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CNN IN THE MONEY
Voter Registration Up; Flu Vaccine Shortage
Aired October 9, 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 CORRESPONDENT: And here are the headlines. An historic day in Afghanistan is marred by charges of elections fraud. All but two presidential candidates challenged the results of that country's first direct vote for a leader. The United Nations says the legitimacy of the vote will be decided later.
President Bush praised the Afghanistan elections on the campaign trail today in several battleground states. He pointed out that the first person to cast a ballot was a 19-year-old Afghan woman. Mr. Bush is attending rallies in Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota today. Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry is focused on Ohio and Florida. His visit to Elyria, Ohio puts him in that state for the second time in a week. Both candidates are clearly energized from last night's debate, getting ready for Wednesday's third and final debate.
For those of you who missed it, CNN's replay of last night's presidential debate begins one hour from now at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.
And more than a dozen people are dead after a bus crashed and overturned near Marion, Arkansas, outside Memphis, Tennessee. No other vehicles were involved. Thirty people were on the bus from Chicago. They were on a gambling trip to Tunica, Mississippi.
And tropical depression Matthew is raging along the Gulf of Mexico. The season's 13th named storm is flooding roads and homes across southeastern Louisiana. Tides are four feet above normal. One emergency official described it as one humongous mess. I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN center in Atlanta. More news at the bottom of the hour. IN THE MONEY begins right now.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, HOST: Welcome to IN THE MONEY. I'm Susan Lisovicz sitting in today for Jack Cafferty. Up ahead on today's program, now comes the hard part, voter registration is surging. Find out if it will translate to real votes in November.
Plus, too close for comfort. Flu season's coming back and so is the usual flu vaccine shortage. See what it would take to guarantee you'll get that shot in the arm.
What's the damage? Teenagers can think like kids and spend like adults. We'll look at ways to teach them about using money wisely. Joining me today, the A-team, a couple of IN THE MONEY veterans, Lou Dobbs tonight correspondent Christine Romans. Thanks, Lou. "Fortune" magazine editor at large, Andy Serwer. I don't often say this, but on Friday morning I actually felt sorry for Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. I interviewed her right after that jobs report came out. Economists were using phrases like disappointing, even disconcerting, an extraordinary reluctance of companies to hire.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: You know, we're talking about the jobs report, 96,000 jobs created, Christine. We're looking for 150,000 and I think the bottom line is, that as we talked about this coming towards the election, was it going to be the case of George Bush was going to preside over an administration that had job loss and the answer is, it's going to be yes.
LISOVICZ: No question.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And he will be the first president since Herbert Hoover to do that, 96,000 jobs created while there were some gains in temporary service type jobs. This is still not enough to keep up with population growth in the working age population. Also, in the past year, you've had 3.9 million people simply fall off the jobs roll.
LISOVICZ: They stopped looking.
ROMANS: Stopped looking and don't even get unemployment insurance anymore. I spend the week talking to real Americans. Not the pundits.
LISOVICZ: Outside the beltway.
ROMANS: Right, outside of the beltway, families, small business owners. For the most part, they're talking about some big issues and they say, I guess, bottom line from New Jersey to California, main street to the factory floor they're saying that you've got to work harder, hustle more, bite the bullet, pay higher costs, just to stay even.
LISOVICZ: Boy, that is certainly a very challenging environment that they're talking about and no question that jobs is a political issue. In a presidential race as tight as this one a small number of votes could make a big difference in the outcome. That's one reason why there's such a strong push to register new voters this year. Millions have signed up, but whether they actually make it to a voting booth is another story entirely. Doug Lewis joins us now Houston, Texas to talk about that. He's the executive director of the Election Center, a nonprofit group that helps to register voters and run elections. Hello, welcome.
DOUG LEWIS, THE ELECTION CENTER: How are you?
LISOVICZ: I'm fine, thanks. I'd like to know what you're finding out because everyone's talking about this huge surge in voters. Who are they? Are they favoring the Democrats? Are they favoring the Republicans? What do you know so far?
LEWIS: Well, if you look at both of the campaigns, they're obviously both expecting a very close race and therefore, you're seeing both parties and organizations out registering voters. If you look at who has the edge in that right now, it's probably the Democrats and that's been historical.
ROMANS: Do we know that, when you get a big push out there to register new voters, people who have gone to the trouble of registering close to the deadline that they're actually going to show up to vote? We already know it's a very close race and frankly every vote's going to count in a lot of different areas.
LEWIS: Absolutely. What you find historically more often than not is that most of those do not convert to votes. But that is not the important part that you have to look at. The part you have to look at is of the ones that they did register to vote, did they get enough out to make a difference in a close election and that's what you look at.
