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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  September 9, 2013 5:30am-6:01am EDT

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the unemployment rate sa down again. i'll tell you what the fastest growing job in the country is and why you shouldn't aspire to it. the race is on to convince young americans to buy health insurance, but what happens if young invincibles just say no? i'm ali velshi, and this is "real money." welcome to "real money." you are the most important part of the show. tell me what you think by tweeting me
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@alivelshi or a comment on facebook. friday we got the single most important look at the u.s. economy, and job growth last month was a bit disappointing. only 169,000 jobs created in ausd, and the government revised the job numbers for june and july lower as well. job sgroet over the summer months was largely in low paying sectors. the un employment rate ticked lower partly because some americans stopped looking for work. this is the measure of the percentage of people at working age who are working and looking for a job.
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one final number to consider, 7.9 million americans want to work full time but could only find part-time gigs, including them and people that stopped looking for work, the so-called underemployment rate is 13.7%. one industry that's gaining jobs because of america's aging baby boomers is health care, but some of the biggest gains weren't at the high end, but in home health and personal care jobs. unlike other high demand areas like accounting and engineering, wages for home health aides haven't kept pace with demand. as david found out, the salary for america's fastest-growing job category often isn't enough to pay the bills. >> reporter: around 6:00 a.m. most mornings lori blake grabs a cup of coffee and heads off to work. she earns 10 it t.25 an hour in philadelphia as a home health aide. >> you have to be a caring person, okay? i like it. >> reporter: by the time she gets to her clientele, there's a list of
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things to do. >> straighten up the dishes, make his bed, do his wash. if he needs anything, i go. basically to help him be more independent. >> reporter: as medical expenses soar, home health care is surging. it's expected to expand 17% between 2010 and 2020 adding 1.3 million new jobs. accompanying the growth is questions of background checks, adequate training and low pay. >> it's not great. you can't live on it by yourself. >> with a median income of $22,000, about half of these workers rely on government assistance to get by. >> i have financial help. >> reporter: for those like clinton who as entrap pals, people like lori are invaluable. >> a normal person takes 15 minutes to get dressed and it takes me 45 minutes to fully get dressed out the door.
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with my attendant that time is cut down. >> reporter: he relies on lori for the basics, cooking and cleaning and helping him get ready for the day. >> if i had to do it all by myself, i wouldn't be able to attend any of my daughters appointments or social events or see the eagles, i can't do any of that. she really helps me make, you know, my life easier. >> reporter: more people are dpped to turn to home aides as a so-called silver tsunami heads ashore. >> it's that demographic wave into ages where help is needed that is driving this future increased demand for home health care aides. >> reporter: a baby boomers turns 65 about every 8 seconds. >> they're reaching ages where a lot can expect to become very frail, they can expect to need help. >> it might be nothing. it could be just a suggestion. >> reporter: at liberty home
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health services in philadelphia, a cadre of soon-to-be home health workers are in training. >> we have numerous people come in. we hire between 20 to 25 attendants per week. >> that includes backup workers and part-timers, though a company spokesman says the majority of full-time aides with relatively low turnover. >> yes. if the industry is a steady source of employment growth, even in a very deep recession like the one we saw in 2008 and 2009, that is a very powerful bit of evidence about the strength of the underlying demand for workers in this field. >> there's a lot of people doing it. there's a lot of people doing this job. it's needed. >> reporter: a 1974 law also allows some workers to be classified similar to baby-sitters, which exempts them from minimum wage and overtime laws. >> that means employers are allowed to pay these workers less than minimum wage with no overtime overtime. that's right.
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you can wake up at 5:00 in the morning, care for somebody every minute of the day, take the late bus home at night, and still make less than the minimum wage. >> reporter: that was two years ago, and despite a pledge to close the loophole, the department of labor says it's still working on it. about half the states require home care aides to be licensed or certified, but last year northwestern university published a study that found agency background checks and training are often limited, noting they may provide a, quote, false sense of security. >> you all right? >> yeah. thank you. >> a lady i used to take care of home. she used to walk around with a plunger stick, and if they messed with her, she would hit you with it until i came along and started to help her. i mean, she -- she was very funny. >> reporter: as health reforms take hold and several states now restrict the size and scope of their aide programs, some workers are concerned about their clients' future. >> they depend on us. they really do.
