tv Washington Journal Jessica Bruder CSPAN December 31, 2017 2:05am-3:03am EST
the current situation, the young leadership making bad decisions. but we don't know. the prospects to look very good lookhat sort of -- don't good for that leadership. the founderakers," of the need to impeach campaigner talks about what he on theding $20 million - effort to impeach donald trump. sunday at 6 p.m. eastern. now a discussion on the impact of the 2008 recession, from "washington journal." this is about an hour. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] , she is the author of nomad land, surviving america in the 21st century, and she is joining us as part of our series on authors
looking at key authors in the past year. we will be doing that through tomorrow. jessica, thank you for joining us today. callerguest: thank you for havi. host: what prompted you to look at this issue? i am a generalist and i have been interested in labor issues for a very longtime in the digital era. like a lot of journalists, i read everything i can get my hands on and was fascinated when i was reading about somebody working in an amazon warehouse, and i briefly met a woman who said, i live in an rv full-time and i cannot afford to retire. amazon referring to an program who hires people full-time on the road to do a lot of the heavy pick and pack labor meeting up until christmas.
what i did not know then is that there was a whole world of people who are full-time on the road living out of vehicles in traveling from job to job. the article was the genesis of the book project. host: and your book, nomad land was noted as a notable book for 2017. in one of the topics of 2017. the book, you are looking at people who live these transient lives. you traveled 15,000 miles from coast-to-coast from the northern to the southern border. what about the things you found? guest: i found resilient people doing pretty tough jobs. what is funny is as somebody who grew up in the northeast, whenever i used to see an rv, i thought they are going to the national park and they are having -- and they are enjoying their golden years.
but what i saw on the road was quite different. i saw people doing pretty hard physical jobs. everything from cleaning campsites and campground toilets to running the rise at the parks , to working 12 hour shifts on their feet of the annual sugarbeet harvest in the red river valley, to doing pick and pack and amazon warehouses. this whole economy that i think, at least i had not been aware of, before the project began. people in another era, might expect to be retired who were doing those jobs. host: and forbes was writing about your book, talked more living these painful life of tribal life of 60 some things. ranging to harvesting sugar beets to flipping burgers and jobs,to amazon's camper
walking 50 miles a day during christmas season, pulling items off warehouse shelves and then returning to frigid campgrounds at night, sometimes living on less than $1000 a month. talk about the lives of these folks, and how the 2008 recession spurred this movement. , so i think the movement has been there for a long time, but the 2008 recession really brought a lot of this to the surface. amazon's program actually started in the month following the housing crash. i first started reporting on the phenomenon in 2013 and met people who really have their lives upended by that crash. people who let planned to retire on the equity of their homes, and something lost that, and people thought that they put enough away for retirement only to see all of that evaporate in the stock market. and they were joined with another big group of americans,
folks who had worked low-wage jobs all their lives and never been able to afford to put away enough to actually retire. host: we are talking with jessica bruder, she is the author of nomad land, surviving america in the 21st century. in the journal with expertise in subcultures and economic justice as well as an adjunct professor at columbia school of journalism, my alma mater. if you are under 30, you can .all 202-748-8000 between 30 and 49, call 202-748-8001. and if you are 50 and over, you can call 202-748-8002. demographically, who are the people who you are profiling? what types of people are most likely to be a part of this nomadic culture? guest: most of the people i saw working these jobs were at or
near traditional retirement age. but i also saw younger people. whot millennials out there were either crippled with student debt, or did not want to go to school, and a merge into a market where the jobs were coming back, federal minimum wage has been stalled since 2009. so getting out of that debt chasm is a really hard thing to do. -- itot of types of folks is funny, lots of different ages, lots of different class backgrounds. the demographic was primarily white. and i think part of that is rv camping has been marketed to a white audience. i finished the book before trump took office. in the headlines every week, you had an unarmed black man being shot by a cop. so it is really hard to live on the road, you are vulnerable. and it is hard to be a person of
colored traveling during these times. i think that may be why these workers were largely a group of white people. but again, all different ages, class backgrounds, and the camaraderie across those lines was something that it really impressed me, the willingness to help each other out and share skills and share wisdom. that really impressed me. host: you said a lot of these folks are retirement age. these people who had retired and want to continue working? had they been laid off or been unemployed for a long period of time? guest: all sorts of stuff. i met people who were squeezed out of their jobs, like a former advertising creative director, who basically said he went from freelance to be virtually employed to virtually unemployed. there were people who had jobs and then the economy chipped away at any stability they had. one fellow had been a long time cap driver in the bay area who
planned to retire on the value on his -- then uber cayman and really disrupted -- then uber came in and really. came ind the market -- and really disrupted the market, so she started living out of a van. ok.: and jack is calling in from buckeye, arizona. you are 50 and over, and you are on with jessica bruder. caller: thank you for taking my call this morning. hi, jack. caller: i went to, it on the great recession. this wasn't really a great recession that started in 2008. this started years ago. corporate america, including washington d.c., the politicians have roland america since about 1980 -- the politicians have ruined since about 1980.
