tv PBS News Hour PBS May 27, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: world financial leaders pledged up to $40 billion in aid today to bolster fledgling democracies in egypt and tunisia. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, the aid commitments come amid a week of violence in the arab world. we have the latest on the uprisings throughout the middle east. >> woodruff: mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. >> brown: in health news, stephen nissen of the cleveland clinic looks at a new study that shows boosting good cholesterol does little to prevent heart
attacks. ( "pomp and circumstance" plays ) >> woodruff: college costs are soaring, and so is student debt. we get four views on whether today's diplomas are worth the bills. >> brown: plus, from rome, ray suarez previews this weekend's vatican conference on hiv/aids prevention. >> there's a massive audience for whatever the catholic church teaches, because you have to remember, that with over 1 billion members around the world one out of every six people on planet earth is a catholic. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> i mean, where would we be without small businesses? >> we need small businesses. >> they're the ones that help drive growth. >> like electricians, mechanics, carpenters. >> they strengthen our communities. >> every year, chevron spends billions with small businesses. that goes right to the heart of
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problems at home and around the world. 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. >> brown: the world's major industrial democracies, the group of eight, agreed today on financial help to promote arab democracy. the announcement came as more blood was shed across the middle east. the leaders wrapped up their two-day summit in deauville, france, comparing the arab spring to the fall of the berlin wall. and there were sweeping promises of aid-- up to $40 billion for tunisia and egypt, where long- time rulers have been deposed. it was welcome news for the tunisian finance minister. >> ( translated ): we are really
very satisfied by the very strong declarations, very clear and precise, that came from all the g8 countries and from the financial institutions. it is very clear that everybody wants to help us. >> brown: but there was also tough talk for those resisting the tides of change. president obama and his counterparts insisted again that libya's moammar qaddafi step down. >> we agreed that we have made progress on our libya campaign, but that meeting the u.n. mandate of civilian protection cannot be accomplished when qaddafi remains in libya, directing his forces in acts of aggression against the libyan people. and we are joined in resolve to finish the job. >> brown: russian officials said they are willing to lead a diplomatic effort trying to mediate a peaceful end to the libyan crisis. >> ( translated ): what is important for us is that the sides find a basis for agreement. the main thing is to stop
shooting. if the basis involves the departure of qaddafi-- which it does-- there is no doubt that we are all ready to confirm that qaddafi should leave. >> brown: but the summit host, french president nicolas sarkozy, said "mediation is not possible with qaddafi," and insisted there is "great unanimity" about stepping up the military campaign in libya, including the addition of french and british attack helicopters. the response from tripoli was dismissive. libya's deputy foreign minister accused the g8 of meddling. >> this is the business of libyans. it is purely an internal affair. i think fabricating lies and interfering in internal affairs, and violating and abusing international legitimacy will not help stability and peace in the region, and in the world in general. >> brown: syria's killing of protesters also drew strong criticism from the g8 leaders,
but they stopped short of calling for action by the u.n. security council, due partly to russia's opposition. >> ( translated ): we are not in favor of new sanctions. we believe that the president of syria should get down to work, should continue with the reforms that he announced, and ensure that the opposition has a voice. and he has to change the electoral legislation, stop violence during protests by the opposition. >> brown: in syria today, protesters showed no sign of waiting for outside action. thousands marched again in cities and villages across the country, demanding president bashar al-assad step down. and security forces again opened fire. human rights activists reported at least eight people were killed. while in yemen, heavy fighting between government forces and tribal fighters spread to new regions today, leaving the
country at the brink of civil war as president ali abdullah saleh clings to power. >> ( translated ): we will not allow president saleh to lead yemen to civil war. he attacked our houses and we are steadfast. there are initiatives to stop this war. if he agrees to it, we will agree. if not, we are ready to face the consequences. >> brown: tribal leaders reported at least 18 people were killed today to the south of the capital sanaa as fighters tried to gain control of three military posts. in the capital, though, an apparent cease-fire took hold. thousands of people staged a relatively peaceful street protest after days of fighting that left more than 100 dead. meanwhile, an estimated 10,000 egyptians filled tahrir square in cairo after friday prayers in what was billed as the "second revolution rally." they called for the country's temporary military rulers to pick up the pace on making reforms. >> ( translated ): we came here
to assure the people of egypt that this revolution still exists, it has not ended yet. it will only end when it achieves its goals. we want them to speed up trials of corrupt officials. we need a new constitution, and we want a civilian presidential council to rule us. >> brown: the egyptian military said it was keeping units well away from the protest area to avoid any confrontations. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: shields and brooks; no benefit in boosting good cholesterol; debating the value of college; and previewing the vatican hiv/aids conference. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: secretary of state hillary clinton pressed pakistan today to do more to fight terror. she said relations have reached a turning point since the u.s. raid that killed osama bin laden. clinton and admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, met with pakistani civilian and military leaders in islamabad. >> today we discussed in even
