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tv   Washington Journal Mona Charen and Paul Glastris Discuss the American Dream  CSPAN  July 4, 2017 8:00am-9:01am EDT

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donald trump requesting a bevy of voted data achieve those will be made available to the public. let's get one more call. republican line in lewes, delaware. good morning. good morning. happy fourth of july. saying i start off by love donald trump. i think a lot of people are missing the fact that he is what i consider to be authentic. it has been stated by some of your other callers. my brother was killed in vietnam. i had history teacher when i was there will always be between the haves and have-nots. that was soon after world war ii. place.ot our
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they take our money and then, you know, there was a book a long time ago by sinclair called "the ugly american." getting spiritual in getting authentic and believing ourselves, we are the lifeblood, those of us. that is why i love the way he is about our veterans. millionshese countries and billions of dollars and then send our beautiful children over there to either die or come back in pieces. that has never made any sense to me. i don't paint attention to the polls. they live. i don't know why we celebrate ourselves just separate ourselves and call ourselves liberal this and that. the reality is, when our country started, george washington did not know how to be president. this has all been new. we continue to reinvent ourselves. donald trump, in my opinion, is of the people, by the people,
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and for the people. he ran against 16 other people. i'm a registered republican, but i am pretty upset with a lot of the republicans. going back to my first statement, the hassan the have-nots. americans, basically, yes, we have our problems in poverty, but overall, we are the haves. the other countries look to us for handouts. then what happens? it is like codependency and dependency and all of those kinds of things. you help them. they are not grateful for it and then they spit at us, if you will. host: appreciate your call. we will hear next from mona charen with the ethics and public policy center, long-time columnist as well, and the washington monthly's paul glastris, talking about the american dream and is it still attainable today and if the government has a role in helping
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americans achieve it. later on, gallup pollster craig newport will join us. we will be talking about the latest on the most important problem facing the u.s. we will take her calls on that topic as well. first up here on the fourth of july, "washington journal" this past week is a to be home of america's founding documents, the national archives in washington come to learn about the agency and how it is celebrating the holiday. >> on the national mall, about halfway between capitol hill and the white house, we're at the archives of the united states. what is the mission of the national archives? collect, protect, and make available the records of the u.s. of the american people can hold the government responsible. >> how long has there been the national archives? >> 1934. it wasn't until the franklin roosevelt administration until we got service about our records.
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opened the doors here in 1935. >> what is contained in this building? >> the most precious of our earliest documents to the constitution, bill of rights, and the declaration of independence. also, the region signed up by george washington and his -- the legions signed by george washington and his troops. the public laws. the high invaluable records of the country. >> how many buildings does the national archives have? >> we have 44 facilities across the country, including 13 presidential libraries. >> how many staff? >> 3000. >> on a daily basis, how many people come through here? >> about 1.5 million a year come through here. lots of school groups. lots of families. lots of international visitors. it is kind of unique in terms of the international community to have your constitution on public
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display just about every day of the year. it is unique opportunity. flowu have seen me ebb and of interest of the documents in this building, the people coming through? >> since we do a lot of work 12 community,ugh there is a steady visitation by the district classes in school groups. it is hard to say there are more visitors today said this time last year. it is pretty constant. >> are there certain things that spark your interest in an election year or something happening in washington? >> anytime there is a major event in washington, we are the destination, definitely. >> what are some of the lesser-known items that are contained in this building behind you? bought alaska from the russians.
