tv Washington Journal CSPAN November 28, 2014 7:45am-10:01am EST
that whole story you can find on the new york times website -- i'm sorry, "the washington post" website. are going to continue on in our discussion on the economy, turning on black friday, to those that they have to work today, but also the have to work for minimum wage. workingtalk about those today, those affected by minimum
wage, a discussion on that next with the eisenbrey economic policy institute and daniel mitchell of the cato institute. also, two federal investigations currently going on in light of the shooting death in ferguson, missouri. theill hear not only about investigation being done by the justice department, but also how they are conducted, what they do with evidence, what the end result might be when it comes to these types of investigations. our guest will be william employee, former doj has handled these matters before. first, i want to let you know about our "newsmakers" program. our guest is the usaid administrator. the status ofbout u.s. forces and efforts to fight ebola in west africa.
here is a bit from that interview. usaid has the responsibility for coordinating the response in africa. if you look across the three endemic countries in liberia, guinea, sierra leone, we have seen real signs of progress over the last three months but we also know this will be a long-term fight to keep invalid contained and ultimately dealt with at its source so that we can be safe and secure here at need will continue many months into the future. in particular, we have taken a very data different -- data-driven approach. 70% of transmission in liberia, at its peak, was from family members touching, consoling, kissing, washing the bodies of deceased people who had died of ebola. so we stood of these teams that have six or seven persons per team, and personal protective
a dignifiednd in way, safely dispose of the bodies. that and a huge messaging campaign, and now we have 820 ebola treatment unit is available for library to get sick, has brought the rate of transition -- transmission down sharply from 100 new cases a day, down to 15 or 20 a day. that is making a huge difference transforming the state of the entire country. we will stay at it, will be focused, but we know that when we stay data-driven, we can see results. >> are transmission rates falling across the board in all three countries, by as much, or less? is the nation where we have seen the largest reduction in transmission. the transmission rate between -- used to be between two and 2.5.
it is now probably 0.75. perfect,is still not but that is a very steep reduction in liberia. theyerra leone, we think are just under 2000 active cases. we think there is still a high transmission rate. we are working hard to take the lessons we have learned in liberia and help our british colleagues, in particular, who have the military on the ground, building treatment units, leading the international part , to take what we have learned in liberia and deliver it to guinea and sierra leone. host: we are going to talk about the minimum wage. two experts joining us for that conversation. daniel mitchell of the cato institute and we are also joined by ross eisenbrey of the economic policy institute. he is their vice president. good morning.
when it comes to the minimum wage, who earns the minimum wage today, and tell us what you think it's important for folks to know not only what they earn that why they earn it. the minimum wage ranges anywhere from teenagers getting their first job up to, in some cases, the head of a household. the minimum wage was set after the 1930's, has been adjusted several times. from the perspective of the cato institute, what concerns us is, some people do not have the training or the education to be worth nine dollars to an employer, if the government says you have to get paid that much, that person is victimized and never has the chance to get on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. i would love for all of us to get $100 an hour, but if we raise the minimum wage above the a certaine for worker, you will throw them out of the workforce.
the minimum wage is currently $7.25. what do you think about that figure and who earns it? surprising how many people are older workers that get minimum wage. the average wage of someone earning the minimum wage is 35. i think people would be surprised by that. a third of people earning minimum wage are older than 40. so it is not teenagers anymore. it includes a lot of people raising families, 28% of the people who would benefit from the president minimum wage increase have children. it is a very different population from what people i think have in their minds, that it is teenagers and people who have not worked very much. a lot of people have been working for years and years at the minimum wage. it is not even really an entry-level wage anymore, --
there are 20 million people that would benefit from the increase the president has called for. an hour.ing for $10.10 host: what would be to change for someone getting paid minimum wage, as far as real dollars is concerned? full-time,hey work full-year, it would be almost $6,000. host: not an insignificant figure as far as the increase is concerned. great,it would be assuming you are one of the minimum wage workers that keeps her job. buddy --ook at the cbo study, and this is the moral question of this issue. if you keep your job, a minimum wage increase is good. if you are part of the population that loses a job, then it is utterly devastating. set aside the moral question of whether politicians and bureaucrats should be interfering with private
employment decisions. employersrkers and should make that decision for themselves. if we want to look at it from a utilitarian perspective, it all boils down to do you think it is right to throw some people out of work in order to boost the wages of other people? i think that is wrong. host: who are those people that will be thrown out of work? guest: if you are minimum wage now and let's say you are worth eight dollars an hour, but the government says you have to be -- $10 $.10.$.10 businesses are not charity. if they hire somebody and pay them, they will pull in more revenue, so it will be a net plus for the company. we will be forced to hire somebody for $10.10, but they are only worth $8.50. that is why the minimum wage sounds so nice, but for the ones that lose out -- and we are talking about the most
vulnerable, the ones we should care about the most, they are the ones that lose their jobs. host: what do you say to that, mr. eisenbrey? guest: the fact is, people do not lose their job when the minimum wage is increased. i have a chart that shows all the studies that have been done. .t shows a big peak it used to be that people cut economic theories suggest if you raise the price too high, that people will lose their jobs, but we are talking about an increase that is small enough that it does not matter. in the 1990's, i remember i worked in congress and people said if we raise the minimum wage, we will lose jobs. we did raise the minimum wage and it was the strongest job growth we have had in the last 30 years.
it has not proved out. we have had studies across county borders, state borders, hundreds of differences where one place has a higher minimum wage and one place has lower, and they show teenagers do not lose jobs, minorities do not lose jobs. employment is basically unaffected by raising the minimum wage. host: how would you respond to that, mr. mitchell? is puttingink ross hope over experience. if politicians tomorrow said from now on the minimum wage is $1000 an hour, it would be great. what if it is $100 an hour, that would cause unemployment. scale, theown the employment effect will get smaller as the minimum wage gets lower. just as if you raise the price of gas one cent, that may change demand by this bunch, but if you
change it by one dollar, it will change them and by that much. we are talking about a market for workers. you cannot repeal the laws of economics. one thing where ross and i agree, he talked about the experience of the 1990's. if you have a fast-growing economy where there is an increased demand for labor, especially people just entering the workforce, the lower skilled positions him and that is good news. you wind up paying higher wages as an employer because you are trying to compete to bring people to your company. far as i'm concerned, if we care about low income workers, whether teenagers are heads of households, let's figure out how to get back to the kinds of policies we had under reagan in the 1980's or clinton in the 1990's. come back to the policies that got us the fast growth and created by labor markets.
-- tight labor market. host: mr. eisenbrey? guest: clinton raised the minimum wage. if we go back to that policy, i'm happy to see that. this was in 1996, the minimum wage was increased, and unemployment fell sharply after that. in fact, we have the lowest unemployment rate basically of my lifetime. it fell to 4% on a yearly basis and actually below. we had full employment after we had the minimum wage increase. any argument based on history about the minimum wage has to admit that there has been no evidence that a minimum wage increase causes unemployment. guest: two things.
worst of all, look at the heavy government regulations in europe and the higher unemployment rate. secondly, if we are going to have this deal to go back to clinton policies, which i'm willing to do, ross has to understand the other side of the deal. government spending has to fall under gdp, government regulations. a lot of the big government policies that we have had under bush and obama undermine the more pro-market direction the country was heading in under clinton. even though i think a minimum wage increase is bad, i might be willing to take it if we have other the policies. the net effect of those policies was to give us a more free-market, which was good for low income workers and everyone. if you want to ask a question, the numbers are on the screen.
minimum wage workers, if you want to chime in as well, give your thoughts and experience to what we are talking about, (202) 585-3883. isdivide it by lines, but there common ground that can be found between republicans and democrats? more republicans are coming around to the idea of raising the minimum wage. show thatuse polls even republican voters are for the minimum wage increase. likeigures are something 60% to 70 percent of republican voters support a minimum wage increase. you had a chart earlier that shows how the value has fallen so much over the years. the economy is much more productive, we have much more wealth, obviously, we have rising inequality. business owners and working people doing spectacularly well and they are not sharing this
increase of wealth with their minimum-wage workers. let's say, minimum-wage workers are better educated, older than they used to be, the economy is more productive. they should be paid more than minimum-wage workers. the real value of the minimum wage has fallen steadily. 23% below where it was in 1980. guest: as much as i hate to admit it, the majority of the american people are for a higher minimum wage but they are also for protectionist policies. , maybe notn people advocate against tooth, but they at theng -- maybe not cato institute, but they are wrong on this issue. my job is to educate those voters that it is not morally right to throw some people out of the lifeboat just to get other people and raise. that is the affect paid you
cannot repeal the laws of economics seven by wishing them away. host: let's go to phone calls. this is terry in canton, north carolina. republican line. guest: good morning, c-span. this is a great topic this morning. i see the democrats are still in the race to the bottom. to seeld not be looking how least we can pay somebody. ings country should be see what everyone can do for themselves and make $50 an hour. i don't have to wait for another democrat to give me a handout to be poor. i want ross to answer one question. what about the disabled, the elderly that are not working and will have to pay twice as much money for a gallon of milk, or a loaf of bread?
