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CNN IN THE MONEY
How Will Religion Play In 2004 Presidential Elections? Luxury Pet Accessories Business Booming; June 30 Handover In Iraq Mostly Symbolic
Aired June 19, 2004 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you. Coming up on IN THE MONEY, "Here, you drive." We'll look at whether Washington will really let Iraq run itself after the handover in a couple of weeks.
Plus, the man in charge and the man upstairs. See how faith is shaping politics in this year's race for the White House.
And the four-legged kid. Check out the growing market in stuff for pets that get treated better than some people.
All that and more after a quick check of the headlines.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Here are the headlines.
Cracking down on Al Qaeda: authorities in Saudi Arabia say they have killed the self-proclaimed leader of Al Qaeda in their country. The Saudis say Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin and three members of his organization were killed Friday and his second-in-command is now in Saudi custody along with at least 11 other suspected terrorists rounded up in the wake of the beheading of American Paul Johnson.
Saudi officials will hold a news conference at 2:00 Eastern addressing Johnson's murder. CNN will bring that to you live.
The U.S. State Department is issuing new warnings about traveling in the Middle East and North Africa. U.S. officials say new information suggests that extremists are planning more attacks. American contractors and U.S. citizens are seen as especially sought- after targets. The State Department is urging U.S. citizens to leave Saudi Arabia.
More news in 30 minutes, now time for IN THE MONEY.
CAFFERTY: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY, running the show. Washington getting set to hand over control of Iraq. With lives and a lot of oil at stake, we'll see if Uncle Sam will quit playing boss over there.
Plus, high office and the higher authority. Whatever a candidate believes about God, somebody's probably not going to like it. We'll look at how faith is shaping this year's race for the White House.
And kids that never grow up. Americans are treating their dogs and cats more like people than animals. Find out how that's creating a boom in the pet business. Joining me today a couple of the IN THE MONEY veterans. In for Susan Lisovicz this week, CNN coorespondent, Christine Romans. And "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large Andy Serwer.
So I'm puzzled by the White House reaction to the 9/11 Commission report that says there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. It was like the president couldn't wait to run out and say, "Yes, there was, yes, there was." What I'm confused about is what's the upside to him doing that here?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN COORESPONDENT: And why won't he let it go?
ANDY SERWER, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "FORTUNE": Right.
What's strange to me, also, is I think that both sides are probably right. I mean, first of all, did Al Qaeda ever have contact with Saddam Hussein's regime? Probably. Did Saddam Hussein plan 9/11? Probably not. Can't we just leave it at that? It's pretty clear and I don't know why they're going back and forth so much on this thing.
ROMANS: And well, clearly, there are a lot of bad guys in the region and now there are a lot of bad al Qaeda guys clearly in Iraq, so the worst case scenario has, sort of, happened and that they are together at this point, even though Saddam Hussein is no longer in power.
CAFFERTY: If I'm John Kerry I would be inclined to send the Bush-Cheney team a "Thank you note" for the way they reacted, because it's probably something that John Kerry can use against them at some point.
SERWER: Yes, you would think so. And again, as you said Chris, why doesn't the president just walk away from this?
SERWER: There's absolutely no upside here for him at all.
CAFFERTY: I'm sure he's not taking any advice from this program.
SERWER: No, but he should. Tune in. Get the White House to watch this program.
CAFFERTY: All right. On to other things.
The new Iraqi government's set to take power in just a couple weeks now, but Washington is along for the ride and with his U.S. troops in deep, oil supplies at stake, billions and billions of dollars' worth of oil, Uncle Sam may not settle for playing backseat driver, even after the handover.
For a look at just how independent Iraq might really be after this June 30 deadline, we're joined now from San Francisco by Ivan Eland, who's the director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute, which is a nonpartisan think tank.
Ivan, nice to have you with us. Thanks for joining us.
IVAN ELAND, DIRECTOR, CENTER ON PEACE AND LIBERTY: Thanks for having me, Jack.
CAFFERTY: How will July 1 be different than June 30 if you're sitting in the middle of Baghdad?
ELAND: Well, I don't think for the average Iraqi it's going to be much different, and I don't think they're going to be fooled by this turnover because, basically, the levers of government will still be in U.S. hands for the most part. The United States has made sure that key ministry officials will be around a long time that they've selected long after the permanent government, let alone the interim government is there.
We've got a prime minister who's the key, not the president, but the prime minister who's a former CIA asset and we've got people still left over from the discredited Governing Council that are in the new government. Not to mention the 135,000 troops that we have on the ground there.
So, I think, you know, the average Iraqi is not going to be fooled by this turnover.
