Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 19, 2013 8:00am-9:31am EDT

8:00 am
>> you can watch that discussion online at kevin williamson is fifth on the list with his book arguing that the united states government is disintegrating, the end is near, and it's going to be awesome. sixth "the corruption of capitalism in america." booktv recently attended a book party forr. book, and you can watch that on
8:01 am robert kaiser presents "act of congress" at seventh followed by william bennett's book on analyzing higher education, "is college really worth it?" ninth is "big, hot, cheap and right. and at tenth, richard haass with "foreign policy begins at home." to see more on these books and oh lists of bestsellers on politico's book shelf go to >> marina von neumann whitman was the first female to serve on the president's council of economic advisers under president nixon and was the highest ranking female in the auto industry in the 1980s when she served as vice president and chief economist of general motors. she's next on booktv
8:02 am
discussing her memoir, "the martian's daughter." >> in his 1999 autobiographer, teller wrote this of the geniuses working on the hydrogen bomb: we are martians who have come to earth to change everything. among them, of course, was john von neumann, father of what we call the von neumann architecture for modern computing and, of course, so much more. today is not necessarily about john von neumann, of course, but it is about "a martian's daughter," marina von neumann whitman whose business talent has been applied to other economic and social frontiers for almost 40 years. in her new autoboig friday,
8:03 am
marina recounts what it was like to grow up in her unique family and continue to break town as a talented and credentialed woman making it in some of the most male-.comuated of some of the most storied institutions in america. marina was leaning in long before the phrase leaning in hit the popular vernacular. she is professor of business administration and public policy at the university of michigan, a former vice president and chief economist of general motors. she was the first woman appointed to the president's council of economic advisers in 1972-'73. she took that post from her academic position at pitt. she is now retired but had long years of distinguished service on the boards of jpmorgan chase, alcoa. she serves at the institute which is, of course, chaired by charles si moanny and holds more
8:04 am
than 20 honorary degrees. it's my pleasure to welcome her now, please, marina von von neumann whitman. [applause] so good to have you here. >> good to be here. >> thank you very much. >> i should say, by the way, that i have served on the boards of harvard and princeton, but not simultaneously. laugh. >> okay. >> that would sort of be like serving on the boards of gimbles and macy's at the same time. >> good point. well, welcome. >> it's wonderful to be here. and i must say, this is a fabulous museum. i've had a sort of mini tour. i think, actually, the full tour would take days and days, but it's pretty exciting. >> thank you. thank you very much. it was so much fun to take you around morning and, of course, to look at what we call the
8:05 am
johnnyac. i know that was not your father's favorite phrase. >> well, he liked it, but the center didn't think it was dignified. i think it's much more boring. [laughter] >> you've written a heck of a book. i just loved it, and there's so much ground to cover in this, but let's start at the beginning. not long before that picture that that's there behind us on the cover of the book was taken. you had -- everyone, i'm sure, is going to want to know about the time you spent with your father and your memories of him, but let's start with your mother and your father, because your mother was every bit as remarkable a person in her own way. >> that's true. that's absolutely true. she was very smart, very glamorous. she had a career that she never intended to and kind of made up as she went along. and although she isn't noted as
8:06 am
much in things written about the book, she also was a very important influence. >> talk a little bit about her influence both on you and on john. >> well, they actually, i think, grew up together in budapest. the family lore has it that they met when she was 3 and he was 6 or 7 at a birthday party. and, um, then somewhat later, obviously, they did what i guess today would be called dating, although my mother was very carefully chaperoned. and then in 1930 my father was invited to as a rockefeller fellow teach one term a year at princeton, and he wanted my mother to come with him and, obviously, that meant getting married. so they did. and my mother, i think -- first
8:07 am
of all, he was, the fact that he was young, he was handsome, he was brilliant, and besides, she had very overprotect e parents, and i honestly think she was very happy to put an ocean between them. [laughter] and they, her parents never came here until 1939 when my father said, look, there's going to be a war. you mustn't think of my mother. they were divorced, but she still took his device. he said you mustn't go to hungary. and she said to her parents, well, if you want to see us this year, you have to come here. well, they were sure they were going to be scalped by wild indians, but they did come for what they thought was a six week summer vacation and, of course, they never went back. >> they couldn't go back to europe at that point. >> no, they couldn't go back to europe. they k5eu78 in june, i guess, and war broke out in august so, obviously, they couldn't go
8:08 am
back. so they spend the rest of their lives here. and i guess one of the reasons -- well, my mother went to work during world war ii for several reasons. one is that it was unpatriotic not to, and also she had suddenly the financial responsibility for her parents and her aunt who had also come. so she felt she ought to at least make a significant contribution to supporting them. so she went to work as a kind of tilly the toiler, and within three months she was a foreman, and within six months she was supervising the women technicians at radiation laboratory at mit where they built radar sets. and after that she kind of never looked back. >> i think it's fascinating, three very strong-willed, intelligence women many your father's background. one your mother, one your
8:09 am
stepmother and one, you. now, how did he deal with all of this as a husband and father and intellect? >> well, as far as wives went, he dealt very badly. [laughter] he was a very gregarious person, but he never really got the hang of marriage. [laughter] and my mother, ultimately, divorced him and went -- it's said that why she divorced this great genius and married a graduate student in physics, she said, well, how would you like to be married to a national monument? [laughter] but the truth is that although they divorced, they kind of maintained a lifetime flirtation relationship which drove their spouses craze su. crazy. when she was in, sitting out the six weeks in reno getting her divorce, she would write him letters about what a dreadful
8:10 am
place this was, and she would sign off saying do you love me just a little bit? love mary ann. and, you know, she was divorcing him. >> sure. >> so it was an oddball relationship. my stepmother, um, was very intelligent. she never had formal education beyond high school, beyond boarding school in england, but when my father built the stored program computer, she actually became one of the first programmers and did some pretty fancy programming. be unfortunately, she was also terribly neurotic,er in my insecure. terribly insecure. every day he was away from her he would write her a letter apologizing for some perceived sin or other. and she was also very insecure. sadly, she ultimately committed
8:11 am
suicide as her father had. when i lived with them when i was in high school, she tried very hard to form a good relationship with me, but the truth was that she was not easy to get along with. and now, of course, in my old age i have enormous sympathy for her. but back then as an adolescent i was pretty impatient. >> uh-huh. now, your mother and father had a very unusual arrangement for you personally after they divorced, and it was not one you knew about. she was to have custody of you up to a point, and then he was to have custody from that point on. >> that's right. the agreement was, and i have the divorce decent in my safe -- agreement in my safe deposit box, that until i was roughly 1 or 13 i would live with my mother during the school year and spend vacations with my
