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CNN IN THE MONEY
Students Grade Teachers Online; Ready To Run Your Own Presidential Campaign? Health Risks Of Living In The Suburbs
Aired October 3, 2004 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From New York City, America's financial capitol, 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:
Get off the sidelines, get in the race: If you think you can do a better job than the politicians, and most of us do and might well, in fact, be able to, here's our chance. We'll bring you "Running for Office, 101."
Plus, the high price of the good life: Find out why living in the burbs might damage your health.
And junior calls the shots: Students are grading their teachers online and there's nothing the teachers can do about it.
See if that's going to kill American education, save it, or end up somewhere in the middle.
Joining me today, a couple of the IN THE MONEY veterans. CNN correspondent. Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large, Andy Serwer.
So the big sports, I guess, for the week is that Washington, D.C.'s going to get a baseball team for the first time in 300 years or something. Does anybody care about this?
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Well, I don't know, I kind of care about it. I grew up watching the hapless Senators before they decamped to Tahas (PH) and it was ugly. I remember it was -- Richard Nixon was president, I was a mere lad.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Of course.
SERWER: And they didn't finish the last game, you know, they were playing and I think there were two outs in the ninth and the fans stormed the field. The Senators winning, but they had to forfeit the game to the Yankees. It was pretty amusing. You know, the whole thing is kind of a joke and of course the Baltimore Orioles owner, Peter Angelos, is going to be a big loser in this, I think, and he trusted Bud Selig who told him he's never going to put a team there, until he did.
SERWER: So, there's a lot of intrigue. The Senators name is still owned by the Rangers, so maybe we'll call this the Supreme Court Justices or the Congress.
CAFFERTY: That's pretty funny.
SERWER: It is a big important story.
LISOVICZ: You wouldn't want it to be linked to the Expos, after all. I mean, the Expos...
SERWER: Washington Expos.
LISOVICZ: Yeah, so all I know is the major sports news, baseball, Yankees clinch. Pedro Martinez, Boston Red Sox pitcher -- gone, shot.
CAFFERTY: No good? What happened to him?
LISOVICZ: Well, I think the Yankees broke him.
SERWER: Well, he called the Yankees his "daddy."
LISOVICZ: That's what the fans are saying, "Who's your daddy? Who's your daddy?"
CAFFERTY: That'll do it. That's not an expression you're supposed to use on the baseball field.
SERWER: Or on this program.
CAFFERTY: Hmm? No. A lot of us like to complain about politics and politicians, and I might add, with damn good reason. If anyone challenges any of us to do anything about it all we have to say is well, we can't run for office ourselves because we're not multi- millionaires. We're about to blow that out of the water, I think. Joining us now is Harry Pozycki who's the founder of the Citizens Campaign.
Harry, nice to have you with us.
HARRY POZYCKI, CITIZENS CAMPAIGN: Good to be here, Jack.
CAFFERTY: You know, I cover these a -- these a "leaders" for want of a word that I can use on a family-oriented program, and there's been more than one time in my career as a reporter or journalist that I thought, "You know what? I really could do a better job." I've never given any serious thought to running for a couple of reasons. I like what I'm doing better, and two, I couldn't afford it. I mean, this is a game for multi-millionaires, particularly at the national level. I mean, you look at the makeup of the United States Senate, it's like -- you know, they're all -- they're all eight digit guys, if you know what I mean. Is it possible, one, for someone of modest means to even have their voice heard and two, to get in the game and maybe get elected and make a difference?
POZYCKI: Absolutely. The problem, Jack, is that we've been raised to be a nation of passive citizens, fed a form of civics education which one might call "spectator civics." We're taught to rever the founders fathers and be in awe of the tripartite system of government and the only act that we're taught that we can participate in is the act of voting. Truth is political power, governmental power, is available immediately and without even the need of great sums of money to regular citizens if they know about where to grasp it and it's available in their home towns.
LISOVICZ: All right, well I personally would vote for Jack Cafferty.
SERWER: Run, Jack, Run.
LISOVICZ: In fact I -- in fact I'd be his campaign manager.
SERWER: Jack Cafferty.
LISOVICZ: If we don't have people like Jack run, how do we -- how do we encourage people of ordinary means, who aren't self-made millionaires, to do so? It seems that the interest is there because, you know, you go into any bookstore these days and -- you know, the best sellers have something to do with politics, generally speaking right about now, so the interest seems to be there.
