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Race and Lack of Jobs; Is Manufacturing As We Know It History?; Will Gas Prices Rise This Summer?; The World of Womenomics

Aired June 6, 2009 - 13:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to "YOUR MONEY." I'm Christine Romans. Ali Velshi is off this week.

Coming up, race and jobs, or lack of jobs. Why the black and Hispanic unemployment rate is so much higher than the national average. Is manufacturing as we know it history? Millions of good paying jobs have disappeared. Are they coming back and should they?

Worried about the price of gas this summer? We'll talk to one man who says you should be. And the world of womenomics. We'll tell you what's that's all about.

But we begin with the state of your job. The national unemployment rate now stands at 9.4 percent, the highest in 25 years. But, and there's a big but here, there is some indication the recession may be easing, 345,000 jobs were lost in May. Now, that's the fewest since last September. Here's a breakdown. Nearly 10 percent of adult men are out of work. More than double the number from a year ago. The percentage of African-Americans out of work approaching 15 percent.

Manufacturing was the hardest hit sector with job losses again for construction and business services, but those losses not as severe as in previous months. And appear to be moderating. Let's put all of this into context for you, William Rogers is the former chief economist with the Labor Department during the Clinton administration. And now professor at Rutgers University. Diane Smonk is the chief economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago.

Bill, welcome to the program. We'll start with you. These numbers, a 9.4 percent unemployment rate, worse since '83. Shocking when you look at that number. At the same time, we're seeing little bright spots that maybe the clouds are parting at least, right?

PROF. WILLIAM RODGERS, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Sure. That is particularly on the payroll side of the ledger. Where we interview employers, where, as you said, the numbers, the job losses came in, they're still large but they came in much more lower -- much lower than had been expected. And where you begin to see some of that glimmers of hope, where temporary unemployment services, just as manufacturing the number of decades ago, now also in the service sector. The third or fourth month we begin to see still some declines, but we begin to see the abating of those losses.

ROMANS: Diane, what can we take from this? Can we take from this that maybe the worst of the labor market carnage is behind us now? We know the jobless rates will probably keep climbing into next year. But are those months of 600,000, 700,000 job losses, are those behind us?

DIANE SWONK, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MESIROW FINANCIAL: I think they are behind us. I think we'll see a job positive number by the end of the year. Not a big positive number. The real point was made; in temporary workers is where we are going to see the jobs come back first as companies are hesitant to make the full-time commitment. And here in the Midwest, I grew up in Detroit so this is right up my alley unfortunately.

Families in the auto industry with pensions we hope are still funded out there. Anyway, here in the Midwest, about half of employment in temporary workers during the peak manufacturing times actually is manufacturing floors. You've really seen a movement towards this more flexibility in the labor force. That sounds very pretty in the economic force. On the down side, of course, anybody's who working temporary versus full-time, not is as good. Don't get as good of benefits, don't get those pensions.

ROMANS: OK, another question for Michigan girl than. So let's talk about the restructuring of GM and Chrysler. Could that lead to more job losses in months ahead? A lot of people have been telling me this is a big head wind for any kind of real hope that the bottom is in in labor.

SWONK: Well, certainly in manufacturing, I think that's absolutely true. I do think, it's interesting to note, that the vehicle sales, now surveys are now showing that uncertainty has surpassed economic issues certainly about where you're going to get your car serviced and what dealer you have, and surpass the economic uncertainty and financial issues and buying vehicles.

In fact, scrap the trades in the auto industry. Now running about 40 percent above actual sales. That means we are building some past demand. At some point in time with the kind of deals we're getting out there, it is going to make more sense to replace the old vehicles than just keep them. I think by the fall you'll see some increase even in vehicle production because we've taken it down so much.

ROMANS: Yes, Bill, I want to ask you about the recovery, when there is a recovery what we think it's going to look like. It's an alphabet soup of projections, I've heard, the v, the w, the hook is the new way to talk about it. It will be a hook. What do you think this recovery will look like, the v where it goes down sharply and bounces back sharply? A u that's a little more smooth? An L which wouldn't be good for anybody, because it would mean really no growth returning or a w. we bounce back and then we fall back down again before we recover.

RODGERS: I think to answer that question; we've probably got to take it in two dimensions. One is talk about Wall Street. But also talk about Main Street. I think on a Wall Street dimension, there's the possibility of a good chance we may see a v. But it is also going to really depend on the government responses in how businesses really re act to the increased oversight that we are going to see in certain markets. Now, on the household side, as you just said in the segment, unemployment rate just tapped over 9 percent psychological barrier. It is expected to probably go above 10 percent. Without the stimulus package, without the easy money or the accommodative stance that the Federal Reserve has been taking and also central banks throughout the world, we tend to have a very big risk of another type of jobless recovery after the 2001 recession.

Which took us almost 24 months before we saw positive job creation. But there is a great deal of stimulus out there. And it's just beginning to hit. So that may help us get us somewhere in between this v or elongated u.