90% of everything was made in america back then. corporate america sold-out. idea came in the mid-1990's about going to college and you could get this great job. will they forgot about all of the people that had all of these jobs and factories -- jobs in factories across america. the great recession -- bush did not start this, but they said obama did so great. he did not do great. the reason trump got elected was because of the fact of everything that i just said. so until we get this all straightened out and get back to putting america first, you are going to have big problems in america. big problems. host: all right, jessica? that ratherld argue than being an america first issue, it is a who is first
america issue? 1965, ceo tok to worker wage ratios were 20-1. were making 20os times what an average worker was making. we are now at 271-1 right now. when you look at the concentration of wealth, it doesn't make a lot of sense. we have so much of what we need right here, but our culture has become so polarized, and i do think a necessarily. while someone may think this is about our role in the world, a lot of it is how we are handling ourselves in the country. want to read an excerpt from the book. ,t says there has always been oh my god, i cannot say this work today. [laughter] guest: i'm sorry. there has always been
itinerant, drifters, hobos and restless souls. that now and new kind of wandering tribe is emerging. people who never imagine being nomads are hitting the road, giving up traditional houses and apartments, living in secondhand rvs, campers, travel trailers and plain old sedans and driving away from the impossible choices that face what used to be the middle class. talk a little bit about what that mobility -- talk a little bit about mobility. the fact att -- what these vehicles have to do with this. with the twoaced columns of the ledger and what is coming in cannot even begin to compare what is going out, people are noticing that what we pay the most for his housing. for americans, that is by and large the biggest expense. right now for a full-time minimum-wage worker in the state, there is only one city
and 12 counties where you can afford a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent. this is a crisis. so for a lot of people, making the switch and giving up traditional housing feels like a hack that will enable them to create some sort of a mobile middle-class beyond that crippling weight of paying for shelter. host: mike is calling from illinois on our 50 and over line. good morning. mike, are you there? -- and i onon live live? host: you are. caller: happy new i have three points of what a mate. who are the migrant workers, they may do it for a season, but they are going to want to move on and find other things. the second thing is, amusement park workers, that is not a
great thing. important, mymost 56-year-old cousin in august was going through a park, nice rv park to visit his kids in florida. she is talking in a, his wife was living guy killed her. i can't think of the word. this type of lifestyle, these not wanna-bes. i will take my answer off-line. bye. i think generalize based wantf one crime also
demographic of people is dangerous and not empathetic, and kind of a scary thing to do. that is a rather dramatic story in that sounds quite horrible. calvin is on from 30 to 49. caller: after my call, my question is a little milder. i want to say to c-span, thank you for these types of shows. they are fantastic. i'm a doctorate candidate and it is great to see women off-color leading the dialogue and women in general writing books. i want to first respond in reference to the housing. here in portland oregon, that is the movement to deal with the housing crisis. in thoseks living types of vehicles you all talked about. it is a reflection of the real high rent that folks cannot afford to pay. my question to you, jessica, has
to do with a correlation between the recession and the free trade agreement. the laborclinton, wrote naftactually and argued that nafta was good for the country. hillary and bill made their money from companies that benefit from nafta. -- a comment of them my question -- i don't see hillary being a supporter of nafta and then pick a vp the supporter of nafta was a benefit of getting elected. i think she should have gone with bernie sanders and nelson mandela said that he picked a clerk, the rave a man who put him in prison, to be his vp because he needed the other half of the electorate. so my question to you is, do you
find fault on both sides of the free trade agreement with both republicans and democrats with context to the recession? because congress approves these processes, and the democrats have supported nafta. host: i want to give jessica a chance to answer that. go ahead. guest: you have to forgive me. journalist, sog i drive around naked people's stores and talk about them. on the whole, i do where he about the process -- i do worry about the process of globalization. i feel like so much of what is happening is directly -- even if the standards are not quite what we want for workers. i do feel that labor has been sold out. i can tell you that. i don't know how that is going to change and i worry about that. host: brian is calling from new jersey on are under 30 line. good morning, brian. caller: hello and good morning.