SERWER: See, that surprises me that people would register to vote and then they wouldn't actually show up. But maybe that's just the way it goes. Isn't it different this time? I mean you've got 62 million people watch that first debate which is much higher than the previous election. So can't you get a feeling that it's going to be a little different this time?
LEWIS: I don't -- you know, if you look at history, if you look at the history of elections in America and this one probably is going to be as close as the one, maybe the last one that you can look at other than election 2000 is that Nixon/Kennedy thing where you know enormous generation of interest was there.
But if you follow that 40 or 50-year history on this, voter registration is the easy part, because you can usually convert -- you get people to take action immediately. It is getting them to actually turn out on Election Day that is always the toughest part of this.
LISOVICZ: Like Andy, I'm totally baffled by that especially where people from both sides are saying it's the most important election of their lifetime. But that's another story. Who's doing a better job of registering voters, would you say, Doug?
Probably at this point, from the looks of it and the appearances of it, it appears that traditional Democratic organizations plus all of those new 527 committees that have been formed, appear to be well ahead in terms of voter registration efforts.
ROMANS: We know this is going to be a close election. Is there any kind of indication of where they're doing the really getting the get out the vote campaign, Florida the swing states?
LEWIS: Well, the swing states appear to be where everybody has concentrated the majority of their efforts. So you're seeing pretty significant increases in numbers of registered voters in some of those areas. Again, if you follow history, the Democrats have always done a better job of voter registration. The Republicans seem to do a better job of voter turnout. That may not prove true this time, but if you follow the history of what's been done in the last 50 years, that's about what's happened.
SERWER: Hey, Doug, talk to us a little bit about how these registration drives actually work. I mean there have been some pretty novel ones this election. I heard about in Austin, Texas, there was a strip club that's encouraging people to come in and register.
LISOVICZ: How did you hear about that Andy?
SERWER: I happened to hear about that Susan and just wondering, are they mostly nonpartisan groups, partisan groups? How does this all work?
LEWIS: More often than not, this is always partisan. Even if it's operated sometimes under what are presumed to be nonpartisan groups, it's usually is with a partisan thought in mind and so almost always these efforts are because people think that if they register voters who are traditionally likely to support one party or the other, that those folks will then turn out in some numbers to support the candidate that they hope they will support. More often than not, they've gotten now to where they're very targeted. They know who they want to go after. They go after those groups fairly significantly. But again, you have weeks and months in which you can do voter registration. You have one day in which you can do voter turnout.
LISOVICZ: It's still a very easy thing when you think about all the lives lost over the years for people celebrating freedom like the right to vote. In any case, let's put you on the -- against the wall here basically. What kind of numbers will be voting this election and what kind of increase would that be from four years ago?
LEWIS: See, that's the part that none of us really know. We have seen significant voter registration efforts in the past in other elections and yet voter turnout overall has not risen significantly. And so, those are the questions that you have. This appears to be different this time but we don't know that for certain. And after watching the stuff for the last 40 to 50 years, I'm going to tell you, I'm never amazed at almost anything in this process anymore.
SERWER: All right. That's probably a good call. Doug Lewis, the executive director of The Election Center, just a couple weeks away we will find out.
When we come back, the media magnolia. Linda Bloodworth-Thomason used to help the Clinton's handle the press. Today she is talking about the new new south. We'll speak with her.
Also ahead, the mouth that moved. Howard Stern has a new home for his shock jock gig. See what that means for Sirius satellite radio.
And bug repellent. Looks like it's about time for the annual flu vaccine shortage. Find out what it would take to make enough to go around.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: When many Americans think of the south, there's a good chance they think of quiet towns filled with conservative families. But our next guest says the south has long since changed and she wants the rest of the country, especially Hollywood to stop portraying the south as backward and undeveloped. Linda Bloodworth Thomason is the author of the new book "Liberating Paris." She's also the co-creator of hit shows like "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade." She joins us now. Welcome to the program.
LINDA BLOODWORTH THOMASON, AUTHOR, SCREENWRITER: Good afternoon. How are you?
ROMANS: Fantastic. It's great to see you. You wrote this book because you want to give sort of a better image of the south and a better image of women in the south.
THOMASON: Well, I think I've tried to do that in my television shows, particularly in "Designing Women" but I wanted to put those same ideals down in a more permanent place. And I love being a member of the Hollywood community. I don't think the Hollywood community always gets it wrong. I think the entire country, you know, the press, too, often mischaracterizes and stereotypes the south.
