tv 2018 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books CSPAN April 21, 2018 4:59pm-7:00pm EDT
reagan, big surprise, in '87 essentially the rise of the right-wing talkers began. and that was, essentially, the media echo chambers that we live in. we're in one right in this room, and there's another set of them out there on the roads of america where people listen 24/7 to voices that are paid to exalt their grievance and to try to keep them, i think, from experiencing their vulnerability, right? the way you get votes is that you tell people that brown people are going to come and, you know, fear of a brown planet rather than getting them focused on whether government's going to help them with their health care. it's, you know, the politics of racial resentment over the politics of economic uplift. it's the old story of race with a new costume. and the fact is that the fair beness doctrine was in place -- fairness doctrine was in place to try to make sure it wasn't perfect, but it was a spoiler plate on propaganda. and as soon as it was gone, the rise of this other kind of media that was essentially propaganda
to frighten mostly older white people arose. and people, i think david and sarah were on to this early on, as was i. trump really just inherited their audience and their ethos. they've been talking about and he's been talking about the same line of nonsense, basically the paranoid style in american thought that the cultural historian richard hostettler talked about. they're not just coming for your religion or your gun, they're coming for your life. this is 30 or 40 years of this kind of indoctrination, and i think all of us who sort of aren't tuned into that set of stories were really shocked. my god, how could this guy become successful? how could these ideas resonate? because we weren't listening to those stories, and we weren't aware that they had started to take over a significant -- a minority, but a significant and politically active part of the american electorate. >> and i'll point out that trump sort of being a creature of television both as a consumer of it as we all know but also
appearing on it is, effectively, an actor. >> right. >> exploited that and took advantage of that. one of the best anecdotes that really taught me a lot about president trump that came off the 2016 election is during that campaign he would look, you know, in rooms much like this, a little bigger from the stage, he'd be able to tell if the cameras were recording live with a little light on, and if they weren't, he would amp up what he had to say. okay, now i'm going to say something a little flamboyant, and they're going to start covering me live on cable. david, do you have anything to add? >> well, i spent the 1313 years i was -- 13 years i was at "the new york times" and i guess 7 or 8 years after that documenting how government policies were creating the rise of poverty in america, and i wrote a aprily of books about this stuff -- a trilogy of books. and and the bottom 90% of americans have real grievances.
today when you take into account the loss of pensions, the reduced quality of health care plans and other fringe benefits and especially job security, the bottom 90% of americans are worse off than he were in the mid 1960s, and donald exploited this. and i know that donald watched me on television talking about the stuff in my books because he called people who told me -- donald doesn't read books, but he distilled the message that i had. and i said in 2012 anybody who runs for president on the platform in my books, people in washington are silently, subtly picking your pocket, taking money out of it, giving it to goldman sachs. remember, he went after goldman sachs. and general electric and others will get elected president. and that's what he did. he exploited those uncertainties and fears, and that's one reason he might end up serving two
terms. >> up to you. >> we'll get to that too. [laughter] >> might. not will, might. >> now, sarah, you know, this picks up on what i was going to ask you next which is -- you talked about tracking the death of the american dream in realtime and specifically that the age-old institutions are weaker than suspected. >> yeah, absolutely. you know, it's been a rough 15 years, you know? we had two wars, we had a recession, and we have these structural problems that predate it. you know, i can't remember the fairness doctrine that steve was describing. i can't remember, you know, the lack of this extreme inequality that david was just describing. i'm from the generation that has no real, you know, adult experience in a functional economy, and i do, you know, as i say, have higher expectations. i, you know, want this change, i demand that this be changed, you know, regardless what the government has to think about that. but i do feel like, you know, younger people while we know
that we're suffering, we mow that we're struggling to -- we know that we're struggling to get by, the reasons for it are not always clear. and the american dream, i mean, that's a story your grandparents tell you, maybe your parents. i don't think that we have a dream now. you know, we have circumstances. i'm not sure we have choices. we have reactions. and so, you know, if we are going to be this unfortunate historical juncture in time, you know, where we are maybe witnessing the erosion of our democracy into an autocracy, i think that it's important that we take a wide scope p, that we go back decades, we rook at the historical press tent for this at age-old -- precedent for this and then, you know, try to figure out, you know, how to remedy this. a lot of people keep saying, you know, we've got to get rid of trump, we've got to go back to normal. but normal was not good for a lot of people. normal was really -- [applause] you know, it was good for an elite few, you know?
mostly for rich, white men. and lately for very rich, white men. so i think that we need to reconsider what normal life in america is supposed to look like. >> now -- go ahead if you guys want to applaud. steve, you know, we talked a little bit about this idea of things being turned into a laugh line. >> yep. >> and, you know, the need for real civic discussion and perhaps how jon stewart might have led to the rise of president trump. >> ooh. well, i'm not ready to say that. [laughter] don't throw anything. but i do have a chapter sort of a bad story which is the bad story that our court jesser thes will rest -- court jesters will rescue us. i think that the rise of propagandistic, highly -- i want to say sort of paranoid, aggrieved right-wing media has driven a lot of the discourse and has been underscrutinized and underregulated, frankly. so they're out there portraying america as a horror show, as
carnage, you know, your life is at risk. they've understood the basic principle in fiction if you're unmoored from the reality of what's going on and you don't really want to talk about the systemic circumstances that keep people mired in poverty and so forth, then you can create another narrative that ratchets up the threat level. they're pouring over the borders, those brown people, they're coming to get you. sharia law's in your community, etc. so the right has constructed a kind of horror movie. and on the left i think the response to our growing civic -- but that story is at least a coherent story that justifies how they feel, that they feel disempowered, they feel a sense of declining utility, and those feelings are real and exploitable. there's nothing like poking at people's primal negative emotions to get them to behavior in particular ways, politically or otherwise. on the left i think we have reacted -- i say this as, you know, a flaming commie -- [laughter] we have reacted to a seasons of despair and confusion -- a sense
of despair and confusion about this invisible, corrupt government that's an alliance between big business and government with a sense of disstress and anguish and sense of helplessness. and we really need therapy about it. and what jon stewart and colbert and samantha bee and these other brilliant comedians do is give us therapy. and they turn -- and i think it's very emotionally helpful to us. but i think it drains our body politic of a certain kind of vital sense of outrage and even despair. we're sort of looking for other people to solve the problem, but we're the solution to the problem. we determine, we are the subjects of history, not the objects of historiment if there's going to be -- history. if the pendulum is going to swing back in a direction more merciful and common sense calcar we have to be the engineers of that swinging. what's happened, and i write about this broadly in america, everything has been turned into an adjunct of the entertainment business. and what jon stewart does, god
bless him, he hones people's political faculties, he does lots of good things. he's a great comedian. but in sum, what he's done is converted civic dysfunction into disposable laughs. and if you think about it, the line that he's been preaching -- again, just to make people laugh and make less the grief of his circumstance -- media's corrupt and politics is totally corrupt. they're all bums. it was really the most successful line that trump was preaching at his rallies. >> now, i want to make sure to leave a lot of time for your questions, and it's all -- i think we've gotten a little dark. i've got two more sort of depressing questions -- [laughter] and then i promise, we're going to turn to kind of like the solutions and where we're going from here. next to david. you write that trump is a clear present danger to the whole world. talk about that in the lens of what we're seeing with potentially something good coming out of the north korea discussions. >> well, donald may get
successful with north korea. not everything is going to go badly. before trump took office, i was very concerned that if he could find an excuse to suspend the constitution, he would do so. good news is that there are surveys now of the military officer corps that show deep suspicion and distrust of donald trump, so i don't think that'll happen. [applause] but this is a man who talked casually about killing 25 million people in north korea. and were he to do that, we would become a pariah nation that nobody would deal with. everybody or would withdraw from us and separate us. he is creating enemies for us. he is an absolute poster boy for not just isil which has been on the run since during the obama administration, but every radical jihadist in the middle east. he's an absolute poster boy. and when i was in the middle
east back in the fall, that was absolutely confirmed to me by people i interviewed from countries all over the middle east. so donald doesn't know what he's doing. donald doesn't know anything. quite literally. one of his professors at penn reportedly said of him he's the dumbest student i ever had. [laughter] i quote donald in my book "it's even worse than you think" as saying, essentially, he is the world's greatest expert on taxes through all time. well, i'm an authority on taxes. my next book is a proposed new tax code for america and other countries. >> can it fit on a postcard? >> huh? >> can it fit on a postcard? >> you won't have to file a tax return. but the essential point of this is donald claims to be this great expert. when he testified under oath, he knows nothing of accounting. accounting is so important to tax that, you know, i am also the world's greatest airplane designer of all time. no one knows more about airplane
