tv PBS News Hour PBS June 19, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning onsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we have the latest on the shortfall, and what can be done to bridge the gaps. >> ifill: then we examine the political fallout from a new immigration policy that halts deportations for some young illegal immigrants. >> brown: paul solman reports on one african-american family's yearlong mission to shop only at black-owned businesses.
>> in january of 2009, there was only one business. >> ifill: judy woodruff looks at why more and more states are repealing helmet laws even as the death toll continues to rise from motorcycle accidents. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> this is the at&t network-- a living, breathing intelligence bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. >> look, it's so simple. >> in a year, the bright minds from inside and outside the company come together to work on an idea. adding to it from the road, improving it in the cloud, all in real time. >> good idea. >> it's the at&t network. providing new ways to work together, so business works better. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation.
supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: the word came late today from egypt's state news agent they ousted president hosni mubarak was clinically dead. that was followed closely by reports challenging that account. we get more now from nancy yousef of the mcclatchy newspapers in cairo. she's joining us by telephone. nancy, can you tell us what the latest is. what you know about what's happening? >> well, we've received reports from the state news agency which
is one of the few reliable sources, we thought, on this matter that said he was clinically dead and that was followed shortly by general shaheen from the supreme arm council, the armed forces which is ruling the country saying he was not dead but in a critical state and unconscious followed by reports from his lawyer again saying he wasn't dead but in a critical state. and so it appears to be that he is... his health is failing. he was moved from the a prison to a military hospital so egypt right now is watching and wait for reports for some confirmation about what÷9ñ the state of theyr former president is. >> ifill: just to be clear at this time, shortly after 6:00 p.m. eastern time here in washington there is no confirmation that he'sgñh] actuy passed away but that he is just on life support. is there any reaction on the streets in cairo? >> well, initially we were
hearing cars honking in celebration and that's now slowed down a bit. at the hospital where he's being treated there doesn't seem to be much activity. this was something that the egyptians have been following for weeks now since his life sentence on june 2 and almost instantly there were reports his health was failing and she was depressed that they allowed his son to boost his spirits so today was the first time we saw a real change in that he was moved from a prison to a military hospital, suggesting that his health had failed. and so all of of us have been tuning into staid media trying to get a better sense of what happened. he may mo longer be president but his persona still captures the attention of egyptians and they follow his move very closely. >> ifill: every time we have seen hosni mubarak of late it's been in a courtroom, he's been in that kind of cage structure and he's been in a hospital bed.
do we ever hear what the source of his health problems are. >> well, it started in about 2003 when he collapsed during a parliament session and since then there has been a fascination with his health as people followed it a few years ago he was reportedly diagnosed with cancer. in the last few days we've heard talks about stroke, heart attack, that he had to beoø resuscitated several times so that's the latest that we know. up until the fall of the regime, it was illegal to talk about his health and ever since then it's rampant speculation about the state of his health. so some interesting terms. it was something that was clouded in secrecy to now open to rumors and speculations. >> ifill: even as egypt waiting to see what the outcome is of its first democratic election in many decades. nancy yousef, thank you for keeping us up to speed in this story. >> thank you.
>> ifill: still to come on the newshour, assessing the president's order on immigration; supporting black- owned businesses; rolling back motorcycle helmet laws. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the housing market is showing new signs of life. the number of new single-family homes being built grew in may for the third straight month. and builders asked for the most construction permits since 2008. stocks rallied on hopes that the federal reserve will try again to boost the overall economy. the dow jones industrial average gained 95 points to close at 12,837. the nasdaq rose 34 points to close at 2929. the c.e.o. of j.p. morgan chase faced more questions from congress today involving the bank's $2 billion trading loss. jamie dimon told a house committee that the company did its best to inform investors about its risk strategy in advance. democrat barney frank pressed dimon on his statements that top bank officials will have to give back some of their pay.
>> he did say finally that there would be some acts for compensation, you've also taken some responsibility here. will the callbacks for compensation... is your compensation on the table for consideration of callbacks. >> these acts will be reviz said by the board. >> yours specifically. a specific question. >> my compensation is 100% up to my board. >> is it... mr. dimon, you said that there will be callbacks for people responsible. is your compensation in the pot that's going to be considered far? >> they will do what they see is appropriate. i can't tell my board what to do. >> sreenivasan: the securities and exchange commission is investigating the losses at j.p. morgan chase and the information it supplied to investors. s.e.c. chairwoman mary schapiro said today there could be grounds for legal sanctions against the bank. the g-20 summit in mexico wound up today, with european leaders rejecting pressure for immediate action on their debt crisis. instead, they say they will pursue longer-term measures, such as integrating banking
systems. meanwhile, in greece, the socialist party leader said political talks could lead to a new coalition government by tomorrow. it is expected to keep greek commitments under an international bailout. in pakistan, the country's supreme court dismissed the prime minister from office, touching off new political turmoil. the judges said yousuf reza gilani has not legally been prime minister since he was convicted of contempt in april. that came after he refused to investigate president asif ali zardari on corruption allegations. it was unclear when a new prime minister would be chosen. two days of nuclear negotiations between iran and six world powers have ended in a deadlock in moscow. the u.s. and other nations demanded iran stop uranium enrichment. the iranians, in turn, insisted that sanctions against their oil industry be lifted. the european union foreign policy chief, catherine ashton, said diplomacy is still possible, despite the failure in moscow. >> the choice is iran's.