SERWER: Hey Ivan, I mean, let's face it, Iraq is actually a construction of colonialism. I mean, as so many countries in the Middle East are, you have the Kurds in the north and the Sunni and Shia. Is it possible that the country could actually disintegrate into these various groups or federation situation? How do you see that playing out?
ELAND: Well, I think it's very possible. And frankly, I think that that may not be a bad idea if it's done in a controlled manner through U.S. mediation. I think the worst is going to be if we try to keep Iraq together, which it is an artificial entity as you mention. The British created it on a map one day and there are these various groups.
And I think what we need to do is have some sort of decentralized rule because the real problem here, one of the problems, is that the groups all have weapons and if the U.S. leaves or even maybe before it leaves there's going to be a civil war. And they're afraid of the other groups dominating any particular group.
So they're going to keep fighting, keep being a tense situation. So why not have decentralized power where you remove this fear of domination?
ROMANS: Right. But then you may or may not be fomenting democracy in the region. If you've got local governments and local loose confederation of states, isn't that against what the United States has sort of stated its goal is?
ELAND: Well, not necessarily. I think what we're doing now is not really democracy, it's sort of a, we had this Governing Council and now we've appointed basically a new government with some of the same holdovers. So, I think what we really need is genuine self- determination.
Now, we may not necessarily like the outcome in some respects, but I think if you let people rule themselves locally, then you don't run into this problem of one group fearing that the other group will dominate it. And also, you can have experiments with various types of governmental structure at the local level and just have a fairly weak central government.
CAFFERTY: How is U.S. behavior in the country going to change after this handover? The polls that are being done show an increasing desire on the part of the Iraqi people for the Americans to get out of their country.
The administration has said that they plan a lower profile, if you will, but we're still going to have to have 135,000 troops in the country to train security forces, work on restoring things like power and sewers, et cetera. How do you see the American role changing and how quickly will that change be apparent?
ELAND: Well, I don't think it's going to change much. This June 30 date is all rhetoric. The real milestone is the November U.S. presidential election and I think the United States is basically taking the short-term approach of buying off various factions to reduce the amount of U.S. casualties before the election.
And we're also, as you mention, keeping a more low-profile staying out of the cities. But, of course, the violence is going along in a rampant sort of way in these places and, of course, we have the opposition, actually ruling Fallujah and in the southern towns it's unclear what's going to happen.
But I'll just bet those al-Sadr militias are not going to turn in weapons, and if they do, there's plenty more where that came from, so they'll melt into the woodwork. But there's still going to be a problem and I'm not sure who's going to govern those southern towns that have been a problem. But the main goal of the Bush administration in the short term is to keep U.S. casualties down before the U.S. election. That's not a long-term strategy for peace and security in Iraq.
SERWER: Ivan, I want to ask you about that violence a little bit. Any predictions on where you think that's going to go? I mean, is it going to be stepped up as we head towards the end of the month? And what happens after that? Is there, in fact, even a strategy by the insurgents to that extent?
ELAND: Well, I think they will step it up because they don't want the U.S. to get a propaganda victory by this show of transfer of power to the Iraqis, which, of course, as we discussed, is not really much of a transfer of power at all. So, I think that you'll see the opposition try to cloud this and take away the administration's propaganda victory.
ROMANS: Ivan, we're showing pictures right now of firefighters trying to put out fires on oil pipelines. That's something that's really stepped up in recent days. A couple days you had all of the oil moving in the country just stopped because of violence. As we're going to be getting a lower profile kind of image there from the U.S. military, how are we going to prevent that from continuing?
ELAND: Well, of course, that's the key question because as the violence increases, the U.S. troops are doing less and less to keep out of harm's way. And that's the real problem, because we haven't really sufficiently trained the Iraqis.
And frankly, I think that's a fantasy that we're going to get in Iraqi security forces that are actually going to stand up to the insurgents because they're afraid the U.S. is going to leave and they're all going to get killed by the insurgents. In fact, they're already being killed by suicide bombs out in front of military and police recruiting stations.
CAFFERTY: All right. Ivan Eland, Director of the Center of Peace and Liberty. Appreciate you joining us. Thank you.
ELAND: Thanks, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Time for a break. When we get back on IN THE MONEY, one of the heavyweights in the White House race is someone we've never seen. We're talking about God and these days who isn't? Find out how faith may make or break a candidate.
Plus, flexible fatherhood. More and more dads are taking their work home with them. See how less time at the office can mean more time with the family.
And keeping your life story out of the circular file. We'll take a look at why your resume stands a better chance of actually being read this summer. Stick around.