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i have a lot say i don't know what i'd do without you helping me here and there. i have no family. some have no family, none, no kids, nobody to take care of them at all. >> reporter: al jazeera, philadelphia. >> one final note about the move to require minimum wage or overtime for home aides. not everyone is in favor of it. key players in the industry say it could increase costs and make home care less affordable for elderly folks who want to stay in their homes. imagine being told you're not qualified for a job because you're overrun by medical bills oran into financial trouble because you are caring for a sick loved one or lost your job or got a divorce. some argue the practice of credit screening does just that. by some estimates almost half of all employers in the united states look at your credit history to help determine if you'd be a responsible employee. this is a controversial practice that's not allowed in some parts of the country, and it's under attack in others. as stacy tisdale reports, this
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is something anyone looking for a job needs to understand. >> reporter: for more than 20 years, ail fred carpenter enjoyed success selling shoes to high-end clientele on stores on new york's famed madison avenue. >> 50,000, 60,000, and feragamo i was making 70,000 selling shoe and i had no expenses and i was a single guy. everything was nice and fine. >> his luck changed. in 2007 he lost his job. later he tore ten tons in his knee playing roller hockey. after racking up $50,000 in medical bills and maxing out his credit cards, he filed for bankruptcy. >> a few months after i filed, i got the discharge. you do not owe any money to anybody. i was so happy. now i can go back to work without owing any money. i didn't know that that was going to be a major problem. >> reporter: a major problem because alfred could not find work for three years. employers told him he was
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well-qualified and made him offers but then never contacted him with no explanation. then in 2010 one of the stores said it didn't hire him because he had a poor credit history. how did all of this make you feel? >> well, i got depressed. i just said, what am i going to do? i was 52 years old, and i'm going to have a hard time getting work. i figured i'm going to lose my apartment and wind up in a homeless shelter and lost 20 pounds. i felt pretty bad. >> reporter: alfred did not realize that 43% of employers in the united states look at their credit history before they hire you. the reasoning? this financial snapshot opens a window into a person's character, offering a glimpse of what kind of employee someone with bad credit might be. author and credit expert lanette says employers are worried about productivity. >> they think they'll get calls from bill collectors or will
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argue with their spouse about bills or perhaps more inclined to call in sick because they're stressed out about money problems or maybe late to work and habitually not a good employee. >> reporter: amy is the senior policy analyst at dmos, a liberal think tank that conducted a study on how credit impacts employment. >> what our research has shown is credit history correlates with things like having medical debt, not having medical insurance. those are really outside an individual's control to a large extent. there really is very little evidence that there is a link between somebody's personal credit history, for example, if they had difficult maybe paying a medical bill, and how they would perform on the job. >> traub says credit-based job screening disproportionately affects minorities and low-income groups because they're exposed to predatory lending to hurt their credit. age, relationships and other socioeconomic factors also play
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a role in a job search. it's important to note that employers cannot access your three-digit credit score. they're looking at your credit history as tracked by one of the three major credit burro rbureau. they say they're looking for major items like bankruptcies, liens and car repo sessions and whether you pay your bills on time. >> many employers are very used to seeing a lot of candidates who are carrying big mortgages, big credit card debts and big student loans, et cetera. >> employers are supposed to tell you if they plan to pull your credit report. if that happens and you have bad credit experts recommend taking the initiative and warning them in general terms what happens, how your credit problem was resolved and why it won't stop you from being a good employee. bringing up his bankruptcy in interviews did not help alfred's job search, but his luck did change. last year he found an employer who was more interested in his
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resume than his credit history. >> a friend of mine told me about this store that they might not do credit checks, so he says, go there. as soon as i went, the guy saw my resume and they hired me on the spot because i'm a good salesman. >> a good salesman who got a second chance. stacy tisdale, al jazeera, new york. >> sten states including california, connecticut and illinois limit the use of credit reports in hiring. similar legislation is pending or has been introduced in 25 other states. okay. they're young, they're healthy, and they don't have health insurance. the obama administration wants nearly 3 million of these so-called young invincibles to get coverage to help keep rates affordable for the rest of us. >> my money goes towards bills or rent or something else. i'm young and naive enough to think i don't quite need it yet. >> you know how kids can be. there's just no talking them
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into buying health insurance. >> just to be able to defend the title for once will be awesome, and i've done so well here the past few times i've played,
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getting to the semis or finals. it's been really, really exciting. i'm happy that i've been able to consistently do well here. >> australian cricket captain michael clarke led his team to victory against england, scoring his first tonne. england were bowled out for 227 in pursuit of australia score of 315/7. >> and now take a look at this young man who has more than a few expectations to live up to. this is argen tendulkar son of sachi, in his father the highest run scorer.
