what i would like to see in 2015 -- how about if everybody just works as subcontractors, gets paid real cash rather than have the employer have all of these withholdings and affordable care act and one thing and another? host: thank you, caller. guest: subtracting has been on the rise. it allows employers to avoid many of the responsibilities we have thought historically employers should have, such as workers compensation for construction workers. instead they are independent contractors and they have to take on all of that themselves and all of the risk. i do not think that is the right direction to move in. guest: i think the sort of
flexible workforce, including independent contractors and people working multiple jobs, i have never had a period when i only had one job, and i kind of like life that way. i think it is a different perspective, for instance, if you hop into a number -- into an uber lift car -- i have only been an independent contractor one brief instance shortly after college. other than my teaching gigs and that sort of thing. but the fact is a lot of people like it. it is a choice for a lot of people. in this economy that we have now, millennial's with technology, there is a lot of opportunity for people to set themselves as small college industries, and i see nothing wrong with that. guest: it is interesting. to some extent i agree to you
talk about the predict ability -- the predictability of entrepreneurs. there is not that unknown, am i going to get enough business this week, will my employer give me enough hours this week so i can pay my rent? moving in that direction unpredictability, that is low income and not having enough money every week to pay your bills. guest: it is a matter of choice. my parents preferred that life. they were always entrepreneurs. my mother never actually filed the job application until she was 80 years old and works that job for several years. she wanted the predictability of irregular paycheck, but up until then, she and my father wanted to be their own bosses, to run their own show. my brother and i never had that courage. but for a lot of people, that is their life to live, and i do not want to tip the scales in either
direction. host: one more call, john from maryland, republican line. go ahead. caller: i guess accompanying what robert just said, it would be appropriate to have probably another 20 million people on welfare because of the 1099 program. i am talking about capping the primary, and capping the prime rate would offer a minor flux spread with more -- no more tip bond allegation by the oligarchs. you break up visa, mastercard captive markets, and you tie the minimum wage in cpi to true cola. that is called kenneth arrow economics. host: i don't know about it, but you can comment if you wish. guest: i like the idea of tying the minimum wage to something that would make it rise with the economy over time. host: is that not how it is done
now? guest: no, it is set as a dollar value, and it does not move in less there is legislation to move it. host: so we you like that fluctuate -- so would you like that fluctuation ability ? guest: we could tie and with average wages in the economy median wages in the economy. guest: what do youhost: what do you think about that idea? guest: you will get some strange athletics -- you will get to some strange mathematics with some odd results if you tie that in with the minimum wage. as for all of the financial -- i don't know. i will say that we have had again, financial sector not the regulators -- it is regulated as subsidized in many ways that
create much larger financial institutions than probably would be the case if the government were not tipping the scales in that way. and i think to some extent, too much is concentrated in a few institutions that way, but i do not think that is a free market result. that is the result of the capitol over there building a structure that leads to that. host: what do you see as signs going well, or where we currently are? guest: it has been a long time coming. it has been a terribly slow recovery from the disaster of 2008. one good thing is that we have a fair amount of upward movement possible, if we allow it to happen. a lot of what i am talking about is questions of whether capitol hill will allow growth to happen
or whether it continues to restrict it. a lot of it is going to be famous comment from british prime minister nick miller long ago, who asked what he feared most -- he said, "events, young man, events." this is likely to be a year filled with events, from the russian collapse to you never know what happens with the military. cautiously optimistic. signs are good but there are a lot of things that could go wrong. guest: cautiously optimistic as well. i have to agree with you there. if we see the kind of job growth we have seen in recent months continuing, a few years, we will pull ourselves out of the great recession. but we do not want to make any preemptive decisions in the next few months to slow down growth. host: discussion about the economy without two guests, elise gould and robert graboyes.
thank you for being here. we turn from a discussion to the economy to a discussion of foreign affairs. our next guest is uri friedman. he will take a look at the global conflicts spots that could cause concerns for the added states that for the united states. "washington journal" continues after this. >> here are some feature programs you will find this holiday weekend on the c-span networks. saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, from the explorers club apollo 16 astronaut charlie duke, the end is man to walk on the moon. saturday janet murgia.
saturday at 10:00 on after words, chuck todd. sunday on in-depth, tavis smiley. on american history tv on c-span 3, opening-day remarks by former house speaker's tip o'neill, newt gingrich, dennis hester, and nancy pelosi. sunday night at 8:00, we would hear from senate majority leaders robert byrd, howard dole -- bob dole, howard baker and george mitchell. call us at 202-6 26-3400. e-mail us at comments at c-span.org. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter.