CAFFERTY: God may get a name check on our cash and he's hanging in there in the Pledge of Allegiance, but Americans are split on how religious their president should be and how their president should be religious. And that means the candidates can't win votes without losing votes, if you get my drift here.
For more about faith and its place in the White House race, let's bring in Kevin Eckstrom from Washington, he's national correspondent for the Religion News Service, which covers stories across the whole spectrum of religion and spirituality.
Kevin, nice to have you with us.
KEVIN ECKSTROM, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, RELIGION NEWS SERVICE: Nice to be with you, Jack. CAFFERTY: Cover story in "Time" magazine all about religion in the White House and religion on the campaign trail, but I wonder with the economy at least not completely back and still a considerable number of people looking for jobs in this country, the situation in Iraq far from being resolved in any permanent way, how realistic is it to expect voters to pull the lever based on the subject that you're here to talk about, do you think, here in November?
ECKSTROM: Well, I think what you're going to see in November, and I don't know that this year is that much different from other years, but the folks who are going to be voting based on their faith have probably already made up their minds anyway.
These are folks who if they see the religion of a particular candidate is important to them, that might trump all the other issues that you mentioned: the economy, Iraq, jobs, whatever. So, what you're seeing is President Bush's core supporters, you know, the Evangelical Christians who would be voting for him based on his religion are already going to vote for him anyway.
So, I think a lot of it has already been decided, but based on where these people go to church and how often.
ROMANS: But you know, religion in popular culture, "The Passion," Bible-based weight loss, the "Left Behind" series, is it different now than it was last time around? I mean, do both candidates see that there's a great deal of people out there who are still real attractive to religion and they're trying to cash in on that?
ECKSTROM: Well, I think so. And I think what's going on this year and what's been going on the last four years with President Bush in the White House, is President Bush has really moved this issue into the public square, where, as you know, there's always been readers of the "Left Behind" books and there's always been Bible-based diets and that sort of thing.
But what President Bush has done has sort of, thrown this ball into public square and said, "OK, now what do we do with this? How do we talk about faith? What kind of role should it play in our public discourse, in our public lives and even in private lives?"
So, I think, you know, the religious character of America hasn't really changed that much, but what you're seeing is people more willing and being asked to talk about it more in public.
SERWER: Kevin, doesn't this whole religious issue actually matter less and less? I mean, after all, we had our first Catholic president over 40 years ago, we've had all manner of Protestant denominations, we had a Jewish vice presidential candidate. Do people really care?
ECKSTROM: Well, I think, yes. Some people do.
Now, you know, 40 years ago people cared, obviously, about John Kennedy being a Catholic and, you know, he had to do a lot of work there to break down some of those concerns. The time poll that you mentioned most people couldn't identify which denomination either John Kerry or President Bush belonged to. So, I don't think it's so much a concern for them, you know, whether they're Catholic or Protestant, but there is a breakdown in terms how comfortable people are with their politicians talking about God.
The polls show that Democrats, about 65 (percent), two-thirds of Democrats think it's inappropriate for a candidate to be guided by his faith and for that to direct his policy. About 80 percent of Republicans think it's totally appropriate. So, it's just one more difference, I think, between the parties.
CAFFERTY: One of the lines I remember from that "Time" magazine piece is the Oval Office is a lonely and humbling place and the occupant there is looking for all the help he can get. That said, this election is likely to be decided by probably 5 or 6 percent of the undecided voters out there.
President Bush, generally is perceived as being more religious than John Kerry, to the point of maybe even being perceived as being too religious, if you're a John Kerry supporter, and Kerry, on the other hand, is perceived as being not religious enough if you're a Bush supporter.
How do you, if you're a candidate, get to that 5 or 6 percent of the undecided vote given that kind of disparity in terms of religion of the two candidates?
ECKSTROM: Well, it's a very close line. Because, what the polls have shown is that if a candidate can't talk about religion or doesn't know how to or is somehow scared about talking about it, this has been one of the criticisms of John Kerry, and even a lot of Democrats, is that that does turn some voters off. And it's not going to turn off, I think, the majority of voters, but the voters for whom this matters to them and it will make a difference.
Now, it works the other way. If President Bush is being seen as too religiously arrogant, if you will, when he talks about a campaign against the evil doers and when the war in Iraq, for whatever you think of it, is portrayed as a Christian war against a Muslim nation, that's when people get a little skittish about it that way. So, it's a very fine line that both candidates and even both parties need to walk.
