tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 1, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT
i could not have made any show on sunday mornings. you got it done. it was fantastic. lots of comments on that. congratulations. i think you should do it every sunday. i'll take care of the fishing. i'll have that covered for you. >> all right. you fish, me and alex will go out on the road and charge ticket price. >> you got something there. >> thanks, man. >> you bet. thanks to you at home for staying with us. the list of the most common jobs for men in this country and the list of the most common jobs for women in this country are two lists that have very little in common, it turns out. the jobs we do in this country in this day and age are still sort of surprisingly really segregated by gender. whether you have an occupation that's male dominated or you have an occupation that's female dominated, there's one thing that just about every single job in america has in common. dudes get paid more for doing it. if you are a driver, men get paid more. if you're manager, men get paid more. if you're a janitor, men get
paid more. if you're a retail salesperson, men get paid more. if you're a sales rep. if you're a cook. a chief executive. a security guard. a police officer. a customer service representative. in all of those cases, men get paid more. in 19 of the 20 jobs that are the most common occupations for men in this country, women lag behind what men get paid for doing that same work. it's also true in the most common jobs that women have in this country. if you are a secretary, men get paid more. if you're a teacher, men get paid more. if you're a nurse, men get paid more. if you're a cashier, men get paid more. if you're a receptionist, a financial manager, if you wait tables, men get paid more. again, in 19 of the 20 jobs that are the most common occupations for women in this country, women lag behind what men get paid for the same work. overall when you aggregate everybody working in the economy in every job, women get paid 77
cents for every dollar that men get paid. for the same work, dudes get paid more. "bloomberg news" crushed the numbers from the u.s. census bureau this year. they divided the economy into 265 occupations and they found, surprise, no matter how you slice it, men get paid more. >> nationwide the median salary for men is greater than women in 99.6% of major occupations. >> there's only 1 out of 265 major occupation categories where the median salary of women exceeded that of men and that was personal care and service workers. we're talking house sitters, butlers. val valets. even then, it's only two pennies more on the dollar or 2% more the women are making. in 264 out of 265, men are getting paid more. >> in 264 out of 265 major occupations, men get paid more than women do.
republicans, it turns out, do not believe this. i did not know this was one of those things in which conservatives and the rest of the country have two totally different understandings about what is true. it turns out this is one of those things. figuring that out makes a bunch of stuff make sense that never really seemed to make sense before. and it raises one really important question about the presidential campaign moving forward. president obama was sworn into office on january 20th, 2009. two days after he was sworn in, the u.s. senate passed a bill that the brand new president had been advocating for on the campaign trail, asking congress to pass, saying he wanted to sign as president. if you're a woman working in a job and you're being paid less than a man who is doing the same job, that's illegal. that is discrimination. if the same company is paying a men and a woman different amounts for doing the same work and paying the man more, that's illegal discrimination.
how do you know it's happening if it's happening to you? companies don't volunteer they are illegally discriminating on the basis of gender. people in all sorts of different jobs don't generally volunteer their salaries to each other. you have to know what you are being paid and you have to know what somebody else in a comparable position to you is being paid so that you can compare the two before you have any idea that discrimination is going on. if you find out you are being discriminated against and you want to sue for that because that is illegal discrimination, it used to be the statute of limitations for you to be able to sue would stop ticking on the date of the last discriminatory paycheck you got. you can't sue on a job you quit 25 years ago. every time you get a new discriminatory paycheck, that statute of limitations clock starts ticking again. in 2007 there was a court ruling that changed that. it said from now on the statute of limitations starts ticking
with your first discriminatory paycheck. even if you do not know that it's discriminatory. so think about this. by the time you figure out you're being discriminated against at your job, too bad. the statute of limitations has run out, it's over, you have to live with it, ha. discrimination is still technically illegal but thanks to that court ruling in 2007, essentially now there's nothing you can do about it. nice loophole, right? that bill that the senate passed two days after president obama was inaugurated that the house passed a few days after that, a bill that was on the president's desk nine days after he became president, the first bill he signed as president fixed that loophole. the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, that's what it did. so if you are being discriminated against at work, if you're getting paidless because you are a woman, the statute of limitations will not be over by the time you can conceivably figure that out. you can actually take a discriminatory employer to work to stop the discrimination. straightforward as policy, right? noncontroversial. 36 republican senators voted