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we have the check for $7.2 million the russians took to the bank and walked out with the money in gold. a letter from in the oakley troops ofo raise the women to fight the spanish-american war. treaties. very powerful documents spelling out the promises the american government played to the indian nation. things like that. >> what will people see here on the fourth of july? is a majorf july holiday here. we like to feel we only fourth of july. we have a dramatic reenacting of the reading of the declaration on the steps. the crowd responds just as the crowd responded in the early
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days would it was first shared with the american public. quite a spectacle here on the steps. >> one of your favorite days? >> it is my favorite. it is. after the ceremony, it is the beginning of the major parade. we are the first stop on that parade. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we kind of touched on it in the last segment, july 4, the american dream and is it still attainable and what role, if any, does the government have in helping us get there. to help us in the conversation, ande joined by mona charen by the editor in chief of the washington monthly paul glastris . thank you for returning this morning. let's start with a little bit of a historical take on the american dream by historian
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james trussell adams on the american dream who said that the dream -- that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and full of for everyone with opportunity for each through ability or achievement, age rim of social order in which each man or each woman shall be able to attain the fullest stature of which they are innately capable and be recognized by others what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position. a bit of an old-fashioned definition. how about your definition, mona charen? >> i love that definition, but it is interesting when you look now at the way people refer to the american dream, it is very narrow. welltend to mean how you're doing economically. are you making more money than your parents did when they were your age? or a popular seven that showed 30-year-olds today are not parentss much as their
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did a generation ago and so forth. is clearly very important. economic opportunity is part of what we think of as the american dream. i hope we talking to the point where we think of it as exclusively in economic terms. america has also always meant liberty. it has meant religious expression. it has meant not being judged by who your parents were, but treating each person as an individual. so there are many aspects of what it means to pursue happiness and to achieve the american dream that are far beyond mere economic gain. host: your take on the american dream? i think the, perception, as long as i have been aware of the term, is in fact the capacity to get ahead in life for yourself and your children through hard work without being
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penalized for your family the, religious background. i think that is what most people think of. america itself is bigger we have liberties that are valuable several from economic gain. -- which isin life more than economic, but certainly at based economic is a big part of it. you mentionharen, the focus now more on economics. what do you think they monetary or economic heart of the american dream began to take part,ore of the social the melting pot of america sort of thing? guest: i don't want to diminish the imports of growth of economic development, rising prosperity, the fact that we've had about 15 years now a very slow growth. i think it has increased tensions in our society and divisions. resentment between those are
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doing well and those who are seeing less progress. so it is important. i don't want to downplay it too much. lifehe other aspect of that we forget about when we focus too narrowly on economics are unity, families, religious schools -- all of those things that for most of us are really what make life or living need to be part of the picture when you talk about are you able to achieve the american dream. by the way, immigrants want to flow to the united states for many reasons. part of it is, yes, chance to do better economically. at the other part of it is, they may oftentimes come from countries where there persecuted, don't have religious freedom, because of the ethnic group were for whatever reason,
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they appreciate the respect for individual, the rule of law, and the quality of opportunity that we strive for here. host: in addition to weather the american dream is attainable, we asking, what is the government's role in helping to do that and how has that changed over the years? guest: well, it has been a precept of american governance for many year was certainly since the new deal and i would argue since the civil war or before, the government does have a role in opening up opportunity in providing equal chances for -- advancement. the great debate of our time analyst all-time of american politics is, what role the government ship like him how vigorous, how detailed. -- most that government voters turn to government when they feel like their
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opportunities are not there, they are being blocked and so forth. i am on the liberal side of things, so i probably think government has a much more important and vigorous role to play than mona does. i don't think it is probably -- most people would deny the government has some role. host: we are asking our guests and you about the american dream. his is still attainable? what is government's role in helping you get there? you can call or send us a tweet. do other of you think any party has claimed ownership or try to claim ownership through the american dream? guest: there's a big philosophical divide in the two parties views about opportunities. --hough i would have to say
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there is not a stark of a difference as i would have said five years ago, but in general him of the democrats are interested in equality of outcomes and using government to redistribute wealth so everyone is more or less in the same place to some degree. the republicans have all been about equal opportunity, creating conditions so everyone has a fair shot to achieve their own personal best without necessarily redistributing income to them. as i say, that has been changing. we now have a republican house and senate and republican president who are struggling over the health care bill exactly because it has been so much ground lost to the democrats point of view. for example, health care is a government responsibility. the government should provide this good to people. so that is why you have this --
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one of the many reasons why we have this state of paralysis by the republicans. they are really not sure anymore exactly what they believe, and their tent is too broad to come to everyone. host: in terms of helping people get the american -- achieve the american dream, i should say, where does health care fall on that? government providing or assisting in health care. guest: if you look at the sheer cost of health care, it has skyrocketed over the last 30 years. it is a huge chunk of the economy. a hidden chunk of the average person's income. it is being paid either employer, but it is a huge chunk of their compensation and the costs keep rising and rising. it is a vital part of people's economic well-being, opportunity , not to say their health.