ROMANS: What letter are you going to pick today?

SWONK: Actually I'm sort of in the same camp. I do think we do have some upswing out there, but not a lot. It's a sort of very slow u, a little u instead of a big u. I think what's important is, again, between wall street and main street, one of the reasons Wall Street will do better than Main Street.

Almost because at the expense of Main street, we're going to see growth that we do see I think initially will be driven by very high productivity gains, wage gains have been constrained. Cost cutting has been really massive out there. Even if the economy stabilizes, profits will come back pretty substantially, I think we'll see double digit profit gains by the middle part of 2010, unemployment on Main Street.

ROMANS: For those of us who have a job, what that means is you're going to be working harder every hour, they're going to get more out of you, your wages aren't going to go up, and that's going to be good for profits and somewhere down the line that should translate for everybody else. We're going to have to leave it there.

Diane Swonk from Mesirow Financial, thank you so much. Bill Rogers is going to stick with us. Because we're going to talk a little bit more about the unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics. Why it is higher than the national average. We're going to explore that and then we are going to give you the answer.


ROMANS: There's a huge disparity between the overall unemployment rate in this country 9.4 percent right now and the more specific breakdowns affecting black and Hispanic workers. We want to take an opportunity to look at why this is. We've brought back Bill Rodgers, Rutgers University a professor, to talk about the breakdowns within this number. We talk about the overall unemployment; the jobless rate is now 9.4 percent. It doesn't tell the whole story.

There isn't an average worker in this country. There are a lot of different men, women, different ages and different races. And it's wildly different. When we look at the difference over the past 30 years or so, you can see we've got a great chart of Bureau of Labor Statistics that show how structurally blacks and Hispanics have a higher unemployment rate. Now African American unemployment rate about 15 percent. Why is there this 2-1 ratio that is affecting these numbers?

RODGERS: Sure. This has been a ratio that researchers and analysts have been studying for decades, as long as the series has been around. And there's no single cause. There's really no single cause.

At the lower end of the educational distribution, when you look at young African-American men and women who have a high school degree, there are issues around that many people are quite aware of, aware of coming in contact with the criminal justice system. There's issues around people like to call soft skills, more than just the basic reading and writing skills. But are you punctual, or on time.

And again, it's proportionately been identified among young African-Americans. You also go to the upper end in terms of high levels of education, for college graduates, there's issues of people have studied and looked at the choice of majors that there seem to be some kinds of correlative differences with regards to minorities choosing majors that may not pay as much in the labor market.

But stepping back there are a variety of reasons that intersect regardless of where you are in the experience and education scale. And that's on the side of where the jobs have been created. Over the last 20 to 30 years.

We've seen a massive growth in jobs out in the suburbs. And there's been something, a phrase called spatial mismatch. That's where basically in this case the jobs have been created out in the suburbs, while many African-Americans remain concentrated in urban areas. It's very easy to commute in to an inner city for your job. But think about going back, or leaving, or a community outwards. That's been identified as an issue.

And also tied to that is the housing in the market segregation, that still is a major issue facing African-Americans. And finally there are other issues, but one major one is institutions that we've seen major erosion in institutions over time. One, we have not done a good job of maintaining raising the minimum wage, which will help to on average raise wages for African-Americans and other low-wage workers or Hispanics. We have also seen deterioration in the unions. Today, 8 percent of the work force is covered by a union.

ROMANS: Let me ask you about manufacturing. Because we're going to talk about this a lot in this hour. A lot of manufacturing jobs disappearing. Are these manufacturing jobs being lost, do they disproportionately hurt different groups?

I mean is that a part in terms of opportunity, grabbing a job in the manufacturing sector, but then knowing that your kids will be able to go on to college? Is that a risk for blacks and Hispanics? Also Hispanics in the construction industry. That has just been decimated over the past few years. Is that why there's a disproportionate hit in this particular recession, in the near term?

RODGERS: Sure, in this particular recession, I've done a little bit of analysis there. And what I have found is that this really has been a recession that has hammered men in particular, especially Latino and African-American men. The erosion in manufacturing and construction are the big drivers for the rise in their unemployment rate. While what's held women's unemployment down over this past 16 to 18 months has been their representation in education and health services.

ROMANS: Where we are creating jobs consistently. We're creating low-paying jobs in those areas. In a way some of the high wage jobs of 20 years ago, 30 years ago, are being replaced by growth in lower wage jobs.

RODGERS: Well there has been this shift. And that has been correlated identified to explain some of the growing in equality that we've seen not only across races, but with regardless of what your race or ethnicity or gender, is whether you're a highly skilled or a highly educated worker and a less educated worker.

ROMANS: Are we making progress on this? Are these structural things stuck in there? And when we look at these charts over the past 30 years, we just see this correlation and it is going to continue, the whites will have single digit unemployment rates in good times, blacks will be double digits in bad times. And there's going to be this structural difference or do we start to close those gaps?