ROMANS: There are so many ironies. I mean, for example, you talked about John Kennedy. He had to prove that he wasn't too Catholic, that the United States would always come first. Now John Kerry's being criticized because he's not Catholic enough. And then you've got Bush supporters, who, you know, you've got real conservatives who are Protestant or Catholic, who'd rather go to Bush than to Kerry. It's just very interesting how the lines are being drawn here.
ECKSTROM: Right. And you know, John Kerry's biggest, one of his biggest challenges this year is to figure out how exactly he's going to be dealing with his own church. The Catholic bishops are meeting in Colorado this week to talk about this very issue.
And you know, they say that, you know, 40 years ago John Kennedy had a problem about being too Catholic and now John Kerry has a problem of not being Catholic enough. And so, he needs to figure out exactly how that's going to play out.
Now, I would say that if we do see a Kerry presidency, it's going to completely change everything and the Catholic bishops are going to have to get used to the idea of having a Catholic president in office for four years who isn't necessarily going to bow to them at every step that he takes.
ROMANS: Kevin Eckstrom, Religion News Service. Thanks so much for joining us today.
ECKSTROM: No problem, thank you.
ROMANS: Our producer's getting a little antsy about running some ads and we like to keep the producer happy, of course, so after the break, return your tray table to the upright position. We'll see how some mixed news about Boeing is playing on Wall Street.
Also coming up, daddy's working late. On this Father's Day weekend get the results of the survey on dads and how they're getting slammed at the office.
Plus, the lap dogs of luxury. As Americans put on the Ritz for their dogs and cats, see how the pet business is profiting.
ROMANS: Now, let's take a look at the week's top stories in our "Money Minute." The U.S. trade deficit grew to an all-time high of $48.3 billion in April. That was much bigger than analysts were expecting. Economists say the higher deficit could be a drag on American economic growth this year.
United Airlines will not be getting some extra help from the government. The Air Transport Stabilization Board decided not to agree to the airline's request for $1.6 billion in loan guarantees. United has been under bankruptcy protection since 2002. The board said the airline is likely to emerge from bankruptcy on its own.
And if you're celebrating Father's Day this weekend, we have some more good news for you. According to Challenger, Gray and Christmas the men with the most job stability are married fathers with children between 6 and 17 years old. The average unemployment rate for those dads is just 3.5 percent, men without children had a 7.5 percent unemployment rate.
SERWER: It was a mixed week for aerospace giant Boeing. First it beat out Lockheed Martin to win a huge Pentagon contract to supply the Navy with the next generation of subhunting jets. But then more information came to light about a former Pentagon official turned Boeing executive who is cooperating with prosecutors in investigation of the firm. Boeing shares are up more than 40 percent from where they were trading a year ago, but is the party about to be over for Boeing? And that makes Boeing our stock of the week.
You know, just to go back over those two things. First of all, I'm delighted to hear that they've got a new contract for those subchasers because the P-3s, which are the Lockheed planes, have been buzzing my mother's house in Maine for decades. So I'm tired of those things. Now we'll get some 737s, which they're going to do.
CAFFERTY: They're not looking for your mother's submarine are they?
SERWER: No, no they're not. She just doesn't have one.
Anyway, but the situation with this woman who used to work at Boeing Darlene Druyen, I mean, she has got some serious business on this company: conflicts of interest, negotiating her contract, but conflicts of interest are nothing new for defense contractors at all.
ROMANS: And prosecutors say she knows where the bodies are buried and they are looking to see what kind of shenanigans may or may not have happened over there. But one of the analysts says it's not Boeing-gate yet. Yes, there are a lot of uncertainties, but this isn't a full-blown crisis just yet.
CAFFERTY: Well, but the long-time criticism of things like $600 toilet seats and $500 hammers comes from what critics say is a too cozy relationship between the nation's defense contractors and the Pentagon. Not enough competitive bidding, not enough oversight, not enough people watching the cookie jar.
This woman, potentially, and they've got her in the squeeze here, she's looking at a five-year stretch in the joint. This woman could begin to peel back the layers of something that maybe this country's not real anxious to start looking at.
SERWER: Yes, there are fewer and fewer defense contractors because of all the consolidation in that business. First of all, I haven't gotten over the fact that Boeing left Seattle, OK, so let's just start with that.
But, also, the thing is, Boeing should be doing better right now I think because we're in a war situation. They should be cranking it out, they're not really doing that. Let's face it, they really have lost their edge in commercial aircraft. I mean, Airbus has made up a tremendous amount of ground on this company. They used to dominate that business globally, now it's 50/50 with Airbus.
ROMANS: But, that business, frankly, to use a technical term, sucks. And if you listen to Continental...
CAFFERTY: I recognize that expression.