we expect iran to decide whether it is willing to make diplomacy work. to focus on reaching agreement on concrete confidence-building sets and to address the concerns of the international community. >> sreenivasan: ashton said high-level talks are being suspended. instead, lower-ranking representatives from the two sides will meet in istanbul, turkey, next month. the government of syria said today it is ready to heed a u.n. call to evacuate civilians from homs. it blamed rebels for obstructing the effort. today explosions and shelling continued to rock the region around homs. as many as a thousand families have been trapped by the ongoing assault on the city and surrounding towns. at the u.n., the chief of the observer mission to syria, norwegian general robert mood, briefed the security council on the rising violence. firefighters hoped to make more progress today in containing a wildfire in colorado that's burned across 92 square miles. the fire, burning west of fort collins, is now 50% contained.
but it has already destroyed at least 189 homes. today, firefighters had to contend again with hot, dry weather and the threat of high winds. >> the winds will be around 15 too 20 miles an hour with some gusts to 30 which are apparently severe. those swirling winds can be problematic, causing gusty conditions and all these canyons that we're working in. so we don't expect to have that hard wind out of the west like we had sunday. it will be more like yesterday's conditions where we were pretty successful. >> sreenivasan: wildfires were also still burning across other western states. from wyoming to arizona to southern california, fires have forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes. the nation's largest protestant denomination, the southern baptist convention, elected its first african american president today. the elevation of reverend fred luter, jr. came 17 years after the church apologized for its past defense of segregation and slavery in 1995.
it is also seen as a move to reflect growing diversity. southern baptist membership has fallen for five straight years. it currently stands at 16 million members in 42 states. asians now make up the largest share of recent u.s. immigrants, surpassing hispanics. the pew research center reported today that asians of all ethnicities accounted for more than a third of new arrivals in 2010. they make up only 5.8% of the overall u.s. population. the report also found asian immigrants are the most educated, have the highest incomes, and are happier with their lives than the general american public. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> brown: more and more states are struggling to keep their pension promises, as the ripple effects of recession erode their revenues. a new study painted a stark picture today of just how big the budget hole has become. >> this has to be the year of pension reform once and for all in our state of illinois. >> brown: for governors like illinois's pat quinn the
already-huge pension gap just keeps growing. it's the difference between what they owe in public employee pensions and what's actually set aside. in a new analysis, reports that nationally the shortfall in funds covering millions of workers reached $757 billion in fiscal year 2010. that marked a 9% increaserif frm the year before. all told, 34 states fell short of safe levels of pension funding, roughly 80% of long-term obligations. the study said heart-hit states have redirected funds away from pensions to more immediate needs. in rhode island, for example, state treasurer gina raymondo highlighted the problem for newshour economics correspondent paul solomon last year. >> so i can promise you today in 25 years when you retire you'll have a very rich benefit and by the time you come to collect i'm long gone, i'm no longer in office and i believe the time
has come to fundamentally structurally fix the system. >> brown: rhode island had one of the worst shortfalls in 2010 according to the pew study, along with kentucky, connecticut and illinois. each had just 55% or less of the money needed for their pension plans. some states, including illinois, are trying to reduce their massive obligations. >> we've been talking almost daily on this issue with the various leaders. >> reporter: elsewhere, rhode island has cut benefits and raised its state employee retirement age from 62 to 67. >> kill the bill! >> brown: in wisconsin, governor scott walker also moved to limit benefits, helping spark a recall election battle that he won two weeks ago. on the same day voters in san diego and san jose, california, approved benefit cuts for city government workers. and we take a closer look at the depth of the pension gap with
kil huh, director of research at the pew center on the states, which released this latest report. and josh rau, an associate professor of finance at the kellogg school of management at northwestern university. . kil huh, start with you. fill in the picture of whatd you're seeing. where do you see the widening gap and how serious it's been? >> the widening gap has been growing,% from 2009 to 2010 and collectively it's 1 .38 trillion between what states have promised their workers and what they've set aside to pay for these benefits. these promises include both pensions and retiree health care. >> brown: a national problem. you referred to the number of states, but should it be thought of as a national problem? >> it is. more than 34 states were below 80% funded which is a widely accepted funding level that financial experts have pointed to as a financial help measure. >> brown: you've been watching this over the years, you've seen the growth, were you surprised by the jump this time or is this now at this point expected? >> well, states have been
