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CNN IN THE MONEY
Interviews with Michelle Goldberg, Joel Bakan, Mary Quigley
Aired August 28, 2004 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: "Now in the News," new developments today in a New York subway terror plot. Two Brooklyn men accused of plotting to blow up a New York subway station in Herald Square appeared in federal court less than an hour ago. There's no indication the alleged plot is connected to the Republican National Convention, to begin on Monday. Meantime, a press conference is expected to take place any moment now, and we'll be carrying that for you live.
Protesters are take up strategic positions in New York City, even before the Republican National Convention gets under way. A big demonstration by Planned Parenthood and other groups started in Brooklyn today.
And now you are looking at a live picture of that group. Planned Parenthood crossing the Brooklyn Bridge as they make their way to City Hall in lower Manhattan. Actress Kathleen Turner is among the celebrities taking part in that event.
Traces of explosives are found in the wreckage of both Russian jets that crashed on Tuesday. Russia's top intelligence agency says the traces were hexogen, a substance that has previously been used by Chechen rebel. They rebels have been fighting Russian rule for a decade now. The crashes killed 89 people.
The South Carolina coast is bracing for Tropical Storm Gaston. The storm is located about 130 miles southeast of Charleston. Officials are predicting it could come ashore tomorrow night. Residents along the Georgia and North Carolina coasts are also keep an eye on Gaston. They are under a tropical storm watch.
I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center in Atlanta. More news at the bottom of the hour. IN THE MONEY begins right now.
ANNOUNCER: From New York City, America's financial capital, this is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, HOST: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty.
Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY, out of sight, out of mind. You can protest this year's political conventions from a distance. We'll look at whether it's still free speech if you are away from the part of the action.
Plus, Psychopath, Inc. See what happens when you put a corporation on the couch. We'll check out a documentary that looks at companies as if they are people, even though they're not. Well, they sort of are.
And trading bottles and diapers for time cards and commuting. Stay-at-home moms can find it rough to break back into the workforce. We'll meet an author who knows how to make it a little easier.
Joining me today, a couple of IN THE MONEY veterans, CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" Magazine editor-at-large, Andy Serwer.
On the eve of the Republican convention, you usually get a bounce coming out of the convention. But President Bush actually has gotten some encouraging news out of some of the polls in the last week or so, particularly in the battleground states. He's moved up a little bit.
ANDY SERWER, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: I don't know if it's the Swift Boat ads or what it is. But I'll tell you something. I believe that what will shape the election, what will determine the election, hasn't happened yet, whether it's the debates, something in Iraq, god forbid a terrorist act.
And another important thing I think about some of those battleground states is neither candidate has over 50 percent right now. So it's just a toss-up at this point.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And, I mean, I can't believe that there are more numbers I've read and percentages than there are in business news. Like reading earnings reports.
LISOVICZ: But, you know, while President Bush does seem to have in some of the most recent polls a slight edge over John Kerry, other pollsters will say, for an incumbent, that's not good enough. He needs more of a lead. But as Andy said, there's so much more to take place, especially with those debates, and then the unforeseen things.
CAFFERTY: It just gets interestinger and interestinger. Is that a word?
SERWER: That's a word.
CAFFERTY: Of course it's not a word.
There is an old sailing -- saying, rather, in real estate. It may fit protest rallies this year at the Republican and Democratic conventions, too. The saying is, is it's all about location, location, location.
In Boston and New York, convention demonstrators have accused city officials of trying to sideline them. The cities argue they are just protecting the people and the property. Here in New York City on Thursday, a judge ruled out a rally in Central Park for the biggest protest group. To help us look at whether freedom of speech is getting trampled by these rulings, we are joined by Michelle Goldberg, who's been covering the protests for salon.com. She's a senior writer there.
Michelle, it's nice to have you with us.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SALON.COM: Oh, thanks for having me.
CAFFERTY: So you -- so you do the equation for us, because a lot of people I've talked to in the last month or two and over the years haven't been able to do it. When do the rights to assemble and free speech and protests come in conflict with the rights of people to go about their daily lives, and how do the judges and the law enforcement community figure that stuff out? What are you looking for this week in New York?
GOLDBERG: Well, what's interesting is that this doesn't have very much to do with the rights of people to go about their daily lives or the rights -- or security, really. I think most police think that the security would actually be better handled if the protesters could gather all in one place, away from the streets. Central Park would actually, I think, facilitate those things much, much better than having people disbursed throughout the city.
The question here is that the rationale the mayor has given for not letting protesters use Central Park is that it would hurt the grass. And this is, you know, something that's been kind of treated with a lot of contempt by a lot of the Democrats on the city council, certainly by the protesters, by civil Libertarians. And so I guess then the question becomes, you know, the old tree falls in the forest question, which is, if you are allowed to protest where no one can hear you, have you still protested?
CAFFERTY: Well, let me ask you this. A couple of days before the convention started, there were four protesters who climbed on to the roof of the Plaza Hotel, which is private property. They had no business being there.
GOLDBERG: Well, they -- they were guests. They had a business being at the Plaza Hotel.