host: you are on with jessica bruder. go ahead. caller: hi, jessica. i was watching your show and it seems like you did a lot of research for the low and no portion of the labor pool. jobsbout the higher tech out there, and people, you know, using the nomad traveling around? do you have any feedback on that? guest: sure. so they are definitely people for whom the work is portable. example,ople who, for are nomadic bloggers, they get referral links and commissions by selling things online. i know people who do that intend them with lower tech jobs -- i know people who do that in tandem with lower tech jobs. bracket, what income people have a cell phone, and was using social media to keep
in touch with people to exchange advice about how to make a go of it on the road. lots of there are different jobs. in one of the populations i did not get to spend a lot of time with all the tech workers in silicon valley, and all of the people who have been priced out of the bay area and are often doing jobs that feed the tech industry, but cannot afford to live in those places anymore. that is another place where rv culture has boomed. host: what else did you learn from the folks you talk to about their past experiences, and how that factored into their decision to hit the road, sort to speak? where there are who previously worked in the white-collar field as opposed to blue-collar fields? credit a factor in their decision to live this way? guest: yeah, people were all over the map. that was one of the things are
really interested me. for example, i met one gentleman who was the former vp of mcdonald's global and it worked his way up from being a kid who picked up garbage in the parking lot to flipping burgers, to starting to do management, and then making it into the upper echelon of management before he went off and did his own franchise, and then thought he would be retiring in a pretty comfortable way, and just got socked in 2008, and his life changed quite dramatically. people from that sort of background, and then people like linda was the main person i followed in the book. she just -- she did just about every job you can imagine from the low-wage ecosystem from plucking bird's feathers to be a cocktail waitress at a diner waitress. she did some work in general contracting. you name it, she did it. but what she did was never enough for her to put aside for retirement.