SERWER: Wow. OK. ROMANS: ... Delta, you hear everyday another airline saying, "We're really in trouble. We don't know if we're going to have to lay people off yet." But, definitely, the airline business is certainly not making any money.
CAFFERTY: So, the question is, "Do you buy the stock?"
CAFFERTY: Do you buy Boeing shares?
SERWER: I would not. I'm not big on this business. I'm not big on the commercial aircraft business. As you suggested, it's definitely not growth business right now at all. If you look at what's going on with the airlines. And you know, they just keep stepping on their own feet when it comes to defense business. So, I'm not a huge fan. Plus, when they left Seattle, I just, you know, it just took the wind out of me.
ROMANS: And the stock's up 40 percent.
CAFFERTY: Isn't Starbucks in Seattle?
CAFFERTY: Not room in this town for both of us.
SERWER: I guess.
CAFFERTY: One of us has got to leave.
SERWER: All right. Coming up on "IN THE MONEY" who's your daddy? If the kids are treating dad like a stranger, there's a reason. We'll look at how much time today's fathers are spending at the office.
And later, pets are people, too. Well, not really. We'll tell you how some small companies are cashing in on new ways to pamper a pet.
And reply "hazey." Try again. Check out a website where Alan Greenspan really is behind the 8 ball.
WHITFIELD: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
IN THE MONEY continues after a look at the top stories.
Security officials in Saudi officials report they killed the leader of the al Qaeda group that beheaded American Paul Johnson. Still U.S. officials say Saudi Arabia is not a safe place for Americans right now. At 2:00 Eastern, CNN will bring you live coverage of a news conference at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. Three U.S. Senators are in Iraq warning of an incredibly difficult road ahead in the country. During a surprise visit, Democrat Joe Biden, Lindsay Graham and Senate minority leader Tom Daschle expressed thanks to U.S. Troops. And they also called on the international community to step up aide for Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D), MINORITY LEADER: Thank you for the job you've done and the way you've done it. Secondly, how proud we are of that job. How much we want to continue to support your efforts in whatever role it may be and, finally, we want to make sure that you all come home as safely as possible.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It won't be easy, but I think it's possible to take out of this dashes of this dictatorship and build a democracy. People have to sacrifice and I would call on the international community to do what Senator Biden said. Help where you can. If you can send troops, send troops. If you can forgive debt, forgive debt, but the Iraqi people have suffered mightily and they need all the help they can get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: More news in 30 minutes.
Now, back it more of IN THE MONEY.
SERWER: Hey, kids. It's father's day this weekend. Besides a new set of golf clubs and bigger TV, a new poll shows most dads want more time with their families and some peace and quiet. In fact, the survey by careerbuilder.com showed a big chunk of America's dads would be willing to take a pay cut, if it meant more time with the wife and kids.
OK, joining us with a little more insight into America's frazzled fathers is Richard Castellini, senior career advisor with careerbuilders.com.
RICHARD CASTELLINI, SENIOR ADVISER, CAREERBUILD.COM: Thank you very much.
SERWER: So, I want to ask you a little bit about this environment we're in now with cell phones and pagers and e-mail and the sort of blurring between work and home.
How is that affecting dad's relationship with their families?
CASTELLINI: The e-leash as some people would like to call it is one that is a double-edged sword. It can offer them plenty of opportunity to be more involved in their kids lives with more flexibility, but on the contrary it can tie them too much to the office where it takes away from, you know, the family activities. CAFFERTY: Andy said something about there are actually guys out there who would be willing to take a pay cut in order to stay home with the wife and children, is that true?
CASTELLINI: Yes. The one thing we found that was pretty interesting is close to 40 percent of our surveyed fathers were willing, you know, first of all, to give up the bread winner role and actually stay home with the kids and, you know, that's probably something different from our father's generation.
CAFFERTY: Do these men actually have children?
ROMANS: Let's talk a bit about what men and women were saying in the survey about their job satisfaction.
Isn't it kind of universal that people are a little less happy at work than they used to be?
CASTELLINI: Yes, you would probably look at what the economy has done for the past three or four years and it isn't 1999/2000 where everything was up and up. You know, the job growth creation has stagnated, until recently there have been all these factors that have put pressure on productivity of workers and they're not as happy any more.
SERWER: Yes, I would almost like to ask that question again about dads taking a pay cut thing. Because, you know, I...
ROMANS: You'd do it.
SERWER: No. That's OK.
We like to work awfully hard in this country and it seems that everyone is working harder than ever. You know, you've got both spouses working. Dads working 12, 14 hours a day.
Are we aspirational to death here in this country?
