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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  February 14, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm EST

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eruption in indonesia. the volcano spewed ash and was heard 125 miles away. i'm richelle carey. "real money" is next. david shuster is in for ali velshi today. >> a very wealth whic wealthy ms about class warfare. and your local florist is asking for some love, and you may get some in return. i'm david shuster in for ali velshi, and this is real money.
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>> this is real money, and you are the most important part of the show. join our live conversation for the next half hour on twitter at @aj rarely money, and real money. it is normal for americans this time of year to grumble about how much they pay to uncle sam. but this week the grumbling turned into shouting from one very rich man who complained that he pays far more than his fair share in taxes to the government. we have extremely controversial views on wealth, taxes and no, sir. in a fortune magazine symposium perkins said only tax payers should have the right to vote, and the rich deserve to get more votes than everyone else. >> you don't get the vote unless
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you pay tax, but i think it should be like a corporation, if you pay a million dollars in taxes you should get a million votes. >> it's hard to take perkins comments seriously unless you're trying to diagnose him for a mental illness. still his remarks have intensified the growing and heated debate over america's wealth gap, and this isn't the first time that perkins has poured gas on the fire. he wrote, quote, i would call attention to the parallels to fascist nazi germany on its war on jews to american one percent namely the rich. he maintains that the wealthy people are demonized, and tax system is a persecution that targets the rich. when high income eners pay a
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higher amount to taxes. there are serve tax brackets from 10% to 39.6% for some of the highest earnings. perkins thinks that is too high, and unfairly targets the wealthy. perkins distracters think that it's not progressive enough and points to the situation with state and local taxes where the wealthy pay a smaller percentage of their income in those taxes than anyone else. if you subscribe to perkins logic and believe the i rich should get more votes for federal elections, everybody else should get more votes at the state and local level. we've been asking tom perkins says there is a war on the rich. tell us why he's right or wrong. tds said it's not a war on the rich. it's a war on their unfair practices that are bleeding people and our country dry.
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and jeremiah writes if there is, their enemy is under funded outgunned and lacks funding. mr. johnston, what is your reaction to mr. perkins' statements? >> i'm grad he' glad he's sayine things. we need to understand that we're a democracy, we are not a corporation. the ideas he has been proposing have been examined by philosophers and economists for more than 2,000 years, and every classic worldly philosopher and by the way george w. bush believes in progressive taxation. the idea of it is that we're all equal as people. the greater the gain you manage to attain, in a society as mr. perkins has done very well,
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the greater the burden you should bear to put back into society that made it possible for you to do that so that society will endure. mr. perkins is only thinking about himself, and today he's not thinking about the america that we will not live to see. >> it also sounds like he's not even thinking about history because it was not that long ago when the wealthy payed a higher percentage of their income to taxes. >> david, in 1961 if you compare it to 2011, now that's a long period of time, 1961 to 2011, it turns out that the 400 highest income people in america that is 400 households had a 60% reduction in their federal income tax. the bottom had a 90% reduction but payroll taxes went up. if you look at the combined burden of both social security, medicare and income taxes the top 400 still got a 60% reduction in their burdens and
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their incomes went up like this, and the bottom 90% pay a slightly higher burden and last year the average person in the bottom 90% made slightly less money than in 1966 when i was in high school. >> what about the argument, and we're talking about a lot of this because of the gap between evaluatey and poor grow a lot of people make the point even if you were to make the tax system even more progressive that would do nothing to shrink that gap. >> that's right. what has happened we put in place a whole bunch of rules that are r are redistributing up cards. i've opposed a tax that the pipeline industry collects when they're exempt from the tax and so they get to pocket. retail stores, shopping malls, factories, they're all being built with your tax dollars. if you as a capitalist can get free capital from the taxpayers
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your profits go through the roof. we've decimated unions which means people can't negotiate as a group, and at the same time we've taken away the controls on executive pay so that shareholders are being ripped off by many executives. >> and finally how badly is mr. perkins comments hurting the wealthy 1%. how badly are they taking it on the chin because of him? >> well, i think that this is not good for those people among the 1% who have thought about these issues and know for example the founding fathers wrote repeatedly, and my article in "newsweek" is about this, our democracy would be doomed if we had extreme inequality. but i'm still glad he's bringing this out because there is a group of people so separated from the rest of us with private jets and limousines and even separate entrances in taxpayer funded stadiums that they never see ordinary people. they have no idea what is going on.
