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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  PBS  March 26, 2011 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT

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>> funding for to the contrary provided by... >> while other luxury carmakers are still building their first hybrids, lexus hybrids have traveled 5.5 billion miles. imagine where we'll go next. >> additional funding provided by the coal com foundation and by the charles a. fruhoff foundation. this week on to the contrary up first, the lady hawks the female foreign policy advisor who apparently convinced president obama to bomb libya. then, a he coverry?
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men outpace women in the job recovery market after women were unaffected by the recession. behind the headlines, karen discusses american's role in improving women's economic power around the world. >> hello i'm bonnie erbe welcome to to the contrary a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, obama's lady hawks. the military strikes against libya represent yet another foreign policy reversal by president obama but this one can be traced to three commanding women. secretary of state hillary clinton, u.n. ambassador
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susan rice and national security council aide samantha power. until last week the obama administration remind mained on the sidelines as democratic uprising swept the arab world. with news of pro qaddafi forces killing libian citizens the so-called lady hawks drew on lessons from the 1994 rwanda genocide. they determined the u.s. had no choice but to intervene. arguing from a humanitarian point of view, they persuaded the president to take military action. meanwhile, secretary of defense robert gates and other top male advisors urged against intervention saying it was not vital to national security. congresswoman norton was the president right to listen to the so-called lady hawks? >> i'm sure these three smart women would agree you do not make the weighty decision to go to war based
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on the agenda of the officials pressing the point. >> now, the question ought to be should we be going to war without a clear mission? and the answer is no and i don't care who gave me that advice. >> well, back to the question of whether or not he should have listened to them. he absolutely should have listened to them. these are three smart women. they have a variety of background and experience on humanitarian issues and crisises. and so their opinion was just invaluable whether you agree with it or not. >> i respect their positions and the fact that they had that type of influence but i think the answer is no. because as well intentioned as the mission maybe the road to hell is paved with good intentions. >> do we agree that he was listening to them and gates said no and he overran his secretary of defense in favor of his secretary of state? >> he was pressured by john kerry and by our european allies and the states.
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i don't think was just rice and clinton. he was getting pressure from everywhere but the u.s. congress and his own military advisors that i think what pressured him into it. >> and the nature of the positions they are in that that discussion is going to be had amongst them. i don't think we've had three women in the positions all at the same time either which presents a unique opportunity for their influence here. >> we had in bush, condoleezza rice and --. >> not u.n. security --. >> i applaud the fact that they can step up and get into the discussion which women have not gotten into before. i'm troubled, though. about the fact that they don't have military experience. >> that is right. >> and the people did have military experience believed this was not the thing to do. so and i'm also troubled if what they were doing was acting out of the rwanda experience. already that has been
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blasted because there are so many places which are repeating that great tragedy right now, you've got to have a set of factors on the table. this has got to be a strategic decision. it's got to be namely a military decision. going to war, is about military. >> we are not at war we are at a kinetic military action that is costing us almost half a billion dollars a day. >> we are not in war in iraq and afghanistan. war has never been declared. >> let me ask you this. what puzzles me. women that the old saying in the anti-war demonstrations i think it goes back to greece and women say yes to men who say no and women are saying let's go to war over humanitarian abuses. to me, that something's wrong with that. >> and not only that it's well intentioned. no one wants to see
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innocents getting slaughtered or civilians protesting for freedom, no one wants to see that from dictatorships. but at the same time, the united states cannot be the world's policeman. number one. number 2, this is the first time we have the secretary of state advocating a military action over the advice of the defense secretary. i mean that dynamic is one that i'm sure if it weren't for political reasons or make us look weak on an international scale i'm sure secretary gates would resign over something like this. >> what are we doing? we are putting our men and women in harm's way without a strategic national interest here. >> as eleanor said there are plenty of hot spots in the world. darfur. >> why libya? >> and --. >> and libya, by the way happens to have oil and darfur doesn't. >> european oil. >> and i think that goes to the european allies and
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others. >> there are other people who can deal with this besides us. we are trying to hand it over to nato. but we led the charge and there was not a clear mission of when we would stop leading the charge. who would take it over. that is a very risky way to enter any type of military action. >> are we talking about this because of what happened with president bush in iraq. there was faulty information he did not think he needed to --. >> the discussion is taking place now, because we don't want to get ourselves into that situation. >> wait. wait. >> she is right to raise the bush analogy. but i think something is far more serious here. yes, this is war. this is not a quiet zone. we have bombed the hell out of these folks.