RODGERS: I think over time we have done the work to try to close those gaps. If you look at the educational of minorities over the last 20, 30 years, that's been a big hedge against joblessness and insuring people. But what you regardless of race, you have a counter on the other side is that displacement has been rising over time, regardless of the background.

But again, I'll come back to the best hedge against joblessness is education. And training, but also we now in the administration have an administration that will voice, more committed to reinvigorating the role of institutions, whether it be fighting discrimination in the workplace, also helping to raise what rice used to call making work pay to help raise the bottom.

ROMANS: We're going to have to leave it there, Bill Rodgers, we are going to come back and talk about it again to you. It has to do with education, from the very beginning, from kindergarten on, the opportunities with the work force. No one big answer. It makes it such an interesting discussion to have.

On the point of education in the employment report on Friday, 4.8 percent of the unemployment rate with people with a bachelor's degree. That's something to think about. That is a really big, big -- something that is a real stabilizer for people is that education. Thank you so much. Bill Rodgers from Rutgers University. Thank you.

General Motors and Chrysler in bankruptcy and the American auto industry reeling, is it time for a major evolutionary change in the direction of this country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: President Obama says our children will grow up in an America that still "makes things." But tell that to blue collar workers in the rust felt, and they will paint a very different picture of the future for you. They feel manufacturing jobs will soon be a thing of the past and so will they.

CNN's Carol Costello has the story.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Danny Borden makes things. At least he used to. He was a steel worker in Cleveland for the past 32 years.

DANNY BORDEN, UNEMPLOYED STEELWORKER: Obama, if you're looking at CNN, help the steel mills too.

COSTELLO: It's a plea he knows well. Laid off more than once, he has a feeling this time he won't be going back to work.

BORDEN: Angry. I'm very angry. You know? But I just can't let the anger get to me.

COSTELLO: But that's tough, because Borden feels he's not only lost his job, but his economic status.

BORDEN: I don't see no middle class. I see myself as fortunate, but I don't really see myself as middle class.

COSTELLO: Just saying. Is Borden right? Is the middle class extinct?

PROF. PAUL SRACIC, YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIV: I think what you have is a real fear. The manufacturing jobs that have traditionally been here, everyone know that they're not going to be there anymore.

COSTELLO: According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, in 1980, 21 percent of the nation's jobs were in manufacturing. The bulk of good paying middle class jobs. Today just 9 percent of jobs are in manufacturing. And as some economists say, that puts the middle class in a massive economic black hole.

LARRY MISHEL, ECONOMIST: You have to start creating jobs, and we have to work on trading good jobs, you know, for people so that they can start earning good family paychecks. And increase their consumption based on that.

COSTELLO: But Borden doesn't see that happening in Cleveland. He doesn't see a guy like him finding a job that would enable him to buy a car, a home, and raise two college-bound kids.

BORDEN: I hear everybody talk about where are they at. They're not up here.

COSTELLO: He hears about green jobs replacing manufacturing jobs one day. But they pay around 12 bucks an hour, 60 percent less than what someone like Borden would make at the plant. But critics say, hey, Danny Borden, it's time to move on, the world is changing.

But consider this, according to the Census Bureau, 72 percent of Americans do not have a college degree. Some economists think that will change one day but not for a long time. So the challenge for President Obama is how to create jobs that pay enough to keep the middle class in the middle class.


COSTELLO: Christine.

ROMANS: Carol, for about 20 years, 25 years they've been talking about retraining, retraining out of these jobs into something new. How are the retraining programs working? I mean, can they retrain people like Mr. Borden to do these new jobs that are coming?

COSTELLO: Well, in a state like Ohio, it's very hard to retrain these types of workers, because think about it, Danny Borden has been working in the factory for 32 years and all of a sudden he's going to go into, let's say the health care industry where he cares for people. It's just not in his psychological makeup. So the biggest problems in states like Ohio, you can offer all the retraining programs you want, but if it's not for a certain kind of job that would appeal to a certain kind of worker, it's not going to be very effective.

ROMANS: All right. Carol Costello thanks so much.

It all leads to a broader conversation. Is it time to leave these lost manufacturing jobs in the past and look ahead to creating the jobs of the future. How do we do that? And is this country equipped for people like Danny Borden in the interim. Let's bring in Chrystia Freeland managing editor of the "Financial Times." And of Lansing, Michigan, part of the country of course that is the epicenter of all this, we have a lot of opinions on the American worker, and what kind of a backbone we need for these jobs.

Are manufacturing jobs in this country ever coming back? Should they? A former labor secretary, Robert Riesh, recently blasted anyone who laments the jobs of millions of manufacturing jobs. Look what he wrote, "Technophones, neo-Luddites and anti-globalists be warned: You're on the wrong side of history. You see only the loss of old jobs. You're overlooking all the new ones." Chrystia, he basically said that anybody looking at it for a routine job, these routine jobs are going to be gone.