CASTELLINI: Well, one -- we did find out that working fathers, about 70 percent of them do work more than 40 hours a week and a quarter of them work more than 50 hours a week.
Is it, we want too much of a possession, you know, from a material standpoint?
I don't know. But it's certainly the trend of longer hours, less time spent with the family and, you know, especially on this Father's Day weekend, it's something that we should all probably take a look at.
CAFFERTY: With unemployment numbers being as high as they've been, we've gone through this recession, it's kind of been a seller's market when it comes to employers being sort of able to dictate hours and schedules and all kinds of things like that. That's beginning to change just ever so slightly now, isn't it?
We're starting to see some job growth in this country.
CASTELLINI: Yes, the past few months of job creation over 200,000 each month is certainly freeing up probably those people who felt trapped in their jobs, you know, too afraid to leave because the prospects were worse than what they had to deal with. And hopefully if the economy continues at this pace, there will be a better work life balance, as people can potentially move into better opportunities for themselves.
ROMANS: Well, Richard, I have a theory. I think people really like their stuff and they their expensive vacations and they like their big screen TVs. And then they get those big screen TVs and sit down in front of them, they're not necessarily talking to their kids. You know, maybe if people have more leeway and more satisfaction at work, are they going to necessarily change the way they're living at home?
CASTELLINI: Well, you would hope so. I mean, you would hope that mothers and fathers, you know, really do value the quality time with their children.
Turn off the television and spend that time after work.
ROMANS: Turn off television after this program, you mean.
CASTELLINI: Yes, exactly. Engage with their children.
ROMANS: Richard Castellini, careerbuilder.com. Thanks so much for joining us.
CASTELLINI: Thank you.
ROMANS: We're going to stop and we're going to pay our rent for a couple minutes here, but after the break, it's not a dog's life any more. We'll show you one company bringing home the biscuits by giving pets the people treatment.
Plus, swap soaps for a real-life drama. Find out why fewer job hunters will be killing time on the couch this summer.
And the Fed's version of a fortune cookie. See if you can understand Alan Greenspan's word of wisdom on our fun site of the week.
ROMANS: Judging by the money involved, America is really going to the dogs and cats. A recent report shows spending on pets has more than doubled over the last decade to more than $35 billion a year, but it's not higher vet bills that have pet lovers digging into their pockets, they're spending big to pamper their animals like never before, they're buying them everything from specialty treats and toys to handmade clothes and beds.
Joining us today to talk about the booming business of pet related (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is Ren Moulton. He is the president of Dogmatic Products, the company that creates specialty dog products. This is something I can't believe.
You know, when I grew up you let the dog out, you let the dog in and you feed it a bowl (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and that was it.
But you're talking about all kinds of pampering for animals. What's driving it?
REN MOULTON, PRESIDENT DOGMATIC PRODUCTS: Well, I think really dogs and cats and animals have become a much more integrated part of our family. And I think, also, it happens to do with the current environment. I think during times of recession and also war times there's a correlation with expanding families and, in many cases, pets are kind of starter kids, too. So, I think that's primarily what's doing it. But also...
MOUTLON: Sorry, go ahead.
CAFFERTY: Go ahead.
MOULTON: I was going to say, there's also a lot more products out there than ever before and they're definitely being made at much higher standards. There are a lot more products that are kind of anthropomorphic. Again like...
CAFFERTY: Wait a second. Time out.
What the hell does that mean?
MOULTON: I mean, you know, nowadays you can buy, for example, and it should be in every home like a $2,000 Gucci bed. Probably like 10 years ago the highest priced bed would be $10. So...
ROMANS: I wouldn't even spend $10 for a dog bed.
CAFFERTY: I took -- I took a dog and cat to the vet the other day to get their annual shots and a check-up and -- and they, of course, they both eat prescription food, they can't just like said eat the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Purina food. We have to have prescription food because one has a heart condition and the annual booster shots and the physicals and some food was like $350. So, when you talk about a being a (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and plus they offloaded some orphan kitten on us that we also had took home going out of the place. So, it's not like starter kids. This is like, I could take my kids to the pediatrician and not have to part with that kind of money.
MOULTON: At the same time they're kids for 10, 12 years. A long line of expenses. So, that's true.
SERWER: I think it's outrageous that this stuff hasn't been invented and marketed before. I mean, how have we gotten along without this expensive stuff. Tell me about some of the most outrageous stuff out there. Jack, take some notes here. MOULTON: I mentioned before, probably, the Gucci bed at $2,000.
SERWER: It's a bargain. Tell us what you've got, too. Some of your products.
MOULTON: Well, we got nutritionally microwaved enhanced flavored popcorn for dogs called Woofy-Pop. Which is great.