greater detail cooperation to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda and to drive them from pakistan and the region. we will do our part, and we look to the government of pakistan to take decisive steps in the days ahead. >> sreenivasan: clinton said the pakistanis mentioned "very specific actions" they plan to take, without going into detail. and she confirmed the u.s. has been given access to the compound where bin laden hid for years. "the washington post" reported a cia forensics team will search the complex for al qaeda materials that may be hidden in walls or buried on the property. three more nato soldiers were killed today in afghanistan. there was no word on their nationalities. just yesterday, eight american troops died in back to back bombings. a court in serbia ruled today that war crimes suspect ratko mladic can be extradited to face an international tribunal in the netherlands. mladic was arrested thursday outside this house in northern serbia after 16 years on the
run. officials said police happened upon him during a routine raid. the former bosnian serb general is wanted in the murders of 8,000 bosnian muslims, and other crimes. the tornado death toll in joplin, missouri, has risen again, to 132. but the number of missing and unaccounted fell today, to 156. meanwhile, search teams continued looking through wreckage, and forensics specialists worked in refrigerated trucks to identify bodies. >> it is a very thur oi process. it's very meticulous and complete and respectful, and we want to make sure that that continue. it is happening as quickly as possible and as soon as-- as soon as that is completed and next of kin is notified, then we will let you know. >> sreenivasan: another round of severe weather hit overnight. heavy thunderstorms around atlanta killed at least three people. and parts of central vermont got four to five inches of rain, sending rivers over their banks. at least 200 people were forced from their homes.
crash investigators reported today that an air france jetliner plunged 38,000 feet in three and a half minutes before it slammed into the atlantic ocean in 2009. all 228 people on board were killed. the plane was two and half hours into its route from rio de janeiro to paris when it began to stall, and then went down. the new information came from the black box recorders dredged from the seabed last month. they showed the plane's speed sensors may have malfunctioned. the findings did not pinpoint the cause of the crash. a full report is expected next year. in economic news, consumer confidence rose this month, and so did consumer spending, driven by higher food and gasoline prices. and on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained more than 38 points to close at 12,441. the nasdaq rose nearly 14 points to close well above 2,796. for the week, both the dow and the nasdaq lost a fraction of a percent. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: now it's time for
our weekly analysis from shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. we begin with the debate in congress yesterday over the extension of the patriot act. the law was first passed in the immediate aftermath of the september 11 terrorist attacks, and granted law enforcement significant new surveillance tools in fighting terrorism. opponents charge the law infringes on civil liberties. here's a bit of that debate. >> the patriot sunset extension act of 2011 is a bipartisan, bicamera compromise to reauthorize the existing patriot act provisions for another four years. by doing so, congress is ensuring that critical intelligence will be collected and terrorist plots will be disrupted. when we last considered these expiring provisions it was to extend them temporarily so that
the house could review them and consider whether to improve them or allow them to expire. these three provisions dealing with roving wiretap authority, expansion of the definition of an agent of foreign power to include so-called loan wolves and section 215 which allows governments to obtain business and library records using an order from the foreign intelligence surveillance court instead of the normal methods, have arougdz a great deal of controversy and concern, and rightly so. >> these three provisions have stopped countless attacks and played a critical role in helping ensure law enforcement officials have the tools they need to keepure country safe. the death of osama bin laden proves that american intelligence gathering is vital to our national security. the fight against terrorism, however, did not die with bin laden, and neither did the need for the patriot act. >> you don't have to give upper your liberty to catch criminals. you can catch criminals and terrorists and protect your liberty at the same time. there is a balancing act.
what we did in our hysteria after 9/11 was we didn't do any kind of balancing act. we just said, come and get it. here's our freedom. come and get it." >> woodruff: the reauthorization of the act cleared both houses of congress with bipartisan majorities and president obama signed it into law last night. now to mark and david. david, it passed, but it was at the last minute. there was this-- little bit of an uproar over it. what do you make of that? >> if you cover politics on the campaign trail the patriot act was extremely unpopular and can-- people running for office rail against it. once they get in office, especially those in charge of the national-- nation's security they tend to support it. so i assume once they get in office and they understand what it's doing behind the scenes, they tend to think it's probably a good idea. and this is what's happened to president obama. it's what's happened to most people privy to how it actually works. >> woodruff: mark a the love democrats don't like it and some republicans don't like it. >> you're right, judy.