POZYCKI: The interest is definitely there. You know, the Citizens Campaign has been going around holding meetings for citizens to educate them on their legal rights to participate and the political skills they need and they're coming out in droves. People aren't apathetic, they feel powerless. If you offer them power they'll step into the political arena. And we have one success story after another as a result of this.
SERWER: Harry, let me read a couple names to you, Jon Corzine, senator of New Jersey, former CEO of Goldman Sacks; Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know who he is; Tom Osborne, football coach at University of Nebraska. Are these people -- did they get elected because of their leadership abilities or just because they're rich and famous?
POZYCKI: Well, they got elected primarily because money dominates politics today, but also because we as a citizenry have left the civic arena, so money can dominate. When will citizen come back and take power, power in the political parties, power even in their local government, it leverages all the way to Washington and there's more opportunity for regular citizens to participate, not just the Jon Corzines or Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the world. CAFFERTY: But, you know, history's littered with guys who took a run at the stranglehold that republicans and democrats have on all the political power in this country. The John Andersons and the Ralph Naders and Ross Perots and the people who are Jesse Jackson, who orchestrated third party runs for the nation's highest office and couldn't get arrested, and they presumably had a lot more political knowledge than the average guy out there. How do you break the democratic-republican status quo stranglehold on all the political machinery that matters? You know, the campaign contributions, the lobbyists, all of the things that feed into this consolidation in the hands of those two parties?
POZYCKI: Well Jack, I'll give you an example. We train citizens to bring model laws to reform government contracting, to prohibit government contractors from making huge political contributions when they're negotiating the price of government contracts. Citizens passed that at the local level in towns all over the state of New Jersey and now it is the state law and, said by some, to be the strongest government reform in the country in terms of government contracting. So you can make change, but you have to do it from the bottom up. It takes a lot of hard work. It's not a run for Congress where you're right, the parties have a stranglehold. But there are options at the local level that the parties and money does not control.
LISOVICZ: You know, it seems that -- you know, one of the people that got the most attention over the summer at the conventions is Barak Obama.
LISOVICZ: Who did not come from a wealthy family or lots of connections, but he did have a dramatic story to tell. And he's a charming, handsome person. The kind of person you want to put -- you know, your faith in. And is that something you have to have for candidates, or you don't have if you don't have the money or the connections, you have to have something else, you have to have these skills to reach across the television set and reach out to people?
POZYCKI: Well, you know, leadership does require certain skills, and not everybody is going to be a leader, and we're not suggesting the entire citizenry will rise up in mass. But one quick story, an African-American woman in her 20's in the city of Trenton, named Elisa Welch, knew nothing about political parties. Took a one-hour course from the Citizens Campaign, ran for and won her neighborhood party- elected position and is now on the rules committee of the city of Trenton's Democratic Party, as well as on the county of Mercer's Democratic Party. So, an hour's bit of education and the ability to seize power locally and she already has a vote over who the party endorses for Congress in her district.
SERWER: You know, I thought Jack was going to try to resurrect the Bull Moose Party there for a minute.
SERWER: Just quickly in our time left here, what's the best way to get involved in politics?
POZYCKI: Well, we like to recommend that you log on to jointhecampaign.com because the Citizens Campaign has educational offerings for free on a non-partisan basis to citizens. We'll show them how to access power in several different ways right in their own hometowns.
CAFFERTY: Sounds like a good idea. Young people that might be watching this program -- you know, go get involved and take it away from these guys, they're not doing a very good job with it. Harry, nice to have you on the program.
POZYCKI: Thank you, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Harry Pozycki, he's the founder of Citizen's Campaign.
Coming up, as we continue, take a hike: A new study says suburban sprawl can make you ill and that too much car time could be part of the problem. We'll talk with a guy who crunched the numbers, see what he came up with.
Also ahead, it'll only hurt a little while: A new book is ready to save you some hassle by giving you the truth about dating. Stick around and we will hear from the author.
And losing face: Try out some new looks for the presidential candidates on the "Fun Site of the Week." Allen Wastler's along with that and more a bit later.
CAFFERTY: Suburban sprawl can be hard on the eyes, but that's nothing compared to what it might be doing to the rest of your body. Listen up! There's a study out that from the Rand Corporation that suggests that sprawl could be linked to some chronic health problems. Roland Sturn is senior economist with Rand in Los Angeles where they know a few things about sprawl, he's also a co-author of the study.