8:12 am
father. and then when i more or less reached high school years, the situation would be reverse ld. their reasoning was, apparently, that, of course, anybody who was john von neumann's daughter should have an opportunity to know him well. but they also thought that he would handle better a relationship with me once i'd reached the age of reason. now, what they hadn't, didn't know because they were too young and inexperienced was that probably the stage of life furthest from the age of reason is a teenage adolescent. [laughter] >> preteen girls are the biggest martians of all. >> there you are, exactly. so in that sense it was a mistake, but it was extremely well intentioned. however, they neglected to tell me about this. i don't think they neglected, i think they were nervous about it. so when this got sprung on me, i was pretty testy about it. >> yeah. >> because i thought, jeez, it
8:13 am
would have been good of you to tell me. but, you know, i acquiesced, and i went off to live in princeton. and as i say, that had its complications, but it did give me a chance to interact much more with my father than i could have otherwise. partly because those vacations i spent with him certainly during world war ii were mostly spent without him because he was always either in los alamos or on a secret trip to england in the middle of the war and so forth. it also gave me a chance to go to a really terrific school which was something that doesn't exist be much now, a sort of all girls' private school. and we had teachers who today would be doctors or lawyers or professors in university, but in those days those options weren't open to them. so we had these absolutely brilliant women teaching us. and i have to say that when i
8:14 am
got to harvard, um, it seemed easy in comparison to what was demanded of me at, of all things, miss fine's school which has now merged with the boys' school and is called the princeton day school. but it's still an outstanding school. >> so your father arrives at princeton. he's instantly a sensation. in fact, i think the quote in your book is that the department at princeton was divided in three categories in mathematics. there were the theoretical mathematicians, there were the physicists, and then there was john von neumann. [laughter] >> well -- >> were you aware of that? did you have any understanding of your father -- >> no. i knew that he was a pretty be hot shot mathematician. i don't think i was aware of how much he bridged over into physics until i became aware of the existence of the
8:15 am
mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics. can't say i ever read it, but at some point i became aware that he did bridge those two fields. and, of course, after the war was other i learned -- over i learned something about the manhattan project and what he'd done there. but it really budget until i went off to college -- winter until i went -- it really wasn't until i went off to college that i began to become aware of what a remarkable person he was. and, you know, his name didn't become that much of a household world while he was still alive. that really happened after his death beginning with a famous obituary article in "life" magazine right after he died. so a lot of this i sort of became more aware of as a young adult. >> do you remember when it started to become clear to you? you said you were in college when suddenly -- i think as many
8:16 am
children do, you're slightly aware in many cases what your mother and father do, but all of a sudden if it's somethin remarkable, maybe the clouds begin to part a bit, and there it is. do you remember that? >> yes, i do. i remember it through sort of anecdotes or incidents. i remember when i was first starting to date the man who became my husband, welcome bob whitman -- >> bob is here today. absolutely. >> and we were down in harvard square having coffee, and he introduced me to a fellow graduate student in the math department, and he said this is marina von neumann, and the young man said not the von neumann, and bob says i modestly batted my eyelashes and said, yes. and bob, who was getting a ph.d. in england thought, gee whiz, who is the von neumann? so it was really in the harvard environment that all this kind
8:17 am
of solidified. >> uh-huh. >> and later, and this is a story i tell in my book, i'm undoubtedly the most mathematically illiterate economist on the planet. >> that's fascinating. >> i could no longer pass exams, and there's a reason for it. my father was responsible for this, great irony. because when i went to around saturday first term, i took calculus 1a, and that was fine, it was okay. it wasn't my most exciting course, but it wasn't my hardest one either. and i fully intended to go on to calculus 1b, but one day harvard in those days had sort of month between terms. and i was walking could be a
8:18 am
hallway -- down a hallway somewhere, and i ran into the chairman of the harvard mathematics department who was very well known in his own right and actually had published a paper or two with my be father. and i'm sure he thought he was just making small talk with this 17-year-old, and he said, oh, marina, i'm so glad you upheld the family honor by getting an a in calculus. and i thought to myself, oh, my god, what happens to the family honor if i ever get an a- in calculus? [laughter] and from that day to this, i have never taken another math course. [laughter] i could not take the risk. i have audited math courses, i've forced my way through textbooks when i was feeding my first born in the middle of the night, but my last recorded credit in math is calculus 1a. [laughter] >> and, therefore, the family
8:19 am
honor's fully intact. >> fully intact, that's right. >> you tell some fascinating stories, too, about the dinner guests at john von neumann's house. so when you were growing up, who are the people who would just drop by for dinner? >> oh, well, yes. well, the obvious, the edward kellers and the norbert ziener and eugene vigners. i think einstein used to come to dinner, but by the time i became conscious, his wife had died and became something of a recluse. so i only saw him when it went to the 4:00 teas that the center for advanced study had every day. but all the people who came to dinner were not all necessarily mathematicians. i still remember arthur kessler, the famous writer who wrote the vehemently anticommunist -- he
8:20 am
had been a communityist and then -- communist and then wrote some very vehement and very dark anti-commune novels. anti-communist novels. and oscar more again stern, of course, the economist who wrote "the theory of games" with my father and who actually courted his very beautiful bride in our living room. so there were all these fascinating intellects around the dinner table. and, of course, i got terribly impatient with these long dinners because i just wanted to get upstairs and finish by homework so i could get on the phone with my friends. so i was, to put it mildly, not terribly appreciative about what was going on around me. and it's only looking back that i realize what a crowd this was. >> now, your father was a prohick letter writer -- prolific letter writer. and it's come out as people are now beginning toocument h
8:21 am
life how many letters he wrote and how many people he wrote to. and how much he used that as a way of really working out in his own mind a lot of the thoughts that he was trying to work out. >> he did. sometimes they were mathematical thoughts. when he was writing to colleagues. and sometimes they were very personal notes. as i mentioned, he wrote whenever he was away, he wrote to my stepmother, and it was always either apologizing for something he had or hasn't done or trying to reassure her because she was so terribly insecure. and he wrote wonderful letters to me which would jump from one subject to another without, without a blip. steams very perm -- sometimes very personal letters because he was very unhappy that i was planning to get married right out of college. actually, i was a whole week out
8:22 am