digging themselves into this hole for more than a decade. it wasn't uncommon for state leaders to shortchange, skip payments all together to increase benefits without looking at the price tag and they had no plan in place to address this large funding gap then and have let it go for some time. you couple that with two recessions and you've got this enormous challenge in front of you. >> brown: josh, what would you add to this to help us understand where we're seeing it and how serious it really is? >> well, $1.3 trillion is a lot of money. that's about $9,000 for every u.s. household but, in fact, those numbers are predicated on the assumption that all the asset it is states have in the pension systems are going to earn 8% compound annualized returns with certainty. anybody who's looked at their own accounts lately know that's very difficult particularly in an environment where ten year bonds are yielding 1.6%. so in fact when one uses principles of financial economics used by insurance companies and used in europe for
pensions it turns out the problem is a lot worse. 4.4 trillion or almost $30,000 per u.s. household. >> brown: so the underfunding is by that a multiple worse than even what... even with today's bad report. >> yes. a multiple about about three and a half times worse. that's because the accounting for public sector pensions is done in a way that doesn't properly reflect the true cost of the promises. again, anybody looking at their own accounts and imagining how much you'd have to set aside today to pay yourself an index benefit, annual benefit when you retire, in some cases at the ages of 55, 60, 62, that's a lot of money and you can't assume that any money you set aside is going to grow at 8% and budget accordingly. that's what state and local governments have been doing and that's what's led to this problem. >> brown: josh rauh, just to stay with you, the question of the role of the recession versus other factors, how do you make the equation? >> >> on the state's own accounting that assumed 8% return there is
wasn't a problem until the recession then at a whole of a trillion or $1.3 trillion was blown in these pensions but this problem has been brewing for a long time because the entire system has been predicated on these unrealistic assumptions about what assets are going to earn. now you have bond yields that are very, very low and how the systems have responded. well, they've invested by responding more and more in public equity, private equity, real estate hedge funds, risky investments in order to target an 8% expected return that may or may not be realize sod it's a coin toss for whatever whether will make it or not. >> brown: kil huh what are the consequences we're seeing? we referred to some of them in the setup but what are states doing to deal with the underfunding situation? >> well, 43 states in the last three years have enacted some form of reform to actually increase employee contribution to their own retirement accounts or to reduce benefits in some form or fashion and states like rhode island, kansas and louisiana have switched systems
all together and are offering a hybrid system that... some form of traditional pension or guaranteed benefit along with a more 401(k) style retirement. >> brown: switching systems for future employees? current employees? >> mostly future employees. but one of the things that rhode island also did was spend its cost of living increase for current as well as... current employees as well as current retirees and that saved the state about $3 billion in 2011. >> brown: each one of those kinds of acts is clearly a big political battle. >> it is. lawmakers have to find the delicate balance to deliver education, health care and public safety and having a fiscally sustainable plan that they can afford in the long run. >> brown: josh rauh, what do you see in terms of the political and fiscal tradeoffs that play out? you're in one of those states. >> i think it's very difficult for elected officials to make these changes. illinois stepped away from the brink of making the changes. the reality is that it takes a
really,m really big impact of pensions on the budget before something happens. you've seen san jose, rhode island, these places that have taken action, it's been at a point where pension contributions have taken up around 20% or more of the jep fund budget so it takes a lot to move to action and california is an interesting case because it's a place where voters have a lot of direct say and they're more willing to make these changes than elected >> brown: you mentioned san jose and we mentioned san jose and san diego in our opening piece. josh rauh, this is more than state level, this isybq playingt at every level, right? >>e!ç absolutely. and one of the tools at the disposal of states that has been proposed is to try to cram the problem on to municipalities and have them pay for more. so it's unclear how the relative burden of teachers' pensions and public employee pensions is going to be shared between taxpayers at the municipal level taxpayers at the state level or if things continue to go the way they're going a federal bailout.