plenty of minimum-wage workers are elderly people. of course, a minimum wage increase will have a tiny impact on prices. the minimum-wage increases, the last three increases amounted to 1/10 of 1% of all the wages in the country. when you give a small increase at the bottom to minimum-wage workers, it really has no effect on inflation. dan is not making that argument because there is no argument to make their. if you are worried about the elderly, worry about elderly workers who have to pay rent, have to pay for food and clothing, gasoline, all these things, where the prices are going up, and their wage is held year after year.
these are the people that need the minimum-wage increase. guest: the caller raises an important point about what is the best way to get upward mobility, relying on government to impose mandates and rules and regulations, and more big government programs? if that was a route to success, we would be looking at france and greece and italy as role models. the countries that grow the ,astest are the free market small government jurisdictions like switzerland, hong kong, singapore, australia. the world is a laboratory in history is a guide. big government since it does not work. we should not think that the crowd in washington is our savior. they are the ones that are the obstacles to a faster growing economy. guest: mike is in tampa --host: mike is in tampa. inflation index had
been applied to the minimum wage since its inception, using cpi or ipd, what would the minimum wage be today? depends on whether you are looking at the very first day it was enacted, or as i suspect, as ross was doing, picking some high water mark. in my mind, that does not matter. i don't want the government to be artificially setting a minimum wage it that has the net effect of cutting the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. my focus is what are the types of policies systemwide across the government that we could adopt to get a faster growing economy that creates a tight labor market? there have been times in our country where the minimum-wage has been below the market clearing entry-level wage. in that case, the minimum-wage has no negative effect because it is no longer an impediment to workers getting hired. i suspect ross wants that kind
of environment, too. the question is how we get that rapid ease of -- economic growth. force i enter the labor in the 1960's, at the high water mark of the minimum-wage. productivity has soared since then. enough,omy is strong there is enough wealth and income that people ought to be sharing it. in fact, we have giant corporations who are making billions and billions of dollars for their owners who are not sharing with their workers at all. if you leave things to the market, you will end up with people starving, as they were before we have the minimum-wage in the 1930's. people were working for $.10 an hour and literally starving. they could not support their families. the minimum-wage was put into -- presidentp roosevelt said back then -- to keep employers from chiseling
their workers, gouging them, working them, and not sharing in the wealth of those people created. it is a four. it is meant to make sure that we compete. -- it is a floor. we want businesses competing on efficiency, innovation, their ability to deliver a good product, not on their ability to squeeze wages to the maximum extent possible. host: minneapolis, independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. there are businesses and companies that have always paid , theirntry-level workers new workers, way above the minimum wage, whatever it was, because that is their value, and they think they will get a better employee. that is what they want to do.
if the minimum-wage becomes $10, what do you think these businesses will do, and what has been the history of who always like to pay their workers above the minimum-wage? thank you. i will hang up and listen. guest: if you are in an industry where the entry-level wages above the minimum wage, and is sufficiently above it and even an increased does that bring you there, presumably, it will have very little effect. those are industries that presumably require more skills and education, some sort of training to justify a $15 entry-level minimum wage. of course, if you look at all the workers in the country, it's only a tiny fraction of get the minimum wage.
if businesses were interested in chiseling workers and starving them, then why aren't all of us getting the minimum-wage, instead of attraction of us? we want to make sure that people get into the labor market, begin to climb that ladder, get the training and skills they need. if we are really concerned about the least fortunate among us, i would much rather do things like school choice so that these kids in poor neighborhoods can get better schooling and get better trained and equipped to get into the labor market and not be such a risky proposition for a potential employer. there are lots of things we can do to give people more opportunity, but it does not come from government. a question of not the skills of the workforce, the minimum-wage workers, the people who would benefit from a $10 10 .ent minimum-wage there are 20 million of them,
much better educated than they were 30 years ago -- 35 years ago when i enter the workforce. more likely to have graduated from high school, more likely to have a college education. this is not a question of the quality of the people who are getting the minimum-wage. this is a question of inequality of businesses not willing to pay what people need to live. it is as simple as that. you cannot survive on $7.25 an hour, and yet there are hundreds of thousands of businesses taking that. there are big corporations like mcdonald's, burger king, these fast food corporations, making a lot of money, but off paying their workers a pittance. it is just not right. journal"e wall street profiles those franchisees. they say that if you increase their pay, everyone else's pay
has to go up to accommodate. how it shouldt is be. the small business owner can make a better deal with mcdonald's if that's the case. if they had to pay their workers more because the government requires it, they will make a better deal with mcdonald's. i'm not worried about the franchisees. they are doing much better than the minimum wage workers who are actually serving their customers and delivering their product and making the money for those franchisees. fascinating that the south carolina small business chamber of commerce is headed by somebody that has come out and said we should have a minimum wage increase because the workers in south carolina are paid so little, they cannot afford to come to our small business. 5000-member small business association calling for the minimum wage increase that the president has called for. basically because the workers
are paid so little, they cannot consume. the businesses would be helped by having more money in the pockets of their workers. guest: once again, we are at this moral, utilitarian divide here. maybe 70% of the franchise owners could survive and somehow renegotiated their deal with mcdonald's or burger king. but some of them are not going to. just like some employees will be thrown out of work, some small businesses might be thrown out of business. i just find it wrong for a bunch of people in washington to kill offe are going to the small businesses because it will serve some greater good. that is economically defensive, but even more so, morally wrong. and danieleisenbrey
mitchell to talk about the minimum-wage. jeff from california, republican line. i am a conservative but i started out as a democrat when i was in college, like a lot of people. i find this argument about raising the minimum wage bizarre. how you cannot raise a minimum-wage to people who work so hard, they get up in the morning and go to work, they are not great jobs. for them to get an extra dollar or two to make a living is bizarre, number one. the second thing, mr. mitchell has this argument about we will give them the minimum-wage if we do something about cutting spending. neither party cuts anything. that includes the republican party or the democratic party. they will not cut anything. that argument -- it's not even an argument. the last thing i'd like to say
is, if a business cannot survive by raising the minimum wage by one dollar or two, they ought to close their doors. thank you. host: mr. mitchell? guest: that last comment reminded me of hillary clinton in the 1990's when she said she is not responsible for every undercapitalized business in america that would be thrown out of existence by government-run health care back then. i think that is wrong. i care about the fact that a small business and a low skilled worker should have the ability to survive and get a job, but i agree with one thing. republicans can be just as big spenders as democrats. george bush increased spending at a faster rate than barack obama, even if you look at just domestic spending. that does not mean we should give up. we need to save the country from becoming a failed european welfare state.
as i said before, if i can strike a deal with ross, if he is willing to go back to the small government with bill clinton, we can get a higher wage. the net effect would be good for the economy. states have the minimum wage on their ballots this year as far as initiatives. nine other states will raise their rates in 2015. should this remain a state issue? don't think any politician should be interfering with private market decisions. that being said, if i had to choose, i would rather this be a state issue. it might be that in north dakota, which is booming because fraking, young -- probably do not have anyone in the entire state making just the minimum-wage. if they want to raise their minimum wage to $10.10 and everyone is making $12 an hour, go ahead. but in mississippi, where the cost of living is lower, but
economic conditions may not be as strong, you raise that minimum-wage out of washington and you could be throwing thousands of people out of work, the people that most need to be on the lower rung of the economic ladder to improve their lifestyle. host: a state only issue perhaps, mr. eisenbrey? guest: we are one nation, we should have laws that protect everybody. i don't think it is right that somebody in mississippi works if two dollars an hour -- there were no minimum-wage in mississippi, that would make no sense. different sense of morals. my idea is that you do not let people starve. you have federal programs like women, infant, children feeding programs. you have food stamps, medicaid, federal assistance for people who many are minimum wage workers, and yet, we as taxpayers support them, to make
sure they do not starve, their children do not starve, that their medical conditions can be taken care of. no government, the little government world that dan is about would not provide for them, i guess. because we do, i don't want people -- businesses in mississippi, or any other state, paying their people so little that i as a taxpayer, have to support them. the business should pay a that will lift somebody above the poverty level. the minimum-wage now is well below poverty level. rather than the taxpayers supporting that business -- that is essentially what we are talking about, having us pay all of those costs that the business is shifting onto government by paying such a low wage. i would rather require the business to pay for what it's getting.
