Skip to main content

tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  December 30, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EST

7:00 pm
from colorado writing this has not happened since college. and mike he says happy new year, everybody, and this one $1.75. >> ines. thank you. that's all of our time. "real money" is next. vladimir putin's engaged in a new cold war with the west but some of the kremlin's loudest critics are right there on the streets of russia. and i'll tell you why more americans are getting evicted from their homes. plus philadelphia's remarky -- rocky middle class. i'm ali velshi this is "real money." ♪
7:01 pm
2014 started off as a triumphant year for russian president vladimir putin. he extended his rift into ukraine, and thumbed his nose at the west while doing it. but thanks to sanctions and sliding oil prices 2015 is already looking to be a year of economic hardship for russia. it should be a growing disenchantment. today hundreds of protesters streamed into red square. they came out to protest a russian court sentencing of alex sigh navalny. we'll have more on that in a moment. but first speaking of money, putin's financial problems are only mounting. rur sh -- russian companies are
7:02 pm
cut off from western credit. as a result companies now face serious problems services more than $550 billion of russian corporate debt. they can't access western banks, so when they have to refinance, they have got to figure out new ways of doing so. meanwhile falling oil prices are cutting into russia's state budget and fuelling a currency crisis. russia's central bank estimates $128 billion was moved out of the country by worried investors in 2014. that's nearly 2.5 times the amount that left the country in 2013. vladimir putin has responded by looking more inward and pivoting russia east towards asia. he has urged russian companies to rely more on russia's domestic market for growth. so far that's not enough to head off a recession that officials now say could shrink the economy
7:03 pm
by 4% in 2015. and with living standards falling for ordinary russians growing economic uncertainty on the horizon, more people may be willing to question or challenge putin and his policies. in a country like russia that inevitably means more repression. we have this report from peter sharpe. >> reporter: aleksei navalny arrived with prosecutors calling for a ten-year term. instead he and his brother were sentenced to three and a half years, be alexei receiving a suspended sentence. his supports claim the trial is another attempt by the kremlin to curb decent in russia. and it will certainly remove one of the most effective opposition campaigners from the political stage while deriving him of a long jail term that would just
7:04 pm
increase his popularity. alex navalny is for men the credible face of opposition. he has been one of the most vocal opponents of vladimir putin, famous for calling the ruling party a bunch of crooks and thieves. but then he was placed under house arrest. throughout his trial he has remained defiant. >> translator: this hunter which has laid their hands on everything in russia and is building resources based futile capitalism will sooner or later fall. >> navalny blames the political establishment for trying to silence him. in just a few years this young anti-corruption blogger has become one of the biggest challenges to president putin's
7:05 pm
grip on power. he is the man the kremlin fears the most the place of political opposition to president putin across russia. the kremlin will be opening the suspended sentence instead of the ten years in jail that the prosecution was looking for will help diffuse the planned mass protest by his supporters. the ruble's dramatic decline threatens to plunge russia into a full-scale economic crisis and no one is to blame but vladimir putin himself that's according to an op-ed in the "new york times" written by experts from the rand corporation. olga is the director of rand center for russia and eurasia. and she joins me now. you may be right, except there are a lot of people on the ground in russia maybe it's because of national sentiment or because of the things they read in the newspaper or see on tv
7:06 pm
who do not hold vladimir putin responsible for this massive economic downturn and the shunning of the world that russia is experiencing. >> that's absolutely true. i think that the narrative in russia continues to be that somehow the united states is causing all of this and it's barack obama fault. >> how does that happen in 2014 going into 2015. russia is a place with the internet. people in countries with controlled media do seem to understand that there is free media around the world. how does this persist? is nationalism something that feed feeds into this. >> absolutely. i think you find everywhere people find the news they like. it's very easy in the united states to use social media, to filter your sources of information until you are only seeing things that you agree with. so one of the reasons that the kremlin has been very successful
7:07 pm
in the campaigns is they fall on very eager ears. they are convincing people of something they do want to hear. it's all everybody else's fault. and what happened in ukraine was a horrible chaotic travesty of democracy and you certainly don't want it to happen at home. i think that is a more appealing message than the alternative. >> you and your colleagues make an important point in this "new york times" piece about continuing to be tough on russia, but you also make a point that ukraine is going to have to very publicly acknowledge that it is not looking to join nato which is a real problem. it's a real issue for -- for russia. so you are saying strengthen nato and make sure we have a