CAFFERTY: They had no business being on the roof of the Plaza Hotel. That's not a guest area. That's not the lobby. That's not the restaurant. It's the roof of the building.
They unfurled some kind of banner. The police were called, and a cop wound up getting hurt answering the call. It took 40 stitches to close a cut in his leg.
I mean, this is before the convention even started. So concerns about the way demonstrators are likely to behave seem to me, based on the experiences of a couple of days before the convention started, to be rooted in some reality, no?
GOLDBERG: Well, first of all, I think it's kind of a stretch to blame the demonstrator for a -- for the policeman hurting himself on a skylight that the demonstrators had specifically told him specifically to look out for. However, I think that you cannot penalize -- or maybe you can.
What the government is doing is penalizing hundreds -- tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people, for what it expects to be the actions of a very, very few. And in much the same way, you wouldn't expect, say, a church rally to be closed down because one or two members had chained themselves to the gates of an abortion clinic.
LISOVICZ: Right. Michelle, but the question is, did those protesters succeed?
That was one of the first protests. By getting all the media attention, from what I understand, only 10 percent of all of the protests that are held in the United States, which are overwhelmingly peaceful, get covered by the media. So are the protests that we should expect over the next week going to be increasingly outlandish to get the camera -- the camera and the television -- television crews there?
GOLDBERG: Well, this is something that protesters always complain about. And it's kind of a catch-22 for them. They always say that, you know, if 200,000 people march peacefully and 20 people start breaking Starbucks windows and burning American flags, that's where the cameras are going to be. And certainly, you can't really blame the news. The news has to go where kind of things are colorful and exciting.
At the same time, whether or not the protest worked, I think is a difficult question, because it depends on what they are trying to do. I mean, they certainly signaled to the city and to New Yorkers that they are out there, that despite all of the security and all what they would call repression, they are kind of going to get their voice out.
And I think it was really telling that the spokesmen for this group, or the media coordinator for the group that hung this banner, is actually the spokesman for City Councilman David Yassky. Because that really signals -- these aren't just kind of crazy fringe anarchists from out of town. These are people from the New York establishment who are furious that the Republicans are coming here.
SERWER: Michelle, a couple things. First of all, I take exception to the remark you made about grass. Grass has rights, too, up in Central Park.
SERWER: But I want to ask you about the protesters' state of mind here. I mean, all this stuff, you get a lot of these whack jobs, if you'll excuse the expression, to borrow something from Jack, coming from places like...
CAFFERTY: Oh, sure. Blame that on me.
SERWER: ... places like Oregon, perhaps, to blame a state. Aren't they afraid of creating a backlash and creating sympathy for the president? I mean, it seems to me that's what it's going to do. It is not going to help the Democrats.
GOLDBERG: Well, I think that you need to be really clear that the people that you refer to as whack jobs and the people who -- the anarchists is who you are talking about.
GOLDBERG: These people are not Democrats. They are not in favor of John Kerry. So the argument that they are going to kind of hurt the Democratic cause isn't one that carries any weight with them at all.
SERWER: They don't care.
GOLDBERG: The people who see the whole structure needs to be kind of -- undermines that they can start again. And so I think that clearly Karl Rove is going to try to spin them as a wing of the Democratic Party, but they want nothing -- they will constantly tell you they see no difference between one skull and bones pro-war candidate and another.
CAFFERTY: Why do you suppose there is such a focus on demonstration and protests this time around? I don't remember this last time.
GOLDBERG: Last time -- you mean in 2000?
CAFFERTY: Yes, last convention. Last convention.
GOLDBERG: Well, I think part of it is because George Bush coming to New York is seen by such a -- as seen as such a provocation on the part of many, many ordinary New Yorkers who feel that this is an administration that has really, you know, spent four years kind of grinding its heel into all their values, just treating everything they hold dear, you know, secularism, pluralism -- you know, this is a city with a huge kind of percentage of gay people who feel like this administration is trying to write them out of the Constitution. Then it wants to come here and have them dance for them on Broadway.
People are so -- I can't tell you how many people I've talked to, ordinary people who don't protest, who are just so furious.
CAFFERTY: All right. It's going to be an interesting week. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us. Michelle Goldberg, senior writer for salon.com.
Before you get away, according to the papers, one of those guys on the Plaza was from Dallas, Texas, and one of the people, I think, was a woman from Oakland, California. There were four of them total. Two New Yorkers, one from Texas, one from Oakland.
Michelle, thank you.
GOLDBERG: Thank you very much.
CAFFERTY: Nice to have you with us. We're going to step back for a minute now and try and earn a couple of dollars for the home office, being a psychopathic corporation that we are.
Coming up after the break, the 21st century voting booth. Millions of Americans are set to use touch-screen systems at the polls in November. Find out if newer means better or perhaps not when electing our leader.
Plus, the truth in the gray flannel suit. There we go. We'll talk with an author who puts the corporation on the couch. Wait until you find out what he discovered.
And Web life versus real life. All...
