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Special Edition: America's Jobs Crisis

Aired April 3, 2010 - 13:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: Meaningful job gains for the first time in three years. Hello, everyone, I'm Christine Romans. Ali Velshi is off today. This is a special edition of YOUR MONEY: America's Jobs Crisis.

One hundred sixty-two thousand jobs added in March; January revised from a loss to a gain. In the latest report, the unemployment rate shows it held steady at 9.7 percent. Still, this economy has a long way to go. 8.4 million jobs were shed during this recession.

Even a positive report like this represents just a small step on the long road back to recovery. More trouble in 44 percent of Americans have been out of work now for six months or longer. That's our record. The plight of the unemployed is not going away. We're at least at a turning point perhaps though for this America job crises.

Lakshman Ackuthan is managing director of Economic Cycle Research Institute. Chrystia Freeland is global editor at large with Reuters and Professor William Rogers is former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. First, is this a turning point Bill?

WILLIAM RODGERS, FMR. CHIEF ECONOMIST U.S. DEPT. OF LABOR: Where we are in the recovery is a good report today. I need to see a few more months before I can tell you whether we're at a turning point. However, the reason I say where we are half of these jobs that were created were by the census, which those jobs will end in May and the other half were temporary employment. That's a good sign, but again, where we are in recovery looks good.

LAKSHMAN ACHUTHAN, MANAGING DIR., ECONOMIC CYCLE RESEARCH INSTITUTE: I would say we definitely are. We are past a turning point.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND, GLOBAL EDITOR, REUTERS: It is. This is a good moment. Right? This is significant.

ACHUTHAN: More importantly, this is ...

FREELAND: This is not the end of pain for everyone.

ACHUTHAN: You're entering the virtuous stage of the business cycle. Where all that production, the sales in production that we had over the last couple of quarters are now forcing employers to stop firing and start hiring. As they do that, you see incomes start to be supported, which then feeds back into more sales and production. This feeds on itself and it's the reason why this is not a flash in the pan. This is something that is going to be sustained. This is a resilient recovery. The double dippers are missing right now from the discussion, you'll notice, because this is going to continue through 2010.

ROMANS: Really missing? Aren't they missing?

ACHUTHAN: Show me the double difference.

ROMANS: I think ...

RODGERS: They can come back very quickly.

ACHUTHAN: They're missing.

RODGERS: They can come back quickly as you see several months from now as the stimulus starts to wane, and that we see continued problems with state and local governments and we also continue to see sort of us having difficulty in the international arena.

ROMANS: Can the economy stand on its own two feet? This is what Bill is talking about. Can the economy stand on its own two feet once we pull back all of the things that are helping it?

ACHUTHAN: Absolutely, the answer is yes. And more importantly, this is not a simply -- this is not a stimulus driven recovery. I know a lot of people would like to argue that for one reason or another, but more importantly ...

FREELAND: The government wants to say its stimulus driven so they can say, we did it.

ACHUTHAN: Look, look, Washington would like to say, look, we did it. And the bears would like to say when it goes away, it's over. But they're both wrong. I think the fixation on Washington, the fixation on this you miss the forest for the trees. This is a cyclical driven recovery. That's why people are surprised by this.

FREELAND: To a point. Yes, it is -- that's the point, Rick. You say resilient recovery and that sounds great. We all want the economy to be resilient.

ROMANS: Right.

FREELAND: The really difficult thing though is we are in a really deep hole. Christine was illustrating that really well with her charts. The question is, is this recovery going to be strong enough to dig us out of the hole and to add enough jobs. The answer is probably not.

ROMANS: I want to look at the charts. Bill, this is sort of the lost decade. We're talking about the month of March. Then you look there at the end. 8.4 million jobs at the end of that last decade of up and down and up and down jobs growth. You're looking at 8.4 million jobs just in the last 27 months or so that were lost. That's -- OK. That's 27 months. Then you look over the past ten years. And something dramatic has been happening in this country.

You have been just shedding jobs that have been remarkable. More than a million construction jobs lost. Trade and transportation, a million and a half jobs lost. Retail trade, 700 -- look at manufacturing in ten years. That bar -- and you've got millions of those people who are represented in that yellow line. You have to figure out how to come back into the economy. That's what we've been talking about here. The great recession and then there is a lost decade.