7:08 pm
strong force and a strong attitude toward russia. at the same time ukraine has got a temper its viewpoint? >> look, joining nato is not a level you attain in a video game if you have eaten enough dots. you get five extra lives and you join the nato alliance. that's not how it works. they have to meet certain standards and the rest of the alliance has to agree that they want it as a member. ukraine is nowhere near that. it doesn't mean it's impossible or that it can't have nato aspirations in the long run, but ukraine has to recognize that this is a long way away, and i think that's something that nato recognizes and there's nothing wrong with acknowledging it. in the mean tile they can do whatever they need to do to join
7:09 pm
nato that would be a smart move on its part. >> what is russia going to do in 2015? i mean essentially the facts on the ground in ukraine and crimea and eastern ukraine are frozen. ukraine continues to edge back on any dealings it has with eastern ukraine, at the same time russia is not recognizing that'sern ukraine will be part of russia. is that how i stays for 2015? or is there some resolution to come? >> well, there's still fighting in east ukraine. right? there are still people dying in east ukraine. it's cold. people are having trouble staying warm. there are huge refugee flows. this is a hot conflict and i think that -- and there are continuing talks and conversations. they just aren't getting anywhere as of now. i think there is still a real benefit to be had to all sides from getting the deal and part of the benefit to russia is that getting a deal and helping get
7:10 pm
its forces out of ukraine and helping stabilize the situation in eastern ukraine could get sanctions relief. >> what is your sense of the role that the falling price of oil has had? we spent most of the year talking about natural gas and its impact. natural gas is a puny part of russia's economy compared to oil. this collapse in the price of oil in the last six months has hurt russia harder than the sanctions have. >> i think it's a combination. it's the price of oil. and the sanctions, particularly those that limit access to capital. the country needs to borrow and if it can't do that that has a real effect on the economy. and then there's just a lack of faith in the government and in the economy. and that's going to be the toughest thing for russia to recover from honestly. the price of oil can go up but right now investors have got to
7:11 pm
be looking at russia thinking, wow, i don't know that this is a country i want to put my money into. and i don't even know if sanction relief and higher oil price would fix that. >> thank you for much for your thoughts. the new cold war has russia in a race for riches against the west. i'm going to take you to a place where russians and ukrainians are working side by side. tell me what is on your mind on facebook or twitter. keep it right here. ♪
7:12 pm
7:13 pm
♪ well despite sanctions, plunging oil prices and the rule's dramatic decline, there has been at least one constant in russia's foreign policy the arctic. the region holds billion dollarses of dollars of untapped
7:14 pm
resources, and mass cow has maken note. oil and gas account for 52% of russia's budget the kremlin is looking for ways to replenish its supply. putin is eyeing old soviet outposts as a way to secure his country east future. david has this report from the frozen north. ♪ >> reporter: moscow is beginning to militarize the arctic deploying a series of drones to sore over the frozen tundra while upgrading its navy and air force so they can handle ice in the extreme cold. the reason? as polar's caps melt russia hopes to be in a prime spot to cash in. the region is home to 13% of the world's undiscovered oil, and a third of its natural gas. >> russia's resurgence has been fuelled by hydrocarbons that came from the sub arctic and if
7:15 pm
they are to stay powerful they need more hydrocarbons to come out of the arctic. >> reporter: eight nations lay claim to this landscape, and that's bringing new interest to old russian settlements in the high north. to find out more we headed to an old russian coal mining settlement, which is situated halfway between norway and the north pole. there are only three days to get here helicopter, snow mobile or boat. and although we're heading to a settlement, all of this territory is technically norwegian. but by most accounts this is russia. a state-owned russia company has mined here since the 1930s. russian subsidies still fuel the settlement coffers. even the miners are paid in rubles with salaries as much as
7:16 pm
four times the going rate in russia. >> it's one of the main reasons why people come here. >> reporter: there about 350 coal miners who work in this coal mine alone. we're down a mine shaft in a russia mine. and the workers are broth russian and ukrainian, and they all seem to get along. this coal mine has been producing less coal over the years, but some say it is more of strategic value. with the potential of $4 billion worth of untapped resources, many here think russia is holding on to the area to keep its options open even if falling oil prices and western sanctions are making new exploration tougher. >> the policy of russia the being here is very important for them. >> reporter: the number of arctic shippers have also soared in recent years.