but she was all over the map. questionhave a tweeted from gel saying, how do such nomads get health care? guest: often, they don't. met did notple i want to take out the extra $100 a month to get the federal benefit from social security. a lot of people end up relying on clinics in locations where they are. there were a couple of states with aca that allowed health care to be portable, but that wasn't something that was really common. one of the challenges for these people is where do you set up an address for everything from voting to paying your taxes, jury duty, if you are on the move all the time? that issue got tangled up in health care in a way that did not offer a lot of good solutions for most people i met. host: we're joined again by author jessica bruder, author of nomad land, surviving america in
the 21st century, about the culture of people who are living in mobile homes essentially, mobile vehicles, after the recession. again, if you are under 30, 202-748-8000. .0 to 49, 202-748-8001 -- and 50 and over 202-748-8002. you said, from a distance, many mistaken to be carefree. they blend with the crowd. in mindset and appearance, they are largely middle-class. they wash their clothes at laundromats and join fitness clubs to use the showers. many look to the roads after their savings was obliterated by the great recession to keep their gas tank and bellies full. hard,ork long hours at
physical jobs. they have unshackle themselves from rent and mortgages as a way to get by. they are surviving america. in talking to these folks, do , if say that maybe perhaps things change, they may go back stationaryn more places, or are they not feeling the recovery at all, and expect to keep going like this? guest: they are not feeling the recovery. if we go back to the depression era when you had a lot of people done aroad, and i have lot of reading from that time, and the prevailing sentiment seems to be that everything would go back to normal, and people would kind of find themselves back in the lines of the middle class. a lot of the people i met were planning to do this for the long haul. they don't think the cavalry is coming. they are almost post-political. it wasn't like everybody was
voting for trump. they have given up on government and doing this for themselves. while i have met people who found themselves back in stable , we also lost a few people who passed away while they were still nomadic and never went back to a regular home. i know a lot of people anticipate that is how their lives will go as well. host: we talk about the job numbers improving every month. unemployment down to 4%. what is preventing these folks from going back to more permanent type of jobs? guest: sure. first of all, there is a lot of ageism in the workplace. second, federal minimum wage for a decade has been stuck a $7.25. we had this crazy chasm between flat wages and rising housing costs. what is often lost in the debate over economic recovery in the job figures are two things that
go missing. one, people have given up and stop looking for jobs. they are left out of the tally. the second is a simple matter of job equality were so many benefits have been stripped away and wages are still low. it is quite possible to be working in on this permanent work treadmill where you can barely afford to rent or to feed yourself and cannot put anything away for later. a lot of people i met say i cannot give myself a raise, but i can pair back my overhead. from debbie is calling gainesville, florida on our 50 in over line. good morning, debbie. caller: good morning. jessica, good job, and i hope your book turns into a movie. and c-span, and you for having this woman on. you took my thunder earlier when in talk about the ceo pace 1935 when the ratio between the ceo's pay and the workers' pay
starting to grow and it is continuing to grow. i am proud and am very fortunate to be 50 and over. i am 66 years old, and i think i have seen the best, at least for now of our country. we used to take care of our people. we had good infrastructure. we had good paying jobs. and everything seemed to be really -- and everything seemed to go south, especially when the democratic party formed the democratic leadership committee, where they said, we want to take corporate money, too, in washington, itnd is just a whore house. i am a democrat, but we get crumbs from the democrats because they are all on it together because they need the corporate funding for the elections. but my question to you, jessica, in the 1980's, the reagan tax
cuts, they sealed the deal to end the quality of life for the middle class in america. i would love to hear your opinion about the reagan tax cuts of the 1980's. guest: i think trickle-down is nonsense and i think the 1980's proved that, and the fact that the arguments are getting resurrected during the trump era , is not only misleading, but downright grotesque. problemwe had a big that started then and is continuing now. tax cuts for corporations are not the solution and do not spur job growth. they do not create a healthy economy. we have proved that because we have lived it. i am with you. host: jessica bruder is joining us from new york city, the author of nomad land, surviving america in the 21st century, and also previously in editor at cnn money's innovation quorum and a former staff writer at the new
york observer. continuingrt of our author's series where we took -- where we take a look at authors from the year. you can talk to her by calling 202-748-8000 if you are under 30. 202-748-8001 if you are between 30 and 49. and 202-748-8002 if you are 50 and over. are these folks subject , for example, crimes? what happens if their vehicles are stolen? are they subject of break-ins and other things like that because of their nomadic nature? guest: yeah, i mean, people live in terror of break in the breakdowns, that actually happened or commonly been break-ins. i did not know. in a van and overnight parking, and someone did smash through my window when i was not
in the van. but the funny thing is i heard quite rarely about things like that. people are very savvy about where to park. when all of your possessions are in your vehicle, people are pretty vigilant about it. and people also tend to watch out for each other in a way that i did find heartening. i think even if it is a mobile neighborhood, there is a neighborhood watch system going on among the people. host: james is calling from texas on our over 50 line. good morning, james. caller: good morning. i have watched this phenomenon occur over the last 20 years. to i am fortunate that i got work for some of these facilities were these people live. and a constant statement by everyone that i have met and talked to who lives in these parks, it is always the same thing. they have fallen into poverty and have had a loss of income. i used to be an engineer and i
am self-employed as a mom and pop type business. you get to a point in life or your property taxes and your income taxes exceed her ability topay and become enslaved that home and those taxes. the only out of it is to move into an rv and try to cut your costs so you can survive. that seems to be a common thing that everybody says. they just cannot afford to live in a home and survive. so they move into an rv and they become nomads. host: go ahead, jessica. guest: absolutely. you hit the nail on the head. i have seen that a lot. a lot of the people i met aren't even regularly staying at parks. they will go to national forests, or places they can stay on land bureau of management land.