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to play on what mona said, we also saw with donald trump, republicans -- his voters rallying around a president who -- savingut providing the safety net, saving social security and medicare, saving medicaid he talked about. he was very fulsome in his promise to provide for people. he talks about achieving huge levels of growth. that is not the kind of talk republicans have been known for the last few cycles. it just goes to show, i think both parties now are looking to government for something to do something about what is i think a pretty serious erosion of the american dream as commonly defined. host: paul glastris editor-in-chief of the washington monthly and mona charen picture reader to townhall and senior public
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policy official at the ethics policy center and long-time dissident on the capital gang on cnn. joining us this morning about the american trim. lots of calls waiting. let's go to michigan. welcome. happy july 4. caller: happy july 4. thank you for taking my call. i do have a few issues. like the woman who is speaking -- i'm sorry, i forgot her name. i am a little nervous. i never get through. anyway, you're saying about how what our parents made a mistake $30,000 the year -- parents made, say $30,000 a year. if your child was making that as an adult. when the gas prices went up, so did all of the food prices, but they never came down when the gas came down. that is really crazy.
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you're spending a lot out-of-pocket all of the time. thing, no -- another one ever talks about the lottery. the lottery was supposed to go to schools and infrastructure. i have not seen hide nor hair of ,nyone saying anything on cnn on any of the stations about where does that lottery go. get $400 million and half of that goes to the government, where does that money go to? , i am disabled. i don't make $10,000 year. i make a little over $9,000. if they take away medicaid, that covers part of my medicare -- which also makes me mad. it is not entitlement. i paid for that all my life. i paid for it in my employer pay
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for it to match it, just like sosa security. this is not a gift. this is not something someone gave me. host: helen, appreciate your call. lady: sympathy for this who is in a difficult situation. look, one of the things that i think has to be understood within the context of the larger discussion about where government fits into our lives was designedystem to give maximum opportunity to individuals. we do have a safety net. we have had a for quite some time. one of the most important things that is happened to this country in the last 30 or 40 years is not the rise and fall of prices. that has been pretty stable. what has really been the most important change is the decline of families and family life and marriage. it is tough to get along on your
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own. when there is a strong marriage and family and extended family who help one another, loan each other money, take you in when you are in trouble -- all of those things are critical to human flourishing. we have now reached a point in our society where 41% of babies born are born to unwed mothers, where divorce among people without college degrees is high -- although, it has come down for people with college degrees. living together has become the norm. this has created a tremendous amount of unnecessary hardship and suffering. it really is hard to get along on your own. we need strong families. helen says, those are not entitlements. she is talking about etiquette. she said i have paid for those.
