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Future Cars; Healthcare Quality; Generation Y and Business

Aired May 19, 2007 - 13:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, coming up on IN THE MONEY, find out if you're getting the quality of healthcare you're paying for.
Also ahead, the best and worst out of Detroit, and what it might mean for the future of American cars.

And how generation Y could transform the businesses you deal with. All that and a lot more after a quick check of these headlines.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now in the news, U.S. military commanders say they believe at least two of the three American soldiers missing in Iraq are alive. The third may be alive or he may have died after the three were captured during an attack last weekend. The search goes on.

Meantime, British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew into Baghdad today for talks with top Iraqi officials. Just after his arrival, explosions rocked the fortified green zone. Headquarters for the U.S. military and the Iraqi government, at least one person was wounded.

Firefighters in Florida say they are making progress on the states largest wildfire. The blaze in the northeast part of that state is now 70 percent contained. The residents are returning to their homes.

And firefighters are also having a pretty good luck battling a wildfire in northern Arizona. Officials say the blaze is 60 percent contained. Crews expect to have it fully contained by Tuesday.

We'll update the top stories at the bottom of the hour. Now time for IN THE MONEY.


ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Coming up on today's program, see how U.S. healthcare stacks up against other wealthy countries.

VELSHI: And later, the Chrysler deal and how it might change the cars you have to choose from.

ROMANS: Plus, how a shift in TV viewing habits is reshaping the television shows you watch.

VELSHI: And the sky-high cost of healthcare. Well, that's not news. ROMANS: It's not news but it is a growing concern in this country and at least we're paying for top-notch healthcare right here the U.S. Right? Best in the world?

VELSHI: Well apparently according to a new study that is out this week from the commonwealth fund that might not be the case.

ROMANS: That is right, the results found that the U.S. was dead last in several categories and compared to other wealthy nations. Categories like efficiency, waiting time for surgery and overall quality of healthcare.

VELSHI: Here to explain this is Len Nichols, he is the director of the health policy program at the New America Foundation in Washington's think tank. Len, the -- I guess we've been kidding ourselves when we say that it's expensive, but it's good. When it's good in the U.S. it's the best there is around the world. The study tells us something else entirely.

LEN NICHOLS, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Well it does, Ali. The truth is we spend a lot on healthcare but what we spend is stupidly. We pay stupidly. We pay for stuff that doesn't really add value in lots of cases, and we pay physicians and hospitals to do more things as opposed to just to keep us healthy or to do what we really need do. It's fundamentally a matter of getting value for dollar.

ROMANS: I think anybody who's ever been in the hospital or who has ever been sort of the advocate for somebody in their family who is in the hospital, is frustrated and understands what we're talking about. I guess explain to that person why this matters. Why this system that we have is doing it wrong and how we can fix it.

NICHOLS: Well, the first thing I would like to say is that I'm sure anyone who's been to the hospital and pays attention, the vast majority of people they meet are working hard and trying hard to do the best they can. I know you agree with that.

The problem is indeed the system, as you say. Fundamentally it's a problem, because we spend so much money doing what we're doing now, doing relatively badly. We don't have enough to cover 45 million Americans who go without health insurance and without access to care. So it's a problem because, again, we spend stupidly. We could do much better. It is also a problem because we're not getting the health outcome as we could. We have way lower life expectancies than other rich countries.

In fact the commonwealth study is a very important one, but the World Health Organization actually ranks us 37th in the whole world against all countries, right next to Slovenia and Coast Rica. Those are countries that should compete with us at soccer, not at healthcare. There's something really wrong with that.

VELSHI: You said at one point in your remarks, if you want to - if you are having a heart attack you want to be in the United States, but if you really want to live to 100, maybe France is a better idea. Let's look at the ranking of quality, for instance, where the U.S. places on that. Again, the U.S. doesn't rank high on the quality rank. So if you are having a heart attack is it the U.S., what's the U.S. doing wrong? Germany's the best in quality and Canada the worst.

NICHOLS: Well the first thing I noticed is basically for managing care over a long period of time, which ends up being a lot of chronic care, other countries do much better because they have a team approach. A more systematic approach to managing care, to me the most telling statistic in that commonwealth report is the fraction of -- the percent of time that a primary care doctor who refers a patient to a specialist, the percentage of time that a primary doctor gets a report back from that specialist, about what happened, what that specialist did, we ranked dead last and we get that half as often as other countries in the study. We don't coordinate care. We kind of have a cowboy model of doing healthcare on our own and, in fact, healthcare becomes so complex and information is so overload, we really need to do it as a team, like those other countries do.

ROMANS: It's such a big industry and if there's not pay for performance in this industry, for example if somebody goes in for surgery and has complications, and maybe gets an infection, which you know and actually infections kill a lot people every year. Gets an infection, then has some other complications, goes home, has to come back. That doctor, that hospital, that system, they're paid over and over and over again. They're not -- in a way --

VELSHI: They are not paid to get you out of the system.

ROMANS: They are not paid to get you out of the system you know, cleanly and quickly in the very beginning.