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this has also done some good. benghazi was about to be overrun. that is some good that has been done. but let's weigh out the eastern part of libya is the part of libya which al-qaeda recruited people to go into iraq when we were in iraq. we don't even know who the other side is. i'm for the rebels, peace, but i don't know something about the composition of the rebels before i put my flag up and say i stand with you no matter what. >> and where do we draw the line? syria is about to go under so is yemen they are slaughtering innocents. are we going to drop bombs there. >> no because we don't have oil. >> this is not about oil. we get 2% of our oil. for the europeans and the frenchóa italians sure and that is why they should have
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been leading the charge even though they did verbally but we dropped most of the bombs we know that was a facade. >> you said that about qaddafi. >> but the president is confusing or is it not? >> i don't think there's going to be a set formula on foreign policy. it is a case-by-case analogy and situation t maybe we we don't like qaddafi and using humanitarian to get rid of him. he killed americans, right? >> and we gave -- there are state gave reparations to libya for what took place for that lockerbie bomb and we went and bombed them. >> wait. wait. wait. one at a time. >> we embrace qaddafi when he gave up his nuclear weapons. >> in 2003. >> and that was an important thing to do. yes, he is a dictator. but none of us here knows
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whether we are in a civil war or not. i tell you one thing it looks like a civil war than just a revolution. and yet we are treating it as if we know who the good guys and the bad guys are and we are on the side of the good guys. >> always a way to make a call but you have to have the facts on the table. and it was not clear here what we were doing, what our outcome needed to be and what was going to happen next and that is the biggest problem with where we are. >> i hate to say it but it sounds like bush going into iraq when you say that. some lady hawks to t e he-coverry. >> yesterday's man session is today's he-coverry as men are gaining jobs faster than women. according to the bureau of labor statistics of the 1.3 million jobs created in the last year, 90% went to men. although unemployment remains high for both men and women, women's overall unemployment rate increased during the recovery while
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men's unemployment dropped. government spending for mostly male infrastructure and construction jobs has increased. while cuts in state budgets affecting teaching and service jobs have disproportionately hit women. some economists say sexism and cultural biases can hurt women in the job market. >> a lot of employers still have this misconception that men are the principle bread winners in 40% of households women bring in at least half or all of the income for the family. and there's also a misconception that men are more committed to the job. that they are willing to put in more hours whether that's true or not and you measure productivity. a lot of women who may not put in as many hours get a lott whole lower more done in the time they are there. >> do employers need to take a new look at the structure
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of the american family and realize that 40% of bread winners are women? >> it would be good for everybody to know but i don't know that that is any indication why more men have been hired versus women. the fact is if you look the at all the different sec shoretors of the economy retail suffered job losses. the others did not have a lot of gains but healthcare which tends to be more women did pick up in job gains. and all the make shovel ready jobs were predominantly made for men. they were construction type of positions. but you know, i don't think it's because american employers are saying let me give the guys the edge up. >> i think part of it is that as the economy improves more people are counted because they go looking for jobs and many people have stopped looking for jobs and everytime they see an increase or decrease in the unemployment rate then more people go back in and this is a circumstance use lar.