MOULTON: Woofy-Pops. We got Nachews, which are basicly Doritos for dogs. They're very healthy. There's Woofy-Pop We have the release, which is a hands-free leash, a patent product that we sell to the U.S. Army and Navy and everyone else. And the Cat Zip which is a cat nip stuff to pull back toy and a number -- we're actually working on something called the Collar I.D., which is a GDP enabled dog collar for tracking dogs and cats.
SERWER: That's critical, jack.
ROMANS: Lets be honest, this is really for the pet owners, this isn't for the pets, right?
Oh no. No, no, no.
ROMANS: This is so pet owners think they are doing the very best they possibly can so for their little pet or their little cat?
I mean, the dog doesn't care if it's microwave popcorn or if it's just table scraps, right?
SERWER: How do you know?
MOULTON: Well, I would beg to differ, you know.
CAFFERTY: You're hoping there is a difference, right?
ROMANS: Important first-person research with...
SERWER: Oh, has he been eating this stuff?
Ren, do you eat that stuff?
MOULTON: Of course, I do. Everyone in the office must eat Woofy-Pop at lunch.
SERWER: Nah. You are going to get sued.
MOULTON: Yes. I swear. It's actually -- It's actually made in a human grade lab so the same people who produce Newman's Own.
CAFFERTY: In order to do successful marketing of these product, I guess you would have to do a run-up on the psychological profile of the kind a person who would spend $2,000 Gucci bed for a dog who eats Woofy-Pops. I'm almost afraid to ask what the research on that might have shown.
But I mean, who are these people?
MOULTON: Well, actually, Woofy-Pop is kind of an attainable luxury. You can buy it for $3.99. Where as something like -- like a Gucci -- Gucci bed, for example, they're are only 10,000 people maybe in the U.S. that would go out, maybe even less than that. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
CAFFERTY: Those people should be thrown out of the country immediately.
MOULTON: I would agree.
CAFFERTY: Deport them.
MOULTON: Yes, but, you know, 40 million dog-owning household, 35 million cat-owning households. 62 percent of the U.S. owns a pet whether it be a lizard or llama. And so...
ROMANS: And none of them talk back.
MOULTON: Exactly. They're the perfect well-behaved child.
SERWER: I seen like Burberry has dog stuff now. I mean, it's all this designer stuff. I saw ice cream for dogs. Doggy ice cream.
SERWER: And my kids wanted me to take a lick, no way.
MOULTON: There is some other things too, there's something called -- they're is something called thing in a back. It's about $13...
SERWER: I don't want to know.
MOULTON: It's a paper bag motorized -- a little thing that runs around it. Sells everyone. It's great. I actually have one.
SERWER: What that -- what does it do?
MOULTON: It's does exactly what I said, it's a thing in a bag and it's a paper bag with a little motorized, actually, just a ball that moves around and they have distribution pretty much everywhere.
CAFFERTY: The upside is you never have to take it outside and you never have to clean the carpets.
MOULTON: Exactly. Exactly.
CAFFERTY: Interesting stuff, Ron, thank you very much. Ren, excuse me. Ron Moulton, president of Dogmatic Products.
MOULTON: Thank you.
CAFFERTY: Good to have you with us.
MOULTON: Thank you very much.
CAFFERTY: Time for a break, don't think of them as ads, think of them as little movies with a lot of product placement that pay the rent for all hardworking folks on this program.
Coming up, get advice you won't get. Fed boss, Alan Greenspan mysterious tips on our "Fun Site of the Week." I hope he's not watching, he isn't going to like this.
And it's cold, dark and lonely in our control room, but you can help. Tell our producers what's on your mind at this address email@example.com. And then they can busy themselves answering your letters.
COOPER: The next few months could be the best time in years to look for a job. Web master Allen Wastler has more on that and the "Fun Site of the Week."
We're getting some job creation, finally, in this economy of ours.
ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: The outlook is improving a little bit. Manpower came out with their quarterly survey. Now Manpower goes out and they talk to about 16,000 employers and say, what are you going to do?
Are you going to hire or you going to fire?
And this time around, 30 percent of them said we're going to hire. So, you take the 6 percent from the 30, you get 24 percent saying we're going to hire.
ROMANS: Sixty percent aren't going to hire. Sorry, maybe I have to be...
WASTLER: Fifty nine percent said...
WASTLER: No, 59 percent said staying pat.
WASTLER: OK, staying pat. So, you take the 6 percent away from the 30 percent, you get 24 percent, but you've got to toss out 4 percent of that because that's seasonal workers. You know we always higher the people to pick apples and what not.