Welcome to IN THE MONEY, Mr. Sturn, nice to have you with us.
ROLAND STURN, RAND CORPORATION: Good morning.
CAFFERTY: So, you live in a crowded urban area where you breathe the toxic fumes from the buses and the cabs, but you walk everyplace or you live in the suburb environment where the air and the water and things are a little, cleaner but you wind up with chronic lower back pain because you're riding everywhere in a car instead of walking. I mean, is there a win here? Is it a...
STURN: No, that's -- you know, that's good. I think it's very important to talk about what we mean by "sprawl." We're not comparing fancy suburbs with few people there, again old inner cities. We're comparing big metropolitan areas. Some of them are more sprawling, some are less sprawling. One of the most sprawling is Riverside, San Bernardino, and that three-and-a-half million people in that area. So, far from being quiet and peaceful, you try to drive there and go the Interstate 10, the five lanes and it's all packed.
So, what we want to compare are areas that are developed in a more sprawling way, by which we mean streets are not connected, it's very difficult to get to one place from another, the cul-de-sac idea that really requires you to go onto a major road versus streets that are more connected, like the Chicago grid. That's a typical case.
How mixed land use, is -- are we talking about big isolated pockets of just residential where there's no shopping around, there's no work. I mean, office space would be in office parks, schools would be somewhere else. There's just no connectivity. That's what we mean by sprawl. Doesn't have -- has much less to do with the size or how many people live there or necessarily air pollution.
Now, what did we find? We find that more sprawling areas are associated with more chronic health problems. One, you really compare the same type of people. Again, we're not comparing inner cities to suburbs.
SERWER: But Roland, what you're talking about here, and you can see the pictures on the screen, for instance, those are suburbs without sidewalks. I think that's an extremely telling shot. Meaning you can't walk around there, you're supposed to drive. If you want to get a big bag of Cheetos, you're supposed to go in your SUV and drive down to the 7-Eleven. I happen to live in the city and I walk to get those Cheetos, I'll have you know.
SERWER: Well, isn't this how the country has been developed? I mean, it's all based around the automobile. I mean, look at that shot.
STURN: Well, traditionally that's, of course, not true. I mean, all the initial cities were all built with walking as the primary transportation. But no, in the last 50 years that has changed extremely. And it turns out that it is not the best ideal. Well, it will take a similarly long time to change back.
But yes, I think that's where a lot of the action is and where we believe it. Now, we may have done the first study on sprawl on a broad range of health conditions, but obviously not the first ones that tried to find out something about it. And what we know from previous studies is people do walk less. Less neutral terrain walking, they rely more on the car. Air pollution is associated with sprawl. Now, how does it affect us? I live in Los Angeles which is not necessarily considered a very compact area.
LISOVICZ: So, you must be stressed out.
LISOVICZ: If you live in Los Angeles, you must be stressed out all the time because I've spent a few weeks there working on the West coast, and I'll tell you, I felt like I was living in a car. But, one of the conditions that happens, if I can just ask this, is that you guess stressed out. Not only do you put on weight because it's sedentary, you're not walking anywhere, but you get stressed out.
STURN: I think sprawl, which, certainly sitting in the car is a stress factor. But, hang on, let's go back. Los Angeles County or Los Angeles, as it turns out, is not one of the extreme sprawling areas, and in case, I'm a good example. I live in Los Angeles; I can walk my kids to school. I can walk to the corner store. I can bike to work. And that's because our neighborhood is fairly well connected, mixed use, and so my quality of life is pretty good. I don't use the car that much. And a lot of people in our area do not use their car that much. There are much more sprawling areas. Now...
CAFFERTY: What's the message, though, in the discussion we're having. People watching this, what should they take away from it and is there something they ought to be doing if they live one place or another that they're not doing?
STURN: Yes, let's think about it. If you can walk the kids to school, if you can bike to work, you get a good number of physical activities, that you don't think of as exercise. In my case, it's biking to work, walking the kids to school, that's half on hour, 45 minutes each day of light to moderate activity. Hey, the surgeon general says that every American should get this. I'm not thinking about this as exercise. And people in less sprawling areas are able to do that or do that naturally, people in areas where they depend on the car cannot do this.
