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CNN IN THE MONEY
Microsoft To Cut $1 Billion In Costs; A Look At Past Great Vice Presidents; Cell Phones Turn People Into Tyrants
Aired July 10, 2004 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now in the news, contradictory messages from the Philippines government about a Filipino truck driver being held hostage in Iraq. Officials said he's in the process of being freed, but a Philippines diplomat tells CNN Angelo dela Cruz has not been released yet.
A deadly car bomb in Gaza. Palestinian officials say three militants inside the vehicle were killed along with a bystander. The cause of the explosion is not clear. Israeli officials say the blast is not related to the Israeli army.
Marine Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun is safe in Germany this afternoon after being debriefed by his superior officers. Military officials want to know where Hassoun was at and who he was with between his disappearance June 19th and his reappearance in Lebanon last Wednesday.
Authorities charged with keeping track of America's nuclear weapons stockpile are looking for some missing materials. Two CREM items, an acronym for classified removable electronic media were discovered meeting during an inventory at the Los Alamos National lab. Lab officials say they'll fire anyone responsible for the disappearance of the missing CREMs. More news at the bottom of the hour
Now, time for "IN THE MONEY."
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of "IN THE MONEY," sidekicks with punch. As John Kerry names his running mate, we'll show you some vice presidents who decided there is more to the job than just having a pulse.
Plus, service with a smile. A former Defense Department official says it's time to bring back the draft. See why he thinks it would help the whole country and not just the military.
And thanks for sharing. If you ever wanted to tell a cell phone user to shut up, please do. Find out how that little plastic box can turn ordinary people into telephone tyrants and the people around them into raging lunatics. Joining me today, a couple of our "IN THE MONEY" veterans, CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer.
I'm probably the oldest guy sitting at this desk. I don't recall the amount of media attention that was paid to a vice presidential nominee that was paid to John Edwards this week. I mean it just seemed like a week-long event and if memory serves me, it's usually a blip on the radar, next and on to the next crisis.
ANDREW SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Not since Aaron Burr.
CAFFERTY: I'm not quite that old, Andy, but, thank you.
SERWER: At first I couldn't understand what John Kerry was doing because he introduced his vice presidential candidate without him being there and then I realized what he was trying to do. He was stretching it out into a two-day affair, very smart. And let's face it, John Edwards is good looking, as they say, looks good and so the cameras are rolling. I think that's what it is about.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think spontaneity does not exist when you're running for president of the United States. It's a slow week. It's the summer and he is telegenic. It's a popularity contest. He did very well in the primaries. The funniest thing I read this week was Maureen Dowd, one of the op/ed pieces in the "New York Times" says that the Bush people call John Edwards the Breck girl, so, if you're old enough to remember that sort of sunny and shiny.
CAFFERTY: Photo ops though, the photo ops the day after he was nominated when they all spent the night before apparently at Teresa Heinz Kerry's palatial estate there in the middle of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This is a woman who is worth somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion. Her husband is worth tens of millions on his own. Edwards won tens of millions of dollars in malpractice awards that he stuck in his bank account. They all came trotting down from this palatial estate to a nondescript background of lawn and hedge, never saw the house.
LISOVICZ: It's too far away.
CAFFERTY: The report was they had been dining the night before on loin of veal while chatting about the plight of the common man in America. I found that kind of...
LISOVICZ: They're all rich, though. I mean think about it.
SERWER: It's class war fare. Which class at Yale do you want?
CAFFERTY: Once again, we've got four rich white guys running for the two top jobs in the country.
All right. On to other things, how many kids do you know that want to grow up to be vice president besides perhaps John Edwards? You can see where we're going with this. A lot of people think the office is about bringing in votes as a running mate and then staying out of the way for the next four years. But some recent politicians have managed to rewrite the job description. And with this week's Kerry- Edwards match up in mind, we're going to check them out. For that we're joined now by Tim Walsh, who's the director of the Herbert Hoover presidential library in Iowa, who is also the author of the "At the President's Side," the vice presidency of the 20th Century. welcome to our program. It's nice to have you with us. TIMOTHY WALSH, HERBERT HOOVER PRES LIBRARY: Glad to be with you here from Iowa where Kerry and Edwards finished 1-2 in the Iowa caucuses.
CAFFERTY: Interesting though that Dick Gephardt has been running for president since he was knee high to one of those critters you have out in the far fields out there, couldn't even manage to win the Iowa caucuses and he was considered the frontrunner for the vice presidential nomination for a long time. In fact Kerry and Edwards didn't like each other very much during the primary season. Tell me what your take is on the Edwards nomination.