NICHOLS: Well that's right, Christine. Fundamentally, that is what I meant by we pay stupidly. For services, we don't pay for quality, we don't pay for outcomes, and we don't pay for health. That's what I mean by we need to change our incentives. It's also important to get information out there. We don't -- as it turns out, medicine is a lot of art and not so much science, but there's way more science than we actually spread around. We could do a better job and that is another thing those other systems do better than us, they coordinate information flows so clinicians and patients have at the point of service the best information available.

We can do far better than that than we're doing now and in fact there are some promising ideas coming up in the Congress and around the country in various states to try to push that forward.

VELSHI: Len, we've just scratched the tip of this topic, but we'll revisit it. Thank you very much for being with us Len.

NICHOLS: Glad to be here.

ROMANS: When we come back. Chrysler's latest move and its impact on your car buying decisions.

And later how the tech breakthroughs like the HD can transform what you see on TV.


VELSHI: So this week Daimler-Chrysler sold Chrysler to a private equity company for billions of dollars. Nobody cares.

ROMANS: What (INAUDIBLE) is doing in Detroit doesn't really matter. The average American driver except for one thing, it's going to affect the cars we buy. Chrysler wasn't making enough of the cars that we wanted. That was the problem.

VELSHI: Just like Ford wasn't and GM wasn't. That is one reason this big Detroit name is being sold off. The company that's buying it for those who care is Sirberous, it is $7.4 billion. That's history. What they've got to do, fix the company.

ROMANS: And got us thinking what separates a great car, a dog on wheels and Michael Quincy is going to help us sort of figure it out, he is the automotive content specialist at "Consumer Reports." And this why you all need to pay attention to what Michael Quincy says. This is the guy who was the keeper for all of the information on "Consumer Reports" database about cars. This guy drives cars, he knows cars, and he buys cars.

VELSHI: He actually has what could be the best job in the entire world. You get to drive different cars all the time.


VELSHI: Next to working at CNN.

ROMANS: I don't know about that.

QUINCY: I work with very talented engineers also. It isn't just a one-man gang. I work with 20 other engineers at our test tracking in Connecticut and really, 100 years of combined auto testing experience. Certainly not just me.

VELSHI: So here's the thing. We heard this with GM; we heard this with Ford and now with Chrysler. It's not about cutting cost, it is not about legacy costs and it is not about who takes you over. It's about the cars people want to buy. With Chrysler, they've had some successes, not a lot recently, but they have had some. What most conveys what's working at Chrysler?

QUINCY: Well, Chrysler had a real hit a few years ago with the 300 sedans. A big gamble, it is a rear-wheel drive platform in a city of only front-wheel drive cars. The styling struck people, the performance struck people, "Consumer Reports" we really like this car. The V-6 models turned out to be fairly reliable, but really helped put them back on the map. It was really it was styling backed up with decent engineering from Mercedes. But since then it has really been all down hill.

VELSHI: Have you ever driven one of these Christine?

ROMANS: I have not.

VELSHI: You can get it with a heavy engine.

QUINCY: A honking v- 8 not really great on gas but entertaining to drive.

ROMANS: This 300 then what does it tell the company they should be doing going forward?

QUINCY: Well they got to have some products with pizazz, they have to have some styling, 300, even though it's been out for a few years still oozes style. Still gets people turning around saying, wow what was that? That looks nice. You've got to back it up with substance. There has to be good engineering, it has to reliable, it has to be good on gas, it has to be well made. That's really the -- the product is going to drive Chrysler in its success.

ROMANS: What is an example of what they're doing wrong now?

QUINCY: Well with Chrysler, they just came out with a Sebring sedan and this is a main-stream model, this is going to compete with the Honda Accord, the Toyota Camry is out there, they need this car to be successful and "Consumer Report" has put the Sebring through a whole battery of tests really unimpressed. The --

ROMANS: Unimpressed.

QUINCY: Unimpressed. The interior is cut rate, the engines are noisy, there is nothing about this car that screams, hey, this is a redesign.

VELSHI: And this is the future of the company.

QUINCY: We almost say it has to go back to the drawing board.

VELSHI: I want to ask you about the Ford Fusion. We've had these conversations when all of the auto makes have been in trouble, you think the Ford Fusion is an example of something that has worked for Ford that could push them in to the future?

QUINCY: I think in talking about the demise, the fall and rise of Chrysler, I think all the automakers have gone through this. Right now it's Chrysler's turn. With Ford a few years ago, they were suffering heavy financial losses; they brought in an outsider to help run the company. The Fusion in "Consumer Reports" tests have done very well. Top-notch reliability from a first-year domestic product, most unusual. We're impressed with the Fusion.

ROMANS: You don't like the Crown Victoria?

QUINCY: The Crown Victoria --

ROMANS: Noisy.

VELSHI: You have to be careful what you say about these, they are all our cabs in New York.

QUINCY: Right, or police cars. People say, you know, why is the Crown Victoria still in business? I mean, they do a lot of fleet sales with the Crown Victoria, but it is very much old Detroit, old rear-wheel drive platform, big V-8, not great fuel economy, sloppy handle, they sell very well in some of the retirement states, like in Florida, maybe, and Phoenix, Arizona, but other than that, they're not really setting the world on fire, but that kind of an approach, they really have to revive this and if they want to capture maybe an older market, which what they're going to, they got do better than that.