design than i do. what's a wing? >> right. [laughter] >> so now one thing i also, reading all of these books made me think a lot about charlottesville and sort of -- i viewed that as a turning point in this country both in the perception of the president and also how a lot of people felt. and i want to start with sarah on this, and you guys can feel free to jump in as well. what is the view in flyover country of what happened there and sort of this conversation about race and really intense, sometimes ugly conversation and rhetoric? and you obviously covered the response to michael brown's death in ferguson and kind of how that grew into what we're seeing now. >> right. you know, to clarify one thing, you know, i had the title tongue in cheek because of the way that people on the coast refer to everything between it as flyover country, but it's not a monolith. it's a lot of diverse perspectives, diverse groups of people. in terms of reception to
charlottesville, you know, you're going to find that as well. what i thought was interesting about or charlottesville is that a lot of the country i think, of course, recognized trump was a racist, was afraid to say it, recognized he was a white supremacist, was afraid to say it. i think this kind of forced people to come out and say it. in my mind, when you launch your campaign calling mexicans rapists and murderers and go on to denigrate basically every ethnic group, your campaign should have been called out and castigated by the media from the start. this guy shouldn't have been able, you know, to get off his feet. [applause] and then, unfortunately, it's not what happened. it was treated as entertainment, or it was played down. or this was this sort of, oh, he's just kidding. and, you know, when somebody -- even if they're just kidding, if they have that attitude and they hold executive power, then you're in for a really terrible situation. and trump has not condemned neo-nazi groups, has not condemned the kkk, and then with
charlottesville people were forced to confront that and to confront bannon. and, you know, we have a problem of systemic racism. it's not just a matter of feelings, it's not just a matter of what people like to call identity politics which is really civil rights. and civil rights in this country are on the decline are. voting rights are in trouble since the partial repeal of the vra. we have these very concrete things that have gone backwards especially in the last five years that need to be remedied, you know? if i go into ferguson, you know, it'll take a lot. but, you know, one thing i will tell you living in st. louis is that there is not reform after ferguson. there was a lot of media attention, there were a lot of protests, but things have remained the same. you know, black teenagers, black men are still being killed by police who can walk free. municipal governments in the st. louis metro region are still ripping off black drivers, you know, charging them for tickets. we have a jail called the work
house that has inhumane conditions. we didn't get change. we need to have actual reform and not just talk of it. and when someone comes out like trump with these, you know, bigotry, with this vile kind of hate red, you -- hatred, you cannot treat that as a joke or entertainment. you need to assume the worst and then protect the most vulnerable. that is our responsibility as citizens. [applause] >> i'll point out if anyone's interested in that particular topic, i'll recommend one of our book prize finalists. i had the category of current interests that i awarded the prize to last night. it didn't win, "locking up our own" by james forman jr. which also won the pulitzer prize this week for nonfiction. really terrific. do either of you want to jump in on that? >> what sarah said. [laughter] >> just quickly one thing that i think became like one of the bad stories that i try to interrogate in the book is we
tried to tell a story about how trumpism was fueled by economic anxiety. i think people found this very comforting because then there would be some sort of remedy. in fact, there was a candidate who was in a real way trying to take on economic injustice, and he came out of nowhere and had an incredibly successful grass roots campaign, right? bernie sanders. what the social scientists have revealed is that, actually, the central predicter for support for trump was racial resentment. and the second predicter -- and i'm sure sarah knows this chapter and verse -- was something they called the authoritarian mindset. simple, punitive solutions to big, complicated problems. immigration, big, complicated problem. solution, build a wall, right? not being an authoritarian, but an authoritarian mindset. the other thing that i would just trace out a little bit is this has very real applications, sort of in terms of the larger corporate interests, the special
interests. if you are the law and order candidate who runs a racialized campaign, ginning up fear about fear of a brown planet essentially, if that's your pitch, then you are more than likely and you run also on keeping those immigrants out, you're more than likely to distract from the real conversation we should be having which is how to we reform our criminal justice system. that's the real conversation you have the if you're worried about -- if you're worried about mass incarceration and systemic problems. but if it's about law and order and you can just gin up enough racial resentment to get yourself elected and depend on a kind of tribal allegiance, because the real despicable actors in all this, in my view, are the folks who said, well, i don't like everything he says -- [laughter] but i'll still pull the lever. the ones who essentially went for a kind of tribal loyalty. which was most people. there are very few people who said i loved everything he said, and i stand behind him, me and
my skinhead comrades. [laughter] that wasn't the profile. it was everybody making excuses and mitigating and saying yes but, and i'll just choose this off the menu. but if you're the law and order candidate and you get into office, the first thing you do is make sure you pass or initiate a bunch of draconian measures so that the prisons are filled with undocumented workers, and then you privatize the prisons. and isn't it convenient that the people who contributed to your campaign run that prison industrial complex? it's happening right in front of our eyes. it's not even hidden from view. >> which is a good transition to what will be my final question, and then we'll start getting questions from the audience. so we are 198 days from the next elections, midterm elections. obviously, here in california the june 5th primary -- i'm sure everyone in this room is registered to vote. given that and sort of what is the state of the republican party right now as democrats appear poised to at least have a very good opportunity to win
back control of one chamber of congress, the u.s. house? in particular there's a lot of very competitive races here in southern california and throughout california. so i'll ask all of you what your predictions are for the midterms given what we know about the sort of people that support the president and what's happened since. >> well, one thing that's disturbed me is that the republicans have been acting as if they fear no consequences from unpopular policies whether it's the repeal of obamacare, whether it's the tax plan. these are policies that no one likes including people who voted for trump. normally that would make them maybe change their behavior, change the policy itself. they don't care. and so you have to sit and ask, well, why? why do they feel like they're not at risk? and i think that's because they have mechanisms in play to manipulate the results of the election. and we already saw some of these mechanisms in 2016 after the partial repeal of the vra. we had new voter id laws that disenfranchised voters or. we had foreign experience, both
prop began da and possibly, you know, hacked databases. and if you combine those two things, you know, you can get in a situation where you might be able to manipulate the vote. and so i am worried about that. you know, we need transparency. we need, you know, integrity to these elections. we cannot assume that they will be free and fair. one other thing -- and this is sort of like my worst fantasy, so sorry i'm sharing it with you. [laughter] you know, russian interference is a serious problem, it's something that we need to address, you know, in a forthright way which, of course, trump is unwilling to do because he's in hock to the russians. but one thing i can envision the gop doing is if there's a democratic sweep or big win which i think is possible if you look at what happened in alabama, virginia, other places, they might try to dismiss that win. and i think that they might use a variety of narratives to do that. and one might be this is illegitimate, it was rigged because russia intervened or something like that.
there's no reason for russia to intervene on behalf of the democrats because the reason they intervened on the first place was because of sanctions. the democrats wanted those sanctions, the republicans did not because it benefits them financially -- trump's partners, that is. so if that narrative suddenly comes out, and i could certainly see people like roger stone and others propagating it. just bewarely and push for your -- be wary and push for transparent elections, watch out for voter disenfranchisement, and don't take anything for granted. [applause] >> yeah. >> i think the democrats are undoubtedly going to take back the house. they might take the senate. but what are the democrats for? that's the problem. i mean, i can tell you what the republicans are for, registered republicans. they are for the proposition that the reason the economy isn't better is the rich don't have nearly enough. and if we get the rich more, then they'll invest in jobs. but they won't do it til we get
them more, because they're on a kind of strike. you give tax cuts that add 10% to the publicly-traded national debt, and you pass more subsidy laws for them like the trump tax bill provision that increases subsidies for corporate -- for private jets. and then you finance this by taking away from the children the disabled, the elderly and the sick; that is, those who can't fight back. that's real clear. what are the democrats for? they need to have a campaign. you know, what they are for, what they're going to do for you. and until they get it and get a program that appeals to people, they won't have continuing majorities in congress even though they should be the majority party. >> yeah. so i just would add a couple of things. when you are a minority party with incredibly up popular policies, you have -- unpopular policies, you have to figure out a way to win, a path.