WALSH: Well, that is a little bit of a surprise because compatibility is a major factor in any presidential candidate selecting a vice president. First, they want to make sure that there is no problems with that vice presidential candidate. You guys talked about how no one pays attention to it. They do if there is a mistake or there's a problem as was the case in 1988 with Dan Quayle's service record or in 1972 with Tom Eagleton's medical record.
So you want to make sure there is no problems there in the closet. Secondly, you want to make sure the candidates are compatible and third, you want to make sure that the vice presidential candidate brings something to the ticket. Now, compatibility was there for Gephardt and certainly, the fact that there weren't any skeletons, but he just apparently didn't have enough, enough assets, so to speak, to convince John Kerry that he should be the vice presidential candidate.
LISOVICZ: You know, Tim, everybody disparages the role of vice president. One of the best quotes in recent weeks is John McCcain who compares his terrible experience as a P.O.W. in Vietnam to being vice president. He doesn't want to be fed scraps again. It's a consolation prize but in reality, it's not if you look at Vice President Cheney or if you look at his predecessor, Vice President Gore. They had tremendous influence, did they not?
WALSH: Absolutely, Susan, you're right. Really starting in 1952 with Richard Nixon as vice president and with each successive vice presidency, that office has acquired more power. I mean, it's hard to believe in 1952 the vice president did not even have an office on the grounds of the White House. He was stuck up on Capitol Hill and then finally they gave Mr. Nixon an office in the Old Executive Office Building and then with Walter Mondale, he had an office in the west wing and proximity to power is power. So, the closer you are to the president, that's why I titled My book "At the President's Side." It wasn't until 1952 and later that we see a vice president really taking serious responsibilities within the executive branch.
SERWER: Yeah, Tim, I got a list of all the vice presidents here and I must say, it's not -- first, we start with the aforementioned Aaron Burr who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton. George Clinton, not the funk artist, Hannibal Hamlin, Garret Hobart, Alben Barkley, he was Harry Truman's veep, Spiro Agnew of course, the great Spiro and then what's really interesting to me is that there are more than a dozen times in history when we didn't have a vice president, when the vice president ascended to the presidency or the vice president had resigned for other reasons and the country ran just fine. I mean, do we really need these vice presidents?
WALSH: Well, excellent point. Well, we do now and it's because we have become the sole superpower in the world and there's just too much work for the president to do. And what's happened is the vice president has become an extension of the presidency and that's why compatibility is so important. What makes Vice President Cheney so powerful, as well, is the fact that he does not have any ambition to become president. I mean, that is the one sticking point that always makes it a problem for vice presidents. They want to be their own guys and at some point, either in the first or second term, they want to separate themselves from the president. But once they separate themselves from the mother ship so to speak or father ship, you begin to lose power. So there's an irony in the office but there's no question, there's plenty of work to be done in the executive branch and more and more of it is going to the vice president.
CAFFERTY: John Edwards has been alternately described as charismatic, a great speaker, perhaps able to connect with working class Americans who for some reason tend these days to vote Republican as opposed to Democratic, where other Democrats have failed and then as critics say that he's got a smile a mile wide and experience an inch deep. Which is it and how concerned do you think voters will be in November about the lack of experience or the perceived lack of experience, particularly in the area of foreign policy?
WALSH: I think there's really, the role of the vice president in tipping elections is over rated. It really hasn't been since 1960 when Lyndon Johnson brought Texas into the Democratic ranks that a vice president was critical to the election. Now the question becomes, John Kerry or John Edwards is sworn in, does he have the credentials to do the job? And, of course, only time will tell. But think of the vice presidents we've had. I think it was Andy, I can't see you guys, so I think it was Andy who was talking about some of our vice presidents, but, remember, it was Theodore Roosevelt who was kicked upstairs in 1900 because Boss Plaque (ph) didn't like him as governor of New York. They made him vice president, you know, he had so little to do and so little experience, he was going to go to law school at G.W. while he was vice president of the United States. And what about Harry Truman? This guy is working for a machine politician in Missouri. He hardly had met FDR before he becomes vice president and only two or three times afterwards and he becomes president of the United States during the cold war. So I think that all things being equal, if you look at history, there's a pretty good chance that given the circumstances John Edwards would rise to the occasion and handle any assignment that he had and do it well.
CAFFERTY: Tim Walsh, the director of the Herbert Hoover presidential library, joining us today from Iowa. Thanks for being with us.
WALSH: Glad to be with you guys.
CAFFERTY: All right. We're going to get out of the way and pay a few bills, run some commercials, but we'll be back. Get in the blender (ph). A draft would make all Americans, all kinds of Americans live together and work together. We're going to find out why a former Defense Department man thinks this is a terrific idea whose time has come.
Plus, close calls. Some cell phone users act like the whole world is their living room. See why so many people lose their manners when they get on a mobile phone.