VELSHI: GM, at the auto show this year, captured the best car and best truck of the year, but the best car was the Saturn. And you're liking the Saturn, you're thinking that's working for gm?

QUINCY: The Saturn Aura, especially, is a nice design. We've put it through a battery of tests. Don't have reliability data on it yet because it's still new, but really a great effort by Saturn. Saturn was this company that had so much buzz, it had such -- this edge and it's almost like General Motors wanted to say: oh, you know, let's just let it die, but they're putting money into it, they're reviving it. The Saturn Aura is a good looking car and I think it's a major step in the right direction.

ROMANS: You're in the middle of testing this new Saturn Outlook, is that what it's called?

QUINCY: Correct.

ROMANS: What do you think about that?

QUINCY: So far, we're very impressed with it. It really combines some of the best aspects of a minivan, that's three-row seating, but it doesn't have, say, the minivan stigma to it. It doesn't have the sliding side doors. But it's very practical. The third-row seat has a decent amount of room for adults, a very decent V-6 engine. It's a little on the heavy side. So, I don't think the fuel economy is going to be great, but so far so good.

VELSHI: One last question. As you know, I was in Detroit for this announcement and I rented a Trailblazer -- a Chevy trailblazer. Usually when I'm in Detroit I usually get a Taurus, but I got a Trailblazer this time. You're not loving that? You're thinking that's a sign of GM's past?

QUINCY: Right. The Trailblazer is a big, heavy, big-framed truck, it's not car-based SUV, so it doesn't have great handling, it doesn't have great braking or terrific fuel economy. They put a new in-line six cylinder engine in it, a new design, but it really has fallen down miserably. Doesn't have the power, doesn't have the smoothness or the refinement, it doesn't have the fuel economy. The Trailblazer is one of those models where they think, you know, you really didn't do a great job on this. It's really falling behind the combination.

ROMANS: All right Michael Quincy we could talk to you for hours about cars. "Consumer Reports," thanks so much, come back again soon.

QUINCY: Thanks again. VELSHI: If you stick around after the show, we will talk for hours.


Coming up after the break, the factor behind rising gas prices that you really don't think about as much as you might.

And later see how your money's doing or how it could be doing. We're going to check the news from Wall Street. Stay with us, we're coming right back.


ROMANS: I was wondering, you know, how did that gas station boycott come out?

VELSHI: I didn't buy gas on Wednesday or Tuesday or whenever it was.

ROMANS: Neither did I.

VELSHI: But I wouldn't typically.

ROMANS: Neither do I.

VELSHI: Yeah well, Jennifer Westhoven was following this and she joins us with a follow-up. I recall you predicted that this wasn't going to amount to a hill of beans?

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Boycott? What boycott? Did you see any headlines?


WESTHOVEN: No, there really wasn't and, you know, we had somebody outside of the gas station and the owner said -- he didn't notice anything noticeable. Which, in a way is good, right? Because it wouldn't have made a difference with what people said -- was what analysts said. They said it's just moving the money on a different day.

But, you know, it really started to bring up the idea that people were angry, they wanted to do something. A lot of people said we should all boycott Exxon Mobile, so we really wanted to look at -- all right, let's just save the anger, who -- you know, what is the problem coming from? Because one of the things that's so glaringly obvious to all of us as we cover business this year, is that crude oil price are nowhere near where they were around Hurricane Katrina, yet the price of gas has jumped to a new record.

VELSHI: According to where they were last year, I mean, we had gas -- we had oil prices almost at 80 bucks last year?

WESTHOVEN: So who's the villain?

ROMANS: Everyone wants a villain.

WESTHOVEN: The answer is there's a lot different...

ROMANS: The refiners, right?

WESTHOVEN: You might as well -- we'll just cut right to it and get to the refiners. So, we've got a whole bunch of statistics that you can look at here. So, one is, two years ago, when oil was at $79 a barrel, gas $3.03. Now, gas is $3.11, probably moving up to 3.13 or 3.15 over the weekend, and oil a lot lower that this, it's $65 a barrel. So, when you break down the price of one gallon of gasoline -- that's what you're looking at on the screen -- you can see that, yes, although crude oil is the major raw ingredient, here, the next biggest ingredient is the cost of refining. So, for every gallon, you're paying $1.03 just in refining costs.

VELSHI: That part jumped significantly. That $1.03, only a few months ago was in the 60s. So, that's where the jump has been.

ROMANS: What about the guys who are selling the gas? So, you can't like fill up the tank and scowl at your...

VELSHI: Exactly the same amount that they were getting.

WESTHOVEN: Yeah, they're getting, say 10 cents, it's something really slim (INAUDIBLE) and what Ali is saying is absolutely correct. It went from 23 percent of cost to 29 percent of the cost the next month, now it's 33 percent of cost. So it's far outstripping the price of a gallon of gasoline. So the question is, you know, how the heck did we get to this area where anytime there's a squirrel in a control room, there's a fire, there's a little equipment outage...