the 100 14th congress gavels in this tuesday at noon eastern. watch live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate live on c-span2. check the gop-led congress, and have your say as events unfold on the c-span networks, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our next guest is with "the atlantic congo the associate editor -- with "the atlantic," and your new report takes a look at 2015. some of the map we will show the audience is in red. what is the significance? guest: the red signifies conflict that could happen in 2015. the council on foreign relations told 2000 experts of 30
scenarios, rate how probable they are, how likely they are to happen. and secondly, how much they will affect u.s. interests. u.s. interests are an attack on u.s. homeland, a conflict that could draw in the military, something that could disrupt strategic resources such as a problem in the persian gulf where we do not have oil. and usually u.s. interests include nonproliferation. they asked over 2000 government officials and nongovernmental experts, academic, which couplets are the most probable and which are the most likely to impact u.s. interests. the highest rated bonds are colored in red. guest: i see a lot of asia being highlighted. host:guest: president obama's office says it wants to pivot away from asia and the middle east, but it does not look like it will work out that well. a lot of these conflicts will still be in the middle east, special syria -- especially
syria and iraq. the biggest conflict is potential conflict with china and other southeast asian nations in the southeast china sea and potentially with china in the east china -- with japan in these china sea. the biggest area was iraq. that might not be a surprise. we know about the u.s. campaign against isis in syria and iraq. that was the only conflict by these experts that was rated highly pocketable and highly -- highly profitable and highly impacting on u.s. interests. in last year's survey, they needed it this year, that is because of fears of intifada. there is a fear that another palestinian uprising could happen and that there could be a real conflict. host: where does afghanistan fall in this? guest: it falls high.
there is concern i think not only because we are withdrawing and there is now the afghan security forces, the people are seeing what happened in iraq. we left, isis has risen, there is a lot of political instability, and people are saying could that happen in afghanistan the way it happened in iraq? host: our guest takes a look at the study that was done by another group and writes about them for "the atlantic." uri friedman is with us to talk about the complex to watch in 2015. if you want to ask questions about the topics we have talked about this morning, 202-7 48-8000 democrats. 202-748-80001 for republicans.
202-748-8002 for independents. guest: i think governments is a huge issue. there are a lot of questions about whether countries can deal with their own problems. for example, in syria, the government is part of the complex mix of creating the conflict in iraq. nouri al-maliki he has pressure to step down and a new ministers could come on board. which countries in red are of strategic importance to the united states the echo we should not think of the map as a map of where all conflicts are in the world. these are classics that the u.s. will probably devote resources and diplomatic energy to solving. in the central african republic where there is a specter of genocide potentially, that was rated as less risk.
while it is a major military and concern, it is not of major importance to the united states. the map not only shows us where u.s. priorities are, but it raises questions about what is the u.s. national interests yet which countries should the u.s. be paying attention to in the year ahead? >> in 2014, what was the difference between then and now? guest: there were two conflicts not on the tier one risk last year and one was russia and ukraine, which experts did not see coming. the progress in forces in eastern ukraine and the ukraine forces and russia as well. i feel it -- the other thing that was interesting, people were less concerned about china and the south china sea, and china having an armed confrontation with neighbors.
that was more of a concern this year than last year, which is troubling. if that happens, if china and japan were to fight, the united states has a mutual defense treaty with japan. that would bring the united states into a conflict. even the prospect of conflict with china and the united states is a scary one. they are both major powers. that has risen as a concern among experts. host: that is some of the reasoning in this shift to asia. guest: yes developing resources for one being applied here, but also our allies in the region my japan, and vietnam in the area. the philippines, which we have a mutual defense treaty with. the united states has been careful. they have not main claims that they have not made claims that
these islands are japan's. they have tried to remain above the fray, and the biggest goal is to say let's have mechanisms, rules of the road so if conflict happens and the competition happens on the -- the confrontation happens on the high seas -- host: is this putting a drag on the efforts made by asia? guest: obama has, for example there have been times when he has gone to meetings, summits in asia, and tried to show that this is a new priority for the united states, and there's did not a college in the middle east . that has drawn attention back, even as you see in asia. they have had a hard time of actually, really voting energy -- the u.s. is engaged right now.