And busting out of the craft tent. summer camp gets hotter every year as the bosses jazz up the old lanyard and sing along formula. Take a look with us in a few minutes.
CAFFERTY: The draft is a little like jury duty. It's one of those ideas that sounds great as long as it's for the other guy. For months now, there have been rumors that a draft might be in the works in this country. The Defense Department is denying it, but the rumors persist. According to one former Pentagon official, a draft is just what the military and the country needs. Noel Koch is a former assistant secretary of Defense. These days he's president of Trans Secure, a global information security company. Noel, nice to have you with us.
NOEL KOCH, FMR. ASST: SEC OF DEFENSE: Thanks for having me.
CAFFERTY: I understand the part about the draft might be good for the military, but you say it's just what the country needs. What do you mean by that?
KOCH: Well, I think, first of all, at the heart -- we're very close to the heart of the American ethos is this notion of shared sacrifice and we're not sharing the sacrifice today. We're putting the burden of our defense obligations on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum and it's very easy to make decisions in favor of going to war in Iraq, in favor of military ventures elsewhere when you don't have anything vested in that.
And so by spreading these kinds of concerns across the entire spectrum of the American public, I think we get a better decision in terms of our defense priorities and I think that people who are going into the military would find if we had a draft that was universal and it has to be universal. It has to be absolutely air tight for it to work. But what's going to come out the other end is going to have profoundly positive effects on the country.
SERWER: But, Noel, the conflict in Iraq is not the most popular engagement we've ever found ourselves in. Wouldn't a draft simply not fly at this point?
KOCH: Well, I'm not sure what would fly at this point, but, let's walk the cat back to early 2003 and there was overwhelming support for the war in Iraq. The Congress loved it. People who were in the Congress who didn't love it were afraid to say so and most of this was a distorted perception of the costs and what we were about to get ourselves into because the people who were making these decisions, the people who thought it was a good idea really didn't have a vested interest in it. So if you ask somebody, do you favor going into Iraq and they said yes, and 70 to 80 percent of the people then did, then you ask them, would you favor a draft? Would you favor having your child go and be involved in this thing? You might have gotten a little different outcome.
LISOVICZ: Yes and that leads to my next question. The draft and shared sacrifice. Come on, it really hasn't been a shared sacrifice. If you're somebody with connections or you want to get connections or you're the son or daughter of privilege, you ain't going to Iraq.
KOCH: Well, you're talking about history. What was and what should be are two different things. What we went through in Vietnam before we got rid of the draft, before President Nixon got rid of the draft in 1973, '74, we had draft deferments. There was all manner of ways that you could get out of going and it's simply wrong. As I said before, unless it's air tight, it's not going to work.
CAFFERTY: What about the political resistance to doing anything that might have some public resistance to it out there? I mean, politicians are nothing, if not pragmatic.
KOCH: Well, this is true. Nobody wants to -- nobody wants to pay taxes, nobody wants to serve the country. Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. So it's a question of leadership. Politicians, you have a certain generation of politicians who tell you to ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you. But there was a time when people inverted that and that was a time of great idealism and I think we can go back to that and I think it would be a better country if we did.
SERWER: Noel, you write that a draft might reduce drug use, might decrease the number of folks in jail, increase camaraderie between the classes if you will. Shouldn't we just be doing that in a peacetime footing? I mean wouldn't a booming economy do those things? Shouldn't we address those problems head on rather than have them be a byproduct of the draft?
KOCH: I think a booming economy, which we had during the '90s and it was a period in which that part, a substantial part of that part of our population that would be draft age qualification came to think that being self absorbed was the fifth freedom. And most of them probably couldn't name the first four.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Touche.
LISOVICZ: Hey, you know what, about you know, the fact that we have this tremendous deficit and if we were going to increase the number of men and women in uniform, wouldn't that balloon the defense budget even more than it is already?
KOCH: You know, it's really not clear to me, first of all, I'm not a defense economist, but let me say this, the economies that you get out of the all volunteer army seems to me are questionable because what you've got to do, you're paying signing bonuses. You're paying reenlistment bonuses. You're paying for college. You're doing a lot of things to financially encourage these people to stay in and that's one of the hidden costs of the all-volunteer army. If you didn't have that, then people, when we had a draft and you had careerists in the army, they went in for a variety of reasons obviously, but money wasn't a major part of that. Today, that's what's pitched. We're going to send you to college. We're going to do a variety of things for you that you can't do on your own. Again, you're attracting that lower end, the unemployed, the under employed part of our society into it. If you subtract these requirements for inducements and incentives to bring people into the military, you may find that you're getting better value out of the military and it may not be as costly as it would appear to be.
LISOVICZ: We're going to have to leave it at that, unfortunately Noel. It's certainly a subject that will come up again, considering the circumstances we're in these days. Noel Koch, a former assistant secretary of defense joining us from Washington. Thanks for joining us.