$10 an hour, the minimum-wage the president is talking about, is really not alot. enough to buy three gallons of milk. it is a very small amount. host: pennsylvania is next. elizabeth, democrat. if we want to talk about morality, i as a taxpayer, to not feel that i should have to subsidize businesses who are earning record profits. businesses can make money. they are not going to increase of theirwages because cut. we need the government to step in because we broke the unions in the 1980's. without that bargaining power against the big corporations, even the smaller corporations, yes, we need the government to help us out. if we are going to talk about morality, it is not moral to and somebody go to work
have a full-time job, 40 hours a week, and then have to subsidize that with a part-time job and still not be above the poverty line so that the taxpayers end up helping them out with food assistance, energy assistance. all of that is coming out of the taxpayer dollar. if businesses would increase those wages, and then the government, which is the forayer, steps in and pays what the business should be paying for. we are talking about free markets. people get up and go to work to own money, to earn money to live. not to advance the interest of business. when they get up and go to work, they should be able to earn a living wage. guest: i think that's a great idea and i agree with part of what you said but will disagree with another part. there is academic evidence of the scholars that have looked into this that some of these income registration policies
actually do allow companies to pay low income workers a lower wage because they know the effect,nt is, in propping up what they are getting. why should taxpayers be subsidizing some of these companies? of course, that is never the way it is portrayed when politicians debate these things in washington. they say we will expand the eic because we want people to have -- to be able to put food on the table and not be in poverty. of course, the government gives them this much and companies do not need to give them raises. government intervention, in many the indirect ways, winds up hurting the people it was designed to help. but let me come back to the moral question, somebody getting up and working 40 hours a week should be above the poverty line. are nottheir skills commensurate with that, and would've an increase in the minimum wage does a lot of work? then instead of working 40
hours, being up here, they are working zero hours and being down there. and then they are entirely taken care of by the government. not only that, you destroyed your self-worth, spirit of self-reliance, social capital of someone who is, in effect, thrown into government tendency by well-meaning but misguided government. net result of what dan is saying, if you are paying attention, is he does not want tose federal programs destroy someone's feeling of self-worth, and he does not want the federal government to require a minimum wage. so the world where people are paid five dollars an hour and andot support themselves are hungry and homeless, that is what we will have. really a crazy view of the world. he points toociety -- switzerland, australia, other
places. the minimum wage in australia is $15 an hour. i really don't think there is any society that would support the notion that we are just going to let people fall to the bottom and ignore them. twitterom tom keller on , aren't you concerned that the minimum wage will tip the balance in favor of automation for many jobs? is a goodomation thing, that is how we get higher productivity. we have had automation for the last 100 years and the result is greater in greater wealth. the question is how do we distribute that well? -- wealth? the minimum wage is one of those important mechanisms to make sure that a business that is profiting from everything from more efficient trucking to warehousing, all the different things that can be done to produce food more cheaply, like mcdonald's, shares with the workers, all of this increased
wealth and income. host: what about the idea that automation may turn to low income -- low wage jobs being shed? guest: it could be that the checkers and grocery stores could be replaced by machines. notion is that economy will be invested in somewhere else, and another business will create more jobs. we do not have a fixed number of jobs which is never varying. we have had lots of automation, and yet, we have more jobs today than we did 30 years ago. agree, automation is a very good thing. sometimes it's painful. when the arsenal computer was invented, if you were in a typewriter factory or repair business, that was bad news for you. when the electric light bulb was invented, that was bad for the candlemaking industry. but in a dynamic a market
economy, the net effect is to make all of us richer, even as certain communities might be hard hit during a transition period. but this gives me an opportunity to go back to the point that ross was making. if you are not in favor of the minimum wage, you are in favor of people starving. i suppose i'm in favor of leprosy and tooth decay as well. it's going back to the world of the laboratory example. there are jurisdictions that do not have the minimum wage laws, places like singapore and hong kong, and they grow faster and their average living standards are above the united dates, even though places like that were very poor, after world war ii. whereas the countries that are doing what ross is proposing, france,e intervention, greece, italy, they are in financial crisis. they have much higher levels of unemployment, stagnant economies, no opportunities for advancement. just look at u.s. states.
compare texas and california. a no income tax small government state is doing far better than a big government high tax state. we cannot wave a magic wand. you cannot wish something and make it reality. i would love for everyone to have higher wages. i would love to be able to dunk a basketball. the politicians pass a law that says i can, doesn't change reality? of course it doesn't. we have to figure out what is best for all workers, and that is a fast-growing economy, and you do not get that by giving bureaucrats more power. host: millie in kingsport, tennessee. caller: i am a senior citizen. i have social security and i work for minimum wage. i still have to work because my social security is not enough money. i think it is ridiculous that they will not even raise it one dollar, two dollars. it has not been raised since the
1990's. people just cannot afford to live no more. host: before you go, what kind of work do you do? caller: i am a deli worker. host: what work did you do before? caller: i managed a convenience store. guest: the convenience store industry is another one where they are making huge profits. right now, american business has record profits. there is no question about ability to pay across the economy. this who is like struggling to get by is not sharing. they are working, contributing to this business, but they are not sharing in any of the -- the retailth industry in the u.s. over the last few years.
it's interesting you compare california with texas. --ifornia, texas i mean washington, oregon on, they have a higher minimum wage, and get their economic growth is greater than the national average. just one more piece of evidence on top of 20 years of economic studies that show there is really no worry, no reason to worry about job loss if we raise the minimum wage a reasonable amount, like the president is proposing. host: mr. mitchell? thet: look at the data over last several years and compare texas with california. there is no comparison in terms of where the job growth and economic growth has been. compare hong kong and singapore to italy and france and greece over the past 20 years. it does not matter what time frame you are looking at. you do not get more prosperity by giving politicians and bureaucrats more power. what concerns me is, in the long
run, even if it is well-meaning, if we wind up increasing the burden of government -- don't forget, these small businesses that ross wants to impose the minimum wage on them, they are also dealing with the impositions of obamacare, everything from the eeoc, to osha. there is an alphabet soup of bureaucracies here in washington imposing rules and regulations and mandates on these employers. if we want faster growth, ask yourself the question, are we more likely to get that with even more of the washington business as usual, one-size-fits-all policies, or are we more likely to help all workers by having a more efficient, fast growing market-oriented economy? the world and national evidence is abundantly clear on that. statesdan's choices of -- you can pick this state versus that state. you could compare mississippi
-- i don't think they even have a statement on wage, with california. who's great -- growth is greater? california. mississippi versus washington, whose is greater? washington. you can pick and choose these comparisons. i think you are better off looking at an overall, national economic greater? picture and saying what has happened and we have had minimum wage increases in the past? they have resulted in stronger growth sometimes but never can you show -- and you have not tried to show -- that we have had a minimum wage increase that was then followed by unemployment. it does not cause job loss. from seven nobel prize winners, eight former presidents of the american economic association. the weight of economic evidence over the last 20 years, after hundreds of studies, is there is
no negative employment effect from raising the minimum wage. guest: two things. if you do the 50-state studies with all of the analysis and you are not cherry picking, the evidence is overwhelming that the more pro-market and smaller government states, and for that matter, globally, the more row market, small government nations outperform the bigger ones. of them majority realize that it would throw people out of work and interfere with the markets. i could cite my nobel laureates. he could cite the occasional aea president. i could as well. ultimately it comes down to common sense and morality. we know what a $100 minimum we know a $50 minimum wage will throw people out of work. the question is how many people we are willing to throw out of work based on the minimum wage. acceptable tot is
save five people over here to throw one person out of work over here? officegressional budget is far from a libertarian or free-market organization. i criticize them nine times out of 10. even the cbo is saying you are playing some kind of fost in bargain where you are willing to throw a certain number of people out of work to give a wage increase to others. i don't think that is the right thing to do. springfield, indiana, democrats line, roger. caller: this question is for mr. mitchell. i can appreciate he argues for the minimum wage workers, that they would be out of work for getting a raise. if that is the case, let's lower the cbo pay and create more jobs. that would be great. get tickled when i hear your argument about democrats and
republicans. i know the cato institute supports republicans. i have never known them to cut anything except when a democrat is president. your argument is comical to sit here and listen to you guys. you talk about government. you are part of government. you try to control government, what they do, everything about it. host: let's get a response. guest: i work at a libertarian ink tank. record,ook at our track we are just as critical of republicans. one of the reasons i went from the heritage foundation to the cato institute is it gave me more freedom to criticize the policies of the bush administration. if you're making government bigger, increasing bureaucratic control of the private sector, you're going to hurt growth and prosperity. that is why i am a fan of what happened during the clinton years wear on that, government got smaller and there was