WHITFIELD: Now to outside Madison Square Garden, where New York police commissioner, Ray Kelly, is answering a few questions. Let's listen in.
COMMISSIONER RAYMOND KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE: To the best of our knowledge, they are not connected to any international terrorist organization. Just let me sum up what happened.
Yesterday, two individuals were taken into custody. I'm going to read their names. They are Shanowar Mateen Sarage (ph) -- he's a male, 21 years of age -- and James Alshafay (ph). He's a male 19 years of age. They were taken into custody, and they are being charged in the eastern district of New York with conspiracy to blow up a transportation facility, specifically the Herald Square subway station, which is Sixth Avenue and 34th Street, about two blocks from here.
For about a year, an investigation was being conducted by the New York City Police Department intelligence division on these individuals using a confidential informant. They expressed a desire to blow up transportation facilities. And, at one time, one of the individuals scouted the police stations in Staten Island and the prison there. Three police stations in Staten Island, the prison, and the Verrazano Bridge, and drew a map of the facilities, a rough map.
In addition, they drew a map of the 34th Street train station. Last week, on the 21st, August 21, they visited that station and did a further reconnaissance.
Both of them are being charged with that specific charge. I don't know the exact title of it, but in essence it is conspiracy to blow up a transportation facility. It's important to stress that, to the best of our knowledge, they had no connection to an international terrorist organization and they had no explosives in their possession.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commissioner, that's really similar to an event in 1997. Can you talk about that event, too?
KELLY: Well, it has some -- some similarities to it, but they had no connection with these individuals who were involved in the 1997 event, to the best of our knowledge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what their motive was?
KELLY: Say it again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what their motive was?
KELLY: Their motive was basically hatred for the system. They talked about the shops and the -- you know, the commercial shops at the subway station.
They also talked in general terms about explosives being places at the 42nd Street subway station. No more specificity. Just 42nd Street.
As you know, there are several stations on 42nd street. And the 59th Street and Lexington Avenue station. But the motive was generally hatred for America.
One of these individuals is a citizen, James Alshafay (ph). The other individual is a Pakistani national who is not a citizen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did...
KELLY: He had some -- also some anti-Semitic statements. Again, this is a product of an investigation being conducted by the New York City intelligence division. There were numerous taped conversations. In that conversation, some anti-Semitic statements.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why now the arrests, sir? Why now (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
KELLY: Well, because they last actually went to the station and drew the map. And we had them under surveillance, but you never can guarantee 100 percent...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commissioner, were they on a timeline that had anything to do with the convention?
KELLY: No. There no indication that they were on a timeline relating to the convention in any way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did they have any...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they approach the informant, or did the informant first suggest the idea to them? Can you clarify the relationship between them and...
KELLY: One of these individuals, Sarage (ph), had a relationship with the informant through his place of work, which was a bookstore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you adapted any security...
KELLY: Say it again? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you adapted any other security measures for the convention based upon this apprehension?
KELLY: On this particular apprehension? No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us who had -- who had been the target of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? Was it these two gentlemen specifically, or was it a group that they were connected with?
KELLY: No. It was -- it was these two individuals specifically. Again, to the best of our knowledge, they were not associated with any group.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But they are the two who had been under investigation for a long time?
KELLY: Yes. For a year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No link to international organizations, they don't have any explosives. Are these big fish or small potatoes?
KELLY: Well, I don't want to characterize them one way or the other. It was clear that they had an intention to cause damage to kill people. They did not immediately have the means to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commissioner, what was their demeanor when they were arrested?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they go quietly or...
KELLY: They went along peacefully. I think they were -- they were surprised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commissioner, were they...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was the role of federal officials in this? Was the FBI involved in it early? When were they brought in?
KELLY: The FBI did the apprehension. Again, this is done -- this is a federal charge. We worked with the U.S. attorney and the eastern district. The investigation and the handling of the confidential informant was done through the police department's intelligence division.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
KELLY: As I say, we have no information that they are connected to any group.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And no change of security because of this? You have no new efforts?
KELLY: No, we think our security is -- is adequate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What kind of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) or neighborhood they were living in?
KELLY: Sarage (ph) lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, and Alshafay (ph) lived in Staten Island.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was there any police entrapment here?
KELLY: Entrapment? No. Not -- not that I see.
These clearly had statements and the intention to carry out a large-scale criminal act, to put explosives in the transportation facility, and actively scouted out a target. So this is not, as far as I can see, any issue as far as entrapment is concerned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
KELLY: No. No. It was their idea. It was the initial discussions and conversations specifically of Sarage (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did they try to recruit other people?
KELLY: There's one other individual who is not being charged in this -- in this case at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Herald Square, 42nd Street. Anywhere else that they were mapping out?
KELLY: No, I gave you the location, the three police stations and the prison in Staten Island. There's a correctional facility there.
The Verrazano Bridge, the 34th Street and 6th Avenue subway station, or Herald Square, as we call it. 42nd street, no more specificity than that. And 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, there were several reports that (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KELLY: No, they spoke about the commercial establishment, the -- in the -- in area of -- of 34th Street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of casualties, they did want to inflict casualties? They...
