tv Your Bottom Line CNN March 16, 2013 6:30am-7:00am PDT
300,000 more millionaires last year and there are almost 9 million millionaires in the country, that's how many there were before the recession. the financial consulting firm spectrum says the stock rebound helped a lot of households recover wealth but not all of america is benefiting from stock market gains. overall worth has gone down more than 12 million people are unemployed and the census bureau says over half of americans are poor. >> a tiny discovery could have big implications about the way we think about world exploration. few centuries ago scientists based at chicago's museum unearthed a 600-year-old coin off the coast of kenya. they say there was proof there was trade. it has a square hole poemly to ke possibly to keep it on a belt. it was issued by an emperor in the ming "dynasty."
in our next hour we'll meet a 4-year-old boy with a rare eye condition who just achieved a big milestone, you don't want to miss that. thanks for watching today. i'll see you at the top of the hour. >> "your bottom line" starts now. good morning, everyone, i'm christine romans. waistlines in america are growing and so is the controversy over what to do about it. more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. this week, a court struck down new york mayor michael bloomberg's attempt to put serious restrictions on the sale of large sugary drinks so what does this have to do with money? a lot. take a look. this chart shows obesity among adults in the last 25 years, going into the red here means almost a third of the adults are obese, the highest rates of obesity are found among lower income groups. people with less than a high school degree have the highest ebeesity rates and some of the lowest in the nation.
evidence is emerging it's largely an economic issue t has to do with the energy and density of food, that's right energy density. good tasting and convenient processed foods with added sugar and fat, here in new york a quarter pound of salmon costs about $5, gives you 161 calories. quarter pounder from mcdonald's, three bucks and around 510 calories. people sacrifice the nutrients they need for cheaper choices and with those choices comicalries. according to new york mayor bloomberg, saving money in the short run hurts everyone in the long run. >> obesity is going to bankrupt this country because the health care costs of people overeat something just growing leaps and bounds much faster than we can come up with money to pay for it. it's a big problem. >> where in america should we have the freedom to be fat or do the poor need to be protected from obesity by their
government? mississippi state senator tony smith is author of "the anti-bloomberg law" and amy, the author of a book called "lunch wars." tony, you introduced this so-called anti-bloomberg bill that focuses on limiting restaurant regulations. that includes preventing limits on sugary drink sizes as well as banning any requirements to post calorie counts, even laws about toys in kids meals. what do you see as the government's role, if any, in encountering the obesity crisis that's threatening public health? >> well, thank you for having me this morning. i think it's a far more outreaching than what we're discussing here. it's more about government intrusion into business and putting regulations in place that could be detrimental to their business. the bill that we have passed here in the state of mississippi does not do away with what the fed is already requiring, if you own 20 or more restaurants you still have to plot nutritional
values, you to have it on your menus and have it presented for the consumer. our bill is all about protection to the free rights operating business and there again we don't want a hodgepodge of municipalities across our state, coming up with their own regulation and then if you decide to do businesses or open a business at a different state or a different city, then you're going to be looking at all these different regulations that could be there. >> in one of the largest national studies, obesity rates increased by 10% for all u.s. children 10 to 17 years old between just the years 2003 and 2007, for low income children, though, the increase is ballooning 23% during the same period. amy do, low income americans in particular need to be protected from obesity? >> yes, as you said our government needs to step in because of the way our food system works the less healthy food is the cheaper food. >> so it's not necessarily a
free market. you've got the system is rigged so it's delivered the most calories and fat at the lowest cost so people aren't making a free choice really. >> exactly and it has to do with how our farms are subsidized and it worked at one point we were trying to feed a hungry nation. now we're overfeeding a nation, growing more food per acre but we're also having less nutrition per acre so people are hungry, they have to eat more in order to get the same amount of nutrition. >> the bloomberg restriction or sugar tax, what is the solution? >> you would think as a health advocate i'd support the bloomberg proposition but i think whenever you ban something like that, in a free market, there's always a workaround if you're a vendor or store owner you'll sell those sugary drinks two for the price of one or free refills, whatever. i don't think that works. things that encourage people to make better choices by making fruit and vegetables less expensive. the cost of fresh fruit and