deregulation of the economy. i am critical of the bush years. nixon was another big government statist. it is not a partisan issue for us at cato. it is all about what is good for the economy. i think ross is well-meaning. he is a nice guy. we have talked off air plenty of times. i just don't think he is right when you look at the underlying numbers. do you know what is far more offensive than anything ross would have to say? when you get these big industry associations lobbying for the export-import bank or the tarp bailout, that makes my blood boil that fatcat insiders are using the course of power of washington to line up pockets. to me, that is more offensive than someone arguing for an increase in the minimum wage, even though i think it is not a good idea for reasons i have explained. er'st: i like the coloall
attention to ceo pay, which has increased about 1000 percent over the time the minimum wage has been declining. the ratio between ceo pay and minimum wage is growing. it is a real problem. the increase in what executives pay themselves has been astonishing, out-of-control. it is the perfect measure for why we should have minimum wage increase, that people can continue to pay themselves 50% whileses over the years their minimum wage workers get nothing, get no increase at all. to me, it is a perfect measure of what is wrong with the economy now. it is a drag on the economy , the minimum wage
increase that would transfer about ready 5 million -- $35 owners ofom ceo's and corporations to their minimum wage workers would lift the economy. the best estimates are that would increase gdp by about $22 billion. , making sure we are not so unequal, so lopsided in the rewards of the economy, would be better for the economy. host: somebody on twitter has an idea you might agree with. he says why not encourage large businesses to share profit by scaling minimum wage with corporate profit? guest: i have a hard time even figuring out how that would work. would go out and figure out any business cycle where they are, are you going to force lower wages when there is a recession? i don't think ross would like
that any more than the workers would like that. live at the company and leave the government out of it altogether? more profitable companies over time are probably increasing wages faster than companies that are not profitable. one of the reasons i worry about the intervention out of washington is you're making the company less profitable. they don't have the capacity to hire workers and give them increasing wages over time. guest: the problem is the prophets are not being reinvested. they are being used for stock buybacks. it is astonishing how much money is used to increase share prices rather than being reinvested in corporate operations. look at walmart. here is a spectacularly successful corporation. the family that owns the majority shares, the walton
family has $150 of wealth, i billion of50 wealth, i think. you don't even have to characterize the walton family to say, could they afford to pay more to their workers? of course they could, yet they choose not to. it is one of the worst imbalances in the american economy. i think it is symbolic of what is wrong. if walmart won't lift the wages of its workforce, the federal minimum wage rising will have that effect, and that is a good thing. host: what do you think about the model it uses? guest: i think walmart has created a lot of wealth and jobs. that is a good thing. i think we should look at it more broadly. this ties into something ross just said. companies are sitting on about $2 trillion of profit. not only that, but banks are sitting on nearly $3 trillion of excess reserves they are keeping
at the fed. we should ask ourselves the question, why are banks and big company sitting on money? why aren't they investing that? maybe it is because government in washington is making it -- creating too much in certainteed, imposing too many taxes and regulations. i want that money to be productively utilized. i want america to be a better place to invest could we have the highest harper tax rate in the world. we wonder why companies are creating jobs overseas instead of in america. we should figure out what we are doing wrong in washington. fix those policies, get faster growth because it is faster growth like in the 1980's and 1990's that leads to more job creation and higher wages. you don't get that by making government bigger and imposing more regulations and mandates. let's get that money to work in reducing interference of washington. guest: i don't want anyone to
think what dan just said is true. the marginal tax rate for u.s. corporations is higher, but what they pay in taxes is no higher than international -- the international average. that is a fact. host: from cedar rapids, iowa, republican line. this is joe. the labor department has all jobs categorized, so why don't you go to a two-stage, tiered wage system? people thatern is -- makinger making people lose their wages. there is a basic injustice. almost no one is getting paid minimum wage where i am. i just wondered if you could look at increasing certain jobs within others.
guest: i am not sure i understand what the caller is suggesting. it is true not that many people are actually paid $7.25 an hour. but between $7.25 an hour and the $10 and cents an hour the president has called for, there are 28 million people that would benefit from raising the minimum wage. a lot of people are paid very low wages, which is below the poverty line, which -- who would benefit from this. ist: mr. mitchell? guest: think the caller is referring to the fact there have been calls for minimum wage for workers over 21 and lower minimum wage for entry-level workers. that would mitigate some of the damaging effects. it would also create a perverse incentive. if you are an employer, you might want to hire a teenager rather than a 26 are old. do you want the government
putting its thumb on the scale that way? it brings me back to the fact we don't want intervention in the first place. host: from virginia, this is james, a minimum wage worker, go ahead. you are on with our guests. caller: he was mentioning about the state's tax wages and all. it, they understand cannot get out of california fast enough to get to texas because of the state's minimum wage is. i have two daughters that has got degrees out of community college in virginia. by the devastated textile companies leaving this area. both of the work at mcdonald's. neither one of them has ever worked a 40-hour week. nobody at mcdonald's gets a 40 hour week unless your salary.
then they work you to death and pay you 35 hours a week salary. why would it hurt to give a minimum wage to service industry people? they are not getting the 26 hours a week. host: mr. mitchell. forget, with obamacare, employers have a big incentive to keep workers under 30 hours a week. whether it is obamacare, minimum wage, osha, eeoc, the tax code, there are so many things government is doing that make it a challenge for a small business to survive and create jobs. i realize i sell my keeper can record -- sound like a broken record. ofthe worldwide analysis small government companies versus big government companies. why is the youth unemployment rate in places like greece and spain almost 50%? why is the overall unemployment
rate in double digits? it does not work. you cannot wave a magic wand of big government and expect you will get good results. using i have to say greece as an example of anything is crazy. it is a tiny country with lots of economic problems that have nothing to do with minimum wage. the minimum wage wage in sweden and norway is much higher. mcdonald's workers in denmark make $20 an hour. vastly different economies. to try to compare them the way dan is doing is very misleading. germany has a lower unemployment rate than we do. that ive a minimum wage think is already $10.50 an hour. trying to compare countries on the basis of the minimum wage is
a mistake. what the caller was suggesting offshore,y has moved and the kind of jobs left are not enough to pay a decent living to his daughters. i think that is exactly right. it is not because mcdonald's cannot afford to pay it. it is that they have the power and there is no bargaining power on the other side because there are not unions anymore, especially in a state like virginia, that can bargaining higher wage, the wage they deserve to be paid. host: let me throw one more factor in. this is off of twitter. how effective is raising the minimum wage when you let illegal labor keep pouring in? guest: it depends. i think people are a resource. some say that will depress
wages. in a bad economy, that is true. it would create more competition from low income workers in america. on the other hand, if we fix the policies that are long and move back to more free-market policies of reagan and clinton, i think more people could come into the country and everyone would be better off. it does depend on the overall national, economic condition. if you have a stagnant economy, and it looks like we have entered a more european-style slow growth economy, if we were back in the 4% growth of the reagan and clinton years, having low income workers come into america from latin america would not be a negative. if we are in a stagnant, 2% someh economy, i imagine native american workers are going to suffer because of what obama has proposed. guest: i think what the president did has to be good for all low-wage workers in america.
we have 8 million people here. six or 7 million have been here as long as 10 years. they have been working in jobs where many are paid illegally. less than the minimum wage good social security taxes are not taken out on their behalf. they are being exploited. there are businesses exploiting these people. when their position is made legal, as the president is doing for 5 million of the undocumented workers, they will be able to change jobs. they will be able to come out of the shadows and demand for themselves what every other worker gets, which is at least minimum wage. they have social security paid on their behalf. they have the protection of workers compensation and all of the other systems we have to protect them. when that happens for them,
workers in competition with them will not have a downward pull on their own wages and labor standards. i think it means everyone will be lifted up. it is a good thing. host: one more call. this is edward, democrats line, go ahead. as longmy comment was as big business is controlling the direction of the studies mr. mitchell keeps quoting, we will always have the same problem over and over again. big business is making big money on the backs of low income workers. that is my comment. guest: if you want to reduce the power of big businesses, let's have more competition. let's lower tax rate so more small businesses can set up and provide competition. let's get rid of corporate welfare. let's not do bailouts and subsidies. let's get rid of big farm
subsidies. i am with you. i don't like big business. i don't look small businesses as institutions. what i would like is a competitive free market economy because that is for people. the fact businesses will be created and create jobs is good. it is not because i like businesses. it is because i want people to be more prosperous. host: we have been talking about the debate on whether to raise the minimum wage. do you see an increase from congress or the president? guest: i think the average republican member of congress, they will be controlling the house and senate in january, i think they realize that is not a good idea. as we talked about earlier, the american people think it is a good idea. the question is, will this be like protectionism? the average american like protectionism. but the average member of congress understands it is not a
good idea, so we don't get protectionism. do i think there will be an increase in the minimum wage before 2016? i am pessimistic. i would not be surprised if republicans decide we want to hold power and even though we know this is a bad idea, they will rationalize that keeping their majority in congress justifies throwing some low-income people out of work, which i think is unfortunate. guest: i wished him were right -- i wish dan were right. industries andh those who have poured millions of dollars into getting republicans elected will not stand for the raising the minimum wage. i don't expect that to happen until at least 2017 at the federal level. in the meantime, there will be many state initiatives, as there have been in recent years, to raise the minimum wage at the state level. host: two experts on the minimum wage.