VELSHI: Refinery shuts down and the price of gas spikes.

WESTHOVEN: Exactly and that's why you've got so much anger, right? Because it's pretty hard to think they're doing their best when it's so easy to picture, I'm not saying it's the truth -- oh, let's shut down the refinery.

ROMANS: I know you've covered this, but do we need more refineries? And why don't we have more refineries and we haven't built one in what, in like 30 years?

VELSHI: Thirty years, because they're expensive to build, because the government -- the EPA doesn't tend to like them, because nobody really wants them nearby...

WESTHOVEN: Not in my backyard.

VELSHI: And, on the other side of that, as Jennifer has implied, and don't get mad at Jennifer for doing -- she's telling us what people are saying -- some people say what would be the advantage of spending billions of dollars to build a new refinery when right now gas prices are just fantastic, and the refiners make a lot of money?

WESTHOVEN: And, one of the oil analysts said was: and why would we do it when President Bush is calling for us to cut our gas consumption by 20 percent in 10 years?

VELSHI: Right, so then you've got a big refinery that's not...

WESTHOVEN: He's saying, all of your conservation efforts, so why would we do that?

VELSHI: Well, Jennifer, the gas prices story isn't going anywhere and you're staying on it for us. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right, also staying on the Wall Street beat for us, Susan Lisovicz, she's at the New York Stock Exchange and knows what the billion billionaires have been buying.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine and Ali. Well, yeah, you know, we can't live like billionaires, we can't invest like billionaires, but we can try, in our own ways, to mimic their strategy, and we had all of these SEC filings and some of the most influential of them are taking some interesting bets. And I guess we should start with Warren Buffett.

You know, Warren Buffett, his strategy through the decades has been buy what you know with companies that have good management, and with strong potential to grow. So what is Warren Buffett investing in? Railroads. Taking stakes in three railroads in recent months: Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and Burlington Northern. And you ask, why would that be? Well, you know, it's interesting. The FT, "Financial Times," recently did this story and saying this is the age the railroad, not only in the U.S., but worldwide. You think of all these rail lines in major urban cities, real prime real estate, they're upgrading them all sorts of thing are moving on them, including people. Not only that and healthcare.

Buffett's been light in healthcare. This is an area that's known for growth, increasing its stakes in Johnson & Johnson, which is a Dow 30 company, as well as Well Point, which is nation's No. 1 health insurer, and also getting into Sanofi-Aventis, which is a huge French pharmaceutical company and also getting in to something else that's decidedly low tech and that is banks. Boosting its stake in Wells Fargo, which is a huge bank out on the West Coast.

VELSHI: Now that all sort of fits Warren Buffett mold. You know, he has -- makes a lot of money on some traditional things. What about Carl Icahn?

LISOVICZ: Well, Carl Icahn is also a very noted and very wealthy billionaire investor. He's an activist investor, he often wants to get so involved in the company, he wants to take it over outright, and of course, we know that from our own parent company, Time Warner.

Carl Icahn, is also bullish on railroads. His pick is CSX Corporation, which is a major railroad line, especially on the East Coast. Also, what you guys were just talking about, Anadarko, which is a major oil and gas producer, it's an independent company, so it's interesting to think perhaps of what he's thinking where, if it's going remain independent. And so, he also is interested in luxury homes. His pick there is WCI Communities. And as I mentioned, he's interested in taking over this company outright -- offered to buy it, has nominated his slate of directors, so his interest in this company runs very deep. He's just recently been rebuffed with Motorola, but 71-year-old Carl Icahn never one to lie low for long.

ROMANS: All right. Susan Lisovicz. Always nice to know what the billionaires are buying, we little people can at least watch and maybe jump on their coattails.

LISOVICZ: And maybe learn something in the process.

VELSHI: Yeah, well, they made a little money doing it. Good to see you, Susan.

LISOVICZ: Likewise.

ROMANS: See you, Susan.

All right, coming up on IN THE MONEY, television viewing is way down. See if that means you've given up on the small screen or you're just, you know, you have better things to do?

Plus what generation "Y" is bringing to the businesses you deal with.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta, happening right now "In the News," a massive wildfire that has scorched two Florida counties, now is 70 percent contained. Authorities are allowing residents to return to their homes, but telling them to be ready to leave again on short notice, just in case. The blaze has burned more than 120,000 acres.

Firefighters in Arizona are also gaining the upper hand, thanks to some rain. Officials say the blaze is 60 percent contained and may be fully contained by Tuesday. They hope to allow evacuees back home this weekend.

In Iraq, U.S. military commanders are operating under the assumption that at least two and possibly all three missing soldiers are still alive. Around the clock searches are underway. The troops were captured last week during an ambush in which four American soldiers were killed.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the war zone today for talks with top Iraqi officials. Explosions rocked the heavily fortified Green Zone shortly have after Mr. Blair's arrival in Baghdad, one person was injured.

Coming up at the top of the hour, honor killings in Iraq. I'll talk to a women's advocate about this horrific practice. Right now back to more of IN THE MONEY.