You said something on the program last week, and along the same lines, and it got a lot of our viewers really fired up. They sent e- mails and tweets to Ali and I well into the night.

Let's listen.


ROMANS (voice over): Will there be jobs that will pay so much for someone without an education with good mechanical ability that will be a stepping stone to the middle class? Is that part of the 20th century and nostalgia?

CHRYSTIA FREELAND, MANAGING EDITOR, FINANCIAL TIMES: That era is gone with globalization. And if the American economy is looking for a Detroit for the 21st century, it's Silicone Valley.


ROMANS: Let's talk about this. Explain that a little bit. We got a lot of tweets and e-mails from people who said that it's not practical, and actually it is an elitist point of view that they're worried about that is prevailing in Washington. That there are people who need factory floor jobs and that we don't have the infrastructure ready to help people like Danny Borden. Millions of them to compete in this new Silicon Valley world. So lay out your point of view.

FREELAND: Well, I'm with Robert Rish on this. And I would like to point out that Robert Riesh is considered to be on the left of the Democratic Party. He's a real champion for labor. But he's also a realist. And he's someone who is able to look at the broad, economic trends. If you think about it, and in the same article that you cited, Robert Reich compared what's happening to manufacturing to what happened to agriculture.

A hundred years ago, 30 percent of American adults were employed in agriculture. Today it's 5 percent. A similar process is happening to manufacturing. And has already largely happened. The point I was making about Silicon Valley was actually, I think, an encouraging point. Because when we're looking at what's happening to Detroit, I think Americans in particular should be a little bit less worried about globalization and technological change than people in other countries.

Because one of the great strengths of the American economy, and I would say America culturally, is the real power to innovate and real flexibility. So yes, you can, and I think as human beings, we can mourn the fall of Detroit. But at the same time we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the real energy, and the real employment and the real money has already shifted prior to the bankruptcies of GM and of Chrysler, has shifted to the high-tech sector. And actually, that's where America dominates.

ROMANS: I want you to jump in here and give your point of view on this. Mayor Virg Bernero are you ready to put Detroit and the car manufacturing floor in the rear-viewer mirror and look ahead to Silicon Valley as something new?

MAYOR VIRG BERNERO, LANSING, MICH: No, no, and hell no. Let me say this Mr. Borden knows more about the economy than this woman, and Robert Reich combined. The American people know what these economists with their religious fervor for free trade, what they will never accept. And that is, great nations must produce greatly. We've got to put the p back in GDP, Gross Domestic Product; it's not just gross domestic consumption. They've turned us into a consumer economy.

She's right in a way, it's already been done. And it was done with NAFTA and it was done with the most favorite nation trading status with China. Because we have given away, these countries didn't steal our jobs, we gave it to them.

The unholy alliance of Wall Street and Washington of which she is a part and Robert Reich has unfortunately become a part, they've sold out the American worker, they sold out the American dream. There is nothing to take its place. What she's offering is a mirage. The mirage that we're all going to be Silicon Valley. Give me a break. A bunch of those jobs are going overseas, too.

ROMANS: Tell me what there is to take the place. When we look at the entry level jobs, wait listen, the green technology jobs, that's $12 an hour. There is a great diversity in the different kinds of green technology jobs, and some of them are very, very good paying. But what about having to downgrade our expectations for entry level work in this country, even in these new jobs, Chrystia.

FREELAND: If I could make two quick points, one in answer to yours Christine and the other answer to Mayor Bernaro's point about free trade. It's absolutely the case that if America chooses not to trade with the rest of the world, that's a political choice, and America could make it. I think it's very economically dangerous. We live in a globalized economy.

BERNERO: How about fair trade? How about fair trade?

FREELAND: Hang on. If you'd let me make my point, please.

BERNERO: That's a bunch of nonsense. How about some fair trade? That's all we're asking for.

FREELAND: I actually think that trade right now is not that unfair. The WTO process is pretty effective. And NAFTA ...

BERNERO: That's hilarious.

FREELAND: Mayor Bernaro please. And NAFTA also has been very important for your industry. If you look at the amount of cross border business that is done, very close to where you live over the Canadian border, that has been essential to the American car industry as you well know.

And in fact, we've had the Canadian government and the government of Ontario shipping in very significantly to the rescue of both GM and Chrysler. I think that in that specific industry, you can't really complain. But I was trying to make a larger point about trade, which is, it is a political choice, and I do think overall, it's something America needs to think about. I would argue that if you look at the numbers overall, America has benefited hugely from trade. American companies are very big.

ROMANS: Look, after ...

FREELAND: Just let me finish, please.

BERNERO: I've heard enough. Please. You're trying to talk about Canada -- can we get to a point? FREELAND: I think actually I've made a point. But I just want to finish it, OK? So American companies have benefited hugely from trade. But also American consumers have benefited from trade. And one of the difficulties about the trade discussion is we tend to have very specific constituencies, people working in a specific industry that wants to be protected, who shout the loudest because their jobs are at risk.

