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CNN IN THE MONEY
Interviews with Jill Frazier, Michael Elliott; What does Capture Saddam Hussein with bin Laden Still on Run Mean to Islamic World?
Aired December 20, 2003 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From New York City, America's financial capital, this is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, HOST: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. On today's edition of IN THE MONEY, one down, one to go. The United States may have gotten Saddam Hussein, but Osama bin Laden is still out there somewhere. We're going to see what that means for the Islamic world and its take on what this West is all about.
Plus, the golden shackles. We'll talk to an author who says corporate America has white collar workers chained to their desks, working harder and earning less.
And Motorola's outside pick. We'll find out why this venerable company went to Silicon Valley to get its new CEO, and cut loose an old family dynasty.
Joining me today, a couple of our regulars here on the program. CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz. And "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer.
Last weekend's capture of Saddam Hussein was a huge deal in Washington, D.C., and a lot other places, too. It was a big morale boost, of course, for the U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. That kind of thing gets a lot of TV people excited, and soon you can't turn on the tube without seeing the former Iraqi president, his dental work and the search for his head lice.
But let's keep it in perspective. Osama bin Laden is still at large. And our next guest says nailing him would prove that the United States and its allies have the muscle to make terrorism a loser's game. Michael Elliott is editor at large for "Time" magazine here in New York City. Nice to see you again, Mike.
MICHAEL ELLIOTT, TIME MAGAZINE: Good to see you, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Why is it more important in your opinion for us to get Osama bin Laden than it was to get Saddam Hussein?
ELLIOTT: Saddam Hussein has always been a controversial figure in the Arab world. He's been admired and he's been regarded as a hero by some, but precisely because he's been so brutal, so megalomaniac, and also because he's secular, incidentally, there are loads of people who have loathed him for many a year.
Osama bin Laden a more complicated figure. He's almost a bandit, Robin Hood, Che Guevara figure, who you know, for 10 or 15 years now, going way back into the Afghan war against the Russians, has had this almost mythical status among thousands and thousands of kind of young and determined jihadists. So I think that if we could get him, then we would kind of double bolt this myth, denying action that we started last week with the capture of Saddam Hussein, and really start making inroads in the hearts and minds of the Muslim world.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, the fact that the U.S. is spending more than $1 billion each month in Iraq. How much has that taken away from the efforts in Afghanistan? From all reports -- all reports seem to indicate that Osama bin Laden is somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan, that border there.
ELLIOTT: Right. Well, you'll never get anyone in the administration to admit that we have devoted -- to admit that we have diverted so much as one platoon from Afghanistan in Iraq. And, you know, we can fight and chew gum at the same time, I mean, we can do two wars at once.
But you have to believe that there is a level at which the kind of capabilities that we would be bringing to Afghanistan have been somewhat diminished by the stuff that we've had to do in Iraq.
Now, Afghanistan is much, much harder terrain than Iraq to find someone in. I mean, you have, you know, these mountain ranges and canyons and forests, and valleys and caves that stretch for hundreds of miles. I mean, it's sure isn't easy to find him.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Michael, how popular is Osama bin Laden right now among Muslims and how homogeneous is the Islamic world?
ELLIOTT: Well, I think it's a really good question, Andy. It's not homogeneous at all. I mean, of course, the vast majority of Muslims around the world regard Osama bin Laden just like you or I do, you know, as a murdering thug who has killed many innocent people, many of them not American, incidentally. But you know, Muslims and Africans, and what have you.
But he has been around for 20 years, and there is, undoubtedly, a small subset of the Muslim population that has always regarded him as this mythical heroic figure, the guy who always gets away, the guy who escapes, you know, the guy who's always on the run. The rich man that kind of voluntarily decided that he would live in a cave.
SERWER: More possibly than ever right now, though, do you think?
ELLIOTT: No, I think probably not, actually. I think probably not. I think given that he is plainly on the run, and given that the United States is looking stronger by the day, and the capture of Saddam Hussein helped in that, then I think probably his popularity is -- I suspect his popularity is somewhat on the wane. But we shouldn't underestimate the number of people to which he remains a hero. CAFFERTY: Let's go back to Iraq for a moment and get your thoughts on something that has a good deal of debate about. And that's whether or not the idea that we can somehow turn Iraq into this shining beacon on the hill in the Middle East, this -- you know, this monument to democracy and constitutional government and have it serve as the catalyst for change in all of the Middle Eastern countries, which for hundreds and thousands of years have been dictatorships and monarchies and whatever. Is it a practical idea to try to do this? Or is there some combination of what we do in the United States and what they're used to doing over there that might somehow become the ultimate formula for success?
ELLIOTT: It's a practical idea to try and do something. As long as we realize that Baghdad is not going to look like Omaha on the Tigris any time soon. You know?
ELLIOTT: I mean, it isn't going to be Kansas in our lifetime.
I did a column a couple of weeks ago about a village I know in western Krit (ph), a place I've gone to in 30 years, which I've seen develop from a peasant society to a (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The thing is, it's not American. You know? Its dreams are not American, its heroes are not American. It's modern, but it's not American. And we have to get used to the idea that Iraq can be a modern society without being an American society. Once we get that straight in our heads, our expectations for what we can achieve there will be realistic.