VELSHI: You know what I did Wednesday night?


VELSHI: I had a new TV set installed. The third one in my 700 square foot apartment.

ROMANS: You are one person with two eyes.

VELSHI: That's right. I didn't -- this is the stuff, this is the team from Magnolia, which is a Best Buy operation.

ROMANS: Wow. So they put the wiring in the wall and ...

VELSHI: Yeah. They do the whole thing. Now, didn't actually meet with success, so the TV is up.

ROMANS: It didn't meet with success?

VELSHI: No, no. Those two holes in my ceiling are still there. Nothing's hooked up. We do not have any speakers as of yet. I am assured that they're going to try to fix the problem. Here we are measuring things, but it is a fancy TV. So if you've got some time on your hands, feel free to pop by.

ROMANS: And why do you need three TVs again?

VELSHI: Different rooms. I mean, I could be ...

ROMANS: Seven hundred square food. Three TVs? You are like the quintessential American consumer.

VELSHI: The quintessential American consumer used to sort of stop watching TV at the end of spring, kind of take the summer off and come back in the fall, which is kind of how network programming has been designed.

ROMANS: But everything's changed really. This spring has been in debt in terms of television viewership. Posted some of the worst ratings in recent history.

VELSHI: Unless of course you're "American Idol" or IN THE MONEY. How are networks going to get you back? Robert Thompson joins us, the founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television in Syracuse University. Robert, how are they getting us back? What's going on?

ROBERT THOMPSON, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Well, nobody really knows what's going on at this point. There's all these new media on one hand like you're talking about. People are getting bigger screens and higher definition screens. On the other hands, the screens are getting tinier as they watch on cell phone and laptops and all the rest of it. This is Wild West open season at this point. But one of the things is, we're going back to the era of new programming all the time.

ROMANS: Robert what are we watching now? And why? Where are we watching it?

THOMPSON: Well, there's two things. The big -- that story that came out that 2.5 million viewers are missing this year from last year at this time. That 2.5 million is missing from the four major networks, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. It doesn't mean they're watching less TV. It means that they're moving over to cable. It means that they may be watching them on DVRs that aren't measured by Nielsen, or weren't this year or last year, only measured for the first 24 hours after they played.

So I am completely not convinced we are as Americans watching less TV. From the last two years actually we're watching three minutes a day more. It's just that we're finding all kind of different ways to watch it. Especially with this new Internet business. We've figure out now thousand watch TV at work and get away with. And a lot of that stuff isn't measured.

VELSHI: Interesting. One thing Christine was saying, making fun of me for having three TVs and I have two different DVRs. I've got a TiVo and Time Warner DVR. As I like playing with the two of them.

The fact is it's all up a customization, whether you are watching on the Internet, our you're downloading to you're iPod or you're watching video on demand. Or whatever you're doing. It's not that you're watching lessen the screen but you're choosing what you're watching. Paternalism of somebody deciding what time you're watching TV is over.

THOMPSON: Right. And the DVR is really a revolution. Because when you get home you don't have to settle for whatever's on the television. You've got this nice list that, you know, it's collected for you all the things that you want.

The advertisers and the networks don't know how to deal with this. Of course it makes it really easy to zip through the ads. They're now trying to figure out how do you make ads that will be affective going 10 times the speed, or how are they going to make ads that people won't want to zip through?

And I think what we're going to did I think go back to the old days of the late '40s and the early '50s where you've got ads that incorporate the cast itself. Remember those days when Fred and Barney and Wilma and Betty Flintstone used to smoke Winstons as part of the commercial and say they taste good, like a cigarette should.

ROMANS: You know, the DVR ...

THOMPSON: And we're going see a lot more of that.

ROMANS: The DVR has been so liberating in my household. As a basketball widow, I've managed to really gain a lot more time with my family now that we can race through, my husband it race through so many of these things. How do you measure this? How do we measure what's happening in television, if there's so many technological changes happening right now?

THOMPSON: Well, the ratings audience measurement has not caught up with the technology.

VELSHI: Right.

THOMPSON: As of right now, Nielsen is measuring homes for the first year with DVRs in them, but they only count if you watch them within 24 hours of having DVRed them. A lot of people aren't doing that, that may account for the disappearing audience. And then when Nielsen starts rating, let the ratings of the commercial themselves are that may be another new disaster, because we may find that, how low the ratings are for the commercials, when for the shows themselves are much higher.

Which means integrated into the story itself, again, back the way they were doing in the '40s.

VELSHI: Robert, this show, which does well in the ratings, is also, I'm sure DVRed it often, but I think some might want to keep the information on there. So it may not measure as well as it is so I think there must be 10 times as many viewers as numbers show. Robert good to see you.

THOMPSON: Good to see you, too. Thank you.

VELSHI: Thank you so much. Chris, I don't know if you have heard, Comcast and Disney made a deal, where you can get Disney content, premium content on your Comcast box or you will be able to but you can't fast-forward through the commercials. That's one of the models they're using.

ROMANS: Oh. I saw that tricky ...