But you then have hundreds of millions of consumers who benefit from trade. And that's money in every single American's paycheck when they're able to buy something more cheaply. That shouldn't be overlooked.

ROMANS: Mayor Bernero, I'm going to let you close it out here. I know that you really disagree with this. But I want you to tell me from your position as somebody who, you're an elected official and you are representing people who are voters. who may not think like an economist who doesn't necessarily see economic borders. You know, you call it the anti--would you consider yourself the neo-littites?

BERNERO: Not at all. She's made a number of glaring mistakes. If somebody was paying my salary, some day the universities aren't going to be funded and people like her are going to be in trouble, too, and Reich. And maybe then they will get it.

This isn't a specific industry. Industry for industry in this country has been sold out. The American worker gets it. If you'll excuse my impatience and my anger, it reflects the anger going on across this country, because the American worker has been sold out by people like this.

And she brings up Canada of course we appreciate our trade with Canada, because that's fair trade. That's the kind of trade we want. We want people that live by the trade agreements. We want the trade agreements enforced. And of course, Canada is a wonderful trading partner, China is not.

Many of the other countries are not. It is a race to the bottom that they've set up and nothing's going to take its place. The green jobs which we want could also be a mirage if we don't get a fair trade. It will be fool's gold. Because you've got to get a level playing field, you've got to be playing by the same rules. She admitted she doesn't know what's going on, because what we have is a fair trade.

We're the only country in the world practicing free trade. Everybody else is doing their own thing. It's like nuclear disarmament. This is unilateral economic surrender. We're the only one playing by the rules. Nobody else is. And the American worker is being victimized by it. Believe me, it's more than the auto industry.

ROMANS: I see a difference in philosophies here. The two of you are not going to persuade the other. So we'll leave it there. Chrystia Freeland, Managing Editor at the "Financial Times." And Mayor Virg Bernaro from Lansing, Michigan. Thank you both of you for coming passionate of very two different interpretations of what is happening with manufacturing in the over all economy. Thank you both of you very much.

Saving the environment, or saving jobs. The green movement versus the economy next.

WHITFIELD: I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta, at the CNN Center. Following this breaking news, bodies have been found in the water off the coast of Brazil. In the area where Air France flight 447 vanished almost a week ago, the search has been ongoing ever since.

CNN's Karl Penhaul is in Brazil where the search efforts are actually based. Karl, there was a press conference not long ago involving the Brazilian Air Force with a lot of these details came from. What are you hearing?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. That press conference, Fredricka, ended just a few moments ago. In fact, the press conference by the Brazilian Air Force and by the Brazilian Navy. The key details coming out of here are that a Brazilian Navy vessel has now recovered two male bodies from the ocean, as they believe that these were passengers, or crew from that doomed Air France flight.

The authorities also say that they recovered a backpack containing a laptop. They recovered a suitcase from the ocean. And they've also recovered a leather briefcase. Now, inside that briefcase were some travel documents, were some Air France passenger tickets. And that Air France Company has now confirmed that the name that appears on that passenger ticket was in fact one of the people listed on the passenger list for that flight -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: OK. And so give me an idea now, Karl, about the ongoing search efforts. Does that mean now whether it's other naval vessels or perhaps aircraft that have been part of this search effort, and now concentrating on this particular area, these discoveries, are they redirecting the search in any way?

PENHAUL: Well, what the Brazilian authorities are preferring to do right now is to talk specifically about what they have recovered, because of the confusion earlier in the week, about debris that they've found and recovered from the ocean that were determined not to be from the Air France flight, focusing on specifics right now.

What they do say is that the area where these -- where the two bodies were recovered today, was about 420 miles north of the Brazilian Island of Fernando de Orlon, that would put that location about 640 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean from the Brazilian coast.

The Brazilian authorities are also saying is that they have two search teams; one search team is in the current area where these bodies were recovered today. And that is focusing on retrieval and recovery efforts. They say that they also have other vessels in another location still trying to identify debris, still trying to find debris. They say almost a week after this airliner crashed; the ocean current could have dragged debris far and wide across the ocean.

WHITFIELD: OK. Karl Penhaul thanks so much for that report. We'll be hearing from you again at the top of the hour. We'll have a much more extensive view of this investigation. Other top stories here in the NEWSROOM.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Back now to YOUR MONEY.

ROMANS: There are those who say that the green movement will offer some hope for the manufacturing industry by creating jobs in alternative energy production, at the same time there's also an argument that creating regulations on carbon emissions could have horrible consequences for American production and manufacturing jobs. Stephen Moore is an editorial writer for "The Wall Street Journal," and Howard Gould is an eco-entrepreneur.

I want to start first on this idea that emissions regulations could hurt our manufacturing sector. I want to start with Stephen Moore, you know, one way to reduce emissions is to put a tax on goods that are manufactured, a carbon tax. But you think that would be devastating for manufacturing. Why? Walk me through that.