KELLY: It's unclear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were they targeting specific stores in those areas?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't mention...
KELLY: No, they were not mentioned.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you know these weren't just amateurs playing with you?
KELLY: They obviously were talking about conducting a violent act. And amateur or professional, obviously, you know, had the potential for carrying out a very serious act.
They didn't have the explosives in their possession. We have no way of totally controlling that if we just let them go for an extended period of time. So it was prudent that this time to make the arrest in our judgment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
KELLY: I'm not certain the convention had anything specifically to do with it. Just kind of a confluence of events that came to be at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, does any information indicate that they would have known what to do with them had they been able to get a hold of these explosives? Did they have any type of technical knowledge? Any (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that?
KELLY: Again, it's unclear. There air lot of tapes that are still being analyzed, and more specific information. I can't say specifically whether or not they had technical knowledge or not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tapes of their conversations?
KELLY: Tapes of their conversations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the next step?
KELLY: What's next up?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next step.
KELLY: What's the next step? They are being arraigned today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Arraigned today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commissioner, what happens if they are found guilty of these charges? What could happen to these guys?
KELLY: Well, they are very serious charges. I don't know the -- the penalties.
Any other subjects?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask you about critical mass last night, what you thought of the protest?
KELLY: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you think of the protest?
KELLY: What did I think of the protest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well...
KELLY: Rating it as a protest you mean?
WHITFIELD: You are listening to New York's Police Commissioner Ray Kelly talk about the arrest of two individuals, one 19-year-old and a 21-year-old yesterday by the FBI. And they are charged with conspiracy to blow up the Herald Square subway station at 6th Avenue and 34th Street. And apparently they will be arraigned as well.
No connection, however, according to Kelly, between these suspects and an international terrorist organization. Apparently they had no explosives.
The motive, Kelly says, is simple, a hatred for the system. And all we know right now about the suspects is that one is a U.S. citizen, the other is a Pakistani national. And they've been under surveillance for about a year now.
However, last week they apparently had gone to the site at the Herald Station -- subway station and had conducted some sort of reconnaissance. And that was enough for the FBI to then apprehend them, make their arrest. And now they are charged with the crimes of conspiracy to blow up the Herald Square subway station.
This taking place just two days now, today, making it two days before the start of the Republican National Convention. However, Kelly says there is no reason to believe there's a connection between this plot and the convention to begin next week.
More news later.
LISOVICZ: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our "Money Minute."
Oil prices finally fell this week. The price slide came despite an attack on some key Iraqi oil pipelines. That leaves some energy market experts to believe the previous run-up in oil prices was largely driven by speculators trying to make a fast buck in the commodities market.
Despite super interest from fans like Jack Cafferty, a Reuters report shows the Athens Olympics will end up costing Greece more than $12 billion. That's twice the original estimate. The cost will help push Greece's national debt well beyond limits set by the European Union.
And paying a week's salary just to fill up the tank isn't as popular as you might think. GM is cutting orders for the H2 Hummer by as much as five percent because its sales have fallen by 25 percent since January. The H2 has a base price of about $49,000 and has the worst gas mileage of all 326 major makes and models on the road. SERWER: Starbucks was another company with relatively bad news this week. But the keyword here is "relative."
Starbucks disappointed investors when it reported that sales at its shops open for more than one year were up only eight percent this month. It's the first time in nine months that growth fell below double digits.
Starbucks shares took a hit on that news, but they're still well ahead of where they were a year ago. And that makes Starbucks, the coffee king, our stock of the week.
I went and crunched the numbers. This stock has doubled over the past two years, tripled over the past five years, and is up five-fold over the past decade.
They've said here the stock has been up or the sales are growing eight percent at stores open a year. McDonald's would kill to have that.
LISOVICZ: So would Wal-Mart, for that matter.
SERWER: That's right. And you know what?
LISOVICZ: That's part of the problem.
SERWER: Right. The stock has taken some hits in '98 and '99 and '01. I mean, it's not a shot to the moon, but this company, I think, is still going to the moon.
LISOVICZ: Well, it's the slowest growth, I think, this year.
LISOVICZ: And -- but still, eight percent is -- are very solid numbers.
CAFFERTY: I was going to say, they sold the stock off how much? And these numbers are good. There's nothing wrong with these numbers. Like you said, there are corporations that would kill to have these numbers.
LISOVICZ: They got hit pretty badly on Thursday, but...
CAFFERTY: You don't suppose, do you, that people are finally figuring out that Starbucks is selling those 30-cent cups of coffee for $3? I mean, these...
LISOVICZ: And the prices are going up this fall.
CAFFERTY: ... guys are marketing geniuses.
CAFFERTY: They figured out how to get more money for a cup of coffee than -- than... LISOVICZ: But that kind of raises the question, though -- I mean, is it starting to saturate the U.S.? I know there's hundreds and hundreds of Starbucks overseas. And the stock, as you said, has done very nicely. Is it time to, you know, maybe take a pause? That...