VELSHI: And if that works it will catch on.

ROMANS: As soon as they outsmart us I'm going to be waging four hours of basketball at a time again. Aren't I?

VELSHI: We're going to take a break. When we come back on IN THE MONEY that's -- you can just fast-forward through that, on this graduation weekend see why some of the best students in the U.S. are not getting their diplomas from top colleges.

Plus, the new generation of workers that demands a lot. And delivers a lot in return. We're coming right back on this show.


ROMANS: It's the dirty little secret of the college admissions game. Studies shows Asian students boast better grades and SAT scores than other ethnic groups yet they are held to tougher standard when trying to gain entry into the most elite schools.

VELSHI: You seem to know something about this story's I didn't know this. I asouped otherwise, because I assumed that Asian students who have done well get admission to where they need to go. Joining us to tell us more about this is the author of "The Price of Admissions: How America's Ruling Class Buys its Way into Elite Colleges." He is also an education writer for the "Wall Street Journal."

Thanks for joining us. What's behind the story? I don't even understand what it's supposed to be telling us?

Well, the reality is that there's an awful lot of terrific Asian American students out there. If you look at the SATs for example, 19 percent of Asian Americans score over 700 on the math SAT compared to only six percent of whites. So colleges confront this situation where they get tremendous numbers of great Asian American applicants and the result is that they hold them to a higher standard.

Asian Americans need higher test score, higher class ranks, better grades, in order to get the same chance as whites in getting in to many of the elite schools. The Ivy League and other schools like them.

ROMANS: How could it possibly be -- be correct or right in any kind of way to hold people to their own sort of cultural group standard? That doesn't seem to make any sense.

GOLDEN: Yes, I don't think it's right either. I think it's unfair and discriminatory. The colleges argue that one reason is that Asian-Americans don't qualify for various preferences that the colleges give. For example, very few Asian-American students are alumni children compared to whites. So the colleges say, well, we give alumni children a break. And if that happens to favor whites, so be it. We're not discriminating against other races. We're discriminating against people who are not alumni children. And that's their reasoning.

VELSHI: Well -- how does this -- how does this whole story end? Where does it go from here? That's an -- you know, it's interesting that we now know this might be the case. But if that's why these schools are making these preferential admission decisions, obviously these smart Asian kids are going somewhere else.

GOLDEN: Right now, there's a complaint before the Department of Justice, actually through the Department of Education -- the Federal Department of Education, I believe, by a student who didn't get in to Princeton despite having a perfect SAT score. So, there's investigations, an allegation of discrimination against Princeton. This student was one of 238 in the country who had a perfect 2400 on his SAT. So, we'll see where that goes.

ROMANS: Well, there are so many kids turned away from those first tier Ivy League schools now that clearly there are a lot of very talented people going to schools all over the country, and with the rising cost of an education, maybe those networking opportunities are going -- are going to have to arise. I mean, not everybody can go to those big schools.

GOLDEN: That's true, and I think that -- you know, they're not -- they still get an excellent education, these Asian-American students, but it does breed a kind of disillusion when you're the top student in your high school, and you have tremendous test scores. I mean, I interviewed one young Asian-American woman for my book, "The Price of Admission," and I asked her what her SAT score was, and she said it was, you know, 1500 something out of 1600. I said that's great, congratulations. And she said, no, no. We call that an Asian fail. You know, if you don't have 1600, you've got no shot.

VELSHI: Oh, man.

GOLDEN: So -- and I think that's a very prevalent attitude. They know that they're up against a barrier and they don't really -- they're not really happy about it, a lot of them.

VELSHI: Hey, with all the diversity that we call for in education, I mean diversity in terms of things other than academic brilliance, is there an edge there? Is there a way that students can work around this new discrimination?

GOLDEN: Well, to some extent that works against Asian-Americans, because colleges give preference to what they call under-represented minorities, which are blacks and hispanics, predominantly. Asian- Americans are over-represented in the sense that they're only about five percent of the population and there may be 15 percent of the students at Ivy League schools. The trouble is that they are probably 30 percent of the top high school students in this country.

So, you know, diversity may work against them, though, you know if they were just held to the same standards as whites, they'd be better off.

ROMANS: All right, Daniel Golden, thank you so much for joining us.

GOLDEN: Thank you.

ROMANS: Daniel is also the Deputy Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, "Boston Bureau."

VELSHI: Now, getting out of college is first and foremost on the minds of thousands of young men and women in the class of 2007 this month. I remember that time in my life.

ROMANS: I still have -- I still have those dreams where I have a test and I've jumped up, and I went, I didn't study for the test -- you?

VELSHI: Yes, and it was the ...

ROMANS: And I only graduated from college two years ago.

VELSHI: I was the kid sort of basking on the lawn, not all that worried about the tests. I just want to get out of here.

ROMANS: All right, well -- it's time to get a job, for those of you out there who are getting ready to get done.

Polly LaBarre joins us now to talk about hiring Generation Y. Who are Generation Y? I mean, I guess we're not Generation Y.

VELSHI: Today's kids.

ROMANS: We're not the new generation.