STEPHEN MOORE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think what happens if you do that Christine, as you're putting a massive tax on everything that we produce in America. Especially the kind of industrial and manufacturing equipment that America makes. And what we have to remember is that if we put either a carbon tax on our goods, or we do this cap and trade system, we know that the Chinese and Indian government and many third-world countries like Mexico aren't going to do it.

The sum result will be the jobs leave the United States, and they will go to other countries like China and India. So you'll see an exporting of jobs with very little environmental benefit, because the pollution will come from those other countries, not from the U.S.

ROMANS: What do you think, Howard? Do you prefer the cap and trade system? Explain a little bit of what that is for people who might not know what it is.

HOWARD GOULD, ECO-ENTREPENEUR: Well a cap and trade system is essentially saying any company that's emitting emissions to the atmosphere could be c02, is mostly what we talk about. They're going to be given a particular cap of the amount they'll be able to release. So let's just say it is a 100 tons.

They could basically be given 100 tons, and if they go over it, they must buy that tonnage from someone else. And if they go under, they can sell it to the market. So it's doing the best we can for the environment. Cap and trade system isn't the ideal situation, but the best we can do for solving this crisis we're in right now.

ROMANS: Let me ask you, do you prefer that system to a carbon tax?

GOULD: Absolutely.

ROMANS: Let's talk a little bit about then the environment maybe not the big concern on people's minds that it was even a few years ago. Because this will change the equation a bit, too. Steve, let me ask you first. The environment losing ground to economic concerns here over the past couple years.

This pew research poll from May 21, show that protecting the environment is a priority even if it causes slower growth or job losses, 2007 66 percent of people agreed that we have to protect the environment even if it means slower growth or job losses. Ask people that this year, only 51 percent agree, down 15 percent. What do you make of that? People's priorities are changing.

MOORE: Well, they are, because we saw what happened this week, Christine, with another 400,000 jobs lost. We now have a 9.5 percent unemployment rate in this country. Americans are worried about their jobs, they're worried about inflation. I've looked at many polling data on this, Christine, and what this data shows is if you ask people about the sort of the top 20 concerns, global warming is maybe number 18, 19 or 20.

So I do think this is really a lousy time to be talking about this when the number one concern has to be putting Americans back to work. And a lot of these, whether it's the carbon tax or the cap and trade, there is no doubt about it, you'll create some jobs but you will lose a lot more in the United States if we didn't do it at all.

GOULD: Unfortunately, I do agree that this is a lousy time. We don't get any worse than we are right now. This is as bad as it's going to get. What we have it do is look at the science behind this. Basically there isn't going to be another chance here. We need to address this issue right now. If you look at the scientific data, we surpass all of the worst-case scenarios.

There are even people out there, not to sound alarmist about it, but basically saying if we continue on this trajectory, by the end of this century we could have nine degrees increase in temperature. Which means life as we know it is not necessarily agree with that.

GOULD: That's total craziness. How do you explain that 30 years ago the consensus of the climatologists we were facing a new ice age? The climatologists change their opinion every 25 years on this issue.

ROMANS: They change their opinion like the weather, Howard.

GOULD: I think that basically if you ask most of the credible scientific institutions now, they will say this is absolutely occurring and c02 is basically the main cause of what's happening right now. And the fact that you look at it, 20 percent of the c02 emitted is from deforestation, and heavy industry causing a lot of this. If we can get a hold on this, it changes things.

ROMANS: Thanks so much. We'll talk about it again. It's not going away, this topic. Howard Gould, Eco-Entrepreneur, Stephen Moore, editorial writer, "The Wall Street Journal." Thank you both for joining us, as always, a pleasant discussion.

OK. E-mail me all the time. And I know you e-mail Ali about this, too. How much will I be paying for gas this summer? I'll ask the man who predicted the price of the oil every step of the way. He's been right and you are going to hear a frightening prediction from him. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Oil is what makes the world go round. Maybe not entirely, but oil is the driving force behind globalization and international trade. Because recently priced oil makes distance affordable. Ali sat down with Jeff Rubin, the author of "Why Your World is about to get a whole lot Smaller." He says all of this is about to change, because oil prices will soar to $200 a barrel. Don't believe him?

Well, he's accurately predicted oil rise to $50, $100 and most recently $150 a barrel. We asked him what is in store.


ALI VELSHI, CNN HOST (voice over): Are you still thinking against the $200 or beyond?

JEFF RUBIN, AUTHOR, "WHY YOUR WORLD IS ABOUT TO GET A WHOLE LOT SMALLER:" Yes, I am. To those people, I'd say, look where oil prices are now $50 to $60 a barrel. Wasn't that long ago we thought that was pretty expensive stuff. Now that's what we're paying and what we're told is the deepest recession in the last 50 years. Well, the U.S. economy has been in recession 18 percent of the time. Where do you think oil's going to be in the other 82 percent of the time?