KOCH: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: Time for a break now, but when we come back, when $56 billion isn't enough. Microsoft is rich beyond your wildest dreams, but it's still getting pinched. Find out how Wall Street is taking the company's cost cuts.
Also ahead, summer camp takes a hike. For a few lucky kids camp doesn't stop at your cabin. See why some youngsters are going overseas and racking up resume points.
And the cyberspace race. We'll tell you how John Kerry's move to pick a running mate is having an impact on the web.
LISOVICZ: Now the week's top stories in our money minute. Former Enron Chairman Ken Lay pleaded not guilty to 11 criminal counts against him. They include wire fraud, securities fraud and making false and misleading statements. Lay surrendered to FBI authorities Thursday morning, one day after he was indicted by a grand jury in Houston did the infamous perp walk. He was released on $500,000 bail. Lay is the 31st person or entity for that matter charged in the Enron investigation.
And while we're on the corporate crime beat, also this week, another set back for Martha Stewart. Her obstruction of justice conviction will not be thrown out. A Federal judge denied Stewart's request for a new trial based on allegations that a government expert lied on the witness stand. The judge said the testimony did not affect the jury's verdict. Stewart is expected to be sentenced later this month, a matter of days for that matter.
And fewer people are curling up with a good book these days or so says the National Endowment for the Arts. A new survey finds that fewer than half of American adults have read a novel, short story or play in the past year, but they do watch this program.
SERWER: A little belt tightening for a company with $56 billion in the bank, $56 billion. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer outlined a plan this week to shed $1 billion in costs. The reason? Balmer says expenses have grown faster than revenues for the past three years. Let's check out the stock. It's hovered around its current price for quite some time. That makes Microsoft our stock of the week. Actually, it's a lot worse than that. Stock has gone from about $60 in late '99 to about $27 today. A lot of shareholders very ticked off, $56 billion in cash. There are 10 billion shares, I'll do the math, that's $5.60 a share in cash and this company you know, has done a lot of things, but it's never really made any money in anything except operating software and applications software. What are they going to do here?
LISOVICZ: Well, two things obviously. If you're talking about the share price, you can raise the dividend or you can do a share buy-back program. That's two things. The other thing is, we're at this critical stage now, we've had this week all these warnings from software companies and some analysts are blaming the muddling market waiting for Microsoft to report later this month to get a better idea where the tech sector is.
CAFFERTY: What's wrong with the way they're doing business? I ask that in the sense that they've gotten a lot of these monopoly problems behind them. They've made settlements with a lot of the states attorneys general around the country. I think they've got the cases in Europe pretty much in hand. Why isn't the company doing any better than it is? Are they the poster boy for the computer industry out there? Why isn't Microsoft doing anything?
SERWER: I think that actually a lot of the litigation really isn't over. That's sort of number one, that it hangs like an anvil over their heads and they haven't cleared it up completely, especially in Europe and then the other thing is free ware, Linux, free operating software out there making inroads and what happened in Europe, in particular, Jack, they ticked off a lot of countries and so the countries just said OK, we're going to stop buying Microsoft Office. We're going to buy Linux instead.
So on the margin, Linux is bothering (ph). That's why Microsoft is looking at companies like SAP, which, to me is German gobblygook (ph) and I am so glad they decided not to buy that company. They're looking at acquisitions like that. And think about if you're an employee though. Here's a company, $56 billion of cash and by the way, we're going to cut the towels in your locker room.
LISOVICZ: But no layoffs. And the other thing about Microsoft at this interesting time, because on the one hand you have gotten used to these enormous growth for tech company, right? Well, it's still growing. It's still double-digit growth. It just ain't that meteoric growth. So, that's one. But the other hand, it's a maturing company and it's an 800-pound gorilla a that, so how do you straddle those two and keep investors happy?
CAFFERTY: Well, the investors obviously aren't happy these days and with good reason. I mean the stock came down split adjusted from 120 bucks down to around 60. Now it's from 60 down to around 30. They haven't raised the dividend. They got all this money and the shareholders are kind of getting one of these, who cares kind of looks. LISOVICZ: That's why there was a 4900-word memo out from Steve Balmer.
SERWER: Investors say it's no longer a growth stock. It's not a value stock either. So we'll be checking it out.
There's much more ahead on "IN THE MONEY." coming up, phonezilla. We'll look at why so many people with cell phones act like the rest of us simply don't exist.
Plus, cabin fever. Summer camp is booming, including some big- ticket options. Find out why for some campers the bus is out and the plane is in.
And street justice for cell phone abusers. See how a couple of pranksters took the problem into their own hands or feet on our fun side of the week.