and i think the right and the republicans, modern conservative movement has been very effective at essentially getting people so exhausted and distressed by civic discourse in political campaigns, it's a conscious strategy because the sort of dark matter in our democracy is civic apathy, right? who won the 2016 election? the 104 million americans who didn't even bother to exercise their franchise, right? >> yeah. >> that's who won. and that is a very useful tool. putin certainly saw it. he saw that window. and the republicans have seen it as well. sometimes as a conscious effort to depress the vote literally through voter suppression, legacy of jim crow and so forth. but just as frequently it's an effort to get especially younger voters to just turn off to the whole thing or view it as some, you know, ugly -- reality tv show for ugly people or something that jon stewart jokes about. and that's kind of a crisis. les moonves, you know, said to a
bunch of goldman sachs executives, well, gee, donald's terrible for america but, hey, it's good for cbs. the bucks are rolling in. if the chairman of cbs announces his moral bankruptcy so blithely to a room of businessmen, then you know that the fourth estate at this point is in a tacit alliance with folks who want to make everything dirty and dirty the waters and get people turned off from politics. and that's deeply distressing to see that. but i think that's -- if the republicans are banking on that, that enough people will get turned off. there is some signs of hope. i mean, after all, conor lamb won in that district. [applause] yeah, right. he won because people, he talked with people about how he was going to try to solve their problem. david o'rourke is going around texas trying to talk with people about what is happening and how he might improve their circumstances. and, you know, i will tell you i
know exactly what the left's policy should be, what the democrats should be reading -- running on. in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who earn more than they possess is the central position of progress. in our day it appears as the struggle of free men to gain and hold the self-right of government of as against the special interests who twist the methods of government into machinery for defeating the popular will. at every stage and under all circumstances, the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege and to give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth. that is nothing new. all i ask in civil life is what you fought for in the civil war. that was teddy roosevelt. that's his new nationalism speech. [applause] yeah. well, he said that in 1910. it's not that complicated. folks on the left and, you know,
the democratic party, it's pretty simple. you simply have to call out people in the castles and quit falling for this ridiculous class warfare nonsense. i think people on the left are so timid, they're so sort of in in thissal of this kind of capitalist algorithm that they can't speak in a common sense way about the basic morality, sort of the ideas that are in the sermon on the mount. the beatitudes. these good stories sufficient fuse our religious tradition, and they're almost never cutsed in our political -- discussed in our political realm. and bernie sanders talked about that stuff. >> a very nice way to wrap with up. [applause] i'm going to get to your questions, but one thing i will say, the l.a. times wants to turn people on to politics, and if you're interested in california politics, 1:20 p.m. tomorrow at the l.a. times central stage we will have a conversation about that and a lot of the particulars about these races and the race for governor in california. we have time for a few questions so please raise your hand if you
have one. we will get to as many as we can before these authors have to go sign books in signing area one, and please make sure it ends in a question mark and is brief. [laughter] >> my question for sarah, i'm actually from st. louis originally too, and i live in -- i've been here for 20 years, and i just really struggle with talking to family and friends back there about all of this. and i don't ever feel i can make any headway. and i just wondered if you had any thoughts on how we can have conversations. we're just so polarized and split. a lot of it is religious, i think, and abortion. do you have any thoughts? >> thank you. >> yeah. i'm going to guess by your question you're more liberal than your family back home? yeah. you know, in st. louis you really get the full spectrum of political ideology. what i've found possible and helpful is to find one set of common ground. sometimes i find it to be something like environment. the environment or, you know,
state parks, national parks, something kind of that seems apolitical. another thing actually is presumption. i think that both sides, i think everyone in america is fed up with corruption. the difference is, you know, who they blame for it. but i think if you can kind of distance it from individuals and discuss corruption as an abdication of principles and just sort of, you know, you deserve better, i deserve better, we all deserve better, that's something that sometimes helps find common ground even in a really heated conversation. you know, and it's tough. definitely don't expect everything to agree with you on everything, but i expect you already know that. >> let's go to this side of the room. next question. >> yeah -- [inaudible] you mentioned bernie sanders a few times -- [inaudible] >> testing, testing. since steve has mentioned bernie sanders a few times, i'm curious are about the extent to which panelists feel that the democratic party is complicit in the ascension of trump by running corrupt primaries that
produced their weakest nominee? [inaudible conversations] >> david's looking at me as if i should answer this, and i'm looking at him -- >> i mean, i'm happy to weigh in too. >> okay. yeah, i would like to hear what you say, and then i'll probably say what she said. [laughter] >> well, you know, the democrats are having this existential debate right now and are actually looking at reforming their primary process. it's one of those undercovered stories that is happening in some very small organizational rooms within the power structure of the democratic national committee. and if they win back some control in washington, they're going to have a real debate about who the leaders are and how that process is played out and whether they are rewarding people who are the strong fundraisers or want to turn to the new guard. this is something that i think the democrats are really wrestling with what their identity is at this point. >> keep in mind, bernie's not a democrat, so why did the
democrats let him run in the first place? >> yeah. [applause] well, the central thing i would say is that i'm less interested in a particular candidate. i was a bernie supporters, and then i was a hillary supporter. my wife, we were one of those households. but the reason i liked bernie sanders was simply because he was articulating what felt to me morally important positions to take and ones that seemed to me unassailable and untainted by what i think hillary clinton by circumstance and rabid misogyny was saddled with, which was the reputation of an insider as opposed to a public servant. and i think she was treated despicably from comey on down -- or on up, all around. but i also was distressed by her buck-raking in support of the iraq war. you don't get perfect candidates. but what i think is important at least for me, i just want to hear what people want to do, what policies do they want to pursue and how are they going to root out corruption and the
excesses of a capitalist system that is essentially becoming a kind of centrifuge, just concentrating wealth at the top and leaving vast segments of the population especially vulnerable populations unconscionably untaken care of in a nation as abundant as ours. it's despicable. and i want to hear the politician who speaks to that, and then i will support that person. i don't care what they look like, what party they're in. if they're going to speak steinbeck's language, i'm in. [applause] >> looks like we have time for one more question. going to go to the gentleman in front here. >> yeah. after the parkland shooting, i was impressed by the articulateness of the high school students. and i'm wondering when the white house reporters will get the guts to tell sarah huckabee sanders that her emperor has no clothes and stand up to her? >> well, it's -- two things. the reason those students were so articulate is they have a journalism teacher whose program wins awards year after year
after year. [applause] and it goes to why journalism is so important. as a journalist, all we can do is make a record. you know, we don't get people to act on it. but it is absolutely not the duty of reporters in the white house to tell off sarah huckabee sanders. [laughter] furthermore, she's doing a fine job all by herself of showing who she is. [laugher] >> all right. [applause] thank everybody so much. one more thank you to everyone. steve almond, signing area one. sarah kendzior and david cay johnston, "it's even worse than you think," and i will tell all of you if you think that journalism is a valuable thing, support it. thanks for being here. [applause] ..
>> and you're watchingbook tv on c-span two live coverage the los angeles time of festival of books that last author discussion was on the administration. so you heard what they had to say david k. johnson, steve al monday and sarah by the way sarah will be out leer a little bit on our set. to takier phone calls and talk about her book the flew of flyover country and join us for calls ab month ago in tucson book festival. and this half hour before the next author discussion begins we want to hear from president trump supporters only. what did you think about that discussion and get your views on that numbers are on the screen. it's 202-7489-8200. if you live in east and central
time zone -- for those of you in mountain and pac time zone, let's get right to those calls, with janet here in the l.a. area sherman oaks, california, janet if you're listening to that panel, what did you think? >> yes, yes, i was. greetings from southern california. which has been completely overrun with -- [inaudible conversations] i am a 58-year-old multiracial citizen. and i knew that something was wrong when every block you drive down, there's a guy who looks like huckfin or clamty jane who is homeless begging for the poor and everywhere you go, it's
hispanic blitz they have all of the job, union job, all of the low skill jobs, all of the jobs period if they're not hispanic then they have a very, very thick other kind of accent and the bottom line with the trump supporterses like myself is -- is reality. your entire family is now having to pull together everybody is, you know, having to move back home, pull in their belts, the reality on the ground is that there's no work for regular american citizens that's all handed to brought in here from especially the latin countries. so -- they're having kids, that are citizens can't even afford a stick of gum. now, what's been happening it is called globalization europe is already gone. it is already gone. but in -- southern california see, what it
is, is people that come in here from other countries especially like mexico, tijuana, honduras, they don't care our foundings. they could care less. american exceptionalism to them we mean zero -- so talked about immigration one of the issues that the last author panel discussed. they also talked about health care. the russia investigation, and this is a quote, a paranoid, grieved right wing media and as -- one of the authors said that president trump is a clear and present danger to the world. let's hear from another president supporter, this is bernie in huntington, new york you're on booktv. >> thank you, this is part of the east coast. i'm a trump supporter only in that idea of voting for hillary clinton made me naysuated.
so this discussion that we've just heard is one because it has no sense of balance at all. it's a bunch of people who would like trump to it fall off the face of the earth and make us all happy. i don't think that this is the kind of view point that's going to make our country a better place. even if the democrats win in the next election. on the the house -- which they may very well. so i don't support all of trump. but i support some of what he does. and what he's doing -- and you heard nothing, nothing even closely positive from that panel. >> thank you bernie and huntington, new york let's go to brian had in michigan. brian, you're on booktv what it you think about that author panel? >> thank you bernie --
[inaudible conversations] let's go to -- go to -- brian, you know the rule ares, you know what -- we're going to put brian on hold. hold on the line -- okay. peter -- i'm here. >> brian you know better -- you've got to turn down volume on the tv you know that, brian. >> whoop, he's gone. conny rialto, california, what did you think of that discussion? >> i thought it was one with sided and i noticed i watch c-span quite regularly, and i've noticed it's become more left leaning. i enjoyed c-span because it was more -- middle of the road and i got every view point which i agree. i'm a trump supporter. i think he won the election. we need to give him a chance. i think he's trying hard. i don't believe he's a liar that tries to make us believe.
and he's doing very good things. i wish not tweet so much. but we need to give him a chance. i think if the -- for democratic party had put up another candidate, they might have won. against trump, but they didn't. and even i liked hillary -- and then 90s -- i think in the 2000 she kind of ruined herself. so i'm sorry. that's my opinion. >> all right. that's -- connie in rialto, california, if you with like trump wow might want the to tune in tomorrow. we'll be here again tomorrow and one of our guests is roger l. simon on for an hour taking calls he's written a book called moral narcissism. he's screen writer here in hollywood. he's robust loose and scenes
from a mall -- pardon me. used to be a liberal. now a conservative. so we're bringing him on as you know -- we do not have control over who is on the panels in these -- at these book festivals. we do like to present lots of point of view on booktv. tony -- utah -- what did you think of that author discussion on president trump and what's your ?riew view? >> well i like to see what the other side has to say and my view is -- you know, it was ridiculous. you know, the guy has been in office for 15 months and -- they started out blaming him for everything, they were against him for everything. and they talked about propaganda. you've got jen and abc -- cbs. they're all the main news sources of america. they've been bashing trump since day one. and so -- when they talk about we're all influenced by propaganda well i'm sorry you know in 2012 when
obama was elected al qaeda is on the run. which one of those stations even brought that up? none of them they ignored it it was left out -- it i'm just tired of this, and the other we voted for him because we don't like ground people excuse me, and i will reiterate like other people have, i voted for trump i don't like trump. i will support him because he's the president. but hillary was the other person on the tiblght and i'm sorry she was worse than trump. period. and that's my opinion. >> thanks for calling in michael from seymour, indiana what do you think? >> yes. >> michael please go ahead. we're listening. >> yes, yes this is wonderful stuff. i love it being a trump supporter. i'm pastoral counselor and my answering service is taking in ten additional clients within
the last hour. trump derange syndrome great for business for me here in seymour, columbus, indiana and more of my counselor friends are excited because we're making a lot of money of all of this crazy stuff that's taking place. on the left -- we welcome it. bring it on. >> that's michael in seymour, indiana south of indianapolis. one of the things david k. johnson said during that author discussion was that president trump would suspend the constitution if he could. 202 is area code if you want to get a rex recollection to that last, 748-8200 for those in east and central time zone. 202-8201 in mountain and pacific time zone. we're live from the l.a. book fest -- on the campus of the university of southern california, in los
angeles, another beautiful sun m day out here. steve is in three rivers california. steve, where is three rivers? >> yes. very predictable being in los angeles times and -- of course there's an -- for anything they disagree with is just other side doesn't have logic or didn't present any issues. racism is used for a blanket statement for anything they disagree with. it's absolutely sickening and there's no debate whatsoever about principles. they act like they're the principal party but they're not. everybody is relative. they don't understand the boundaries and the personal dependents which is based on socialism and wouldn't understand intervention class of psychology because they need intervention because all they are is codependent city. thank you. >> next call is -- tony in santa clarita, california.