with isis in syria and iraq. that is where a lot of diplomatic energy is going, and it is harder to do that, to devote real attention to asia. host: global areas of concern our discussion with uri friedman of "the atlantic." you can read it online. our first call from bob in north carolina. you are on, go ahead. caller: i want to know, first of all, i know russia does not seem to be lit up at all. that is disconcerting. secondly, one of my biggest problems is that congress refuses to get involved with these military actions, that we get to take throughout the work order. i am just curious what your opinion is as to how that is
going to affect our ability to respond the way we need to, and then i will hang up and let him answer. guest: i think it has been really interesting. congress has avoided a vote on the military intervention in iraq and syria. there is just an effort than they kind of want to give over the obama administration, that the authorities would do this on their own and be on the record of the one way or another. that is important because what we're trying to do, the objectives are very fuzzy print obama said in september he wanted to degrade and destroy isis, and that has -- there have been a lot of questions about what does that mean? do we just want an islamist state that is debilitated in the way that al qaeda is, smaller
than it used to be and less able to conduct terrorist attacks and acquired territories, or do we want to eliminate this group? because there is such a ambivalence about the money the u.s. wants to spend and the amount of resources, congress is avoiding that. i worry that creates an environment in which there is not a lot of accountability for how the war goes, and especially with the obama administration only having two years in office. there's concern about what happens next when a new administration comes in. this was a much longer term objectives than the obama administration cert he said. or it will slip away from the priorities list. this was not listed as a major area of concern. the idea was that the conflict would mainly be focused on ukraine, which is lit up in red. that is where the main theater
of conflict with the u.s. would be but it can be broader than the ukraine. addressing concerns that russia could make -- if china threatened it, was some people called the first cyber war in 2007. where it has only accused russia of launching cyber attacks. the ukraine intervention could set a precedent for them as well, so this could be broader than just ukraine. you are right russia has -- host: with the issues and russia, falling oil prices without have a positive effect on their place in the world? guest: yes. experts are very divided on how vladimir putin will react to this. will this. willis have a chastening effect? with the ruble tanking, with the russians in recession, can he of
backed off a bit and say is it just to bring much right now, am i not going to rock the boat. some people said, with a cynical view while flagging the ball, you launching intervention -- while wagging the dog, you launch an intervention. there is an effort kind of say we are already isolated from the international system. we are only linked through the u.n. security council, we have an economic sanctions. we can do what we want to do and establish our sphere of influence and we will not worry about having wide traction in the international community and being part of the us-led international system. there is really substantive debate about how good -- about how vladimir putin will react to this. remember, russia supports syria. russia supports the iran nuclear
talks. there are so many factors in which u.s. russian relations are important >> for u.s. priorities. host: california, democrats line hi caller:. happy new year. i have two questions per it seems like when we went to afghanistan, their gdp was like $2 billion a year. the taliban really was against opium over there. now we call so much money over there, and it seems like it does not matter who we have an office over there, they are all crooks and they take as much money as we can give them, but then they turn their back on the opium trade that is 90% is coming from
afghanistan. i do not understand why we do not do something about that, or force afghanistan to do something. guest: that is a huge issue. opium production in afghanistan was at its highest level ever this year, and that is steady. if you look at a chart of opium production in afghanistan. that is one big issue because the taliban gets money off of that, it is fueling an insurgency. so i think that is a real concern. some people have said that i from gandhi, the new leader of afghanistan, is someone who can implement reforms in a different way than hamid karzai, his predecessor, did. i shroff
we have 10,000 forces in afghanistan now, starting last week in a noncombat role. that will grow to 5000 in the coming year. he agreed to keep them to a new agreement to keep them in the country, where is hamid karzai -- i think there is sentiment among -- someone who can implement real reforms, the fact is, there are so many headwinds against them doing that early on. he came to power in the fall after a very scary kind of situation in afghanistan, the result of the election. there was concern about whether the country -- they were two competing claims for the presidency. that is not the most promising way to start off a leadership role and ashraf ghani has not been able to prove what he will
be up to do with the opium production thing that you mentioned. the afghan security forces, the u.s. role as receded there is a real question whether they can handle the support role, and secure their country on its own. this will be a huge year, just how much they stand up and can be resilient. how much -- opium production, as you mentioned, is not making things any easier. the u.s. has made efforts to try to curb this, but i think really -- the evidence suggests it has not worked. >> on mondays program, we will hear from the inspector general of afghanistan, who looks at money being spent. money continues to be spent.