the democratics' argument is we're confident that president obama will be more solicitous and careful about civil liberties than his predecessors. that may be comforting, but it's also a rationalization from what the democrats' position has been as the congressman from new york expressed in the piece. and i think the indispensable part that intelligence played in the capture and-- of osama bin laden probably strengthened the case for the patriot act's reinstatement. and i'd say intelligence remains the cornerstone of the exit strategy from afghanistan and iraq to a considerable degree. and i think that neutralized some of the opposition. >> woodruff: speaking of afghanistan, we saw democratic congressman jim mcgovern offer an amendment this week, david, demanding an accelerated troop withdrawal. it didn't pass, but it did show that there is-- but it was close. and so, that debate goes on,
doesn't it? right, and it goes on with a lot more republican opposition. the tea party people, a lot of the freshmen, are suspicious of our measures in afghanistan. i think the crucial thing here, though, is saliencey. how vibrant is the anti-war movement? how energetic? how demanding are they? there's a lot of opposition-- the country is pretty much evenly divided but the opposition is not particularly aggressive, so i think president obama has as much running room as he wants, frankly. >> i think that growing pessimism in the united states will-- that the gains that are won, purchased through lives and eight american lives yesterday, we don't know how many more today-- are not sustainable. and they won't be. and i think that-- there is a demand-- this is putting an exit strategy on the-- the administration has no apparent exit strategy from afghanistan. and i think this is the effort that's made by walter jones, republican from north carolina, jim mcgovern, a democrat from massachusetts, and as you point out, two00 of their colleagues.
>> woodruff: and as david said, more republicans. all right, let's bring it home and talk about politics in this country. there was a special election, a congressional district, new york state's 26th district, where we saw the democrat win in part, david, by going after the republican for embrags the paul ryan medicare proposal. what-- are there lessons from this? is it a one-time deal or what? >> i don't think it's a one-time deal. if you ask americans, "do you think medicare should be cut to help trim the deficit or trim the debt?" 78% say no, don't touch medicare. so medicare is pretty popular. when barack obama cut it, republicans went after him for death panels and all the rest. paul ryan and the republicans went after it. and democrats who have gone for ending medicare-- both charges are more or less untrue. nonetheless, they struck a chord because people want to keep their medicare.
to me the depressing thing is not a partisan thing. the lesson for both parties is never touch medicare, never touch social security, don't touch it. that would be fine if we could afford it. the problem is we can't afford that. >> woodruff: narkts bill clinton former president clinton, told gwen ifill this week in an interview that the democrats have to be careful about assuming from the results of this election that they can get away with doing nothing about medicare. >> yes, no, the president did say that. in fact he said something similar to paul ryan, off the-- off the microphone comment as well. judy, the reality is any time there's a special election and seats turn from one party to the other, especially a seat long held by one party, as is the case in the 26th district in new york, over 40 years a republican-- the winning-- the losing side always says it was local factors, unique local factors that caused the defeat.
and they usually confide that "our candidate wasn't that good." that was the case in massachusetts last year when scott brown beat martha coakley. the winning said by contrast said, no, this is part of a national tide. it's a national movement. cathy hocul was the far better candidate, make no mistake about that. she was a superior candidate. but this was a republican district, and medicare was defining. the problem for the republicans is this-- they never ran on medicare last fall. they ran on cutting the size, scope, and spending of the federal government. the government had gotten too big. the economy was in terrible shape. they never mentioned medicare, other than, as david pointed out we're going to stop barack obama from cutting $500 billion, and we're going to defend the 65-year-olds and all the rest of it. the problem for the republicans is they're now on the defensive. they rushed to vote on this, this ryan plan, and they're all-- the democrats are emboldened. they're on the offensive. they've been playing defense now for two years, and republicans