7:17 pm
what russia needs now are arctic ports and lines of communication, it's a big reason why moscow unveiled an ambitious plan to build at least 13 new stations across the arctic. well unlike most of the u.s. the arctic is on all of russia's doorstep and the country has more ice breakers than any other nation. the big question now is how much of an impact western sanctions and low oil prices will have on moscow's long-term plans. joining me is a man who says he expects low oil prices to stick around and that could force vladimir putin to change course. good to see you again, steve. >> good evening. >> i want to continue the conversation i was having with olga, while oil and gas is 52% of russian's income it is
7:18 pm
really a lot more oil than gas. we have been talking about gsa and western union and sanction but really oil is a bigger story. >> it is because when putin is thinking about -- and when the west is thinking about, the sanctions and the economy and the crisis that russia is in now and is heading into next year they are thinking about the -- the arctic. it's the next generation. it's the money that russia will depend on in the next decade in the 2020s. the sanctions put a clamp on -- on that production on -- on that next economy. the other thing, which you mentioned yourself are low oil prices. sanctions are one thing. russia can figure it out if it's given a number of years. it can figure out -- it can bring the chinese in. the chinese will get tired of sanctions, get some new technology, but how long are low
7:19 pm
oil prices going to last? how much will it cost to drill in the arctic. what is the break-even price that russia needs to earn -- to make it worthwhile? a lot of people think we're not going to get to $100 a barrel oil again for a very long time. you could have a gap -- a gap in which the 2020s disappear for russia and it has to wait until the 2030s. >> yeah, and this is important, because this is what you call tight oil. this is not like texas where you drill into the ground and a gusher comes up. it's much more expensive and scientifically involved to drill in the arctic. russia had a deal with exxon mobil, and they had just about begun their work in the arctic when the sanctions hit and exxon had to pull out. what are the implications of not being partners with either exxon mobil or an american to get to this hard-to-reach oil.
7:20 pm
>> first to add one item on to the detail you just gave exxon and rozneft did work together and struck oil. so nay proved that -- that there is oil there. that's the first hard evidence. the state-of-the-art drilling is exxon mobil, bp and not being able to access their technology is a great setback for a number of years. you know we've learned over the decades, remember the soviets were the first ones into space, so you can't -- it would be wrong to underestimate russian resolve when they have to but it would take a number of years to get there. >> and -- and, you know, we know the chinese and russians can do all sorts of things. are they on track to get there or would it be better to
7:21 pm
reestablish relations with a country that knows how to drill in the arctic? >> it's the latter. they only now discovered that they have to. so this is a matter of experience. it's not just looking at the arctic and understanding that you have to drill in per ma frost with very very hot equipment, under very high pressure, and in order to remain safe if there's an environment accident up there, this is disastrous, so they will be worried about that. you -- you have to have experience -- it takes years and years to understand how to work and then you do it and then even after you do it you have to bring the price down. no one knows for sure just looping back again to the matter of cost. >> uh-huh. >> what it will cost to drill in that kind of environment, but one estimate that was floating around -- around a year ago, is that you might need hundreds of
7:22 pm
dollars a barrel to make it work. >> steve good conversation with you as always. thank you for joining us and bringing your wisdom to our viewers over the course of this year. well it has been dubbed the great firewall of china. coming up the latest on gmail's countrywide outage in china. we're back in just two minutes. ♪
7:23 pm
7:24 pm
>> tonight on al jazeera america, at 8, primetime news >> what concerns you the most? bringing you the latest headlines from around the world >> you can really feel the tension here... then at 9, it's america tonight in depth reporting from coast to coast >> would it be dangerous for you go about three blocks that way? >> i wouldn't go by myself... >> at at 10, consider this >> it's the latest push for reform... >> antonio mora brings you unique perspectives on the news of the day >> tonight starting at 8 only on al jazeera america google's gmail now appears to be completely blocked in china. there have been disruptions there since june but users could still access g mail using third-party applications. and now even those are blocked. for more on the story, our
7:25 pm
correspondent has this report. >> reporter: this woman has been trying to access her google email account but hasn't been able to do it for many days. internet users have reported disruption since june but people were able to access their gmail by alternative internet protocols. but all of the alternatives are no longer accessible. some businesses that use gmail as their corporate email are also facing problems. >> translator: i don't have the knowledge about what you just mentioned. please check with the internet information office. but what i can tell you is that china consistently welcomes and supporteds foreign investors in legally conducting business in china. >> reporter: we contacted the chinese internet information office and officials refused to comment, but an editorial blamed google for not obeys laws:
7:26 pm
china wants foreign firms to do business through local partners and to keep data on chinese soil, and companies like google refuse such terms. google continues to say no to what it calls censorship and china continues to clamp down on what it considers a western conspiracy. more than 600 million people are affected by the move. many are resorting to a software that allows you to bypass restrictions. >> translator: the only solution is to use vpn to check your emails. >> because it always has some problems logging on to email. it's not as stable as chinese email account. >> reporter: a strictly controlled internet is what the chinese government considers crucial to maintain power.