against it. the only republicans who voted for it were the four female republicans in the senate and arlen spector who was about to become a democrat. that's it. all of the other republican senators voted no. on the house side, 172 republicans voted against it. only three republicans voted for this thing. when that happened, i've always thought about that vote as just the first sign that republicans were going to vote no on everything that barack obama supported, even anodine, noncontroversial, narrowly targeted solutions to real world problems like this. now we know women getting paid less than men is a real world problem. in republican world, it is not a problem. not it's happening and we don't mind but it's not happening. in republicans' minds, women don't get paid less than men in this country. look. in 1 profession out of 265,
women are doing great. butlers turns out. it's awesome. the other 264 occupations those are obviously just statistical aberrations. i honestly thought this was an issue where republicans and democrats might disagree about how to solve the problem or republicans might think it's important to oppose the president than to try to solve the problem. before yesterday morning i did not know that republicans literally do not believe this problem exists. >> how, rachel, should this conversation actually be framed? i made the comment when i've done this topic before and a lot of ways men bringing up this question is a condescending question. what is it that women want? what is the right way to be framing this conversation and debate, which is a very serious debate, because we're talking about the real desires in the race? >> policy. it should be about policy. all of our best debates are about policy and it should be about policy that affects women specifically. the romney campaign wants to talk about women and the economy. women in this country still make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make.
women don't make less than men? >> actually, if you start looking at the numbers, rachel, there are lots of reasons for that. >> no, wait, don't tell me the reasons. do women make less than men for doing the same work? >> actually, no, because -- >> wow. we're working from different facts. >> men work 44 hours a week. women work 41 hours a week. men go into engineering, science and math that earn more. >> this is not math is hard part. >> yes, it is. >> no it isn't. >> let rachel frame it. >> women are making 77 cents on the dollar. for what men are making. >> that's not true. >> let rachel make her point. >> every greedy businessman in america would hire only women, save 25% and be hugely -- >> it's weird that you're interrupting me and not letting me make my point. because we get along so well. it's important. the interruption is important because we know from both of your perspectives that women are not fairing worse than men in the economy. women aren't getting paid less for equal work. that's a difference in factual understanding of the world.
but given that some of us believe that women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work, there's something called the fair pay act. there was a court ruling that said the statute of limitations if you're getting paidless than a man, if you're subject to discrimination starts before you know that discrimination is happening. effectively cutting off your resource to the courts. you didn't know now were being discriminated against, you can't go. the first act passed by this administration is the fair pay act to remedy that. the mitt romney campaign put you out as a surrogate to sure up people's feelings about this issue and could not say whether mitt romney would sign that bill. you're supposed to make us feel better about it. you voted against the fair pay act. it's not whether or not you have a female surrogate. it's about policy and whether or not you want to fix the structure discrimination that women face that republicans don't believe is happening. >> it's policy is the argument. >> it's policy. i love how passionate you are. i wish you were as right about what you're saying as you are passionate about it. i really do. >> that's really condescending. this is a stylistic issue.
my passion on this issue is actually me making a factual argument on it. >> may i share one fact with you. look at single women working in america today between the ages of 40 and 64, who makes more? men or women? on average? men make $40,000 a year. women make $47,000. when you take out the marriage factor, look at some economics. my point is that we're manufacturing a political crisis to get away from what this election really wants to be about. >> manufacturing a political crisis. what i wanted to talk about there was policy. about why republicans would not support a common sense solution to a very specific part of the problem of women making less than men. on the way to trying to raise that question, i accidentally learned, i guess we all accidentally learned that republicans don't believe that women make less money than men do. women make less money than men do. on average women get paid 77 cents for every dollar that man gets paid.