who gloated over the fact that the democrats were supporting health care when the polls were against them, david just cited a pole, the republicans are there on medicare right now. sdplood how do you see it? >> in both cases the parties were trying to do the right thing. we can talk about this or that aspect of the ryan plan but it was an attempt to try to deal with the national problem, which is the debt problem. there is a significant chance that over the debt ceiling fight there will be a big national catastrophe if we don't reach an agreement on that. there's also a very significant chance over the next four years or five years there will be a serious problem because of the debt and the credit rating of the country. so we do have to do something. this result, which i think accurately reflects public opinion, says do nothing. and what the democrats did this week in congress, there were four budgets put up for vote in the senate. every single democrat voted against every single one of them
so barack obama's budget got zero votes. it's fine and politically smart to lay back and play possum and say, "i'm not for anything, nothing unpopular here." but eventually somebody has to find a way to reach a bipartisan deal on this. >> i'm not saying this won't be a bipartisan deal and there won't be, i'm saying the republicans ran through several stop signs and red lights to do this. >> woodruff: you mean voting for it. >> votinging for it. there was health care-- obama ran on health care in 2008. and then the democrats took the next 19 months, trench warfare of making the case, the compromisinging. this was introduced and voted on in two weeks, and with absolutely no preparation, no public persuasion. it was an act of incredible political arrogance and hubris on the part of the republicans, and they're going to pay for it and they are paying for it. >> i do think that is the lesson. the republicans are-- this year the people are so disgusted by the debt, they want us to be serious. and so what they effectively did was they saw a line of
battlements and a field of 400 yards with no cover, and they ran straight at it. and they get mowed down. i think the lesson for the republicans has to be do something more crafty. don't just run straight at it. >> woodruff: several developments on the presidential landscape this week. david, mitch daniels announced he is not running for president. how are you dealing with this? ( laughter ) >> i've been going through the seven stages of grief. i moved to indiana so i could at least have him as governor. but, fortunately, michele bachmann is there to make me feel better. >> woodruff: what about daniels? what about the reason he gave? he said it was the women in his family, his wife. it sounded like he was ready to go for it. >> i think he was. rich daniels made an honest statement. now he has been krzed by some leading women columnists, for throwing his wife if not under the bus than the recreational vehicle-- or maybe it's a
harley. it was an honest answer. he was ready to run. he wanted to run, and it really was a family decision that said no. but, he was the establishment choice. i mean, he's a serious cerebral person. it's no accident that the three plausible front-runners for the republican nomination right now-- mitt romney, tim pawlenty, and john huntsman-- are all former governors. americans look to governors. senators make speeches. governors make decisions and have to balance budgets. >> woodruff: mark has already narrowed it down to those three. you mentioned michele bachmann, the other people we have to talk about is sarah palin. she announced that she is starting a bus tour this weekend. >> beginning at the motorcycle rally. >> woodruff: what is she going to do? >> people think she's really running. i think it's a pbld tour. this is her business. maybe she will run. she certainly has not done any of the things you do to actually govern and prepare yourself for
govern ago policy team, fund-raising team, organizational team. as karl rove said maybe she thinks she can play by her own rules but until i hear otherwise i suspect it's an endless publicity tour. >> woodruff: do you think the field is set? do we now know who, as mark said is the serious candidates. >> people are still lobbying chris christie. some are lobbying paul ryan. i think it's a likely set but not necessarily. >> i think the paul ryan bumbling-- i'd sell that stock if i had it. but rick perry is thinking about it--. >> woodruff: perry's office actually issued a statement today saying he has no intention of running for president. >> chris christie, i agree. this is it for chris christie--. >> woodruff: what do you mean this is it? >> this is his best chance. he'll look back-- maybe we doesn't want to run. maybe he really doesn't want to be president. in 2012 will have been the best chance for him. chance comes around but once,
basically. and you grab it when it comes. there's a convergence of events that make him a very hot property. >> woodruff: jeb bush? >> his last name is bush, you hear this in republican circles, if his name wasn't bush, he would be our guy. >> woodruff: 20 seconds each. one footnote, chrysler motors paid back, mark, the federal loin loan, the rescue loan. what does that say? there was a whole lot of conversation about if that was the right thing to do. >> it would kill the american automobile industry. mitt romney at the time said that. it wasn't an auto bailout. it was-- as you point out-- a chrysler-g.m. bailout and one could make the case at the expense of ford and honda and toyota and other delays produce cars in america. but it's a success.