we will hear next from henry south carolina, independent line. go ahead. caller: good morning, guys. happy new year. the total conversation but the middle east, isis, russia, fighting -- can't we do something different yet who cares? you cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and over. what about all the muslims over in that part of the country. they act like a bunch of animals killing each other. people are tired of that. it is getting to be a new world order. that world is gone. people are sick of that. guest: caller: i think one thing you
have seen with the middle east that is interesting is that there has been so much conflict in the middle east this past year. between iraq and syria and surrounding countries. and then if you extend to afghanistan and pakistan, it has really been a very volatile year. yet, for example, oil prices have not been affected by all the geopolitical instability. they have gone down 40% since the summer. they are at $60, under three dollars gas. some people have made the argument, we think that the middle east is so important and we cannot pivot away from it, we cannot move away from it, and we are just going to be involved in it, taking up all our resources forever. but some people argue, if you look at economic indicators of
oil, it is saying that the middle east is less relevant than it was before. there is still instability, but it is not having the affect you would think it would have on oil prices, on the economy. we are able, and the indicators are saying this may have gone through a spasm of transitions. but the rest of the world is able to move on from it and not have it dragged down lots of different aspects of international affairs. that is one argument being made and i think it is an interesting one. for example, we talked about strategic resources, political instability in the middle east. the u.s. has a shale gas revolution going on right now and has become the largest oil per dose or -- largest oil
producer in the world. host: our guest uri friedman of "the atlantic." independent line ohio, al is up next. caller: i am glad we cannot go one day without talking about fear of what other wars around the world. the united states is pretty much the purveyor of all the wars around here, and i was wondering , when are we going to start an authoritarian leadership here? we already have the police forces, they pretty much can just shoot anyone they want and nothing is going on there. so why don't we just start an authoritarian, fascist dictatorship and go on from there? there is my comments. thank you. host: joe, up next from new
york. independent line. caller: good morning uri. you are talking about global conflicts to watch in the year 2015, and i have not heard anybody bring up the use -- the huge global war, islam versus christianity, which result in persecution of christians throughout the world, in middle east and middle africa. what are your thoughts on it? guest: one area we are seeing we are seeing persecution of christian groups in the middle east. another area is central african republic, which i mentioned earlier. there is a muslim alliance that took power in 2013 in the central african republic and it has lisbon in potential conflict . that is another area where you are seeing a lot of christian
versus muslim violence. it tracks a lot of other things, not just ethnic and religious conflict. it is also about a power struggle and a lack of institutions. that is another area where we are seeing this. in the middle east, minorities, including another group that brought in the united states first into intervening in iraq and syria, has really been a concern. axis has made no court -- isis has made no qualms about targeting other muslims, but also targeting any kind of minority religious sect. that has raised a lot of concerns about wiping out entire religion. that is a major division -- that is a major dimension of this company. host: five prisoners heading
from guantanamo bay to kazakh a stand. is that a security risk? guest: it has always been a concern from what opponents of releasing these prisoners have said, but i think the obama administration -- if you cannot close guantanamo, it is slowly trying to diminish its role. so far there have not been major security risks with these releases, and they do come with certain conditions. so yes kazakhstan has taken some, uruguay has taken some. they take care of this as a security risk in a slow way is
obama takes care of things about congressional approval. host: the story highlights the critics of the move say that the prisoners may take on troops currently in afghanistan. guest: that is a concern. the obama administration seems to be trying to do this in a way where they are releasing fewer people with a high security risk. that is always a concern targeting u.s. troops. host: grosse pointe, michigan independent line. caller: i would like to make a comment about what president eisenhower said when he talked about leaving the industrial complex. we have to understand that the presence are just -- the presidents are just taking recommendations, getting there
information from the military-industrial complex. i believe that is the greatest risks to america. i will take my comment off the air. host: any response? guest: i think that there are certainly concerns about the defense industry and its role in affecting u.s. policy. one area you see that a lot in is drones, which is a major tool of u.s. foreign-policy in pakistan, in yemen, and somalia as well. host: nashville tennessee. robert joins us on the independent line. caller: i will say one thing all the radical islamists can agree on, the treatment of the idf and the israeli government, how they
treat the palestinians in the west bank and in gaza. if we reined in the militaristic and apartheid actions, the israeli state, the idf, that might diffuse some of the negativity in the world toward the united states, which completely backs the rogue state of israel and their persecution and land theft, and breaking of international laws. do you think there is anyone in this country that can rein in bibi netanyahu? guest: there have certainly been a lot of reports about strained relations in the obama administration and the netanyahu
government, over one big sticking point -- settlement. where settlement construction has been announced. the obama administration feels this is really a policy decision that is seeking palestinian peace and a two-state solution. that is a real area to watch right now. there was a time when people thought that the resolution of the conflict was the key to unlocking a lot of other conflicts in the middle east that this was -- get this done, and you can resolve a lot of other disputes. that is less of the conventional wisdom now. people feel it is more marginal in a sense that the arab spring will feel it is more marginal for other conflicts in the region than it used to be. but it is still a real volatile area. between the gaza war over the summer, and the more recent terrorist attacks in jerusalem and protests.
there has been a real concern that the situation could spiral out of control. israel is having elections in march, and it looks like benjamin netanyahu could win again, and that would continue a war chest in israeli politics. but that it is not -- but that is not said and done yet. most kind of moving away from the idea of peaceful resolutions in this crisis and the palestinians actually just signed papers to join the itc. host: what is the significant of that -- what is the significance of that? guest: the international criminal court. it is significant.