But there have been jobs created and those jobs have been in health care, they've been in education, they've been in other industries that have done well. Let me look. Health care, 2.9 million, Government, 1.9 million approximately, education, leisure and hospitality, believe it or not 1.3 million over the past decade.

Bill, how do you become one of those people in the lost decade, manufacturing job loss, and get yourself in one of those other categories where the jobs are being created?

RODGERS: Well if you're one of my college students, it is about choosing different majors, different concentrations. It is also once you've graduated, going on to an advanced degree, looking at an MBA, looking at some other kind of master's degree where you're picking up new types of training.

ROMANS: Keep talking. While you're talking we're going to show you how much money the median wage is for people depending on how much education we have. Keep going.

RODGERS: One level still, education is your sort of best long- term hedge against joblessness.

FREELAND: And now more than ever, actually.

RODGERS: That's right.

FREELAND: That is going greater.

RODGERS: And then the more troubling or more challenging or the incumbent workers, those who are 30 something's, 40 something's and 50 something's where they have been a job for several decades, major job and they've been displaced because of these major structural changes and shifts. So that's where we begin training but then also providing communities with the resources where they can find what that next big thing is going to be and it's going to build their economy.

FREELAND: I do think we tend to worry about the 50-year-old person who loses their job. There's one other group that I think social policy has to really focus on, which is the people who graduated from college, from high school are trying to get their first job into a weak economy. And studies actually show that the first job you get has a lifetime impact on your earnings. So the kids who are the children, the graduates of the recession, we have to really worry that that doesn't damage their prospects for the rest of their life and ... RODGERS: I followed young minorities who graduated in the early '80s, that recession, it took almost a decade before their relative earnings converged back to ...

ACHUTHAN: The issue, the only way, we're talking 44 percent of the unemployed are long-term unemployed, over six months. There's construction workers, people who are associated with the bubble jobs, there is manufacturing jobs lost. You saw 8 million jobs over ten years you've lost. They're not getting those back. So what do you do with those displaced people? Also we are talking about the more mature workers. What is going to happen to them?

They're being left behind by the recovery that is stronger than the last year recovery, 44 percent are long-term unemployed. They are being left behind by the recovery. That is happening right now. The only thing that I see that actually starts to address that problem is if you can get a long expansion. It's not about how strong it is. It's about how long it lasts. And I'm afraid on that ...

FREELAND: Come on.

ACHUTHAN: It's disruptive. Boom bust is very disruptive. It's much nicer for an economy to have ...

FREELAND: Would you not be happy if there were 300,000 jobs added or 400,000 jobs added?

ACHUTHAN: Likely. Unlikely.

FREELAND: We're hardly in a -- we're hardly worried about a boom recovery.

ROMANS: Final thought to Bill.

RODGERS: Final thought is when we looked at the 1990s expansion ...

ACHUTHAN: Ten year.

RODGERS: What really helped out young, minority less educated men get their unemployment rates down was that long continued expansion, 4 1/2 percent, 5 percent, or not just 12 months but 24 months.

FREELAND: Final thought for when people ...

RODGERS: But the point, though, I think are we ready to stand on our own two feet would be a first sign will be this week we have about 220,000 people who are unemployed who stand to lose their benefits because the Senate did not -- one second -- did not extend benefits for them and over April is another million. So we'll see how those individuals will be able to fair.

ROMANS: We have to leave it there. But a fantastic discussion and we'll come back to it again. Chrystia Freeland, Bill Rodgers, and Lakshman Achuthan thank you all to you. Next, explaining that gap in your resume. We're going to tell you how to over come it. And you flooded us with health care questions. Your specific questions about your case, we're going to have your answers.


ROMANS: We know, of course, where the jobs are and where the job growth has been over the past decade. It's been in health care. It's an area that you continue to hear people say is incredibly important for retraining and focusing on education. I want to show you this from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This shows you; take a look at the far right of your screen, that big gray sphere. Registered nurses, the larger the sphere on this graphic the more jobs there are right now in that field and the higher up the scale of those jobs the more money they make. So look at the huge number of registered nurses right now.

And then take a look over there. There's a green sphere, there is also another one that is -- looks like it's orange. There's another one -- take a look at these. Medical assistance, home health aides, personal care aides at the bottom of the income screen you're seeing a lot of growth and up the food chain you've got physical therapist, dental hygienists and pharmacists. That's where there are a lot of jobs right now.