SERWER: Linda, let me ask you. I've been spending a lot of time in Arkansas lately, working on some stories and I hadn't been there before. It's really fascinating and always different from what you think it's going to be like. But isn't a certain amount of regionalism a good thing? I'm thinking about, for instance you know, when you see strip malls all over the place and the local restaurants close down, the local flavors disappear.
THOMASON: Well, I think that's another point in the book, too, the backdrop for the story. The story itself is about six best friends who grow up in a small town and it's about a man who has an affair. He's one half of a married couple in the group and he has an affair with another woman in this group of friends just as their children become engaged to be married and it destroys the friendships and any hope of future happiness it appears and the book is about redemption and the road home again. But the backdrop for that is the fact that the mainstream in the town has disappeared because a super store has moved in. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) these people found out who they were on so they have to figure out how to get what was so good about that street into their own children.
LISOVICZ: We should say, Linda, that "Liberating Paris," we're talking about Paris, Arkansas and when we're talking about the death of Main Street, sometimes we also talk about something related to Arkansas and that would be Wal-Mart, the world's biggest employer. Did you feel any bit of apprehension taking on I guess a darling of Arkansas, considering all the numbers of people it employs at headquarters?
THOMASON: Not at all. I'm guilty as charged. I also have shopped at Wal-Mart and actually Helen Walton is a friend of mine and has sat on the board of my scholarship company. And I think the Walton family is such fine people. I don't think Sam and Helen intended, you know, to have happen what has happened and that is that as my husband and I drive across the country, which we do every year, there are hundreds of towns where the main street has been decimated. And you know, it's maybe the best place that I think it's a place where people were maybe the best behaved they ever have been. There was some great truth to what Norman Rockwell painted even though it's often denied in hip movies. I think there was a great deal of truth to it. I know I myself grew up like Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird." My dad was Atticus Finch with liquor. I could ride the bike downtown, go up in the courthouse, I knew everybody on that street and that's where I figured out who I was and if I was having trouble figuring that out, my parents got a phone call. I don't think that happens when you're dealing with a person wearing an orange vest and a name tag.
ROMANS: You know, Linda, I'm from a small town too, with a main street and we have spoken on this program before about how you can go to almost any suburb in this country from the south, from the northeast, anywhere and you can find the Best Buy next to the Wal-Mart with the obligatory McDonald's and maybe an Applebee's. I mean you don't even know where you are almost if you find yourself among one of those corridors. Do you think that's maybe that's just the way it's going to be now? Those days of the soda fountain and the main street and the kids? Maybe that's just bobby socks and apple pie and it's gone.
THOMASON: Well, I think that America's definitely become more polarized and more homogenized simultaneously and I think it's up to us now, the great challenge that we face, is what is the answer to this? I don't think it's a strip mall. I don't think it's the Internet. I don't think we've come up with it yet. But I also don't want people to think this book is just about this issue because it's really about friendship and family and longevity of relationships and people who have known each other through three generations. And it's got a lot of humor in it, too. So I hope people will read it.
SERWER: Linda, just a few minutes left or just a few seconds left here. Speaking of friendship and relationships, you've been very friendly with the Clintons over the years. How are they doing right now?
THOMASON: They're doing great. We just talked to the president a couple of days ago and I think he's been out and about anyway. I've been on my tour but he's feeling better every day. He said it only hurts to laugh, breathe or cry. But I think that's improving now, so...
LISOVICZ: You Linda, one of the themes that also resonates in your book is infidelity. You were friends with the Clintons before they came to the White House. You were friends with them during, certainly a very personal crisis that played out on a national stage with a lot of people who still haven't forgiven the president for his behavior in the oval office. What did you learn from that whole experience which was very trying for you personally, as well?
THOMASON: Well it really wasn't that trying for me personally. I felt that it was an invasion of their privacy. I felt that he did not cheat on America and it was really none of our business. This book is certainly not about that. I felt his story had really been told. This is about the 150 other billion people who have had affairs. And I think that probably what happened in his case is that the details of this, you know, affair got out and if we had had Ken Starr during Thomas Jefferson's time and we knew the things that Thomas Jefferson did with Sally Hemmings, we would probably chip him off Mt. Rushmore. So I think the president has more than paid his dues and he's a man of extraordinary character and resilience and I just feel deeply honored to be his friend.
SERWER: All right. Much to talk about. Linda Bloodworth- Thomason, movie and TV producer and author of the new book "Liberating Paris." Thank you for coming on the program.
THOMASON: Thank you.
Coming up after the break, radio learns a new trick and you're looking at it. Satellites bring you this network and we're also the secret of Sirius radio. We'll check the stock.
Also ahead, hey, little spender, get some tips on teaching kids to handle money like the big folks.