POLLY LABARRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not us, let's just start with that.

It's basically 16 to 25-year-olds, depending on who's counting, 42 to 70 million people in this generation, and they're important not just because of their sheer size which equals the boomers, but in their attitudes and their value systems, which are quite different from generations that have come before.

ROMANS: And they're looking for a job.

LABARRE: Yes, and the two key factors to think about when you think about this generation, they have been brought up by baby boomer parents, who must be the most child-centric parents ever. I mean, they've been praised, they've been coddled, they've been scheduled.

ROMANS: You're wonderful! Right.

LABARRE: Yes, you can be and do anything you want, which is an interesting situation for a perspective employers. And second is the technology piece, of course. This -- the members of this generation are the first digital natives. They've really grown up online, plugged in. And I think of this particular class of 2007 is the first Web 2.0 class. They were in high school and college during the explosion in blogs, social networking, file swapping.

VELSHI: Right, they are inside -- it's not a tool for them, it's an environment.

ROMANS: How do you cope with this if you're the boss, first of all, if you're hiring some of these folks? And then, from the point of view of the kid, as I would say. You know? I mean, do you have to kind of downgrade your expectations to work in corporate America?

LABARRE: No, I think the key point here is corporate America actually has to deal with this. It's not an optional exercise because if you look at the reality of the labor market ...

VELSHI: You need to hire these people.

LABARRE: ...right, 80 million boomers are going to be out of the work force in the next 20 years.

VELSHI: Right, these kids have demographics in their favor. They are going to be employed.

LABARRE: These kids, you know, us generation x-ers are going to be crushed, we're just puny compared to them. So you have to think about flexibility, feedback, mentoring. These are things they need to do in general.

VELSHI: Live and express, Christine.

ROMANS: Yes, wear their flip-flops, and multiple body piercings.

LABARRE: And their cool T-shirts.

VELSHI: But there -- you see, this is the thing. They're going to have different careers over the course of their lives. And unlike -- I mean, we still -- I still thought when I graduated, I could have one career and some people in our generation still will. But these kids go into the world, knowing this is going to change.

ROMANS: I think there's a lot of innovation though too. I mean, I think that this could be helpful for corporate America, there's a lot of innovation, thinking outside of the box, I mean ...

VELSHI: So, the trade-off for getting that is that you've got to ...

LABARRE: Well, they're playing -- you know, lots of progressive companies are playing with this already. They're playing with flex time, Marriot's doing something around continuous learning because this generation loves to learn. They're dolling it out in bite-sized podcasts because I think edutainment is a way to compell folks who grew up on video games.

ROMANS: Edutainment, that's what I think this program is all about.

VELSHI: They're telling us we can continue this conversation off-line because it sounds like we just want to keep on talking about this. Find out who it is that are going to be taking all of our jobs eventually. Good luck to all you kids.

ROMANS: All right, thanks Polly. Yes -- please, don't apply for our jobs.

Just ahead on IN THE MONEY, we'll check the possible connection between the suspension of some radio shock jocks and a big merger. Stories that click, coming up next.


ROMANS: Allen Wastler joins us now with the week's top stories on

ALLEN WASTLER, CNNMONEY.COM: Ah yes, well you know, I love this, OK. The best stories, the ones that people clicked on the most, you guys have already talked about, that's that synergy thing we talk about, you know. The high-clicking stories, we figure out what they are, we go in-depth here at IN THE MONEY.

And that was high gas, OK, and new grads, where they're going to get a job and everything. We've got the 20 best employers for new grads on the Web site. You should go and check that out, all right.

But the big winner fpr the week, early on in the week, was all about XM Radio suspending shock jocks Opie and Anthony. You may not know those guys if you like clean living, but they tend to have foul mouths and stuff like that. Now, they got a 30-day suspension, that came after they did a segment where they featured a homeless person saying he wanted to have sex with Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth. Now, not to be too cynical about that, but this suspension comes, oh, what else is XM doing? It's trying to merge with Sirius. And guess whose permission it needs to do that? The FCC and the Justice Department. Hmm. Do you really want to offend the Bush administration when you're just trying to do that?

So if you're cynical, like me, you're thinking, ah they did this suspension just to get regulatory approval. And guys, now look at -- a 30-day suspension. These guys make a pile of money. They got suspended in 2002 for years and it didn't bother them. They came back in 2004 on there, and so.

ROMANS: Was that their naughty church thing?

WASTLER: That was the naughty church thing, yeah. Where they did a contest...

VELSHI: Well, we're in an environment right now, obviously, where everybody's sort of, antenna is raised about obscenities or things that are inappropriate on television. So, it could be part of the environment.

WASTLER: Could be part of that environment. We had the don Imus case recently, where it was just out of line with -- it's interesting, because it's sort of taking the business world and putting it in to the whole constitutional argument of free speech. You know? And you know, just because you can say something does that mean you should say something?

VELSHI: A lot of folks say that, with the Imus suspension it had less to do with people coming around wit right decision and more to do with the fact millions of dollars of advertising pulled out the day before, in the case of satellite radio, the only equation would be people phoning up and saying this is so shocking that I'm canceling my subscription.