of people this time of year may be out in the deserts of arizona where they can go financially dormant. the cost of solar panels have dropped so greatly, even people with limited incomes can bolt one of those to a van or an rv and go financially dormant and avoid the cost of staying in a house. host: you talk a little bit about the ingenuity and camaraderie that you found among the communities of folks. i want to read another excerpt from your book. said, there is hope on the road. it is a byproduct of forward momentum. a sense of opportunity as wide as the country itself. a conviction that something better will come. it is just ahead in the next town, the next gig, the next chance encounter with a stranger. talk about some other things you found that spoke to the hope that you saw. guest: yeah, i remember i was out there, my first winter out
in the desert in this camper van, and i had parked with a woman under 70 who went by the swankyinky wheels -- wheels, and she was teaching a young trans man on how to bolt solar panels to his van. he felt this was the only way he could be financially independent. actually, swanky was letting vincent received his testosterone after po box. seeing thisjust sort of apprenticeship, i don't feel like i see these things in more traditional living contexts. of logicalthat kind family set a biological family. stuff like that i found quite moving. host: glenn is calling from georgia. caller: good morning.
i want to make a comment. , and nobody talked has brought up about the housing bubble when it first came. -- who hasw who have made billions of dollars, he is now over our department of treasury. and nobody has ever brought that up. under $100,000 a year, and you were actually, i don't care if you are white or black, you are too poor to even vote republican in the first place because if you look back -- count back on through every time a republican has came in to office, we have just about went into a depression, and it took a democrat to pull us out. roosevelt was one of them and going for, obama was another one. so people can say all the awful
things they want to say about the last president, president obama. if he had not made the choices he made when he did, we would not even have an america in the first place. that is my comment. think, people. guest: i am with you. obama was dealt an incredibly lousy hand and the country could have slipped into a nightmare, and he stabilized the ship, and the owe him for that. going forward, we are going to need come and you know, continued and even greater courage from democrats. i am really worried about the administration in office right now. and talking about income inequality. old -- but tells us that america is the most unequal in the world. this.d to do better than i just worry that right now, we are backsliding.
and it is going to take some serious guts among the democrats to say, this isn't about we need a compromise. no, we need to push back. we have a lot of lost time to make up. i will share my political cards right there. want to redo a poll that says most u.s. employed adults plan to work past retirement age. work pastey plan to retirement age. 63% saying they will work part-time. say they will stop working altogether. is this an indicator that we may continue to see the sort of nomadic folks making up at least a part of the workforce that is beyond retirement age? guest: absolutely. another poll that blew my mind, this one was run by aarp a while back, saying that americans fear
outliving their savings more than they fear dying. ist the real ultimate fear outliving your means to support yourself. i completely agree with you. i think we are going to continue to see more of this. a lot of people don't have enough put away, and we are living longer and longer. i do believe it is inevitable. host: one of the places you focus on, you traveled 15,000 miles, one of the places you focus on in the book is quartzite, arizona, a town in the county. talk about what you focused on this place. guest: while i had never heard of it before, and when i first heard about it, i was interviewing people added rv park who were all working for amazon, doing pick and pack but before christmas and were all temporarily there. when i asked people where would you go next? they kept saying quartzite. it sounded like a mecca. turns out, quartzite is a town between phoenix and l.a.