LISOVICZ: And we'll leave it at that. Michael Elliott, editor at large, "Time" magazine. We enjoy your work. Thanks so much for joining us. And happy holidays to you.
ELLIOTT: Yeah, you, too, Susan.
LISOVICZ: Ahead on IN THE MONEY, the tight white collar. We'll speak with an author who says corporate America is run like a sweatshop and workers can hardly keep up.
Plus, the ring of truth. Find out why cell phone giant Motorola kicked a family dynasty out of the boss' office and brought in a Silicon Valley veteran.
And dirty pictures. See how Saddam Hussein's capture triggered a wave of home-made satire online. You won't want to miss it.
CAFFERTY: There is no doubt now that an economic recovery is under way in this country, but our next guest says that today's corporate workplace is pushing white collar employees to work harder than ever before, while giving them less to show for their efforts. If you dream of getting off the hamster wheel, an economic comeback won't necessarily make that happen for you. Jill Andresky Fraser is the author of "White Collar Sweatshop: the Deterioration of Work and its Rewards," and she joins us now. It's nice to you have on the program. Welcome.
JILL FRASER, AUTHOR, "WHITE COLLAR SWEATSHOP": Thanks so much, Jack. Thank you.
CAFFERTY: This is a $10 -- give or take a few dollars -- a $10 trillion a year economy in this country, and the word sweatshop has connotations that don't fit that number hardly at all. Tell me what you mean when you use the word sweatshop to apply to white collar workers in the United States?
FRASER: Well, you know, the word is harsh and I chose it for a reason. I think that many people will recognize what I'm talking about in their own work lives.
We're putting in longer and longer hours, both at the office and we're bringing more and more work home with us. Weekends, nights, while we're on vacation. Rewards are declining in many job categories. Salaries have been frozen for years now, and benefits like health insurance and pension plans have been cut in very dramatic ways.
Rising insecurity. Well, we know what the layoff situation has been for the last couple of years. But, in fact, layoffs continued really at a remarkable pace throughout the boom of the 1980s and '90s.
And rising productivity standards. You know, at many companies, the demands just keep getting ratcheted up, and there's no way for us to keep up, unless we keep working harder and longer.
LISOVICZ: OK, but, Jill, there is a dichotomy in the layoff situation. Right? OK, there's no question that productivity is at a record high and we're all working harder and faster and all that, but Wall Street, for instance, rewards companies that get this productivity. When you hear word of a layoffs of maybe 5 percent of the work force, typically the stock will go up because it improves the bottom line.
And of course you have to consider the tens of millions of people in the United States are shareholders of public companies, and they benefit from that. Can you talk about that?
FRASER: Absolutely. You know, the funny thing is, during the 1990s, many people bought into exactly that argument. They would say to me, well, you know, Jill, yeah, it's true, I'm working harder and harder. I'm not getting it when it comes to my salary and benefits. But in the end, Wall Street is what's going to make me rich, because you know, I have my money in my 401(k) plan. And so I think they really bought into that idea, that stock market was going to take care of them in the end.
But look at what these last three years have done to many American families. Their savings have been wiped out. I mean, what they haven't lost from the stock market, if they'd been out of work -- and after all, almost nine million people are out of work right now -- they're eating into their savings. I mean, many, many baby boomers, far from the stock market taking care of them, many people are limping their way to retirement.
SERWER: Jill, Jill, let me jump in here. I'm sorry to interrupt. I mean, first of all, the market's come back a lot, obviously, this year. So there is sort of a cyclical nature to things. I also want to ask you about, how much of this has to do with sort of whining to an extent, if you will? In other words, people are working, but they are so aspirational, they are so materialistic, I've got to buy five soccer balls for my kids. I can't make payments on my lake house because of my beach house. And then I have got to buy three minivans.
I mean, if everyone would just sort of chill out a little bit maybe they wouldn't feel so stretched. Plus they're not saving any money. So I mean, can't we point the finger to ourselves a little bit here?
FRASER: Well, you know, certainly there are people who are workaholics and they'd be working this way because they want to. And yes, there are other people who, you know, certainly, there are people out there who have got fabulous houses and vacation homes. And they have to work this way to keep up.
But the difference between the 1980s, the 1990s, the period that we're in right now, and most of the post-World War II economic period is that people don't have any choice. These kind of pressures are at people at every step of the corporate ladder. And you know, there are plenty of people who want nothing more, Andy, than to chill out and be able to be at home with their kids in the evening, helping them out with their homework, volunteering for the PTA.
And quite honestly, they don't have the time to do that, because they're working on their own home. They're working on their own homework. They can't help the kids.
LISOVICZ: Well, we cannot resolve this situation, certainly, in this interview, Jill, but we can only hope that things will get better. Next year, after all, is an election year.
LISOVICZ: Jill Andresky Fraser, author of "White Collar Sweatshop: The Deterioration of Work and its Rewards," thank you so much for joining us.