ROMANS: Think of that $9 piece of plastic that comes from a province in China, it is on a ship, comes to the Long Beach and then it is put on a train and a truck. Then it's shipped again. At what point is oil so expensive that that $9 Barbie or that $19 Barbie is now a $100 Barbie?

RUBIN: We already saw trade start to reverse when we saw $100 oil. You're talking about the Barbie. What about the $6 billion of food exports that China exported to the U.S. a whole new meaning of having Chinese food delivered. Well, you know what; you don't have to refrigerate the Barbie. You don't have to refrigerate the steel. But you do have to refrigerate the Bok Choy and the frozen chicken wings. We're not going to be importing $6 billion of food from China or anywhere else.

ROMANS: Is it localization now, instead of globalization? Fueled by high energy prices?

RUBIN: That's right. Because localization means we don't use the same amount of energy to produce the good. Now, bear in mind that the price, the Barbie doll is going to cost more if we make it here. The steel is --

VELSHI: Because of the labor costs.

RUBIN: Because of our labor costs. But the difference between labor rates in steel, for example, between the U.S. and China, there's only an hour and a half labor time involved in steel. That got blown away when it cost, it added on $90 to a ton of hot rolled steel, to ship it to America. VELSHI: People report last year that the higher prices of oil could actually bring back the rust belt because we'll have to start manufacturing things like steel again.

RUBIN: Who would have dreamt that triple digit oil prices would breed into the rust belt? But that's exactly what it's going to be.

VELSHI: The business of higher priced gas is going to be restructuring the way we live far away from our jobs. It could mean where we live, it could mean the demise of some suburban communities as people want to get closer to the city.

RUBIN: Triple digit oil prices mean a return to urban density. All of those people who are living in the suburbs 50 miles away from where they work, they're going to move back.

VELSHI: And that is going to shoot he price of housing for those of us who live in the city.

RUBIN: The rising cost of food and the falling cost of the suburbs means that those suburbs are going to be reconverted into the farmland that they were 40 to 50 years ago.

ROMANS: Wow. It is incredibly interesting stuff to think about how oil prices can change so much.

RUBIN: Yeah.

ROMANS: So many moving parts.

RUBIN: It's not just the price of oil. The price of oil affects the price of everything. And it's more the globalization reversing that. We'll have the greatest impact on our economy than oil's share in the consumer price index.

ROMANS: Fascinating. Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller. Jeff Rubin, fascinating read.

RUBIN: My pleasure.


ROMANS: Women are taking over the world. Not quite. But there's certainly redefining what it means to be successful.


ROMANS: Women are certainly gaining ground in the work force. But finding that work and family life balance can be very tricky, really tricky. Tell me about it. Ali wishes he were here to hear me complain. Joining me now to explain how you or the woman in your life can write her own rules for success is Claire Shipman of ABC and Katty Kay with BBC, also the co-authors of a book called, "Womenomics, Right your own Rules for Success."

Ladies welcome. What is womenomics? Claire what is womenomics? CLAIRE SHIPMAN, CO-AUTHOR, "WOMENOMICS:" Womenomics is essentially two trends that have come together to create what we think is a revolution. One, women have so much power, more power in the workplace than we even know about. Amazing studies that show that the more senior level women of the company, the more money it makes. As you probably know, women control 83 to 85 percent of consumer spending.

ROMANS: And have for years.

SHIPMAN: And have for years. We have more degrees than men we have more degrees than men do, both undergraduate and graduate. And there's a talent shortage. All of these things add up to the fact that companies now realize it's not window dressing. They want us. They don't want smart, savvy women walking out as they have been.

At the same time, women are finally saying, guess what? We are not men. We are not sure we want that ladder straight to the top. We want to work differently. We don't like the way the workplace has been made. These two things are coming together at the same time and women are finally carving out different ways to work that work and keep us from quitting.

ROMANS: This is great. Lily Tomlin's one-woman show that I saw a few years ago where she comes in with the 1980s suits and big shoulder pads. It was terrible. She said, dear god, you told me I could have it all. I only want half as much. I think women have got to this point where we want to pick the half we want. Having it all doesn't mean doing it all or shouldn't mean doing it all.

KATTY KAY, CO-AUTHOR, "WOMENOMICS:" I remember when I was at University in the mid-1980s and I kind of had this idea that I was going to have a fantastic job. I was going to be president of whatever company I chose to join, I was going to have a fabulous husband. I was going to slip in a couple of kids although no one talked about that very much. And then I had my first child and I realized that having it all, it was just doing it all.

It was sort of slavery. I didn't really want that. It was after 30 years of women saying we're just like men and we're going to work 60-hour weeks and have vacations that never get taken and dash to day care closing. It's finally OK to say, the workplace has to change in a way this suits us.