triplethe summertime, digit heat, couple thousand people there, the place is pretty much a truck stop on the highway. need winter when the temperatures get mild, it explodes. it is a nomad's mecca. all of that because there is a time of public desert out there. bureau of land management land where people can camp for very little money. it is essentially a city with tens of thousands of people out there at least who spend weeks or months at a time on the land, essentially creating a community, and then dissolving when the weather gets too hot in the head back out again. but all sorts of employers find them there. kudos for amazon -- recruiters for amazon, being parks, working for the national parks. it has become his ecosystem that is really interesting. host: davis calling from virginia on are 30 to 49 line.
good morning, things. caller: thank you for taking the call. i really appreciate your insight. one thing i noticed is that there is a major disconnect from what you are relaying to the people and what i see actually existing, unless i am living in a bubble. every time i watch a sporting event, i found out that all the seats are sold out. this will weaken, you cannot buy a ticket for under $200. of do you account for all these people going all these major sporting events and paying this phenomenal money? is everybody a millionaire? thank you. guest: goodness, i have to tell you i am not a huge sporting person. but there are some great pockets of wealth in this country. that is part of the economic inequality and part of the polarization. it is not that everybody is broke, but yeah, there are still people out there who can afford those tickets or they would not be selling them. i could not imagine paying $200
for a sporting ticket, but maybe i live in a bubble and out of touch. host: i want to ask a little bit about protection these types of workers. are there protections? we regulate everything from workplace osha requirements to child labor. are there things like that that protect these workers? question tweeted saying why don't some of these nomads betty together and create a worker co-op or they can own it and share profits? guest: that would be amazing. ellerbee absolutely incredible. i think we do need to see a revival of unions in this country. her power has been a salud gutted. amazon is definitely afraid of the idea people unionizing. but the problem is, when you are are a reallyu vulnerable population already, people live in abject terror of being fired. so many of the stuff they are working our act will.
that means you can be terminated without notice at any time. i have seen incredible abuses of that. for example, some of these companies have people working in the national forest and can quite easily have people work hours beyond what they are allowed to invoice for, and if those people complain, they say you will be out in five minutes because you can be terminated without cause. i would love to see some sort of organization happening. when you have a transient population who was only on a job for a few months at a time and are afraid of losing it, there are fermentable odds to organization -- formidable odds that organization. host: we have a call from tennessee from jim 450 in overline. you are on. caller: hi, how are you? guest: how are you? caller: i am doing good. i would like to offer a different view. my wife and i have been on the road for over 15 years.
in gasdon't shower stations. we have a washer and drier in our motorhome. it is a quarter of a million dollar unit. we have done sugar beets and sold christmas trees and sold rvs. we have done thousands of hours of volunteer work. and there are a lot of us that are out here by choice and are just protecting our investment. host: go ahead, jessica. guest: i think that is great. i think that is great. i think the freedom and the choices and all of those things are fantastic. i just wish they were available to more people. host: all right, jim was calling joe ism the louisiana -- calling in from the louisiana on our 30 another line. caller: hello. [indiscernible]
it's true when reagan was in there, he had the same thing over and over again. it seems like it is happening again. but there will be more trouble this time because it will be a lot more millennials. there won't just be a lot of trouble, but maybe a revolution of what trump has created. i hope so. wouldeve bernie sanders make it more orderly few could get into office. thank you. host: go ahead, jessica. guest: yeah, i think there is a lot of frustration, and i think many people to betty together to say enough is enough. i hope it happens. i am with you. host: the washington post wrote a piece looking at what might happen if there are fewer pensions. your people have pensions in the country and says, the way major u.s. companies provide for
retiring workers has been shifting for about three decades with more dropping traditional pensions every year. the first full generation of workers to retire since this turn offer a sobering preview of a labor force more and more dependent on their own savings for retirement. that goes on mama line of the fact that we talked about that more people plan to work past the retirement. talk about this shift in focus on how people plan to support themselves postretirement eight, and how that factors in with looking at things like social security and other entitlement reforms here in washington? is funny because to someone about how this is the first generation in modern american history where, when it comes to retirement security, there --
they are less secure than their forbearers. what happened to pensions? starting in the 1980's, pensions began getting way to 401(k)s, which are marketed as an instrument of financial freedom. but instead of having it defined -- but instead of having a defined benefit going to the worker, you had a defined contribution coming from the worker, and that a shifted the dynamic. it outsources a lot of the risk for putting away for retirement on the workers' shoulders. that is a big problem. the social safetynet has a lot of holes in it and it is framed quite a bit -- and it is fraying quite a bit. is calling from huntington beach, california on the 50 in overline. hi there. caller: yes, hello. my fist because you, jessica. guest: and you too.