of college. not because he objected to my husband, he quite liked bob. but he thought that any woman who tied herself down to early marriage in the 1950s was destroying any possibility of having a career of her own. and he felt very strongly about making use of one's intellectual talents. so he wrote me these very desperate letters about, you know, don't tie yourself down, don't do this so early. >> well, i -- and i think what comes through in those letters as well is that he knew you had special capabilities. i mean, he really saw the intellectual promise in you. and that meant a lot to him, it seems. >> oh, it did. i mean, he used to worry a lot. partly when he knew he was going to die so young, but even before he sort of worried about his
8:23 am
aspects to his legacy. one was his work, and he worried a great deal whether a hundred years after his death anybody would be paying attention, and the other was me. i was his only child, and therefore, in a sense his link to the future. which clearly, he wasn't going to have. >> uh-huh, uh-huh. >> and i suppose there was a certain amount of plain old parental pride. but also i was a very good student, and i was always first in my class and be this and that. so he expected great things of me and, of course, in a statistical sense in the 1950s he was absolutely right that women who got married early sort of became mired citiesty and that was that -- do mess disty and that was that. of course; he never lived long enough. i was 21 when he died, so i hadn't done much of anything
8:24 am
yet. and all my life i've really wanted to be able to say to him, you see? i did what i wanted, but i've also done what you wanted. so it did all come together. but, of course, i never had that chance. >> now, you have become the collector and in some ways the curator of all this correspondence. and the second set of letters which i think came to light because of george dyson, maybe they were known about before, but certainly george writes in riveting terms in about this rusty, upright filing cabinet in your basement next to the boiler. as george put it in his book, it's always next to the boiler, whatever it is. >> that's right. [laughter] >> of all the letters that were exchanged between john and clary all those years. >> that's right. as i said, he wrote to her constantly. many of them were in hungarian, but some of them were in english. and once, long before i had ever
8:25 am
looked through them, our son who was then probably in his 20s or something looked through them. he didn't read hungarian, so he just rooked at the ones -- looked at the ones in english, and i said, well, what are you finding there? and he said very simply, a portrait of a disintegrating marriage. and that budget far off. i mean -- that wasn't far off. they, in fact, stayed married, and once my father was very ill, my stepmother became a very caring caretaker and so forth. but there's no question that it was in many ways a very dysfunction bal relationship. dysfunctional relationship. and that's a lot of what's in those letters. there's also some other things. there's a diagram of what george thinks is the diagram of the computer that was built at the institute. i wouldn't know one way or the other, but george got quite
8:26 am
excited. >> he did. he found another piece of paper which was crumb ped then smoothed back out which was, he thinks, maybe one of the first pieces of code ever written. >> that's right. that's right. >> now, you obviously have become very familiar, certainly, with everything that he did. but also you have a real sense of history, i can tell, just by talking with you and what you write in the book about his role in the history of computing and in game theory and all the other path breaking work that he did. how much of that have you seen as part of your life's work? >> as part of my life's work? well, really not at all. i mean, ironically when i decided to go into economics -- and initially i intended to get a master's in economics and one in journalism, and, you know,
8:27 am
write articles for "the new york times" and the economist or something, and it wasn't until gary becker gave me a fellowship and talked me two doing for the -- into going for the ph.d. that i became an economist. but i was so naive that i didn't really realize how much my father had done in the field of economics. i mean, game theory really hadn't been taken up by economics yet, and i don't think i was aware of the turnpike theorum. i'm sure if i'd realized how much my father had contributed to the field i was going into, i would have chosen a different field. [laughter] but i honestly was ignorant. and by the time i found out, it was too late. [laughter] >> yeah. i -- life's work is probably not the right phrase. not that you've devoted a tremendous amount of time to this, but you certainly have an awareness, and you're on the board of the ias.
8:28 am
it's a threat that you can never break, but also you've taken this on as a dimension, i think. >> oh, that's true, yes. and it is quite remarkable to sit on the board of trustees of the institute for advanced study where my father was one of the five founding members and to sort of feel his astonished ghost looking down on me there. so, yes, in that sense. and i've tried to be responsive when people have wanted to know things about my father or asked to reprint something he'd written and so forth. i try to respond to these things. and in 2003 when, which was the 100th anniversary of his birth, i went all over hungary giving talks about him. and in school, in high schools some of them named after him,
8:29 am
and i was absolutely astounded that these high school students sort of revered john von neumann with the kind of awe that in the u.s. high school students would reserve for a athlete or a pop singer. and i was just asounded that -- astounded that these kids knew about him. they'd done research. and i'm going to hungary in june, in about two months, i guess, for the opening of a new computer museum in hungary, the second biggest city there. >> uh-huh. >> and, again, there'll be a room devoted to von neumann, and they've asked me to be part of the opening. i secretly or not so secretly hope maybe i can persuade somebody to translate my book into hungarian. so, you know, i mean, particularly after his death i
8:30 am
have in a way become the keeper of the flame. >> uh-huh. >> a little bit to my surprise be, but there it is. >> do you feel history is now coming to meet him? do you think that his role and his accomplishments and the singular place that he occupies is becoming better known now? >> that may be for a couple of reasons. one is that he was truly a polymass, and that's sort of a pun because what i mean by that is he made his mark in a wide variety of fields in both pure and applied mathematics. of and a lot of people wonder given the way the field has multiplied that if ever again can anybody could do that in as many areas as he did. and the other thing is that with
8:31 am
quite a delay game theory has now got to do with the social sciences. it really wasn't taken up for at least 20 years by economics and other social sciences. it was taken up mainly by the military and by the rand corporation which did analysis for the military. but it came quite late to economics and now to some extent, also, to political science and interestingly enough to biology. and because that happened with a delay but it did happen again, more people are aware of him than would be otherwise. i think that computer scientists always were, but that doesn't mean that the economists and the political scientists and the molecular biologists were which
8:32 am
many of them are now. >> uh-huh. well, that's a perfect way to make the transition to your career, because i do want to spend the balance of the time on that because it is is fascinating. you mentioned going to columbia and studying with the nobel laureate gary becker, received your ph.d., went to pitt and were on the faculty there at pitt. but i want to pick up the story really with you going to the white house. to be on the staff of the council for the economic advisers. now, let me point out that today as we sit here in 2013 no one really talks about the could be is sill of economic advisers -- council of economic advisers that much anymore. but during the '70s the cea was a big deal because of the things that president nixon wanted to try to do. >> it was. can i backtrack just a minute? >> absolutely. >> and tell one anecdote about why it is that i got a ph.d. at columbia. i was -- bob was teachin
8:33 am