>> brown: kil, you mentioned that the political fine line that government... politicians have to walk. i was just in wisconsin for example covering the recall election and i remember teachers saying to me that public employees were being demonized in the state. that's how he put it. there were very strong feelings about public employees in the state on both sides. you're suggesting this is the very sort of thing we see because of these budget shortfalls. >> i think lawmakers have to navigate a delicate balance between making these plans fiscally sustainable and making sure taxpayers aren't on the hook for unpaid bills while also offering retirement benefits that attracts and retains teachers, firefighters and policemen and it's a fine line they have to walk. but 43 states have enacted some kind of change in order to create the fiscally sustainable plans. the last kind of scenario you want to see is a situation like central falls where the city had to go into receivership and a
bankruptcy proceeding and essentially wiped away a lot of benefits the retirees have come to count on. >> brown: just a brief last word from you josh on that, do you expect to see much more of this? >> well, no state or local government in the u.s. when you consider pension accounting has run a balanced budget for a long time and i think that probably the california votes are a reflection of voter opinion but what meaningful reforms they'll get into state and local government policy remains to be seen whether elected officials will move on this. >> brown: josh rauh, kil huh, thanks very much. >> thank you very much. >> ifill: there appeared to be no end in sight to the fallout from president obama's immigration decision last week. >> this is not amnesty. this is not immunity. this is not a path to citizenship. it's not a permanent fix. >> ifill: president obama's decision to shield some
undocumented immigrant from deportation stirred political consternation but is winning popular support. a new bloomberg news poll finds 54% of likely voters agree with the policy. 30% said they disagree. over the weekend on cbs' "face the nation" likely republican nominee mitt romney took issue with the executive process used to implement the new approach but not with the policy itself >> would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or would you just repeal it? >> we'll look at that setting as we reach that but my anticipation is i'd come into office and say we need to get this done on a long-term basis not this stopgap measure. >> ifill: romney said he would include veterans in his long-term plan. the president, he said, is merely playing election-year politics. romney spoke today on a fox radio talk show. >> oh, i believe that the reason this came out was the president's trying to shore up his base with latino voters and
he's also trying to change the subject from his gaffe that the private economy is... a gaffe that the private economy is doing fine and from the failure of his economic policies to get this economy going again. >> reporter: a recent gallup survey shows the president enjoys a 45-point advantage over romney among hispanic voters. florida senator marco rubio-- who had been the most prominent republican working on an alternative to what has been dubbed the dream act-- told abc news the president's action derailed his plan >> i've never gotten a call from a single person at the white house about it. if they really wanted to work on a solution why wouldn't someone call me? >> reporter: senate republican leader mitch mcconnell said it's up to the party nominee to decide how the respond to a new policy that applies to immigrants younger than 30 brought into the u.s. before the age of 16. >> i think we're going to wait until we hear what governor romney has to say on this issue. there may be others/m behind e who want to address it but my
view is he is the leader of our party from now until november and we hope beyond and we're going to wait and see what he has to say about it and be happy to respond to that at that point. >> ifill: but democrats say republicans have never been serious about compromise. >> every time democrats propose bipartisan legislation for a pathway to citizenship for children brought here illegally through no fault of their own republicans have found an excuse to oppose practical reform. >> ifill: the %é0t is likely tz come up again later this week when both candidates travel to orlando to address a conference of latino elected officials. for more on the political fallout and public perception of the immigration decision, we are joined by lisa lerer of bloomberg news. let's talk about that poll, lisa it's really interesting to me. it felt like the white house knew they had the public on their side. >> well, it certainly does seem like the white house has won this round at least. our polls showed... our poll was the first in the field about this decision and it sthed two out of three voters agreed with the president's policy and a
similar margin of independents, two out of three, agreed with it as well and independent,s, of course, are the critical coveted group in presidential elections so it definitely looks-- at least for now-- like a win for the white house. >> ifill: if this was such a popular move, why has it been so controversy snshl >> it's popular but it's also really, really partisan. >> our poll shows while democrats love the policy, more than 85% said they agreed with it, a majority of republicans disagreed with it and when things are that partisan, particularly in this environment, this very polarized political environment, particularly on capitol hill as we've seen again and again it's hard to get things passed. >> ifill: just tracking republican reaction to the president's move, the president spoke on friday, we just saw a little bit of mitt romney kind of not quite answering the question on sunday and now today mitch mcconnell saying in your court nominee romney why are republicans having such a difficult time deciding... did they just get trumped on this? >> part of the white house's political plan with this announcement and doing it that
the time-- which it seems like they succeeded at-- is to put republicans in a political vice. trapping them between their base which, as i said, doesn't like the plan, polling shows they don't like it, and between hispanics who are really, really important swing vote who are going to be an important swing vote in this election so it's hard for them, for romney and other republican leaders, they have to calibrate their response. they don't want to upset their base, they need to come out in force to win this election but they also don't want to alienate hispanic voters who long term they need to make inroads we that group by saying something negative. >> ifill: but republicans have said all along that latino voters are not only concerned about immigration, that they have... they're also concerned about the economy. is that basically their response to this argument? >> that's in their message all along. when romne spent a lot of time targeting hispanic voters, they've run ads he's met with groups and spoken to hispanic voters directly on the campaign trail and it's always an economic message and
they say that that's what hispanic voters care the most about. but on immigration things get challenging for them. there's a very strong and vocal wing of the republican party that tends to get inflamed when this topic comes up. steve king recently compared immigrants to dogs. >> ifill: congressman from iowa. >> and that's the kind of thing that doesn't play well with hispanic voters. several voters i talked to or participated in our poll told me they saw the republican party as intolerant. so romney and his campaign are honing by focusing on the economy they can keep their party focused and keep these other extraneous and often poorly received comments out of the dialogue. >> ifill: let's look at the flip side because until this happened the president was beginning to run in into head winds with latino supporters and activists because of the white house's view on deportation. does this mute that unhappiness? >> well, there's never a question over whether the president would win latino voters.
