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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  September 23, 2010 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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nation's largest job fairs to date. this one in dallas, texas where thousands are gathered in hopes of finding work. just a sliver of the 8.4 million who have lost their jobs and the 26 million who are jobless in this country in what has become the worst economy for working americans since the great depression. today, a special edition of the dr show. we'll look ott how we got here, how we'll get out and hold the politicians and banks for using our country as a way for them to get rich at everyone else's expense accountable for after the first time in decades for their actions. we'll hear from employers, job seekers. good afternoon to you. i am dylan ratigan. we are supposed to be in dallas, but mother nature had other plans for us last night.
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a massive storm. >> we have a problem in the country, a model that said we have an economy based upon services and what have we gotten? one bubble after another. >> the president has to like a razor blade, just go right after the single issue most on the minds of the american people and that's employment. >> we need to put america back to work and we need specifics. >> we need a bold leader to head up our country. we need business leaders to come together and say we want to profit from operations over seas, but not at the debtriment of the american economy, workforce and future generations of american. we've been doing that for over 20 years. >> 20 years too long. that, the ceo of new core steal.
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it is where we have taken job wars today. over the next hour, real solutions from the crisis straight to the halls of congress, solutions for people, like our first guest, ka trina price, who is hoping to find a job today. one of the folks to help her do it, matt hencen. how's it going today? >> good. when we started our tour last year, it was in the height of the investigation and we did so as new means to match talent and opportunities. right near in dallas, we have 2,000 job seekers there's eventually a job for every job seeker. i've talk today a few employers today and they have a renewed sense of urgency to hire.
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>> katrina, any luck today? >> yes, actually, it's been great opportunities here and i'm very excited. >> what was so good? what worked for you today? >> well, actually, it was the companies that were here. a lot of great companies, good networks. you could see all the opportunities with each and other company and it's not just one. several opportunities with each company. it's been great. >> and what is different about this job fair looking for a job in a context of something like this compared to the way you've proceeded in the job search the past few months? >> i feel like i have a better opportunity to achieve employment. it's been hopeful, promising. i'm looking forward to speaking to a few people who i networked with and talked to. i'm feeling good. >> matt, let's talk about where the jobs are. not just the type of work, but
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also ge graphically. how much does it matter where you live in terms of the availability of work? >> it depends on what you're looking for. our employment index which measures online hiring demand has shone significant growth in competing industries. we've seen dramatic growth in oil and gas. 54% year over year in august which bodes well for the august market. utilities has been a hot sector. across the country, health care has been relatively recession-proof. minneapolis to cleveland, cleveland has been hard hit by the recession, so it's nice to see signs of opportunity there. we're also seeing a slight pick-up in retail hiring. this time last year, we're seeing a slight pick-up, which is bodes well for the holiday season. >> katrina, do you have tips for folks for your own job search
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and things that haven't worked for you and the ways, where you've tried to look basically and basically when you know where you're drilling for oil and when you know you're just drilling in the dirt. >> absolutely. actually, i say, you know, follow up. follow through continuously. go after the position you're seeking, because if you just kind of do an application or submit online, that doesn't necessarily work, so you have to make yourself notices. go to career fairs such as this. >> understood. matt, real pleasure. katrina, all the best. katrina price having a good day at the jobs fair by her own characterization. you heard dan say it. our economy for decades for functioned or not by moving from one bubble to the next.
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many americans have accepted this as the way, well, it works. that, quite simply, is wrong. here's the real reason why people like katrina and so many others may not have jobs in this country. more and more, the values of fairness and capitalism we founded this country on are being sold to the highest bidder. they are strangling the american dream. why? because the politicians who are supposed to be representing your interests are tied to special interests because they would rather keep your job than help you keep yours. we're talking about serious money here. nearly 20 billion in lobbying, another 3 billion in campaign donatio donations. that's only by the big six. what will that buy you? how about tax breaks to ship jobs out of the country, turning a blind eye to china's rigged currency. your biggest campaign donor has financial ties to the country. or spending your money to buy
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oil from terrorists instead of invesing in clean energy and jobs at home. the track is the same. as lobbying numbers skyrocket, so do corporate profits and so is the chance you won't have a job. income inequality has been the greatest at ounl two points in our history. once been the great depression and now. joining us now is matt miller, npr host. matt, where would you begin to address the structural problem? >> i guess, we've got near term problems and longer term problems. the near term problem, part of it, as you know, dylan, because the big debt bubbles finally burst in the financial bubble, it's going to take tile for us to work the debt off the system. but long-term, we have got to take on the establishment and status quo in health care and education, in a lot of the key
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aspects of american life where costs are going through the roof much faster than incomes and you know, the middle class lifestyle is increasingly out of reach and we've got a medical industrial complex that's sort of rigging the system in favor of all the providers. we've got a higher education industrial complex sending the cost of tuition through the roof far faster with hikes there than people can afford. we've got a 12 industrial complex that's essentially resisting change to make our schools better and it's going to take more of a radical revolt if we're going to get the middle class on a sounder footing. >> how do you challenge the energy of the revolt and have that revolt channel to positive change as opposed to simple indulgence of emotion and destruction? >> it's a great question. and i guess i think it may take
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i think after this election wen we see the antiincumbent energy lead to big gains, not because people love the republican, but because they want to send a message that the democrats in power haven't delivered. the republicans are going to overinterpret that result and you know, if you look at the message they put out today, the pledge to america, it's so vacuous. it's the same vacuous stuff that doesn't add up. the republicans clearly think americans are infants or idiots or both and they're going to have a hard time delivering even if they make gains or getting the house. it may take a third force that finally starts talking more honestly and calling out the bull on both sides. that's the only chance we're going to have to get real traction in getting honest answers including tough choices for americans. >> if you were to look at the argument the government is part of the problem, not the solution. that the government is the
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channel by which the corps of the dead ideas that you refer to is attempted to make live. as if it has perished and instead of moving on, we are sitting here pumping money through our government to try to support that structure. how do you reverse that? >> i'm not someone who thinks government is only the problem. i think the trick, as always, in america, to get the right balance of get government and sound government, harnessing market forces for public purposes. i think government's incredibly important and it has to step in because of the complete collapse in private demand the last couple of years to spend some money to boost the economy or we would have gone off the cliff. the question now is how do you get the right balance of getting government spending back in line, but not to fast so that we continue to get the growth we
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need in the near term and so the private sector can jump-start the engine again and get back on track. >> what can people watching this show, people who have the frustration and at the same time, the sense of powerlessness, who want to align with us, their friends, others who share this most basic value. who want to participate in some form of basic alliance predicated on fairness, what do you see is the healthiest thing to do with that energy level on a given day? >> i guess one of the things people need to do is get their politicians on both sides to say, you got to level with us. if you look at what the republicans put out today, it's a bunch of charades. often, what you hear from the d democrats are a bunch of charades. they think the american people aren't ready to handle the the truth.
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it's like jack nicholson in a few good men. we're going to have to take tough measures if we're going to get back on track to compete with china, india, the kind of coun countries that are rising in the global economy and that means we're going to have to work harder on our school system. we're going to have to tell our kids to turn off the tv and work harder in school. we're going to have to be prepared to tackle these lasting problems. and we're going to have the make the world safe for politicians on both sides to actually say some of the things they think americans don't want to hear. so, being ready for truth telling is one step people can take. >> stick with me. i want to add yet another matt to the conversation. matt lewis will join us. also, coming up on the show, as matt has mentioned, republicans today unveiling their plan for
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the economy. when or if they take back the house. we know what matt miller thinks. what does matt lewis think about it and is it any better than the nonsense we've seen from the democrats or are both political parties are -- mix it up. plus, all talk and no action. the president. will he do anything to address china's currency rig tog ensure the avoid dance of unemployment. a central issue crippling our economy and affecting every living american taxpayer, unemployed, employed. we are in a trade war, but china started it. it's just a question of when america will stop it. we'll be right back. than the book. you need website development, 1-on-1 marketing advice, search-engine marketing, and direct mail.
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in order to create jobs, we need to end the uncertainty for job creators and the spending spree in washington and reform congress itself. and our pledge to america is that the republicans stand ready to get it done. >> if this is implemented, what we are going to see is the infliction of a plague on america. >> pledge to america or plague on america and is that indictment you neek to the republican party or both. republicans today promising the usual, slashing taxes and spending, pulling back
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government regulation. the gop vowing to make bush tax cuts permanent -- and require congressional approval of any federal regulation costing $100 million or more. back with us, matt miller, host of npr's left right and center. and matt lewis, another friend of the show by the name of matt. your thoughts on the gop plan today. >> i think it's a little vague for political reasons i wrote a piece in january where i called for banning earmarks and a balanced budget amendment. those weren't included in the republican plan today. i think that by and large, the policies that republicans have vaguely called for would be a step in the right direction. i'm excited about the
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possibility of divided government. in the reagan years, things were better. the parties were watching each other. chec checks and balances work. >> matt miller, do you share that sort of optimism? >> no. i'm very depressed. this new document from the republican -- >> you look too tan to be depressed, matt miller. >> my wife thinks it's high seratonin issues. i mean, you have to ask how dumb do the republicans think we are. when they talk about cutting taxes and spending, as usual, there's not a single spending cut specified because once you start specifying, that's unpopular. if you're going to cut taxes or extend the bush tax cuts and not do anything on the spending side, the republican plan is for trillions an trillions more in debt and so it's another one of
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these pseudo events in this kind of pseudo plan that is crafted to be sufficient enough to meet a threshold in the media, to say, yes, we have a quote plan that hopefully will let us ride the wave of antiincumbent ferver and then we'll figure it out. >> picking to the next subject, turning to the unfolding action at the u.n. the president along with president ahminedjad exchanging jabs over iran's ongoing nuclear program. dualing speeches today. that was expected. however, minutes ago tensions were taken up a further notch as the u.s. delegation walked out when the iranian president said some believe the september 11th attacks were the work of americans to save the fate of
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israel. at what point does ahminedjad function for the pure purpose of trying to make the american delegation walk out? >> it seems like that must be his objective. it's a pretty warped kind of complicated pool shot to make the argument that we ginned up 9/11 and attacks ourselves to have a bigger presence in the middle east. i don't know what american representatives should do but walk out. it's such crazyness. >> matt lewis, at first, kind of be a little taken aback by this. have you seen any change in your mind in the iranian-u.s. diplomatic sparring in the last five years? >> if anything, it's gotten worse. the interesting thing between where conservatives and liberals break down, everybody agrees
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that ahminedjad is crazy or radical, but i think conservatives take him as his word. when he says he wants to destroy israel, they take him at his threat. i think liberals believe he's playing politics. that he has to do this, that he has to be radical for internal, political purposes. the safest thing to do is know the man means what he says. >> how about the big headline from the u.n. meeting you haven't heard. not iran, but china. this, the back and forth that really matters in my opinion for the 30 million americans out of work especially as china has a foreign policy based largely on their unemployment problems to our country. china can avoid a war, they f--
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president obama meet wg the chinese prepeer today talking about their currency rigging. praise and pleasantries on camera, but be president tried to warn beijing they must do more in order to restore balanced trade. lots of talk, but no real action and what, if anything, is accomplished in these interactions? matt miller, where do we stand in that particular relationship? >> where we stand is that china is one of our biggest creditors and what we're seeing is it's very hard when you're in debt to another power to get them to actually do what you want and that's sort of normal. it's hard to tell your banker to tell their behavior when you're dependent on being able to sell your treasury bills to them every few months. that's the situation we're in. china's kind of slow walking this adjustment in their currency. my sense is, they do realize, they take a long view, unlike
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america, and they're open to the incremental adjustment in their currency, but it's slower than we would want. when we're borrowing so much from them, it's hard for us to make demands. >> what about the mutual insured destruction of the dependsy china has on america for its economic demand and the fact that unlike any other power in history or at least on a scale of this magnitude, we're a debtor in our own currency, we can print our way out of it and the threat of owning our debt is not as severe as it might appear. >> i guess i think it's still a -- we don't want to have some kind of huge inflation as a way of getting out of our debt problems, and so i do think it gives the chinese -- if we were balancing our budgets and had been for years, we'd have more
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leverage. we are depend dant on a lot of financing from china. their on sovereignty means they're not going to cater to us really to bring a billion people into a more productive economy over the next 20, 30, 50 years. that's the time horizon they're looking at which is different from american political years. >> thank you both for the conversation. good to see you. still ahead here on our job wars special, what really drives the creation of jobs in america. your politicians would have you believe it's small businesses. others might have you believe it's those big corporations funded by warren buffett. they're both wrong. it's the new businesses. the businesses that are more expensive to start, that are lacking in capital in this country and are disserviced by
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our weak and highly seg regated educational system in this country. if new businesses are where the jobs are, why are the old businesses the ones that control our government. we'll talk to a start-up ceo who's created real jobs through innovation and good ideas. when life's this hard, graduating can be even harder. but you can help jose and the students in your community make it through by visiting you could switch for great gas mileage or seats that flip and fold with one hand. you could switch for up to 600 highway miles on a single tank of gas. or the hundred-thousand mile powertrain warranty. over a thousand people a day a switching to chevy.
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no bait and switch. no gotchas. and there's one flat rate for online equity trades... for big accounts... or small ones. that's the way it ought to be. time for fresh thinking. time for td ameritrade. since 1980 -- have been founded by new businesses. so that's a slice of small businesses that we really need to focus on. >> that's robert lighten last week making a critical point about job creation and how it is new businesses, new ideas, that are the engines of job creation in this country. it is a fact that start-ups in america add a total of 3 million jobs in their first year while existing jobs on the other hand shed on average a million jobs
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each year. further more, new and growing businesses fare much better during economic downturns. both republicans and democrats love to talk about the small business, which may be good politics in an election year, but it's not a smart way to create jobs for our country. joining us, ceo of -- wireless technology company. started in '04 with three employees. he now has 172 and brings in more than 26 million in revenue. dirk, did your experience in starting this business when it comes to job creation jive with the statistics i was just discussing? >> i think it absolutely does. it's the new businesses. the start-ups. the industry, many being part of the silicon valley trend, that is been able to create jobs and see new technologies, new ideas
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flourish. >> and what do you see as the critical variables, not of the success of the small business or big business because if you're growing, that size will change, but the environment or incubator that's best for the creation of new business. >> well, i think it all starts, it's founded on the educational system in this county tr. the strength of our public and private universities being able to create these idea and then having an engine that can fund them and see these new businesses created that will shape our future. >> i want to show people a couple more statistics. sometimes, a new idea for people. it is stunning when you look at the numbers. can we get the bar graphic that shows creation and job loss based on the creation of the firm? what we're looking at is a bar chart of how many people get hired in the given year of a company's life span. you can see the first year is when a huge percentage of the jobs are created.
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there are no jobs because they're creating them from scratch in a start-up, then you can see as the maturity of the firm accumulates, but the number of jobs added in that environment deteriorates. do you think as an entrepreneur, dirk, that most of our politicians understand that chart? >> i'm not sure they do. and again, it's to your point, small businesses tend to stay small. new businesses founded on big ideas, world changing, tend to grow and grow rapidly and add lots of jobs. this is my second time around the block on this one. first company i founded grew from one or two employees in 1988 to 2,000 employees by the end of the 1990s. this time around, three people in 2004, up to 170 now. so, yes, the new businesses grow the fastest. >> tell us about your innovation. what have you done differently?
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what change have you made in our economy with these businesses and these jobs? >> sure. ziris is about talk k wi-fi and bringing it into the enterprise. scaling it up, putting it on steroids, so it works in a business environment. it's essentially taking that one or two radio wi-fi point, packing 16 of those into a device and putting them in a business to handle all of those mobile devices. >> for instance, if we were to take this show out and on the road and had a whole bunch of producers and a crew, your product would be the thing we could use to create a wireless environment that's not the router in my house. >> yes. good example. microsoft events use our products at their conference. we can get 3 to 5,000 people in
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a single room. >> if you were to look at the types of jobs you are creating, describe to us the sort of education you would require for somebody to be hired by you. >> virtually, everyone in our start-up business has a college degree. we're highly technical. it's a high-tech start-up. even our sales people have technical degrees. we are looking for a good, solid college education. technical in background. it's almost a requirement. >> if you were to look at new business, not small business. if our politicians were sincere, basically, at their job nonsense, if they wanted to create jobs in this country, they would have a strong investment culture. they would have low barrier to entry for the formation of a new business and the quality educational system you just
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described. do you believe we are on a path or do you believe that a path can be found for this country to enhance the existence of those things as opposed to the dee tier ration of this country? >> well, as a start-up ceo, i have to be an optimist. so, i do believe the country has a solid foundation starting with an educational system. the whole business model that's been created in silicon valley is an excellent example of how we as a country, can find these new growth areas and fund them. so, in my eyes, i'm not looking to the government to save us on simply looking to the government to stay out of my way. >> a pleasure and congratulations on your success and in doing it in a way that shows the rest of the world what capitalism is capable of for the creation of the jobs and solutions for problems that exist. congratulations.
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>> thanks. >> dirk gates, founder and ceo of xirrus. you've got the thing for the letter x. this week, we have been asking you the share your stories with us. from the front lines of the job wars, some are like dirk, but there are many others, but some are more troubling like diana -- the truth of the matter is is for so many people, it is not getting better as long as they look to others to the government, et cetera, to try to solve that problem. we have a guest coming up later
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that i think -- seth reams, who found himself in a not dissimilar predicament without work, in need of money, and became for innovative in the way he decided to use his time and is now, has a whole crusade going on. it's called we've got time to help. if you have a story that you would like to share, if you would like to start the formation of a community, an alliance to work these job wars in this country, to fight the forces of special interests and trans, go to our facebook page. do help us build a company with people who can actually restore fairness in this county tr. still ahead, a story to inspire from the front lines. i just referenced it. a man out of work, nowhere to
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go, decides he'll fill his days helping people in more need than even he. he inspired hundreds of others to do the same. he became a prominent anecdote in a very successful book by arianna huffington, he is live here to tell us his story. but first, continuing our theme today of job wars, the scariest job in america. 1700 feet above the ground and no net. no cable. no way i would ever do that. we'll be right back. words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross.
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bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments? i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right. how's it work? ok, she's gas. he's constipation... why am i constipation? ...he's diarrhea. and our special fiber helps our probiotics so that you can show those symptoms who's in charge. this isn't even my floor.
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[ elevator bell dings ]
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well, you think your job is stressful or not having a job is stressful, how about being 1700 feet up, sitting on a pole with no safety rope. this video titled stair way to heaven, shows an inning near's trip up a broadcast tower to make repairs.
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the top of the tower, higher than the empire state building and from the top, you can see the horizon 55 miles away. he is clipped to nothing. look at that. a scary experience even if your not afraid of heights. but that's when you realize that a large portion of the climb down down with absolutely no safety ropes whatsoever. so, if you think your job is a high wire act, you just think about this guy, you might be a little less anxiety. up next, we'll head back to dallas. how the jobless can help save america. we'll tackle the issue on how to use the millions of hour of productive labor going to waste. we may not have jobs, but boy, do we have time. how do we use all that time to help ourselves and those around us.
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anyone who's ever been without a job knows that when you lose your job, you frequently lose your sense of security, your identity, in many cases, your sense of self-worth along with the crushing fear of what the future might bring, there are quantifiable losses.
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instead of wallowing in despair, one portland man channelled his energy into helping people. he and his girlfriend started a firm called we've got time to help. it's a website that connects people with time to spare to those who need help. within 16 months, volunteers had assisted hundreds of folks in need with nowhere else to turn. here with us, seth reams. a pleasure to meet you. describe, if you wouldn't mind, how this came to be. >> well, it started with me as you described losing my job and it only took a couple of months before my sense as you said, my sense of self-worth was in the ground. i didn't want to get up in the morning. i didn't want to do anything. i couldn't stand any more nos. my girlfriend said, you need to get out. you need to do something else. get away from the job search.
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go volunteer. that's how it started. >> so then -- a lot of people's girlfriends have told them to get out, as you know. but you have -- how did you actually make the turn from that hard conversation into action? >> well, it was a multiday discussion and it started out with me going out into just one of the local organizations and donating some time. and then we started talking about all the people that were unemployed just in oregon. and we thought, you know, if we could gather some of these people up and do some immediate community service needs, how cool would that be. >> how that has that affected your own psychology, your own day, making the decision to get out of your own head and your own wallowing, however good a reason you may have to wallow answered to make the changes
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your describing and advocate for others? >> it's changed by life tremendously. 180 degrees. i see everywhere i used to look, i used to see despair and hopelessness and hurting and pain and fear and i see just the opposite when i look around now. i see these people, these unemployed people and employed people, too, but the unemployed really starting to pull together and it is, it's life changing. i hate to use such a -- overused term, but it is. it's life changing. >> and how do you suggest or mix the job search, because obviously you don't have a job and you need one, you want to be able to continue to do that, how do you integrate that demand and the anxieties with the free time you're describing now? >> well, it's, you know, you
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still continue your job search. i mean, you know -- one of the best ways i found was to just plan. plan, okay, obviously we're at a job fair today. if you've got a job fair or set a certain time block aside for job searching, but you can't job search eight to ten hours a day, all day, every day, so you do your job search, come home and make a plan for your volunteering. whether it's going and helping your neighbor mow their lawn or you go down to a we've got time to help in your neighborhood and just say, put me to work. >> so, to that end, how does your website work? in other words, what service are you offering and how is it going? >> what we do is we basically have people sign up. it's very informal. they just say, you know, i would like to help in any way i can.
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some of them let them know, let us know their specialties. others just say i'll do anything that's possible. and so, when we get calls for help, that's what we call them, somebody writes us or calls us and says, we've got a leaky roof or our fence was just knocked down in a storm or i can't get my kitchen faucet so stop leaking. we send e-mails out to all the people who have written us and said they could help and see who's available. typically, there's a few that are available and they contact us and we say here's where the project is and it gets done. >> and why do you think the decision for you to get out of your own head and get out of wallowing that exists for all of us if we don't engage in the way you're describing, whatever the
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situation may be, why do you think this has made for such a powerful change? why does this single decision, the decision to get out of your head and go out and help somebody else, why is that such a powerful decision? >> it's -- i think it's power l ful no matter what situation you're in, but when referring to the unemployed or underemployed, to get -- in the beginning of the segment, you talked about the loss of self-worth and your overall self-loathing. it changes all of that. so, for somebody that's unemployed, to go out and step away from the fear and the pain and suffering. walk away from their own -- their own troubles and help somebody else to recognize that somebody else may be in worse need or maybe not even worse. oh, somebody needs something and i can help them. it's better than a job. it's better than winning the lotte
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lottery. there are no words to describe it. but it's incredible. it's an incredibly powerful, motivational tool and it's addicting. you get out of bed and you think, man, i hope i can help somebody today. >> seth, i got to say, i'm disappointed laguardia was shut down last night. i was looking forward to meeting you today in texas and i can't thank you enough for sharing your story with us and congratlation you. seth reams, founder of we've got time to help. thank you. >> thank you, dylan. very nice to meet you. >> you as well. all this week, we've been asking you to share your stories from the front line of the job wars. as we just heard from seth, michael walters telling us quote --
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and again, that may be one of the more complicated questions posed in this country right now, but the simplest answer i can offer up is that we have a government that is in the business of holding up a corps of what was as opposed to freeing the possibleties of what could be. whether it's the desire for bankers who have been made relatively low paid by modern technology, but instead of exploited that to make themselves wealthy. energy companies that prevent technology from this country like clean diesel or companies like caterpillar and apple what would rather see slave rigging in china than investment and jobs in america. as we take the advice of seth reams for ourselves and that reinvigorated state, we can redirect it toward the establishment of fairness in our government, i hope. and i thank you for sharing your story and i hope you will share
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more of those stories from the front lines of the job wars. facebook is down at the moment. ironically. but when it comes back up, so, too, i believe l our page. it's there's a job wars tab there. i'd love for you to go this and share your story. coming up on "hardball," former dnc chair talks about bill clinton's advice for obama, but first, some parting thoughts and call to arms on these job wars. we, together can change this country for the better, but we must as michael eisner would say rk work together. the alliance and discussion of it right after this. in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work. [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. i love your work.
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words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments? i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right.
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we're back to wrap up this special edition of the show. as we seek to work together and form this alliance, i wanted to introduce comments from one individual on the "huffington post." he said, fdr worked out the -- and put americans to work, paying them to build the golden gate bridge, while obama is mailing americans check ins a modern soup line. most people send it to workers to buy american goods. obama borrows money from china, sends it to america -- building a bridge and then they take the money and spend it with walmart back to chinese workers. we can do better than


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