And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) if you want to spend less time online, there's inspiration on the way.
ROMANS: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our money minute. It looks like U.S. companies sharpening the layoff axe once again. Planned job cuts announced by employers rocketed to an eight-month high in September. The monthly report by outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas also showed a weaker than expected number of employer hiring announcements.
Sales for the nation's major retail chains were weak last month. Part of the blame goes to the hurricanes that shut down so many of the stores in the southeast. But analysts also say low and middle income Americans have been forced to cut their spending on clothing and other non-necessities as gas prices and grocery bills rise.
And the SUV deduction is out of gas. Congressional leaders have agreed to close a loophole that gave small businesses a big tax break for buying SUVs and pickup trucks. Tax fairness and environmental groups have lobbied hard against spending (ph) that deduction. The House still has to approve the final tax bill.
SERWER: And another big story this week in the entertainment business was Howard Stern's decision to leave broadcast radio and jump to satellite. Stern plans to make that switch in 2006. But his decision made its mark on the markets as shares of Sirius satellite radio soared and shares of Stern's current employer, Viacom slumped.
But the question is, can Sirius use this Howard Stern news to become a serious player in the radio business? The stock has seen its up and down this year. But thanks to the Stern news, its close to its 52-week high and that makes Sirius satellite our stock of the week. And you know, they say that they need a million new subscribers to pay for Howard's $100 million contract. They've only got 600,000 subscribers now. So they've got to get up to 1.6 to pay for it. I think they can do it actually because it's a growing business.
ROMANS: ... a company that is losing money and has been losing money. It's an actively traded stock. People like to think that this is going to be the next new wave of AM/FM radio, the new way to do it. There's also XM. Its got a competitor who has more subscribers already.
LISOVICZ: And that's a very good point because I was thinking about this, I thought this is sort of the model of cable TV. Remember there was a day when people said, people would never pay for TV, you get it for free. With the consolidation of radio I don't know about you, but the only radio that I listen to for music is college radio because the play lists are so tight. There's nothing different.
ROMANS: Would you pay $12.95 just for Howard Stern?
LISOVICZ: No, I wouldn't listen to it for free.
SERWER: I think people will. Listen...
ROMANS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ask Andy, will you pay $12.95?
SERWER: I'm not a huge Howard fan. I love to listen to Howard for free. Howard has 12 million subscribers right now so if 10 percent of them migrate over, then he's good to go and I think Susan, your point about this potentially being a transformational event for this industry is a good one. Much like Fox getting the NFL or CNN covering the first Gulf war and I like your point Christine about the two players, because you really do have a Coke-Pepsi going on. XM is the bigger player. They've got 2 million subscribers; they're cheaper. They have a deal with GM. Sirius has a deal with Ford. So you really see it sort of lined up.
ROMANS: Do you think Detroit is behind this whole satellite radio business? Because in the early days, people were saying you have to get Detroit behind this. They got to put this thing in every car, the equipment and all that.
SERWER: Well, I think they're getting there. I mean as more and more people demand it, more and more people catch on, it really is the kind of thing that has to take hold. If you go to Sirius's Web site there's a big picture of Howard there already.
LISOVICZ: One won't make it, right, fair to say?
SERWER: Although, maybe there's a Coke and Pepsi. Maybe there's a GM and Ford.
ROMANS: Maybe Rush Limbaugh goes to one and Howard Stern goes to the other.
SERWER: Bob Edwards went to XM, almost the same day. ROMANS: It'll be like red state/blue state radio.
SERWER: All right. Well we'll check that out. All right. Up next on IN THE MONEY, off the shelf as Chiron's vaccine gets yanked. See if this year's flu season just got riskier.
Plus, kicking the mouse. Find out just how hard it can be to stay off the web. And lights, camera, carrots. Lots of rabbits revamp a few Hollywood hits on our fun site of the week.
LISOVICZ: Feel a sniffle coming on? Well, I hope you saved some sick days. Biotech firm Chiron announced this week it stopped the manufacturing of its leading flu vaccine, Fluvirin, after concerns over sterility were raised. Fluvirin was expected to make up to half the U.S. supply of the flu vaccine. Medical correspondent Christy Feig joins us with a look at what that means to you.
I guess it means no flu virus for people like me. Healthy people who, by the way, haven't taken one sick day this year, so far, and I credit partly that I always take my flu virus shot.
CHRISTY FEIG, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right, Susan. Get ready to take some of the sick days possibly, because this is certainly a curveball for public health officials at the beginning of the flu season. Remember, just a few weeks ago they thought we'd have more flu vaccine than ever before, and now they're learning we're going to have half of what they thought we were going to have.