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they're like the king of france in the 1780s. >> david cay johnston, columnist and contributor to al jazeera. we appreciate it. michigan's governor believes an influx of immigrants could jump start detroit and create jobs, but not everyone is on board. >> production has not been replace bid technology. what does that mean for me? what do you want my hands to do? if you don't need my hands any more, then there is an issue. >> more on that debate coming up. and on this valentine's day we'll hear from a small shop owner that wonders, where is the love for local businesses? that story and more as real money continues.
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>> rick needer made headlines by proposing that visas are issued
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to tens of thousands of highly skilled immigrants if they agree to live in detroit. to revitalize the bankrupt city has the support of some officials, but it's also being met with skepticism and opposition some who are afraid their jobs could be at stake. detroit's decline and descent dn bankruptcy, numerous homes and office buildings sit empty, rotting. more rein taylor said detroit's lack of good jobs has to do with the exodus. >> half of them are gone because they're looking for jobs that are paying $50,000 to $60,000 to $70,000, which we're used to. >> governor rick snyder proposed a never before tried fix. invite 50,000 highly skilled immigrants to relocate to detroit over the next five years. he's asking the federal government to issue special visas that would be tied to residency in detroit.
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>> think about the power and size of this program, what it could do to bring back detroit. >> reporter: the visas are granted to people with advance degrees who have skills in the sciences, arts or businesses that according to the department of homeland security enables them, quote, to command a salary for services that demonstrate exceptional ability. in other words, these are high-earners or people likely to start their own businesses. a study commissioned by the detroit regional chamber showed from 1996 to 2007 immigrants were nearly three times more likely to start a business than natives. >> roughly every immigrant job with high skills coming in to this country, they create over 2.5 additional jobs. >> reporter: based on that logic the governor's proposal would generate over 125,000 new jobs and all the economic activity and tax revenue that comes with them. but michigan immigration said people qualified for eb 2 visas are superstars in their field
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who could go to any other city, and questions whether they would question detroit and whether snyder's plan would be approved by the federal government. >> i would be surprised to see how many of those visas get use because those visa exist in any event. but to make them specific to michigan. first of all that would be precedented to give one state a benefit under federal law. >> reporter: others see the proposal as favoring skilled immigrants over detroit's skilled residents. maureen taylor would prefer training native detroiters for high tech fields. >> production has been replaced by technology. what does that mean for my lands? what do you want my hands to do? well, if you don't need my hands any more, then there is an issue. >> retired educator and community organizers welcomes immigrants like those who have review vitalized southwest
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detroit, also known as mexico town. but he worries that it could weaken detroit's black community. >> you think this would be a way to displace black people in detroit. >> it has been happening. we lost 237,000 people many of whom were african-american. >> detroit's newly elected city council president said the city needs new blood. >> the immigrants coming in there is space for them. there is still space for the blacks to be here. we're not trying to put anybody else. we're not trying to eliminate anybody. we're trying to grow. >> reporter: people like maureen taylor who are leary of the idea. >> people continue to think if i pray hard enough things will get better and go back to the way it was. this is never going back to the way it was. we have to find out how to create a new world. >> she just wants to make sure that she and the people she helps are part that have new
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world. al jazeera, detroit. >> governor snyder sent a letter to the white house and his office said he expected to discuss the proposal of the administration over the next weeks and months. governor snyder may won't 50,000 highly skilled immigrants to come to detroit, but the question is will they want to put their roots down in the motor city? president of the immigration--let me get this right, migration policy institute joins us now. first of all, what do you make of this proposal? do you think it would work? >> well, i don't know whether it would work for not, but certainly it's worth to have a conversation about. i think because of the difficulty of doing anything on immigration hyperbole wins the day. the president does not have the power to do what the governor