FRASER: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: Up next on IN THE MONEY -- California dreaming. Find out why Motorola turned to Silicon Valley when it came time to choose a new CEO.
Also ahead -- hair apparent. Saddam Hussein's capture is giving online humorists a spider hole full of raw material. We'll show you some of it.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SERWER: America's biggest name in the cell phone business announced a big change at the top this week. Motorola went outside the company and named Ed Zander as its new CEO. Outgoing CEO Mike Galvin's six years at the helm were rocky, to say the least.
Looking at Motorola shares over the past five years, you can see the stock is still about 79 percent off its high from early 2000. And that makes Motorola our "Stock of the Week."
So, you know, this is a situation, a longstanding family-run company. It's not a great idea, I think, generation after generation after generation.
CAFFERTY: The Forbes have done all right.
SERWER: Well, there's exceptions to the rule.
LISOVICZ: But this is actually an event. A news event, because you have a board who did something. They really...
SERWER: Yeah, that's true.
LISOVICZ: They merely expressed their disappointment, and he left under pressure.
CAFFERTY: I saw an interview with the incoming CEO on another network, it was CNBC. And the guy doing the interview said, tell us about your compensation package? What are they paying you? And he said, you'll have to look it up. I'm not going to tell you.
Now, this is a publicly traded company. His compensation package is a matter of public record. It will be in the quarterly report. He wouldn't answer the question. I don't know if that means anything or not, but it got my attention. I'm thinking, hmm.
SERWER: Maybe not the best way to get off, I guess. Well, you know, Motorola's has had its problems, you know, as a giant in the cell phone business. Then came Nokia. Now Samsung is coming up. Remember the Star Tack (ph)? That was huge. But this is a company that had its problems. Companies -- customers said they wanted digital phones. Then they said, look at our analogue phones. Customers said, no, we want digital phones. So they've got to get their act together.
LISOVICZ: The stock has been coming back, though.
SERWER: It has. It has.
LISOVICZ: Like the general market.
SERWER: Good deal.
All right, just ahead on IN THE MONEY, buried treasure. Finding Saddam in a spider hole has proven to be a gold mine for online comics. We'll check out some of the best of that material.
CAFFERTY: It didn't take long for the comedians on the Internet to figure out there were some yucks that had to do with the capture of Saddam Hussein. And our Web master, Allen Wastler, has found a couple of examples.
ALLEN WASTLER, CNN.COM: I love my job, surfing for this...
WASTLER: We got some funny ones. You actually put me onto one of the first ones I'll show you. It's, how do you hide in a hole? Don't know how to do it? Well, "Hiding in Holes for Dummies."
CAFFERTY: There we go.
WASTLER: And along that theme, you can go with more of a movie classic kind of motif, with maybe the "Caddyshack" thing. Or here we got...
CAFFERTY: Look at that.
SERWER: Is that Bill Murray?
CAFFERTY: No, that's George Bush.
WASTLER: Here we go.
SERWER: Oh. It's George Bush playing Bill Murray. I get it.
WASTLER: Or you can go with TV show type themes. Like, a big popular one right now is "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." If anybody needs a makeover...
LISOVICZ: He needs a makeover.
WASTLER: There you go!
WASTLER: Of course, ads always up to -- how about chia, chia, cha-cha-chia!
WASTLER: Of course, you can also use it for just general social commentary, too. And of course, this guy will dictate for beer.
CAFFERTY: I saw him on the street doing that.
WASTLER: There's many more of that. We've got a quick look here for you, but if you really you want to check them all out, just go to the show page...
CAFFERTY: There you go.
WASTLER: At money.com/inthemoney, and you can get directions on how to (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
SERWER: There was one sent to me from a Red Sox fan, which had a picture of Saddam wearing a Yankee hat. And it said, "more evil than we even ever imagined."
WASTLER: Yeah, there's all kinds of stuff.
CAFFERTY: Thanks, Allen.
Time now to answer your questions and read your answers to our question, actually, about how to stop preschool violence. We had a report on a week or two ago about kids as young as 3 years old, 3 years old, committing violent acts in preschool and kindergarten.
Richard in California wrote: "Spending time with children should be given a high priority while still giving them a degree of privacy. Less TV viewing would also help." With the exception of IN THE MONEY, of course. "Especially if when the family does watch, they watch together."
Get two or three sets, invite the neighbors in, and have a little IN THE MONEY viewing party.
Vicla in Louisiana wrote this: "Take children to Sunday school and church and teach them honesty, kindness, sharing and God's love."
Kathy wrote: "The best policy is to act as an example to your children at all times. At such a young age, children are basically mimics. Model the behavior you want them to exhibit. You'll get back what you put in."
Our e-mail question this week has to do with the economy and whether you think it will continue its recovery in 2004, or whether it will stagnate. You can send your answers and other comments to email@example.com.
And that's it for Andy, Allen and myself. But don't worry, Susan is back in a flash. She has a special look at the people who are primed to become the leaders of some of the biggest companies in the world.
First, though, we'll take a quick break, check the top stories and then we'll forge ahead. Stay with us.
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Capture Saddam Hussein with bin Laden Still on Run Mean to Islamic World?>