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the countdown begins in just a few weeks, obamacare's insurance exchanges roll out. the goal is to get 7 million people signed up by next spring, but to make it work, to make obamacare work, the government has to get young, healthy people enrolled because that helps to spread the risk. it needs about 2.7 million of
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them. david is our man on obamacare and found out many young folks aren't sure they'll buy in even if they get a little help from the government. >> reporter: if obamacare will work, these are the people that have to make it happen. in other words, the young, healthy and unininsured. getting them to buy into the system is key to offsetting costs of the sick and old. >> me money goes towards bills or rent or something else, and i guess i'm young enough, naive enough to think, i don't know, that i don't quite need it yet. >> it's a gamble, but health insurance in general in is a gamble. you're betting against yourself being healthy. the new health care law makes insurance mandatory. with premium price tags in the thousands, the big worry is many of these young invincibles won't
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buy in hoping their healthy enough to deal with medical issues on their own. most young people say coverage is worth the cost. is a small fine, roughly 1% of your income in the first year, enough to compel the chronically uninsured to buy coverage? >> the financial penalty will at least motivate me to look deeper and harder for finding a general health insurance plan. >> i don't know that it's a motivating factor. >> as the new markets roll out, josh should expect to shell out an estimated $3,000 for the least expense plan. that's almost seven times the penalty he'll pay to go without coverage. >> to the extent that young, healthy folks stay out of the health insurance markets and leave the health insurance markets instead, primarily to the old or the sick and those less able to take care of themselves, you have to market that skew. >> for others it might be an easier sell. josh makes about $45,000 a year. someone who makes half his salary could be entitled to more
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than $1500 in federal subsidies to help pay pour coverage. in 2005 josh learned the hard way that there could be real costs to living without health insurance. >> i was riding home from dinner, and a car blue blew through a hlt and sent me flying in the air. >> after weeks of rehab, he owes tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid medical bills. >> that debt that hangs over my head. >> he's still not sure he would sign up. >> i was laid up for six weeks and had to start physical therapy. even after that you didn't get health insurance? >> no. i mean, i was 28-year-old, and you're not thinking about health insurance. >> reporter: the 35-year-old bike messenger relies on workman's comp during business hours but would like health insurance for everything else if the price is right. for others in the key demographic, it's not clear they're aware what their options are under the new law.
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>> people don't know about it. i didn't really know about it. people i work with, friending of mine don't really know. >> tracy hanna in manhattan says she'll sign up, even if the price is slightly more than what she considers affordable. >> if it makes sense, i will sign up. >> reporter: this photographer is in a similar situation but with more than $120,000 in student debt. >> i have no idea what it will cost. i hear it's different levels and hopefully affordable to what my income is, cross my fingers. >> reporter: depending on the income and other factors like whether they smoke, consumers may be eligible for a government subsidies, those premium foss r the young could rise as the new law takes effect. for many it shatters the risk of remained uninsured. if they look at their options this fall and decide their unaffordable, the nation's new health care system could fail to determine.
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- deliver. about half the people who buy insurance on exchanges will be eligible for subsidies. to see whether you qualify, go to the kaiser family foundation website. they have a calculator to give you a rough estimate. america's infrastructure is in major need of repair, but what would be the pay-back be on fixing it. we'll get up close and personal with big bertha, a huge piece of equipment in seattle. is it worth it? so you have a structure that is very much at risk. it manages over 100,000 vehicles a day and has huge economic impacts to the region if it was to fail any further. >> we have that story and much [[voiceover]] every day, events sweep across our country. and with them, a storm of views. how can you fully understand the impact unless you've heard angles you hadn't considered?
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antonio mora brings you smart conversation that challenges the status quo with unexpected opinions and a fresh outlook. including yours. that's all i have an real money. victoria azarenko
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trillion in the next seven years to bring america's infrastructure up to grade. seattle's $4 billion redevelopment of the waterfront that including digging an underground highway is the largest transportation project in america today. david shochuster has this story of seattle's big dig. >> this is bertha eggs specially made for america's biggest transportation project today, seattle's alaskan way viaduct replacement project. >> this is the largest single project that i've been involved with. >> bertha is boring below the seattle waterfront to build an underground highway for car and freight traffic. >> the tunnel 9,273 feet long. when we excavate the tunnel, we remove about 850,000 cubic yards of material or close to 2 million tons of material.