SERWER: Well, I don't think so. I mean, I'll tell you something. There are not enough Starbucks in New York City. And there are probably hundreds of them here. Because they are not close enough.
You can put more Starbucks anywhere. I'm a big Starbucks fan. But you know what's interesting? Because Krispy Kreme doughnuts has faded recently. But this company...
LISOVICZ: Came out the same day.
SERWER: ... is very -- this is a very different company. Because the difference between Starbucks and Krispy Kreme -- and I mean this seriously -- you can go to Starbucks every day, two times a day, three times a day, and there are a lot of people that do that.
SERWER: Krispy Kreme, how many times can you go there in a week? And that's the big difference in these business models. And I think, you know, I still go to towns across the country where people say, "We can't wait until we get a Starbucks here." So there is still room to grow.
CAFFERTY: So maybe you buy it on the dip, right?
SERWER: Well, you know, the problem...
CAFFERTY: The stock's down a little this week.
SERWER: Right. And I think the problem, Jack, is, for a lot of people, the stock, even on a price earnings basis, if you look at the company's expenses, but the stock is always expensive. It was expensive 10 years ago.
So you kind of have to bite the bullet if you want to buy this thing and just know, look, it's going to be expensive. But if you believe that people are going to be paying too much for gourmet coffee, you know, over the next 10 years...
LISOVICZ: Get used to it. Because, again, the prices are going up.
SERWER: Right. Right. Absolutely.
All right. There's a lot more ahead here on IN THE MONEY.
Coming up, crazy for cash. We'll speak with an author who says corporations and psychopaths have more in common than you might think?
Also ahead, on tough mom. We'll see how stay-at-homes can break into the workplace.
And find out why I won't finish washing your dirty socks. I won't start them either. We'll tell you about a new survey on men, women and laundry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE CORPORATION")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is a corporation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is under the law a legal person.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are special kinds of persons who have no moral conscience designed by law to be concerned only for their stockholders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just can't be personally responsible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe you'd better incorporate.
(END VIDEO CLIP, "THE CORPORATION")
LISOVICZ: Well, many companies would like you to think they only exist to do good things, help their communities, feed the homeless, and find lost puppies. My next guest says, think again.
In his book, "The Corporation," Joel Bakan, a professor of law at the University of British Columbia, explains why some firms have major psychological problems. The book is a now hit documentary as well. We just saw a clip from the movie.
JOEL BAKAN, AUTHOR, "THE CORPORATION": Thank you. Thank you for having me.
LISOVICZ: You know -- it's a pleasure. I've seen the movie, I'm familiar with the book. And to say that it is scathing is an understatement. You make the case that the very legal definition of a corporation enables and even encourages companies to misbehave.
Can you explain?
BAKAN: Well, that's correct. I mean, one of the first things you learn when you study corporate law as a law student is that the fundamental operating principle of the corporation is that it always has to serve its own self-interest. And what that means, generally, what the courts have said that means, is that managers and directors are legally obliged always and only to make as much money as they can for their shareholders, regardless of what the consequences are for others.
SERWER: Joel, you know this is going to come. So I'll just hit you with it right away. What the heck is the alternative?
You know, in Russia, they tried some central state planning. They had a guy name Stalin who kind of mastered that. Cuba has got a little system that's different as well, North Korea.
Capitalism seems to have really triumphed pretty handily over the past 100 years or so. What do you suggest?
BAKAN: Well, I mean, I think the problem with the systems that you mentioned, North Korea and other communist systems, is that they were -- they were totalitarian kind of systems. And, needless to say, that's not we want. The reason we reject those systems is because they are not democratic.
My concern about where we are going with corporate power is in a direction that is also potentially not very democratic. And so some of my concerns about where we're going as corporations become, in a way, overseers of democratic government, rather than the other way around, is that we are going in a direction that is challenging democracy, weakening democracy. And so some of the same concerns I have about that are ones that I would have in rejecting the systems that you mentioned.
CAFFERTY: Joel, Jack Cafferty. Aren't the corporations of 2004 much more accountable to the legal system and the Justice Department than the railroads and the oil companies and the big Robber Barron corporations that built this country back in the 1800s, early part of this century, exploited labor with no concern about living wages or any kind of benefits, yadda, yadda, yadda? I mean, we do have a lot of systems in place that are designed to check the excesses of corporate America that didn't used to exist at all.
BAKAN: Absolutely. I think what you see when you look at the course of the last 100 years is you see, initially, in the -- in the early 1900s, the gradual development of regulatory systems to protect workers, in particular.
You then had Roosevelt bringing in his new deal in the 1930s, a flurry of regulations designed to protect farmers, workers, investors from corporate misdeeds. And building on that through the 1970s, the new social regulation, environmental regulations, human rights regulation, all of these checks and balances that are designed to enable democracy and citizens to curtail the harmful and exploitive practices of corporations.
But then, beginning in the early 1970s -- and a lot of economists trace it to the -- to the oil crisis, the rampant inflation -- there was a shift. We normally associate it with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the prime ministership of Margaret Thatcher in the U.K.