website if your want to check out the policy papers on this topic. daniel mitchell, a senior fellow with cato institute. to both of you, thanks for joining us. coming up, we will change topics and take a look at ferguson, missouri, especially the federal investigations into the shooting of michael brown. us tom yeomans will join talk about the process and what might come out of that process as "washington journal" continues after this. guest: ♪ >> this thanksgiving weekend, we continue our book tv programming
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after more than 40 years as white house correspondent for abc news. >> "washington journal" continues. host: this week, in light of the decisions made in ferguson over the michael brown case, the attorney general talked about the status of federal investigations looking at that case. here is what he had to say. [video clip] briefed byeen the deputy assistant general and members of my staff. they are overseeing the federal investigations into the shooting of michael brown as well as the investigation we are doing of the ferguson police department. i would emphasize we have two investigations ongoing. as i have said many times before and reiterated in my statement last night, the department's investigation will continue to be thorough. they will continue to be independent. they remain ongoing.
they will be conducted rigorously and in a timely manner so we can move forward as expeditiously as we can to restore trust, to rebuild understanding, and foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members. aboutjoining us to talk this issue on our set, william yeomans, the former deputy attorney general and former acting attorney general for civil rights. he is also a professor at the american university washington college of the law. thank you for joining us. guest: it is a pleasure to be here. host: why two investigations? guest: one is criminal and one is civil. the first is the possibility of federal so for its charges. -- federal civil rights charges. that investigation is proceeding. be attorney general has set it up to be independent of the local investigation. it is an investigation into the possibility of a federal charge
that would require the government to show officer wilson shot michael brown with a specific intent to use more force than reasonably necessary under the circumstances. that is a fairly difficult standard to satisfy. not impossible, but difficult. general gave no suggestion of one that investigation might be complete . you never know where an investigation might lead. that is the first investigation people think about. the second is a civil investigation. that means it would not result in putting anyone in jail. but it could result in significant reform of the ferguson police department. it will look at whether ferguson has engaged in a pattern of practice of violating individuals' federal rights. that can include a wide range of activity.
from the way the ferguson police department uses force, how they train officers, how the discipline officers, how they relate to the community, whether there is racial profiling involved in how they decide to stop people on the street, all of that. the outcome that will probably happen is the department will complete its investigation. it will sit down with ferguson and try to negotiate an agreement that will address the need for change across the board for the ferguson police department. if they reach an agreement, that will probably be entered in court as a disintegrate -- disintegrate decree. will department of justice investigators look at the same evidence the grand jury look that? is there other evidence added to that? guest: we don't know what they might find. they will start with the evidence the ferguson grand jury looked at.
all of that has been made available to federal investigators. much of that was developed with the fbi working alongside with the local investigators. whether there is more, we don't know at this point. robert mcculloch, the prosecutor, put all of the evidence they had before the grand jury, which was an unusual procedure. but all of that evidence is now available. he has made it public, another unusual step. how that affects the federal investigation is unclear. it is not certain the federal government will take its investigation to a grand jury. it could decide to do so if it thinks it has enough evidence. now that all of the evidence from the local grand jury is out there, that means every witness into the federal grand jury would have the evidence of the witnesses before, which is not an ideal circumstance for conducting a grand jury. you want the
witnesses to come in at have to testify about what they saw, heard and know about the case. there is a natural tendency to adapt one's testimony to what you think others are saying. it is not that people are intentionally misleading. but sometimes there is a natural tendency. that is not ideal. host: is the criminal investigation done on the ground in ferguson or out of washington? guest: the lead will be the civil rights division in washington. there is a section in the civil rights division as the criminal prosecutions. they will work with the u.s. attorney's office in st. louis. the fbi will be involved. investigation takes place on the ground in ferguson. as to whethersion or not to go forward will be made in washington. host: the criminal investigation has a high bar.
what kind of evidence would they have to look at to make a different conclusion? guest: it is impossible to say what might make the difference. me say about these investigations that they are difficult. eyewitness testimony is invariably conflicting because these are conflicting circumstances that unfold rapidly. is helpful if you have a videotape. successful prosecutions have turned on videotape. we don't have a videotape. federal investigators will be looking at forensic evidence. they will be looking at the blood, the distances, how people were moving. they will try to reconstruct exactly what happened. they will examine all the witnesses, all of the eyewitnesses, and all of the experts predict will talk to the people that did the autopsies. there were three autopsies.
they will probably bring in some of their own experts to evaluate the forensic evidence. the fbi is expert in doing that. it is impossible to say there might be one piece of evidence they could come up with. they will look at the whole situation and decide whether they think there is evidence that would lead a jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that officer wilson reacted with the intent to use more force than necessary. to talkll yeomans here about federal civil rights investigations in light of the ferguson decision. if you have questions about the process, here is your question to ask them. the line for democrats, the line for republicans, the line for independents. what is the timeline for these investigations? never wise prosecutors put a time limit on their investigation because you don't know where the evidence will take you and what steps you will have to take. we know a substantial amount of
work has been done. the federal government has the advantage of building on that. been some suggestion the federal investigation is far along. beyondthat, it is -- that, it is hard to say. i would not think it would go on for many months more. host: in attorney general they don't want to prejudge evidence. ?hat processes are in place you have very expressed prosecutors doing these cases, people who deal with allegations of excessive force by police all the time and are familiar with how these investigations proceed. experienced very and wise eye to the evidence. they will be making the judgment as to whether the evidence is there. host: bill yeomans is our guest.
questions from you. we start with new jersey on the independent line. caller: good morning. i hope you don't cut me off because there are a few comments i would like to make. tost of all, i would like distinguish between social justice, equal justice, and a pretense at justice. to have these civil rights investigations is nothing more than an active placating -- an act of placating. if attorney general holder was really interested in seeking equal justice under the law, he would not have established a too big to jail policy. he would not have engaged in fasting periods -- fast and furious. he would not be complicit in the human trafficking going on at our borders. as far as president obama is concerned, if he were really
concerned and interested in solving the problems in the heican-american community, would not be using executive orders to allow the streaming of illegal immigrants into our inner cities. host: ok, thanks. guest: i am not here as an administration official. i will say it is hard to fault attorney general holder's performance also overwrites -- on civil rights. he has been a vigorous supporter of enforcement of the civil rights laws. if you look at the obama administration's record on these cases, the number of prosecutions has increased. what has also increased as the number of civil investigations into police conduct. i think it is a fairly strong record. i am not sure what more the caller would have them do. host: pennsylvania, tom, republican line. go ahead. caller: i think these types of
investigations inevitably cloud the facts. are this of the case individual committed a crime and compounded it by trying to assault a police officer trying to arrest him. disingenuous for people like al sharpton to be making political mincemeat out of the situation because that is ridiculous. we have societal problems that start at the top, one of them being the greed of those that don't want to pay minimum wage. when people call in to comment on issues like this, i wish c-span would get in the habit of asking them first, are they registered to vote and do they vote? the assertion of clotting effects of these investigations? what i think is important is to recognize what is going on.
the difficultand job police officers have. they are put in danger on a regular basis. they have to make quick judgments about difficult decisions. we authorize them to use force and give them weapons. that means there has to be limits on the use of force. this are about is trying to figure out where those limits are. it is important we police the limits or things can get out of control. we have too many shootings in this country, too many police shootings. i think most people would agree. one thing policing experts has done in recent years is do a lot of work on ways to defuse situations, ways to prevent this buildup of tension and anxiety that results inevitably in an outburst of violence. whether it is on the side of the community or on the side of the
, who pull their weapons to quickly. investigation and the other investigations into police conduct are an exercise in trying to make this balance between our need for a safe society, our need to give police officers discretion may need to do their jobs, and the need to impose limits on the use of force. host: north carolina, democrats line, robert. go ahead. caller: this whole thing about ferguson and the policeman, the policeman created this whole thing himself by going along hollering at someone walking along the road. me to get holler at the f off the road.