hi tony you're on booktv. >> hey, sir what i heard is a bunch of people who majored in sociology complaining that the -- if they had majored in a real, a real degree they would have had a better job and they heard something in high school they would have had a better job and complaining about trurch because he repghting higher wages with and corporations and -- since the social security system is not going to be there for us, how else do we save for our retirement other than investing in corporations and that's what trump is trying to do build up corporations for people's retirement and higher wages and it's also ironic if that seminar was held on monday morning, i don't think any of the usc students show up because there because it is a republican school. i'm a usc alumni and i doubt any of us would have gone to hear anything people had to it say. and -- all of the -- liberals have no people walking
up to them on a weekday at usc. >> tonny what are you doing in santa clarita? >> i guess we'll never find out what tony does it in santa clarita. about 150,000 people are expected this weekend for the los angeles time book fair here on the campus hear next from mary in fort myers, florida. hi marie. >> hi, i just want to say that i've always been democrat i'm 89 years old. i'm now a trump supporter. i supported him. i will continue to support him. best thing that's happened to our country is what he's doing and he promised everything he promised he's giving us. he is not a politician. that's why he was elected. i think he's doing a great job. and i will be a supporter for him in 2020. and thank you so much.
>> that's marie in fort mia mavromichalisers, fm, what we're doing in this segment of the coverage of l.a. book fair is we're hearing from president trump supporters only -- to get their view point sarah and all were authors participating and it was a pretty uniformly negative about the president. we just wanted to hear of a variety of view points. sarah by the way will be out here later to take your phone calls. niku in portland, oregon, you're on booktv what was your reaction to that author discussion? >> i'm going to tell you when -- president donald trump to morning joe and i talk -- [inaudible conversations] i told him this is what had god is doing.
thatthis is what christ is doin, it is above and in charge -- he -- prediction because in many direction -- [inaudible conversations] you know, i'm not i'm really a -- and i have degree from your country not just united states of america i'm not just -- and also america on the issue and america can last. last country, this is what it choose and you see what i'm saying you go and do this. this starts with with all of this -- those all of them -- all of them nsnbc afl you are
against -- which keep elected. and you are -- >> [inaudible conversations] thank you for calling in. we're going to go down to gretna, with louisiana, what's your view? >> hi, my view is that a lot of the press coverage that we're getting from the media right now is against president trump's tweets. and a lot of his foreign relations with countries like china and north korea. and we're seeing that with president trump putting this added rsh on to the regime in north korea and with the trade war, the possible trade war that would come with china, we're seeing that -- the pressure unlike any other politician before shim creating a more effective approach as we see like -- dig day kim jong-un yesterday
said there's no longer a need for these missiles and i think this is perhaps one of the most effective presidents that we're having today and the tweets that he's using is becoming more and more effective. and that's basically it. >> what it you think of what those author as had to say? jaiden? >> i agreed with trump -- [inaudible conversations] that he is bound. but ultimately i really think that like any other president before can be seen as two hard on any topic any issue or seen as professional and andrew jackson, for instance, have shown that with real dedication to their views -- that sometimes they just become too criticized i guess. if [laughter] >> what do you do in louisiana?
right now, i'm a high school student i'm 18 years old and i'm the captain of my high school debate team. >> well, thank you and good luck to you. thanks jaiden. >> henderson, west virginia, sorry -- yeah. henderson, west virginia, hi, b it looked like wyoming for a moment. >> b with us? don ice creek, georgia, hi, john. hi ed -- [laughter] >> yes, sir, how are you? about what i find. i appreciate you having that show and i listen to them. irony is the reason trump won, in five his and despite of the things that you give a course for concern is because of people like that. you know, with what i think they owe america is that if you don't agree with a liberal orthodox
entirely, you are deplorable person and you hate, you hate everyone. you're uneducated. you're the problem. and i think they help trump are win and i think they're going help him win again. i'll give you a few very quick examples if you disagree with with the left on global warming policy like and instead of someone saying why do you disagree and you say well look there might be an issue assignment. but what is this really doing? american industry and right off you're a denier like you're a holocaust denier if you disagree with on immigration and i'm a immigrant so is my wife instead of saying look what happens with a flood of migrants from syria we've allowed 100 million people in the country since 1965 illegal and legal a forthcoming country. for large benefited us but we
have our right to sovereignty you're a race arist. if you don't agree with them on the iran deal, you want a war. so you're never able to engage people and difference of which is perfectly fine but i don't see right to have their view but they do dispute my rights to have my view. and that's why people are so tired of that and you know they can write for l.a. times and 20 or 30 people will read their paper but reason majority of people and i'm a law graduate i'm institute -- i'm a small business own or. the reason people again haven't read "new york times" 30 years because people like them are in charge of it. i mean, you know, absolute no ability to setback and decent people can have view and dem nice everyone. that's what i saw in that presentation. just one after another they might have said one with of them but they're all saying the same
thing. >> now, ed what do you do in embay an where are you from originally? >> i was born in south africa i came to new york when i was 7. i grew up in a democratic home and voted for or bill clinton twice and i have a small real estate company here. >> thank you calling in and a participating. karl in highestville, maryland good afternoon karl. what did you think of that author discussion? >> i think it was very enlightening, in fact, i enjoy your show. i watch you very often. to my point, i am a trump supporter and i voted democrat most of my life. until this past election -- the point i want to make is i voted for the message. and a the message that i received from the candidate did not favor me only mr. trump.
and i honestly feel democrats, i don't understand. if you don't like the message, why can't you give a better message than to give a better ridicule to take the same energy to be negative towards a subject. more so than it would take better energy to make a message a positive message for the people? and i'm just saying -- i wish the democrats would make their point of the message and not be so critical for if they were to take office tomorrow and mr. trump president to the democrat, i couldn't support that. because i don't know what i'm supporting. they haven't given me a message. that's my point. i voted for the message. >> thank you, thank you very much. >> that was -- karl in the washington suburb highs swirl, maryland sharon in
bakers city, oregon sharon, what's your reaction? >> well, i only saw part of the show and so i only have a small comment. but -- had they run out of valium in california my goodness these people need to take a deep breath. thank you. >> time for a few more calls. denver in beckly, west virginia, denver -- you're on booktv. >> yes. i'm a trump supporter voted for him again, and what the democrats to him i think stinks to high heaven that's all i've got to say. >> thank you, sir. mike in st. joseph, missouri. go ahead, mike. >> i'm here. can you hear me? >> go ahead we're listening. >> yeah. i think plump is an absolute
hero go down in history that he was the best president that ever was. he doesn't anybody, he's not like a politician that is, you know -- hundred thousand go do this guy a favor. he does and say everything that we want to say he's my hero, man. i pray for him all of the time. so -- >> time for two more calls -- and this is chris in maryland. chris you're on the air. >> yes. yes. if i can echo what the call or from georgia said i'm 56 years old. i'm a lawyer my brother is a neurosurgeon all educated in ash family and well supported trump but left doesn't want to debate anything. they just want to call you names. disparage you, you're a race arist if you support trump, you're if you support a border
wall it's the sail old story from them and i agree they're not going to win. because preem tired of it. they're tired of being disparaged called deplorable that's my comment. >> in yanked, maryland, chris when you hear the word racist what's where are response to that? >> there is no response. you can't defend -- you know it's such a disparaging term how do you begin? begin to explain that you're not a racist? i mean, i support clearance thomas as a -- as a excellent supreme court justice. i wouldn't care if we have mine chairns thomass. it doesn't matter the color of his skin. it matter what is his ideas are. that's the way conservatives believe. liberals, either drink the kool-aid and you're with them or -- you're at the deplorable. you're a racist you're a
homophobe. i mean, christians believe that -- same-sex marriage is wrong. that, that's a tenant of our faith in the sense if we believe in the bible. that doesn't make us homophobes. but that's all you hear from the left. that's what people are tired of. it's not just flyover country. there's a lot of people in the rural areas of these liberal states like me that don't buy what's going on in the city. but that's, that's the great divide in america. right now -- and until we can have a debate about those things, it won't change. >> steve, calling in from oceanside, california, south of where we are here. hi, steve. >> how are you doing yeah i'm a trump supporter and the thing is a lot of democrats pretty much concerned about entitlements. i think it's if we get rid of some of the entitlements and match money to balance the budget also i think that trump is very innovative and in his
speaking and also he has direct talk so i think that's why he was -- he was elected. that's it. and so that's pretty much what i think entitlement if we take care entitlements like 87% -- of entitlements and up and down. so that is uncommon but i think that's probably the solution to some of the problems that we have in this country. all right sharon, kentucky last word on this discussion. >> oh, hi. yeah, i'm a trump supporter. i was born in eisenhower era. and i've been kennedy assassinated i've studied sociology at the -- in the presidents in the policies.