they want to celebrate it and it's concentrated in four key states-- pennsylvania, ohio, michigan, indiana. >> it wasn't only romney. some of the political columnists thought it was a bad idea at the time-- ( laughter ) i did. and it turns out to have been probably a good thing. i think the final cost will cost the government about $250,000, probably worth it. it's been a success. i agree. >> woodruff: we appreciate you dropping in from indiana. ( laughter ) >> back to kokomo. >> woodruff: david brooks, mark shields, thank you both. >> brown: next, the latest findings about how cholesterol drugs do and do not work. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: billions of americans take two kinds of cholesterol drugs to lower their risk of heart attack or stroke. statins to reduce so-called bad cholesterol, and another class to boost so-called good
cholesterol, known as hdl. but yesterday, researchers at n.i.h. announced they had stopped their study of a popular h.d.l.-boosting drug based on niacin after results showed that patients taking it did not suffer fewer heart attacks, or strokes. we look at this now with dr. stephen nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at cleveland clinic. expand on this study a little bit for us. what did it show? >> well, we know that patients that have high levels of good cholesterol, h.d.l., have a lower instance of heart disease. and so it was believed-- it hab believed for decades, that if you could raise the good cholesterol, you would lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. it turns out that the best drug we vaavailable to raise good cholesterol is derived from nisip, a b vitamin. and this particular form is a
slow-release form of the drug known as niaspan. well, the n.i.h. put a large study together. asked the question, "does it actually reduce the risk of death, heart attack, and stroke?" the answer was, it didn't. and in fact there was an excess of stroke-- although we haven't seep the final data so we don't know how statistically significant that difference was. >> warner: so significant a finding is this? how big a deal is this? >> well, this is a very big deal. first of all, it was a shocker to the medical community. many people would have bet on this drug working. it probably shouldn't have surprised us. we have seen over and over again that when drugs are approved or administered because they change some laboratory measure, that doesn't always translate into a clinical benefit. and i think this is a wake-up call for the regulatory community that we really have to demand that drugs have improvements in clipical outcome not just laboratory measures.
>> warner: so you're saying this drug did boost your level of h.d.l., so if you went into the doctor's office and had a blood test, they would say, "oh, your h.d.l. level is nice and high," that that was false reassurance that it didn't change the health outcome at all. >> it did not. and we have seen this kind of problem occur over and over again over last decade, that drugs that make biochemical measures better don't always make people better. we really have to demand a higher quality of evidence. >> warner: now, does this cast any doubt on the underlying thesis, that in fact at least if you have a naturally occurring high level of h.d.l., that that is some protection against heart attack and stroke? >> well, those patients that have naturally occurring high levels of h.d.l., generally do do better. but h.d.l. is very complicated. it's much more complicated than the bad cholesterol, l.d.l. h.d.l. comes in different forms, some of which may be good, some
may be actually harmful. and so, we're not as smart as we thought we were. we don't understand h.d.l. well enough. we don't know the best way to raise it, and we've had a whole series of setbacks now that have really set the medical community back in terms of understanding how to make h.d.l. go up and how to make that benefit patients. >> warner: why wouldn't a study like this-- you said it has been used for deckeds, or niacin-based drugs-- hadn't been done much, much, much earlier. >> we have had a problem with the regulatory policy here. the regulators have made the assumption, based upon the effects of the popular statin drugs, that if you can change cholesterol levels in a favorable way, that you'll change outcomes. but that paradigm worked only for the statin drugs. statins were introduced in 1987, and we have not had a successful new cholesterol-lowering drug class in 25 years.
every time we've tried since then, it's turned out that the biochemical measures department actually predict the clinical benefit. >> warner: so bottom line, as a patient, what should you do? if you're taking one of these drugs, niacin-based h.d.l. -boosting drugs what, should you do? >> well, patients should never stop taking a drug because they hear a news report. we haven't seen the final publication yet. we need to go over this in great detail, study the results, and try to advise patients. for now, talk to your doctor. it's important, however, when any patient sees their doctor for a cholesterol-altering medication, that ask, "what is the evidence that it will actually reduce my risk of heart attack, stroke, or death?" and physicians really have to provide patients with that information because changing a laboratory parameter doesn't necessarily make patients live longer or feel better sglarl words to the wise.