getting to a two-state solution. host: they try that again but it was rejected. guest: they tried it at the u.n. the goal of the resolution, it did not pass. so they then moved to the icc. if you join the international community court, there is the possibility that it could be pro-israeli officials and soldiers for war crimes. that is one goal. that could happen as part of it. the other goal is if you have -- if you recognize membership of a lot of different bodies -- the other part is that there could be retaliation. the u.s. and israel could impose -- the u.s. is one of the biggest donors to the palestinian party in the west bank. so there is some concern that matt davis could retaliate against this move and oppose
sanctions. it is an incremental move. i would not say it is a game changer in the conflict, but it is part of a larger strategy where the palestinians and the israelis are both doing their own thing and we keep hearing that they want a two-state solution but the parties that want that to happen are not interested at all. host: you are on with uri friedman of "the atlantic." caller: i find it interesting that isis has not confronted israel seemingly at all, and from that standpoint it is probably smart because i think israel would crush basis. but do you see them making an unwise move of bonding or relying on hamas and confronting israel? on the other side, do you think
the united states is working with israel in a covert way to do special ops in syria? and one question, not related -- i am wondering if you spoke with the saudis about flooding the oil market in retaliation to russia? guest: on ice is not confronting israel, i think they just -- on isis not confronting israel, i think they just have their hands full. confronting israel, they may be anti-israel, but that is not a central part of them. it is also the result of they have dozens of countries parading against them. it is interesting if you look at isis territorial campaign, they have been in a holding pattern of lost territory in some places. it is a stalemate. they have totally changed their practices.
they are no longer staying at basis and driving and flashing caravans. the campaign, while it has not destroyed the room, it certainly changed the way they go about their business and have made them retrench a little bit. they've confronted all their adversaries. i do not think they want to take another one on also, with supreme military capabilities. i do not know any is really cool -- any israeli covert ops. i do not know of anything of that. on the saudi question, oil prices have gone down a lot. some people said, why isn't saudi arabia trying to give these oil prices high? why are they letting oil prices fall? one theory is that saudi arabia, trying to actually -- the united
states is a shell gas producer right now. that is more cost intensive than what saudi arabia does which is they are the largest crude oil producer. that is less labor-intensive. some people said they want to keep prices low to make it harder for shell gas producers and make it easier for them. others said this was retaliation against russia or iran, the oil-producing countries that are struggling because they depend so much on higher oil prices for governor that for government revenues. but the saudi's have not said anything. i do not know if there's any communication between the united states and the saudis on this issue, but they certainly have not stopped oil prices falling and there could be numerous reasons for that. host: ben from virginia democrats line, you're on with uri friedman. go ahead. guest:caller: i am going to follow-up
on some of the questions and mr. friedman's remarks on the israeli-palestinian conflict. i agree with a lot of what you said, mr. friedman, but i have problems with your assertion that both sides are moving away from a peaceful resolution. the palestinians' increasing reliance on international law is a very important development. i think it is a strategic development based on the strategic concept, and i think we have to consider that israel was founded on the basis of international law. this seems to me to be a very good way to move towards a peaceful resolution. the u.s. will continue to object, but if you look at the vote just the other day, only one other country with the 15 voted with the u.s., and several of our allies, including france, luxembourg, voted for the resolution -- russia, china, and
france as well. five countries are saying the palestinians came one vote short. this -- five countries are staying. the palestinians came one vote short. the israelis are claiming that mr. netanyahu has said that they welcome the move to go to the international criminal court in the limited sense that it will expose hamas' crimes or alleged crimes. dr. i have to put it off -- [inaudible] host: i have to put it off there because we are running out of time. guest: parliament in france and britain have said they are considering recognizing the palestinian authority and they have had palestine as a diplomatic entity. other countries in europe has as well. israel is opposed to it.
pakistan becoming an independent state -- palestine becoming an independent state without israeli acquiescence, that is where it becomes obligated. but the palestinians believe it is a better strategy for attaining international recognition. host: our last call is from raymond, new hampshire. ted, go ahead. caller: my comment is on the financial part of these conflicts, when the united states gets involved in these conflicts, no matter what the cause, they always seem to jump in without thinking about the funding. it all seems like it falls on the back of the senior citizens, the military, and all that. with all this stuff going on, including what is going on on the border, we do not have so
much of a bank book and we need to stay within our means. if it gets out of hand, we have to pick and choose what is really -- we cannot worry about silly stuff like north korea and the movies. we have to think more of what is going on in the world with the nuclear and the oil and stuff like that and humans. taking care of people that are being suppressed. guest: funding is a really interesting question. for example, we are spending millions of dollars a day on the isis campaign. i look back at november and calculated it at about $300,000 an hour. that is not a lot compared to what we spend in afghanistan, which is $200 million a day in the afghan conflict, although that will change over time. but lots of funding. the obama administration requested a most $6 billion more for iraq and equipping moderate
forces and iraqi forces. it will be interesting how that money increases over time. we talk about it limited financial commitment but if that does not achieve what we want it to achieve, funding tends to increase. watching what the obama administration asks for in funding this campaign will tell you a lot. whether it is achieving that objective, whether that objective changes, and whether those objectives are achievable. that definitely happens a lot, and it will happen more. host: our guest's writings can be found at atlantic.com/global. thank you and happy new year. our final question on this first day of the new year -- how optimistic are you for the united states in 2015? if you think it will be better
off in 2015 call 202-748-8000. worse off, call 202-748-8 we will take those comments were "washington journal" continues after this. >> this sunday on "q&a", the president and ceo of the national council of maza. on the state of hispanics in america, immigration reform, enter compelling personal story. >> i have had the great privilege of experiencing the american dream care in this country. born in kansas. my parents actually came to this country in the very early 1950's.
my parents came from mexico with no money and very little education. my dad had an eighth grade education, my mom a fifth_grade education. yet they believed in the promise of this country, and they were seeking better opportunities for their children. so they worked really hard and sacrificed, as so many latinos and hispanics have done in this country. because they wanted that better future for their children, and they believed in the promise of this country. so they really taught at some point values that have been our guide for our lives __ me and my six brothers and sisters. but they taught us the importance of family, of faith, of community, hard work, sacrifice, honesty, integrity, all of those were important values that they should with us.