7:27 pm
and many other governments including france spain, south korea, iran russia, united states, also apply some sort of regulations or internet monitoring. they may not be as stringent as what internet users call the great firewall of china however. computers are getting smarter faster more sophisticated, can the human brain keep up. this time next year it may well be a robot in this spot. hope not, but jake ward looked at the issue. >> reporter: those of you who drive regularly know this already. but driving is chaos. the sheer amount of data coming at you. the lane markers, and the street signs, the signals, and the rain on the wind shield all of that is an unimaginable amount of data, and before now it was
7:28 pm
assumed that only our sophisticated brains could handle that kind of data and process it for us. but in cars and in all other parts of our lives algorithms are taking over. computers are becoming as good and sometimes better than humans in terms of processing their data. by the end of last year a u.s. government competition for emergency robots had already spawned machines that could navigate over rubble and use human tools, but this year, break-throughs in image-recognition technology are giving machines entirely new abilities. this korean robot unveiled this year can run 46 kilometers, or 28 miles an hour and leap over objects nearly a third its height without breaking stride. and two teams of researchers independently created software
7:29 pm
that can write better and more accurate captions than humans can. that's a first. the algo rhythms are getting simpler and lighter and smaller. drones which we have seen explode in popularity this year can already use gps signals to hover in place and find their way back to their pilot. but several products are already underway to make simple cheap drones that can navigate themselves from place to place on their own. this awareness is making its way into households of course. the information they gather makes them incredibly helpful. but the u.s. government is also in the habit of using our technology to spy on us. so is information like location awareness something you should let into your life. the thermostat uses the information to turn the heat on and off, but if this thing came
7:30 pm
with an nsa logo on it you would probably drown it in the bathtub. google's self driving car technology is still an in-house experiment because no auto maker has gone beyond the most modest technology. but tesla unveiled a new model that accelerates faster than a lamborghini, but can come pick you up. the question after this year is just when exactly the software will take everything from deciding what you eat, to which way you drive to work in the morning. >> well on the story, it's -- on the surface it's a story about a temper tantrum over a bag of nuts. look a little closer and it's a tail of corporate power gone wild. that's coming up in just two minutes. ♪
7:31 pm
7:32 pm
7:33 pm
rescuers in indonesia, they have located debris in a jet that went missing on sunday. at least six bodies have been recovered so far. it's a tragedy that has devastated families of the massenmass mass -- passengers on board. it also raises questions about the expand of the airline. under fernandez, airasia has put into service 150 new airbus airliners the same as the plane that went missing on sunday. and they have additional 25 aircraft on order. this comes amidst a nightmare 2014 for the malaysian airlines
7:34 pm
industry. in march a jet disappeared. and in july you'll remember another malaysia airlines jet was shot down over ukraine with 298 on board. and a former south korean executive now faces criminal charges over the so-called nut rage incident. she was served macadamia nuts in a bag and not a plate, resulting in her becoming so upset that the korean air flight she was on needed to return to the tarmac. harry fawcett is in south korea where the high profile case resulted in arrests today. >> reporter: it is becoming an unwelcome or deal for cho hyun-ah. on december 5th, cho, then a vice president of korean air, shouted at the cabin crew chief, ordered the plane back to the gate in new york and had the man thrown off.