it was always clear and republicans when they were speaking candidly would say listen,vcw we know we're not gg to win latino voters. their goal is to cut... the republicans' goal is to cut into the president's edge with that group. and, of course, the obama campaign wants to pump up turnout among latinos as much as possible. while there's clearly a lot of latino voters want more, they want a long-term solution, a comprehensive immigration policy, this could help invigorate some younger voters and get them the polls which is what the obama campaign wants. >> ifill: i wonder if between now and november whether an action like this doesn't freeze that whole debate about comprehensive reform or whether it was frozen anyway. >> it absolutely freezes it. senator marco rubio from florida was working on a longer term plan and he's said recently yesterday that i believe he dropped that plan. but frankly i think it=9ç was frozen anyhow. the economic problems facing the country are so intense and so dominate the political discourse that i've had multiple people on the hill tell me nothing was going to happen on this and
nothing is going to happen regardless of the election outcome in the next couple months after november. >> ifill: it's not very hard to travel around the country to these swing states where latinor voters live and discover there's a lot of spanish language advertising and targeting of these voters. do the democrats or republicans have a strategy to win the voters over that goes beyond this discussion about immigration? >> well, this is not only a short term gain in terms of this election for the party, they're trying to look at the long haul. latino voters made up 2% of the voting population in 1992. they're expected to be close to 9% this election and that share is only growing so both parties are trying hard to find ways to get this group in their corner for the long term. it's a growing group and also a relatively young population group so they want to get these people in on their side and get them early. it's not clear that they found the secret way to do that. and i think until they deal with the issues that latinos care about, like immigration, it's
unclear whether they will solidify that voting block. >> ifill: and this plan that the president put forward last week isn't about citizenship, it's not about actually even a permanent solution which is the argument that mitt romney's been making. >> but what it is about is kids, right? and that was part of the political calculation for the white house here this deals with illegal immigrants who came when they were young under age 30 with clean criminal records who are in the military or school. it doesn't look good for republicans to come out against kids. who doesn't like kids? and that was part of the white house's plan here was to hopefully position republicans in such a way that it's a republican against an upstanding high school senior and that's not a good place for the republicans to be. >> ifill: it's a vice. lisa lerer from bloomberg news, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> brown: now, why african american-owned businesses are
still a rarity in many neighborhoods, including minority communities. newshour economics correspondent paul solman has been exploring that question. it's part of his ongoing reporting, "making sense of financial news." >> bye-bye, mommy. >> reporter: maggie anderson-- two daughters, husband john, nice suburban chicago neighborhood, upscale house, upscale life. and yet these successful business professionals with brand-name m.b.a.'s felt guilty for years. >> we thought we should be doing more, and we thought we should be doing stuff with the money that we made. >> reporter: live off black businesses? like what? >> make sure that whatever we do, it was with a black company, a black family company, buy a product made from a black company, use black professionals, shop in black communities. >> reporter: and thus the empowerment experiment, chronicled in the recent book
"our black year: buying strictly from black-owned businesses for 12 whole months." >> reporter: starting out, the andersons expected some problems shopping only at black-owned stores. >> they would be smaller, selection not as great, prices a little higher. maybe we'd have to drive a little bit. we assumed there would probably be about 20 dry cleaners that we could choose from, you know, just in black pockets, not in oak park where we live. >> reporter: what they found? one black-owned dry cleaner in all of the chicago area, about two and a half miles from home, in a mostly african american west side neighborhood. >> well, years ago it used to be a lot of black-owned businesses around, and, you know, funding just went down and things just went kind of kaput after that. and it just... black-owned businesses just seemed to leave the area. >> reporter: so how did you survive? >> i've been in this location for about four years, and before then my uncle owned this place
for 20 years. and most of my survival came from contract business, you know, where we couldn't, you know, get the money from the neighborhood or people coming and patronize the businesses in the neighborhood, you know, due to the lack of jobs, you know. we had to revert to contract businesses. >> solman: so that explains all those army camouflage shirts or whatever it was that i saw? >> yes, it's the r.o.t.c. uniforms for the city of chicago public schools. >> reporter: most money goes to non-black business owners who sell them, invest in, or hire from the local community... seldom invest in the community. something the andersons link directly to the 14% black unemployment rate and other economic inequities and that they found the media fails ever to report. >> don't just say that black unemployment is four times that of whites. say that black businesses only get 2% of the $1 trillion of