WHITFIELD: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Back to more of "IN THE MONEY" after a look at what's happening right now in the news. A Filipino man taken hostage in Iraq may not be free after all. A Philippines diplomat says the truck driver has not been released contrary to earlier reports that he was en route to a Baghdad hotel. We'll have a live report from Manila in about 30 minutes.
The government of Bulgaria is optimistic that two of its citizens held hostage in Iraq may still be alive. A reported deadline set by their kidnappers is passed but Bulgaria's foreign minister says he's hearing from different sources that the two men are still alive.
Departing Bahrain because of possible terrorist attacks. This weekend, dozens of U.S. military families begin leaving the Persian Gulf country. The formal order was given earlier this week by the U.S. central command. Evacuations are expected to take a few weeks to complete.
The White House is promoting legislation that could ban gay marriage. Congress is considering a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In his weekly radio address, the president said it would protect the most fundamental institution of civilization.
I'll have all the day's news at the top of the hour. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Now back to more of "IN THE MONEY."
LISOVICZ: Cell phones have turned sitting around waiting for a call into one of those quaint retro activities like a quilting bee or a barn raising or sending a letter through the mail, but helpful as it may be, there's a flipside to that flip phone in your life and it comes out when people pick up the mobile and drop their good manners. For more about that, we're joined by James Katz, professor of communications at Rutgers University. He's also the author of "Perpetual Contact, Mobile Communication, Private Talk and Public Performance." Welcome. JAMES KATZ, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Hello.
LISOVICZ: You know, professor, I was on a Washington to New York Amtrak train, it was a no cell phone car. The poor guy in the car picked up his cell phone and I thought there was going to be a public lynching. People have had it with cell phone manners, bad cell phone manners. Why is it that we get so irritated about people using their cell phones?
KATZ: Well, there's something about the way that we're hard wired, I believe, that makes it very hard for us to ignore half the conversation. Millions of years of evolution have prepared us to engage the people around us and when they're yakking to some unseen other, it just gets us whipped up but we don't really know what's going on.
SERWER: James, in defense of cell phones, it's sort of an opposite example of what happened to Susan. I was on a bus and I was talking on some cell phone. Some older lady told me to stop talking and I asked her if she just felt neglected or ignored or she was lonely and I reminded her that my conversation on my cell phone was no louder than if I was sitting next to someone talking.
There's nothing wrong with cell phones. Get used to it. How many lives have cell phones saved? Hunters, people lost in the woods, I'm sure it's saved a lot of people. I'm trying to -- this is me preaching to Jack Cafferty here a little bit, but if people can't handle it, maybe they should be somewhere where there aren't any cell phones, don't you think?
KATZ: Well, I think there are very few places where there are no cell phones and those few places are about to be populated anyway. Some countries, about 99 percent of the people in the country are cell phone users. So I think this is a trend that is only going to gather strength.
What I would say is important here, is something that social scientists call the actor observer paradox. That is that, when you need a mobile phone and you need to make a call or get a call, that's great and other people should understand. On the other hand, when other people are doing that and they're disturbing your privacy, your solitude, then they're being rude and discourteous. So it really depends on whose ox is being gored.
CAFFERTY: You talked about the fact that we're sort of hardwired to hear both sides of the conversation.
CAFFERTY: Doesn't the cell phone irritability quotient have a lot to do with what's being discussed? I got no problem hearing somebody call and say, may I speak to the doctor, please, I'd like to find out how my son who was in an accident last night is doing. But to listen to some pretentious twit in a restaurant talking to some other pretentious twit someplace else in New York.
SERWER: Sometimes we have to talk, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Yes. About -- or on the bus that Andy was on about what kind of wine ought to be served with some piece of dead fish in light of the fact that he's going out with somebody from Harvard Univ -- I mean, some of this stuff makes my teeth hurt.
I've never owned a cell phone. I'm 61 years old. I don't feel the slightest bit slighted or neglected. I don't have a car phone. I don't have pagers. I don't have any of that stuff and yet I seem to get through my days OK and I'd like to think I get through my days without making everybody around me ready to take a shot at me. Isn't there something about the stuff that people use these phones for that just...
KATZ: (INAUDIBLE) We certainly understand emergencies. We certainly understand when people need to do something. At the same time, we find that these other types of calls really do grate on us. And I think just the mere fact that other people are showing that they're not that engaged with you even though they're sharing the space with you.
CAFFERTY: I don't want (INAUDIBLE) I just want them to be quiet.
KATZ: Let me point out that not all those people are actually talking to somebody else. In surveys I've done, about 26 percent of the people we interview admit that sometimes they've pretended to be talking on the mobile phone just to impress the people around them.