And the shift was towards a view that we should begin to dismantle those various protections that have been put in place over the years. That we should deregulate, that we should privatize, that we should loosen up merger and acquisition requirements. And what all this has done over the last 30 years is to enable corporations to become bigger, more powerful, and to gain more authority over sectors of society that they previously didn't have authority over.
So, yes, it's true that in 2004, there still are regulations in place, whether labor, environmental, securities, whatever. They are still there. But they are not as strong as they were. And we're in a current political environment where they are being weakened.
So, in a way, it's like an upside down U-shape curve. You start with nothing, the peak is probably the 1970s. And now we're on the down side.
LISOVICZ: Right. But, you know, one of the things about a market, a free market, is that the market can build up and take down. And we've seen that in droves.
We've seen the ImClones and WorldComs and the Enrons. And there was abuse, and they were punished. So, unfortunately, were many investors. Don't you think the market kind of takes care of this excess and abuse?
BAKAN: Well, not necessarily. I mean, when you say that, you know, the Enrons and WorldComs and the various leaders thereof were punished, they weren't punished by the market. They were punished by the legal system.
They were -- you know, they're -- they are being dealt with by government. They are being dealt with under a regulatory structure. And the legal system responded with Sarbanes-Oxley and kinds of -- of approaches.
So the market hasn't dealt with those situations. They are being punished by the democratic system, by the governmental system. And I think what those instances demonstrate is that there's a need for a strong oversight function on the part of government.
SERWER: I'm sorry to interrupt.
BAKAN: That's fine.
SERWER: One thing I wanted to raise with you, though, is you term corporations or corporate behavior often as "psychopathic." I mean, what do you mean by that?
You work out in British Columbia, for instance. You can call the government of British Columbia psychopathic, too, right? I mean, what does that mean?
BAKAN: No, I mean, it's a good point. You know, in some ways, you can levy the charge of "psychopath" against any large institution because often they do some -- some very silly things. But I tend to use the concept with a bit more precision than that in the book and in the film.
And what I mean is this, that what you learn in corporate law is that the corporation is a person. That's -- the law deems corporations to be persons. And so the question I ask is, well, if it's a person, what kind of person is it?
The other thing you learn, as I mention, is that the law deems the corporation to always have to serve its own self-interest. And so what I concluded was that a person that's required always to serve its own self-interest, that's unable to be concerned about other people, that can't feel guilt, that can't feel reremorse, that's a psychopathic person.
So I'm not saying necessarily that all of the behaviors of corporations are always psychopathic. I'm certainly not saying that the people who run corporations are psychopathic. What I'm saying is that the institution itself, the way that we've put it together legally, is analogous to a psychopathic personality in that it is unable to do anything but pursue its own self-interest.
LISOVICZ: Joel Bakan, writer and co-creator of "The Corporation." I should say that there is sort of a happy ending to this movie, a CEO who finds redemption in doing the right thing.
Good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
BAKAN: Thank you very much.
LISOVICZ: Lots more to come here on IN THE MONEY.
Up ahead, from rocking the cradle to rocking the world, find out how stay-at-home moms can make the move back into the workplace.
And whether you are looking for love or choosing a president, the Web turns reality on its head. Find out how it works when we take you to our "Fun Site of the Week."
SERWER: It's a tough enough transition for a career woman turned new mom to trade in her briefcase for a diaper bag. But once she's finish the job of raising her kids, she faces another challenge, getting back into the rat race with a gaping hole in her resume.
In her book "Going Back to Work: A Survival Guide for Comeback Moms," co-author Mary Quigley interviewed 1,000 women who returned to work after staying home to raise children. She joins us now with a look at what she found out about them. Mary is also a journalism professor at New York University, and a working mom herself.
MARY QUIGLEY, CO-AUTHOR, "GOING BACK TO WORK": Thank you. Welcome. SERWER: So how does this path work? Basically, women go to work, then they maybe take a leave of absence or stay at home with their kids for a prolonged period, and then they go back to work. Is it you work for 10 years, you're out for 10 years, and then go back to work? What's the typical path now?
QUIGLEY: Well, there is no typical path. Actually, there's a variety of paths. But the -- the main point is what women are doing is changing. It's not -- it's a career path. It's not a marathon.
It's a path that they zigzag on and off. Some women don't stay home until after their first child. Some stay home after their second child. But women are moving in and out of the workforce, and they want to go back.
There's a myth that women stay home and never come out again. That's not true.
LISOVICZ: Mary, one thing that I observed from talking to all of the working moms who've returned to the newsroom is that they say their job was never as easy because it's so much tougher raising children. Do you find that when working moms do come back into the workforce that -- that they want other things other than a promotion or, you know, an advancement in their career? They are looking at the larger...
CAFFERTY: They want to get away from their children.
LISOVICZ: They're looking at larger -- larger issues.
QUIGLEY: Yes, absolutely. Women want to go back. And there's no doubt from our survey that most of the women said the primary reason was money. But closely followed by money was emotional satisfaction.