princeton, and i was, had a job with the educational testing service. when i decided i wanted to go to graduate school. and burt mckeel, a friend of mine who's famous for having written "a random walk down wall street" decided we wanted to get degrees in economics at princeton. i was told there was one little problem, women were not accepted at princeton even in graduate school, and so i would have to go and talk to the president. the president was, had been president for about 20 years, and he was about to retire, and that conversation did not go well. [laughter] he first responded by saying, oh, mrs. whitman, i'm so sorry we can't accept a woman of your caliber. and i said, well, president dodd, fortunately that's not a
8:34 am
problem because my husband is an instructor in princeton, and we live in the leftover world worlr ii barracks that princeton was housing its very junior faculty in. by the way, those barracks which were supposed to be torn down after the war are actually going to be torn down next year. [laughter] at least that's what they say. so after i made this point about housing, there was a long silence, and then he said, oh, mrs. whitman, we really wish we could accept you in our ph.d. program, but unfortunately we simply don't have enough facilities for women students. so for the lack of ladies' rooms, i had to commute to columbia to get my ph.d. which i did. okay, now -- >> ironically, a von neumann not being able to get into princeton to study economics. >> there you are. exactly. >> right. >> exactly. back to the nixon white house. >> yes. >> well, the importance of the
8:35 am
cea has tended to rise and fall with the kind of personal relationship that the chairman had with the president. and at that time there were a string of cea chairmen starting with, i guess, arthur holtman and keller and john kennedy and johnson and then mccracken and also george shultz with nixon. and nixon, there were two big events that cast economics into the forefront, and one was when the united states was having all kinds of problems with the bretton woods agreement which worked just fine. the theory was that the world would operate on a dollar standard, and t dollar wo less d
8:36 am
standard. and so the countries that wanted to trade dollars for gold could do that. the system worked just great as long as nobody asked. but in 1972, '72, the united states' trade deficit, current account deficit was getting bigger and bigger, and the french were threatening to add demand gold. so one fine day nixon abrogated, essentially, our commitment, ended the bretton woods system. i remember that happened to be the day that i was leaving the council to go back to the university of pittsburgh because i had decided i could to longer ignore the likelihood that the president was mixed up in the watergate scandal. and the chairman's assistant called me up and said, marina, be sure and listen to the radio
8:37 am
tonight, because the president is really going to drop a bomb. so i hung up and turned around and said to my family, oh, the president's really going to drop a bomb tonight, and our daughter was about 8 years old, and her pigtails kind of stood up on end, and she hid under the kitchen table and said he's going to drop a bomb here? so anyway, he did. he abrogated the bretton woods system. he put into effect the infamous wage price control program. and so there were two big economic issues on the table. one was the wage price controls, and because i briefly served on the price commission, i was kind of the public face of the wage price controls when i went to the council. and the second thing was that the united states tried very hard to develop a new blueprint for the international monetary system because of, because the
8:38 am
bretton woods system was gone. and that was my field, i'm an international economist. and i found myself serving on a group headed by paul volcker trying to redesign the international monetary system. and we had an absolutely beautiful blueprint. it never got used because national politics intervened. not just ours, but the europeans'. >> sure. >> so the two things that i was haley involved -- heavily involved in were kind of front and centered in those days. also since then the white house, as so typical of many institutions, has kind of proliferated, um, now there's not only the council of economic advisers, but the national economic council and the treasury is deeply involved. so there's been a kind of metastasis of organizations
8:39 am
around the president dealing with economics and the intersection between economic and political issues. >> how would you describe the environment you experienced in the nix sop white house? -- nixon white house? >> well, aside from the little problem of watergate which gradually i could no longer ignore, um, it was very exciting. i mean, the odd thing that people forget about richard nixon is that almost every piece of progressive economic legislation that we have was passed, either passed or tried to be passed and didn't during the nixon administration. i mean, the epa, the eeoc, the -- you name these alphabet agencies. and, in fact, he and daniel patrick moynihan tried to put in a negative income tax, and they couldn't get it through congress, but they tried.
8:40 am
i remember a few years ago bob dole made a tv series for public television in which he commented that there is absolutely no way that richard nixon could get the republican nomination today because he was far too progressive, in fact, in many ways his economics was to the left of barack obama's. and, of course, he opened up china, and he made the first was it salt or s.t.a.r.t. treaties with the russians. so it was a very exciting time to be there. and it was with great regret that e left. but as i say, it increasingly dawned on me that he could not have been unaware of what was going on. >> be well, and you make that point in your book, that you felt just as a matter of principle after watergate and all the revelations afterwards
8:41 am
you couldn't stay. >> that's right. and i tried to tell this to herb stein who was then chairman of the council and a good friend and a man of great personal integrity. but also a huge loyalist of the president's. and i tried to tell stein that i was going to leave, and he simply didn't believe me. so finally i wrote a letter of resignation to the president and sent it and left a copy on stein's desk. and then he believed me, and he really did regard it as a personal betrayal. >> and did he tell you that personally? >> yeah, pretty much. uh-huh. it was clear, let's put it that way. >> many okay. you entitled that chapter in your book "the end of innocence. " why was that like that for you? >> well, because as i say, i had always, you know, sort of taken
8:42 am
these institutions, like the presidency, at face value. and i had tried for as long as i could to evade recognizing the fact that there was a very dark side to this presidency which, as i say, had a lot of very exciting and progressive things going on. and it's in that sense that i meant the end of innocence. and, you know, ever since then i've tended to look at institutions, whatever institutions they are, a little more critically than i would have before. >> you move from there to years of incredible board service at some of biggest companies in america, and it's interesting you just made the observation
8:43 am
about being critical of big institutions after you leave the white house. manny handny was the first board you joined, westinghouse, p&g. we talked about the university boards. this was really a time of fundamental social change for women in the '70s. and before we get into your observations about the boards and the companies, which you're very candid about -- >> that's right. >> -- throughout the book, can you just talk about what it was like being a woman sought for these board seats almost always? were there any cases, in fact, in which you were not the first woman to take these board seats? >> no. on the boards i sat on, i'm just running through 'em in my mind -- >> yeah. >> i think i was always the first woman. >> yeah. >> in fact, when lynn martin, who had been secretary of labor, joined the procter & gamble board, she says i don't remember this, but she said, you know,
8:44 am