there is a negative and a positive. when two negatives get together, you will get friction. the cop created friction himself. i think the caller suggests an important point. one of the police techniques that has gained a lot of attention and has been fairly successful as community oriented policing. that is the notion that officers need to be part of the community. they need to be known to the community. they need to be in the community and not in the community as an occupying force. if you have that kind of , i think you are far less likely to have the situations arise. they tend to get defused. people have noted one of the problems with ferguson is the police department is overwhelmingly white, and it is policing a majority minority community.
majority african-american community. i think there are only three african-american officers on the force of the leaf -- over 50 officers. that sets up a situation where there is a lack of community trust. things the justice department will be looking at is the lack of diversity in the ferguson police department. they will look at the hiring practices that have created that lack of diversity. i think it is important to have a police force that looks like the community it is patrolling in order to win the trust of the community. as a way of preventing crime but also as a way of investigating crime. if the community is more willing to cooperate with police, the police will be more effective. host: the end result of the civil investigation, is that a mandate on the ferguson police? whatever they come up with, they have to do it? guest: yet, there are various ways to do this procedurally in
the end. thetraditional pattern is ferguson police department and the justice department will sit down at the end of the investigation to engage in negotiations. the department of justice will have specific things they want ferguson to do. they will have lots of experts in policing working on this. they will lay out their demands and talk to ferguson. if they can reach an agreement, the traditional path is to take that to court, have entered as it disintegrate -- dissent decree administered by the court. it can last for years while changes are made. host: are you censoring the police department for its actions? guest: what you're doing is improving the department. it is based on past actions. justice willt of have to find ferguson has engaged in a pattern of violating people's rights. manypattern can defend on
-- depend on any number of things good lack of diversity could be one element of that. the way they engage in patrols on the street. whether they disproportionally target african-americans and law , whethernt activities they adequately train officers on the use of force. do police unions come into this negotiation? guest: they have to be involved so they will have buy-in in the end. the successful implementation of reforms will depend on the cooperation of the police. host: bill yeomans has looked at these things firsthand, not only at the department of justice, but also as a teacher in washington, here to talk about the process of civil rights investigations. michael from imperial beach, california, you are on next. go-ahead. caller: i was wondering if you
could explain to us regular .eople about grand juries i have gotten jury duty butters, showed up, got no pay. peopleheard grand jury get paid and are on for months at a time. how does the system figure out who is going to get a letter saying you are able to serve on a grand jury? thank you, sir. guest: grand jury selection is controlled by state law and varies somewhat. it is the same way people get selected for regular juries in court. the jurisdiction will use voter , statistics, all of that, and come up with a list of people available to serve on a grand jury. the selection tends to be random. if you get one of those letters, it is the luck of the draw. but me say a couple of words about grand juries.
ae is grand juries sit for long time. they can sit for months. they hear more than one case. a grand jury will sit often once a week. the prosecutor will use that same grand jury to present a number of different criminal cases over the course of their service. in the course of one session, they may be hearing evidence about several different cases. the usual grand jury practice is very different from the way this grand jury was conducted. usually prosecutors are very much in charge. the prosecutor brings in a couple of witnesses, usually police officers who summarize the evidence. it is presented to the grand jury. the prosecutor presents an indictment, urges the adoption of the indictment, and the grand jurors vote. in this case, the prosecutor simply presented all of the evidence. did not take a stand on whether or not there should be an indictment. that process has been praised
and criticized. the criticism has gotten less notice. it is a very unusual thing to do . it throws and all the evidence that my command to a trial, but it doesn't without the advocacy framework we usually have in trials. there is no attorney on one side arguing that side and one on the other side arguing that side. there are no defense lawyers in the grand jury. hears the prosecutor -- there is the prosecutor. if the prosecutor is not taking a position, the grand jury can be a little at sea, i think. this is a procedure that is unusual and has come under criticism. host: this is off of twitter. how often does the doj find it necessary to investigating officer? guest: i don't have a number of how often doj investigates, but there are a lot of shootings.
the fbi's most recent statistics show 461 police killings in the last year. everyone acknowledges that is underreported because it depends on voluntary reporting from local jurisdictions. the number is probably at least double that. of that number, the vast majority are justified. it is a fairly small number that get sent through the serious criminal investigation process. all of them are investigated. every department investigate shootings. the local prosecutor looks to see if there's something that needs to be pursued. the justice department is overseeing the process to see if there needs to be further investigation. host: he follows up by saying, is ferguson and outlier? guest: i would not say and outlier -- an outlier. .t got a lot of attention
on its face, it looks like a tragedy. it is a tragedy. it is natural for there to be follow-up by local investigators and the federal government. host: to follow up on your point you were making about the grand jury, the "washington post" said almost 100% of the time grand juries indict people they are investigating. guest: in the overwhelming majority, there is an indictment because the prosecutor is suggesting indictment. the prosecutor will lay the indictment before the grand jury and have them government. that did not happen here. apparently, the prosecutor laid out five possible indictments and did not urge the grand jury to go with any of those. some said that sent a strong signal the prosecutor did not want an indictment because it differs so rapidly -- and radically from the way that grand jury had been dealing with other cases. host: here is ruby in missouri, democrats line.
we do have a line for missouri residents. go ahead. you are on the phone, go ahead. caller: yes! host: ruby, i'm going to put you on hold. we will have you turn down your t.v. and come back to you. we will go to dan and florida. go ahead. caller: i have a couple of things. my heart goes out to the victims of any crime, when the police or the public. i feel bad for the family. when does it come to a point when social media should not blow everything out of proportion trying to get a story? pointdoes it get to a where people inflame the rights and create the situations to where business people are the ones who pay the price for the social unrest? cp,the way cp -- naa
sharpton, and jackson, they rush in and start sensationalizing. it causes social unrest. there never looked at as inciting civil disobedience when it comes down to the beginning of the process, even before the legal process has not even get to a point where they can find fault one way or the other. host: thanks, caller. guest: your first point about social media. obviously, we are living in a new age when social media has enormous impact and can help create a story. i think the role of investigators is to move beyond social media and look at the evidence as developed by the investigators.
while social media may make thething a story, it is task of investigators and prosecutors to make sure the media do not create a prosecution. your point about people coming in and talking about the situation, i think it is important to remember the important roles civil rights advocates and others play in talking about social justice and helping us to draw lessons from these incidents that may help us become a stronger society. now obviously, when people cross over into violence, that is something no one should condone. i certainly don't. but i do think it is important we allow the expression of opinion on these important issues. what we have here is a situation where this one tragic incident
has been used by people to try to draw broader lessons about our society and urge people to undertake broader action. i think that is perfectly appropriate. host: let's hear from ruby again in missouri, democrats line. caller: yes, i am concerned because police officers have been killing african-american men since they developed police officers. it is nothing new in the south. even in the west and east, police officers always kill black men. you are dead, it is your fault. you are a young black man doing something instead of white america realizing this is what police officers have been doing since the beginning of time. it is fact. it is part of the klan. they are probably still officers undercover. it is sad no one is seeing the bigger picture. host: what you base those accusations on? caller: on fact.
and 1930's,1950's police officers have been killing black men with a badge. host: mr. yeomans? guest: there is no question that in our country, we have had a problem with police officers killing african-american men. we still have a problem. one of the broader lessons we have to take from this incident is we need to figure out ways to stop the killing or at least minimize it. i think there is no question there is a racial element to much of what goes on here. a very starkguson contrast between the police department and community. i think ringing diversity to the police department is hugely important.
important, ast is the caller suggests, that we that arebroader issues colored by our history. host: judy from idaho, independent line, your next. caller: i would like to ask if the civil rights investigation is going to extend to the casualness of this investigation, the lack of measurement, the lack of photos, letting the officer take his gun home with him that night. not photographing his hands, and things like that. that was incredibly sloppy. i am wondering if this is the usual way they investigate in ferguson. host: we also have a viewer off of twitter who asks a similar question about how the federal investigation will employ the existing investigation. guest: on the sloppy
investigation, there do seem to be procedures that should have been followed that were not. the federal government will be looking at that. for purposes of the criminal investigation, those things will only be significant if somehow they affect the evidence relevant to whether or not a crime was committed. but all that information will go into the civil investigation which will look roughly at how the ferguson police department conducts itself -- look broadly at how the ferguson police department that itself and as investigations. host: we are talking with bill yeomans, a former deputy general and former acting attorney general for civil rights. have you done these investigations before? guest: i have supervised many. host: what have you learned? what is facing those on the ground in missouri now? they are incredibly complex investigations.