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how does that fit into achieving the american dream? she sounds like she wanted pride there because that was hers. is great when roosevelt insight when he created social security as a that hege of income so said no politician would dare take it away. way.are is the same it must be said, the average person on medicare now pays -- would have paid in about one third of what the cost of that health care is. always the, medicaid is a different program altogether. ficae do look at their and theyry paid period know that money is going to sosa security and medicare. they feel they have paid into it and surely they have. it is perilous to go after these
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things come and rightly so. they have paid in, but they have not been remotely the amount they get back. the costs of health care are such that there was a time perhaps when medicare payments could cover the cost. where long since past that. guest: it would be wonderful if we could restore some market discipline to our health care system because if you look at the two areas of american life that have the most heavy hand of government, it is education and health care. those are the two areas where inflation is been way above the normal rate of inflation. the cost of education and health care have skyrocketed. with this crazy government interference with third-party payers in this patchwork quilt of nuttiness. host: the problem is other high-handedth much help and government have lower cost and health care and
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government. one could make the opposite with health-care and education with almost no account ability for the spending. let's go to maine. democrats line. caller: i just want to ask what the panelists think about the notion that the american dream is never actually existed and that because of historical structure inequality, both racially and economically in the united states, has contributed -- they're not actually being an american dream. it is just kind of an idea that was put forth, but only attainable by a few within america -- namely, the white -- economically, especially. i just want to hear what you thought about this. guest: the original sin of america was slavery.
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and it continued through years of jim crow, discrimination, and so forth. everybody knows that history. but i think it is a huge overstatement to say that because of that, that the americans are never really existed. it did exist. millions of people, including black americans, who have done brilliantly and i think would say in many instances that they would not want to be citizens of any other country. as i mentioned-- earlier, by the wave of immigrants who still want to come here, this country does provide a great life. people want to come here and work. by the way, immigrants work incredibly hard. in fact, their employment rate is higher than that of nativeborn people. that is not to say we necessarily should have more immigration. maybe we should have less. but they come here to work, they do work, and they get ahead.
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that is an achievement of our system. will it always be just a dream? guest: i don't think it is just a dream. my grandparents came from greece. my parents made it to the middle class. my brothers somewhat above the middle class. i am a living, breathing example of the american dream. it is not been very dreamy the past 30 plus years with the exception of about five or six years in the 1990's. most people have not seen their standards of living go up. in fact, if you look at generational comparisons, somebody of my age with my background and education is probably making less than somebody 20 years older than me. somebody 20 years younger than me with exactly my demographics will be making less than i. we are seeing a deeper erosion. it does not mean it is gone. immigrants are showing every day
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that capacity of the system to work, but the economics of right now of our system is a disadvantage for the vast majority of people. host: we welcome your comments on twitter as well. twitter.s are also on later on you can check your twitter feed and see how you held up this morning. independent line, maryland. good morning. caller: i just want to say i do believe the american dream is still possible. i think it is the same as it has always been. life isn't fair. it really depends on your start. where you start off. your social status and your
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class. i want to say -- like i said come on things are still possible, but things are harder. for some. like the lady stated a little while ago, america's original sin, slavery, it knocked a lot of people out of the loop. those same people are still trying to catch up. by yearssaid, followed of jim crow and every thing else. in my opinion, i think that education, along with family structure, is still -- is still what helps us all to get a little closer and make it a little bit easier. families that stick together, marriages, stronger unions, they definitely help. they help. they help kids from slipping and falling in areas where they shouldn't and get some kind of structure to build upon. better it would be a lot if we make education cheaper and more affordable.