What's the net effect? Well, you have to make -- are you making up for it by going to the gym? If you just have to sit in your car, you need to compensate for it, if you care about this physical activity. And I would -- I'm sure if I had to drive everywhere and couldn't get any of this, I would not make it up, like going to the gym half an hour every evening. And I think that's also why we see the effect on chronic conditions. In fact, we see the chronic conditions that are associated with reduced physical activity, the hypertension, people complaining about joint pain, arthritis.
LISOVICZ: OK, well, I tell you, I feel much better that now that I know that both Andy and I walk to get our Cheetos. A better quality of life, and that you are able to walk -- that's a news story right in and of itself -- you can walk in Los Angeles.
Roland Sturn, senior economist for the Rand Corporation. Thanks for joining us.
STURN: OK, thank you.
Coming up after the break, the secret life of a drug industry star: It turns out Vioxx might come with some deadly side effects. As Merck yanks the product, see how the stock is holding up.
And later on, it's the classroom, not a Broadway show: A website called RateMyTeacher is turning kids into little critics. We'll speak with the guy who created it.
Plus, the business opportunity that's way over your head: See why people like Richard Branson are investing in space.
LISOVICZ: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our "Money Minute." Martha Stewart will be serving her prison time in West Virginia. The Bureau of Prisons reportedly chose the minimum security camp in Alderson because its remote location would make it harder for people like us, the news media, to get there. Stewart wanted to be sent to the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, so she could be closer to her home and her mother.
The four hurricanes that hit Florida this season, combined to beat the record set by Hurricane Andrew insured losses. Estimates for the storm damage now top $18 billion, easily topping the $15 billion in damages from Andrew back in 1992.
And watering down the whiskey isn't the best way to keep your customers loyal. Jack Daniels has sparked outrage among serious drinkers by lowering the proof of its famous Tennessee whiskey from 86 to 80. That means it now has three percent less alcohol. The company ignited a similar controversy 15 years ago when it lowered the strength of its 90 proof original recipe to 86 proof.
SERWER: The other big news this week was Merck's decision to pull Vioxx off drugstore shelves. The company made that move after a study showed the arthritis drug caused an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Now Jack likes to say that news caused the stock to take a major "haircut." Investors were probably wondering how Merck would make up for the roughly two-and-a-half million dollars in sales Vioxx produced for the company last year alone. Merck's shares had been trading pretty flat this year, but that was before this week's news. Now they're at a 52-week low, actually an eight year low. Merck is our "Stock or the Week."
And, last Thursday, this stock just fell off the table, down 27 percent, $27 billion of market value up in smoke, 10 percent of the company's sales. You usually -- you know, don't see that happening at a company this big, this reputable, a blue chip company like that, but there you have it.
LISOVICZ: In fact, you know, I was talking to traders right before the market open. The Dow Industrials actually opened up Thursday until Merck started trading. When Merck started trading, dropped like a bomb. The interesting thing about Merck is this is -- has long been considered a "safe stock." This is the kind the widows and orphans paid dividends, this is the kind of reliable stock. This news sends a shutter. Why? Because it was one of the five top selling drugs. It does not have a lot of new drugs in the pipeline. So, it loses this valuable one, we don't know the repercussions in terms of lawsuits and there are questions about whether this company will be forced to do a deal. There's a lot of consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry, so while some of the bad news is out, it's not all out and that's what upsets a lot of investors.
SERWER: Well, you know, I think it's interesting because Vioxx was perceived before this as a problem drug because there had been news out there that this drug had problems. So, I think that was already factored in a little bit, obviously it got a whole lot worse. What's also going on in the pharmaceutical business, right now, is fear of the election and this happens every time there's an election. The democrats are going to get elected and put caps on drug prices. That's why I think this stock, right now, is possibly a very attractive thing to buy. If you look at it, its price earning multiple, it's pretty darn cheap.
LISOVICZ: And it was upgraded on Friday by a major brokerage that actually opened up on Friday. But, you know, the interesting thing about crisis management is you get out -- get the bad information out early, so that -- you know, get it out, get it done with. This was out for several years that there were problems with this drug, so it had been out there for a while, and that's one of the -- also the disappointments about Merck, a company this size, with this prestige, not dealing with it sooner.
CAFFERTY: One of the cruel ironies about Vioxx, too, is that you can find a lot of doctors tell you it's not much more effective as a pain reliever than ibuprofen.
LISOVICZ: Over the counter.