the eyewitness testimony tends to be very unreliable in these types of incidents. a shooting on the street comes out of nowhere. people start reconstructing what they think happened. in many instances, convince themselves they saw what they think about afterwards. host: mr. mccollum referenced that any testimony about hands up. guest: it is a real phenomenon. that is why the tangible evidence is so important, forensic evidence, videotape. i cannot emphasize enough how important a videotape can be. one of the big cases a lot of people know about was the rodney king case. those officers were initially acquitted in state court and were prosecuted in federal court. four officers were prosecuted. only two were convicted. they were convicted because there was a videotape taken by a bystander. during the trial was the process of dissecting blow-by-blow
whether or not it was necessary and whether or not rodney king was compliant at the time force was used. videotape can be extremely helpful. the other thing that is very helpful and does not exist in this case is if you can get other members of the police department to testify about what they saw as they were on the scene. frequently, you run into the phenomenon that police officers protect their own, which can be admirable in the field but impede an investigation. you can run into the blue wall of silence, so it is necessary to try to get police officers to cooperate in the investigation. if you can do that, you can sometimes break these cases. in the absence of that type of cooperation and a videotape, in the absence of compelling forensic evidence, these are tough cases. host: harrisburg, pennsylvania,
rose is next for our guest. caller: good morning. i am a republican. but i consider myself to be a fair republican. the thing with me is why was this officer not having to use a taser gun? he said he was not using a taser gun because it was too heavy. come on. if you are an officer, you are supposed to be able to handle equipment. the whole thing to me stinks. just because i am a republican and i feel republicans are insensitive every time things like this happen, but this is my opinion. system,e ferguson law it is injustice! guest: i think it is a good point to suggest this case is an
example of why we need alternatives to lethal force that police officers can resort to in these types of incidents. taser's can be valuable. they are not always the answer. more important is for officers to understand how to diffuse the situation before any significant use of force is necessary. there may have been possibilities to do that in this case. but they were not used. host: does the martin family, after the investigations, does it in tribute to a civil case if they file one? guest: if the brown family -- caller host: apologies. guest: if the brown family wants to file a civil case, they can do that. the irregularities we talked about can be brought up in the civil case. the civil case will depend on the same kinds of evidence being looked at in the criminal
investigation. once again, in the civil case, there will be a variety of possible state law grounds for the civil case. there could also be a federal civil case they could file, a civil claim they could file. once again, they will have to overcome this notion that officer wilson was acting reasonably to protect himself. host: atlanta, georgia, john, go ahead. caller: i wanted to make mention bringing out the information late at night rather than at a more convenient time. it seems to me he was doing that rioters auditors -- would not come out and take away from the process as far as him exploiting the grand jury. i don't think that was right.
also like to thank all the white folks that come out when something like this happens to put their lives on the line. i think the conservatives need to re-examine themselves. they seem to be the lawless ones. thank you. guest: the timing of the announcement i find curious. we know most of the lawless mostior, i hasten to add of the behavior in ferguson was not lawless, the protesters were exercising their first amendment rights. but there was a lawless element. if it was going to come out, it was going to come out at night. by this was not done in the morning, i don't know. host: we have a little of mr. mcauliffe talking about the evidence presented. [video clip] >> witnesses made statements inconsistent with other statements they made and conflicting with the physical
evidence. some were completely refuted by physical evidence. as an example, before the results of the private autopsy released, witnesses on social media during interviews with the media, and even during questioning by law enforcement, claimed they saw officer wilson stand over michael brown and fire many rounds into his back. others claimed officer wilson shot mr. brown in the back as mr. brown was running away. however, once the autopsy findings were released showing michael brown had not sustained any wound to the back of his body, no additional witnesses made such a claim. several witnesses adjusted their stories in subsequent statements. some even admitted they did not witness the event at all but merely repeated what they heard in the neighborhood or assumed it happened. fortunately for the integrity of our investigation, almost all initial witness interviews,
including those of officer wilson, were recorded. host: you have probably been in beganions where testimony at one point and totally changed later on. guest: absolutely. it happens. it is the phenomenon i mentioned earlier of people adapting their statements to fit what they have heard or think may have happened. that is a dangerous thing. that is why it is important to have a thorough investigation. it is also important to subject witnesses to a form of cross examination. one of the things that did not happen in this grand jury was the kind of questioning one might expect from a vigorous prosecutor. officer wilson testified for four hours. that is very unusual in the grand jury. it is unusual the target of the grand jury comes in to testify at all. a prosecutor who was being aggressive would have taken
advantage of his presence. i am not sure that was done here. if you look at the transcript, the questioning is fairly gentle. testimony can be all over the place in these cases. al is upm georgia, next. go ahead. caller: i was calling regarding this case in south carolina. there was a gentleman about 68 years old, his name was ernest satterwhite. he was shot in his driveway five times. they shot through the car door. the police officers said he tried to grab my gun. there were other police officers therefrom a different county. they did not see this happen. they sent out an investigator.
they did not believe the police officer's story. suggested voluntary manslaughter. the grand jury came back and indicted him for a misdemeanor. this is the kind of thing that people in the black community look at. was shot for nothing. absolutely nothing. guest: i'm not familiar with the details of that incident. in instances where a state brings charges against a police officer, the federal government can still decide to pursue when investigation and a prosecution. if it thinks the federal interest in justice has not been medicated. i do not know whether the federal government is looking at the case. -- has not been vindicated.
host: this is larry from missouri. go ahead. caller: i heard one of the legal commentators talking about that there was a supreme court ruling in a case in tennessee that had to be probable cause overshadowing the police officer fear. that life was in i would like the professor to elaborate on that. if you knows is talking about. dealing with the witnesses that may have saw michael brown with his hands up, if there are various witnesses and some of were at different times, his hands may have been up. after he started getting shot, his hands would.
could the professor elaborate on that? hast: the supreme court said that an officer can be justified in using force if he has a reasonable belief that his and safety or the safety of others is in danger. overriding element to these investigations. whether that is here or not is what this investigation is really about. the witnesses who said that he had his hands up, there were several. robert mcculloch suggested some of them had either recanted their testimony or their testimony was inconsistent with the physical evidence. i'm sure the federal investigation is looking closely at those witnesses and comparing their testimony to the physical evidence. host: chris in alabama off
twitter who makes the comment -- do these incidents suggest it will be widespread change? guest: absolutely. there is a real movement to that. especially for smaller jurisdictions, it can impose a real financial burden. in large metropolitan police departments, it can as well. that theyecognizes are vital for the protection of community and police officers. who frequently face for yes charges -- furious charges. host: we heard about federal funds being used for military style equipment. guest: they could. it would be a good way to go. most police departments would be much better served by body cameras that armored personnel
carriers. host: from florida, john up next. republican line. caller: good morning. thanks for taking the call. professor, good morning. i have two very distinct questions for you. the first is, when can a a uniformedack police officer? , the guy who was apparently the "burn this thing down." what charges will be brought against him? attacka that anybody can -- that's not the way i was brought up. a police is in charge of the scene. any scene. the idea that you can go up and verbally and man hand -- where
does that come from? thank you. i appreciate your concept of what i'm talking about. i think it is safe to say that nobody should ever physically attack a police officer. it is a violation of the law. confrontations can be a different story. one of the things that we frequently get is conflicting stories about what was actually between a police officer and the member of the community. those conversations have to be examined carefully. it is impossible to reconstruct exactly what was said. we do put a burden on our police escalate a not verbal confrontation in 20 physical confrontation. -- into a physical confrontation. how did this get going? what was said?
how did the physical confrontation get started? as far as the statements of the stepfather after the grand jury decision was announced. obviously, it can be problematic in a violation of law to incite violence. toevaluating whether or not pursue prosecution, it's important to take into account the circumstances. whether the incitement had any effect. the circumstances of that person who is speaking at the time. this is a man feeling enormous passion. i don't know whether there will be any follow-up or not. host: from florida as well. democrats line. there is a great segue into one of the statements that i need to make. guy six calls back who talked about sharpton and
jackson and stuff. i would bet my lunch that he will be one of the first ones to --e out and say that we need for some people, the constitution does not work. in officer wilson's tv interview, he said the situation estimated -- escalated when he received a barrage of punches sitting in his car. imaginerd for me to someone the size of brown throwing punches through a window. there is not a barrage of punches. i would like your guest to comment on that. have notviously, i tried to regrade the ability to punch.