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school,w neds in college, i mean, you know, is going to cost $20,000 to $30,000 year on school. a lot of them are way higher than that. not many people can afford that. host: let's focus on education in particular. guest: i love this color. i agree with what he said. i would also agree education is critical. and family structure. again, the answer is not necessarily going to be we should spend more money on education -- which sounds good, but weapons been a vast portion and score seven flat. surely, this is the time what alled education reform so we can see what works and try to imitate those places, so-called knowledge is power school, the kids schools in some intercity set of done wonders with kids from very poor backgrounds --
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inner cities have done wonders with kids from very poor backgrounds. we desperately need to get people from all people, but especially the poor and working class, need to give them a leg up and education is key because changing.y is the industrial area jobs are not going to be coming back. they will be automated. the future is for skills that require more education. host: let me ask about the millennials and one of the economic indicators of where they stand, the economist in terms of home ownership. millennials may move less because your them on their own homes in terms of domestic 25ration in the u.s. between -year-olds and 34-year-olds, that millennial age group, fromning over the years 2000 to 2016. ,ven the educated millennials what do they face in terms of
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achieving the american dream? guest: millennials don't move around as much. none of us move as much as was the case 20, 30 years ago. there is been a big decline and mobility. millennials are the latest generation in a series of generations to start out with a handicap bigger than the previous generation. millennials are blessed with, in a sense, not having lost a lot in 2008.g wealth but in other respects, not having the salaries that can help them save for homes, having .remendous student debt the biggest thing between people my age and having grandkids is our kids student debt. they can't start their families. let me also say something to the gentleman who called. annual alternative college ranking that focuses exactly on what he was talking
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about, which is the high costs of college. with a copyright here if you want to show it. you can go to this and look at the best bang for the buck and it shows you some very good costges that don't $20,000, $30,000 year. they are out there, but you have to look at stop in general, college costss has been rising to her three times the rate of inflation for decades. host: what is your take on what he talked about, lowering college costs? what can the government do and what can colleges do? guest: part of the answer may be that technology may help solve this problem. with the online courses and being able to arrange some sort of a system where you can get college credits for completing taking a course, test to show your comment.
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options -- one thing i am sure of is that if we subsidize college education more, which is what we have been doing for the past 40 years, the price will just go up. colleges will just pocket that and raise prices. so that is not the answer. guest: i agree with half of what you say. if we subsidize it through the student loan program our grant system, that is what is going to happen. what is driving up the cost for most people is the cutting of government subsidies for state schools. cutting the subsidies within those states. guest: correct. , when willglastris the 2017 -- guest: august. caller: happy fourth of july to all.
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you are framing the argument the wrong way. i will briefly say what i mean. the american jim has never really existed specifically for african-americans because black americans have been in the u.s. for over 500 years. when i would ask your guest is this, what other group of people i've had to experience over 450 years of being terrorized, 250 years of slavery, 100 years of jim crow, decades of bad public policy decisions which disrupted the healthy life developing, and crow?e jun new jim frasca and americans, those folks who made it, they did have to make a way out of no way. -- for those americans, those folks who have made it, they did have to make it out of no way. reificatio reunification or
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advancement that was never, ever given to african-americans. residue.ay, we see the with the country has done is left this legacy of an urban underclass. connect isn dream -- never doubt with african-americans. your take is these new immigrants you talked about have jumped the line ahead of african-americans? caller: what i'm saying is there volunteer immigrants. they came on their own. they don't have the legacy of all of the hundreds of years of slavery and jim crow and all of this. you follow what i'm saying? that was not the case for black americans. still, we don't deal with this. unique-americans are a group within the context of the united states. host: mona charen?
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guest: i agree with the comment that african-americans are unique and i think their suffering has been unique. i think when other groups try to grab the moral mantle of "we're just like african-americans," no other group has suffered as black americans did. having said that, i think the lighting the degree to which this country deserves credit for truly gro grappling with great effort and expense, huge affirmative action plans that have been in existence since the 1960's and that still exist, and if you again, the problems of african-americans today cannot be separated from the history of slavery and discrimination. i agree. but i would also say they cannot be separated from the problems
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of family dissolutions, which began -- were much more focused in the african-american community, are now characteristic also of the white lower classes. if you look, for example, at married black families -- husband and wife raising kids -- their poverty rate is only 8%, which is lower than the national poverty rate for taking everyone into consideration. i think you cannot stress too much the importance of families, of communities, of rebuilding from the ground up of character forming institutions that help people get the wherewithal to succeed in america today. , writing moreren about that last week --
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that is at townhall.com. to theastris, referring legacy of slavery and attending the american dream? guest: it goes far beyond slavery and jim crow. the state programs that my parents used, my grandparents used, that i used to get ahead or more or less denied african-americans right up to the 70's and beyond. mortgages, which only were offered to new housing in the suburbs, not existing housing in the city's, had this is permitted rate of fact. yet african-americans not participating in social security by design.