marina, you greeted me when i first came saying, lynn, i'm so glad to meet you, i've waited 17 years for you because i always wanted to be one of two or more women on a board of directors. the reason that i was courted by boards, i think, is because in the '70s companies, big companies in particular were beginning to feel the pressure to put women on their boards. and there weren't a lot of women who had the kind of experience and background that, i mean, nowadays there are plenty of women ceos and high up in companies, but there weren't then. so when i had this rather high profile visibility at the cea, suddenly companies wanted me, and i was courted by lots of companies, and i got to pick the cream of the crop. manufacturers hanover, by the way, has met more posed through tree or four changings of name
8:45 am
into what is now jpmorgan chase. and i was on the board through all those changes. >> and what were your observations about board service in general and the nature of the way corporations were being governed during this period? >> well, one of the things that really startled me is that when -- the first board i joined was manufacturers hanover bank, and i hadn't the dimmest notion what distinguished a successful or profitable bank from an unsuccessful or unprofitable bank. so when i joined the board, i said, look, i really would like a short course in money center banking, and i said before each board meeting, i would like to meet with the head of one of your major business units or one of your major staff units to learn a little bit about this. and they were very accommodating, and they set it
8:46 am
up for me. but they acted as if i was the first person who ever asked. and i wondered how other people learned, and it turned out that you were supposed to sort of sit there and listen for a couple of years until it all sank in and then start contributing. and, of course, there was no way i was going to keep quiet for a year or two while i learned about banking. now, of course, there's a whole cottage industry in educating corporate directors and lots of business schools and law schools regard this as a wonderful cash cow, to give short courses of various kinds for corporate directors. but it was unheard of in those days. and that was really, people say, well, what was it like to be the first woman on a board, and how did they treat you? and, yes, there was some initial looks of shock, and i still remember the little round
8:47 am
southern gentleman who came about up to my shoulder who was head of reynolds tobacco, and we were talking -- i mean, there was some conversation going on, and he said some thing, he said, damn, and then he looked up at me and said, oh, pardon me, ma'am. and i thought, you know, if you heard what i heard on the college campuses of the 1960s, you would not be so apologetic for that damn. but by and large, they, they treated me with respect and eventually actually began to take what i said seriously. so i didn't, i didn't feel a lot of difficulties. but it was a wee bit loan he. lonely. >> did you feel in a unique
8:48 am
did you feel you could relate to the other directors or not so much? >> i did, i did. i remember telling the chairman of manny hanny when he asked me to join the board, i said, look, i recognize that i'm a token, but please don't expect me to behave like a token. [laughter] because i promise you, i won't. and, indeed, i didn't. >> and they took you on. >> and they took me on. yeah. >> yeah. this was a time, the '70s, of enormous economic upheaval, political, social upheaval. regulatory change you're talking about. what did you observe about the nature of corporate leadership in the '70s in that kind of environment? >> well, what has happened -- and it didn't all happen in the '70s, it's actually a process that still is going on today, and that is corporate boards began to take their oversight functions more seriously. they, yes, they became a bit
8:49 am
more diverse. there were women and minorities and so forth beginning to join boards. but mainly the heat was on them, and it started in the '70s when this -- there grew up what's sometimes called a market for corporate control where companies were merged, or there were hostile takeovers or whatever. and the notion of governance became more serious. this wasn't just the chairman's cronies voting yes. although board votes usually tend to be still unanimous. but that's because you don't hold a vote til you know that you're going to get the support of the board. the haggling, if there is any, goes on before. >> uh-huh. >> and when ross perot voted no on the general motors board when
8:50 am
they bought hughes, this was headline material. and, of course, now, as you know from reading the newspapers, the whole question of the role of corporate boards and what they're responsible for and the whole question of executive pay and what kind of role the board should be playing, all of this now is much more front and center than it was. and so i was there for a fair part of this revolution in corporate governance. it really wasn't revolution, it was more evolution. and and, of course, starting in -- well, actually, it started in the early '90s. and it started when robert temp l, the chairman of general motors, was pushed out by the board. and then there was just a rash
8:51 am
of ceos being pushed out by nonconfidence on the part of the directors. which is something, i think, had never really happened before. >> uh-huh. >> and, actually, stemple's departure by coincidence happened within six weeks of when i left general motors. and i left for quite different reasons. i was tired of being cassandra telling gm, you know, unless you wake up and smell the burning pot, you know, you're going to be in serious trouble. and i couldn't get the top management to take their heads out of the sand long enough to see that their world was changing and that they would have to change. so but stemple was forced out by the board. and then the head of, oh, american express and a whole host of companies, the same thing happened s. and that was really unheard of at the time. and the process still going on
8:52 am
now of playing out to corporate directors that they really do have a major responsibility. >> let's talk about your career at general motors. about a decade and a half. a lot of of that as vice president, chief economist. what took you to gm and why, and what did you find when you got there? >> well, it actually happened here. i was on a year issa bat call at -- saw sabbatical at the cenr for advanced study in the behavioral sciences on the stanford campuses, and paul mccracken, who had been chairman of the cea when i was there on the staff, called me and said there's a man from gm called roger smith who wants to come and talk to you. his daughter's at stanford business school, so he's going to be out there anyway. and i said fine, you know, i'll ask him to lunch at the center.
8:53 am
the center had wonderful lunches. and i suppose i was one of the few people on the planet that didn't know that this man was going to become the next chairman and ceo of general motors. so he came, and he chatted, and then he said how would you like to be vice president and chief economist at general motors. and i thought, my god, you know, this guy was very blond x he had very fair skip, and he was looking quite ruddy. and i thought east had too much sun -- he's had too much sun, what an insane idea. [laughter] turned out he was serious, and i was, you know, i'd been teaching for quite a number of years, and i was always up for a new challenge. i had turned down sferl college presidencies, so it appeared as my children told me, apparently, mom, that's not really what you want to do. and i think what intrigued me -- well, two things. one, the company at that time was big enough to really affect
8:54 am
the national economy, and i was kind of a macro international economist. and the other thing was that here i had this whole economic training, and i think of training in a field as kind of creating a mental filing cabinet into which you break down problems and then reassemble them. and i had this mental filing cabinet and the vocabulary that went with it, and i was presenting it always to a captive audience, the students. and i thought, gee, it would be interesting to see if this can be effective and persuasive with a noncaptive audience who don't share my vocabulary or my mental filing cabinet or whatever. so i became intrigued. now, actually this was in january, and i didn't say yes until may or april. because it would clearly mean.