that's for everybody in the work force. if you look at the most popular jobs among men, it is the same thing. if you look at the most popular job among women, it's the same thing. there are a few outliars you can cherry pick like you can with any statistical truth. this is a really, really, clear statistical truth. >> here is a question. do women in the united states make less money than men for doing the exact same work? on nbc's "meet the press" yesterday the republican strategist and cnn contributor, alex, answered no and that sparked a very passionate debate with rachel maddow of msnbc. we asked lisa sylvester to do a fact check for us. lisa is here. lisa, who's right? >> this is a fascinating subject, wolf. we've been look ining into this. we reached out to alex, but he was not available for comment. the question is there an earnings gap between men and women? the answer according to the census bureau is yes. data directly from the census
bureau shows there is a pay gap and it's real. quote, in 2010, the earnings of women who worked full time year round were 77% of that for men working full time. >> women get paid less than men do. 77 cents on the dollar on average. that's true. democrats know that's true. it is the accepted truth by anybody who's looking at the facts of the matter. republicans do in the know that's true. this seems important. i finally see this now. and it's important both in terms of the facts but also in terms of the politics. i think this is why this debate has been so talking past each other. so incoherent and dissatisfying. republicans think you solve the war on women perception problem by having your presidential candidate be seen with women. right? that's mr. romney on the campaign trial with republican senator kelly ayot. she won judd gregg's senate seat
after he retired from the senate. judd gregg was one of those who voted no on the fair pay act because there's no fair pay problem, right? when they got in trouble on this issue earlier, they put out kathy mcmorris rogers as mr. romney's female surrogate. she voted no on the fair pay act. mr. romney himself will not say whether he would have signed the fair pay act. that president obama signed. republican governor scott walker of wisconsin who mitt romney has been praising as a hero repealed the state-level version in wisconsin of the fair pay act. if you recognize that there's a problem with women getting paid less than men, a political party opposing or refusing to support policy to fix that problem seems like hostility toward women's interests. if you don't recognize there's a problem with women getting paid less than men, then policy debates about how to fix something that's not a problem don't seem that important to you. and so you downplay the importance of policy and you can't understand why everybody keeps saying this war on women
thing is going on. and your 17-point deficit with women voters, that's just the product of not putting your candidate out there with enough women standing next to him regardless of how they vote and what they think. that brings us to what's going be a central bet in the campaign, a central question. does the country live in republican world? where women are getting paid less than men, somehow isn't a problem. where policy on issues like this don't matter because it turns out women are doing great. while mitt romney was on the campaign trial with a female senator, kelly ayot today, on the campaign trail with president obama was lilly ledbetter after whom the fair pay act was named. the democratic side is making a bet that general election voters are not republicans on the set of "meet the press." they are betting that the average general election voter does not live in republican world but rather in the reality based community where facts are useful for understanding what problems are and policy is useful for solving those
problems. joining us now is dr. heidi hartman, founder and president of the washington based institute for women's policy research, and research professor at george washington university. dr. hartman, thank you very much for being here. i really appreciate it. >> you're welcome. it's a pleasure. thank you. >> i know that you at the women's institute for women's policy you have done some of the most important and most highly publicized work on this issue. is there any way that the idea of a gender-based disparity is something that depends on how you look at it? is this something other than a blunt truth about the american economy? >> i mean, you obviously have by far the better part of the argument. you've got the census bureau and the bureau of labor statistics agreeing with you and the u.s. general accountability office. i think what the issue is for the republicans is that they believe that that's not, no matter how big the wage gap is almost none of it is due to discrimination.
and, of course, these numbers from bls and census bureau are not really talking about discrimination, but the gao study that i just mentioned did. they said even when you put everything you can possibly think of in the regression equations, the statistical analyses to make the gap go away you can't explain at least 20% of it. most other studies place the part you can't explain as a quarter to a half. a large part of the gap probably is due to discrimination. that seems to be what the debate is. when you ask can the republicans convince women they don't live in the real world? probably not. because almost every survey that's ever been done of working women, when you asked them about their job, like 95% say my biggest problem on the job is lack of equal pay. >> in terms of making it very clear, what you were talking about there about doing a statistical regression analysis on these things. controlling for other factors. i spent a long time going through the republican side of
this argument today just trying to understand how you could look at these very blunt numbers and come up with the opposite truth. what you're saying basically is when you control for things like the number of hours worked, you're still getting a gender based pay disparity that is not explained by working a different number of hours? >> right. exactly. alex seemed to believe if you put in working a different number of hours that would explain it. no, far from it. if you look at all workers and male and female in the economy, we know, let's say, during the childbearing years, about a third of women may be working part time. so count part time. count how much women work. okay. i'm working part time. only making $400 a week. compare it to all the men, more of whom are working full time. you still get a wage ratio of 72%. so that means that that 77% isn't going to move very much if you suddenly remove the people where the men are working 44 and
the women making 40. the number of hours explains a very small part of it. these regression analysis include occupation. they include your education. number of years of experience. maybe sometimes marital status, number of children. just about anything you can think of. you cannot make the whole gap go away. so there is discrimination. now, those studies aren't even in a way counting the sex segregation that you opened your pressation with this evening. those studies try to hold occupation constant. you have the data up there occupation by occupation. we have some equal occupations. you mentioned police officers and sheriffs. women are only like 1% behind there. amazing. you go to financial managers, they're 26% behind. it is different within each occupation, but maybe why women don't go into police as much and go into nursing more is also discrimination. even the exercise of trying to
decide how much of wage gap is due to discrimination and how much isn't is open to interpretation. that's why in canada, for example, when they talk about the wage gap between women and men, they would use a number comparable to that 72% figure i gave you. they would use a number that says look at how much difference men and women earn in the labor market. if we believe men and women are equally competent, equally capable, also have to live and eat and support their families, we should be wanting a society where that gap is zero. where a man and woman are making the same amount. >> how to get to zero seems like where -- that's where i thought we were on policy. everybody agreed there was a gap. let's fight about how we all get there. with all the biological biases. instead to be denying that the gap is there has blown by mind.