CAFFERTY: But the arthritis sufferers are so desperate to deal with what is a constant pain that they will -- you know, reach for anything that might promise even a tiny edge. So, the downside, potentially on the drug, it turns out, far, far, outweighed any upside. The ibuprofen probably accomplished pretty much the same thing...
SERWER: That's true.
CAFFERTY: Without the fear of stroke.
SERWER: Right, that's right. And Celebrex, which is made by Pfizer, is a similar medication. You know, it's not clear that drug is completely off the FDA's radar screen, as well. So, that's going to be something we have to watch, too. Also, Merck has new drugs...
LISOVICZ: That stock did well on Thursday.
SERWER: That's right because...
LISOVICZ: You would think that its top competitor might do real well on Merck's bad news, and it didn't.
SERWER: Yeah, and it's going to be really interesting to watch Merck going forward, especially the stock price.
CAFFERTY: Watch the lawyers line up to file the lawsuits.
SERWER: Well, that's -- that's also true. CAFFERTY: Yeah.
SERWER: All right. Coming up on IN THE MONEY, reading, writing, and ratings: A new website that lets student's rate teachers, has touched off a different kind of class warfare -- class warfare, get it? We'll explain.
Also, Mr. Right and Mr. Wrong: Listen up, ladies, because we're going to find out how to tell the difference between a loser and a winner on the dating scene.
CAFFERTY: Like we'd know.
And building a better candidate: Check out the many faces of the two contenders on our "Website of the Week." Stick around.
SERWER: If you want to give your kids' teachers high marks, hold the apple. Compliments and complaints have gone high-tech. Ratemyteachers.com is a site that's creating quite a buzz in the education field. It lets parents and students grade teachers on categories like helpfulness, easiness and clarity. But not everyone in the education field is singing its praises. Michael Hussy, co- founder of ratemyteachers.com joins us now with more. Welcome, Michael. You're a pretty young guy. Did you start this up because you weren't so happy with some of your teachers?
MICHAEL HUSSEY, CO-FOUNDER, RATEMYTEACHERS.COM: More or less I wanted to have an outlet to praise the stellar teachers and there was only a handful of teachers in my previous experience where I didn't feel there was much value. I thought that, for both sides, particularly to praise teachers who deserve it and also to let other students know who they might want to avoid.
LISOVICZ: Forgive me for being a cynic, is this not students' revenge here?
HUSSEY: You could -- you could probably assume that on a first impression. But if you get into the Web site, you'll see that's not the case at all. The clear majority of the ratings are positive, as one would expect when you walk through America's classrooms. I think most teachers are doing a great job and that's reflected on the site. Seventy percent, some schools much more than that, of the ratings and comments are positive.
CAFFERTY: Have you had any requests from teachers to be able to do a little rating of the students like, dear Mrs. Smith, your Johnny's a jerk and he disrupts my class and you ought to school him at home?
HUSSEY: That's called a report card.
CAFFERTY: But the report card's not posted on the Internet. HUSSEY: Well, I'm not all that interested in ratemystudents.com. But if anyone else out there wants to, I encourage them to try.
SERWER: Hey, Michael, how big is your Web site now? How many schools are involved, how many teachers, how many kids?
HUSSEY: 45,000 schools across the U.S. and Canada. We just opened up in the U.K. last week. 850,000 teachers are now rated, thousands more being added every day. I think we just went over the 6 million rating mark last week as well. We're bringing over 1 million people per month to the Web site. Many of those are students, parents and certainly teachers. We know that we're the talk of the lunchroom and the teacher's room on many occasions.
LISOVICZ: Michael, it sounds like sort of a cyberspace version of an informal thing that's been going on for decades, who's the teacher that likes to give out As, who will let you slide if you take a long weekend.
SERWER: Who's mean?
LISOVICZ: Yeah, who's tough. It sort of almost sounds like a Zagat's guide to teachers and if you're familiar with Zagat's, it rate a restaurant for instance, on a variety of things. So how do you rate the teachers? What are the qualities that are rated here?.
HUSSEY: Well, it's a bit more democratized than Zagat's. But what we're rating teachers on three things, on clarity, on helpfulness, those two are averaged to create an overall score and then we throw in for the benefit of the teacher, for benefit of all the easiness factor.
LISOVICZ: What about competence (ph)?
HUSSEY: Competence or confidence? I think that comes through clearly in the written comment portion. There's a scale of one to five for those three questions and then the student has an opportunity to rate -- excuse me to write in a comment. That's where the real value of the site really shines, I believe.