8:55 am
bob was teaching at pith be t. and as long -- pith be t. and as long as we had a child at home, i wasn't going to do that. our son was already at yale, but our daughter was in high school. and she, for a set of reasons of her own, wanted to go to boarding school. she did not want to go back to the school she'd been in in pittsburgh which we were intending to go back to. so i thought, well, if she gets into the boarding school she wants to go to, andover, then i'll accept the gm job. so she did and i did. and that's how it all started. >> what did you hope to do as the chief economist, and how did that align with what gm wanted you to do? >> well, i -- the chief economist before me who retired, which is why the job was available, had really mainly been kind of an assistant to the chairman who wrote speeches for
8:56 am
him or at least set out the content of the speeches. and i really wanted to make the economic staff a bit more useful to the operating side of the house. so i did a number of things. for one thing, i shifted the analytical framework of the staff from just focusing exclusively on the u.s. economy to focusing on the global economy. i'm sure that bias came partly from my own background as an international economist, but also i was beginning to be convinced that this was becoming a global industry. >> uh-huh. >> and so i reoriented that staff in that direction. >> it's, because it's 19 have been 78 when you join. japanese invasion had happened. >> right, exactly. >> this huge transition was started. the pot was on fire, as you said a minute ago. >> the pot was on fire, and the
8:57 am
management kept insisting that, you know, this was a temporary phenomenon, and it would all go away. and then when the japanese started to build plants here, they said -- my boss with, who was the vice chairman, said, well, wait until they have to work with american labor, we'll push them back into the sea. >> that's right. that's the title of one of the chapters. >> one of the chapters. >> there was just a real, you talk again and again about the real lack of urgency at gm -- >> that's right. >> in understanding and responding to these pressures. what was your observation about why that was happening? >> well, gm was so used to being the big kahuna, you know? in fact, when i went to work for gm, i got congratulated by friends on going to work for generous motors which is sort of the nickname. and, you know, it wasn't bad at the time, you know? it had more than half the u.s. market share.
8:58 am
they simply couldn't adjust to the fact that this was changing and changing rapidly. now, roger smith did see. he, in some way, had some vision of the future, but it was a vision that was -- the things he tried to do to fix it were just not successful, and he was not capable of making mid course corrections. i mean, he tried to do a lot of automation without recognizing that that was not the japanese secret. he bought hughes and eds hoping to, that these high-tech companies would crack the gm culture. but he treated them as financial transactions. he never really saw that to functional integrate them into
8:59 am
general motors was a very different kind of job. and they never were functionally integrated into general motors. and he brought in a lot of people from the outside at vice president levels which had never been done before hoping that would update the culture. but every one of those people he brought in,wet si -- betsy anchor johnson, he brought in bob flush who had been head of nasa, he brought in elmer johnson, all kinds of very high-level people. and every one of us, male or female, either retired or left the company frustrated because we could not crack a -- that culture. don't misunderstand me, there were insiders who were trying to
9:00 am
do the same thing, but there wasn't enough of them to form a critical mass. and i remember i finally got so frustrated that i left, and i said privately not publicly, obviously, you know, gm and the be uaw are going to join hands and jump off the cliff together and, of course, that happened in a rather spectacular fashion. .. with your father? >> well, my father was a notoriously terrible driver.
9:01 am
he and my mother both got driver's licenses by going down to trenton and taking a drivers test and then putting a 5-dollar bill in a cigarette case and offering a cigarette to the top. [laughter] they both got driver's licenses, but that doesn't mean they learned to drive. and i still remember, it wasn't just the sunday afternoon, but i did once drive across the country with my father from princeton to santa barbara, where he left a stepmother amy while he went off for a test. i loved it because i had his chance, you know, unbroken time with my father. but even though i was only 11, i had enough sense to be frightened for my life. [laughter]
9:02 am
that we would get there. and we did. but somebody once asked my father why he drove because that was a very bad thing to do. he said, well, it's only because no one will sell me a tank. i guess the cadillac was the closest they could come to attend. it is true he managed to crumple a lot of cadillacs and survive. although on the honeymoon he crashed a car and windshield wiper went through my mother's nose and she always swore that had created a lifetime problem here but in a way did because in those days in order to prevent scarring, they gave far more radiation that anybody would now. so late in her life she was plagued with non-life-threatening but very annoying skin cancers which came from radiation, which came from the fact that he crashed the car into a tree.
9:03 am
iwhich he did with some regularity. >> there's a card here an old friend worked with your father and always refer to him as johnny. did anyone call him johnny? was he known as johnny von neumann? >> everybody did. hungarian, and then we came to be united states it became johnny. i don't know that i ever called, i think people of the call him johnny or professor vaughn neumann. i don't know if anyone called him john. except his brother, nick, who wrote, it's not quite a book for wrote about his brother. he was a very formal man and he called him john. but i don't know if anybody else but here's a more substantive question. do you know what the most radical vision of the future of computing was around the time of your father? did it can hold?
9:04 am
>> i don't know so much about isf. i know my father, his radical visions. at some point i guess was right after world war ii he wrote a letter to george dyson's father and a longtime faculty member, and he said i'm not thinking about something much more important than bombs. i'm thinking about computers. because his main goal, scientific goal for these very high-powered computing machines was in long range weather forecasting, and ultimately whether control. he felt out any future international conflict, it would be whether control and not bombs that would carry the day.
9:05 am
and there is an institution, and i forgot now what the initials are, in boulder, colorado, which use high-powered commuting to work on weather forecasting. and, of course, what's happened is that computers have made possible much better short-term weather forecasting than there was before. but as i understand it for long range weather forecasting, it's still the farmer's almanac. and i guess the reason for that is something which hadn't surfaced when my father was alive, which was chaos theory which is essentially, no, you cannot forecast with what is going to be like. so in that sense he would be disappointed. he always assumed that computers would be used only for scientific research and probably a dozen of them in the world, maybe 20. the notion that every single one
9:06 am
of us would have a whole line up of these electronic objects, some of them so small that you can hang them around your neck like a flash drive, and that they would be used for children to play games on and people to write love letters on, including love letters to people they shouldn't be writing love letters to -- [laughter] that would have absolutely blown his mind. i just don't think, and, of course, many hadn't come in yet, they're still using vacuum tubes and that things were as big as a room. he also was very concerned that mankind would wipe itself out before 1980 because we really didn't have the social control to manage these technological marvels, like hydrogen bombs and so forth.