black buying power, and then say that black businesses are the greatest private employer of black people. then you might be able to say, wow, if there were more support of black businesses and maybe a little more of that $1 trillion got to those businesses, unemployment wouldn't be so high. >> reporter: they wanted to do something extreme enough that everyone, including their fellow members of the black upper middle class, would notice. >> most folks like us think that we are giving back to the community by living well. we're stereotyped negators. >> reporter: is that true, that middle class black folk think that just being middle class or upper middle class is enough? >> i do think that is a prevailing sentiment. there's almost a pride-- for lack of a better word-- in being able to kind of disassociate yourself from the african american community, from the, you know, lower economic echelons in the community. >> it's not a lack of caring. it's not that we don't care about what's going on in the communities that we've for the
most part left. it's that we don't see a target anymore. there's nothing to go after. so that was really the point of the experiment. >> reporter: by month three, the andersons had found their dry cleaner, and a black-owned grocery store and a black-owned gas station-- 40 miles away. all were located in largely african american neighborhoods. >> we found a cool way to get gas. we would send that gas station our money, and the gas station owner would send us a gift card, and he was part of the b.p. franchise. so we got gas, food, and a dry cleaner. everything else, we were just desperate and hopeful that something would pop up. and in the third month, we got a general merchandise outlet. and in the fourth month, we finally found a place to buy clothes and shoes for our daughters. >> reporter: in the meantime, they kept finding establishments like jay's fresh meats.
>> we thought it would be like kind of a small grocer where we can buy fresh meats and produce. there was nothing fresh in there. it was just canned goods, some frozen burritos, frozen pizza, you know, a couple of house wares. so that was the first thing, like, wow, this place is terrible, and the people who live in this community have to put up with it. >> solman: eventually, the andersons found an actual full- service black-owned grocery store. >> reporter: but there used to be a lot of black groceries. >> thousands. thousands nationally, yes. >> reporter: and now? >> well, in january of 2009, there was one black grocer in the entire state of illinois. one-- that was it, a full- service grocery store. >> reporter: the andersons enlisted john's alma mater, kellogg business school, to survey the whole country. >> we used to have 6,400 in the 1930s. we had 19 full-service grocery stores at the turn of the century. now those researchers at kellogg who helped us with our study, they could only find evidence of three-- three black-owned full-
service grocery stores in all the united states of america. >> so what happened to all those black-owned businesses? competition from mega-stores like star market or wal-mart is one answer. but a fuller answer may be integration, says cornell economist vicki bogan. >> my parents are in that generation, in which they weren't allowed to patronize certain kinds of restaurants. so, in that particular environment, if you were a black-owned restaurant, you were guaranteed a certain number of customers that didn't have any other option of eating in other establishments if they wanted to eat out. >> reporter: john anderson agrees, but adds one more troubling factor. >> the white man's ice is colder! >> reporter: white man's ice is colder? >> in the black community, there is a joke about sometimes we
feel like our goods and services are inferior. it's like a psychosis, which is disturbing, because i'm not aware that this exists in other ethnic communities. >> it was the one-two punch of integration. of course integration was great, but economically it had a deleterious impact on our community. the first punch was, we were so happy to have the opportunity to shop at woolworth and sears that we felt like we were sticking it to somebody by going there. "hey, i'm going to spend all my money with you and show you that my money is just as green!" then, the second punch was that those retailers started recruiting my husband and me. so when i'm coming up in the '70s, the big goal of any mama and any big mama is for her daughter or her son to get a good job at a big white company. so our would-be entrepreneurs-- our "talented tenth," as we call them in our community-- we flocked to corporate america, and they got all our money, and they got all our talent.
>> reporter: if there isn't much disagreement over why the black community lost its retail jobs, there's plenty over what to do about it. cornell's bogan stresses black investing, not spending. in>áñ first, the key need is for more capital to be generated by and invested in the black community. >> just on a day to day basis black businesses don't have the same access to capital, financial capital, even human capital that other types of businessesuvç do. >> reporter: but the second point is that buying black won't make much of a difference. even if you do find black retailers, says the professor. >> even if you can find yourself... if you confine yourself to just purchasing from blackmer chants going to get their products? it's likely that their suppliers are not going to be african american; they might not even be american.
and the way to do that is to have again, more businesses that are black-owned, supported by a bank like covenant bank. have supported ourselves and sustained ourselves. we need to go back to that. >> reporter: and maggie anderson's efforts do seem a step in that direction. what percentage of your customers would you guess are like maggie anderson coming here specifically to patronize a black business? >> i would say maybe 10% of my customers, you know, because of maggie. >> reporter: so before maggie came here and wrote about you, what percentage of your customer base was here to patronize a black business? >> i would say before, maybe 1%. >> reporter: the anderson effect, making a small economic dent in inner-city chicago, which needs all the help it can get.