Let's look at the outlook for the next ten years. Those nurses are supposed to add another 591,000 nurses over the next decade, home health aides, 456,000, personal and home health aides, 375,000, all of the way down the list you're seeing expectations for big growth in health care jobs.

But be careful, Ali and I have talked about this a lot. Be careful where you position yourself in health care because not all health care jobs pay the same. Those registered nursing jobs, median, 2008 wages, just over $62,000. That means half the nurses make more than that, half make less. Look at home health aides, huge growth there. That's a $20,000 a year job, probably not a lot of benefits and not a lot of job security. Home care aide is even less. Physicians and surgeons, all of the way up to $193,000 but you're going to have fewer of those jobs created.

All of this incredibly important as you try and figure out how to get back into the labor market or if you are a parent or grandparents trying to position your own child or grandchild for how to find a job. Finding a job is hard enough but dealing with a lengthy gap on your resume can make the task even tougher. But you can overcome that gap on the resume. Career advisor Ellen Gordon Reeves is author of "Can I Wear my Nose ring to the Interview."

Welcome to the program. I love the name of the book, "Can I Wear my Nose Ring to the Interview"?

ELLEN GORDON REEVES, AUTHOR, "CAN I WEAR MY NOSE RING TO THE INTERVIEW:" I say, yes. Thanks for having me Christine. ROMANS: You're welcome. Maybe if you're going to get health care jobs, you shouldn't wear the nose ring, I'm not quite sure.

REEVES: Yes, someone wasn't hired because they had a nose ring and she wouldn't take it out. They were concerned about patient contact. You have to be careful.

ROMANS: Let's talk a little bit about the gap on the resume. We found out this week that 44 percent of the unemployed had been out of work for six months or longer. That means there are a lot of folks out there who have a large space on their resume with out a job in it. How do you attack that gap?

REEVES: Sure. First of all you don't focus on the gap. Don't shine the spotlight on the gap for the employer. Also, the best thing about this bad economy is there's never been a better time to be unemployed. Unemployment is the national norm. Everyone is doing it. Welcome to the dark fraternity. It is the most Democratic thing about our nation right now. But people aren't thinking about it unless you shine the spotlight on that fact.

ROMANS: So, look, don't think of this as a stigma because a lot of other people out there, too. Everyone knows somebody who lost their job simply because they were cutting 10 percent out of the department or ending a department not because of your work history. So don't lead your resume or your coverlet with a gap. I've been out of work six months and I'm looking for -- what do you lead it with?

REEVES: Exactly. You focus on strengths and talents. So who would you hire? The first one comes in and says I was out of work for a year, I gave them the best 20 years of my life and now I have a kid and mortgage what do I do? Or someone who says I have had two decades of marketing experience, I raised sales by 20 percent, I think I could do this for you, I have a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate, I love your company, let's talk. No brainer. You fake it until you make it.

ROMANS: And you say don't lead with the job, lead with the person. You want to hear, I know Susan Smith, and she thinks I would be great in this job. I think you will, too.

REEVES: I always say start looking for a person; the right person will lead you to the right job.

ROMANS: So what about most the people who lost their jobs and spending most of their time looking for the next job. What should you be doing right now while you are looking for the next job?

REEVES: You have to stay in the game. Think about Olympic athletes. They don't leave the games, go home and do nothing until the next Olympics. You've got to be training all the time. You have to be building your skills, your knowledge base, you should be volunteering, and you should be taking courses at a public library, community center, and offer to teach courses, blogging whenever you can.

Christine let's say you were an accountant and you were laid off a year ago but still helping your friends with their taxes. This is a resume entry. You've been an independent accounting consultant from 2009 to 2010, even if you just started yesterday.

ROMANS: Five and a half -- 5.5 people looking for every available job opening in America. How do you think about yourself to put yourself ahead of those other people and get the job?

REEVES: Sure. You have to realize that being laid off or unemployed does not change the experience that you've had. You're still the right person. But you take control of your resume. Don't lead with gaps. Don't have a column of dates that will highlight that issue. So you have to show the skills and talents that you have that will really make the sale for the employer.