7:35 pm
she standings accused of breaking aviation safety and workplace laws and more generally abusing her powerful position. the extraordinary level of interest stems not just from the fact it all started with an argument over a bag of nuts but also because what this says about the nature of hierarchy and inequality in this society. cho is a third-generation member of one of south korea's corporate giant families the elite of the elite. >> this is just one incidence that actually grabbed some of the public's attention. but i hear almost every month similar incidents that happened within the corporation that does not -- that does not actually end up in this kind of big [ inaudible ]. >> it also highlights the problem of kroezsy relations between big business and regulations.
7:36 pm
on monday the transport ministry admitted that some of its officials tried to hamper the initial investigation in favor of cho and korean eight. eight will be disciplined. cho hyun-ah now awaits trial for offenses which could see her handed a prison sentence. well a couple of years ago, if you were late with the rent the landlord might have let it slide. not anymore. i'm going to tell you why coming up.
7:37 pm
7:38 pm
♪ >> home prices in the united states continue to rise last month though at a slightly slower pace according to latest figures from the nation's leading real estate index. according to the folk at standard & poor's case schiller
7:39 pm
home index, prices rose 4.5% in december compared to the same month of 2013. that's the slowest pace of growth in two years. and that means while home prices are going up they are not overheating. for the nation's 41 million households that rent instead of owning their homes, the year-end news isn't quite as rosy. americans collectively paid 4.9% more rent in 2014 compared to the previous year. zillo says two factors contributed to the rise a rise in renters, and a rise in rent across the country. higher monthly cost coupled with shorter rental properties mean those living with an agreement can find themselves priced out of their homes or worse.
7:40 pm
>> reporter: for 35% of u.s. households renting has become the norm. a safer choice given today's still sluggish economic recovery. but it has translated into a surge of evictions. >> we have a continued growth in the mismatch between the number of well-income households in the rental housing market and the number of units that they can afford. >> eviction laws vary per community, but local stat i.s.ic -- statistics show a startling trend. san francisco left 38%, the state of maine grew 21%. massachusetts 11%, kentucky 8%, and in the last fiscal year alone, new jersey has one eviction filing for every six
7:41 pm
renter households. the cause in experts point to the severe shortage of rental houses seen nationwide. the foreclosure crisis created a new wave of renters, and prevented would-be buyer from staking claims on a new home. in the second quarter of this year, the rental vacancy rate sunk to its lowest level in almost 20 years, while rents, in inflation-adjusted dollars remain close to their peak nationally half of all renters are now spending more than the recommends 30% of their income on housing. up from 38% in 2000. and that means the low-income households living paycheck to paycheck, one stumble can lead to missed rent payments and eviction. >> we're talking about people with $35,000 a year or less and
7:42 pm
when you are spending 50, 60, 70% of your income for your housing, then you don't have any cushion. >> reporter: once evicted researchers have found a host of other concerns can crap up. parents find themselves far from their jobs. children miss school and overall health outcome suffer. federal housing funds have either dried up or suffered bucket budget cuts. and developers are building more apartment buildings, but they are largely targeted high-end renters. >> now zillo protects rents will continue to rice by as much as 3.5%. and the number of renter households is going to grow by another 5 million over the next decade. the state of wisconsin is looking to help farmers preserve land that they are in danger of
7:43 pm
losing to industrial agriculture. >> reporter: america's dairyland, rolling pasture, roaming cattle and picturesque barns. the greener family has farmed in wisconsin since 1872. >> 51 years ago i moved up here. >> julian still helped out on his son's dairy farm. having sold his own. it's nice to see cows. with the growth of large, concentrated dairy operations at the expense of small sustaining herds, the cows are increasingly staying in doors. this is what america's dairyland looks like. vast sheds often filled with thousands of cows who will never get to graze in the surrounding fields. milk is produced but so are millions of gallons of waste. this is no longer the fertilizer
7:44 pm
valued by small farmers, but environmentally hazardous industrial waste. land prices are soaring as dumping ground is found. >> if you think this is preserving farmland as a manurer dump site i get that's one definition of preservation. we would be interested in having more farmers smaller scale, and letting cows eat grass outside. >> reporter: local officials say agricultural is agriculture. >> if it's part of a farm operation, it's meeting the other eligible requirements, then it can be. >> reporter: for joe the lagoons are part of a subsidized agricultural situation that has