vegetables has gone up 40% in the past 20 years while the cost of the fatty and sugary foods has gone down 20%. >> by 2030 the robert wood johnson foundation estimates medical costs of obesity related diseases will increase by $66 billion. the loss in economic productivity $390 billion to $580 billion. i'm all for the free market but as a restaurant owner when people have high calorie choices don't you end up paying in higher health care costs down the line? >> i'm not sure. i think we got to go back we have got to educate people. we have basically taken physical education out of our school systems. we're letting our kids sit on the couch playing their playstation, they're not getting the activity that's needed. another issue that i have is those low income folks, they can take their ebt card and they can
buy at the convenience store, they can buy a honey bun or a soft drink with that, where long ago not very long ago but it was only for staple items, you know, your flour, your meats, those type things but now we're trying to get so convenient to allow them to buy anything that it's a lot easier to buy those convenience foods and not go home and cook a meal. >> you can talk about what the roles of government are but of parents. mcdonald's is going to start with an egg white mcmuffin with 250 calories around the country because of demand from people who want a lower calorie option. there's no government pressure on that. that's a company doing it because it thinks there's a market there. that's one way that the marketplace is speaking, amy and tony nice to see you. have a great weekend. coming up, will smith played him in the movies. >> that's my money. how is somebody just going to take my money? >> chris gardner overcame poverty and homelessness to
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party...... finding you the perfect place, every step of the way. hotels.com the dout keeps hitting record price, home prices are rising but many of you tell me you don't feel any more secure today than you did five years ago. you say it's feeling like one america with two economies. the rich and then the rest struggling just to get by. poppy harlow introduces us to one woman who feels that way. >> reporter: for many americans who don't own stocks, the recent giddiness on wall street feels a little remote. >> the dow closed at record highs. are you feeling that? >> i wish i was. >> reporter: could you call single mom nicole lowling lucky to have a job in this economy but the reality is she's barely getting by and the stock market boom means nothing to her. is it frustrating to see the
headlines? >> yes it does but what am i going to do? >> reporter: a mental health technician at the veterans administration, nicole and her teenaged daughter diamond are renting after losing their home to the bank. how hard is it to get by? >> exextremely hard. >> reporter: she's one of the 46% of americans who have zero stock investments and as the markets boom, the gap between them and the wealthy grows. >> when the stock market rises significantly, it increases the gap in wealth between those upper income households and other households in the economy. >> reporter: just how much is stock ownership skewed toward the healthy? it was calculated the wealthiest 10% of americans own more than 80% of stocks. the bottom 60% just 2.5%. but with the salary in the $40,000s, she says there's nothing extra to put towards retirement savings or diamond's college education. >> i can't afford it.
>> reporter: why? >> it takes away from my necessities, my daily necessities. >> reporter: has the economy gotten better for you in the last year or so? >> no, it's actually gotten worse and it's going to get worse. >> reporter: nicole's salary hasn't budged in three years but her cost of living has gone up and she fears furloughs from the forced budget cuts. that housing rebound that's helping many folks? if you've lost your house already like nicole, that boom doesn't matter to you either. >> there's no more middle class. i used to consider myself middle class but now no. >> reporter: what do you feel? >> working poor. >> reporter: poppy harlow, cnn, new york. >> so are we one america with two economies? ali velshi is host of "your money" and chris gardner from chicago, we met chris when his remarkable journey from homelessness to stockbroker was drama advertised in will smith's movie "the pursuit of
happyness." >> you got a dream, you got to protect it. people can't do something themselves, they want to tell you, you can't do it. you want something, go get it. period. >> so chris, is there no middle class in america anymore? >> no, there is not, and i've known that for some time. there's only rich folks and working folks and let me define both of them for you. rich folks, if you are an owner of a highly profitable business or a significant equity player in such business, you qualify as rich folks. if, however, no matter what your salary is, you could be downsized, laid off, outsourced or fired at will, you're working folk. there is nothing in the middle. however, in the middle there is opportunity. >> what kind of opportunity? here is the thing and let me bring in ali for a second
because this is what i find so amazing. you talk about how people are working day to day and just can't feel the stock market rise. >> sure. >> a rising stock market, ali, has to be better for everyone than a falling stock market. >> regardless of what chris says which is true there's inequality amongst people, the idea that people who are investing are getting more should have a relationship to the economy, it should make them invest more t should make them hire more but for regular folk who have a little money, one of the things you and i have written about in our book is the ability to put some money away, start to participate in what's going on so whether or not there are two economies and there may well be and there is a shrinking middle class, do what we can to partake in that economy. >> chris, what do you think people can do, we profiled makes $40,000, has a kid she's like to send to college. is there room for her to be an investor? >> you no he what? first of all, let me say this, this dow or this market high that everyone is so tremendously excited about, i don't think