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>> i'm wondering is it more a product of the state budget cuts or starting to -- set in now or so it's the women the teachers and the healthcare state healthcare workers, losing jobs? >> still funds kept teachers and nurses employed. it means that the recession as it were, has been a little later getting to women. and now, they are taking it big time. that is really tragic is to see that the unemployment rate of women is going up. even as the economy recovers. we have to do something about that. >> we don't -- is the economy really recovering? the numbers have been so cooked who has jobs and jobless rates it's been outrageous how they have calculated. >> that is always the case, though. governments i mean like if you babysit for an hour one week that is a new job.
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>> it went from the still to create jobs to save or create jobs. anyway. >> and the unemployment is almost 9%. >> and i'm going to tell you, the thing about construction jobs those are always temporary jobs. you go from project to project. and so count that as a job. >> and the still -- stimulus bill. we have firefighters and police officers on the streets. because of the stimulus. >> well, you know, they had to balance here on the whole stimulus is stimulus. but i think it is very disconcerting the numbers we saw. and how it affects women. >> and what can be done about it. >> i think it shows we are the focus -- where the focus of cuts are and the types of jobs and that is not being looked at as to how it affects single parent households there are things to look at when are you looking to make cuts and who you are affecting. >> and discrimination
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agencies have to get busy because there's no question to me, that when employers have huge work potential workforce, to choose from, it's hard for the old prejudices not to seep in. is she going to marry and how many children does she have. these numbers somebody needs to go behind the numbers. >> to the extent that public policy out to be involved in these things it ought to be how do we create an environment where businesses can create more jobs. that is what we ought to be focused on. people creating jobs and they need people they will take the right people coming in the door qualified, man, woman. >> really? >> yes, really. let's not put foreregulations on businesses. >> enforce the law that we have. >> and if you want to get rid of more jobs we need to create a free market environment for the folks to operate in. >> and stop wasting
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government healthcare on small businesses and things like that where they are forced to lay people off because they cannot afford to keep it. >> debra the floor. >> how does this affect the subject we are talking about which is women and a disportion portion --. >> republican talking point. >> we were talking about unemployment and women going up. even though it's decreasing for men. and i think that is what we need to be discussing. >> does the decrease is like a .1. why is it affecting besides shovel-ready jobs why is it affecting women more? that is hey small portion of jobs out there. construction jobs. >> well not according to the administration. everytime the president talks about jobs being created he is talking about shovel ready jobs. >> one question that i want everybody to answer here based -- is what's happening here do you think anti-female bias in the eyes of employers plays any role
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in what is going on? or is it really just trends like the stimulus bill created a lot of in addition to the teachers and nurses jobs it created a lot of construction jobs now that that's run its course pretty much and we're seeing huge state layoffs, look at wisconsin, where it's all teachers and nurses and the cops who vote republican and the sheriffs are not getting laid off the way the democratic unions are. >> you can ask any anecdotal questions we have to have statistics showing that said employers were specifically hiring more men than women because they thought men were better. and the fact is when you look at the percentages men went up by a point and women went down by a point. it is not a good employment area for anybody. male or female. and so i just don't think you can make those wide cultural decisions without evidence. >> i agree. and the anti-discrimination agencies need to get busy so we can find out whether or
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not there is an increase in discrime nation. more minorities and women file complaints during hard times. that doesn't mean that they all found to be discrimination matters but it does mean that you have them coming forward. but i agree. somebody has to look at this far more scientifically and if they see the trends right now to, put the flag up so we know we are not going to tolerate it. >> i think that given the numbers they are neiges labl the ditches it's the nature the way the nature of the economy and the jobs being created that is affecting this not anti-bias against women. >> last thought debra? >> i think that eleanor made a great point. and i agree with her. and i think i agree with you. we need more facts and more figures before we can figure out what is going on. >> and what some people are calling a recession, where's the money for those figures going to come from. behind the headlines women's
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economic power worldwide. study after study finds the more economic freedom women have, the better a nation performs globally. yet, women still makeup less than a third of the world's workforce. the organization for economic cooperation and development or the oecd plans to tackle this diskrepsy and spoke with karen dornblue about the new initiative focused on women's economic empowerment. >> i think people have seen women's rights as cultural issue. in beijing 15 years ago the countries of the world said women it's their human rights and what we're saying now in order to exercise your rights you need to have economic opportunity. >> the eocd is made up of 34 member neighbors to improve global economic security. known as the rich man's club by some, it's new initiative will focus specifically on