>> sunday night at 8:00 pm eastern and pacific. >> "washington journal" continues. host: your optimism about the united states in 2015. a survey recently done by "the associated press" had most responding saying that the u.s. would be better off, feeling good about 2015. you may have those feelings, you may not. pick the line that best represents you and tell us why. let's start with tom in florida, wwho says that the u.s. will be worse off. caller: good morning. i believe it will be worse off for several reasons. the first of which, the cycles of war are ramping up globally. and we are not doing anything.
we are not assuming the leadership role that we once did in the world. second, our military morale is about as low as it has ever been. the way we are treating people who were in active duty does it lent to creating morel that helps the united states present a cohesive front to any conditions we're going to encounter. and finally, financially, globally there will be a crisis that begins to occur in the fall of 2015. and it will be set off by the pension crisis, which nobody really addresses. it will start in europe because they are ahead of us in this demographic cycle. were so many people are going to be retiring. it will affect the united states in 2016, but it will start in the fall of 2015. and the people that track
pension actuaries will know what is going on in europe. and that is one of the reasons we are going to experience a negative 2015. host: james says will be better off. james, go ahead. caller: i think we will be better off in the next year due to the low oil prices and many other issues. we do __ times have gotten better and better and better. over every year through the democratic control of the presidency and the senate. the democrats have held the line. the republicans have shown their song. when push comes to shove, the market is at an astronomical levels.
unemployment is falling. people are getting healthcare. america cannot be a better place. host: jonathan from new york also says that the u.s. will get better. hi, jonathan. caller: hi, there. happy new year. host: thank you. caller: i'm taking that position for one simple reason. the reason this __ how can you have any other position on the first day of the year other than it will be better? that is all i really want to say. host: that is jonathan out of new york. a front_page article __ a wage hike when it comes to the minimum wage. they reflect new laws that have gone into effect, the minimum wage being one of them. we're asking you, as far as you may look at the minimum wage.
you may feel optimistic, maybe not. but again, for closing segment, if you feel better off, worse off, or the same, call in. abdel, good morning to you. abdel, from florida, go ahead. caller: as far as the wage problem? host: if you think the u.s. will be better off, worse off, or the same in 2015. caller: it will be worse off. host: why do you say that? caller: because we have a new congress in that has more of a monopoly now. usually these __ they are more for the, what you call it, the
more elite people. host: from tampa, florida. good morning. you say the u.s. will be better off in 2015. caller: hi. yes, i am optimistic because i believe that all that president obama did __ he got the ball rolling in the right direction. you had a guest on earlier from george mason university who is an economist, and he said that the disaster in 2008 __ you know, it didn't begin in 2008. it started probably eight years to 10 years before. we had an economic it does on when george bush was president. there were no jobs. that was why people were taking fast food service jobs. i remember, i was working then. president obama inherited in economic mess. he went ahead, he did the right thing.
the republicans blocked the most everything he tried to do. i hope he gets his infrastructure job bill. we will have millions of jobs and he can take more credit. host: from john in pennsylvania, your next. hello. caller: hello. how are you? host: i'm fine, thanks. caller: we will be better off. the leadership of that president obama has shown will be the major factor. i hope that this next congress works with him and we get things done in this country __ new bridges, high_speed rail. that is one thing that would really produce a lot of jobs in this country. host: when you say the leadership that the present has taken, specifically what you mean? caller: he is a strong leader. i would give him a strong rating is one of the best presidents we have ever had.
host: margaret from texas says the u.s. will be about the same this year. hi. caller: yes, good morning. it will be about the same because it is about the same for me. i am on social security, and i do well on my own. something i have not heard any of the callers mention that even though we are going to have higher minimum wage and, superficially, things look like it could be better. actually, people do not notice that we do not have a sustainable environment. it is gradually getting worse. this is something that ppeople don't seem to be concerned about. no matter what else happens in the country and the world, if we don't have a sustainable environment, nothing else matters. host: and that is margaret from texas. we're asking folks about their
view or optimism for 2015. you can pick the line that is on the screen that best represents your thinking. this from the "washington post", saying that they're going to close 82 mail processing centers this year. the consolidation plan will help the financially struggling agency to save money and adjust for dwindling demand for first_class mail. a fact sheet from the postal service says changes will only nominally increase the average delivery time for first_class mail from 2.14 days to 2.25 days. they are basing their estimates on extensive modeling and real_time information from last year's consolidations. leonard is up next from scottsdale, arizona. why you think the u.s. will be worse off, leonard?