dr. hartman. thank you very much for joining us and helping us understand this. i really appreciate it. >> you're welcome. general motors is alive and osama bin laden is dead all thanks to mitt romney, turns out. exactly how that is possible, coming up. what happens when classroom teachers get the training... ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our
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all at 150 calories or less, there's definitely a temptations for you. unless you're one of those people who doesn't like delicious stuff. temptations. it's the first jell-o that's just for adults. this is something that's going to sound backwards, but it's not. the obama administration announced for the first time today that the cia kills people in pakistan with drones. we all knew this was happening
but they never said it before. >> let me say it as simply as i can. yes, in full accordance with the law and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the united states and save american lives, the united states government conducts targeted strikes against specific al qaeda terrorists sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft often referred to publicly as drones. i'm here today because president obama has instructed us to be more open with the american people about these efforts. >> more open. you already knew that we were killing people with drones in places that were not technically at war. the administration knows that you know that, but they have never publicly formally acknowledged it like this before. in the speech today counterterrorism director john brennan argues that drone strikes are legal. he explains the process that
leads to a drone strike and he says the obama administration does not think there's a legal reason to pretend these aren't happening anymore when everyone plainly knows that they are happening. interestingly, john brennan said drone strikes are legal against al qaeda specifically because we're at war with al qaeda specifically which does raise the question of whether the administration thinks it would not be legal to use drone strikes to kill some other kind of bad guy who wasn't in al qaeda. >> yes, war is hell. it is awful. it involves human beings killing of human beings, sometimes innocent civilians. that's why we despise war. that's why we want this war against al qaeda to be over as soon as possible and not a moment longer. over time as al qaeda fades into history and as our partners grow stronger, i do hope that the united states would have to rely less on lethal force to keep our country safe. until that happens, as president
obama said here five years ago, if another nation cannot, will not take action, we will. >> that announcement is not the only thing that happened that was unexpected and a big deal and on top of other things going on in politics and other news. this is one of those news days that is is an embarrassment of riches. there's a lot going on right now. for example, there's an oil spill today in louisiana. a 22-inch pipeline that carries oil to the nation's third largest refinery in baton rouge ruptured today. nearly 2,000 barrels of exxon oil were spilled. here is the picture of them starting to clean up the exxon, louisiana, spill, today. not impressive. pretty much the technology for cleaning up oil spills is paper towels, fancy paper towels and hard hats. meanwhile the oil industry's annual offshore drilling conference is under way in texas where today they announced plans to drill the deepest undersea well ever. 12,000 feet deep.
they will be drilling into the earth's mantle. because we can do that now. the technology is advanced enough for us to drill 12,000 feet deep into the mantle of the earth. when it comes to cleaning up oil when something goes wrong, eh, whatever, anybody got a tissue? some 409? one other thing to keep in mind in terms of news this week, tomorrow is may day, which sounds like i'm calling for help but it means may 1st. the original labor day. occupy groups nationwide are calling for protests tomorrow to highlight the 99%, the needs of the non-rich in this country. for new york city we're told to expect marches and rallies and surprise actions in disparate parts of the city as well as a reminder that the name of new york city's union square has the word "union" in it. watch for that in tomorrow's news. home of the brave. ♪ it's where fear goes unwelcomed... ♪
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effective and concise argument for re-election from the obama campaign by saying today that mitt romney is actually the one who did those things. in new hampshire today mr. romney was asked if he would have given the same order to kill osama bin laden that the president gave almost one year ago. mr. romney said, of course, he would have. >> even jimmy carter would have given that order. >> unnecessarily roughness toward a totally uninvolved former president. yes, ten yards. mr. romney in the 2008 campaign, in fact, said he would not order a strike into pakistan to get osama bin laden the way that barack obama said he would to and then did, in fact, do. mr. romney criticized then-candidate obama for saying he would do something like that. now that the raid on bin laden happened and was successful, mr. romney said he would do the same thing.