CAFFERTY: What's the reaction been from the teachers who are rated on this thing?
HUSSEY: All over the board. But on a daily basis, we are receiving thank-you's from teachers and also we receive from teachers who probably aren't rated so well some upset notes. We post almost all of them on our Web site. There's a user comment section you can go. We call it the good, the bad and the ugly.
CAFFERTY: So if a teacher writes in to complain about a rating, you put that up for people to read, too?
HUSSEY: Well, if they complain about a rating or they don't think it's fair, a teacher can click the red flag next to it. It's removed without question immediately.
CAFFERTY: Oh, OK.
HUSSEY: We then review it a second time. We also review everything a first time before it's posted. We have specific rules about what kind of ratings are allowed. We don't want any personal attacks. We really want to the focus comments on what's happening in the classroom. The rating rules specify that. And if a rating is red flagged, what we call, red flagged, then it's immediately removed from the Web site and we'll review it a second time to see if it's consistent or not with our rules but generally they are.
SERWER: Michael, sorry to interrupt, we only have a second or two left here. What about any official reaction from teachers' unions, schools, school boards? Have you gotten that?
HUSSEY: There was one incident with a New York state teachers' union and that didn't really go anywhere. They were seeing if there was any legal action. Even the NEA's legal council has agreed that we are legal.
LISOVICZ: All right. Michael Hussey, co-founder of ratemyteachers dole. Wish you were around when I was on campus. Thanks for joining us.
HUSSEY: Thank you so much.
LISOVICZ: Stick around. We'll be back after the break.
Coming up -- the economics of love. See how to handle it when your supply doesn't match their demand. I didn't write it but I did say it.
Plus the pinstriped spacesuit. Businesses blasting off to privatize the great beyond. We'll find out why.
LISOVICZ: If women are really like the heroines of the chick-lit genre, there's a lot of love lost out there, but no need to cry in your "Cosmopolitans" ladies. Our next guest says breaking it off with a guy who never calls is for the best, because chances are he's just not that into you. And that's the title, the cruel title of a new book co-authored by Greg Behrendt, a comedian and former consultant for the Emmy winning show "Sex and the City." Greg joins us now from Los Angeles. You know, Greg, this is cruel. You mean that his cell phone really wasn't out of range, that he hadn't worked a triple shift, that he was just lying to me basically when he didn't call?
GREG BEHRENDT, AUTHOR, "HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU": He was just too busy to call you, yes. He was basically, he was just was not that into you.
LISOVICZ: And that is tough for us to take. It's like a line from "A Few Good Men," you can't handle the truth, that's what it's all about, right?
BEHRENDT: Yeah, I think -- I mean the good part of it is, once you know that, you're able to move on. I think the great thing about the book is that it keeps people from being stuck in something. These aren't secrets, you know what I mean. When a guy's just too busy, it's not a secret. He's just not in to you.
SERWER: Hey, Greg. you got a look going on.
BEHRENDT: I do have a look.
SERWER: I mean I should probably take some notes. I'm happily married I should add.
BEHRENDT: As am I.
SERWER: That's OK. Does a lot of this stuff come from your own experiences? Are you out there dating like mad?
BEHRENDT: I was, absolutely. Until I met my wife, when I met my wife I suddenly realized oh I guess, I'm not going to act like this anymore. She was so fantastic and so buoyant and so awesome that I wanted to be a part of that. So I stepped up, I wasn't giving excuses, I wasn't tired, my feet didn't hurt, I was able to show up.
CAFFERTY: I'm 61 years old and have been through that marriage thing a couple of times and have perhaps a little different perspective on all of this than you do, probably anybody on this panel. But I've come to the conclusion that so very long ago that at the end of the day women are much brighter than men. Men are dopes. They really are. And they just don't get it on most of the issues and that includes...
LISOVICZ: Right on, jack! Right, on.
CAFFERTY: It's true and that includes the ability to be honest emotionally and deal forthright with their romantic situation, if you get my drift.
BEHRENDT: I think you're absolutely right. I think that's what this book is all about. It's not why men do the things they do. It's that they are doing them, let's recognize them, let's move on. Just treat men as they were, we're scared. We tell lies. We try and manipulate. We are afraid of conflict.
LISOVICZ: Greg, I just want to congratulate, because your book "He's Just Not That into You" so exposed the kinder, gentler Jack Cafferty, so that's a plus right there. We're an equal opportunity show. I mean there are men, there are men that sit around and wait for the phone to ring, too.
