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CNN IN THE MONEY
Iraqi Insurgents Attack Other Cities; New Gun Security Features Reduce Risk Of Accidental Deaths; Sick Co-Workers Pose Health Risk To Entire Office
Aired November 20, 2004 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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, last stop or the first step? As the U.S. military fought in Fallujah, Iraq's insurgents attack elsewhere. We'll look at whether taking the city is the beginning of the end for the insurgency.
And building a gun that can play it safe. Security features could take a lot of the risk out of owning a weapon. Check out the options and see why they're not mandatory already.
And sick and wired. More and more office martyrs turning up ill on the job. Find out why yesterday's absentees are turning into something called the presentees, and that's not a good thing. Joining me today a couple of the IN THE MONEY veterans, CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer. I made that reference, it's not a good thing. Martha Stewart made $30 million rotting in jail down in West Virginia the other day. She's doing better than we are.
Let's talk about Howard Stern. He's going to Sirius Satellite Radio company. Now, I'm not a real sophisticated brain, but why do they need Mel Karmazin at $120 million to tag along after Howard? You put Howard on the radio, people listen. End of discussion. It's a very simple equation.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Well, I mean Mel is a radio guy. He cut his teeth at Infinity Broadcasting and Mel was his protege there. He made that company great. You know what's interesting though Jack, because he used to diss satellite radio all the time when he was over at Viacom.
CAFFERTY: ...because they weren't paying him.
SERWER: Right and now he's not. I think they keep talking about oh, this is a transformational event. You get Howard, it's transformation. You get Mel it's transformation. Pretty soon you're going to have to start making money and getting subscribers. So they only got about 700,000 subscribers. XM's got 1 or 2 million so now it's time to get the ball in the end zone.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Apparently Howard Stern has brought some subscribers, hundreds of thousands of subscribers to the table.
SERWER: Of his people. LISOVICZ: His people, if that's what you want to call it.
CAFFERTY: Let me rephrase my question. If Howard Stern is already adding hundreds of thousands of new listeners and he's not even on the radio at Sirius yet, why do they have to pay Mel Karmazin $120 million?
SERWER: Is Mel going to have his own show? Maybe Mel should have his own show.
CAFFERTY: Maybe he should have his own show. That's a good idea.
LISOVICZ: When you have big talent they have demands. Howard and Mel play very nice together. Really, Howard was made by Mel.
SERWER: What about that "IN THE MONEY" on Sirius. They want to get subscribers.
CAFFERTY: Would we make more money doing this on in Sirius than we make here? Of course.
LISOVICZ: We're serious, one way or another.
CAFFERTY: All right. Read some of the coverage this week on Fallujah. You run across mentions of something called whack a mole and for those of you leading a sheltered life, that's a carnival game where you take a hammer and try to hit the critter and just as you strike here he pops up someplace else. U.S. forces have been working to secure Fallujah this week. Iraq's insurgents have been popping up in other places, places like Mosul and Baghdad. For a look at whether Fallujah is the last big battle in Iraq or just the latest one, we are joined now by Lawrence Korb, former assistant U.S. secretary of defense, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Mr. Korb, welcome to the program.
LAWRENCE KORB, FMR. ASST: SEC. OF DEFENSE: Nice to be with you.
CAFFERTY: If Fallujah was necessary and a lot of people insist that it was, why wasn't it done six months ago?
KORB: Political reasons. The administration did not want to do it before the election because they were afraid about the number of casualties. We've had about 400 soldiers and Marines wounded, some 40 dead. It could have even been worse.
LISOVICZ: The fact is, the insurgents are good at disappearing and then popping up somewhere else. Mosul for instance right now looks like another hot spot. Is that the next Fallujah in your mind?