ROMANS: Everybody has got a gap. Talk about what you can do and what you can be and how you can help them. Ellen Gordon Reeves, the book is the wonderfully titled "Can I Wear my Nose Ring to the Interview." Thanks, Ellen.

That big health care bill on Capitol Hill, it's not a bill anymore. It's the law of the land. And you still have questions, you have facebook messages, you have tweets. We're going to answer your questions next.

Plus, Dow 11,000, up a thousand points in a month and half, but are you feeling it?


ROMANS: You're asking, we're listening and answering. You've reached out to Ali and I on facebook, twitter and e-mail and you're all asking the same questions just in different ways. How will health care reform affect me and my situation? We've brought in our good friend Andrew Rubin to answer your questions. He's vice president of Clinical Affairs at NYU Langone Medical Center and he is the host of Sirius XM "Doctor Radio."

All right. Let's get right to it. Stewart writes in and says, I own a company with fewer than 50 employees, my employees contribute a certain percentage to the cost of the premium but some don't participate. How will reform affect my company? Will my costs go up? Small business owners in the email said, they offer stuff but their employees are not interested.

ANDREW RUBIN, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER: Quick answer for Stewart. His costs are not going to go up and it may or may not affect him but if it does it is in a good way. This stuff is really complicated. Small businesses we think of is businesses with less and fewer people. There are credits and subsidies for small businesses with 25 or fewer people.

The average wage of the employees making less than $50,000 a year. So depending on how many people Stewart has working for him, depending on how many people have insurance, he may be able to get a subsidy for up to 35 percent of his portion of the premium for his employees. ROMANS: So if he were to offer insurance he would get a subsidy from the government to help him make that happen.

RUBIN: Correct.

ROMANS: There's always a little wrinkles in it. But that is a fantastic starting point. Bill Shots says, can you tell us how health savings accounts will be affected? A question, I have one of these and I wonder how it will be affected.

RUBIN: Big changes. Let's first make a distinction between a flexible spending account, which is employer sponsored and health savings account.

ROMANS: I have a flexible spending account.

RUBIN: There is changes to both. And the health savings accounts which are consumer driven based on high deductible insurance plans. First, in the short term, if you currently by aspirin and at the end of the year you scram to believe get over the counter drugs out of your flexible spending account, then you won't be able to do that with tax-free money. And then starting in 2013, flexible spending account limits will be lowered to $2500.

ROMANS: Interesting. You'll see some changes there. This is from Barbara. My husband is retired from the navy. Will our dependent daughter keep her Tricare, their military insurance until age 26 also? She is 22 and due to lose her coverage in one year.

Andrew, we talked about this last week. I was flooded with e- mails from people who have a child -- military people who have a child who is on Tricare and they are very concerned that their kid is not going to be able to stay on until 26.

RUBIN: I got the same number of calls on my radio show. So quick is for people --let's answer her question first. Actually no, it doesn't apply. Tricare is the insurance through the Department of Defense for military. Only an act of Congress can change the benefit levels for their beneficiaries. This does not actually apply to them.

But the flip side of that, the good news is, we've gotten an equal number of callers who were concerned about changing benefits for military veteran and active members. So there are no changes, so that's good. The bad news is if there was something good in the health care legislation that would have applied to them, it doesn't apply.

ROMANS: Your 22-year-old daughter, when she turns 23, will lose her coverage under you. She will lose her coverage under you. What should she do then? Is she going to go out, if she's a student and doesn't have any income ...

RUBIN: She can try and find insurance on her own, insurance for young students and college if they offer it and, quite frankly, health care insurance for young Americans, healthy Americans is really inexpensive? ROMANS: Let's talk about Rachel. Rachel, I am a 22-year-old college student, I live off of financial aid. What does this bill do for me? Same question, I guess. Just like Barbara's daughter.

RUBIN: There are a lot of people in this category. In the short term, there's not a lot that we can do. There is not a lot health care reform is going to do for her. But in the longer term, she will be able to get healthcare insurance and because she doesn't have certain income levels she will be able to apply for subsidy and get her healthcare insurance with a subsidy. If she doesn't want health care insurance, she will have to pay a penalty. But if she doesn't make enough money that penalty won't apply.

ROMANS: As we close to talk again about the military benefits. I had so much feedback. Suspicion from viewers who really were worried that their military benefits were going to change. They are not changing. I mean, the VA told me this, HHS told me this, everyone -- they are not changing.