and also neener, neener, jimmy carter. also mitt romney's campaign claimed credit for obama bailing out the auto industry. >> consider that the crown jewel. the only economic success that president obama has had is because he followed mitt romney's advice. >> you mean the mitt romney advice to let detroit go bankrupt? that advice? is that the advice the president followed when he didn't do that but instead bailed detroit out? it's kind of a weird day from the romney campaign. be prepared for mr. romney to look back with glee to that unforgettable moment with the remarks when he stuck it to that blow hard donald trump. that was hilarious, governor romney. also when you picked vice president biden to be your running meat amazing and good choice with michelle. joining us is john harwood. cnbc's chief washington correspondent and author of "the political memo." great to see you. thanks for being here. >> hey, rachel. >> is it too much of a stretch to see him saying the bailout was a mitt romney success and
mr. romney saying he would have ordered the assaults on bin laden's compound? are they going after that line that gm is alive and bin laden's dead? >> absolutely they are. both of the items of the rather concise formulation as you mentioned are pretty powerful. it's an unimpeachable fact that osama bin laden was gotten under president obama after not having been gotten under president bush. that doesn't mean with the same set of circumstances that president bush might not have made the same decision. you can't take away the fact obama did it. romney's strategy on that part of the situation is to say, any president would have done that. on general motors, again general motors has recovered under president obama and so what mitt romney is doing is looking at the end stage of that process which was a managed bankruptcy and saying, you see, he did my plan. what he omits there is the fact that president bush of his own
party and president obama both provided cash to get general motors to that managed bankruptcy process. the romney campaign will argue and say, well, without that cash it would have happened anyway and the obama team, including steve rattner, who was essentially involved in that, say there wasn't a nickel of private financing available to do that. but the strongest evidence for the fact that obama has the high side of this argument is the fact president bush who was in office when mitt romney wrote the editorial in "the new york times" in november of 2008 also decided they needing the bridge loan. what you have is romney trying to go after both ends of that formulation. not easy to pull that off. >> one of the things that's still an open question about this reiteration of the romney campaign is whether or not they acknowledge previous statements by the candidate that seem to contradict current statements or whether they retend older things went away.
whether they're trying the etch a sketch thing. on the bin laden thing, do they wrangle at all with the fact that mr. romney was asked would you overrule the leadership in pakistan or go behind their back and get bin laden without notifying pakistan? he said, absolutely not, i wouldn't do that, that would be a horrible mistake. do they wrangle with that at all or hope it's lost? >> they wrangle with it a little bit because one of the things romney said at the time when he was going after barack obama as hillary clinton was, as you recall, rachel, he said, we shouldn't say those things publicly. if that's going to be our strategy, we should keep it quiet. it was a mistake by an inexperienced barack obama to say that out loud even if you were going to do it. he also said it would be going beyond the bounds to go into pakistan without the consent of their government. so it's a problematic argument for romney to make. again, he's looking at two facts which are pretty powerful for president obama and trying to figure out what can i do to minimize the impact of the benefit that the president gets
and to try to undercut them? it's not going to be easy to do it. he's going to try. he'll quickly get on the his other arguments about gdp growth and unemployment rate and shortcomings of the economic facts on the ground. right now. >> i have to say, if i were them, i would have laid low on the bin laden thing for a day or two given the anniversary. it's interesting to watch how they handle it. john harwood. cnbc's chief washington correspondent and very good dancer. nice to see you on saturday night, john. >> good to see you, rachel. >> thank you. right after the show on the "last word" lilly ledbetter, herself. here coming up, best new thing in the world. stay with us. [ male announcer ] this is corporate caterers, miami, florida. in here, great food demands a great presentation. so at&t showed corporate caterers how to better collaborate by using a mobile solution, in a whole new way. using real-time photo sharing abilities, they can create and maintain high standards, from kitchen to table. this technology allows us to collaborate with our drivers
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this is pontiac, michigan. it's about a half hour drive north of detroit. general motors used to build the cars called pontiacs here. they named pontiac the car after pontiac the city back when they were still making them. general motors used to build trucks in pontiac, too. that's over now. they moved that work to indiana. the detroit lions used to play football in the pontiac silver dome. the lions left pontiac in the silver dome in 2002. this is pontiac now and frankly pontiac is broke. in 2009 the state took over pontiac and installed an emergency manager whose mission was to balance the books in that