As one mom said to us, "If I'm going to turn my family into an upheaval, this job better be emotionally satisfying." So they do want something. It's actually one of the reasons why a lot of women, up to a third and more, go back to completely different careers when they return to their careers.
CAFFERTY: I was only half kidding, Mary -- this is Jack Cafferty -- when I said something about they go back to work to get away from their kids. But isn't it true that...
QUIGLEY: Well, sometimes.
CAFFERTY: I mean, a lot of women actually do that. I mean, you want to have a conversation about something besides Cap'n Crunch or Mr. Roberts. You want to have a little adult give and take. And, you know, when the kids kind of get old enough, when they start into school and stuff, isn't it true women oftentimes, in fact, seek a job outside the home for those very reasons?
QUIGLEY: Well, they seek -- they seek a job for a variety of reasons. And, yes, I mean, you know, there's a lot of women who worry about -- for their daughters and their sons -- what kind of role model they are giving if they don't work, if they don't establish a work ethic, if they don't show them the value of work, how can they tell the kids to do well in school and get on a career track themselves. So, yes, that is an issue.
But there's -- you know, there is a point of staying home where you are home alone. Your kids are at sports practice or whatever.
QUIGLEY: So it's time to -- time to get out of the house.
SERWER: Mary, I'll correct Jack. I guess he doesn't watch a lot of kids programming. It was Mr. Rogers, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Oh. Mr. Roberts was that guy in the Navy, right?
SERWER: Yes, he was. And then there's the talking horse. There's all kinds of stuff.
CAFFERTY: I'm sorry, Mary.
SERWER: All right. OK.
Anyway, the new economy, doesn't this sort of play into a lot of the trends that going on here with a lot of these flexible jobs...
SERWER: ... and flexible workforce and work at home? And I think this really helps out a lot of women who are looking to get back. Because, I mean, isn't it very tough to go back when you are 45, maybe, and get a full-time executive position with full benefits?
QUIGLEY: Well, here's the reality. You are not going to go back 45 if you have been out of the workforce for 10 years and get an executive job with full benefits.
Many women we found start back on a part-time track. And, yes, flexibility is the number one issue that working moms want. When we said in our survey, "What are you looking for?" They said, "I want work that has flexibility."
And they don't mean just leaving the office a little early. They mean telecommuting, working a compressed work week, working from home two days a week. They want that kind of flexibility, because you did stay home. Now you're not abandoning your children. You do want to show up for an occasional soccer game.
LISOVICZ: You know, Mary -- Mary, you know, the job market doesn't appear to be robust right now.
LISOVICZ: What kind of support programs are there for moms returning to the workplace given the fact that, you know, it seems many people can't find satisfying jobs right now?
QUIGLEY: Well, actually, it plays right into what moms are looking for. Because the kinds of jobs that many employers are offering are contract positions. Temp agencies are seeing an incredible boom of people looking for contract workers, part-time workers for busy times of year.
We found accountants who only work in the first part of the year because that's when they are needed, and they take off the rest of the year. So, actually, the downturn in the economy and people not wanting to hire full-time women has helped a bit.
CAFFERTY: You interviewed 1,000 people who went through this experience. For the women who might be watching this program and thinking about doing it, give us a couple of, three tips that you've picked up from these folks who have been through the -- the deal.
QUIGLEY: OK. The first thing is you have to start thinking about this the minute you start staying home. I mean, you can take a little bit of a break for nursing the infant, but we found that you have to have strategic planning. You can't wait until junior goes off to kindergarten and say, "OK, I want a job now."
While he was growing up, you should have been doing some things, which is the second point, which is that -- volunteer. And I hate to sound sexist, but volunteer like a man. A man doesn't run a cookie sale. He runs the fund-raising drive to raise $10,000 for a new playground. So volunteer in areas where there's measurable results.
And the third thing is, don't turn your nose up at a part-time job. Think of it as a long-term investment in yourself. And you may be losing money. I lost money for years teaching part-time, but eventually, after 10 years of it, it paid off. And so it is an investment in yourself. And think of it that way.
LISOVICZ: Put yourself out there.
LISOVICZ: Mary Quigley, author of "Going Back to Work: A Survival Guide for Moms." You should know. You are a working mom yourself.
QUIGLEY: Yes. Thank you.
LISOVICZ: Thanks for joining us.
Some people will do anything to get your attention. Let's see if our advertisers can pull it off. Coming up after the break, everything changes when there's a mouse in your hand. We'll show you that parallel universe known as the Web as we present our "Fun Site of the Week."
And here's your chance to become a network correspondent. You can correspond with us at this address: InTheMoney@cnn.com.
CAFFERTY: If you are one of millions of men who do not do housework -- I would be one of those -- we have the perfect excuse for you: your wife probably wouldn't let you if you tried. Well, my wife is in no danger because I never intend to try.
Web master Allen Wastler is here to explain that, and he has the "Fun Site of the Week" as well.
How are you doing?
ALLEN WASTLER, MANAGING EDITOR, CNN MONEY: Doing fine.
WASTLER: You know, GE, they try to sell washing machines and stuff.