i've never seen anyone take off what trump has never known a president to get as much done in the time that trump has gotten done. i have never seen anyone command the respect from people by just being who he is and not some just pretentious snob, and that's one thing you can say about trump. he's not a pretentious snob he might be a billionaire but he's not a pretentious snob. you can like him, love him, you can hate him, the guy is getting the job done. and america is starting to look strong again. and for past oh, goodness 24 years -- since reagan was gone, this country has been grabbing at ropes and missing. and -- now can -- >> we have to leave it there.
we've with got a couple more author discussions cool up one more calling coming up sarah on that last author panel will be here nb an hour to take your call. but up now -- an author discussion on some of the laborist facing "america live" coverage on booktv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] we're ready to go. so just got a couple of late arrivals you guys great. thank you all for coming welcome to this panel on labor. we're going to dispense with a lot of routine introductions because we've got four great panelists and books to talk about and only an hour to go so we're going to go right into it and read biography in material that you have. rick --
who is written the end of loyalty which is a finalist for the los angeles times book prize and current interest. rick, your book more than -- we're going to talk a lot about strategies going forward in the labor movement and what works and what doesn't work and why, and what new form of labor activism might be, and rick's book goes back and looks a little bit at how we got here. so if you want to start off and also i've asked everyone to say one things about themselves that's not in their biography that you would like to know so something about somebody and how did did we get here today is this >> i have a really good mid-range jump shot so that's something -- so how do we get here? i guess if i were in charge of the panel i would have called it the long decline of labor. not the new of labor i guess. so long story short after world war ii, major corporations, in
concert with big industrial unions in a lot of ways, kind of forge the social compact between employer and employee in this country, and comes with a lot of asterisks not everyone was treated well in the work place particularly of people of color and women. there were definitely lots of short comes and problems but by and large a huge swath of the american work force and saw health benefits and these things and those in the private sector retirement security all of which improves steadily really from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. and then there was a break in the system, and we can get into all of this thrmp a lot of causes, everything you know we're still talking about a lot of this. from --
globalization, automation, and decline of union self-inflicted a lot driven by employers hell bent doing on everything to beat back with organized labor. the fracturing of work into job and contract jobs and big work and so on. you know all manner of outsourcing. the shift from kind of factory jobs where you could walk in with little education and find a path to middle class and shift to knowledge work on one end which is great if you have education and skills training. but not so good if you don't and are if you can be employed at all for a low end service job. and then so all of these factors all of these forces began to -- emerge and then accelerate and converge i think over the last 30 to 40 years. but i would add one of the last thing which is that ting that the -- kind of embays lean on the fire of all of this maybe david will speak to this too --
has been a shift in corporate culture so there's been a dramatic shift from -- ceo and corporate leaders if you look at the way they actual talk and how they acted through this sort of golden era of this they spoke very explicitly in term of a stakeholder model that they needed to take care of all of that you are constituents if you will. so their customers -- their employees, the communities, they operated in and their shareholders to be sure but groups ab they try to balance interest of all of those different stakeholders. in the last 40 years -- corporate america has very explicitly shifted to a shareholder is first shareholder is above all of the other stakeholders we want to maximize shareholder value often in the short term at all costs. and so in that scenario, we've
now tied ceo pay to jacking up share price often in the short-term. when you do that workers begin to look like an avoidable exfence they don't look like things you want to invest in and accordingly, composition benefits stag nangt for vast majorities of work force for pat 40 years and job security eroded work entraining down for front line workers and so on. so i think that's the long story short. >> and that's a good segue into you david and your work on what can shareholders do to try to you know change that equation that he described a little bit plus one great factor about yourself. >> the great fact. well i guess only fact i can think of is i actually was actually struck by and really like the blast of sunny, california opt -- >> what did you want to call this book?
>> i was talking about the panel itself. >> but the book i was always going to rise for working class share holder at one points it was something like labor versus goliath was a title in the running for the book. ultimately didn't make the cut but i think that gives you indication of where i'm coming from the book i think everybody is looking arranged right now, and seeing labor and seeing workers of this country in a very desperate situation. in large part for the reasons that rick just described and so a lot of us are looking forward to what are ways that we can move things, change direction of the country has been going on this, and one of the tools that is focus of my book which is this paradox of people don't think of is this invisible form of activism that has arisen inside labor inside working class institutions which is shareholder act. we "don't ask, don't don't thins being shareholders but, in fact, through there is a last, you know rick mentioned earlier
about how a pension have disappeared in private secker to there's one place they're still left which is in public sector in state and local governments, in fact, the side of the story of that event that isn't often told is that those pensions are worth conservatively 3 trillion dollars and there are a number of activists working inside labor and union and pensions and elsewhere who have figured out how to shareholder power can be used. to advance the interest of workers and that's most of the story actually telling many this book it actually starts off a -- with a supermarket strike that took place here in california about 15 years ago. at safeway supermarket. and something very interesting happened in that fight which it was a traditional strike workers went out on strike, after the company had gone on acquisition that went nowhere and lost a lot of money trying to make up for losses they tried to cut pay for workers and cut benefits for workers who went on strike. and, in fact, the strike lasted five months. in the i tend didn't work out al
that well an that strike, looked like company beat the strikers. but it was followed by a very interesting shareholder campaign. led by illinois funds and washington and imon and massachusetts funds to unseat the ceo to try to go after some of the board member who had been responsible for driving company into that ditch so i look at that as sort of and early first episode of this and then go on to tell the story of these other activists who are trying to do it everything from -- fighting to reign in ceo pay. reporting that ratio of ceo to worker pay just being -- you used to be you go back to 50s it was 20-1 what the ceo relative to the meeting employee now 350 top one. one company last week reported a thew to one. okay. trying -- these funds also are leading with lawsuits they actually sue when they're defrauded they brought the enron case to world
come cases they've tried to go after stripping the -- chairman of the board role from certain ceos who weren't doing a very good job in the last piece of it is they've been using their investsment power to create jobs. rights investing in projects through responsible contract or policies like created by new york city pension fund that basically say we're not going to newscast unless you are paying fair wages and pay your workers benefits, et cetera. so i think in the 21st century, where markets are so important extremely important to have a voice inside them. yes legislation is important, elections are important. lawsuits can be about important. but i also think it's important for workers to have a capital strategy campaign. and a thinking about capital strategy using their own retirement fund that's basically the tack i take many this book. >> so bernie and suzanne both written about a subject close to my heart which is farm workers.
and -- farm workers don't have pensions in many ways among most marginalized workers and if you didn't ground breaking work on sexual harassment in the teeld -- field years before me too. can you talk to us a little bit about -- what led you to that and what -- what got those, you have women who have the courage to talk, i mean, there's a lot of discussion now about -- women afraid to come forward and here people who are the poorest and organizers who argue it is the least to lose but what got you into that subject and what are your thoughts in the light of what's going on now? >> well, i became interested in this subject because i'm just generally interested in immigrant workers. my family is an immigrant family and so i've always been -- particularly i think of the tuned in to the experiences of immigrants to this country. and then in terms of the me too
question i started working on looking at sexual harassment and i'm talking very extreme sexual harassment. among low wage immigrant workers back in 2012. with an amazing group of reporters from uc berkeley, and local public radio station called kqed that resulted in a documentary called rape in the field also a number of other radio pieces in -- in tech pieces and so on. and what we found through that reporting was that -- extreme sexual harassment and i'm talking again sexual with assault and rape were a open secret in the field. it was a scenario where supervisors were very aware of their power to hire and fire and to meet hours and, you know, over time, and/or give hours or just hire for the season. and they knew that they could, you know, make quid pro quo
demands and do certain things and get away with them and so we -- spend ab year looking at that issue, and that led us to look at -- an industry with similar dynamic had is night shift janitorial work that left to rave on the night shift and i do want to say that really amazing woman is here in the audience today. name is era moralez sitting there from the front row who led the charge on this issue and so many respects because she was one of the very brave overwhelm decided to pile sexual harassment complaint with the u.s. equal employment community commission years ago when she was is sexually assaulted on the job. by her supervisor cleaning a branch in the middle of the night and i think this isolation piece with farm works and night shift janitor and domestic workers sometimes hotel workers,
you know the isolation is this -- circumstance that is used against the workers. for erika, and for so many of the other night shift janitors that question spoke with sometimes they're the only person working in the building. and when the supervisor, you know, wants to take advantage of that situation, you know, some bad things happen. but i think what this book tries to really show is that there have been women who have been speaking up and fighting back for a long time in low wage work and farm work in domestic work so it is fascinating to see this me too movement and it is fantastic to see so many people being willing to come forward for the first time and really i think this -- this shattering of a bit of the taboo around this issue. i do wonder why, you know, when erika and so many other women were coming forward, you know, this same type of floodgate open then and you know i did ask
erika recently and other farm works and other people that i've been interviewing over the years how do you feel about me too? and i think they all say i think we're so proud and we're so -- glad that women are speaking out in a way that they never have. but what about us? and why haven't we been heard and aren't we stars too in our own world and our lives? and so i think it's tremendous. i think what me too is doing now and accomplishing is again, tremendous and i'm -- i think that there are now greater efforts to be more inclusive and i hope that -- workers like erika and others will really be, you know, at the fore front of that. >> susan, your book deals with the coalition of a worker which is like tweeted the other day when people ask me who is doing good work organizeing farm workers i say collision of the work is in florida and anybody who is interested in that kind of work should check them out.