So, you're exactly right, the government is now asking all healthy Americans to skip the flu vaccine this year. Save what we do have for those most likely to get seriously sick from getting the flu. That's going to be your children between ages of 6 months and 23 months, all pregnant women, anyone who has a chronic condition like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease and of course all people over the age of 65.
Now, don't take this lightly. Remember, the flu kills 36,000 Americans every year. The vast majority of them are over the age of 65. So this can be very dangerous for seniors, especially.
Now, if you're not in one of those groups you could also get this vaccine if, indeed, somebody lives with you who is in one of those groups or if you are the caregiver for somebody in one's in one of those groups. That's the way you could also get this vaccine if you're healthy -- Susan.
LISOVICZ: Well, that's certainly an issue we want to explore further. Medical correspondent, Christy Feig, thank you.
FEIG: You bet.
ROMANS: All right, so if you don't fall in the CDC's high-risk group, you're just going to have to build up your own stockpile of vitamin C tablets and canned chicken soup. And my guest says get use to it. With the consumer price tag of flu vaccines so low, the firms that make them have very little incentive to boost production. Here to explain is Mark Pauly, professor of Health Care Systems at The Wharton School. Mark also works on the Institute of Medic -- of Medicine Report on the supply of vaccines.
Thanks so much for joining us.
MARK PAULY, THE WHARTON SCHOOL: Thank you for having me.
ROMANS: There's a lot of finger pointing, sort of, and blame game happening here, and one thing that, kind of -- I just can't believe is that there are so many so-called lifestyle drugs on the mark, the drug companies make all of these drugs for all kinds of things that aren't going to kill you, yet we can't get our hands on a flu vaccine that kills 36,000 people a year.
PAULY: Well, of course, one problem is that making and storing a flu vaccine is a trickier business than the chemistry set model that applies to most drugs. The companies have to plan in advance how much they're going to make. It's more like raising a crop than it is like mixing powders, and so when things go wrong, which they seem to do, it has much larger consequence. And it can't -- and it also has to be made new every season, because every season the flu bugs stage their revenge and mutate so that we need a different -- a different version of it.
SERWER: Mark, you'll have to forgive me here, but there's a sense of justified outrage over what's going on here. I mean, let's face it. It is true that thousands more people will get sick this year because of this problem, and it's probably true, maybe true, that hundreds more people will die. I don't really think that's an exaggeration. How is it that the manufacturer of the flu vaccine ends up in a somewhat smallish biotech company, No. 1, and a French drug manufacturer? Where is the federal government here? This is a national problem.
PAULY: Well, part of the reason is that large -- large drug companies used to make flu vaccine and they got out of the business over time, just because it's a low-margin business and it's not patent protected, and so -- and from the view point of the manufacturer, it's also a risky product to make because, essentially, when you're vaccinating someone, you're putting a poison into a healthy person and if they get sick from anything thereafter, there is a tendency to blame the -- and potentially sue the company that made the -- made the vaccine. So -- but, the short answer, at least according to the institute of medicine committee, the short answer to the solution to this, is you might not be surprised since there were economists on the committee, more money, higher payment to firms, they would be perfectly willing, one imagines and evidence to suggests it's true, to take greater precautions to assure the supply of vaccines, if only the profit margin and -- justified it and if only the price were high enough to cover the cost of doing that.
LISOVICZ: Professor, Andy is outraged. I'm confused. Here we have subsidies, right, we have subsidies for steel, we have subsidies in farming. Everybody complains about the high cost of medicine, right? And that affects the government as well. Why do we not have government subsidies for something that's proactive and ultimately will not only save lives, but will save money?
PAULY: Well, we actually do. The federal government and state governments actually provide a fair amount of the funding for vaccines in general. For the flu vaccine in particular, for people over 65, it's covered by Medicare. The problem is not whether there are subsidies or not. The problem is they're inadequate and so I guess if you were looking for somebody to blame, there's plenty of blame to go around. In a way the government has done for flu vaccines and pediatric vaccines what a lot of people think it should do in general, which is bargain as hard as it can to get that price down. But, unfortunately there are potentially negative side-effects from setting a price too low, just, of course, there are bad side-effects from setting a price too high.
ROMANS: You know Professor, the big concern that I have is that, you know, we knew this was coming. I mean, you talk to experts now who say, well, we -- you know -- one expert said it's sort of leak a drunk, an alcoholic, who hits a bottom and then has to get into therapy. For crying out loud, if this were a bioterror attack or something...
ROMANS: We can't even -- the flu is going come, it's going to kill 36,000 people and we know it's going to happen every single year and we still can't get our act together.