that average americans are participating at all for two reasons. number one, trust and confidence in financial institutions. there's going to be and continues to be a great deal of talk about more regulation and more regulation and legislation in the securities business and there should be, but how do you regulate trust? >> while we're talking about trust for five years, chris, people have gotten rich. debris we have to have the conversation. >> somebody is making money. >> we can't wait for it to get perfect if there is an opportunity to make money. >> i am not saying that others have not. i am talking about the 46%, christine, that you mentioned. >> yes. >> those people have been so devastate devastat devastateder in' just now recovering. it's taken them a much longer time to recover. >> i get it. >> and there is a lack of trust and confidence, and until that trust and confidence restores, those people are not coming back into the market as they once
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so think of building your wealth as a three-legged stool. you've got your job, your home and your investments. right now the first leg looks a little wobbly, yes, jobs are coming back. 236,000 jobs were added last month, but wages stagnant and 12 million people out of work. there's little leverage to ask for a raise right now for a lot of people. the next leg of that stool has finally stopped wobbling, home
prices rose more than 7% last year, but still only back to 2003 levels the last leg, that's feeling the most solid right now. a fed-induced rally has driven the dow to record highs. both the dow and s&p 500 have more than doubled since the march 2009 lows. my colleague ali velshi and chris gardner are still with us. ali, let's talk about the housing leg. you and i agree if you can, now's the time to buy. . some people are still under water and slammed. will housing ever again be a real wealth builder? >> i've run the numbers on this. it's not a wealth builder the way you think other things can be. you can get maybe 10% or 11% in a good year, but there are costs to owning a house. and in the end, people say i bought my house for $150,000 sold it for $200,000. you didn't make $50,000, you paid a lot of money to finance the $150,000. it's a good thing to do if you can afford it and you're prepared to let it appreciate. it should not be your central
investment. >> what about investing in the stock market, chris? is it -- are you advising -- are you buying stocks at the high? advising people to buy stocks here? and how does somebody who doesn't have trust get in the stock market at highs? >> you know what, right now again, so many americans that 46%, those people are still trying to recover. and i personally am not in any hurry to be chasing this market right now. i don't have confidence in the numbers. i don't know what it's really based on. okay, we had a good number recently in the jobs market, that's one month out of how many in the last five years? >> 30, 30, 30 months of job growth. chris, i love you, but this is nonsense. i mean, the fact is that there have been ways to make money in the housing market for five years. ways to make money in the stock -- i don't trust anybody any more than anybody else does. we're at the front line of seeing how untrustworthy banks have been and regulators have been, but there's a whole bunch of people who increase their net worth by 20%, 30%, 40% over the
last five years while the rest of us are busy not trusting anybody. i get -- >> those people, sir -- those people, sir. >> what are you talking about, everybody could have been invested. >> and those are two great big "fs." excuse me, sir. those are two huge "fs." if they had the credit and if they had the cash. >> the fact is, somebody could have been in the stock market with $25 a month and making money. but if you keep on telling everybody not to trust anyone, that's fantastic. while everybody sits out and doesn't trust, other people will make money in the stock market. >> how do we get the 46% to partake in what is wealth -- we're seeing wealth creation in housing and the stock market. >> first of all, those people, again, it comes down to things that cannot be instantly done.
trust and confidence. and those people, again, have been decimated. it's going to take more time, christine for them to come back. young people, those young people that you talked about in your earlier segment. those young people, if you went to college in 2007, which we'll say was the last good, you thought you'd come out in 2011, get a job, go on and do what you wanted to do with your life. well, the truth of the matter is, they've now come out of school, tens of thousands of dollars in debt. no jobs and they've got to move back at home with mom and pop if mom and pop haven't lost the house. >> so we go back to the original -- the original issue, which is there are people right now who are playing offense, right? who are making money and there are other people who are sitting on their hands because they either can't or won't make a move. what does it take to dislodge that confidence and get the spirits going again so we don't have two americas and there's a bigger middle. we've got to leave it there, guys. nice to see both of you.
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