BEHRENDT: I feel sorry for those guys. Yeah. I think if you want something in life, you have to go for it, no matter who you are. And I think if you do sit around and wait for the phone to ring, then I feel bad for you. If you like somebody, especially if you're a dude, then step up and tell them, let people know.
SERWER: Right on, Greg.
LISOVICZ: Hold on (INAUDIBLE).
SERWER: I agree with a lot of what you're saying. Doesn't a lot of this have to do with this very fundamental difference between men and women about how men and women communicate? Men like to talk to other men just to get stuff done. There's two things they do. They talk about meaningless stuff like football. And say, did you get the car? No, I didn't get the car, that's it. It's to communicate. Women like to talk and share their feelings, you know, to sort of get their feelings out. I mean isn't that a whole lot of what you're driving at?
BEHRENDT: What I'm saying is, if you're sitting around with your girlfriends talking about this guy, he's probably just not that into you if you're obsessing over him. And I think the thing to do is to look at men's actual behavior and then just go from there.
CAFFERTY: Like if you turn around and he's not there, that means he's left.
BEHRENDT: Yeah, that's right. I think women create these amazing lives for men. They give them these excuses and let them know that, oh my gosh, he's busy and he's doing all of this stuff and he's really not that busy. He's just busy not getting a hold of you.
LISOVICZ: So why is it, why is it that some men who can be dogs, right, they don't call, they don't do anything right and then all of a sudden overnight, maybe you're -- eat Alpo. Greg, they become the marrying men and they clean up their act overnight.
SERWER: Greg did.
BEHRENDT: Yes, you know what it is? It's love. It's love. You fall in love with somebody, you change. There's something that you want and you want it bad enough, you're willing to change for it. It's just like getting a job. It's just like buying a car. You do the research. You do the work. You show up and you do the best you can to make it happen. So I think love is actually the thing that will actually change somebody.
SERWER: I heard about this couple, you know, they were living together and they started fighting and the man started sleeping on the couch and he slept on the couch for like three months.
LISOVICZ: Is his name Andy?
SERWER: No. This is another case of a woman just ignoring the signs, right? The guy couldn't step up to the plate to leave but the woman should have said, this is over, right?
BEHRENDT: Yeah, this is over, you know what I mean. I think the point is sometimes women let the men lead the dance. In a lot of ways women should just go, this is unacceptable, go. This isn't how I run my business. This isn't how I do my thing. So you know what, if you're not go doing the things that make me happy or the things that make me feel good about myself, then you need to leave. CAFFERTY: What about the psychology, though, it's a challenge and I'm going to prevail in this thing? I mean there are women out there who, if you don't call them, will hound you to the ends of the earth.
CAFFERTY: Right. There's a thing there that you can't leave me, I'm going to insist somehow that you acknowledge that this thing is for real and we're going to live happily ever after. It's kind of a sick deal but it's real.
BEHRENDT: I think that's what this book is trying to eradicate. That's why it's called what it's called. That's why it's called "He's Just Not That into You." We lobbied to get an exclamation point on the end of it. We wanted it to just say, hey, this is not happening, go find the good thing.
LISOVICZ: Greg Behrendt, co-author of "He's Just Not That into You." It's funny and sad all at once. Thanks so much for joining us.
BEHRENDT: Thanks you guys.
LISOVICZ: Up next, the only thing that will change a candidate's image faster than a botched debate, get a look at our fun site of the week.
And speak your mine without opening your mouth. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
But first, this week's edition of money and family.
If you're thinking about leasing a car, here are some tips to help you stay in the driver's seat when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. First, estimate how much you can afford in your lease payment before you start shopping. A good Web site to check is edmunds.com. That's an online car buying site that can help you crunch the numbers. Take your time in negotiations. If you think you'll go over the maximum yearly mileage, buy extra miles up front. This can usually be rolled into your lease payments.
Consider signing on for a three-year lease rather than a five- year lease. Most leased cars are covered by a three-year warranty and cars begin to show their age by then. And finally, make sure you have gap insurance as part of your lease contract. Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe and the cash value of a car if it's stolen or destroyed. I'm Susan Lisovicz for "money and family."
CAFFERTY: SpaceShipOne's successful flight this week has a lot of people asking whether private industry is finally on the way to making space tourism a reality. Joining us now for more on the business of space exploration, money.com's Allen Wastler. He also has the fun site of the week. This thing is going -- even if it happens is going to be very expensive at least in the short term.
ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: Costing a pretty penny right now and you kind of wonder what the payback's going to be. But I mean they did it this week. They went up there. Now if they do it a second time this Monday, then they'll get the $10 million X-prize which is the way that they were trying to get seed money in there eventually and they got -- around 26 teams from seven different countries trying for the thing so that kind of worked.
But now the question is, OK, so you've made it work. You're going to make the money off of it. Apparently Richard Branson thinks that yes, they're going to make it into it. He bought into the technology behind spaceshipone for $25 million. He said I figure there's about 3,000 people out there willing to pay, oh, up to about $200,000 to take a little 15-minute ride in your suborbital player. So if you do the math, that's a $600 million market he's estimating that he's going to get a big chunk of.
LISOVICZ: British Airways could never make the Concorde profitable. So how does something that's far more advanced...
WASTLER: The thinking is that it's all the allure of space.
SERWER: Weightlessness, right?
WASTLER: The Concorde got old real quick and you're crammed in there and you're flying a few hours. This, space, it's going to be grand. I think where it's going to really trip up, besides the fact that there's still a capital question, because $25 million is nice, but it ain't going to cut the whole thing.
WASTLER: But you're going to have an issue probably with regulation and liability. The first time something goes wrong.
CAFFERTY: Like it blows up or something.
WASTLER: And that's one of those hidden costs that a lot of entrepreneur types say I'm going to do forward and do all of this but they don't bring that into their venture capital calculation. Venture capitalists, they like to know about all the risks that are out there. So until the liability and regulation question gets settled, you're probably not going to see that much happen.
SERWER: I like the idea of a space tour. I wonder if you wear a Hawaiian shirt, a little hat, you get a cigar with a camera (INAUDIBLE), I'm going to space, baby.
WASTLER: We had those two guys that went to the Russian space station for about $20 million a pop they came back like...
LISOVICZ: Around 200 grand or so? WASTLER: 200 grand is what they figure the going price is going to be.
CAFFERTY: It's a bargain.
WASTLER: There is a space outfit that taking deposits on when...
WASTLER: -- it becomes available.
CAFFERTY: And if their line's busy, send me the money. I'll hold it for you until the rocket goes up. What about the fun site of the week?
WASTLER: We're still on a political bend here. So how would you like to play games with the appearance of both candidates? Well, let's take a look at Kerry, Franken Kerry.
SERWER: That's not orange, it's green. He was orange last week.
WASTLER: He's a biker now. Cool dude. My favorite, there he is. He's the Vulcan.
CAFFERTY: That's him.
WASTLER: The true one. Now you can play with Bush's face, too, because it wouldn't be fair to do Kerry and not him.
CAFFERTY: No and we should do that.
WASTLER: So let's take a look at...
WASTLER: Oh, Mr. President, you're such a kidder. My favorite.
SERWER: Takes a good look for him. That is a good look. That's a NASCAR dad look. Don't you think?
LISOVICZ: Want to hear his country western music?
CAFFERTY: This is a real MENSA meeting we got going on here. Thank you Allen. Coming up next on IN THE MONEY, it's time to hear from some of you as we read some of your e-mails from the past week. And you can send us an e-mail right now and tell us how enriching an experience it is watching IN THE MONEY. We're at email@example.com.
CAFFERTY: Time now to read some of your answers to our question of the week about how you like your news, objective or opinionated. Jim in Shaker Heights, Ohio, writes this. My answer is both. Sometimes I just like the straight reporting, but when opinions are brought in, they should be labeled as such. I have no problems with opinions as long as journalists don't pass them off as the truth.
Veronica in Quebec writes this. Everyone wants their news to be opinionated as long as those opinions agree with their own. If they don't everyone wants the news to be more objective. I think she's got it. It's funny when people complain about the news being biased, but what they're really angry about is the fact that the news isn't biased the same way they are.
And Frank wrote this. Do I prefer objective or opinionated news? I don't know. I have yet to experience objective reporting.
Now for our next week's e-mail question of the week -- if you were moderating the presidential debates, what would you like to ask each candidate? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll pick some of the best ones, read them for you next week.
Also you should visit our show page, Money.com/inthemoney. It's where you'll find the address of our fun site of the week, make those candidates look any old way you want. With that, we will thank you for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY.
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