ROMANS: How -- I just -- I don't know, who's to blame and who should be -- well, who should be in therapy? Who is the drunk who needs to get up off the table and do the 12-step program, here?
PAULY: As I said, there's plenty of blame to spread around. Here's a way to think about it, if your hospital system or your provider wanted to be absolutely sure, with the benefit of hindsight, of course, to protect against this, they should have order the number of doses they wanted from both manufacturers. Of course it would have cost twice as much, but then when the one shut down, they'd at least have enough from the other one. But the problem with flu vaccines, at least for the people who don't have insurance coverage is they seem highly sensitive to the price. For that matter, a lot of people who have insurance coverage for flu vaccines never quite get around to doing it. So, we have this kind of have of schizophrenia, I guess. But, on the one hand, we think this is the most important thing in the world and we're outraged when it doesn't happen, and I'm outraged that they don't have the flu vaccine that I may or may not be taking, as I think -- the true story in the way a lot of the people look at it.
SERWER: Well, let's hope this doesn't turn out to be a national tragedy of some sort.
PAULY: Well, certainly. There's a serious issue, here. For most people, the flu is mild and for elderly people, of course as you mentioned, it's much more severe, although in most cases those are people whose health is poor in any case.
SERWER: Right. All right, let's leave it at that. Mark Pauly, professor of Health Care Systems at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, thanks for being on the program.
SERWER: Still ahead, it's a mall world: Find out how to make sure your teenagers don't reach for their cash without engaging their brains first. That's tough business.
And, here's bunny: Watch some rabbits wrap up a Hollywood classic on our "Fun Site of the Week."
SERWER (voice-over): Wolfgang Puck's passion for cooking began to simmer at age of 14. Now, over 40 years later, his culinary success is boiling over. The Austrian born Puck is not only a world- famous chef, but he has built a vast empire, fine ding restaurants, books, cookware, consumer packaged food, casual and quick service eateries, and two television series, including the Emmy-winning "Wolfgang Puck." He also craters the annual Governor's Gall following the Oscars.
WOLFGANG PUCK, CHEF: You have to have passion. You have to love what you do, and you have to have patience. A lot of the young people, they think they're going to go to some of the cooking schools, come out and you are a chef. That's not the way it works. You have to get practice and practice and practice and we say, "practice makes perfect." And that's really true in cooking, too.
SERWER: As you've gotten older, you've probably come to know the value of a dollar, particularly if you have a mortgage, car loans, and a bunch of kinds. Tell me about it. But, try informing your teens they can't have the latest Gap fashions or the coolest new cell phones. Teenagers spend billions of dollars a year and most of that is your money. So, how do you convert your teen from a spender to a saver? Neale Godfrey joins us, she is the author of "Money Still Doesn't Grow on Trees."
NEALE GODFREY, AUTHOR: Thank you, great to be here.
SERWER: So, let me ask you a basic question, I've got a couple kids. Is an allowance a bad thing?
GODFREY: No, an allowance is a good thing, and it teaches them the natural consequences of money. The way you get it is you earn it, you don't nag for it, and there is no entitlement program out there.
ROMANS: You've got $175 billion buying power of this group. I mean, that's more than a whole bunch of -- the GDP of a lot of different countries.
GODFREY: Isn't that amazing?
ROMANS: It really is, so I mean, people have to -- parents have to really understand that this is a group that, you know, needs to be educated about how to save money, how to spend money, and the value of the dollar. This is something that has to start before they -- you know, before they got a job at a pizza joint or before they're getting they're getting their allowance. It has to start when they're pretty young, right?
GODFREY: Exactly, when they start to saying "I want, I want," which is normally in the delivery room, as far as I'm concerned. But I give them a year off for good behavior and when they're 3 years old I start them. But, by the time they're teens, they have the able, also to start getting credit cards and that's really scary.
LISOVICZ: You know, and that's the thing, is that they're unsolicited, you don't need to co-sign. so what would you favor here? Because that's like, you know, it's like manna from heaven. It's so desirable for a lot of kids. You can just spend at will. Would you suggest some changes in the laws requiring, say, a second signature?
GODFREY: It's not really the credit card company's fault. It's our fault. It's like handing the keys of the car to a kid and then having them get in an accident and turn around and say to the car company, "Hey, you never should have done that. We as parents and educators need to educate these kids before they get the financial vehicles. And step away from the credit cards. I like the idea that they would use a prepaid or cash card so that I, as a parent, can control it. However, they will be solicited. And last year we 150,000 young adults declare bankruptcy in this country. That's scary.