CAFFERTY: So the bottom line, roughly, one in five companies is planning to add workers. That's a lot.
WASTLER: That's a lot. And it's the same that was happening during the second quarter of this year. So, what you're seeing is a stabilization in the outlook.
SERWER: We need some people here?
WASTLER: Oh, sure.
ROMANS: No, I think it's like nurses.
WASTLER: Actually, I just hired someone last week.
SERWER: There you go, you're part of the solution.
WASTLER: I'm part of the solution. Now, if you look at the different sectors that are hiring, it's construction, financial services, manufacturing durables, these are all the sectors that are popping up a little bit. And, one worrisome thing you might consider here. If there's a spike in interest rates, hmm, let's see. Construction, manufacturing, durables. That might be -- I don't want to...
CAFFERTY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) one percent. Now if they raised interest rates 100 basis points, we'd be at 2 percent.
WASTLER: And actually, I would predict that if they did do a slight bump in interest rates you'd see a lot of companies, oh my goodness, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) money is going away. Lets go, let go, lets go.
CAFFERTY: Accelerate their development and...
WASTLER: And we'd see actually a bigger swell up than you would normally see. So...
ROMANS: What about regions where you're seeing the hiring?
I mean, is it the northeast? Is it the Midwest.
WASTLER: The west is the best.
ROMANS: The west!
WASTLER: The west is the best. It's just jumping right out there with that and then the south is following close behind there. And we've got some numbers there for you.
You can see, all the regions are sort of hiring a little bit, but the west is jumping on out there. You go, west, you go.
CAFFERTY: What about the "Fun Site of the Week?" WASTLER: Well, we have Alan Greenspan up on the Hill talking about why you should get the job. And then Congress said, yes, you're right, you get the job. And so, Greenspan on our minds.
CAFFERTY: He's doing a good job, you know. It's a little tough to argue with how he's done over there.
WASTLER: Wouldn't it be nice to have him just right there to answer questions for you. We have that for you right here. The ask Greenspan site. Let's think of a question.
Are you going to raise interest rates?
SERWER: Interest rates?
WASTLER: Go, Al.
CAFFERTY: There's a lovely likeness of the Fed Chairman. I hope he's not watching.
WASTLER: Typical straightforward answer from (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Dubious of all sorts of solution. Oh, lordy, lordy. Let's think of another question here.
CAFFERTY: If you're going to raise rates, how high will they go?
WASTLER: How high -- there you go.
How high will they go?
ROMANS: The cowbell I love.
WASTLER: You must have misunderstood. We always...
WASTLER: All right, will Jack Cafferty be cheerful next week?
Mr. Greenspan, please.
SERWER: We should all do that.
SERWER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Good performance in the near term.
SERWER: That means, no, Jack. That means no.
CAFFERTY: All right, thanks, Allen.
Coming up next on IN THE MONEY, it's time to hear from you as we read some of your e-mails from past week and we'll the new e-mail question of the week. You can send us an e-mail right now to firstname.lastname@example.org. Back in a minute.
CAFFERTY: Time now to read your answers to our question of the week, about what should be put on U.S. coins or currency.
Tony wrote this, "What about the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., our currency could then honor one of the greatest speakers and represent the diverse and unique culture of our nation all at the same time."
Paul wrote, "No one's face belongs on either or paper money or coins. We need to go back to the beautiful coins that circulated in the latter part of the 19th century, the buffalo nickel, the mercury dime, the standing liberty quarter were all great representations of this country and they avoided partisan debate over controversial figures."
SERWER: Oh, cool.
CAFFERTY: And Paula from Cincinnati wrote this, "I think Bill Gates should have his face on our money since he has cash than anyone else, he should at least be able to see a nice picture of himself every time pulls out his wallet.
Time now for our e-mail question this week, which is all about inflation. Which price hike is taking the biggest bite out of your wallet.
Send us your answers at email@example.com. The cleverest ones will be used on this program next week. And the ones not so clever will be answered by Jake.
Also visit our showpage at money.com/inthemoney, which is where you will find the address of our fun site of the week.
Thank you for joining us for this edition of the program IN THE MONEY. Thanks to CNN correspondent, Christine Romans kind enough to sit in for Susan Lisovicz this week. "Fortune Magazine" editor at large, Andy Serwer, and money.com managing editor, Allen Wastler.
Join us tomorrow 3:00 Eastern time, and we'll look at whether John Kerry is really lighting a fire under the Democrats. Some political observers say he's not inspiring them the way Bill Clinton did 12-years-ago and that could lead to problems come November. Tomorrow at 3:00. Hope to see you then.
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