you have a very interesting past to getting there. you're not the obvious suspect to be writing about farm workers and tell us how that happened? >> sure, so i actually grew up in the defense industry in the pentagon to be more correct. [laughter] and i'm at the corporation where i'm seen as party graduate school so it's not necessarily what you would have imagined as working doing a lot of work with farm workers. it was accident or fate that i came to this story. i was new dean of graduate school traveling around the country to interview board members, and was carrying arranged copy of gourmet magazine which this is 2009 one of their last and last issues and i'm a foodie i'm a decent cook but i care about food policy so attentive to that and pay a lot of attention to sustainability et cetera, with i'm readings this -- issue of gourmet magazine and it's like roast chicken for two.
elegant and easy -- and then i hit on this article by barry about the tomatoes you're eating maven picked by the hands of a slave. and it was shocking to me and i do public policy for a living i'm aware of an awful lot of issues but i had never thought about the people who pick our food and that was my loss. i learned about wage theft sexual abuse to mods modern day slavery and i tucked it into my bag i needed to meet a board member and -- turns out i was going to naples, florida which is 40 miles from amacrali i go up to meet david, and it's not going great. he's an 80 something-year-old chinese engineer not connecting and he says something about -- because i had read this article the night before, i was tiebl say the tomato pickers in florida -- and turns out he was the only
individual fill philanthropic supporter of the group at that time so the combination struck me there was a message in there. and i needed to write about this. and a remarkable story and i agree with you who is doing good work with farm workers who is -- actually making transmeeting transformal change it is workers themselves, and the model they offer which i'm sure we'll talk about is one that applies not just for agriculture. but for a whole range of low wage work. >> stay on that for a second to talk about the workers being the model. because this is something that i think is, you know, there's -- organizeing and a example of workers really are being involved and what do they do to maintain that work involvement and for it to be, you know, an experience in which you're generating leadership as well as an empowering workers like erika to stand up and to have support for what they're doing. >> so the interesting thing is i don't think they empowered
workers. they were workers. who were empowered they empowered themselves. they came together in the early 90s, and recognized they started they used -- an approach that came out of haiti out of brazil popular education, and used that to understand their own situation place themselves in context in the system and then start dividing actions to go after it. and the model itself which is they now refer to worker driven social responsibility in contrast to corporate social responsibility. involves workers education, monitoring of very, very effective monitoring which is not true in most social responsibility where workers themselveses are doing the monitoring and recording it. without fear of retribution that's violation of this what is now called the food program. immediate investigation, resolution of complaingts and here's the key this was the sick it's market sanctions.
so if a grower violates the code of conduct, they're immediately removed or us suspended from the program and lose 60% of the majority for tomato and they're now spreading into peppers and strawberries and it's those very quick resolutions market sanctions that gives this a power that no other program has. >> do you want to jump in? >> it's really interesting. i think that -- both believers in terms of workers may have organized to have actual power in the marketplace, and apply sort of consumer pressure, you know which they've done. it is very powerful, and a applicable you know that what david is talking about in terms of i think the capital markets are huge piece of the solution ahead if there's going to be one to put pressure on corporate executives with a lot of rules incentives that need to be changed within the current system of the way they're compensated in way shares can be purchased of companies and unlimited manner and so on.
but what's interesting on each, you know, on each of these, there are sort of counterforces going on. i think this is what -- we have to keep in mind is that, you know, it is kind of like this titanic struggle it is unfortunately you know, labor versus goliath, and on the goliath side, you know, you're not only have the sort of kinds of activists who are pushing companies to behave the right way. who have a lot of power in the markets through the pension funds that they run and the shares they hold. but there's a whole slew of other, you know, pressures from wall street and so-called activist investors pushing companies again to treats workers as costs that can be cut that are emphasizing efficient about city over generosity and social responsibility and they're also putting pressure on ceos -- to behave very differently. so i think there's a titanic strug the in the same way workers can band together and
also so kind of folks bernice is talking about and susan they were written out because they were women and people of color. so domestics and farm workers were cut out of labor law protections in a early estate but now we're again because of these pressures more and more companies are are pushing more people going from w2 workers to 299 contract workers fastest growing part of a labor market they too lack a lot of protections and the kinds of wage structures and benefits that traditional below arrangements have so there's a real fight going on i think. >> that gets us to one that's been unspoken thing about what is the role of unions and are you going to come back. are unions going to what would be resurgence and what are they playing today and beer these talk about the work you're doing in a different kind of forum and which is the no the same as a
contract. but can be can be can be useful in terms of activism as well. what -- so both of you david and bernice talk a little bit about what the collaborations between act a activist and union and where you see that going in the future. >> so what was really astonishings was the way in which actually it's amazing because it is here locally that this all happened rights here in los angeles. the fciu united workers west, they decided after they saw rape on the night shift the documentary looking at sexual assault in the janitorial industry they decided they could no longer turn a blinked eye to this issue. so because they have a decent number of women in their leadership at this point, and a some of them were sexual assault survivors themselveses, they really took this issue on, and a in a renewed way. and it's been astonishing to see
what they have accomplished. they not only fought for a new contract that built in some protections arranged sexual harassment. they also started to demand public attention for this issue issue. so they started using tactics they were familiar with by holding rallies and marches and a speakouts but this time around sexual harassment i think they were literally marching through the streets of los angeles holding up signs that said, end rape on the night shift they were on sacramento on banners and stopping traffic again with barns said end rape on the night shift and got activated on this issue in an amazing way and they didn't stop there. they decided to push for legislation. state legislation that would improve the training opportunities for janitors when it comes to sexual harassment because what they had observed was that -- a lot of the workers weren't familiar wail with what sexual harassment laws provided. in terms of protections from this type of behavior.
so sometimes they didn't even know, you know, what might be considered sexual harassment as we heard from some workers they thought this was the culture of the building at night and they didn't know that they could be protected from it. and further more i think most -- meaningfully, they started they got together with with the east -- east women l.a. east l.a. women center, and the california association against sexual violence, and a nonunion organization called maintenance corporation trust fund. and they banded together to start to think about how can we create a peer to peer training program so that it could be part, you know, support group. but also part leadership training, part, you know, you know training workers themselveses so that they could go out and train other and peer to peer that is been successful
in many others. initially they were concerned that they wouldn't be well equipped to deal with something like sexual harassment and conversation within the union itself was -- you know, we're not social workers. we're not psychologists. this is a really scary subject for us to be touching. you know, trauma and sexual violence this is outside of our purview. but -- you know, at a certain poingtd, the leadership within the organization said, you know 70% of our membership at this point are women. if we're not addressing this issue then we're not addressing the needs of our membership. so they forged ahead and they create ared those partnerships that created this model -- they're now thing their second or third cycle of it. and what was amazing about having created that kind of built-in leadership and kind of activist group was when the legislation was moving forward, they had a ready made group of women who were ready to kind of testify at hearings. you know show up in sac member toe get on the buses and lobby -- and tell their stories so they
really i think transformed the way that had unions can think about handling something as -- seemingly scary as sexual harassment and i think they've been a model for this and i think what's really exciting the way their starting to collaborate with farm workers collaboration and the fair food program, so one other thing i think that was really fascinating too was the way in which the union had to also address with, you know, a little bit of from within the union itself from some of the male membership that was one of the biggest kind of fraught moments there was literally a moment where they decided they were going to make sexual harassment a strike priority. and in that meeting, you know, hundreds if not a thousand workers out there they they knowns a strike priority and some of the women in the room
actually booed and that was a big turning point for the union where the union president had to -- stand up and make announcement and say you have to acknowledge this is happening. don't tell me you haven't seen it. or that you haven't done it. and this is ending now we're as a union deciding to take this on as an issue. and from that, from then on it was -- you know front and central as one of their primary priorities. but it took that level of kind of internal strife and dialogue and real dernlings determination and creative thinking to get outside of the box how they could handle sexual harassment. >> it's really interesting because it comes at a moment when unions are trying to figure out how to deal with, you know, a very hostile environment and a supreme court decision that is going to -- decimate their membership in terms of public employee and so i think -- unions like fciu are looking for ways that they can -- influence the conditions in the
work place in different kinds of ways and nontraditional ways. and that's -- true of your folks as well, yes? >> absolutely. i referenced it a little bit earlier. but -- for example, with the building trades union, and the new york city public pension funds, have both been involved with a adopting these policies. you know thing i think it's a different around ma but it really has what everything to do with the problems. rick was pointing to before, right, which is this constant squeezing outs of workers and mistreating of workers, et cetera and what they did is they doptsed these policies, and they tried to institute these policies basically say that if you're going to put this workers cap we're going to put our workers capital to work it's not we're not going to in this situation to exploit workers not hiring union with labor, hiring contractor who is have tones of injuries. in their records, et cetera. and you know, the fact of the
matter is that in this instance money talks. these pensions and unions have serious capitol to invest and many folks have turned around and basically said okay. look, you know, for example, black stone, and major private equity fund recently announced okay for infrastructure projectses we invest in we're going to adopt this responsible contract or policy. why do they do that in part they do it because -- they want to be able to get -- the pension funds as investors and this becomes virtuous circle for the working institutions for these pension fund smiewtions themselves because you get these workers what can they do? they can contribute. ...