city. a few months into his tenure, they sold the pontiac silver dome to a guy from canada. in the mid 1970s the silver dome cost $55 million. when they sold it in 2009, the price they got for it was just over half of $1 million. the year after they sold their silver dome, pontiac got another emergency manager, michael stampler. he arrived in pontiac to find the city hall with empty rooms and files. the whole place just a mess. he said the city was unwilling or unable to collect the money it was rightfully owed. he said the police department seemed to him to be corrupt. several months into his tenure, michigan republicans souped up and made way more powerful the emergency manager law giving managers like michael stampler essentially unilateral control of their cities. the republicans' new version of the law, an emergency manager can rewrite contracts, strip all power from elected officials. the emergency manager can do
anything they want pretty much without asking anybody else. pontiac, michael stampler, studies the situation and writes a budget letter. june of last year. he said property values have fallen sharply. property base is down 20% from the year before and people are not paying what they owe. to make matters worse, the state's changed the law about sharing tax money with michigan's towns and cities so pontiac is going to get 32% less money from that source and the town's population has dropped by 10%. which means less help from the state. plus tax money from the county is down 8 o% leaving the city on the hook for a couple million in debt. add all of this up on one side of the ledger, if pontiac, michigan, laid off every single person, and as an emergency manager, you can do that. if you fired everybody, if you eliminated the whole town payroll, pontiac would still be in the red, in deficit by over $1 million.
even with nobody working for the town. with all the power michigan republicans had given him, with unilateral authority to ignore the city's founding charter and do anything he wants, with the power to be a dictator in the particular american city, michael stampler could not fix pontiac's budget. he proposed pontiac give up, pontiac should cease to be a city, merge it into the county as if it were an unincorporated nonplace. that was michael stampler's tenure as a guy to whom the state gave pontiac, michigan, to run as he pleased. that's how that went. last year pontiac got a new emergency manager, who joked about himself as the tyrant in pontiac. he says he thinks pontiac is getting better and the city's troubles are almost over. he used to be the emergency manager in another michigan city. he left there in 2006. he said the books were balanced, mission accomplished, done and
dusted. he took care of it. how have they held up since then. this is the newspaper today. the review quote, is the city facing a financial doomsday? answer, yes. quoting the acting city manager there. make no mistake we are at a doomsday scenario. if a bank or the state won't bail them out the manager says the city could end up with another emergency manager and that one might decide to just kill the city, just take it right off the map. then there's ecorse. how about the city of ecorse, michigan, under state supervision from 1986 to the year 2000. how did that decade of control go for fixing things in ecorse, michigan? there's the city of flint, michigan. the buckle of the rust belt. flint went broke a decade ago and got fixed by an emergency manager. after that flint went broke again and has another emergency manager. there's highland park, michigan,
a city inside detroit that spent the whole decade of the 2000s under emergency management. heck of a lot of good that did them. the state took over the school district in highland park, too. it's been the argument of michigan state government in order to fix cities, in order to fix towns, you have to first remove the local democracy. not just state help, state supervision but completely unfettered control in one elected person's hands. it's their argument the elected officials, choices of the voters, that they get in the way. michigan officials democracy is part of the problem. get rid of democracy they say then fix the town. the towns where the state uprooted the democracy, they are not fixed. last week a guest on our show, the reverend david bollack of detroit made a counterproposal. >> if you want to help detroit, flint, benton harbor, saginaw, if you want to help the cities in michigan, let's deal with foreclosure. 90,000 foreclosures in the city of detroit. that's 90,000 forced evictions
in the last three years. so if you look at 300,000 people leaving one city, you're seeing the tax base leave. this city is not in financial strain because of mismanagement, because people are incompetent. that is not the right analysis. we have to deal with foreclosure, insurance redlining. and so what the state should be doing is helping to -- the federal government, county government and state government to reinvest in these cities. we -- michigan is a manufacturing state. really, really a one-industry state. so as the automotive industry, we saw manufacturing meltdown. we saw plants go from michigan to mexico. that's trade policy. this is not incompetence. >> is democracy the problem? is it just that the bad people of detroit are making bad choices when they vote? when they put people in charge of running their city? could detroit somehow be an oasis in michigan, if only its elected officials had miraculously done a better job fending off one of the greatest industrial collapses seen in western history followed by the