>> ifill: next, the correlation between motorcycle casualties and helmet laws. judy woodruff has the story. >> woodruff: fatalites on the nation's roads may be declining, but motorcycle deaths are not. those deaths have increased from about 3,200 in 2002 to 4,500 in 2010. yet state laws requiring helmets have been weakened. in the 1970s, 47 states required all motorcycle drives to wear helmets. today, just 19 do. most still require helmets of younger riders. that's the finding of a new report released earlier this month by the investigative group, fairwarning.org. days later, the u.s. centers for disease control issued its own report, finding that five times as many cyclists who don't wear
helmets die in accidents compared to those who do wear one. all of this has stirred plenty of anger in the motorcycle community. the american motorcyclist association said in a statement, "the a.m.a. opposes helmet mandates because they have unintended consequences." historically, the enforcement of helmet mandates has siphoned away scarce funds from effective crash prevention programs such as rider education and motorist awareness." we get the latest on these studies from rick schmitt, a reporter for fairwarning.org. rick, thank you very much for being with us. first of all, why did your organization decide to undertake this study? >> well, we were impressed by the growth in the number of motorcycle deaths, essentially a doubling the number of people dying from motorcycle accidents since the mid-1990s. what made it particularly interesting to us was the fact that the number of people dying in car accidents, as you mentioned, has declined and, in fact, is at a low that we
haven't seen since the 1940s. so you have two divergent trends. we seem to be doing a better job when it comes to regular auto safety but a poorer job when it comes to motorcycle safety. so we looked into some of the sources and influence of those divergent trends. >> woodruff: what did you find about theatç correlation of the number of deaths and not wearing or wearing helmets? >> well, it's sort of like the same old story in a way. it was underscored by a recent c.d.c. report, as you mentioned, that if it's not a silver bullet wearing a helmet it's the closest thing to a silver bullet when it comes to catastrophic injuries or deaths when it to motorcycle accidents. so there have been many studies over the years that have shown that and the c.d.c. study underscores that whereas hundreds of people every year have their lives saved by virtue chew of wearing a helmet and hundreds more die needlessly because they are not.
so that is one important element of all this. the c.d.c. study also looked at the social costs of not wearing helmets. it's often times said by motorcycle rider groups that the decision to wear a helmet is an individual decision by consenting adults and they should be able to accept the consequences of that decision. the c.d.c. study showed it's not quite that simple. that there are vast billions of dollars in social costs in the form of lost worker productivity medical costs that are inner to the public because of the overwhelming nature of care that can be required to attend to somebody who suffered a catastrophic injury. >> woodruff: i wanted to ask you about that and i also wanted to ask you about what did you learn about why so many states have reduced or weakened their laws requiring the motorcycle helmets? >> the motorcycle lobby is an effective one and they've made a strong case0í at the state and
federal level for essentially tying the hands of state and local regulators. as you point out, the number of states with helmet laws is half the level it was in pq 1970s and that largely reflects an effort to... a grass-roots effort by motorcycle riders that basically state the state that this is an issue of personal liberty and the government should really butt out and so... and at the federal level there have been also efforts every time an effort is made to restore any kind of a federal helmet mandate which was in effect in this country in the '70s and '90s, the motorcycle rider groups have been effective in defeating those efforts promptly as well as defeating other efforts by the nation's traffic cops, the national highway and traffic safety administration to take other steps, limited as they may be, to encourage safety among motorcycle riders. >> woodruff: i have to ask you about one of the statistics, a major statistic that the motorcycle groups put out there. they say yes the number of
fatalities has more than doubled as you point out but they also say the number of motorcycles out there the number of motorcycles registered has more than double and when you care in with the percentage of fatalities they say the percentage of fatalities is slightly decreased. >> well, it's definitely true that a lot more people are riding motorcycles and enjoying riding motorcycles and it's true more people are driving cars these days since the 1940s. yet the number of people who die in car accidents the the same. so i think we need to ask ourselves why is one about the same and why is one continuing to climb rapidly? >> woodruff: you make the point about the argument that motorcycle riders want their freedom and, in fact, one of the association comments i read, they said this is one more example of the nanny state, government telling us what we need to do when we ought to be here. in fact, i read a visitor to the
web site of the federal occupational health and safety web site, a man from new hampshire, hed trying to tell people what to do. i pay taxes fore.s and fire and police personnel so so i don't want to wear a helmet and i shouldn't be forced to." what do you say to people? >> well, there's certainly an element of pa ternism in all this and the person liberty arguments now more than ever seem to resonate with members of congress and with folks in statehouses around the country. at the same time, i think that it's less of a question of personal freedom than it is in terms of the social costs that comes down to the public from these sorts of accidents and that it's really not a question of individual responsibility as much as public public response. indeed, there are many efforts,
certainly we allow people to ride cars that we require them to wear seat belts. another... in other contexts if more people are smoking and dying of lung cancer as a community we've responded to address that. so it may seem like the nanny state but there is certainly president and it's not unusual for the community at large to respond when more people are dying. >> woodruff: finally quickly as you look around the country in the tug-of-war in a number of states about these laws, what's the prospect? does it look like more states are going to be weakening their laws? is there a prospect of pushing back against it? >> i think the traffic is lying up in the other direction. there seems to be more and more disdain for helmet requirements and i think for... i think public safety people are both sort of confounded and very frustrated at the state of events right now. they're seeing more people die and there's nothing they can do about it.