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women in three areas: education, employment, and entrepreneurship. >> right now, women own 1% of the world's property. they earn 10% of the world's income. 70% of the world's poor are women. so there's just a huge amount that needs to be done. and what the oecd can do because it shares best practices and it's also a place that collects all this cross-country data, is it can fill in the gaps on what is actually happening and who is doing a good job in which areas of economic opportunity. and then countries can start learning from each other. we don't think there is a one-size-fits-all solution. there can't be. >> she says the oecd will work with the united nations and the world bank and others to analyze and compile the best work practices from around the world. she says the recession has already shown some faces the benefit of having women at the forefront. >> you known iceland it is
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a big foreign policy objective to promote gender equality and part of that is because they saw that during their economic crisis, the women owned banks that didn't fail. the women did the great job. and so they really think that a part of economic health is making sure that women are key leaders in the economy. in european countries are experimenting with different policies so in some countries in order for a woman to take her maximum amount of maternity leave her husband has to take his paternity leave and that is a way of inchanging the dynamic in the family. that is fascinating. and other countries they are realizing that some things they thought were fair having long maternity leave winds up hurting women because they take so long out of the workplace. >> a new report finds that while women continue to earn less money than men they also continue to do more
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unpaid work. up to two-and-a-half hour more per week of child care and household chores. >> it was one thing to remove the legal barriers to women working. it is another thing to change the institutions that women have the opportunity to work and also take care of their family responsibilities that men have an opportunity to be more involved. these are hard complicated things. so i think it was one thing for people to say you know, give a woman a dollar. and you know, she'll be really productive. it's another thing to figure out how to make all the institutional changes so that it can happen. can't just assume that as women get to 50%, that things will automatically change. we need to figure out how to really make hard choices so that we have a healthy economy going forward. >> i think of the average american watching this program and i want to ask you, if we get more involved in these issues as the obama
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administration is, to wit, helping women in other countries gain economic power, how does it help americans? an american women? >> and one of the things it will do, it gis economic stability also gives stability to countries. and to foreign governments. so we had the war discussion earlier. i mean you have a more stable universe. so it does help our country in that way. >> and should we be devoting the resources to it as a result or more resources? what is the best way, what role do we play in this? >> i think one of the things and i've been fortunate enough to travel to many, many different countries and meet with leaders and women leaders. and one of the things we have to do is make money available for women to start their own businesses. there is a disproportionate amount of money loaned from the world bankzn to men than to women and we need to encourage practices where women have access to be able to build and give themselves a stable life. >> i agree with that. and i think on an
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international stage we've seen that. my boss is involved a lot in afghanistan and places like that. where they've promoted women's not only economic development but education and everything else. and that is true. no real stable country can be that way without including women and empowering women in all those areas. i think it is a great way to invest. >> profound, really profound cultural, religious barriers to this. very important to do, but it's well beyond providing equal opportunity. witness afghanistan. just providing opportunity to go to school was seen as defying certain religious and cultural traditions. somebody has to take it on and it's very long road to go. it is amazing that we are just beginning to do that in the oecd i applaud it. >> i think we have to look at it and say are these wise
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use of dollars where we may not be able to make a change. where can we make the most difference of difference and where are countries open to utilizing the resources going to make best use of them. >> and that is what the u.n. is for. let the u.n. do that. >> but they are also by the way, there is an organization called women thrive worldwide which has been working for years to make sure u.s. aid grants and contracts to other countries are assureddedly going half to women owned businesses and half to men's. that is it for this edition. next week, former dc public schools chancellor discusses her new role in public school reform. join us on the web for to the contrary and whether your views are in agreement or to the contrary, please join us next time. [♪]
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