>> not in ways that there are bad stories out there where these pension funds have been investing in privatization. we've been hearing a lot about privatization which is basically taking public services -- toll roads, bridges, courthouses -- and they're being privatized, sold off to the private sector. what people don't realize is a lot of that money that's coming to finance that has even come from these public worker institutions. so what's happened, a lot of these activists have figured out, wade a second. either we should not be investing in privatization, or we have to promote these kinds of responsible contractor policies. again, it's an example of using this labor's capital to advance the interests of labor. but rick also said something i wanted to touch on which is about a backlash and about the forces on the other side. because in order to engage in this kind of maneuver that i'm talking about, the use of labor's capital to advance, yes, their retirement funds and advance their interests, okay?
in order to do that, what you need are things like calpers and the new york city funds, these big pension funds that collectively -- the workers in these funds are not wealthy at all. they are working class, middle class people, okay? they're not individually wealthy. but when you aggregate those retirement funds into, what, calpers or is $350 billion now, suddenly that's an investor that people really listen to, that wall street really listens to. i provide a lot of examples in the book of how they can exercise that power. one of the more, you know, amusing ones was, you know, a number of these funds were invested in hedge funds, and the hedge funds were turning around and taking, say, teacher pension money and then attacking teacher pensions, going after teacher pensions. and all the american federation of teachers, you know, randi weingarten was on this project,
what'd they do? they just made a list of these hedge funds and basically said, here are hedge funds that are taking teacher pension money and attacking teachers. and i have this wonderful letter where they say, wait a minute, we love teacher pension funds. we're never going to do that again. [laughter] take us off the list. you don't see stuff like that very often these days coming out of labor. but just to get to the backlash point, we are -- everybody's probably heard about a huge pension reform movement in this country. in fact, california is ground zero for it. not too long ago americans for prosper ity, koch-funded organization, ransoming like life on a government -- ran something like a life on a government pension tour. all you hear about is, boy, we owe these workers a lot of money, and i'm not sure we can pay. there are economists out there who will tell you that's not
true, others who say it is, but there's a whole other side to the story which is if they take those pensions and they break them up instead of one big calpers, if you break them into millions of individually managed accounts, you know what happens? that shareholder voice dies immediately. i'm an individual 401(k) holder, and i'm lucky. i know i'm lucky. many of us who have anything are lucky. nevertheless, these 401(k)s are garbage, the fees are too high, and is -- and we're all totally atomizedded. the comparison is like a 401(k) is like right to work. individual investors, we never vote, we have no idea what's going on, we don't know what the ceo gets paid, we don't know how our funds perform relative to the s&p 500. we're perfect. we're the perfect investors. we turn over our money, and we understand nothing about how it is used. well, if you take these big pension funds and you break them up into lots of individually-managed accounts just like ours, guess what?
their powerful shareholder voice goes away too. nobody cares if david weber adopts a responsible contractor policy, by and large. i mean, it would be nice, and it would be nice to organize individual investors, and there are some efforts to do that. but you break up these big pension funds, turn them into lots of individual accounts, and all that shareholder voice goes away. i call it economic voter suppression. that's how i look at it, the silencing of this economic voice. and so i think we need to pay really close attention to it. every two years in california it seems like there's some kind of ballot initiative to try to take these pension funds apart. all across the country, cities and states, and wes occupy of the -- it's one of the backlash points that we need to be careful about not just letting it prevail there. >> so, susan, let me go to amokly for a second because they made a very conscious decision there not to be a union and not to have a union involved.
why did they do that and then segway from there, and you mentioned before to make sure we get to it, what is the potential of replicating the model that they have there which is not dependent on a union? >> well, i think it was not so much a decision not to be a union as simply a different approach to organizing. because they organized themselves, they were focused on the community coming together to address the situation they found themselves in. and so they don't work with an individual employer. they work across an industry. >> but so does, i mean, so does seiu with janitors. so -- >> but the philosophy was very much let's organize the community as opposed to trying to do workplace organization. the effect has been that, again, anyone -- whether they're in the union or not -- they benefit. whether they're in the coalition or not, they benefit from the results that come out. but they also are able -- it's a very different approach to
leadership. and one of the slogans of the coalition, one of the philosophies is we are all leaders. everyone has the opportunity to lead, everyone can lead in a different way. you may lead by your action, you maybe lead by animating a community worker meeting, you may animate -- lead by being a spokesman. you may lead by developing an implementation plan. but they all participate and they all have opportunities for leadership. it's incredibly important to do this because they are an immigrant -- a migrant work force. and so they're moving all the time, they're changing employers all the time, they're changing location all the time, and you have new workers coming into the community all the time. so to be able to have that approach where everyone can lead is critical. >> but they also enter into contracts with, in a different sense. do you want to explain what that is? because it is a contract, but it's not a contract in the way we traditionally think of -- >> well, the contract is actually with the buyers.
and so as opposed to with -- they have a different sort of arrangement with the growers. the fair food program is a partnership between the workers, the growers and the buyers. but the first -- and the buyers are major retailers; mcdonald's, walmart, whole foods, burger king, etc. the first contracts, in fact, legally-binding contracts, are with the buyers. that the buyers will only buy fair food program tomatoes or peppers or whatever the produce is. and that if they are aware of, made aware of a violation by a grower, the grower is suspended, and they may not buy tomatoes from them. so that's the legally-binding contract. it protects the code of conduct and guarantees a premium, a fair food premium of a penny per pound for the tomatoes that they purchase. i should note when every buyer participates, it doubles
workers' wages. so a penny per pound makes an enormous difference. the relationship with the grower is the sign was called a fair foods agreement. they understand what the code of conduct is, they get access to the market, they agree to allow the audits, the monitoring for the workers and to address violations immediately. and if they don't, they lose that market. >> and is that replicable, and if so, to what extent? >> it's easily replicable in factory labor, and you can see the responsibility model was used in the bangladesh accords. it's not exactly the same, but that approach was used there for the garment industry. you could see how you hold the brands accountable, so those who are buying -- the buyers of whatever you're making in that factory -- you can have the same relationship there. they are, as bernice mentioned, working now with seiu in los
angeles in particular to look at how they might i apply this in a different way and other ways to make it more applicable where you still have a contract labor be model like you do in california. i should note that in the fair food program all workers become -- they went from a contract labor model to a direct hire to the growers, so it is a very different relationship. big difference. and you know what's great about that difference, it's not just a legal difference, it's that the growers themselves started looking at the employees as very different. they were not just an input, they are now employees and people who are part of this economy together. >> back to your point. >> yeah. i just wanted to add a little wit of context because -- little bit of context because i, you know, admire these programs and i think there are solutions that, again, with great persistence -- which we were talking about earlier and, you know, courage can ultimately, you know, we hope scale to some degree. but, you know, again, if you look at the longer arc of this, you know, just in the private sector -- so as david's pointed
out, much more robust although endangered in the public sector in terms of actual unions, organized labor able to bargain collectively under a contract and represent masses of workers. and we've gone from, you know, a height of 35% of the private sector work force being organized in the mid '50s to 6.5% today. so there are very few, you know, the seiu's a great exception. there are very few unionized workers in private sector america today. this has been because, again, unions have made a lot of their own missteps over the years. there's been some corruption, there's been lack of focus on organizing. again, the seiu being a great exception to this, not reinvesting and innovating. all kinds of issues. but mainly, a woman at cornell has done tremendous research on really showing a very concerted effort by employers, by the
employer community and employer groups to beat back unions through whatever means necessary, both legal and illegal. and the illegal part just becomes a cost of doing business if you're caught and you get fined. it's way better than having to sit at a bargaining table against a union and negotiate a contract. and i just want to say what the effectiveness is. so what the scholarly research will show you is when you get to about 25-35% of the private sector work force being organized, there's a tremendous spillover effect. so it really lifts up workers who don't necessarily carry a union card. other employers, because they're worried about having to keep up to attract workers and the fact that they may be organized themselves if they don't keep up, they lift their own pay and benefits. and there's -- and that was that spillover effect is what really did help this huge swath of the american labor force to rise in this post-world war ii period.
my book looks at four companies -- general electric, general motors, kodak and coca-cola. so ge, gm and to some exen tent coke at the bottling plant level. gm heavily organized, ge, for a long period of its history, heavily organized. coke, somewhat. kodak never organized but in order to fend off organized labor kept their wages and benefits high because of this spillover effect of. we've lost that, and it's a tremendous reason why we've had stag in and about wage -- stagnant wages and declining benefits for 40 years. >> i want to ask a quick question about the writing process. and if people have questions in the audience, we'll take questions in a second. so there's a microphone somewhere, right? you got them? okay. but what to leave in and what to leave out. something you left out that you regret. >> actually, not much. i have a friend in the audience
who's laughing at me because she was on my case to leave things out all the time. [laughter] but i had a great editor. i actually had -- i felt like the story came together in a way that i didn't need to leave as much out. the key thing is to bringing the voices in and to letting the people of the coalition of the buyers, of the growers to speak. so it's a matter of bringing that in as much as possible, and maybe we didn't need all the background. >> yeah. i'm really similar. i think always the challenge is what to leave out. and so if i have any regrets, it's probably that i didn't leave out enough. you know, i spent seven years researching and writing this book, and, you know, you collect a lot of material, you know? i've got boxes in my garage that could crush cu you if they fell on you. [laughter] so that's always the challenge, is how do you try and tell the story. and to me, it's a what to leave out question, not what to put in. >> i struggled with how to
balance the storytelling aspects of the book which are three-quarters of the book with the sort of policy takeaways, legal takeaways. how much should it just be -- hopefully, at least with the strategy i ultimately settled on was i think a lot of people, i think the activism i write about in this book is invisible. these people, the activists themselves are invisible and the work that they do is invisible. and it's difficult to appreciate what they do, and it just sounds like labor's capital. so part of the strategy was just tell the stories of some of these fights. hopefully, by the end of chapter six if you've read these stories, you're now like, wow, this stuff is important. and now i'm ready to hear, all right, well, here are the threats and here are the policy challenges, and here's why it's important to protect it. i hope -- that was at least the strategy that i, that i tried.