>> woodruff: rick schmitt of www.fairwarning.org, we thank you for coming into talk to us. >> thank you. >> brown: finally the effort to legalize gay marriage in italy has been met with opposition, specifically from the vatican, but a supreme court ruling has given people hope. we have this report from our partner global post. >> reporter: mario and antonio have been married for ten years but in italy they are legally strangers. after holland became the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriage. mario and antonio became the first italian couple to tie the knot. >> ( translated ): it's like looking at the stallion, something extraordinary goes by and you want to grab it. it was all very instinctive, incredible and beautiful. even pronouncing the word
"marriage ""get married" for a gay couple was incredible at the time. >> reporter: the two artists have fought to get their marriage legally recognized in their home country. in italy, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized and there is no legislation on matters concerning civil unions. but recently mario and antonio made history when the supreme court in rome pronounced an unexpected decision. >> ( translated ): italy's supreme court declared that our marriage was valid and not against public order but that it cannot officially be registered. it declared we are a family. and that is what made the catholic elite-- and not only them-- very angry.
it states that a gay couple or same-sex couple is family. just like a married heterosexual couple which is an extraordinary and revolutionary principle for italy. >> reporter: the court ruled they have rights equal to those of married couples but that their wedding is not legal because there's no law on the issue. without a law, same-sex partners in italy cannot share property, inherit pensions, receive death benefits or make other important decisions concerning death or illness. the decision has sparked a discussion that reaches far beyond their family and friends in a country where the vatican is still a powerful force. >> ( translated ): i think marriage is exclusively made for a man and a woman not for people of the same sex. >> ( translated ): yes and no.
gays are like all others so marriage should be for heterosexuals or homosexuals. >> reporter: according to a recent poll, 44% of italians are in favor of gay marriage and 63% agree that gay couples who live together should have the same legal rights as married couples. but mario and antonio say they've experienced just how quickly opinions can change. they live in a town near rome built by mussolini in the 1930s and renown for its deeply fascist roots. yet despite their conservative surroundings and the town's right wing politicalr they say they haven't felt any discrimination here.fn >> ( translated ): after we got married when we came back we could have found broken windows, writings on the walls or anything against us but we found things to be normal. the mood was very serene and calm. nothing had changed. >> reporter: where staunch catholics may grimace at the
idea of marriage or adoption for gay couples, back in latina, mario's mother says she doesn't see any conflict with her faith: >> ( translated ): same-sex partners in italy cannot share property, inherit pensions, receive death benefits or make other important decisions concerning death or illness. >> ( translated ): we are the same as everyone else so i hope that soon we italians will have a law that makes us feel like everyone else. >> reporter: until then, mario and antonio say they plan to use the court decision to fight for those rights one at a time. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. there were conflicting reports out of egypt. the state news agency initially said ousted president hosni mubarak was clinically dead, but other reports disputed that account.
new numbers of public employee pensions showed 34 states are falling short of their commitments. stocks rallied on hopes that the federal reserve will try again to boost the overall economy. the dow nearly 100 points. many of you commented on our profile of economist paul krugman last night. those comments are online. hari has the details. >> sreenivasan: economist paul krugman weighs in on what's ailing spain and whether germany should accept a rise in inflation. plus, a written response from a harvard economist who challenges that perspective. and on our health page, our partners from kaiser health news explore what's at stake for women as the supreme court considers the fate of the health care reform law. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. gwen? >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at the federal reserve board meeting, coming at a time of heightened financial tensions in the u.s. and abroad. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening.
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