We do want to work differently, and if the economy wants to keep us, if businesses want to keep us, which they really need to because there's a talent shortage looming. We have all of this education. We're so valuable. That boardroom table has to change its shape. We can't sit there silently anymore and we are not going to.

ROMANS: You interviewed Michelle Obama, who many say is a very good role model for this sort of thing, balancing it all. This woman who had a big six-figure job and a very high profile, executive job in Chicago. How does she fit into this book? What do we learn from her as a role model? SHIPMAN: Well I think essentially she's just a critical role model for us at this time because she's so confident and so comfortable with her choices. She's really our first post-feminist first lady if you will, somebody who made a choice and I'm not talking about just the first lady job but long before that was on the horizon, made a choice to dial back her career, leave a high-powered law firm.

Look for something that would give her more time with her children and she was comfortable with that choice, and I think she's also well aware that when she wants to dial it back up years for now, she can. She's telling everybody, it's all right for women to have a lot of different phases in their lives.

KAY: I think women just tend to see the careers not as straight ladders anymore. We're not linear about it. We do tend to see our careers more in waves. Sometimes when we have young children or maybe elderly parents who need looking after. This is not parenting but we have women in the book who don't have kids and who just wanted a bit more life.

You can dial down and then you can dial back up again but the real exciting stuff we found in the book is the companies that have bought this idea that it's OK to give people balance and sanity and control of their lives, once they do that and they stop looking at the clock and they start measuring their employees by results, their productivity actually goes up. That's real exciting.

ROMANS: We are showing some of those companies here now. We have about a minute left. I want to just quickly ask both of you; we talked about Michelle Obama and executives and women executives and all of this education. There's also an interesting study this week from the Joint Economic Committee that showed that women who are head of households are really getting hit hard. Women on the lower end of the income ladder, how do "Womenomics" maybe apply to them?

SHIPMAN: There's no question there are certain jobs that would always be hard to work in a "Womenomics" sort of way if you're a waitress or you're working at a checkout clerk, there are jobs ...

ROMANS: Some of the fastest-growing jobs in America, frankly.

SHIPMAN: Yeah, and you do have to be there. But I think that the fact is that what we're talking about is giving an entire swath of the female population in the middle, middle managers, a lot more control over their lives.

KAY: And even, I think, if you are an assistant to an executive, you're a secretary, whatever, there are things we write about in the book that are great ways to save, 10, 20 minutes in your day. There are ways to say no to things. There are ways to prioritize what you do and be a little more savvy about how you work.

ROMANS: Those are the things I really like. Saying no and getting rid of the waste in my time. Clair Shipman and Katty Kay thank you so much. The book is called "Womenomics: Write your own Rules for Success." That GM bankruptcy not just a U.S. problem, the probability felt in a big way around the world.

The ultimate quest, Richard Quest, is fired up and ready to go.


ROMANS: The GM bankruptcy of course, will have very visible consequences all throughout the United States. The automaker announced plans this week to shut down a dozen facilities by the end of the year and cut 20,000 jobs, that's 20,000 workers. GM's bankruptcy will also be felt abroad. Our Richard Quest joins us now from London. Richard how will GM's bankruptcy be felt across the pond?

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNN'S "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS:" I think you got to first of all say obviously it will be in the domestic United States where the real brunt of foreclosures and job losses will be felt.

But on this side of the Atlantic, well Christine, there's no question. Look at Opel. Opel is a vast part of the GM Empire, employing tens of thousands of people in countries like Germany and here in Britain, we have a company for example that has two plants employing 5,000 to 6,000 people. The Saab employee several thousand, down in Spain they have big plants.

All of them are now worried about what happens next. And what was fascinating is, as General Motors inched ever closer to bankruptcy so they had to decide what to do with all of these European bits. Finally, of course, they sold them off to a Canadian carmaker, a Russian bank and they kept part of the stakes themselves. They'll also get billions of dollars from the German government.

ROMANS: So, Richard, what happens here? We know that strained business and strained talks, I'm assuming between the auto task force here and some other governments, especially in the Opel situation, you know, what happens from here? Some people have told me that they think that the U.S. auto business will be like the UK auto business in the '60s and '70s.

QUEST: That's a very polite way of saying, Christine, that it will be out of business, bust over and don't bother shouting. Last person turn off the lights.

ROMANS: All right. Richard Quest. You can tweet Richard Quest. He's on the tweet machine. Millions and millions of people following at Richard Quest. Richard Quest ...

QUEST: Millions! I notice -- I notice you're a little bit short on followers yourself.

ROMANS: I know.

QUEST: Charity case. It's the weekend. I will give you a couple of mine. How about that? ROMANS: All right, thanks. Richard Quest, thank you so much. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we pointed out at Christine Romans and at Ali Velshi, who's not here but I will give him a shameless plug too. Ali does tweet when he's not here.

Make sure you join us every week for YOUR MONEY; Saturday's at 1:00 pm Eastern and Sundays at 3:00. You can also logon 24/7 to Have a great weekend, everybody.