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wishes in this regard. i think everyone knows by now this is not moving forward in the congress. >> if it were, why not a place like detroit? why not a place like southeast michigan, which seems to be on the are you bound with manufacturing and opportunities for engineers and computer science? go because people go to where jobs are. they don't go to where they get invited to go and do what? i mean, the united states has been successful with its high immigration systems primarily because upon coming to the united states highly skilled immigrants have an employer to go to. that is response why immigrants succeed. bring people to detroit, to do what? if it is a hope that these people will be entrepreneurs,
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it's called the entrepreneur visa, and perhaps they could try to access that. >> a lot of immigrants talking about the united states is the ultimate dream instead of places like germany, explain why. >> the united states has the advantage for all the people who vie for the same people for the very best. the reason why they come to the united states is because they have an opportunity to get the best returns on what they have put in themselves, into their own human capitol, their education, their experiences. in no other places can you see returns that are massive and quick. immigrants at the high end go to places where interest are other immigrants of the same type. there is an immigration affect that greats greater
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opportunities for all involved. >> this is certainly interesting discussion. thank you for joining us on "real money." >> the winter olympics in sochi has put russia in the global spotlight, but in the business world russia has earned a place on the international stage in the world of ecommerce. half the country is now online. as a result, the online retail is gaining momentum. at the forefront is a company owned by our next guest. owner of horror done holding, an online site dubbed the amazon of russia. russia is not known for being a very easy place for entrepreneur, what was the key for you. >> we've been lucky to have shareholders who have been with us for almost 15 years insuring
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stability for the company. >> what do you mean by statistics. >> we have invested in warehouses like amazon does in the u.s. where they open warehouses in every state. we also invested in our own trucks and network of what we call pick up points which are places where our customers go to pick up their orders. we have over 2,000 of them across russia. >> what is the learning curve like in relaying your product to russians as they get online and they learn how to use the internet. has that been a challenge? >> it's definitely a challenge because they're learning to use the internet. when we started 15 years ago they were not many people online. as you mentioned just now there is less than half of the population right now online. and so we need to get them used to online shopping, what it means to press a button and then wait for the parcel to be delivered to your house. >> every successful ceo talks about things and mistakes they made and things they learned along the way. what was one of the things that you learned along the way in building up this successful
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business in russia? >> i think the most interesting experience i learned from was when i joined the company i wanted to close the call center. i couldn't understand why would you need to call the amazon of russia to place an order. the ceo said go to the call center. sit down with our operators, spend half a day and if you still want to close it we'll close it. i spent half day there and i said oh mood god, not only do we not need to close it, we need to make it 4/7 because this is where we talk to our customers and they can ask questions and place order. we need to have it 24/7. >> any major cultural difference between russians and americans that make it mourn for those who want to do business in russia. >> customers are pretty much looking for the same thing, which is price. great services, meaning delivery, and asortment. they want a large choice. i think for the russian in
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particular, one thing is the human touch, the fact that they can talk to you over the phone, you have a courier that will deliver for them, and we do cash on delivery. our business is 75% cash on delivery, while in the u.s. that's pretty much unknown. >> thank you. >> reporter: thank you. >> we talk to a kansas city florist who is trying to maintain a rosy outlook amid stiff competition on this valentine's day. you're watching "real money." ♪ what is this place? where are we? this is where we bring together the fastest internet and the best in entertainment. we call it the x1 entertainment operating system.
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>> lisa flecher with what is coming up on "the stream." >> we got to talk about glove since it's valentine's day. in 1958 only 4% of americans approved of such relationship today that number is 87%. >> but i'm sure it's not without its challenges. >> true, and surprisingly a good bit of that pressure comes within communities rather than externally we've got great couples on the show with amazing insights and stories. >> looking forward to it. that's the treatment. up next after real money.