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legacy of discrimination built into the public policy of the country for rightn-americans existed up until very recently. and african-americans still live in segregated communities are housing prices don't go up, where they are prey to the worst kinds of predatory lending. he saw african-american wealth collapse of much greater degree during the housing crisis than it did even among whites and hispanics are about the same level. it is an uphill battle. i think it is fair to say, to the extent the american dream has worked for african americans, it has not been at the same level as for other americans. guest: let's not forget there is class andck upper middle class in this country. that is a huge victory. guest: no question.
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a massive increase in african-american education, especially among women. a lot of positive news. it is a credit to the steely resolve of the african-american community. but what has to admit the much steeper slope. host: on this independence day. we're asking you about the american dream. is it still attainable? about 20 more minutes with our guests. we hear from ralph and the nations capital. good morning. on the independent line. hello there. all right, we will hear -- ralph, are you there? we hear fromrepublican line, ro. in morning. caller: good morning. i had a comment about this education thing. i don't know what the deal is with all of the money that needs to be put into education, but so
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any of you that ever talk to any of the so-called college students and asked them simple commonsense questions that they cannot answer? i mean, where is our education going? here in pennsylvania, they want to make the sat test easier for high school students to pass. i don't understand this. and we had tots pass them. they have been the same. now they want to make them easier. i don't understand this. they have people going into these college situations. they will pick a college student off the street and ask them questions like, you have a car that goes 80 miles an hour. how far can you go in one hour? they cannot answer the questions. you know? if you have a car that goes 80 miles an hour, you can go 80
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miles in one hour. the answer is in the question, but they cannot answer it. host: ron is getting down to the nuts and bolts. what are you hearing? ♪ there has been a tendency over the last several decades to make things easier to take the trouble out of things, to coddle the young rather than really partially challenge them. there's a great book about the vanishing american adult where they talk about this tendency. i recommend the book. one of the things that we did is we dumb down education. it has been shown in many surveys. colleges are incredibly resistant to any kind of exams that would show what incoming freshmen know in terms of general knowledge and what outgoing seniors know. they're not confident those four years will show value for the dollar. that might be one of the reforms
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. was mentioning earlier about one thing we might want to do is have a lot more accountability for what gets learned. onst: i agree with mo and the part about colleges not wanting to be graded. there is no question. down't agree that we dumb education. standards have been ratcheted up 12 since the ronald reagan a administration. if you look at the scores on the national -- the gold standard, we have seen increases for 2.5can-american males of grade levels over 30 years, probably due to the increase of standards. than it usedgher to be. i think you could have taken survey data from my generation in the 1970's and we would not have looked in the better than some of these kids today. i don't think it's our coddled.