9:07 am
so he might be quite pleasantly surprised that we're sitting here talking about all of this in 2013. >> did you hear hungarian spoken at ias, at home? was on getting? >> i don't think he ever spoke at ias. most of the people who worked on the computer with my father were americans. he and my stepmother did often become -- did often speak hungarian to each other. my mother spoke and americans i never heard hungarian interest. she sometimes would speak and going to her pants, but basically there was no hungarian in that household. my father and stepmother did speak hungarian, particularly if they wanted to talk about something they didn't want to talk about in front of me, which meant as a teenager i understood a certain amount of it. [laughter] but it's all gone away. i'm told that, i spent a year in
9:08 am
hungry when i was very small, i think about two-and-a-half, three in f. when my mother was getting divorced and remarried. and i'm told that i spoke perfect german to the family and private hungarians to the servants, but i came back and went to an american nursery school and within weeks i had suppressed both languages. and i really don't like, so many americans, to speak anything except some french today. >> here's one final audience question about your to as an economist, if not a couple final questions before we do a reading. do you fall into the austerity can or the stimulus can't? [laughter] >> no, like most economists, both. and what i mean by that is that we need the stimulus. it probably should have been bigger and lasted longer than it
9:09 am
did. at the same time we need a specific and credible program for gradually reducing the budget deficit, which to my mind means both increasing taxes, and you can do by closing loopholes without changing tax rates. my vote would be for a carbon tax but a don't think am going to sell that any time soon. and also by getting some kind of handle on the growth of entitlements which, before too long, will bottle up more and more of the federal budget. so as i say, i'm not just being suspicious when i say both. and instead we've done just the opposite. we have impose austerity in the form of the sequestered, which was carefully designed to be so awful that it could never happen. guess what, folks.
9:10 am
we've been no progress at all on any kind of long-term reduction in the budget deficit. so we have it exactly 180° backwards. >> when you look at the situation in washington now, how do you feel? are you optimistic? do you think we have got the wherewithal or the will -- >> at the moment, no, we've got a mess. i'm reminded of winston churchill's famous statement about democracy the worst possible system except for all the others that have been tried. and right now, you know, democracy is at a low point, at least american democracy. we seem to have worked ourselves into and absolute standstill. now, i'm optimistic in the sense that i presume sooner or later we will get over it. but right now it's pretty grim
9:11 am
prospect. >> the final chapter in your book you call having it all, and you really do right in very optimistic and upbeat terms about your ability to have done this throughout your life. if you were giving advice to a young woman today who is to start out on a career path, sort of like yours, imagine that, and she wanted to take some cues from that, what would you say? >> well, you can't possibly forecast how your life is going to turn out. they say men make life plans, women don't. i'm not even sure that very many men make life plans. but certainly nowadays the notion of getting on one path and sticking to it is less and less involved. if you ask young people today, work for one company or even in saintfield all other life, a majority of them will say no.
9:12 am
so professionally it is filled with the motto, be prepared for what comes. personal side what i say, and i talk a lot about him about as you mentioned about what value the support my husband has given me throughout my career, and would not have been possible without that, they say, well, what sort of partnership we choose? and i said, look, i can't tell you. i can't define for you what your ideal partner would look like, but i see i can give you one piece of advice, and that is never form a long-term partnership with someone because you think you can change him or her. because you won't. so those are two pieces of advice. >> okay. good, so we're going to have a reading of the your very generously agreed to read a passage to do know the one you
9:13 am
want to reach? >> i think i do. yes. there it is. okay, this is the very end of my book, and i said to all the changes in my life and in the world that surrounds it, my father's presence has never been far away. today, i'm a trustee of institute for advanced study in princeton where he came as one of the first members in 1933. as they did in his day, leading scholars from all over the world make up a small permanent faculty company of all teaching duties to focus on research, writing, and mentoring the younger mentors been anywhere from one term for several years there. it's probably the most intellectually extensive collection of trustees in the world. some of its members are billionaires, and by the way, eric schmidt and charles are two of them, others are professors, but all of them avhose
9:14 am
for their ability to oversee and nurture the institute as a place where some of the world's greatest minds can operate in a serene, comfortable environment unintended by distractions -- unhindered by distractions. a tie that binds is in my mind whenever i sit with my fellow trustees and the glasswalled boardroom, which looks out on a picture book on in the woods beyond, around which several generations of geniuses have strolled. i find myself conjured up my father's astonishing -- astonished ghost, seen his daughter sitting on the governing body of the institution he helped found, the place where he spent most of his adult life and build his own prototype of the modern computer. while i'm summoning this ghost, my husband is tending his grave in the princeton cemetery, clipping, weeding, raking, and occasionally replacing a dead plant with a new one, a task he
9:15 am
performs faithfully twice a year. the son of law john von neumann feared would fatally grab his daughter's future is doing his part to make sure the father's memory is not neglected. my father's presence was closest in 2003, when hungary staged a national celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of its birth. i was invited to participate as an honored guest, and on a that carried with it one of the most active schedules i've ever encountered. a couple of weeks after finishing treatment for breast cancer, i found myself not only giving talks about my father at internationally attended meetings of the hungarian mathematical and computer science societies in budapest but also giving informal talks about him, in english, the students in schools all over hungary. thank goodness it's a small country. bob and i were transported to every corner of it in the cramped elderly vehicle belonged
9:16 am
to one of my father's self-appointed promoters, who enthusiastically acted as our chauffeur. some of the schools were actually named after johnon neumann, bu tn all of the students knew he was and what he had accomplished and have created various exhibitions to honor him. i tried to imagine an american high school students according a long dead mathematician this sort of veneration researcher for sports and entertainment celebrities. that we got talking about john von neumann's life and accomplishments in the land of his birth brought closure for me, a recognition that what i had feared were the conflicting expectations, my fathers, my mother's, societies, and my own that had shaped my life had finally converged. i had fulfilled my father's moral imperative that i make full use whatever intellectual gifts i had. my mother's ugly duckling had developed a swan's poise and
9:17 am
self-confidence. a society where women had fortune 500 corporations, what have the ivy league universities, and some of the leading public ones as well, are headed by women, and were a few know has been a series contender for the nation's highest office now allows the most daring and talented women expectations that far exceed mine. by their own lives, my husband and her children have given the lie to the fears of bob's mother that all three would pay dearly for my career ambitions. my expectations of a close and loving family life have extended to encompass a third generation. my father's shadow has lifted at last. if we meet again, it will be in sunlight. >> marina, thank you so much. [applause]
9:18 am
>> is there a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at or tweet us at >> here are some of the latest headlines surrounding the publishing industry this past week. >> in pretrial documents filed tuesday and made public later this week, u.s. justice department has accused apple executives of manipulating e-book prices an attempt to damage its competitors, mainly and the justice department says apple demonstrated an illegal team went e-book new pictures at
9:19 am
apple advice publishing company executives to stop providing e-books to amazon until amazon agreed to charge higher prices. other publishers have been accused of price-fixing, mcnown, england, harper collins, simon and schuster have all settled their suit. apple has denied all price-fixing allegations in their pretrial filings. the trial is good for june 3. stay up-to-date on breaking news about authors, books and publishing by liking us on facebook and booktv. or follow us on twitter at booktv. you can visit our website, and click on news about books or now, from colombia we have from walter edgar, the author of "south carolina: a history," details over 475 years of recorded history.