RUBIN: We were talking about this last summer. A lot of people thought about it. I came on then and said President Obama said we are not going to introduce any health care legislation that changes the benefits for the military. Some of the military people want some of the good stuff that's in this health care bill. Only Congress can change it. We'll see what happens.

ROMANS: All right. Andrew Rubin, thank you so much.

Next, why the market is up big time and why you don't necessarily feel the same.

But the government is going to make it easy for your kid to borrow money for college, so should you keep saving?


ROMANS: The Dow Jones Industrial average is up 67 percent since those horrible 12-year lows hit last March. That's real money if you saved up 10 grand in stocks a year ago, may be worth $16,700. And they're still making money in stocks. The Dow is up 10 percent since just February 8th this year, $10,000 investment into stocks just a little over a month and a half ago would be worth $11,000 today. So why is it that you aren't all feeling it?

Maybe because you didn't have $10 grand to dump in stocks, right? Or the confidence in your job to part with that money you didn't have that either. Our CNN Opinion Research Poll shows a vast majority of Americans still think economic conditions in this country are poor, 78 percent of you. Are we at a turning point or not? Chyrstia Freeland is global editor at large for Reuters and Peter Morici is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business.

Let me ask you first, Peter. Welcome to the program. Is this the turning point, jobs are being created, stock market is going gang busters, are we looking ahead finally to what we've all been wait for? PETER MORICI, UNIV. OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Well, the economy has been recovering now for about nine months. And today we saw that jobs are recovering. So we're heading up. Bottom line is 3 percent growth in the United States will give us a very strong stock market coupled with the strong growth in Asia although it doesn't give us a red hot jobs market. So we have this combination of stocks rising while unemployment stays at about its level. That should come down a bit as we go forward.

FREELAND: Yes, I agree with Peter. I think it's a mistake to see the stock market as a proxy for the economy and even more as a proxy for what my own life is like. I think we're living in a little bit of a two speed world now where I think actually U.S. companies are doing really well.

I think they responded to the recession in general, very, very strongly. You saw them doing smart things, cutting their inventories when they needed to. And you saw recessions can be great for companies because they can be an excuse for doing those things that you need to do that hard times force you to do.

You can become more productive. They may be U.S. companies but they operate on a global scale. So they are able to take advantage of the real strength that we're starting to see in emerging markets. When it comes to you, the American citizen who is looking for a job, that doesn't necessarily translate, though.

ROMANS: Peter, so in the stock market is not a proxy for the way I feel, the way the economy is going. It's a proxy for corporate profits and how companies are doing. Is there a case to be made that if corporate profits return, companies start to feel better, confidence returns because stock prices are up, they begin to hire? Is that something that eventually Main Street will feel?

MORICI: Well American companies are in profits abroad. With the environment that we have in the United States with demand only growing slowly we can't expect that they're going to do a whole lot of hiring terribly fast here. So my feeling is that we're looking at a labor market where we add maybe 150,000 jobs a month, on average, maybe 200,000.

At 150,000, we are likely to keep unemployment above 9 percent. That 200,000, it could slip down to 8 percent. But that wouldn't be until next year. The bottom line is, if the growth is in Asia, that's where companies like IBM or all the other rest that are going to invest their cash. We have to get demand growing in the United States, work down the trade deficit, and fix the community banks. If we want to see real jobs creations in the United States.

ROMANS: What happens to the stock market in the interim?

FREELAND: Peter is right. The other thing we have to be realistic about. I spoke to an analyst this week; he made a really good point that you have to be careful about equating company growth with jobs growth. And actually he said, look, as an analyst the thing that makes me the happiest of all is productivity growth and the labor force doesn't grow at all. That's excellent corporate performance. And it is.

ROMANS: Not excellent for us.

FREELAND: Us as consumers it's good, right, if it takes fewer people to build a car now than it did 25 years ago, that makes the car cheaper. So we do get it that way. But it does mean that you can have a Dow roaring ahead and people still having a hard time finding work.

ROMANS: Just before we let you guys both go. Peter, does the Dow keep roaring ahead? Does it keep going like this? We keep looking at this rally and usually after a period like we've seen it takes a little longer to have this kind of a gain, 67 percent in a year is just phenomenal. Can that keep going?