dr. stephen nissen of the cleveland clinic, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> brown: now, assessing the value of a college education. it's an old question being debated anew in these economic times. we taped our discussion yesterday, and began with some background. it's the time of year for happy graduates and exhortations about the future. >> you have been given the power, through your education, to pursue what you're good at. >> brown: but for many new and recent graduates going to job fairs in a tough labor market, these are also nervous times, as our paul solman heard last winter from 2008 anthropology graduate david cook, who was washing trash cans to pay his bills. >> i just feel like i devoted years of my life and thousands of dollars into developing specialized skills that i'm not
using. >> brown: some recent studies support the anecdotal evidence. rutgers university researchers reported that the median starting salary for a graduate of a four-year institution actually shrank in recent years from $30,000 to $27,000. the same survey found that fewer than 60% of the 2010 graduating class held a job this past spring. labor economist andrew sum. >> nearly half of all young college graduates-- i'm talking about b.a. holders under... 25 and under-- only half of them are working in a job that requires a college degree. the rest of them are working in jobs that either don't... do not require a degree or not working at all. >> brown: longer term trends have also added to graduates' financial burdens, including, of course, the continuing rise in the cost of attending college and the accompanying rise of student debt. the average debt level for graduates has risen to more than $23,000, a jump from nearly
$19,000 in 2004. but there is some solace for students. over the long term, for example, a typical college graduate nets half a million dollars more throughout his or her career than those with only a high school diploma. and amid the recession, the unemployment rate for college graduates was half that of those who just made it through high school. and we take a look now at some of these questions about the value of the four-year college experience with michael roth, president of the wes layin university. arvan nafisi, a professor of culture and literature at johns hopkins university. peter keel is cofounder of paypal, as well as an investor and philanthropist. he heads the teal foundation which awards fellowships to young entrepreneurs outside the tradition actic framework. and richard veder is an economist at ohio university and the head of the center for college affordability and
productivity. michael roth, i'm going to start with you and put it very simply-- is college still a good investment? >> college is a great investment, and it works so well for so many. america has built the greatest university sector in the world, and we have our challenges because that sector has changed dramatically because of change in access, changes in the economy and culture. but what has made that sector great is we have given students an opportunity to discuss what they want to do, what they're good at, get better at it, and then find a way to keep doing that work after college. we have to be transparent about the work we do. we have to evaluate it critically. but i think it's a big mistake to retreat from college education in the name of more specialized or technical or entrepreneurial fantasies because that sector of research, exploration, and learning has served us well and it can serve us well in the future.
>> brown: peter teal, you have raised a warning over what you call an education bubble, explain what you mean and what you're worried about. >> we have a bubble in education the costs have escalated by 300% ajust for inflation, since 1980. the quality has not gone up. we're paying more and more for the same product and it is something that is a bubble because it's intensely believed-- it's tabu to question education and ask whether people are really getting their money's worth. it's very analogous to the housing bubble. people are told you have to have an education, it's always valuable. we have subprime education like we had subprime housing but it probably is a system that's gotten to be quite rocky all the way up. i do not agree-- i do not say that everyone should drop out of college or stop out, but i do not think that it is the right thing for everybody. i think there are people who are inventors. there are people who are entrepreneurs, and for them it makes sense to start contributing to society whenever
they come up with a great idea that will change the world. and so i think we should respect the diversity that exists in our society and say that-- and realize that some people should go to college, even when it's overpriced and others should choose a different path earlier 3. >> brown: what do you think is the right way to think about this question of a return on a college education? >> well, there are some investments which are material and you can count them in dollars and cents. but i think that they have a direct relationship to the quality of education, rather than just talking about investment in money terms. universities become sort of like canaries in the mine cult purp they become the sort of standard of where a culture is going. the originality of this entrepreneurial experiences, the fact that society allows people to take risks. all of this comes from the
passionate love of knowledge. and universities represent all the different areas and fields within a society and the students ask faculty come from all these fields. this is a community. that represents the best society has to offer, and there was a mention of our universities being the best in the world. you notice that when certain countries, like china, reach a stage of economic and technological development, the first thing they do is they try to is come to us, liberal arts college. >> brown: you're looking at it through economic analysis. what does it tell you about the pros and cons of today's education? >> i think peter had it about right. there are a lot of people for whom college is not only a good investment but probably a very satisfying experience for life. remember, also, college has a
socialization function associated with it, as well as a pure learning function or even an investment function. but beyond-- but the reality is that there is a growing disconnect between what the labor market is telling us on the one hand and what college enrollments are on the other. by one way of measuring things, using u.s. government bureau labor statistics doorkt as much as-- as many as one out of three college graduates today are in jobs that previously or historically have been filled by people with lesser educations. jobs that do not require higher level learning skills, critical thinking skills, or writing skills or anything of that nature. >> brown: well, michael roth, responded to that. the argument is something is out of whack between the academy and the market that we're sending these people into. >> well, find it just puzzling that someone would argue the fact that our workforce is more
educated than it was 20 years ago is a bad thing. i think the rhetoric of a bubble is just that. i think it's-- it's rhetoric and a poor analogy. although i agree that college and universities are not for everyone, and there are lots of different kinds of colleges and universities in the united states. wes layin is a liberal arts school. we have a certain kind of curriculum that appeals to certain kinds of students. my oldest son went to a community college before he figured out what he was going to do in the next two years and that was a great experience for him and he need and it worked well for him and he found a way to navigate through that. i am all in favor of the diversity of the american education system but i am skeptical about this language of a bubble. i think buyer beware. there are a lot of schools out there that aren't transparent about what they do, who have bad graduation rates. but i don't think it's in our interest as a democracy to say in advance who should go to
college or what kind of job requires you to have an education that is both about culture, citizenship, and a skill level. >> brown: peter teal, respond to that? >> i don't think it's all about the finances and the money. but when are you asking people to take on a quarter million in debt for a four-year college or $100,000 in debt to go to culinary institute, and the costs have escalated like this, you have to start asking these hard questions. and it seems to me that the rhetoric that education is an absolute good sounds just like the rhetoric we heard about the housing bubble six years ago, where everyone needs shelter. everyone should buy a house. that may be true, but you you should be very careful of the price. one of the ways in which it's worse than the housing situation is that you cannot get out of your school debts. if you make a mistake and you borrow money, you cannot get away from the house and have the beeng get the bank to foreclose on the house.