WASTLER: Well, they had a little advertiser wobble on that, too. What was interesting is, sort of, Opie and Anthony have a huge, dedicated following. I mean, oh, these guys are very much a sect, almost and they immediately started canceling subscriptions, smashing up XM radios in protest that these guy was getting suspended. So...

VELSHI: Oh, I see, the protest were about the...

WASTLER: The subscriber reaction, here. It's a weird line and I'm not really sure how it's going to come out.

ROMANS: Fine line between responsible and censorship, I guess. All right, Allen Wastler, thanks.

VELSHI: Good to see you, Al. Let's talk about second chances, specifically one Iraq war veteran's second chance on his dream career. After an accident ended Cooper Brannan's military career he thought he'd never make it as a professional athlete. Larry Smith has this inspirational story.


COOPER BANNAN, PADRES PITCHER: I always told my dad when I was younger, my ultimate dream was to become a major-leaguer.

LARRY SMITH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cooper Brannen is closer to reaching that dream. Currently pitching in the minor leagues for the San Diego Padres. It's a world way from his previous job where he also worked under the American flag, except his squad then was the Marines.

BRANNAN: When 9/11 happened, you know, it was a huge impact. I always felt in the back of my mind that I wanted to join the Marine Corps.

SMITH: Brannan joined the Marines out of high school in 2003 and spent two tours of duty in Iraq. Last November, a single incident in Fallujah changed his life.

BRANNAN: I remember, one of my younger Marines didn't have a flash hand grenade, I reached in the left side of my flack jacket with my left hand and unfortunately the flash main (ph) went off. I ended up loosing the medial part of my hand on the pinky finger.

SMITH: The malfunction grenade damaged Brannan's left non- throwing hand and took him out of active duty. During his recovery at a California hospital, Padres CEO Sandy Alderson came by his wing on a tour. One of his fellow soldiers told the CEO about Brandon's talent as a pitcher.

BRANNAN: They said I had major league build and said: Hey, we're going to give you a tryout.

SMITH: Brannan impressed the scouts during his tryouts and signed a minor league contract after his military service ended this spring.

BRANNAN: I'm a couple steps behind, but you know, I'm throwing great. I'm doing good, I'm getting guys out.

SMITH: And his work now is a sharp contrast to his previous job in Iraq.

BRANNAN: You can come out here and, you know, strike out, and then, you know, you got another day. You know? You're living still. You know, out there, it's, do or die.

SMITH: Larry Smith, CNN, Peoria, Arizona.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VELSHI: And coming up next, no time off for good behavior. We'll look why paid vacation is so hard to come by in this country. Stay with us.


ROMANS: A new report find one in four private sector workers in this country do not receive paid time off. If you're looking for a vacation, try moving to Europe.

VELSHI: Unbelievable. In fact, a lot of people don't realize this, but you're not guaranteed any paid time off in the United States. By law...


VELSHI: None at all. None at all. Now, lots of people do get it, and on average you know, it's not -- it's not terribly bad compared to the rest of the world, but in places you talk about Europe, Finland, between vacation and paid time off that you're allowed, you get 38 day as year.

ROMANS: Those are guaranteed?

VELSHI: Guaranteed by law, 38 days. France, 30 days; Canada, 18 days, you know that's a combination of vacation days and time you can take off. Japan gives you 10. The U.S., nothing.

ROMANS: About six or seven years ago, I was actually thinking about taking a job in France and I was like, 35-hour workweeks, six weeks for vacation, a whole bunch of, you know, all of these holidays. All of these banking holidays.


VELSHI: Yeah, but they (INAUDIBLE) so, I don't know if that's going to happen anymore. Things are possibly changing in France, but here in the U.S., by the way, for those who do get paid time off, the average is nine days of vacation, and six days of paid time off -- 15 days.

ROMANS: And 28 million Americans, what, have no vacation time whatsoever?

VELSHI: Twenty-eight million Americans don't get any vacation time at all. I mean, that's kind of -- I mean, there's one...

ROMANS: Is this why we are the most, I guess...

VELSHI: It's a very productive country.

ROMANS: Right, economic productive -- I mean...

VELSHI: And France suffered from, you know, the 35-hour workweek and people's refuse to go further. But, there are studies that say people live longer if they work a little less and relax a little more. ROMANS: I think it's going to be a tight labor market, though. You can see how companies would do well to have nice lucrative vacations policies for their people so that they can lure people over, keep them happy...

VELSHI: That's exactly right. We're going to be calling our own shots, companies. So kick up that vacation time.

Thank you for join us for this edition of IN THE MONEY, be sure to catch Christine later today on LOU DOBBS THIS WEEK"

ROMANS: And you can see Ali every morning on AMERICAN MORNING. We'll see you back here next week, Saturday at 1:00, Sunday at 3:00 for our special report, "Protecting Your Identity."

VELSHI: We're going to spend the entire hour on identity theft, giving you everything you need to know about safeguarding your personal information from spotting a scam to picking a hacker-proof password.

ROMANS: That's all next week, see you then.


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