MORICI: Oh, absolutely. We may have an adjustment next week, next month, but I expect that to be temporary. As long as Asia's growing gang busters and we can stay on a steady growth path in the United States, let's say 3 percent a year. We're going to have a rising stock market. It would be better though if the U.S. economy was growing at 4 or 5 percent. As good as the current environment is for American companies a robust labor market adding jobs, more customers here, would be even better.

We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that just because a good Wall Street doesn't mean a good Main Street. We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that a good Main Street wouldn't be great for Wall Street. It absolutely would be.

ROMANS: Peter Morici, thank you so much. University of Maryland's School of Business. Also, Chrystia Freeland, editor at large for Reuters. Thank you both of you.

Everything you know about saving for college, everything changed this week. You thought it was just health care reform no. How you borrow and pay off college just changed forever. What you must do today.


ROMANS: It just got easier to borrow money for college. And for students enrolling in the year 2014 and after it will also be easier to pay off their student debt. At least that's the aim of new sweeping laws governing student loans. The president says, no one should go broke to get a college education. Here's how it works.

Graduates with federal student loans won't have to pay more than 10 percent of their income on their student loan payments every month. After 20 years of paying their bills, their remaining student debt would be forgiven. Enter a public service, like become a nurse, public defender, teacher, your student loan could be wiped clean after ten years.

Mark Kantrowitz is the publisher of a FinAid Website that provides free financial aid information and tools. He's also author of "Fast Web College Gold, The step by step guide to pay for college." Mark a lot of people this week are asking me if it just got easier for the kid to borrow the money and to pay it off why am I socking so much money away into a 529 savings plan every month. You say keep saving for college. Why?

MARK KANTROWITZ, PUBLISHER, FINAID: Well, it's cheaper to save than to borrow. If you were to save $200 a month for ten years, you would accumulate about $34,400. If you were to borrow the same amount, you would be paying back $396, almost twice as much over the same ten- year period.

ROMANS: What's the biggest most important change that you see in all this financial aid reform? Really how you think about paying for college when you graduate, it just changed, didn't it?

KANTROWITZ: Instead of going to get a loan from a lender, you'll get your loans from the Federal Government through the college financial aid office. It's a much simpler and more streamline process.

ROMANS: What are the advantages? Who is the most likely to benefit most from this?

KANTROWITZ: Well, students will benefit through maintaining the maximum Pell Grant and increasing it over the next ten years. Students who are pursuing public service jobs will benefit from the public service home forgiveness and income-based repayment. And in general, it's -- it's a good bill. It could have been a lot better, but it is a good piece of legislation.

ROMANS: There's more money for Pell Grants, there are more Pell Grants, and maybe 820,000 more over the next decade or something, the president has said. You think it could have been better. There are people on the right who say we shouldn't have the government involved taking over the student loan business. There are two kinds of completely different debates to be had there. But overall, this is something, you know, this is something you think that we need to do?

KANTROWITZ: I think so. It's very hard to ignore the potential savings; $68 billion over 11 fiscal years is a lot of money that can be redirected to student aid and deficit reduction.

ROMANS: Let me give you a question that a viewer -- several viewers have asked us this question but I want to read this question from a viewer who is concerned about how things might be changing and what it's going to mean for her. Will my children have to declare themselves independent from me in order to get a federal student loan or the maximum amount of federal student loan?

If so, does this mean that they cannot benefit from the dependent status extension of age 26, on my health insurance policy? In other words, are these two upsides to the new health insurance reform law mutually exclusive? What do you think?

KANTROWITZ: There's two different definitions of independent student status. There's one that applies to the health care legislation, whether you are claimed as a dependent on your income tax return and there is a completely different definition in the higher education act that controls your eligibility for student financial aid.

In addition, students who are dependent or independent are eligible for the federal student loans. The main difference is that students who are independent are eligible for higher loan limits, $4,000 or $5,000 a year depending on the year in school.

ROMANS: All right. Fantastic. Mark Kantrowitz we'll have you back and talk about it some more because everything has changed, folks, on how you save for college and how your kids will pay it off. Trying to make it easier for you. We'll be closely watching it and see how you can navigate this new system.

OK. Something big has just been revealed. Some say it will change your life forever. Others say it's not worth the hype. We're going to tell you about it, tell you what it is, and get Richard Quest's take next.