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>> for many couples valentine's day is all about the money. sales have dropped, and owner sheryl white said they are 31-year-old family business is losing out to online floral companies. shiryl joins us now. describe what the trend has been like and what are you doing to compete? >> well thank you, david. i appreciate it. what we're doing is--i think
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what the problem is we're still doing the same amount of business. we're getting less money for it. a lot of online sellers are not really florists. they just put up some pretty pictures and then they take the orders and we the brick and mortar florist are doing the work but they take 27% of the revenue out of our orders. so what i think we're doing a lot of us are doing is trying to identify who those people are who are not florists and not do their work. >> is it possible to also should the flower industry do a better job and the brick and mortar stores do better online. >> we have our own website. we much rather talk to our customers in person. we know our customers and we love our customers and we care
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about them. when we talk to them personally we can do a great job. but a lot of our customers order online on our own website, we still know them and we know who they're going to. >> are there certainly products that you can offer that the online giants cannot? >> sure. there are lots of products that we can offer because we know what is in our shop. we know what the showers are. they're putting up pictures of things that sometimes are not available seasonally. that's another reason to call your own florist is because we know what is available. we know what looks beautiful in our stores, and might be able to suggest something gorgeous that will knock their socks off. >> why is it important for people to support their local florists opposed to going to online giants? >> why is it important? >> you talk about the importance--it sounds like a number of local florists are starting to disappear and
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possibly go out of business before too long. >> well, if they continue to do the work of these online florists, they are. number one, they under sell their products and run promotion and sales and give us a lot less money to do it. if we do an order that would have been $50 in our store and they sell it for $40, and when you give it it at 27% it's impossible for us to make it. i think we as florists are so busy doing our work that we did not realize this was happening in the beginning. now we're becoming much more aware, and i think that there's one town in kansas that i know of that a pretty big size college town every florist banded together and dropped out of every wire service and will only take orders from customers or other florists. >> sheryl white, thank you for joining us and good luck to you. >> thank you, david, have a
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great day. happy valentine's day. >> al jazeera has begun a yearlong focus on america's middle class beginning with ali velshi's hour long special. in case you missed it, here's a taste. >> it's the american dream, a good job. a home for your family. a better future for your children. somewhere along the way that dream gave way to a harsh reality. >> we live paycheck to paycheck. >> hard work alone is not enough. >> i feel like i'm on a treadmill. >> to keep middle class families from falling behind. >> we're struggling today. >> the struggle of today's america. a country that counts on those in the middle to lead on the path to prosperity. >> the goal of money today is that you need to feel secure. >> there's much more from ali, suze orman and robert schiller, a special on core presentation of america's middle class: rebuilding the dream.
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that's 3:00 p.m. eastern and 9:00 p.m. eastern on sunday right here on al jazeera america. we often talk about inspiration and aspiration and humanity. all of that is shown in a photograph that won the photo award showing african migrants in east africa trying to capture an inexpensive cell phone signal from nearby somalia. if they can get it they can connect and talk with relatives around the world. it's a common hub for poor migrants preparing to leave the continent as they seek a better life. this imagine was shot for "national geographic." it's just people trying to call loved ones. too many some of us think of migrants or the poor as washed
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out unfall with technology and alone. the reality is they aspire to a better life as much as we do. they'll use whatever tools are available, and they love their families as much as everyone else. our thanks to john stan meyer and the photo organization for the compelling reminder. that's our show for today. on monday the argument check cashing service through your local post office. that's a great debate and discussion. we'll talk about it on monday. i'm david shuster in for ali velshi. on behalf of the entire team on "real money," thank you for joining us and have a great weekend.
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hi, i am lisa fletcher and you are in "the stream." the way society views it sternal has. couples talk about the victories, the hurdles and some of the biggest surprises of mix-race relations. ♪ ♪ our digital producer is here bringing in all of our live feedback. we asked the viewers, put them to quite a challenge, asked them to tell us their love store any 140 characters. >> most obliged. the question of guess who is ng