you're basically stuck with it, even through bankruptcy. president bush changed the the laws in 2005 to basically make a school debt not expunjible in bankruptcy. it's the kind of mistake that if people make-- if you're wrong and it turns out education is a bubble, are you putting a debt on these-- on the next generation that they will be spending decades paying off. >> brown: another piece of this, of course, is the particular values-- we heard it raised a little-- the arts and humanities versus engineering, business, where we funnel or what we emphasize for students. >> i think that they complement one another. that young ino vart who i saw on cnn this morning who is getting a fellowship to drop out of college and go and, you know, work on his invention, he needs to connect to society. human relations become very
important. look at the crisis we're facing today. it is not just a financial crisis. it's a crisis in vision. look at the foreign policy. foreign policy, what happened in egypt, what happened in iran wasn't just about twitter. it was about concrete situations on the ground of what was happening to those people. and where do you get knowledge, genuine knowledge, to know about egypt, about iran, about china, about america? you get that from the universities. where else do you go? and this country was based on that vision. the first president said that he had the dream of creating a national university on the capitol because of the fact that humanity is about humans. why do i want to make money? in order to enjoy and expand myself as a human being. my daughter is in debt right now because she's going to med school. that doesn't mean that she wants to give up med school. that means that there is something wrong with the system that cannot afford its children
access to education. not everybody should go to universities, but everybody should have the right and access to education, and education is not housing, by the way. you know. --. >> brown: richard veder, you can come back in this. the-- go ahead. >> an interesting point was raised there. there is another dimension that hasn't been mentioned, and that is 40%, 45% of the students who entered traditional four-year university or college education don't graduate. and i don't mean in four years. i mean in six years. so there's an enormous amount of risk being taken by a lot of students, and a lot of those risks relate to the fact that colleges and universities are often admitting students who they full well know have a limited probability of success but they take them in anyway.
this is not the weslayan's of the world. that's a high-quality yrvth elite, private school. but many schools have very high cropp out rates and that's another dimension of this that hasn't been picked up in all this talk about truth and beauty and having people learn about egyptian civilization-- i'm all for people learning about egyptian civil zane. four out of five students who enter college don't make it through. >> brown: in the brief time we have left, michael roth, you start. what would you like to see happen is this a brief prigz you would like for higher education now. >> i would like to see the students who are anything into higher education be better prepared so they can participate in the intellectual crosstraining that higher education should provide so that when they graduate they have the skills to do many different things that are connected to what we need this this culture and society and i think on that we probably all agree.
>> peter teal. >> i believe we should not be den dwrating work at the expense of credentialed learn,y and we have this bimodal thing where you're either in the ivory tower or relegate to the coal mines. i think there's something about work that can be ennobleing, meaningful and a way for people to work in teams and contribute to our society and we should not dismiss that. >> i agree with him completely, and that is why i think there should not be such a gap between work and education. they go hand in hand. in order to appreciate work, in order to allow innovation, you need education. you need knowledge. you need passion. it is like the blood in your veins-- you don't see it, but without it you can't live. so we need both of them. why do we have it to choose? that is one thing i don't understand. >> brown: because we're in a time of choices. >> and we need to reform the system of universities. we need to be more critical of what we have been doing and what we are doing.