ROMANS: Time now to take look behind some of the headlines. Bringing in our good friend and regular on the program, Richard Quest host of CNNI's "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." Good weekend, Richard.

President Obama unveiling plans this week to open vast areas of U.S. coastal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling. The move may be pleasing to the energy industry but its generated serious heat from the administration's environmentalist supporters. Maybe this is why. Take a listen to President Obama on the campaign trail.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will increase oil production here in the United States. Yes, we can drill more, but drilling is not a long-term solution to our problem. Not even close.


ROMANS: Richard, what's the president trying to achieve here?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS:" The president's trying to achieve a dose of reality and realism and hats off to the man. Yes, he made certain pledges and he said certain things during a campaign, but campaigning and governing are two very different things. And as you listen to what the president said when he made that announcement, he put it bluntly. It was for America's economic security. It was a necessity.

And while the president admitted that it was long-term goal to shift to renewables and other areas and energy sources, the real politic of it is that we use fossil fuels and that's not going to change any time soon. On my program during the week I had the president of Shell USA, Marvin Odom (ph) on the program and he put it bluntly, of course there's going to be a range of fuels in the future. But fossil fuels and discovering more is the priority today. ROMANS: And the president has always said, Richard, even on the campaign trail, he never said he was against drilling. He said that was one part of the overall solution. There's no flip-flop here as some environmentalists say or are alleging this is.

QUEST: Well, you know, there is an adamant to flip-flop in a sense the politicians were against drilling, drill, baby drill. Pristine parts of Alaska. The Shell guy told me specifically that the Alaska drilling will be a huge boon and benefit for Shell and for the provision of under protection of oil supply. But the reality is, a famous quote I often heard was the moment that you and I and everybody else are prepared to pay more, not kick, scream when we pay more at the pump, that's the time when renewables become more effective.

ROMANS: All right. Here's another one for you. I'm sure, I have heard so much about this this week, that the long-awaited ipad, it has been unveiled. The device which Apple says fits somewhere between an iphone and Mac book. It's like a touch screen laptop without a keyboard. We were playing around with one of those on Friday in the "Newsroom." Certainly a buzz around this ipad, but, Richard, is it ipad or I-hype, what do you think?

QUEST: First things first. Let's go back one stage. I think in the absolute avoidance of conflict of interest, every reporter, and every commentator needs to declare if they're a Mac user or a pc user. And it's true. Because Mac users are messianic, it can do no wrong, it can walk on water. And Pc users look at Mac users like they just came off the boat.

ROMANS: Richard which are you? What do you use?

QUEST: I have a range of them. But what is fascinating is the way you find these Mac users and lord help you if you sit next to them at dinner. They look upon -- no, it's true. It's true. They look upon the rest of us as if we are some sort of people neophytes who have yet to have the scales fall from our eyes.

ROMANS: I don't know what any of this is, Richard, because I still use my handspring visor from 1998.

QUEST: Hey, hey.

ROMANS: You are very right; messianic is the way to put it. There is not camera in this, you can't multi-task or do two things at once. We'll see how people -- how people react.

QUEST: Tell me, tell me ...

ROMANS: When they come up with something, he has revolutionized numerous industries. So you never count him -- never say Steve Jobs is just hype.

QUEST: Right. Right. I'm on this one.

ROMANS: Please. QUEST: Because the truth is, it's content. It's for the use of content as opposed to the generation of content, this machine. It is, if you like, the next generation of television monitors in that sense. You're going to be consuming rather than contributing I believe with the ipad. You're going to be reading, watching, experiencing, but will you be sitting and writing your life's tome? I don't think so.

ROMANS: Will it be Richard compatible with my Commodore 64? I don't think so. Richard Quest, who he and I are aging ourselves here at the moment. Richard Quest, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." Thank you, sir.

QUEST: Look, look, here is something original. Look what this is.

ROMANS: Wonderful, a pen.

QUEST: Do you think it will ever catch on?

ROMANS: I don't know. What will the kids think it's for? I'm not sure. All right. Richard Quest thank you.

Take one of the most successful brands in the world, add a country that has suffered unspeakable devastation, mix them together and you've a recipe that could do a whole lot of good. We'll explain, but first, what happens when a branding expert has to recreate her own brand?

Mary Snow reports on a small business owner who took her own advice in this week's "Turnaround."