caller: well, nobody is talking anymore about the $18 trillion debt we have. as long as we have trees, we will do fine. but if you look at europe, the euro is down to $1.20. because of the you're coming down, we have made everything more expensive to the europeans. the chinese now have the world's fastest supercomputer. the indians have launched their own satellite. we don't have the technology we had. the thing that give us our wealth at that time was the second world war. because after the second world war, we were the only country in the world where the two plants were intact. we had the knowledge, we had the technology. but over the period of time, we have educated a lot of these people to do the same thing we
do. and we sell them the best equipment available, the highest technology. there is no way that we are going to move up. host: robert is from south carolina, saying the u.s. will be better. hi, robert, go ahead. caller: good morning. happy new year. yes, we just need to remain aand become more thankful to god and the country. and the more hopeful. andrew will continue to progress. i think we have progress the last eight years, six years under president obama. but it is an ongoing, fluid situation. things can, you know, go south quickly. but we keep our minds aligned and thankful and hopeful.
i am positive aand optimistic that we will continue to improve as a nation. host: a report from the world health organization still highlights what is going on when it comes to ebola, saying that the virus is still spreading. especially in sierra leone. the worldwide toll stood at 7905 deaths among 20,000 known cases at years and. sierra leone reported 337 new cases in the past week, including 149 in freetown, the highest incidence in the capital of the former british colony. pennsylvania. this is henry. caller: hi, how are you doing? host: ffine, thank you. caller: i don't think it is going to get any better, why would it? host: before you move on, why do you say __ what is behind what you say?
caller: well, i have probably been accused of being pessimistic, so that is probably why i'm going that way. but, you know, i have been looking at my 58 years in this country, and i don't a getting better. but the other guest you had on, somebody called in and talked about the crazy eddie with the minimum wage. every time congress decides to give themselves a pay raise, that is the time when everybody gets a pay raise. if they think that the economy is bad enough that they need a pay raise, then certainly the guy making $7.50 an hour at mcdonald's needs a pay raise. it would be a novel idea for the people to get behind something like that. kick them in the butt down there in washington.
host: senator tom coburn, one of his final moves as senators talked about it are going report taking a look at how it uses taxpayers dollars. saying that states who have figured out how to gain the federal disaster relief situation __ that full story, by the way, at the washington times. jim from brownsville, oregon.
will the u.s. be better, worse, or the same? caller: it is going to be better off. it is going to be better off because the american people, both republicans and democrats, are going to force congress to work. there are no longer going to be able to hide behind themselves. they have to work. american people will put them to work. they made it clear that their objective has been to do just what they want to do. and it makes no difference what the people say. but they cannot continue to do that. i think new congress __ the new congress is going to make a difference. but the american people are going to force them to do their job. host: with both houses being in republican control, and you saying they are going to go to work, what do think they're going to do in the long run? caller: people are going to force them to work.
host: but what do you think congress will specifically do? caller: well, they're going to have to start to work to create jobs. they're going to have to work with the president. that may likely be hillary. they're just going to have to get behind the american people. and we know we need jobs, you know? the economy is doing well. and most of us are doing a little better, but we don't feel it. host: mike is from frederickstown, missouri. caller: good morning. i think the trend will continue to be worse, overall, because of the participation of the workforce. i don't think we will see a real turnaround until we can
start to get americans, you know, to go ahead and join in and to start to get trending up in participation in the workforce. that is just so key. that we have to have people growing up with the idea that they are going to go out and work and raise their families and work hard and raise kids that will join the workforce. that has to be at. that is the main thing. host: gary lives in sterling, virginia. hi, gary. caller: thank you, everyone. happy new year. if we analyze, subsidize, and prioritize our infrastructure investment with satellite computer technology __ instead of using this half donkey system that we have been using __ we will improve. otherwise, you know, it is just
another downhill road. that is what i have to say. host: so you are saying that better roads will make america better? caller: our entire transportation infrastructure. we need to use satellite computer technology to analyze it, design it, prioritize it, subsidize it because, you know, the system now is all about who is __ like some people say, it is going to be local. but, you know, we can see around here from the __ the beltway mixing bowl or the silver spring transit center. host: david is in michigan. david, you say the country will be worse off. why do you say that? caller: because the president is leading us in the wrong direction. he is still going to do that. even though we have a great congress now, it is going to be really ttough for them to do
anything. host: so when you say the president is leading us in the wrong direction, what do you mean? caller: i mean he is taking us to the socialist direction where he is taking his unbelievable steps of writing law. that is the wrong direction. and it continues. he has no concept of what economics are. i don't even think he took high school economics class. except if he is doing this on purpose to destroy this country. will that change just because we have a new congress and? well, we still have him there. leading us in the wrong direction. over a cliff. and congress is not stood up to them in the past. get out of the way, the government can't create jobs. we have to have businesspeople to do with any to do. host: just to show you the
headline __ according to the "washington post" __ his aides saying that he is separating himself from those interests to look at a possible political run, as part of the process of doing that. that is the lead story in the "washington post" this morning. lucius up next from south carolina says the country will be better off in 2015. hi. caller: hello, yes it will. i think the country will be better off. as a matter of fact, if they would go along with some of the things of the president is trying to do, it will be a lot better off. they should stop accusing him of doing the wrong thing as he is trying to do the right thing. like minimum wage. give the people what they need.