LISOVICZ: Well, it does just the opposite. You know, James, interesting developments this week. Ken Lay indicted, press all over in Houston. There's his attorney surrounded by camera people and reporters and his cell phone goes off and he very politely apologizes and turned it off. Why can't people just exercise a little bit of restraint? There was a reason why phone booths came with the first phone. In other words, talk softly, you know don't talk at length in a public environment, in a yoga studio or in a board meeting. Why don't people just sort of get it? It seems like our parents taught us good manners when we were growing up.
KATZ: Well, yes. We expect other people to use good manners at all times and they should. However, we also sometimes feel, well, maybe it's an important call and maybe if I could just handle this one call, that would save me lots of hours. Other people around us need to quote, understand our situation. And that's really where the conflict comes in because we assume other people will understand our situation, but we don't. We don't understand their situation.
SERWER: James, I'm going to ask our viewers if they want to go to our website and make a donation to get Jack a cell phone. I'm not sure who would call him. By the way Jack, that was a '98 merlot that I was talking about with my friend in the restaurant.
CAFFERTY: It's a good thing I (INAUDIBLE) You know, the other thing about telephones -- I just -- I have noticed in all these years when the phone rings it's very seldom something that you want to hear. It's I need, I want, it's broken, I can't -- LISOVICZ: Your parents.
CAFFERTY: It's never somebody calling saying, guess what, I'm going to drop by a few thousand dollars or you've won a new car.
KATZ: I have to say Jack, as one of those unusual people because, even if you don't, most of us even if we don't want to have a cell phone, our friends and family will say, oh, you really need to get one. Oh, I'm worried, I might need to get a hold of you so you should get one. And I tried calling and you didn't pick up. Why weren't you there? So it's not only our own wishes, but the wishes of the people in our social network that are really driving a lot of this behavior.
SERWER: Just quickly James, I mean it seems like people are talking on these phones because they don't want to think or be alone. Maybe that's just the way it is these days, right?
KATZ: Well, there is a real tension. People often get nervous, especially in public places, waiting in lines. They feel they need to be connected to their friends and in a sense the mobile phone is a form of social support for them and to try to understand these long- term questions is why we established at Rutgers, the Center for Mobile Communication Studies of which I'm the director. We'll be able to answer some of these questions in the years ahead more definitively than we can today.
CAFFERTY: Can I take a class from you?
SERWER: We're going to study you.
LISOVICZ: It should be said that the Center for Mobile communications also puts out a list of good etiquette while you're using your cell phone and letting your voice mail take your calls when you're in meetings, yoga and so on is at the top of the list.
LISOVICZ: James Katz, that's another new concept for Jack I think as well. James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communications at Rutgers University Thanks for an enlightening chat.
KATZ: My pleasure.
LISOVICZ: We're going to take a quick break, but when we come back, an old school summer with new school style. Summer camp is booming as operators tweak yesterday's routines for today's kids. We'll take a look.
And big ticket. Find out how some web prospectors try to make a buck on a political match.
SERWER: It wasn't so long ago that everyone knew what summer camp was about, stuff like coping with cabin mates, making those lanyards out of plastic string -- I remember that and singing around a fire. Well, today's camper is likely to be singing a different tune and it probably isn't Kumbaya (ph). These days summer camps for some kids mean scuba diving in the Caribbean or studying ecology in Costa Rica. National Camp Association Director Jeffrey Solomon joins us now for a look at the increasing popularity of exotic summer camps and camp in general. Welcome, Jeffrey.
JEFFREY SOLOMON, NATL CAMP ASSN: Hi.
SERWER: Listen my older daughter just went away to sleep away camp and of course we're suffering a little withdrawal and also enjoying it a little bit, but why don't you tell us a little bit about some of these real high-end camps that seem to be popular now.
SOLOMON: The terrific thing today is that there's probably a right camp for every child. So there are these very exotic programs where children can go scuba diving, learn marine biology, be involved in a community service project in Costa Rica or working on an Indian reservation in the southwestern United States. There are travel programs throughout Europe. There are mountain climbing, rock climbing-type programs, bike tours. So there's a host and a variety of different things to appeal to just about every type of interest with a lot of adventure in mind.
LISOVICZ: Yes, Jeffrey, I never went to camp and I don't even know what a lanyard is. Well, that explains a lot of things actually about me.
SERWER?: I'll show you my lanyard.
LISOVICZ: We'll sing around the camp fire later. I thought summer vacation was all about just that, going to the beach, staying up late, sleeping many hours. You're telling me that one of the trends is to get ahead, to improve your resume and a lot of kids are doing this at their parents' insistence.
SOLOMON: I wouldn't necessarily call it a trend. I think that the general traditional camp is still the most popular type of program for younger children. However, with more and more older children now going to summer camp, the opportunity to take academic enrichment programs, classes that will give them some advancement or give them just a taste of what it would be like to go away to college have become very popular and certainly community service programs and some of these other projects that children can be involved can certainly enhance a resume, make an application to college look that much better.