9:20 am
>> i was asked to do this by university press. as i worked a thing came out and that was how you deal with communities, either those with anything are those who are left outside the committee on the margins. that's all part of the story. depending on the our glitch was that we can probably go back more than 10,000 years to native american sites on the river. it's a little bit controversial, were they really what we call native americans or were they something else? that has not been decided. and native americans in south carolina were interesting and different from others in that if we had some major tribe, the cherokee and the mountains and others on the board with north carolina but in south carolina they were mostly extended family, 50, 60 people which in terms of european settlement including into native american territory made things a lot different from the confederacy
9:21 am
in virginia. or king philip's war in massachusetts where you have very large native american nations or tribes right at the summit area. most of the rivers in south carolina, if people asking what were the names of the native americans comprise a look at the names of most of our rivers and they are named after native american tribes. the earliest european settlers did not come directly from your. they were anglo caribbean. primary barbados but in the came from one of the islands was considered to be our baby and. us what the locals call them but for the first -- barbadian. they were the majority of the white population. they came here with capital. they came in with plates. they came here with being used to run a column on the frontier. that's one reason why south carolina succeeded from the get-go. they were not interested in having outside forces, and the case the proprietors who
9:22 am
literally own the south carolina telling them what to do, particularly in the matter of economic affairs. so in 1719 they had was called the revolution of 1719 and it's really the only honest-to-goodness overthrow of the government in the american colonies prior to 1776. they called the providers out, became a row called it an old issue they refer to this as secession one. secession to what even the american revolution and after lynn was involved in the revolution will be for lexington and concord. an internal dispute between the assembly and what authority. the road to revolution was pretty much tak taken 1771, 72,3 and blood was shed in south carolina before the declaration of independence. this was the second state to adopt the state constitution in march 1776 before the was a declaration of independence. therefore, they become secession proved most people outside of south carolina recognize as the
9:23 am
civil war. beginning in the 1820s, there's also the question of how do you deal with a majority to population who were enslaved? out guillen had the largest enslaved population of any state in terms of percentage and a tiny. by 1860 it was almost 60% of the population, and if slavery were abolished, as many in the north were calling for in the 1860s, what you do with a population that is all of a sudden a majority? do they get citizenship quest to develop? what about economic competition for the white working class? or were a lot of issues involved but south carolina made a decision, except decision in 1860, that if abraham lincoln, the republican party came to power in november 1860 election, that they would leave the union. that was not a constitutional issue. that was a political issue. they said south guillen and our way of life cannot enter into
9:24 am
union headed by the republican party and abraham lincoln. to talk about ben tillman on the campus of the universe of south guillen, it's interesting because he tried to close this institution down. his goal was to establish an agricultural college which became clifton college, and to shut down the other institution of higher education in the state which were the citadel and the military college, and a south carolina college. primarily because his political enemies have a strong overkill so great the first state-supported black school in south carolina which became south carolina state university. but the idea of being that if we have a separate school there's no way that they're going to be able to have african-americans able to enter clemson or south carolina college, or now the women's college in south
9:25 am
carolina. used a longer governor but you still u.s.-centric, and he was the power industry. south carolina since world war ii has undergone a complete political transformation. it has gone from being one of the solid white democratic states in the south to a predominately pretty much overwhelmingly republican red state in the 21st century. that first event to occur, domination came in 1948. because for the first time in almost a century it was acceptable for white person to vote for somebody other than a democrat. been in the '50s you let democrats for eisenhower. and for the transformation began and then in the 1960s, albert watson who was a u.s. representative from the columbia area switched parties. the republican party begins to grow by leaps and bounds.
9:26 am
the voting rights act certainly helped spur the growth of the democratic party. allowing african-americans to be registered. and initially for about 10 or 15 years the democratic party was black and white legislators and party officials and what have you, but to gradually the republican party is overwhelmingly white. the democratic party is majority african-american although there are white democrats in the state. and i guess the biggest change, other than party come is that from the early 1900s until about 10 years ago, south carolina's politicians thought the best thing is bring home the bacon. military bases, company, what have you. now we've had in the past 10 or 15 years members of congress opposed -- i didn't include
9:27 am
people or events just to be politically correct. i think folks will find contradictions about south carolina but it's a wonderful place but it's just who we are and it's part of independence. but a lot of us has to do with my whole being and that is community. >> for more information on booktv's recent visit to columbia, south carolina, and the many other cities visited by our local content vehicles go to local content. >> so if you cut demand for somebody's product per day by 50%, per total by 60%, you must crush the threat. here's what happened. the average amount medicare reimburses per day in the hospital has grown by five x.
9:28 am
since 1983. 60% decline in the number of patients, five x. increase in the price. we should all be so lucky. i want to be in that business. there's another statistic which is entirely sort of irrelevant but fascinating. hospitals to medicare what their costs are so that medicare can compare the price they pay to hospitals costs. so in those 30 years that medicare increase the price they by five times, hospitals reported that their costs had increased three times. so the interesting thing is our demand collapsed. in any industry that would've been devastating. medicare paid five times more by the hospitals say they are now only getting reimbursed 40% of their costs down from 70%. one of my most fun, you know, you have to stand outside to see this come is that medicare
9:29 am
insists that hospitals perform medicare services at a loss. that loss has been growing. you can see the numbers. not loss has been growing over the last decade. since medicare patients are the bulk of our hospital patients, nobody has ever successfully explain and medicine are asked why people are so going to hospital. because you think you lose money on every patient, you want to reduce volume, not increase bone. there's a lot of that healthier, a lot of things in health care if you say wait a minute, if i get off the island and think in terms of the real world, it gm's prices decline and have it probably wouldn't be increasing, not building new factories. i'm want to spend one more moment on price because prices are the circulatory system. they are one of the things most understated and how stupid these things drive health insurance.
9:30 am
one of the things wisdom is that we are health care to question how do we pay for health care? one of the arguments i'm making is that how we patronize the type of care we're getting. >> you can watch this and other programs online at you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays between live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy defense. and every week in the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website. you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on