WASTLER: So they do these surveys of who does the wash and who is responsible for it.
WASTLER: Now, women most of the time get stuck with it. Seventy percent of the time, the woman of the house gets stuck doing the laundry.
CAFFERTY: What's wrong with that?
WASTLER: And you hear a lot of complaining about it. But this last survey they did, OK...
LISOVICZ: Shut up, Jack.
WASTLER: ... this last survey, they surveyed 500 women and 500 men. Of the women, they said they don't allow their husbands to do the laundry...
LISOVICZ: They don't allow them.
WASTLER: ... because they don't trust them to do it right. So, therefore, you cannot complain about men not doing the laundry, if you are not going to let them in the laundry room.
LISOVICZ: Let me ask you, Allen -- I mean, would you put a throw rug in with the fine washables? Would you?
WASTLER: No, no.
SERWER: With the undies?
WASTLER: I mean, one pink shirt and you are scarred for life.
LISOVICZ: That's why.
WASTLER: They went through other reasons. You know, the whole 1,000 group, they went through other reasons of, you know, why you wouldn't do it and what you do.
They also asked what you would trade doing laundry for. Sixty- one percent said that they would trade laundry -- doing laundry for another chore. OK. Eighteen percent would rather cook.
How do you feel about that, Jack?
CAFFERTY: I don't do that either.
WASTLER: Oh, OK.
SERWER: What do you do, Jack?
WASTLER: Sixteen percent would rather mow the lawn. That's my -- that's my job.
CAFFERTY: I don't do that either.
SERWER: What do you do?
WASTLER: Fourteen percent...
CAFFERTY: I do -- I do take out the garbage.
WASTLER: Hey, a five-minute chore!
SERWER: What a man. He's a He-Man over there.
CAFFERTY: Yes. But I don't -- I stay away from that other stuff.
WASTLER: There's your laundry survey. The irony is they try to sell washing machines called Harmony after they've started fights with these surveys.
CAFFERTY: Figures. What's the "Fun Site of the Week?"
WASTLER: OK. There's a couple of guys at a Web site called Red versus Blue. What they do is they take characters from popular video games, most notably Halo, and they make little skits out of them, commenting on what real life is like versus Internet life.
And we've got an example for you. Since we've been talking about politics...
WASTLER: ... real life politics versus Internet politics. Let's go ahead and take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I disagree, but I respect your opinion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You deserve to die. Die, and go to hell and burn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh yeah? Well, I hope you get raped, twice. Everything will feel different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't need to find any weapons of mass destruction. We just need to want to find them. That's the way it works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted for Nader. I hate everyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAFFERTY: Wow. That's pretty good. I liked it.
WASTLER: If you go to -- you go to the Web site, you'll find that they also have comparisons on dating, partying...
LISOVICZ: Oh, that's a good one.
CAFFERTY: Oh, that's great.
WASTLER: It's quite funny. It's quite funny. Of course, you can find the address at our home page on money.com.
CAFFERTY: There you go. Thanks, Allen.
Coming up next on IN THE MONEY, as we continue, time to hear from you as we read some of the e-mails from the past week. And you can send us an e-mail right now, actually. We're at email@example.com. And we have somebody who actually reads this stuff, and he might even answer you.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAFFERTY: It's time now to read your answers to our question of the week about whether a candidate's personal military service record matters in an election.
Ed in Arizona wrote this: "Yes, to a degree. It can be indicative of character. Both current candidates come from upper class privilege, and both could have avoided service in Vietnam. President Bush used his father's influence to get a coveted spot in the National Guard. John Kerry volunteered for service in Vietnam and for highly-dangerous Swift Boat duty."
"These are the facts. But there are far more important issues."
Mary wrote, "When one candidate has served honorably, he should let that speak for itself and not attack his opponent's service. That's what John Kerry has done, and he cries foul when other veterans do the same to him."
And, finally, Mark offers a little history lesson. "The founding fathers made the president the commander-in-chief of the armed forces for one important reason: the president is a civilian. A civilian always gets to make the final military decisions in this country. So military experience is good, but not if it clouds the judgment we need from a civilian leader. And that's why seeing President Bush" -- this guy goes on -- "President Bush dress up in an airman's uniform last year, that was so distasteful."
That was one of the longer e-mails we had from last week.
Now, here's the e-mail question for this week, as follows: What do you want to hear from President Bush when he makes his speech at the Republican National Convention this week? Send your answers to InTheMoney@cnn.com. We'll read a few of them next week and see if what you wrote matches what, in fact, he said.
You should also visit our show page at money.com/inthemoney, which is where you'll find the address for our "Fun Site of the Week," which I intend to visit as soon as I get back to my office.
Thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY.
My thanks to CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz; "Fortune" Magazine editor-at-large, Andy Serwer; and money.com managing editor, Allen Wastler.
Join us tomorrow at 3:00 Eastern Time. We'll preview next week's Republican National Convention, take a closer look at some of the key items on the Bush team's agenda as the president fights for a second term. That's tomorrow at 3:00.
Hope to see you then.
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