CAFFERTY: Is that what childhood should really be about though I wonder and I ask that in a very philosophical sense. I know here on the east coast, particularly in cities like New York from the moment the kid leaves the nursery, it's like what kind of preschool can I get him into so that he can go to the right private school, so can go to the right secondary school, get into the right type (ph) of high school, get into the right college. And if we can get summer camp into the mix so we can get that on his resume, I mean are we overdoing it with just maybe not letting these kids go out in the back yard and make some mud pies and throw them at each other and just be kids? SOLOMON: Well, mud pies I'm sure are fun a children should still certainly enjoy doing that, however, I think our society is on a fast track. We are always looking to get ahead and get our kids ahead. And once you realize these programs are not punitive, the kids are not there to be punished. They're there to have a good time and certainly to learn and to improve skills and the reports we get back from families and particularly from the children is that they really had a great time. So, the element of fun is still there. It doesn't mean that by taking an interesting class or being involved in a community service program or doing some scuba diving that you're not having a good time. I think the kids are having a great time and the reports indicate that but they're also learning. They're developing skills and things that may give them a jump in their future careers and lives.
SERWER: Hey Jeffrey, let me ask you about this whole communication issue. This is a very controversial topic amongst campers and parents. How much communication is right? Some of these camps now have web cams -- I love this -- that follow your little darlings around so you can monitor them 24/7 on the Internet. I mean others of them have e-mail. Some of you are allowed to have cell phones. What about regular good old snail mail. I mean what happened to that?
SOLOMON: Well, certainly, snail mail still exists, however, as suggested by the term snail mail, it is a slow process and parents do like to hear from their children on a more regular basis and certainly e-mail can accomplish that. I think technology certainly has found its way into summer camp and I think it has a benefit. It has a place for families that want to be able to turn on their computer and get a view of what's going on at camp, it certainly is an enhancement to the camp program. Children seem to enjoy it, the communication, as I said, is much improved. Children are still able to write letters home, but you write a letter, it's going to take a few days before mom or dad can get it and then respond to it, it'll take a few more days.
LISOVICZ: Jeff, it seems like camp has evolved quite a bit since the camp Grenada days, but all of these, you know, all this global jet setting and all of these skills that you can learn and the web casting and all this, it comes at a price. Do you get like tuition aid or financial aid for going to these kinds of camps?
SOLOMON: Not typically. These programs are not for everybody financially. They can be cost prohibitive. These programs also tend to not be like a typical camp that can enroll up to 300 or 400 children for a summer. These are smaller numbers and so they don't really have margins to be able to offer financial assistance. So it is for those that can afford it or feel that it's a worthwhile investment to make for their children.
CAFFERTY: What the most I can spend to send my little darling away to camp?
SOLOMON: You're welcome to send me a check for anything you'd like Jack, but --
CAFFERTY: You're not my little darling. What's a high end camp? What do they cost?
SOLOMON: The camps can run well over $1,000 a week. If I wanted to do a scuba diving Caribbean type expedition for a few weeks, that could run you $4,000, or $5,000 for a three or four-week program and that may not be including the transportation costs on top of that or if you have to provide equipment for the program.
SERWER: All right. Jeffrey Solomon, who can short sheet a bed with the best of them I'm sure, director of the National Camp Association. Thanks for coming on.
SOLOMON: Thank you for having me.
SERWER: Time for some ads, but stick around. Coming up after the break, mobile phones that really move. See how a couple of pranksters take cell phone etiquette to new extremes on our fun site of the week and talk with your hands. If you don't like what we're covering or you want to just pass a compliment, sit down and type us an e-mail. Our address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAFFERTY: If you logged on to kerryedwards.com to find out where exactly the White House hopefuls were grandstanding this week, well, you were out of luck. Likewise, if you checked out kerry-edwards.com or even kerryedwards2004.com, not there either. These sites have all been snatched up and pinned with a hefty price tag. Money.com webmaster Allen Wastler joins us now with a look at the illegal practice of something called cyber squatting.
ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: Cyber squatting. This actually grew up in the beginning of the Internet bubble, OK, some wise web people said, if I went out and snagged a name that somebody is going to need eventually they'd have to pay me for it wouldn't they? So they went out and they snagged -- basically they went after corporations, Panasonic, Hertz, Avon. These were some of the corporations they went out, boom and did it.
LISOVICZ: But also celebrities, too.
WASTLER: Celebrities, too. They just grab it and basically it's an extortion scheme. Hey, I got your domain. It's mine.
CAFFERTY: That's kind of the American way isn't it?