7:45 pm
devastated small farms like his. >> our rule schools failed. our rural towns failed. our infrastructure fell apart. and then we wonder why our economy falls apart. all right. coming up philadelphia's rocky middle class a look at why so many families in the city have been knocked down and why so many are still struggling to get back up. ♪
7:46 pm
7:47 pm
7:48 pm
philadelphia has seen a shocking decline in its middle class over the last 40 years. the driving factors behind it include the loss of the manufacturing base and the decline of the city itself high crime and a poor public school system. but there's some good news. a report shows philadelphia's middle class has started to stabilize, but it's different than it was in the '70s. less blue collar more professional. ♪ >> philadelphia is a city beloved for reasons as diverse as the people who live here. celebrated in equal parts for its cheese steaks rich history, and many many a rocky movie. ♪ >> here in south philadelphia lies a gem of a restaurant called victor cafe. it's as rich in history as the city itself. established in 1918 by greg's
7:49 pm
grandfather. victor cafe is as philly as it gets. matter of fact part of the last rocky movie was filmed here. >> what do you love about philly? >> i love the smallness of it where you don't get lost. and if something great happens, it's such a celebration. it's like we're an underdog city we're fighting for respectable respectability. we have a lot of great things here. >> describe what somebody in philly who is middle class feels like to you? >> i mean what is middle class? it's families working hard struggling to make their payments. getting their kids into some kind of a good school. >> it's a middle class struggle common throughout the u.s. but they have a unique twist. the city has lost a quarter of its population, almost 400,000 people. and 43% of that population loss
7:50 pm
was the middle class. nationwide, the middle class has shrunk since 1970 from 60% of the population to 51, but philadelphia's middle class has shrunk considerably more than the rest of the country to just 42%. larry wrote a come press release hencive report for pugh charitable trusts on the decline of philadelphia's middle class. >> our report showed even though there had been a huge decline in the middle class for years. if you look back from 2000 on it is pretty flat. >> the middle class is a reflection of a city's economic health. it fuels the local economy. the middle class uses and pays for a city's services and it serves as a stepping-stone for those who want to climb the economic ladder. but philadelphia's middle class carries a much larger burden than other cities do. for one it's taxes support one of the largest groups of
7:51 pm
low-income residents in the country, second only to detroit. not only that but philadelphia has fewer rich residents, just 9% of the population to offset that burden much lower than other u.s. cities. this is stretching philly's middle class, causing higher taxes and limiting how much money the city can spend on important services like police, fire and updating its aging infrastructure. ♪ >> philadelphia's middle class may have hollowed dramatically since the 1970s, but there is still a solid, albeit much smaller base in a few vibrant neighborhoods throughout the city. this is one of those neighborhoods. traditionally blue collar italian american the area is now in the midst of a transformation as a new middle class of young professionals move in. they could be the foundation of a new middle class here.
7:52 pm
philadelphia magazine news editor brian howard bought a house here in 2009. you could call him the face of the new middle class. >> how does this feel to you as part of a city that has seen decades of hollowing out of the middle class? this feels like a good middle class neighborhood. >> i like it. there are a lot of newer faces on my block, but there are also faces who have been there for decades. >> but it's a tentative piece between the two faces of the middle class. young professionals have been buying up property, and bringing with it many changes. byob restaurants, hipsteres and higher home prices. what do they think of guys like you? >> we get along. there was a sort of a feeling each other out period. the first winter we were here i
7:53 pm
didn't shovel my block right awide, and i got some side long looks. >> those looks are from a middle class that has historically been blue collar. in 1970 philadelphia's work force was roughly equal parts blue collar jobs and white collar. but in the last 40 years, manufacturing jobs plummeted to just 10% of the city's work force, while white collar jobs have almost doubled to 53%. >> people with long term investment in the neighborhood can get priced out. old school barbershop over there, mexican. >> and then what else have we got. >> we have a craft beer bar, and then this is a cigar shop. >> the oldest in south philly. >> yes. >> so does this work? >> make sure you that one.