give them what they need to help them through these hard times. host: ffrom walter in baltimore, maryland, your next. caller: happy new year, c_span. host: thank you. caller: i respect the last caller, because it has already gotten better with a minimum wage increase. that is making it better. i don't care what the people think about our government. government is the only entitytthat keeps us as human beings together. the idea that government to create jobs is a lie. what do think police department, fire departments, and judges __ they are on government payroll. the people who say government
to create jobs is liars. these are jobs that are american jobs. if any clown goes into a burger king to support the envision that they have started two 2015, they are fools. i'll never buy another burger king hamburger, ice cream calling, whatever as long as they are taking our dollars in saying that is where we make our money. i love you, c_span. happy new year. host: thhe operations in afghanistan have now changed. with the end of combat, the __ from lake placid, florida, here
is richard. hello. caller: yes, good morning, pedro. i say we are worse off. our economy, right now, is built on debt. you cannot sustain any economy on debt. we are moving up to $18 trillion in debt. the largest employer industry would be the small business, and i see no help at all coming from this administration nor from congress. they talk about george bush __ actually, our problems started in 2006 when congress became democratic congress. that is when they started to __ to push the big government and more and more and more spending. as long as we have the same people in the position in congress __ and the
administration __ making, leaving, and putting forth their policy, we're not going to have any improvement. i don't know what the banks are doing, but this g20 __ they basically said that they are going to get away from the dollar and they're going to go with another currency. inflation is out of hand __ they say there is no inflation. go to the grocery store and see what kind of inflation you've got. host: and just because a few people have mentioned the minimum wage, a story in the "washington times" saying that 20 states will increase their minimum wage. the initial changes will enhance pay by as little as a few pennies to as much as $1.25 an hour. nine states are increasing their minimum wage levels through automatic adjustments of other economic factors.
increases in other states occurred throughballot changes. overall, the new laws will cover about 60% of the nation's workforce. the white house says 28 million workers would be affected. from north carolina. hi, there. caller: hi. i think it is going to be better bbecause hopefully i'm going to remove to work the burden of taxes and residential properties and start serving the commercial interest. and we have facebook and we are able to have more conductivity to prevent the representatives from smothering the individual citizens voice on the floor. host: as far as what is going on in your state __ as far as taxes are concerned? caller: we pay and build the infrastructure. the commercial interest set up over here on one part of the
county, takes out the other half of the county just to make a road. that is a perpetual disease in our country. host: how do you plan to fight that? caller: hopefully with your assistance. i love you, c_span. host: ed from washington dc says the country will be better off. hi. caller: yes, i think we are much better off. thank you, c_span, for listening to me. our country is very much blessed, but we have a problem, c_span. we have a right wing media that is forecasting hate and misinformation. i am an african american scientist, a phd scientist. and throughout time, the way people out there __ they cannot help us in our nation. they are just broadcasting hatred.
people were calling in on the right saying that they are broadcasting and repeating hate. and all this hate is coming from the right wing media. you can tell what they're listening to, they're listening to false information. they need to get past that, and make our country grow. we can make this nation, the greatest nation on earth, if we can do something about healthcare __ host: ed from washington dc joining us on this new year's day. we cannot live without showing you in the find staff of people who put this program together. all part of making the show happen, even as they are sitting in the control room right now pushing the buttons. you can wave, guys. i just want to give a shout out to them and thank you for all their efforts.
thank you to you, as well, for joining us on this very first day of 2015. please keep on joining us every single morning as "washington journal" comes your way at 7:00 am. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> "q&a" is 10 years old. today, former congressman bob ney, the ohio republican, resigned from congress in 2006. on conspiracy charges for trading favors in exchange for
gifts. after serving 17 months in prison, he wrote a book about his experience. that is "q&a" tonight at 7:00 eastern. today on c_span, conversations with astronauts. the discussions begin with walt cunningham. nasa's third civilian astronaut talked about the earliest apollo missions, the space race with the russians, and the future of nasa. here is a preview. >> apollo 7, to this day, was the longest, most ambitious, more successful engineering test flight of any new machine ever. and the reason it was so loaded __ planned 11 their first mission was because we had lost 21 months