worst economic crisis since the great depression? with the state now in control of its finances detroit is facing huge budget cuts. the fire chief says they might have to let the empty buildings in detroit burn when they catch fire. the plan now is you cut money for police and firefighters and just let some of the buildings burn. you slash city services and then what? you sit back and watch families decide to move to your city and businesses race in to invest in a town where there's not enough, and the fire chief says we're going to leave it to burn? pontiac's former emergency manager has become a whistleblower about michigan's radical emergency manager law, the law that does away with your right to vote for your representatives at the local level. a speech was given in michigan last week in which he said it doesn't make sense to try to save these towns by rendering newt, by doing away with the means by which most towns are supposed to work and solve their problems. he says an emergency manager must work toward building up the social capital, building up the
democracy of the town if the town's going to survive after an emergency manager guy like him leaves. >> you turn the city back to sort of a void. they haven't been part of the process for all these years. they've been taken over by the state. and just seems to be an awfully tough road. >> after his speech last week the michiganers in the room listening to the speech built up a democracy, themselves, by telling michael stampler what they think about michigan's get rid of local democracy radical law. >> abraham lincoln coincidentally a republican is famous for saying that in america we have government of the people, by the people, and for the people. does it bother you that we basically are flushing the idea down the toilet? >> voters take a hit. unions take a hit. workers take a hit. democracy takes a hit. everybody takes a hit, but at
the risk of sounding like a 99%er, wall street gets a free ride. >> what did you think our charter meant to your job and our city? >> charter is just maybe interesting reading. >> i can remember my grandfather fighting for mississippi for the right to vote. we believe in voting. i've always voted. and to come in and to take away people's rights to vote and even if you say, you know what, we do need an emergency financial manager. to come in and not let any community people make a decision, i'm trying to figure that out. >> michigan, you may or may not like this law but you could be stuck with it for a while. on thursday in michigan, an elections board voted to stop an effort to repeal the law. the board split along partisan lines. republicans saying the font size on the petitions against the law might be too small. they threw out the signatures of more than 200,000 michigan voters who signed those petitions. enough signatures to stop the
emergency manager law right now until voters could decide on it in november. that case, whether that law can be stopped, is now headed for court. as michigan's story keeps getting bigger and i think more unsettling, michigan is wrangling with a deeply, deeply radical contention that we should not necessarily govern in america using a system called democracy anymore. in michigan today they are trying out getting rid of the system by which we vote for elected officials to represent our interests to solve our problems. whether or not you think democracy is something we should scrap in america, whether or not you think democracy is something we maybe have outgrown, it should inform our debate about that, that michigan republicans proposed replacement for democracy is not working in michigan. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there are atm fees.
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best new thing in the world today involves hardware, specifically a pin coming loose from a shackle. it sounds like a bad thing. in this case it's not a bad thing. watch. the reason for that faintly audible clapping when this happens is when that pin comes loose from the shackle it means this stainless steel beam they were attached to is standing on its own. making than beam an official permanent part of this building under construction. that beam standing there as part of this building under construction makes this building the tallest building in new york city. from 1972 until the attacks of september 11th, 2001, the twin towers of the world trade center were the tallest buildings in new york. for 29 years, they were the tallest buildings until 9/11 brought them down.
after the twin towers fell from 9/11 until today, until 2:00 p.m., what remained the tallest building in new york of the empire state building. that beam you just saw, today's new beam makes this new building 1,271 feet tall. being the tallest building in a city would be a big deal for any building, but this is one world trade center. the skyscraper erected next to the footprint of the twin towers. so today on the anniversary of the last day of osama bin laden's life on earth, today the empire state building seated back to the world trade center, the title of new york's proudest building, new york's first face to the sky. best new thing in the world today. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence