tv PBS News Hour PBS November 4, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: unemployment dipped to an even 9% last month, but only a modest 80,000 new jobs were created. good evening. i'm jim lehrer. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the new numbers and the plight of the long-term unemployed. >> lehrer: then, judy woodruff looks at the online daily deals site groupon as its stock soared on its first day of trading. >> brown: from nicaragua, ray suarez previews sunday's elections, where there's a familiar name on the ballot. >> more than 30 years since his son won the revolution,
president daniel horr tagga is asking the voters for another five years in office. >> lehrer: and mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> oil companies have changed my >> oil companies make huge profits. >> last year, chevron made a lot of money. >> where does it go? >> every penny and more went into bringing energy to the world. >> the economy is tough right now, everywhere. >> we pumped $21 billion into local economies, into small businesses, communities, equipment, materials. >> that money could make a big difference to a lot of people. >> computing surrounds us. sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's very surprising where you find it. soon, computing intelligence in unexpected places will change our lives in truly profound ways.
technology can provide customized experiences, tailored to individual consumer preferences, igniting a world of possibilities from the inside out. sponsoring tomorrow starts today. >> and by bnsf railway. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the jobs report for october came in today, and it brought news of slow improvement.
the u.s. economy created more jobs and unemployment fell. more americans were working last month, although not as many as economists expected. in all, it amounted to modest improvement, as a congressional committee heard today from keith hall of the bureau of labor statistics. >> we do have job growth and we do have job growth in a few industries. and then the unemployment rate, it was essentially unchanged, but it did tick down a little. i'm not sure i'd put a lot of stock into that, because it's a very small change, but that could be an encouraging sign. >> brown: the numbers behind that assessment included a net gain of 80,000 jobs in october. that was about 20,000 fewer than projected, but revised estimates from august and september showed the economy created 102,000 more jobs than initially thought. in addition, the number of long- term unemployed-- those out of
work for 27 weeks or longer-- fell to 5.9 million. even so, any optimism was tempered by this exchange at today's hearing. >> commissioner, at this monthly rate at net 80,000 job growth, how long would it take for us to return to the unemployment levels before the recession? >> the short answer is never. to keep up with just the population growth, my estimates are at about 130,000 jobs. so at 80,000, you're not quite even keeping up with population. so, in fact, over a long time, you might see unemployment edge back up. >> brown: in october, though, the unemployment rate, taken from a different survey, dropped from 9.1% to 9%. that was the first decline since july and the lowest rate since april. at the g-20 economic summit in france, president obama used the numbers to press again for action on his jobs bill. >> my hope is that the folks
back home, including those in the united states senate and the house of representatives, when they look at today's job numbers, which were positive but indicate once again that the economy is growing way too slow, that they think twice before they vote "no" again on the only proposal out there right now that independent economists say would actually make a dent in unemployment right now. there's no excuse for inaction. >> brown: but back at the u.s. capitol, house majority leader john boehner had a decidedly different take on who's to blame for the congressional stalemate. >> today's job report underscores the need for immediate action on the more than 15 bipartisan house-passed jobs bills that are gathering dust in the democrat-controlled senate. and so i urge the president to call on senate democrats to bring these common-sense bills to a vote in the senate. as long as these bills are stalled in the senate, i think
it's unacceptable for the white house to be anything less than 100% engaged in the legislative process. >> brown: in the meantime, for many americans, the long slog to find work goes on. and the federal reserve warned this week that unemployment is not expected to fall much through the end of next year. for a closer look at all of this, we turn to catherine rampell, economics reporter for "the new york times." and ingrid schroeder, director of the pew fiscal analysis initiative. her study, "the high costs of long-term unemployment," was updated and released earlier this week. you catherine rampell, i'm start with you. a lot of the commentary suggests this is one of those it could have been worse report. start with the good news today and flesh that out for us a bit. >> well, the good news is we didn't shrink. we did add jobs, so, you know, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as they say. besides that, the numbers for september and august, as you
mentioned were revised upward. so that does mean things weren't quite as bleak as we had initially thought. a lot of economists i've spoken with today have said they are hopeful we will see upward revisions to the october numbers. even though they were not fantastic, maybe they also undersmapted job growth this past month. >> brown: when you look at the sectors, katherine, what did you see? the jobs that did grow, where were they? >> actually, it was pretty widespread. there was growth in health care. health care has been going gang busters during the recession, after the recession. i mean, they're sort of immune sowhatever is happening in the economy. another bright spot was in temporary help services. that area rose by 15,000 jobs. and that's generally a leading indicator of good things to come. because employers will often sort of dip a toe in the water by hiring a temporary worker
before they're fully ready to commit to a permanent staffer. >> brown: scho there was some good news in today's numbers, right? >> we looked at the third quarter for 2011 and we found 33% of thoseinoid have been unemployed for more than a year. it is still a significant problem. >> brown: i said a littled any news because it went down a bit. you're saying big picture it really hasn't changed very much. >> we looked at the data over three months. we looked at the third quarter and that's an average number of the 31.8. when you look at the 31.4, it's roughly in the same area. you know, it's still a significant problem. >> brown: are & are you seeing the numbers continue to grow even after the recession officially ended? >> so, this was pretty
interesting. we looked back at the third quarter 2009, which was at the end of the-- after the official end of the recession, and the long-term unemployment then for a year or more was about 16%. so we're now at almost 32%, which is almost double. so not surprising because unemployment is a lagging indicator. but still, this is significant for people who have been unemployed for a year or more. >> brown: and of course the special problems of those out of work for a long time in terms of getting back in, talk about that a little bit. >> well, what researchers call the unemployment scarring, is a phenomenon where employers get-- feel like when people have been out of work for a long period of time that they may lose some of their job skills and they may have depressed wages in the future. that could be a problem for people who have been out of work fair long time. >> brown: catherine rampell, what were economists you talked
to today saying about the long-term unemployed problem. >> i mean, this is a terrible, terrible problem facing the economy. what happens is, as was just mentioned, the longer you're out of work, the harder it is to find work. so even if we see the number of long-term unemployed tick down-- and it's not necessarily clear if that number ticked down because those people found jobs or because they gave up looking-- but the longer they are out of work, the harder it is for them to find work, whether it's because of stigma, because they give up looking, because their skills deteriorate. the longer we wait to get them back in jobs, the tougher it will be. un, what is currently a sick hickal problem could actually become a more structural problem that lasts with the economy going forward. >> brown: ingrid, what are the demographic lings of the long-term unemployed. >> when you look at the 31.8%, we did a couple of dinner slices of the data and looked at the long-term unemployed both by age and by education. one of the interesting things is
although people aged 55 and older are the least likely to become unemployed in the first place, they are actually the most likely of the age groups to stay unemployed for a year or longer. 43% of workers aged 55 and older have been unemployed for a year or more. that's higher than any other age group. >> brown: and are there theory as to why that is? >> i don't have any theories myself, but i think just finding out sort of what the demographics are behind the people who have been unemployed for such a long time will help our policy makers hopefully craft some solutions to address this population. >> brown: catherine rampell, i made you start out with the good news, but getting back to the glass half empty part of today's numbers, still 14 million people, americans unemployed. and as we heard in that clip, nowhere near what we need. >> absolutely. typically, when we've had a sharp recession in the united states, it's been followed by a very sharp and sort of mirroring
recovery, and we lost a lot of jobs during the recession, and one would hope that those would come back, but at this rate of grorkts basically, it will take forever for those jobs to return which, of course, is very disconcerting for both the people who are without jobs, and the future health of the economy. you know, if you have this whole pool of workers whose skills basically are lying sallow, that's not very good for economic growth. >> brown, katherine, the fed, as we said earlier this wreak, signaled that there is just a lot more to come for some time, right? >> right. the fed said that they expect unemployment to hover around 8.5 to 8.7% next year and sort of the story of the recession, the recovery, is that those numbers keep getting worse and worse. the closer you get to reaching the time that is being forecast. and i think this is one of the problems that has been haunting the obama admininstration as
well. right before obama came into office, some of his advisers put out now somewhat of an infamous report saying that with the recovery act, unemployment would be about, you know, 6% this year, closer to 5% next year. and, of course, things turned out to be much worse than initially predicted, and since then, you know, the predicted unemployment rates have been getting higher and higher and it's been increasingly difficult to push those rates down. >> brown: ingrid, briefly, politics aside for people out there in the real world, that long term, that sounds dire for people in long-term unemployment situations. >> the long-term unemployment situation is significant. but again, long-term unemployment generally is a lagging indicator. as the economy starts to recover where everybody is hopeful that so will the unemployment rate. >> brown: thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you.
>> several states >> lehrer: several states are testing creative ways to tackle the jobless problem. rhode island, for example, has partnered with businesses, and also uses unemployment insurance to keep workers on the job. our colleagues at the pbs program "need to know" have reported that story as part of series called "help wanted." correspondent mona iskander reports. >> reporter: fran rosato is a supervisor for taco, a rhode island company that makes heating and cooling parts. tacos been around for over 90 years, but like many businesses, it's faced hard times in the economic downturn. >> toward the end of the summer, we started to notice the inventories building, and they kept building and things weren't going out of the warehouse, just going in. and we... the writing was on the wall. we knew something was going to have to happen. >> reporter: kyle adamonis is one of rosato's supervisors and a senior vice president at taco. she calls each of the company's nearly 500 employees an important asset, so when
business slowed, taco faced some difficult choices. >> as we took a look at areas that we had that were slow within the production operations group, we said, "okay, what... what are our options?" >> reporter: one option was laying people off. but adamonis avoided that because of an employment program offered by the state of rhode island. it's called workshare. the goal is to keep people working when companies face financial trouble. here's how it works-- lets say a company needs to cut costs. instead of laying anyone off, the company temporarily cuts the work schedule from, say, five days to four, a 20% reduction for everyone. so a worker making $1,000 a week for five days has her weekly salary reduced by 20% to $800. here's where rhode island's workshare program steps in. it uses unemployment funds to reimburse the worker a portion of the lost wages, up to $120. so in this case, the worker ends
up taking home $920, and more importantly, she gets to keep her job and benefits. you could just eliminate costs by laying people off. why not take that route? >> in keeping people employed, you have a continuity, right? you have the ability to ramp up when you need to ramp up. you have people who have been in... on a job for a long time. they know exactly what they're doing. so to have to lay people off and then risk losing people, there's a cost to that. >> brown: "need to know" airs on most pbs stations tonight. and our coverage of the jobless problem continues online. paul solman explores the real scope of unemployment. this month, the "solman scale" puts the wider number of those out of work around 18%, or double the official rate. >> lehrer: still to come on the newshour: the public offering of groupon; nicaragua's coming elections; and shields and brooks.
but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the government of greece faced its moment of truth tonight after a week of high drama. parliament proceeded with a confidence vote on prime minister george papandreou. members of papandreou's own socialist party revolted after he called for a referendum on a new european bailout. the plan outraged european leaders and, yesterday, papandreou backed down. the greek leader faced demands to form a transitional, national unity government. while the world watched the turmoil in greece, the g-20 economic summit ended in france with no agreement. the world's leading economies balked at giving financial help to contain the european debt crisis. we have a report from laura kuenssberg of independent television news in cannes. >> i'm not going to pretend all of the problems in the euro zone have been fixed. >> make no mistake, there is more hard work ahead. >> reporter: the french hosts almost admitting they didn't get that far.
they themselves had set this as a deadline to stop europe being bogged down by debt. she was not to be persuaded. why, itv news asked a frustrated david cameron. >> you have to ask the germans. but the point is in the end, and it says this very clearly in the communique from today, that the institutions of the euro swrorn have to take all the action necessary to safeguard their currency. >> angela merkel left the meeting early after a clash over the bigger role in the monetary fund. she admits hardly any other countries siepped up to help. but the rush to see the final details disappointed. leaders have been locked in here trying to agree how to confront the problems of the world outside but there is hardly a deal. no final agreement on if and how the international monetary fund
will help europe and no final agreements on exactly how the bay light fund will work. but there is, perhaps, a chance tonight that the chaos in greece is less likely to spread. italy's leader has embarrassingly had to accept the inspectors from other countries will check up on whether he's really dealing with his country's huge debt. he turned down an offer of credit last night, denying the country's in crisis. but this summit hasn't ended with much of a fanfare, and for those who hoped it would bring an end to the crisis, it's rained rained on their parade. >> sreenivasan: despite the doubts, president obama said after the summit that he believes europe will act to prevent the crisis from spiraling out of control. >> i think there are going to be some ups and downs along the way. but i am confident the key players in europe, the european political leadership, understands how much of a stake
they have in making sure this crisis is resolved to keep the eurozone together. and they'll do what's necessary to make that happen. >> sreenivasan: as the news from cannes and athens unfolded, wall street played it cautious. the dow jones industrial average lost 61 points to close at 11,983. the nasdaq fell more than 11 points to close at 2,686. for the week, both the dow and the nasdaq were down 2%. jon corzine resigned today as chairman and c.e.o. of the embattled brokerage firm mf global. the company declared bankruptcy last week. it is now under investigation by federal regulators and the fbi after $600 million disappeared from customer accounts. corzine has reportedly hired a criminal defense attorney as well. he is a former senator and governor of new jersey, and the one-time head of investment firm goldman sachs. in syria, thousands of protesters braved military gunfire after friday prayers , and activists reported at least
19 were killed. it came just two days after the arab league brokered a deal to end the bloodshed. bill neely of independent television news is in damascus, where he filed this report. >> reporter: weapons syria's army says it seized from militants. now, syria is offering an amnesty to all those who give up their guns. but peaceful protest has been at the heart of syria's uprising, and near homs, the hotbed of trouble, we've seen no sign that the army is withdrawing the tanks and troops it's used to crackdown. it says it will do this gradually over the next two weeks. i met one of president assad's ministers. the regime says 4,000 riot police, armed only with sticks, will replace the troops, and it will stick to the deal it's agreed to. >> syria means what it says and says what it means and honors its agreements.
and we are keen on implementing it by all its parts. >> reporter: to the letter? >> to the letter. >> reporter: protestors don't trust the regime. they were out in daraa, where the uprising began, a demonstration dispersed with tear gas. in homs, the last few days have been deadly. the gunfire has rarely stopped, according to residents of one suburb. they accuse troops of using anti-aircraft guns on blocks of flats. more than 100 people are reported dead. there is no sign here in the damascus that the opposition's call for mass rallies to test the regime has been heeded. but the regime does now face perhaps its biggest test-- sticking to its word, withdrawing troops, releasing prisoners, beginning real reforms. failure to do that and it faces
protests from across the arab world. not all guns will come off the streets, but the world will be watching syria and its army to ensure it keeps its word. >> sreenivasan: the united nations estimates more than 3,000 syrians have been killed by government forces since the uprising began in march. the latest attempt to run the israeli blockade of gaza has failed. the israeli navy intercepted two protest boats today carrying 27 pro-palestinian activists. they were boarded after they ignored repeated orders to turn around and sail away. the boats were towed to an israeli port, and the military said no one was hurt. last year, nine turkish activists were killed when israeli commandos intercepted their flotilla. a young tibetan activist set himself on fire outside the chinese embassy in new delhi today. it was the latest in a string of self-immolation protests against china's suppression of the tibetan religion and culture.
about a dozen tibetans have set themselves on fire this year. at least six of them died. six researchers in russia have completed a 17-month experiment to simulate a manned flight to mars. the team emerged today from small, windowless compartments after 520 days in isolation. the $15 million experiment was designed to test whether people could stay physically and mentally fit on a round trip to the red planet. the crew included three russians, plus members from france, italy, and china. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jim. >> lehrer: and to the latest tech company to go public, even amid questions about its value for the long haul. judy woodruff has the story. >> woodruff: it's been just three years since groupon pioneered the idea of a business built around selling internet coupons and daily deals to a mass audience. today, it began selling on the stock market with one of the largest public offerings for a tech company since google. at its height today, shares sold for as much as $31 apiece, pushing the value of the company
to nearly $20 billion. its initial offering of 5% of its shares raised more than $700 million for the chicago- based company. by the end of the day, it closed at a little more than $26 a share. but for all of its high-flying trading today, questions have persisted about the company, its business model, and the staying power of that tech sector. we explore all this with john abell, new york bureau chief for wired.com. >> john abell, thank you for being with us. first of all, for people who haven't used groupon, explain how it works. >> well, it's an old idea where you-- a merchant gives a customer a discount to come in to use the store, to use the service. the difference here is that it's on the internet. and in order to take advantage of the deal, enough people have to want to do that deal. so for a limited amount of time if 100 people-- or whatever the rule is-- sign up for it, then everybody gets the deal.
>> woodruff: and is it making money? how does the business model work? >> well, the business model is really quite simple. the merchant pays groupon a certain amount of money to do this. groupon has certain costs, primarily the cost of the copywriters who create the pithy marketing things that go out in e-mails and have a their app. the merchant breaks even, takes a loss, gets new customers, and you make it up in volume. >> woodruff: has it been turning a profit? >> well, we'll know soon. now that it's a public company, it's obliged to say what its model is. as part of the road show, it was making presentations that it was on the road to profitability. typically for companies that start out, they burn a lot of cash, and people are interested in buying it baed on the prospects, not necessarily the money it's making now. this is a big bet on what is probably the best-known, the most successful of these daily
deal services. the biggest, earliest move. so if you believe in the sector, this is the company that a lot of people think is the one to bet on. >> woodruff: and the decision it made, john abell, to make just 5% of its shares available, why did they do that? >>awell, you know, it's interesting. a lot of the entrepreneurs these days, mark zuckerberg of facebook, notably-- are not terribly interested in going public and then losing control of their companies and andrew mason, the c.e.o., one of the founders of groupon, is really interested in getting a cash infusion in this way and not be beholden to more venture capitalists and getting a little excitement in the public. the public is his customers as well. but he's not terribly interested in losing control of the company. terrible things can happen to founders when that happens and he doesn't need more than this right now so far. so good for him.
>> woodruff: so how did investors react? i mean, watching the market today, what did you make of that? >> well, it's very tricky with i.p.o.s. and of course it's a very strange time in the market with what's going on overseas. the timing was what it was. i think the underwriters are delighted that it closed at 26-- or whatever it did. which means they didn't leave a lot of money on the table but it closed above what they set the price at. so i think the champagne krorkz definitely popping. this is as near a perfect launch, a public launch as a company could hope for, i think. >> woodruff: but as we mentioned there are these questions-- i just asked you about the business model. what is the sense in terms of whether consumers are really saving a lot of money, whether consumers benefit from this, and then conversely, what about merchants? >> well, sure. it's kind of a win-win in a way. the offers are kind of random.
you can search the site and find things that you might like, but every day you get an e-mail when you sign up which says, "here's a spa treatment, and if $500 sign up for it, it's $20 instead of 80." you didn't wake up want to have a spa treatment today but maybe you will for 20 bucks. the merchant is saying if i can get 500 people pay $20 to come to my store, which pretty much gawrntses they will, a fraction of those might become customers. even if i'm not making money on this i'm sure to make money on the prospect of other people coming. groupon making the market makes money no matter what. it's like a broker. it gets money from the merchant and it get a lot of people interested in signing up. so that's the way it works. the trouble is that it's not like you're building the next great computer. the barrier to entry to this is not terribly high. google is a player in this space
and tried to buy groupon and was spurned. groupon's i.p.o. is twice what google offered to pay for it, so maybe that was a smart decision. maybe it wasn't. but there are lots of players in this space. today's the day for groupon. but tomorrow may not be the day for groupon. >> woodruff: as you look not only at what happened today with groupon but, as you say, this space of these assumed daily deal sites what, are the prospects? >> well, quite good. i think the trajectory is still quite high. there is not only the daily deal sites like groupon and google and others and living social that offer a wide range of things. there are a host, a multiple of daily deal sites that offer things in specific niches. you will find people signing up for a service which offers a narrow range kinds of things as opposed to the free-for-all which is groupon and google,
which is based on geography as opposed to a particular interest. >> woodruff: all right, well, we are going to watch it, and john abell with wired.com, thanks very much. >> pleasure. >> brown: next, the coming election in the central american nation of nicaragua. danielrtega still dominates the politics there, three decades after his confrontation with the united states. ray suarez reports from managua. >> suarez: it's election time in nicaragua. after almost 30 years of democracy, nicaraguans are still passionate about their politics. turnouts remain high, upwards of 90%. daniel ortega is president of nicaragua, again, and a familiar face from the final years of the cold war.
he came to power as a leader of the far left sandinista revolution. he was ronald reagan's central american nemesis, fighting off a u.s.-backed army after taking power in 1979. but after losing a bid for re- election in 1990, it took ortega 16 years to win back the presidency in 2006. now, he's using all the tools of incumbency to keep the job, even engineering a change in the constitution to allow a run for a third term. that sparked violent backlash, put down by the president's security forces. opposition candidates, like fabio gadea, have rushed to characterize the constitutional change as ortega's betrayal of the revolution he led to overthrow nicaragua's longtime
dictator, anastasio somoza. >> the president has forgotten >> ( translated ): the president has forgotten own fight to bring down a dictatorship. he forgot that when dictators close all the roads in the democratic system, the people can rise up. he forgot, and now he is acting just like somoza. >> suarez: what the sandinista front is doing in these last weeks before the polls open is using their overwhelming power to flood the political space to remind voters that free vaccines, donated clothing, subsidized food, even a street party is all thanks to daniel ortega and the sandinista party. ortega has shifted the resources of government into public services with political purposes. the sandinista front, or fsln, has closed schools and bused hundreds of youth to major
traffic circles to rally for ortega. plenty of voters we spoke to credited ortega with relieving some of the burdens that come from being the second poorest country in the hemisphere, trailing only haiti. >> ( translated ): here in nicaragua, we live in a state of extreme poverty and we think that, with the re-election of daniel ortega, that could change. we have faith in god and we hope that he will keep his promises. >> suarez: adriana says she'll vote for the sandinistas on november 6. i asked nancy, another market worker, if the fsln has been good for women. >> ( translated ): yes, as far as women is concerned, when we go to the health center now, we are taken care of. when we are pregnant, we are given especial attention. i had a baby a year ago and i was well taken care of. >> there's no doubt that ortega is a frontrunner. all the polls are projecting him as a winner. >> suarez: veteran journalist carlos fernando chamorro is from one of nicaraguan's leading political families who have been
on both sides of the political divide. his mother violetta was a member of the first government after the revolution, then joined the opposition, scoring a surprise victory when she challenged daniel ortega for the presidency in 1990. today, chamorro hosts a nightly news program. he says president ortega's campaign has been bolstered by his relationship with another left leaning latin american leader, venezuelan president hugo chavez. the ideological ties between the two leaders have brought an enormous sum of money to nicaragua. >> he's highly dependent on chavez' cooperation. that means at least 7% of the gdp every year, $500 million that they go beyond the national budget, and ortega can use that money discretionally, either for
government programs or to promote his own business group or to finance his own political campaigns. >> suarez: chamorro says ortega is creating loyalty by delivering for the poor, using government coffers. the ortega government distributes free and subsidized food. one out of four nicaraguans don't get enough to eat. the buses, daily transportation for the nicaraguan masses, include new russian buses burning subsidized gasoline, which, like other aid, comes from venezuela. arturo cruz , former ambassador of nicaragua to the united states under ortega, says the leader has moved over the years from socialism to pragmatic populism. >> when you have a government that has access to venezuelan resources, and uses them with a certain margin of discretion, they can be very effective in doing multiple things which are small for you and me, but that are huge for most nicaraguans.
>> suarez: bayardo arce was one of the military leaders of the nicaraguan revolution, and today is the ortega government's top economic advisor. >> ( translated ): and the energy problem, which was our main headache as we tried to attract foreign investment, was resolved by venezuela when it invested in generating plants and the power outages came to an end. >> suarez: the opposition is large and split eight ways. pre-election polls put gadea as the leading opposition, about ten points behind ortega. though gadea is one of the most conservative politicians on the ballot, he's won the endorsement of some of the left's leading lights from the 1980s, including ernesto cardenal, the renowned poet and former sandinista minister of culture.
another old ally-turned-opponent of ortega and the sandinista front is writer and women's rights activist sofia montenegro. did you support the revolution in the 1970s and 1980s? >> yes, yes, of course, but there is nothing left of the revolution in daniel ortega now. i think he has failed. >> suarez: montenegro has a long litany of complaints against the president, but chief among them ortega's aggressive bid to court church support by imposing one of latin america's toughest abortion bans, even outlawing therapeutic abortions when pregnancy threatens a woman's life. >> the decision of... of... to reposition himself as a christian is funny, i mean, in the sense that he's inauthentic and nobody buys it. >> suarez: last week, on the fifth anniversary of the law's enactment, thousands of women gathered in protests on the streets of managua just ten days before the election.
( applause ) continuing religious appeals begun in his last campaign, ortega invited the national press to broadcast the award of the country's highest civilian honor to a local priest. he was joined by cardinal miguel obando y bravo, who, 25 years a, supported the contras fighting with american help to bring down the sandinista regime. arturo cruz, jr., sees ortega joining a long line of latin american leaders, putting personality and power over party. >> it's not the fsln. people now vote for daniel ortega. and... and now, that amount of voters is increasing, in part because probably you cannot define him any longer ideologically. he's much more of a traditional politician, closer to the catholic church. he believes more or less now in the... in the traditional symbols.
>> suarez: as part of that ideological shift, ortega has actively courted u.s. and foreign business investments in nicaragua. cruz says if he wins again, the sandinista leader could now be in power for a long, long time. but others caution that nicaraguans distrust pollsters, and the opposition may be stronger than anyone realizes. its politics shaped by revolution and civil war, tribal, and dominated by a handful of famous families and outsize personalities, nicaragua heads to the polls sunday. >> brown: ray's next report from nicaragua will look at its efforts to combat pneumonia. >> lehrer: and to the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields, "new york times" columnist david brooks.
mark, what is there to say about today's jobs report? >> jim, there's one number that i think is important in understanding this. they ask the question, pollsters do every month, are are we in the right direction or off on the wrong track. and five to one they believe we're off on the wrong track. and you have to go all the way back to january of 2004 before you found a plurality of americans thinking the country was not headed in the right direction trvings 47-45, and unemployment was at 5.7. 94 consecutive months, the psychological condition of the country has been pessimism. and-- these numbers aren't going to change it. these numbers are better than they are worse. they're more-- slightly
encouraging ban discouraging but they aren't going to change the direction, that psychological environment, emotional environment, which the country finds itself. >> lehrer: you see it in the same terms? >> i agree. i think we're in for a long period. there were some little good signs. catherine rampell talked about the temporary workers, but it's going to be a long haul, and there's been a lot of talk recently about the structural problems underneath the cyclical problems. for example, there's some theory going around we went through a period where we really got rid of a lot of industrial workers. now we could be going through a period where we're getting rid of midlevel white collar workers as computers take over some of those jobs. i'm haunt by a conversation i had with a business leader and lamenting the terrible shape of the economy, and he said we've managed to survive in it. we now know how to work in an economy growing 1% a year. we get great productivity.
we can grow our profits. we have learned to adapt to this. that means no hung tore hire more. it will come but it will be a long time. >> lehrer: some of the comment made in jeff's discussion were words like "never," in terms of getting a lot of these jobs back. some of these jobs will never come back, and that's what you're saying, people know that, they figured that out. and the statistic almost one out of three has been unemployed over a year. >> lehrer: that's extraordinary. >> it really is. that has a depressant on a person. when you've been out of work that long it's tougher to get up and be looking again. you become defensive. you become pessimistic. and employers do-- david's right about productivity's up, but as a consequence, because it's very much of a hiring market, pay is down, and benefits are down. so they're getting talented workers for less than they did before. >> lehrer: where do the-- what are the politics of this now,
david? we had in the news summary what the president said, hey, there's signs but it's up to the congress. in other words, it's up to the republicans to do something about it. the republican leadership, speaker boehner says, no, it's up to the democratic senate and it just has the kind of sameness to it, doesn't it? >> yeah, right now charlie cook's proposition that there could be a rebellion against both parties. it's possible, if this continues, time and time again. i guess i'm struck by want fact obama is hanging in there reasonably well. if you look at the head-to-head polls how he's doing against mitt romney, pretty much okay, tied. personal approval rating is about 43. considering the condition mark talked about, the months and months of negative-- the country is is in decline, he's actually doing okay. so there's an aura of disappointment around him. i'd say in general it's just a
disgust with everybody but not so much him personally. >> lehrer: you agree that he's not getting-- getting it as hot as he-- as a lot of people would have expected with these kinds of numbers? >> i think if i told you that by a five to one margin people thought the country was headed in the wrong direction that 9.1% unemployment, an economy growing at whatever-- 1, 1.5%-- and you would say where's the president, you would say in the low 30s. i think he has deified gravity so far and i think that's because there i a-- still a residual reservoir of good feeling, people rooting for him to succeed but there is-- there is still a sense of-- pervasive sense of disappointment about his perez denesszy in part because hopes were so high and so many people invested that hope in him. >> lehrer: mark just created a wonderful segue, which i am going to use, speaking of deifying gravity. >> where are you headed?
>> lehrer: where does the herman cain situation stand tonight in your eyes, my friend? >> i guess i think it's a bubble. >> lehrer: a bubble? >> i don't think he will continue to defy gravity. i've never thought that. there are frames of mind-- we have talked about this in the past-- in the pre-season you have fun, herman cain fun, but when you choose a president you choose a president. and he certainly justified the belief that he's not ready to be president. this is a job that requires discipline and organization and professionalism. and we can all talk it's lovely to have outsiders who are political amateurs but if you're actually in the white house or seriously running for it, you need to have these essential, boring qualities and he doesn't have them. and he certainly showed that this week. his response-- forget the harassment charges-- his response to just the charges which he was wander about 10 days before they were made public. the fact that he couldn't-- >> lehrer: who warned him? >> politico.
>> lehrer: politico magazine told him? >> they were investigating and he knew they were investigating. he knew it was coming out. the fact that they didn't do kindergarten-level preparation for this story is just incredibly damning. he's charming, people are going to like him, but you've got to practice politics at the kindergarten level. >> lehrer: mark? >> at some level, herman cain's candidacy is a reflection, if not a direct product, of the feverish antigovernment fervor of republicans. because they really have so little regard, republican primary voteres, for government. >> lehrer: for the pros. >> that's right, for government-- >> lehrer: the people david was talking about. >> the public policy credential, public record or serious interest, involvement, it's, if anything, a disqualification. they found it almost appealing if is not irresistible the fact that this is a man who sat with judy woodruff on this very set
this week and said china, we found out, is seeking nuclear weapons. china's had nuclear weapons since 1964. but we saw this week in herman cain, both the limits of his strength and the exposing of his weakness. his strength has always been he's a straight talker. whatever you say about herman, you let herman be herman. and, obviously, he kept changing his story, coming back with different eventes, remembering things and so forth. he violated the first rule of all political scandals which is get it all out immediately, answer all the questions, get it behind you. instead of being a one-day or two-day story, it's now a five-day story, it's going into the second weekend, and his weakness is that he's never had a campaign. he's never had a structure. so he didn't have people who could sit down and woopped shed him. >> lehrer: what about the point that people say-- and you value said it-- he's not a
normal candidate for president, and people like that. and so he's being judged by a whole different set of standards than the traditional candidates, of very people you were talking about early. >>ing if we're in a new world and the normal laws of political gravity don't apply because people are so disgusted with politics they're willing to break all the normal patterns then he'll be fine. i don't believe we're in that mode. i think people are really disgusted with politics and they sort of like the idea of an outsider, but i think at the end of the day they're going to look at the presidency as a profession, somebody who has to do a job, so i think they're going to revert to more politics as usual. mark made the point that it's a hostility toward government. i think it's in part just a hostility toward outside-- it's an outsider mood. not just republicans but democrats, too. one thing that struck me, the tea party movement and the occupy new york movement have one thing in common-- no
leaders. neither believe in authority structures and there seems to be this hostility to building structures with leaders and organizations and liking the freelancer out there, like herman cain who is a freelancer. but if you don't have the stwructure and leadership you're in a very fragile situation. one of the things that struck me about the cain response he seems to have, if not misled his own staff, not been forth coming with his own staff so they couldn't provide him with the good advice because he wasn't being straight with them. i believe structure, leadership, it's very old fashioned but it happens to work for a reason. >> lehrer: what about the charges themselves, mark? >> it's now three different women, and two significant settlements at the time, a year's salary. so it starts to take on a plausibility, if not a credibility, and-- >> lehrer: but that goes back to the idea that that is a traditional hit on a traditional
candidate, and the suggestion is that the reason he's still up there in the poles, despite these allegations of sexual harassment is because he's immune from it because he's not a normal candidate. do you buy into that at all? >> i think the first reaction was that there is a visceral anti--media in the republican party, the republican voters. so i think he had that going. "oh, it's the press going after him." unfortunately, his own candidate-- he, himself-- has switched his story from it was the press to it was the left wing conspiracy to it was rick perry, to it was some sort of a high-tech lynching, i think was said. yes-- jim, in an ordinary campaign, what you start with, if jim lehrer is going to run for governor, david and i are working with you, we sit down and say, "okay, what do we have to know?" >> lehrer: what's the worst. >> was there a bankruptcy.
sn what was there? why did you leave that school? you know, was that discharge honorable and all of the rest of it. and this was, obviously, never done. and david said it-- he had 10 days' notice. he could have gone to the national restaurant association, sat down with the staff, sat down with the lawyers and gone over everything so he had an answer. i think we've seen his high water mark. i mean, there's no doubt about it. >> one quick final thing is that the american public, as they showed with bill clinton, is not as upset with scandal as we are. and i personally think that's kind of a good-- >> lehrer: "we" meaning. >> w pay a lot of attention we with the media. people will say a lot of people have scandals and i think one of the reasons his poll numbers have stayed high, hostility to the media is part of it, but partly people understand there are scandals in people's lives and as we ceive with clinton and others, it is possible to survive them if people are willing to be tolerant whether
proper or not. >> lehrer: do you agree with that? >> clinton was president and he was shrewd enough to lie at the outset and say i did not have sexual relations with that woman. and then the idea of six months of bill clinton later and his foes emerged and showed themselves to be an over-kill mode and clinton started to look reasonable, and i think he would not have survived as a candidate if this had come out. >> lehrer: if he had said right at the beginning, "yes, i did do it." >> yeah, he had to-- i think he had to-- for his own survival-- >> i would say jennifer flowers was right in the heat of the nample primary. and i think people have more of a tolerance-- and i think properly. a lot of great leaders would be knocked off if we had the scandal standards we have today. a lot of people were willing to say, he's got these strengths, he's got these weaknesses. >> lehrer: and we have to go. thank you, both. #-r
>> brown: again, the major developments of the day: unemployment dipped to an even 9% last month, but only a modest 80,000 new jobs were created. greek prime minister george papandreou faced a confidence vote in his parliament. he outraged european leaders this week when he called for a referendum on a new bailout deal. and at the g-20 summit in france, the world's leading economies balked at giving financial aid to help europe handle its debt crisis. and to hari sreenivasan for what's on the newshour online. hari. >> sreenivasan: shields and brooks pay a visit to the "rundown" blog to talk super- committees, and a fearless honey badger ahead of this weekend's lsu-alabama game. our science unit looks back at our coverage of the mock mission to mars, where a five-person crew was cooped up in a capsule for 520 days ending today. plus on "art beat," jeff talks to a syrian-american hip-hop artist about his middle eastern roots and his western upbringing. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. jeff. >> brown: and that's the
newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll look at new ways of counting america's poor and assessing the nation's safety net. i'm jeffrey brown. >> lehrer: and i'm jim lehrer. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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