caller: the common i wanted to make is being 69 years old -- the comment i wanted to make being 69 years old in the world we're living in today, i noticed that there is a real difference where society was back in the 50's and sick -- or society was back in the 1950's and 1960's. it is no longer really party against party. it is the working man against the elitists. /middle-class of the 1950's and the 1960's became so wealthy that they became elitist in their own outlook at life. and that is a real detriment to society because no longer do they feel the burden of helping poor people, and helping people that really don't have insurance or a way out of their situation.
and i think this is a real sad commentary because the reality is, yes, it is true they do pay a lot of the taxes, but you know, we are still one society. i completely agree with you there. what a lot of them forget is we are also a society that created the necessary conditions for their wealth to accrue. we have so much pro-business structure in our culture. we have so many systems by which wealth concentrates, so the idea i think that people can have these great financial successes and then say, this happened in a vacuum and it is just about me rather than us and the culture at large, it is just insane. nothing happens in a vacuum. we are all in this together. and like you, i do worry that we're at peril of forgetting that. host: you mentioned compared to
the united states to places like china. bloomberg quick take took a look at the workers of the world and found a third of workers in the u.s. and japan expect to work past the age of 70, with the u.s. and japan leading following by the u.k. aher countries like china has very, very low percentage of people planning to work beyond that. what are the differences there? guest: in japan particularly, we are seeing a rapidly aging population to the point where they were looking at warehouse work over there, and this is fascinating to me -- there is a robotic exoskeleton that companies have started using with older workers doing things like handling baggage and airports are lifting heavy loads and warehouses. essentially come and let older bodies lift more weight -- essentially, it lets older bodies lift more weight.
i do think the problems we are continue tot will face societies that are aging. ours and italy's and japan, the problem is not going away. iel is calling on our 50 and older line. caller: good morning. you're talking about jobs disappearing. data than disappearing for decades. -- jobs have been disappearing for decades. the politicians did nothing. when politicians talk about jobs , election after election, it is a joke. they let the job scope. what are the politicians do for all of these decades when these jobs are disappearing? in the city where i live in cities all over the united states, you get the same story. jobs are gone.
pack, -- jessica, i'm going to piggyback off of his comment. we talked about the issue with the economy and jobs. what did you find among these nomads in that region? guest: it is funny, i found the pandering to the rust fault in the last election disingenuous. the things trump was saying about coal. we are in an era and i see with the nomads, that would have been unimaginable a decade ago, but renewables are getting to a point where solar will be as cheap as coal at some point. and coal is not good for the environment. we have seen all of these disingenuous promises that these industries of yesteryears will not be a part of the future and will be revived. that is really, really disheartening to me. we are going to have to look in different places for the jobs of
the future and in areas where there is vast amount of job loss, we are going to have to talk about what we value as a society, and what we do when jobs are scarce and people still need to have an incoming feed themselves. host: talk a little bit about the impact of the opioid crisis on this nomadic society? guest: it is funny, i really did not see opioid use on the road. i think people who are out there, i mean, they are on the margins in terms of they need money for food, gas, and need to be really, really lucid if you are driving a vehicle all the time and the vehicle is your home, and if you are staying in places were sleeping is not allowed overnight, you are at risk of being stopped by authorities all the time. phenomenon is not a i felt overlapping among the people i met. host: our most of the folks you came across single, married?