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-- i don't think it's our coddled. they have a tougher. schools are tougher. life is tougher. we coddled and in some wasn't thrown to the lions in other ways. i think those generalizations are hard to make. we haven't talked much about the american dream, about homeownership. online.his piece the headline intrigued as -- there's a homeownership is at multi-decade lows. this is an investment guide. the say one more thing --
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amount of single family rentals has exploded in the last decade and may reach 20 billion by 2020. the baseline for question is, is homeownership essential for the american dream? guest: this is one area where the influence of the federal government has been disproportionate probably quite unwise. democrats and republicans both said, let's give a tax break to people who buy homes. guess what happened? as with so many things the government does, most of the people who benefit are upper income. most of the people who pay their taxes are not. so it is a wealth transfer from less affluent people to more affluent people when you give a homeowners deduction. and it has led to building these enormous houses that people maybe don't necessarily need. in any event, it is probably not the best use of people's money. if there were no government bighand saying we're going to give you a benefit for this and not for that, the market would
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sort it out. some people would want to buy homes, and that is fine. but it should be something that they make -- a decision they make independent of tax implications. lessng certainly makes it hard to move. this is an area where the inhibited has economic growth, in my opinion. host: homeownership? mona: i mostly agree with on this. unquestionably, the mortgage interest induction is a robin hood in reverse. the upper-middle-class benefits usually and the working class, not nearly as much. that can be changed without getting rid of the home mortgage deduction, by the way. canada and other countries have housing, single-family homeownership is about the same
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level as the u.s. without the deduction. it is possible we could do fine without it. i am torn because homeownership is, in many ways, the best forced savings plan we have. we have a problem of savings in this country. people don't do enough of it. instantly they know, if i buy a house, i'm going to force myself to save. i am going to have an asset i can live in and slowly build up some equity. indon't have enough options this country for people to save and build up equity. i don't go quite as far as you go, but i think there's a lot of truth to what you say. host: let's go back to the phones. welcome. caller: good morning. that theajor fact attainable american dream is for some a nightmare. here is why i'm saying that. i you look at the way -- and
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am 70. if you look at how when you start your journey and you go to college and you put your money together and you get into a certain class and you do a certain thing to achieve that american dream, and then you see a neighborhood get gentrified like we have in philadelphia, whereby houses that went for $30,000 in them community's are now going for $350,000 to $400,000 m and thereby your american dream is now becoming a nightmare because the taxes that were going to that community, you could not obtain it on your social security and i get a high pension. you are losing your well. you look back over your years
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and he say, what happened? then there are schemes. all of these schemes going to play for stuff you look at the dollar stores. that knocks at your unions. therefore, your knocking down the wages that people made coming through that era. therefore, your now try to fight your way through. you're using the dollar stores to try to live in a class that you cannot sustain. and this is all being put together. these are lawyers that sit back and they put all of this together. the colleges get all of the money. the research colleges get all of the money. they are all moving in one direction will stop host: let me ask you something. it any point in your elected you feel like the american dream was attainable for you? well, it is not attainable if you cannot -- on a high pension, continued to see
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gentrification take place. how do you do it? host: paul glastris? guest: i feel for the gentlemen. in gentrifying the roads are outrageous. people who have lived there all their lives and bank on retiring in the neighborhood that they have invested in and know people, have the social networks and so forth, they are forced out. on the other hand, people who suddenly have a nice retirement nest stake. it depends on the person, right? replaceght that when we union retail with dollar stores, sure, people can get cheaper goods, but they don't have the wages to spend. so it has been a double-edged sword.
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on balance, not a good one for working americans. i think you're hearing the voice of despair out there that is the erosion of the american dream. on thejust a comment situation in most american cities. most are governed by liberal democrats. their policies have not served their cities very well. you have a combination of high taxes, high regulation, sometimes rent controls which drive out affordable housing and bring in very, very high rent apartments because those are more profitable for the city. and so i think part of the issue is looking for some good free market reforms and more conservative policies for our inner cities. that would be terrific. host: what we're seeing in philadelphia is a renaissance of growth. you are seeing it in d.c.
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neighborhoods expanding like crazy. as a cities are ill managed now with our bursting at the seams with prosperity and wealth seems a little awed. -- cities have been where as a society we determine the poor will live. we have put all of the poor in one place and told cities you deal with it. now that cities are saying now that we're going up a little well to go along with the poverty -- guest: there's a lot ofrural poverty. guest: you can't say yet to be the of ministers of all of our poor because we don't want them in your neighborhood and then well on them when they say, maybe we're going to have tax cuts. identification, a local paper here in d.c., written and delivered by folks who are homeless, grabbed an interview with senator al franken and they asked him about this issue on justification. here is what some of what he
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said. host: part of his reaction to the comets of the interview in "street sense" this weekend. let's go to john in englewood, new jersey on our independent line. the and it can dream. where is it for you, john? ?aller: the american dream that is a good question. i think i have been living the american dream. and then one day i woke up and i
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realized that the american dream is really nothing but an ad campaign. that is what it is. it is marketed. i cite an example. there's a major mall they been trying to build for over 10 years now, i believe. it is in the meadowlands. originally they called it the xanadu. after about five years, they realized they could not get this thing to open. it was going to be a combination of retail mall and an amusement park. typical of america. they still have not gotten it built yet. typical reason that countries, businesses fail. overextending itself. we have overextended ourselves.