it is a curious situation. -- re-create the ability to punch. the thought that he was assaulting and intimidating officer wilson while officer wilson sat inside his car. it makes you think there may have been alternatives. beyond that, it's hard to say much at this point. some people might suggest put the window up or drive on it and call for help. imminent,eat was officer wilson would still be entitled to respond with force. host: one more call. dave from michigan. . -- independent line. caller: a question for your person there. nothing was ever said about what could have been escalated to the
point beyond what it did. that would be when the officer actually -- wilson feared for his life to the point of the security of his vehicle, in order to -- before his backup arrived. i'm curious if that was looked at. was the point where if wilson was overcome by mr. brown, whether the car could have been overcome and escalated to the point of way beyond what it did. guest: i'm not sure there was any danger of further escalation. officer wilson -- michael brown ran away after the first two shots were fired. officer wilson was able to get out of his car. the shooting occurred at some distance from the car. i'm not sure how the car would
have come back into play. cases are these concluded by the justice department, will there be a final report or press conference? in this caseect the justice department will try to be as transparent as possible. in the usual criminal investigation, there is no announcement made. there will be an announcement in this case. the other question is whether the federal government will give access to the evidence that was developed in its investigation. one way it does do that in civil rights cases is that it writes a closing memo. availableis generally with names redacted. i suspect that process will be carried through. host: thanks for your time.
to conclude our program today, we will have a short session for open phones. democrats, 202-585-3880. republicans, 202-585-3881. .ndependents, 202-585-3882 the president awarded the presidential medal of freedom to 18 individuals in a white house ceremony. one of those individuals was stevie wonder. here he honors and stevie wonder what the awarding of the metal. http://twitter.com/cspanw >> then, there's stevie. early copies of his classic album had a simple message written in braille. here is my music.
it is all i have to tell you about how i feel. know that your love keeps my love strong. this is the first album i ever bought with my own money. i was 10 years old. maybe 11. with my own cash. i did not have a lot of it. out, itng got so worn had scratches. you would have albums, young people. they would get scratched. [laughter] for more than 50 years, he has channeled his inner visions into messages of hope and healing. becoming one of the most influential musicians in american history. a musical prodigy. music speaks of love lost, justice, equality, war and peace. what defines his music is the
warmth and humanity that resonates with every note. some of his songs help us fall in love. others minute our hearts. some helped us on the campaign trail. all of us have been moved to higher ground. >> "washington journal" continues. host: 15 minutes left in this program. ". -- until then, open phones. 202-585-3880 for democrats. 202-585-3881 for republicans. .02-585-3882 for independents a story in the washington post about the pentagon and new rules they will put on private security firms. --
there were concerns about how private contractors were operating. in 2004, americans working in iraq for a security contract were killed. that full story in the "washington post" this money. the latest on justice ginsburg who was taken to the hospital for a condition saying she was released from the hospital thursday after having a heart
stint implanted. open phones for our last 15 minutes. steve is in chicago on our independent line. go ahead. thank you guys for having me on this open forum. i served in the navy. left hawaii to come back to chicago to deal with the problems pertaining to the african neighborhood in chicago. i want to thank you guys for having this open forum because this is what i stood up for. to live up tog the -- i want to thank you for having this open forum. host: anthony from florida. democrats line. it thatthe thing about
upsets me is that you have people that are trying to is 18. -- he he is not a man. he's a teenager. idiot, all to this these rednecks on fox news that andown and support bundy these guys pull firearms on federal agents. it's ridiculous. they brought their firearms and pointed them at agents and nothing happened. you have a young black teenager who should not have done what he did but there is no reason for him to get shot. with you being a lawyer, talk about the difference between how caucasians can point firearms at atf agents and police officers and nothing happens. host: you may have been
referring to the previous guest. he is gone now. this is open phones up until 10:00. developedvaccination by the national institutes of health the subject in the wall street journal this morning. safe in early testing. the scientists reported the results of the phase one testing in the new england journal. orylowed by a congratulat statement by the white house. the rest is in the wall street journal this morning. john in syracuse, new york. republican line. comment is to put
things -- the officer fired 10 shots after getting out of the car. what kind of training did he have? did he have to shoot and mrs. 70 times? so many he could have shot him in the leg or shoulder. something to disable him. that is one comment. thatrd this comment michael brown put his hands in his pants. i used to run a bar. a guy came in and put his hands -- with all the pop culture and stuff on tv, people do that. host: louisiana.
independent line. good morning. from move on to monica columbus, ohio. democrats line. caller: good morning. i would like to comment on the ferguson situation. i'm so sad at the fact that i am woman.-old my parents had to see the killing of black people. my parents had to see the killing of black people. i had to see the killing of black people, unjustified. now, my children are having to see it. something needs to be done. the whole ferguson thing is a travesty. for that police officer to get on television and refer to this man is looking like a demon, he used the term "it." they are trying to dehumanize us. we are human beings and we need to be seen as that.
this has gone on for entirely too long. host: couple events in our programming. this monday at the national , the club live at 1:00 university of regina president, teresa sullivan addressing higher education. she may respond to questions regarding the recently adopted zero-tolerance policy on campus sexual assaults after the rolling stone article. you can listen for statements this coming monday at 1:00 on c-span. also, the louisiana u.s. senate debate between mary landrieu and bill cassidy. that takes place monday at 8:00. the runoff election for that race, december 6. you can see this debate monday at 8:00 on c-span2.
googler website for more information. -- go to our website for more information. laurel, maryland on a republican line. you are up next. caller: i would like to make a comment about the program. ofs a platform for a lot racist white people. ism.ir their race of t i do not think it's moving the country forward. the people control who connect these people. they know it's unjust. and say it isry the people's problem. it's the problem with the system. until you solve this, things are going to get worse. from losid up next
angeles, california. nevada line. -- independent line. caller: i'm thankful to be able to call in and participate in this discussion. what the other gentleman just commented on -- i would like to put this to the black community. either these people are civil servants who work in the service of our communities or they are occupying forces. if we are under the illusion or officersthat these are who work for the benefit to serve and protect our communities, that is one thing. thee are coming to conclusion that these are occupying forces, we have some decisions we need to make as communities and as a people. that we do have
in power not to participate the financing of our own oppression and even murder. ourselves some questions about whether or not we need to continually participate in it. what thecare so-called justifications are. we are in the final analysis. the ones who have to make decisions as to what kind of services we are willing to pay our taxes for. host: robert in battle creek, michigan. democrats line. caller: all i do is hear a bunch of hatred on tv. i just wonder -- we hear this talk about god and love. it seems like there is so much bitterness and hate. i'm wondering what type of country -- is this a christian country or what? host: florida. you are next.
independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think what we are having here is a meltdown in our system. the grand jury selection process was completely secret. so is our federal reserve. it's a private operation. other things being operated from a shadow government aspect in a free and open democracy. we are having a meltdown. fundamental operational disorder between the people being able to see what their government is and what exactly is happening. that is where we are going with this. host: the policies of syria and the islamic state, the u.s. policy is the subject of a story
in the new york times this morning. conflicting policies on those topics eroding u.s. standing in the middle east. more than two months after the campaign against the islamic , something the store obama had long avoided, the group has held its strongholds there and even expanded its reach. -- something that obama had long avoided, the group has held its strongholds there and even expanded its reach. that was a syria analyst at the international institute for strategic studies. you can find more of that in the "new york times." democrats line.
caller: i like to hear about safety and negligence, having to do with issues like ferguson. i work as a construction worker. trainingnies and our and licenses all stress safety. the police officer, wilson, was not really conscious or taking precautions having to do with safety, arms and safety. also, the safety of brown. he should have been more aware .f the safety for our line of work, there is occupation safety outfit administration. they talk about safety and stress safety. .e have to abide by safety
i'm wondering if police officers have to do that. host: dawn in tennessee. independent line. it is a known fact that racism comes from teaching. when they stop teaching racism, there will be no racism. has a problem about teaching racism. .hey're killing blacks it will never stop until you bring racism down. black folks are good and white folks are good. host: one more call. david in missouri. caller: i want to comment on this garbage from the left.
it's a police officer's fault that he was attacked. it is the victim's fault if they are attacked. especially if it's a person of color who commits the crime. they put a bounty on the officer's head and the sales was thrown against the wall by this "gentle giant" brown. like thanks to the , a bighe black community loud section of it is being programmed to think you are entitled to commit any crime you want. you can beat somebody or murder somebody. or if theytops you oppose your political agenda, they are racists and they deserve to have violent things happen. host: we will talk tomorrow on a
program about small businesses face the 114th congress. will join us for that discussion. another aspect of consumer safety. credit card information. you may recall hearing about the state of breaches. -- those data breaches. commerce and that i will government. -- commerce and the federal government. that and your phone calls and the papers, too. 7:00 tomorrow morning. see you then. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]