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Catherine Kaputa calls herself a personal brand strategist, but her company that helped individuals create their own brand was struggling.

CATHERINE KAPUTA, FOUNDER, SELFBRAND: So many people were out of jobs. They were afraid to invest in themselves and to work with a coach.

SNOW: Kaputa decided it was time for her own regret; she started pitching herself to large companies and found a new niche.

KAPUTA: I've been mainly targeting large companies because a lot, especially in this tough economic climate, a lot of large companies are still doing innovative programs for their employees.

SNOW: One of those companies, Pepsico. Like many in the recession, Pepsico wanted to invest in training employees, but didn't want the high cost offsite workshops it held in the past. Beverly Tarulli helps up the company's women's initiative.

BEVERLY TARULLI, V.P. ORG. MGMT. DEVELOPMENT, PEPSICO: In 2009 it was a tough year for all of us. What we were looking to do was do it in a way that would be cost effective, but reaching the most women we could. KAPUTA: You always have to build your brand out of authenticity.

SNOW: Kaputa presented a personal branding workshop at Pepsico Headquarters that was broadcast to 12 of the company's sites throughout the country. She says thanks to her new corporate focus, her revenue increased 100 percent in the past year.

KAPUTA: It's been a very tough economy, but amazingly 2009 was my best year.

Women tend to down play their achievements.

SNOW: And Kaputa says any company can reevaluate and refocus just like she did.

KAPUTA: Really look at your brand. What does your company stand for? Are you filling a need, a niche in the marketplace? Filling a gap that no one else can do?

SNOW: Mary Snow, CNN, New York.



ROMANS: Big help this week for a struggling nation. It was nearly three months ago that Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake. This week a new venture from Coca-Cola is aimed at helping Haiti rebuild for the long term. The soft drink giant is creating a mango juice drink. It will be made with mangos from Haiti. All the proceeds from the drink will go back to the country.

Jean-Max Bellerive the prime minister of Haiti, with Muhtar Kent chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola and Luis Alberto Moreno president of the Inter America Development Bank worked together on this project.

Before it was announced they sat down with our own Ali Velshi.


ALI VELSHI, CNN HOST: Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Company I want to ask you, what is Coca-Cola's involvement in this? What are you doing and why?

MUHTAR KENT, CEO & CHAIRMAN, COCA-COLA COMPANY: The idea is how can we create a sustainable business that actually benefits the people of Haiti, that actually contributes to the society of Haiti, and there it was the idea of this Haiti hope juice was born.

VELSHI: Tell me how this works?

KENT: This works in the following way, a simple way. Right now it's being put into the market, the registered name under Haiti hope. It's through retailing partners in the United States and it is available for consumption for sale in the United States. Which we'll create mango groves in Haiti, make sure we protect the mango groves and make sure awareness in Haiti is raised so all the funds go back to Haiti.

VELSHI: One of the things about Haiti that people may not know, it had a great dependence of agriculture in the past and the policies that have changed that over the years to the point that Haiti was a net importer of so many of the things that use to grow. Are you hoping this is a step in a direction that will take Haiti back to being a grower of produce?

JEAN-MAX BELLERIVE, HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER: Certainly. We have other products, but mango is a good example. It's more than that. You have to -- you need partners to distribute for the marketing and all that. So with that partnership we are starting with Coca-Cola, and perhaps with Coca-Cola other partners, we can expand that idea not only to produce, but also to sell it, to market it.

VELSHI: I'm going to ask you a difficult question here. What has this got to do with the rest of the world and our relationship with Haiti?

LUIS ALBERTO MORENO, PRESIDENT, INTER AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: It's fundamental. I think it's a game changer. Think for a minute somebody living in the central plateau of Haiti, having five mango trees, which is the average each person has.

That person today is probably cutting those trees to use for firewood. We are giving this concept for that farmer to turn that wood that he would have in his mind into a source of income. This is a country that's 70 percent earns $2 a day this is the best social policy possible, a job.


ROMANS: All right. Thanks for joining me for YOUR MONEY. Ali will be back next week. Until then join our running conversation on facebook and twitter, at AliVelshi and at ChristineRomans. And make sure you join us every week for YOUR MONEY, Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and Sundays at 3:00. You can also log on 24/7 to

Have a great weekend, everybody.