7:54 pm
>> we got it. [ laughter ] >> clearly he doesn't mind the new philly. >> the guy yelling is a regular in the cigar shop or as he likes to be called antoni you could call him the face of the old middle class. >> so now you have a whole bunch of different people moving in. young professionals moving in. >> yes. >> does that keep the neighborhood solid? >> yes, they have kept our neighborhood solid. it has changed, because their aspects are a little different than ours -- >> because of their age or -- >> both. both. [ laughter ] >> and the biggest problem growing philadelphia's middle class is jobs. that's what larry says the director of pew charitable trusts philadelphia research initiative. he joins us tonight aptly from philadelphia. and it was your report that got us to do this series. we indicated that things have turned in philadelphia. while we're looking at the last
7:55 pm
40 years, the last several have been okay but in the last year the philadelphia area is one of the few that actually lost jobs. how do we explain that? >> i'm not quite sure but it's certainly very disturbing. the job totals have been very lackluster in the region. the region was one of the last to come back to sort of its pre-recession totals. one of the great questions here is sort of what is the next big thing? what is the -- the bet for the region to create jobs? and there are a couple of possibilities. there is no clearance. >> let's talk about the possibilities. when you talk to people in philadelphia, they are a strong sort. they want it to work. and when you talk to people who are thinking about making their lives in philadelphia there are people who worry, i would if not for the safety and public education situation.
7:56 pm
and yet there's hope it can come back and it can come back well. what are some options? >> well there are a couple. there is a strong higher education and hospitals. but comcast which is headquarters here is building a huge innovation and technology center in the center of the city. it will be ready to go in a few years. there will be 15 to 1800 jobs there. and there is hope that will create some spinoffs for the new middle class as you called them in that report. on the old middle class section for manufacturing, blue collar jobs there's some hope there too, and that's sort of this idea of an energy hub. now a lot of cities hope to sort of become an energy hub. philadelphia is one of them. the marcellus shale drilling in pennsylvania is obviously not far from here.
7:57 pm
the thought is that a lot of that gas could be pipelined to philadelphia, where we have a lot of refinery capacity now, and the presence of cheap gas in the region could spur some -- i wouldn't say a revival of manufacturing, because it's obviously not going to come back to what it was, but at least an up tick in manufacturing, creating good solid, blue collar, middle class jobs. that's the hope. it's -- you know it's not -- it's not in the immediate future, but there are people working to make that happen. >> we just saw in the last gubernatorial election there was real frustration with the idea that the last governor the outgoing governor really cut funding to public schools and really didn't make that a priority. we now have a municipal election coming up in 2015. are philadelphiians fired up about change that needs to occur in their city to make it that
7:58 pm
livable attractive place that it could be? >> that's going to be a big question that i guess we'll find out in the election next year. there isn't anybody running right now who looks that much like a change agent. but the schools are a huge concern here. they are by almost any definition, they understood -- under funded. and if you are somebody who -- you are a young middle class person maybe having a family, or thinking about having a family the question obviously is where are you going to send your kids to school? there are options. there are private schools. there are some charter schools that do well. there are some public schools that do well but, you know, it's hard to count on anything because of the funding situation. you just -- from one year to the next you kind of don't know
7:59 pm
what is going to happen. and at a certain point i think a lot of people are going to give up on that. the millennials love city life. they want to stay. they are going to try to stay but the education system makes it hard. >> larry thanks so much for helping us on our continued coverage of philadelphia. and we look forward to continuing our conversations with you in the new year. today's middle class is under pressure nationwide. tune in tomorrow for a special one-hour show, america's middle class, rebilling the dream. here is a quick taste. >> reporter: an intimate look at middle class families. >> i panicked. >> there's no way to pay for it. >> she's like my role model in perseverance.
8:00 pm
>> reporter: real life solutions you can't afford to miss. >> we're making it the best that we can. >> that's our show for today. i'm ali velshi. thank you for joining us. ♪ hello, everybody this is al jazeera al jazeera america. i'm david shuster in new york. john siegenthaler is off. recovery effort today off of the coast of indonesia, crews found wreckage and bodies from flight 8501. we will have the latest from the ongoing search and from investigators trying to determine why the jet liner plunged into the sea. an outspoken kremlin critic was just arrested at a rally in moscow. we'll bring you an update. line of


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on