but trying to balance that was something that i spent a lot of time thinking about. >> and you have a complicated issue to explain too, probably more than anybody else. but i think all four books really do a great job of bringing voices in. as you said, susan, and building the story around characters. all of you do that in making what could be a dense subject really, you know, very vibrant. >> well, i'm a journalist, and so we're always charged with writing shorter and shorter and cutting and cutting. and so actually having a book-length treatment for something was a dream. [laughter] it was the first time that i've ever had an editor ask me to add material and add context. [laughter] it was dreamy. but in all seriousness, even with that privilege, you know, we've met so many incredible women over the years in this reporting, and i couldn't possibly include them all. so that's where i feel like sometimes there's a little bit of a hole or a gap. and i tried to include as many
as i could, but ultimately something does have to get left on the cutting room floor, very unfortunately. >> questions from the audience. >> [inaudible] act the labor movement in case -- [inaudible] on the janus case in the supreme court about, you know, public union dues? >> so just to -- so -- >> do you want to explain what it is? >> sure. so, i teach law at boston university, so this is the stuff i deal with a lot. the janus case is a case that's before the supreme court of the united states right now that an opinion will likely come, will come down in june. and essentially, for decades now
the law in this country has been that unions can't -- you can't be forced to contribute to the political activity of unions. but if you're a worker and you benefit in terms of wages, in terms of working conditions, in terms of benefits, if you benefit from the collective bargaining the union does on your behalf, you can pay what are call fair share fees. you have to contribute your fair share for the benefit conferred upon you by the union. well, several years ago justice alito invited a direct challenge to this on first amendment grounds. yet another example of how the first amendment of the united states, which was once used to defend the publication of james joyce or j.d.ing sallenner is now being used to gut campaign finance regulation or to kill workers' rights or whatever. but i digress. [laughter] >> okay. what's the impact. they're going to lose. [laughter] >> so after they lose, basically the court will likely hold that
the first amendment says that these agency, that these agency fees violate the first amendment. and, therefore, that unions can't, won't be able to collect them anymore. so what will happen. all right. a couple scenarios. first of all, when similar things happen, something similar happened in wisconsin. there was a catastrophic decline in union membership. 60, 70% decline in wisconsin. couple thicks though. things though. one -- so that's one scenario, which could be a very significant drop. possible, more optimistic interpretation is that the unions are well aware of in this this -- aware of this fact, and unlike wisconsin which i think happened quickly and unexpectedly, they've had a lot more time to anticipate this janus case and to make, to renew the message to workers who are contributing to these unions, listen, look what we do for you, look how important we are, look how much worse off you'll be without a union.
remember that if and when january -- janus comes down. i also think this recent round of teacher strikes in kentucky, west virginia, oklahoma, i think there's one anticipated in arizona right now, i think this is really changing the conversation and the perception around unions right now even though they're not necessarily union-driven. but i think a lot of folks now see it's appalling to see what teachers are paid in oklahoma and the textbooks that they're teaching out of. i think the first time the country is really seeing the price of trying to cheap out on paying for workers and paying for teachers in a way that is more visible than it's been in a long time. i would like to believe that that has changed the conversation, that people will still try to stay in these unions. but time will tell. we will see what happens. >> yeah. and, i mean, the more pessimistic interpretation is that unions, even unions like
seiu -- which has been talked about a lot -- will take an enormous hit in their membership if people don't have to pay. and while they have been doing worker education ask trying to address that and got kind of a break because of the case, you know, which was delayed by the death and so forth, i think the other way i would spin it positively is that it has forced unions to give their members a reason to belong and to reinforce that message as opposed to taking them for granted. and it's forced them to make the case that this is something more than a pure transactional relationship. so that would be the upside. >> there may be some other, some interesting ideas percolating. there are some places where collective bargaining is actually outlawed. well, maybe now if the supreme court will be consistent, there could be some good first amendment documents cutting the other way. we'll see. i mean, it certainly is very, you know, this is a case that
if, in all likelihood, if merrick garland had been put on the supreme court of the united states would have come out the other way. >> but he wasn't. >> anyway, these things matter. >> [inaudible] roosevelt tried it once. didn't get very far. >> i mean -- >> it's a little beyond the scope of this panel. [laughter] let's go to another question. >> i'm a retired -- [inaudible] i'm a retired santa clara county worker, so i'm under calpers. and i'm thinking that, as we all know, just like social security my pension check comes not from the money that i have put into calpers, but from the workers
who are working today. and if those workers disappear, who's going to pay for my pension. >> good question. it illustrates perfectly the point that it's important to keep them in the system paying, to pay well. look, the reality of pensions is that there are, you know, not every generation is the same size, right? we know that the baby boom is a big generation, we know that the millennial generation is a large generation. my generation, generation x, is smaller. so there are issues of intergeneration aleck bity. intergenerational equity. and the three sources of funding for pensions are employer contributions -- in that case from the state employees like you just mentioned who are contributing to it now -- and, you know, investment returns, etc. so that's why i think the kind of activism that i describe, you know, in the book is important because it builds on all three
of those legs to try to use this capital in productive ways that, you know, contribute back into the pension fund. so, you know, it's, you know, all of these, all of these kind of retirement funds whether you mentioned social security, i mean, in some ways people think calpers is in trouble. i mean, you know, social security -- calpers is actually a pot of money that exists somewhere, that it's actually present. you can find it, you know? is -- there social security is basically an iou from the government, and currently there are some folks in the government who are very eager to undercut it. so all these are factors. contributions, etc. i don't think that, you know, your scenario like, well, you know, if -- i don't think everybody's going to disappear from the state of california tomorrow. i mean, there are people who are working here, and the reality is relative, coming back to what
rick was saying earlier, the public sector is one of the last few places where there are decent jobs, it is the last place where there are decent jobs that pay decent wages and have decent retirement been fits. and so that's important in order to attract talent, maintain good quality lifestyles for the employees. you know, i was, i actually was up in new hampshire a few years ago on these issues, and one of the issues that, you know, you find up there is that new hampshire has to pay really good, wants to have good pensions because they need to attract people to come and live there. you know, look, i'm from that part of world, so i think i can say this, but, you know, at least weather wise it's more attractive to live here. so i don't think you can boil it down all to just one issue like that. i think that there's a matrix of considerations. but my ultimate bottom line is even if there has to be reform
to these pensions, even if we say they've got to be reformed for the reasons that you describe, that reform has to retain -- in my view -- some collective shareholder voice. if the reform is going to be breaking up calpers into millions of individually-managed accounts, then it's going to silence all the shareholder voice that they have. that's really where i'm coming from. i'm not taking a strong view one way or the other on the, you know, funded issues. there are economists who are more expert in that than i am. i'm just trying to make the case whatever form that pension takes, it should preserve the collective voice. >> we have time for maybe one or two more questions. >> [inaudible] >> i really, it really bothers me when people make speeches instead of asking questions, but i'm still going to make a little
speech before i ask -- >> okay, we have four minutes, and then they're going to cut us off. >> i'll be quick. i was recently retired from the university of michigan, and i was a member of a lecturers' union which is a contingent faculty union. our contract expired yesterday. we're negotiating a new contract right now. michigan went into right to work a couple years ago, so we are going to be in right to work next week, so a lot of these issues about getting people motivated to come -- and we're aft, so my question is this move to contingent faculty in universities is widespread, some people say it's like 60-80% of faculty now at universities are contingent faculty as opposed to tenured faculty. and a couple of you are academic, so you might have some opinions on what you think the future of these kinds of folks are in terms of labor. we have people who make less than the poverty level working full time, so we have a lot of
relationship to these other kind of folks that you were talking about. some of us don't, but many did. so what do you think? >> you know, again, i think this is an accelerating trend across the economy, and again, it runs counter to, you know, a lot of the more positive things that are also being done at the same time. but, you know, the best work on sort of contingent labor, if you want to call it that which would include temp workers, contract workers, on call, you know, sort of non-tradition allay boar, gig workers, uber drivers and that kind of hinge, if you add it -- that kind of thing, if you add it all up, you get about 15% of the labor force. and there's some that would say 35-40%. we can go into the details. i think those numbers are too high, alan krueger and larry katz have done the best study on this working off old rand stuff,
and they're at about 15-16% of the labor force now. but this is what's significant, the net new jobs that were, that are in that realm of non-traditional contract kind of labor, temp kind of labor, that accounted for all of the net new jobs over the last ten years. so this is the fastest growing part of the work force. and again, it's a way for companies both to cut costs and to absolve themselves from taking responsibility for their workers. because now that's, you know, you're on your own or that's the temp agency's problem, i don't really have to deal with this. one very quick and very positive thing if you want to leave on a positive note, there are some -- we can find good examples, and i think they are important models. so just this week survey monkey -- if you know that company up in silicon valley -- announced at least at their headquarters complex, and it's a small number of workers, but they were going to change their policy. and all theol