we need to update ours in order to allow people like peter teal ask his students, his young men and women, to be able to expand the knowledge, expand research. >> brown: richard ved eyou think we're in a time. choices? >> i think we're in a period where we have to make choices. i think the choices are harder and harder to make. the cost of college is rigs relative to the benefits of college. we haven't even talked about learning outcomes, a good bit of evidence. learning outcomes are stagnant or falling in this country at the very same time costs are arising. i agree totally with peter. we made to open up opportunities for people to consider a variety of different options after high school, one of which is college, but there are many others, and maybe we need to think of new ways of certifying people to demonstrate competence for the-- what some people called the world work or the world after
college. >> brown: all right, well, very big subject and we will leave it there but try to come back to these things. thank you all four very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: we'll be hosting a live chat with several members of jeff's panel next tuesday at 1:00 pm eastern. you can submit your questions now or join us live at newshour.pbs.org. finally tonight, amid a controversy over condom use, the catholic church opens a conference in rome on combating hiv/aids. ray suarez is covering that conference, and i talked to him earlier today from st. peter's square. >> ray, hello. first, tell us more about why this conference is taking place right now. >> sreenivasan: well, the church wants to remind people that it's been in the front lines of the battle against aids for years.
but it can't be entirely a coincidence that this conference was called "dm the midst of ensuing furor and ensuing controversy over remarks from the vatican about the prevention of the transmission of aids. there were questions-- would the church revisit or simply restate its original teaching on condom use? so a lot more attacks was paid to the existence of this conference which is called "the centrality of care for the person in in the prevention of treatment of illnesses caused by h.i.v. and aids ." so it's both a kind of restating and also a convening of catholic health care workers from all over world. >> woodruff: tell us what the church has been saying about the transmission of hiv/aids. >> since the 1960s, the catholic church has taught its believers around the world that kond omz
are forbidden for use in family planning. but the church was less clear and less categorical when it came to their use in spreading the prevention of aids. that is, until receipt years when the church has been more outspoken about condom use and, of course, catholic facilities that are in business of preventing and treating aids did not choose to use them in their answer to the disease. in 2009, when pope was on his way to africa, he told reporters that condoms had not been useful-- in fact, they maybe made the problem worse, and that the best thing to do was to be chaste outside of marriage and spoke up on fidelity inside of marriage. these two approaches, would, of course, lessen the transmission everywhere in the world a great deal. then, further controversy erupted with release of a book in the fall of 2010, "the light of the world" in which pope benedict xvi said that condoms do not prevent the spread of
aids. in fact they may make the problem worse. but then he said that a male prostitute who chose to use a condom to protect his partner maybe engaged in some moral reasoning, which to many observers seemed to be like the pope was opening the door a crack in describing this as a time in which kobdom use of permissible to prevent the spread of aids. >> woodruff: ray, since we know that the pope is neither a physician nor someone who holds a government position connected to health, why is what he is saying in this area of h.i.v. transmission getting so much attention? >> judy, there's a massive audience for whatever the catholic church teaches in this regard. you have to remember with over $1 billion members around the world, one out of every six people on planet earth is a catholic. and the catholic church has been very hard at work in the hardest hit countries in the world when it's come to the skurblg of
h.i.v. and aids. there are, as a matter of fact, 117,000 catholic medical facilities from clinics in the deepest jungle to large urban hospitals in the developing world that are valved their treating both people that are already infected with aids and trying to prevent the transmission to at-risk populations. >> woodruff: and now that this conference is getting under way, is anyone expecting a redefinition of catholic teaching in this area. >> it was an open question for a long while. as the church kept very close to the vest who was going to speak, the organization of the conference, what the themes of the sessions would be. and in that time, there's been a hardening consensus from people outside the catholic church who are involved in the fight against aids, and people inside the church that the church was
going to restate its original position, that there is no-- me permitted use of condoms either in the-- in family planning or in the fight against aids. and the church seems to be ready to stick to its guns in saying that condom use, especially in the country where's condoms have been widely distributed and made part of the national strategy for fighting h.i.v. and aids has not led to reduction in transmissions or reduction in the number of infected people. >> woodruff: ray, thank you. we will be watching the outcome of the expnchs we will certainly be watching your reporting. thank you. >> judy, good to talk to you. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: leaders of eight industrial powers pledged up to $40 billion to bolster democratic reforms in egypt and tunisia. they also demanded, again, that libyan leader moammar qaddafi step down. security forces in syria killed at least eight more protesters.
and the death toll from the tornado in joplin, missouri, rose to 132. and to hari sreenivasan for what's on the newshour online. hari. >> sreenivasan: ray has a video dispatch from rome on "the rundown" blog. and science correspondent miles o'brien offers a final goodbye to the mars rover "spirit." nasa made its final attempt at contact with the craft this week. it's been radio silent for more than a year. plus on "art beat," jeff talks to "washington post" film critic ann hornaday about the cannes film festival and summer movies. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll look at what's behind the recent incidents of violent weather around the country. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice holiday weekend. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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