SERWER: You know, I like this because I'm getting all kinds of free advice here, today. Is it OK to pay kids to do simple chores around the house, like taking the trash out, and cleaning up the kitchen, and cleaning the computer area? Or should they be forced to go out and get a job at Christine's Pizza Joint?
GODFREY: All right, well there are two things. First of all, you need "citizen of the household chores," where they don't paid. My kids have to keep their rooms free of breeding diseases; they don't get paid for that.
GODFREY: There are "work for pay" chores over and above where they do get paid; however, you make a list each week and they have to do that. By the time they're 16 you need to wean them off allowance system. They have to start earning some of their own money. ROMANS: OK, while we're getting free advice, I'm going to ask for advice for a very good friend of mine who's son just ruined his retainer by not wearing it. It's going to cost 450 bucks to get a new one. Do you make him work it off? He's 13 years old. Do you make him...
GODFREY: Yes, you do.
ROMANS: Do you put a price tag on household chores and make him understand how much money that is, because he has no idea how much money that is.
GODFREY: No, he doesn't. And you have to do a" welcome to planet earth." What he has to do is start earning this money back; however, you need to get the retainer first before he earns the money because he could be 43 by the time he earns enough money for this thing, so you don't want his teeth in his head.
LISOVICZ: Now Neale, I get it that the parents really should be money managers, right?
LISOVICZ: Overseeing their child's allowance and what they're spending it on and not wrecking your $450 retainer. What about a financial adviser? Do you really think that a 'tween or a teen, a young teen should sit down with...
GODFREY: We have to do "welcome to planet earth." You have to start getting these kids involved in real life. Investing is one, they're going to have a lot of other costs in terms of things that they're going to be responsible for when they grow up. And these kids profoundly don't get it. They don't understand credit, they don't understand taxes. they don't understand that their
GODFREY: ...parents don't start getting them involved, guess what, 24 percent of our little -- darlings return back to the empty nest. Now that's really scary.
SERWER: Let me ask you a quick question, here. Christine, you actually worked at a Sam's Club, I think, growing up.
ROMANS: I did. I certainly did.
SERWER: What about these jobs outside the home, though? I mean, aren't kids overtaxed enough as it is already? I mean, they're so stressed out, got so much on their plate?
GODFREY: I don't disagree. During the school year is not a great time. However they get a lot of vacation time. They're off all summer long. They have breaks every six weeks and they can start earning money. And when they start earning money and spending money for their own things, all of a sudden they get it. And the problem is because have such easy access to credit and get themselves in trouble, this is something they're going to carry into adulthood.
Do you know in the United States we have more people, adults, who declare bankruptcy every year than graduate from college?
SERWER: Oh, not a pretty picture.
GODFREY: Not pretty.
ROMANS: All right everybody, take it easy with your money. Keep it careful on the credit cards, that's the No. 1 advice.
Neale Godfrey, thank you so much for joining us today.
GODFREY: Thank you.
ROMANS: The book is, "Money Still Doesn't Grow on Trees."
There's more ahead on IN THE MONEY. Up next, using a mouse to catch a rabbit. Stick around, see how that works with our "Fun Site of the Week."
And don't just sit there, participate. Send us an e-mail about what's on your mind. We might just read it in the air. The address is email@example.com. But first, this week's "Money and Family."
LISOVICZ: Finding a job can be a rewarding, but often, frustrating experience. Here are some tips to make sure your job search is on the right track.
First, be patient. Allow a reasonable amount of time to find a job. It may take a few months to find the right position. A thorough job search requires hard work, so expect to spend several hours a day on the hunt.
Next, talk to people in the field you're pursuing, even if their firm isn't hiring, see if you can set up an informational interview, that way you may get tips and contacts to help your search.
Research the companies you send your resume to. You should know exactly what each does before you go on an interview.
And, be organized. Try to keep a record of the places that you've applied to, the people you've spoken with, and responses you've received.
Good luck. I'm Susan Lisovicz for "Money and Family."
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LISOVICZ: Just a few years ago, our lives were just fine without the Internet. But, imagine not being able to go online for two weeks straight. I bet Jack could handle that, but few other people could. Allen Wastler has more on this story of net depravation and the "Fun Site of the Week."
Why would somebody do that?
ALLEN WASTLER, "MONEY.COM": What it is, is Yahoo! and OMB Media Agency, they decided to get together and, you know, they do these studies every so often so they can go to advertisers and say, "see how important the Internet is."
WASTLER: So, they found 28 people who are, you know, netizens, handle the Internet, and paid them $950 apiece.
SERWER: Big money.
WASTLER: To go without the Internet for two weeks and keep a diary about...
LISOVICZ: I could do that.