do they have families with them in these vehicles? guest: some of them did. i met a lot of single people in single, older women, which i found interesting. some couples, and occasionally, some people with children out of the road. from losry is calling angeles on a 30 to 49 line. good morning, larry. missr: good morning, kimberly. and i want to thank you and c-span for allowing the viewers to call in and express such intelligent and mostly intelligent comments. and i would like to say to miss jessica, i think you have touched on something that israeli important. -- you haves very touched on something that is very important. thest wonder how many of tickets for stadiums are purchased on credit? i would like to know what you think about credit as being the
new slavery? i know a lot of the indigent or nomadic people don't have access to credit like maybe some other people do, but i would also like to say something about the inequity imbalance and the tax cuts that have been recently enacted. it was like a rush up for trickle-down. but i would like to thank you for your service. that is what you are doing. thank you. guest: well thank you kindly for tuning in. and in terms of talking about ,rickle-down, kimberly, help me which part of this through line should i go for? host: talk about credit for a little bit. how that affects people's living situation. guest: i met a lot of people who have gotten themselves into credit trouble in bad credit. i met people who had succumbed
to the temptation of predatory loans. for a lot of people, the promise of having to spend less on housing seemed like the only way they could get out of debt. people just your earned and yearned to lift the fields of debt. i saw that being an issue, but a lot of people have had some pretty rough credit histories out there, and were just trying to get out of it. and being nomadic and parenting -- and pairing down dramatically was part of the struggle. host: grant is calling us from our 30 to 49 line. hi there. caller: thank you. there are 22 people ahead of me for your book in the library. my comment is about tribalism. it seems like there is an optic in the last couple of years. my personal theory is this endless, four-year election cycle. is, it is ation
please, how can we stop this tribalism? last night, i heard brooks talking about civics duty and returning to a mandatory civics duty. your thoughts, and please and thank you for your contribution. guest: thank you. my hope, and this may seem simple, is that we need to talk to each other. i'm aot a policy wonk. journalism with a lot of worries about the future of the country. there's so much polarization. read their favorite three blogs for the news and shut out the rest. one of my goals for writing this book is that people make a lot of assumptions for people who are living in vans. people, wek at other need to take a moment to assume that there could be an interesting story there, and there could be value there, even if someone is living differently
from what you are familiar with. that moment of pause and the potential for dialogue is really important. host: jessica, you mentioned that there were a lot of single women that you came across when working on this book. part, of result, in the gender wage gap? guest: you better believe it. women, as you know, have lower lifetime earnings than men. part of them is the gender wage gap, and part of that is unpaid live -- part of that is unpaid labor. like childcare that falls on women's shoulders. and women have typically lower social security benefits than men, and women outlive men. in the generation of folks i was talking to, i mean, gosh, you go back in the late 1960's, you could still lift a family of three out of poverty with one person working in minimum wage
job full-time. e ea then, families had on rner, typically the man, and that was enough to support a family. it is no surprise that a lot of women have found their retirement prospects really stretched and are seeking this out as an option. joe is joining us from our 50 and over line. good morning. caller: good morning and happy new year. i know there is not one way to fix this issue the way that the jobs are in the united states, and how the middle class is being treated. but when i was in college, i was mc taking a business class, and i heard the term outsourcing, and i thought, this is the best thing ever when my professor explained it to me.
but that was in 1995. the past year, that term has been weaponize against the middle class. sending our jobs overseas and -- so-called job creators getting to the fix, not this government, but the next government body that comes in and goes full force as long as bringing jobs back home gettinge to bring jobs back home. whether they create a situation where there is legislation or tax incentives with the so-called job creators to get our jobs back home, that would fix a lot of things in america, including social security. want to give just get a chance to respond in the 30 seconds we have left. go ahead, jessica. yes.:
we don't just need jobs. we need good jobs. jobs that are not fragmented temp jobs. we need jobs with a decent wage. i am with you and wishing we could bring some of that back. host: all right, jessica bruder, author of "nomadland." guest is north carolina attorney general josh stein. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us now is philip wegmann. he is the commentary rider of "the washington examiner." to discuss republican legislative priorities and the impact on this year's