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>> the goal is to replace the alaskan way viaduct, an elevated roadway above the tunnel route that sustained damage in a 2001 earthquake. >> so you have a structure that is very much at risk. it manages over 100,000 vehicles a day and has huge economic impacts to the region if it was to fail any further. >> reporter: of course, seattle was forced to do something about the viaduct because of the dangers it poses. the choices were to make very extensive repairs to the existing roadway orie place it with a brand-new viaduct. instead, seattle decided to take the most expensive route and dig a tunnel underground and get rid of the viaduct entirely. despite some opposition to the tunnel option and after ten years of contentious debate, voters did approve seattle's big dig in a 2011 referendum. the tunnel project is going ahead with public support. >> everybody got what he or she needed. nobody got what he or she wanted.
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so it was a compromised solution in the best tradition. everybody contributed and will benefit from it. >> reporter: bob is head of iver's seafood restaurant. he championed the project because he said it's good for business and the city. teresa schneider co-owners a furniture store praktally under the vie tukt. while she acknowledges it could help her business, she's not sure it can survive the disruption construction will bring. >> this is an enormous project, and it's going to be painful. i think that those of us who survived this construction project -- we're looking at at least another three years for it all to come to an end in terms of destruction in the tunnel before they start to build the waterfront, once that waterfront is built, we're going to have an absolutely world class waterfront. >> reporter: the question should be asked, though, are big megaprojects like the one in seattle the most cost-effective
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way to upgrade the infrastructure? almost all big transportation projects come with cost overruns because planners routinely underestimate the costs and risks of complex construction projects that can take years to complete. boston's central artery tunnel known as the big dig is the most dramatic example of that with initial projected costs of $3.7 billion ballooning to 14.8 billion when it opened to decades later. denver international airpor costs jumped to $5 billion. the brooklyn battery tunnel in new york opened in 1950 is one of only a few big transportation projects that came in on budget. seattle's project has not announced any overruns to date, but few will be surprised if it does. a bigger question is do big, expensive infrastructure upgrades guarantee big returns in the future? yus
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justin marlo says not always but they may have no choice. >> failing to do infrastructure in areas that will grow is a bad idea. it's something that can hamper economic growth and can make -- it can put a region in a position where it's not realizing its full potential. >> when this mroproject is done we'll have 70,000 visitors on a day. so the long-term economic impacts has the opportunity to transform what the city of seattle is. >> david schuster, al jazeera. >> seattle's big dig is expected to be done by the end of 2015 and the waterfront will be ready four years later. after one month on the job and 24 feet in, bertha hit a bump. contractors say fiberglass strands got stuck around the face of the drill. with that problem solved, they hands. finally, it's a new currency
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everybody is buzzing about, but i'ved this for a while, who the heck is a bit coin? you can't hold one. they're entirely virtual. it's a dibltal wild west currency, but according to, there's no denying bit coins are currency. >> you can purchase video games, gifts, book, serves and alpaca socks. >> you can buy bit coins not unlike how you exchange your dollars for a euro orien on several digital, change sites. you can tray themmed or hold onto them. unlike dollars or euros orien, bit coins are entirely unregulated. when a nation's currency is about to crash, a central bank steps in. if bit coins start to crash, and they have, you're out of luck. >> your bit coins are stored in your digital walt let. >> they go into a so-called
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digital wallet that looks like this. if you lose the password, you're out of luck again. there's no prompt to remind you. >> they're directly from person to prern via the net without going to the bank or house. >> you can buy services and use them in small businesses around the world, or you can speculate they'll increase in value. that's not as dumb as it sounds since there's about 8 million bit coins in circulation today, and the maximum generated is 21 million. the supply of bit coins is growing slowly and steadily thanks to sophisticated computers that mine them, but demand has been volatile. one bit coin has been worth less than $10 for most of its history, but in april it surged to more than $200 and then plunged only to rise again to more than $120. all that volatility is one reason lawmakers and regulators are asking a lot of questions. that's our show for today. thanks for joining us.
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♪ . >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello and welcome to the news hour, i'm in doha and good to have you with us with the top stories, attack to bring peace to syria, they push the case for strikes to help get offering to the negotiabling table. but syria warns the u.s. if there is an attack negotiations may never happen. [gunfire] also ahead gun battles and hostage taking in the


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