WASTLER: Well, you know, if you're a company and you've built a brand name and somebody is like throwing up pictures of, let's say, an untoward quality on there, it could damage your brand name.
CAFFERTY: Which website is that?
SERWER: What's the URL?
WASTLER: I was going to tell you later, later. Anyway, so Congress passed a law in 1999 which outlawed cyber squatting. So now if somebody takes a domain that you think should rightfully be yours, you can actually sue under this law. Also you can go to icon, which is the international governing body for Internet addresses and they have an arbitration procedure. But political sites, this is bringing up a whole new question because you can say, no, I'm using it for parody. I'm making a political statement with this domain name. That's why you have whitehouse.org. If you go to that, it's a humor site that's making fun of everything the government is doing.
SERWER?: That sounds productive.
WASTLER: Yes, a lot of these Kerry sites, a lot of the Kerry sites, you know, kerryedwards.com, it's owned by a bail bondsman who bought it five years ago who put his kids picture up on it.
SERWER?: He gets that five years ago.
WASTLER: So he can argue that it was a legitimate family site. There you go. There's the guy. But others are putting sort of anti- Kerry/Edwards statements on there and just working it that way. So it brings up an interesting question.
CAFFERTY: The bottom line for political stuff, it might be legal but it ain't kosher.
WASTLER: Sometimes it's funny.
CAFFERTY: What about the fun site of the week?
WASTLER: I heard you guys talking about cell phone etiquette.
LISOVICZ: We're complaining about it.
SERWER: Not me.
WASTLER: A couple guys in England ripped off a couple of those promotional cell phone suits and they decided to do something about it. There's their mission statement.
CAFFERTY?: Phone bashing.
SERWER?: That's blasphemous.
WASTLER: And then they proceeded to go around and when they thought that someone was being rude with a cell phone, well they just sort of ran up, grabbed it out of their hands. Here you go. This is their first effort at it. They take the cell phone. They throw it to the ground. They stomp on it and then they run, run, run.
CAFFERTY?: It's terrific.
WASTLER: The hip grab. I really like the hip grab because they're sort of like going for it.
LISOVICZ: He wasn't even talking on the phone.
WASTLER: Apparently they'd witnessed some...
SERWER: These guys need jobs.
CAFFERY: They have a job. This is terrific. We should have a whole army of these people in this country, in this city, on the buses that Serwer rides back and forth to work.
SERWER: I'm one of those nut jobs.
CAFFERTY: I'm going to send them to your house where you don't have a phone so you can deal with them and tell them where to go. You can deal with those people
WASTLER: This is what the Internet's made for, right?
CAFFERTY: I love it.
LISOVICZ: But nobody complained. Right, nobody demanded their money back for their smashed phone.
WASTLER: You never know. Well, they ran and ran and ran.
SERWER: (INAUDIBLE) They beat them up instead.
LISOVICZ: Assault and battery.
CAFFERTY: What is it? Cellphonebashing.com.
WASTLER: If people can't remember it, they can go to our show (ph) page and we'll have the address.
LISOVICZ: Andrew's going to be up next.
CAFFERTY: Thanks Allen. Coming up on next on "IN THE MONEY," we're going to channel you the viewers. We're going to read some of your e-mails just ahead and if you want to drop a note the virtual mailbag is always open. The address is email@example.com. Unburden yourselves of the burning issues that are troubling your very soul.
CAFFERTY: It's time now to read your answers to our question from last week. What makes you proud to be an American? Bob in Idaho wrote this. I'm proud to be an American because of the very traits we demonstrated in Iraq, because our actions at Abu Ghraib horrified us while it would be mild for most other countries' prisons.
Another viewer, David says, I'm proud that we have a democratic system in place that will enable the voters to choose their government officials. I'm a proud American who voted for Bush and I will not compound that mistake by voting for him again. Finally Jeff from Massachusetts writes this -- what makes me proud to be an American this July fourth and every moment of every day is that I have the freedom to e-mail your program with my opinions that I wish to state and that you have the freedom to read any opinions that you wish.
SERWER: Here, here.
CAFFERTY: And we did and that concludes that deal. Now for this week's question, what is the worst cell phone horror story you have ever had? And we would love to hear from the little old lady who was on the bus when Andy Serwer -- please, please write to us.
SERWER: I want to hear her side of the story.
CAFFERTY: Send your answers to "IN THE MONEY" at cnn.com. And you should visit or show page at money.com/in the money. That's where you'll find the address of our fun site of the week. Check that out. Thank you meantime for joining us for this edition of "IN THE MONEY." Thanks to CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer and money.com managing editor Allen Wastler. Join us tomorrow at 3:00 Eastern. We'll take a look at what drives the working class in middle America to vote Republican and what the Democrats are trying to do to change that. That's tomorrow at 3:00. We hope to see you then. Thanks.
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