ROMANS: I can, I could definitely do it.
WASTLER: Well, a lot them said, "Yeah, sure I'll take your money and I'll do it," but then they found themselves -- "I got to go to a newspaper for my movie listings? And, I can't find the place I have to go to a paper map and I can't plug in the address?" And stuff like...
SERWER: How about the TV?
WASTLER: Well, they did watch it more and some of them actually read books. But, get this, OK?
LISOVICZ: They actually read books, Andy.
WASTLER: Some -- there were some exceptions to the rule. If you had to do it for your job you could use the Internet. OK?
WASTLER: That would be good for me.
ROMAN: Well, that's a big caveat. We have to use it for our jobs.
WASTLER: Or use it for like some sort of financial issue or something for your life was a must get done. SERWER: Like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) banking.
ROMANS: Again, we could do that.
WASTLER: But they said -- yeah, like banking. But they said OK, you can use it as a "lifeline," all right?
ROMANS: Let's play, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."
WASTLER: More than half used the lifeline. All right? They couldn't get it through and then the ones that were describing it, they said not only was it inconvenient, in terms of finding thing that they're use to doing on the net, they suddenly felt socially isolated.
ROMANS: Oh, please...
WASTLER: Well, some of the folks were college students. And in college, these days, you know, there's a lot of IAMing around and you do...
SERWER: You're trying to get a date online, that's what you're trying to do.
ROMANS: Trying to get good scores on a math test.
WASTLER: There you go. All of a sudden they couldn't use it anymore. They couldn't use it anymore They're use to, like, their chatting. They just couldn't do it anymore. So, interesting little study.
LISOVICZ: OK. Let's talk about an interesting little "Fun Site".
WASTLER: Don't have a lot of time on your hands? All right? How about a movie in 30 seconds with bunnies?
WASTLER: Let's check out how jaws would look, then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: If we yell "shark," we've got a panic on our hands on the fourth of July.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: This shark will swallow you whole.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE BUNNY: My boy is dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: What we are dealing with an eating machine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: Those beaches should stay open.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE BUNNY: Shark! Oh my God!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: Fellows, look.
SERWER: Oh my...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: We're going to need a bigger boat.
(SINGING): Show me the way to go home
LISOVICZ: I think you too much time on your hands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WASTLER: It's a lovely site. They have all different movies like this.
ROMANS: Do they have the "Godfather," that'd be great to see the "Godfather."
WASTLER: Yep, I got within for you.
SERWER: Oh, yeah.
SERWER: King of the wabbit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE BUNNY: ...dreams, and it was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: God himself cannot sink this ship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: I'm king of the world!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: No, you won't.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE BUNNY: Yes, I will.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: Iceberg right ahead!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: Aaah!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: This ship can't sink.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: I assure you, she can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: Aaah! UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE BUNNY: I have a child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE BUNNY: Aaah!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERWER: I know how this ends, and it's not good. It's so much quicker, too. That movie, what was that -- five hours long.
SERWER: I like that.
LISOVICZ: And $200 million in costs for the original.
WASTLER: They got -- they got the "Exorcist" and "Aliens" so, go to the show page and you go the address right there.
LISOVICZ: Once again, living up to our high expectations for the "Fun Site." Thanks Allen.
SERWER: Living on the edge.
ROMANS: Susan, there are tears in your eyes.
SERWER: Oh my gosh.
LISOVICZ: Coming up income on IN THE MONEY: It's time to hear from you as we read some of your e-mails from the past week. And you can send us an e-mail right now. We're at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LISOVICZ: Now it's time to hear what you would ask the presidential candidates if you were moderating the debates.
Walter in Michigan wrote: I would ask President Bush why we did not go after the Saudis when most of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia."
Diane in Texas wrote: "I would ask Senator Kerry if he would push for the elimination of any federal agency or bureau and if so, which one?
John in Massachusetts wrote: "I would ask both men what they plan to do about the problem of illegal immigration which is worse than terrorism."
Now for next week's e-mail question of the week, "Have the presidential and vice presidential debates helped you decide how to vote in November?" Send your answers to email@example.com and you should also visit our show page at money.com/inthe/money, that's where you'll find the address for our "Fun Site of the Week" and also baby pictures of Jack Cafferty.
He says that about us, so we can say that about him.
Thanks for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. Thanks to "Lou Dobbs Tonight" correspondent, Christine Romans; "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large, Andy Serwer; and "Money.com" managing editor, Allen Wastler.
Join us tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Eastern when we'll look a whether the fight in Iraq has sparked a fight in the Pentagon over how best to deal with the insurgents. That's tomorrow at 3:00, see you then.
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