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we have started and we are fighting wars in know how many fronts all over the world so that we could take -- so that we could say to them, do what we want or we will bomb you back to the stone age. host: john says we have overextended ourselves. caller raises something important. i will read a quote from john adams in 1787 when he was in a particularly sour mood himself. he loves this country very much, but -- host: not that our caller was in a sour mood. guest: he sounded pretty's our to me. this was john adams saying about what americans are like he said "a man cannot stand to see a neighbor whom he holds to be his equal with a better coach, house, or horse. you cannot bear it. he must and will be on a level with him. america does become more
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avaricious than any other nation." look, there is that side of things in american life. and that the answer to that is the other side of american life, the spiritual side, the seeking --e, the walled in pond walden ponds, the oneida and other utopian experiments, the incredible welcoming ethic that we've had in this country. the expansive sense of who is an american. no other country on earth has been able to extend such an enveloping sense of citizenship to people from so many different backgrounds. and to make them into americans. and that is something that is the american dream, and my opinion, something that we can be justly proud of. of course, there is shallowness and businesses rise and fall,
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but the chance to go out and make something of yourself through your own effort, to build your family, your community, and to be free is still a great gift. host: paul glastris? guest: i can't disagree with a word she said. host: prudence is on the democrat line. caller: the government has made it more difficult for people to have, show say, spendable income, which would probably help them get ahead. they have done in in a very nice way, in a way maybe it is been -- beneficial. for example, when i went to school -- i am very old. when i started school, they gave me paper and pencils. booksrovided the bulks -- i needed. we managed to learn despite of these terrible things. but now kids get a list and it
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will probably cost you $50 at least to get the things they need to start school. they have to have that when they start school. they have to provide everything else to at least they do here. the other thing that is required -- when i started school, i was given a smallpox fax a nation. it was the only thing that i had to have to start school. the government gave it to me free. the only people that i knew that ever had a problem with it or the want to scratched and got a scar somewhere. today, i can remember reading this some time ago, to start first grade, a child would have to have 14 in occupations. -- inoculations. i believe some are provided by the government under certain circumstances. it even you want the one guaranteed not to have mercury in it, you pay and you a lot more. host: this easily and get one more call.
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linda on the republican line. guest: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i feel like the american dream is not achievable anymore. have incomecause we that hasn't grown at all relative to our cost of living. i am in my late 50's. of a masters degree. i've never made more than $45,000. when you think about how much money you put in education, it is almost impossible to get out of debt, to have a family, to buy a car. you have insurance costs that are, i mean, unfathomable. i was sharing insurance during obamacare. i had couples that were paying $2000 a month for insurance. who can afford this? any have a present system that is privatized now and a huge
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business. i feel so bad for african-american men that have gotten stuck into the system. something like one out of four african-american men between 20 and 40 are in prison. host: let's wrap it up on the cost. we have not really talked about the cost of attaining the mac and drink. we have talked a little bit of housing and education. just the day-to-day cost of living in the country. guest: life is expensive. it.e is no way around the fact is we also have a much, much higher standard of living than we had 40 years ago. the things that we take for granted that everything is air-conditioned, our cars, our homes, that we have all of these inoculations available, our lives are longer. nothing is free. you have to figure out a way to pay for these goods, but they are goods.
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we have a tremendously more things in our lives. we have more space to live in if you look at the data. that better homes, better cars. better devices for sure. cars and t.v. and you know, life asn't radically changed in 30 or 40 years. it is different, but not radically so. tougher.s the cost of key things like education and housing, food to radically up.re clothing and other things are down. and when you have

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