KORB: That's right. The insurgents are going to go where you're not and this week we saw that the Marines basically their intelligence people said we can't leave Fallujah, because what will happen is what happened in Samarra. We theoretically cleaned out Samarra in October, shifted everybody over to Fallujah and then we had trouble in Samarra again. You simply don't have enough troops to get the insurgency under control. SERWER: Lawrence, what about this insurgency? At first they were talking about foreigners streaming across the border. Now it turns out they are saying that well, yeah, no, actually most of these people are Iraqis. It's not a static group, though? I mean isn't it growing? Are more people joining the insurgency or are they old Baathists, merely?
KORB: No. You're getting more people joined because what's happened is we have not been able to protect the people and they figure that they better join the insurgents because we can't do it. We haven't been able to do the reconstruction we promised. The unemployment is still terribly high so people are joining because that's the only way they can make money.
CAFFERTY: Let me go back to this whack a mole analogy I mentioned at the beginning. If the insurgents left Fallujah long before our troops got there and they are now in Mosul or Baghdad or some other place and we go to Mosul, they'll turn up somewhere else, what exactly is the idea here, just to keep chasing them around the country indefinitely?
KORB: Well, the idea was Fallujah was important because it was symbolic in the Muslim world because it had been portrayed as a place where the insurgents that stood up to the great Satan. It was also the headquarters so you really had to do it. The fact of the matter is since you don't have enough troops the initiative is with them. This idea we kept saying oh, it's all these outsiders coming in and they're causing the problem. No, it's the people in Iraq who are not happy with what they perceive as a U.S. occupation and it's only going to end when you can have a legitimate government in Iraq that has the support of all of the factions and we are far away from that.
LISOVICZ: Right and that plays into my question, Lawrence, because we have that videotape, that very sad videotape of the Marine killing an injured insurgent it appears in Fallujah. Now, U.S. networks have not played it, but al Jazeera has played it repeatedly. Does that further inflame the Arab world?
KORB: Very definitely because what it does is, it sends a message that all these horrible things that bin Laden and company have been saying about us are true, that we are there not to free the Iraqis but to kill them, to impose our will on the Muslim world and we are just a horrible people. That plus Abu Ghraib has set back all of the military victories that we have achieved.
SERWER: Even more than those images, though, Lawrence, I look at the pictures of Fallujah. It really just brings back that line from Vietnam to save this village we got to destroy it. I mean what about the hearts and minds, they used to say, to borrow another phrase from back then, hey, Fallujans, look what we did, you're welcome. We fixed your city for you. I mean come on.
KORB: That's true. I thought it was very ironic that the Marine general in sort of giving the pep talk to the troops ahead of time said this is going to be the most significant battle for the Marines since the city of Wei (ph), in which the Marine remarked we had to destroy the city to save it and really was the beginning of the end of the American involvement in Vietnam and led to our eventual withdrawal and defeat.
CAFFERTY: What has to happen by January for there to be legitimate elections in this country?
KORB: Well, you have to have enough control in the so-called Sunni triangle that the Sunnis are willing to participate in the electoral process and feel that their rights are preserved because right now what some of these insurgents feel is it's going to be a Shia-dominated government that's not going to respect their rights. So the big issue now is to have those elections. If you can have a legitimate government, then you can set up a timetable for the U.S. to get out and those people who perceive us as occupiers then will stop supporting or joining the insurgents.
CAFFERTY: Is that really realistic though? The Sunnis and the Shias and these groups have hated each other, the Kurds for hundreds and hundreds of years. Isn't this some kind of a fairy tale to believe they're suddenly going to have these elections and if I'm a Sunni, I'm going to vote for a Shia, because he's a better candidate and vice versa? Aren't we looking at divisions that are simply not healable because a bunch of people go to the polls?
KORB: Well, there's no doubt about they're very difficult and this is something we should have thought about before we got in there. That's why I said you're going to have to have a modicum of legitimacy that the Iraqi people feel that it's theirs and you're going to have to work with a lot of the Sunni leaders, something we haven't done very much up to now. I don't say it's probable, but I mean that's your only chance to turn this thing around. If you don't do that, it's basically all over.
CAFFERTY: Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, thanks for being with us.
KORB: Nice to be with you.
CAFFERTY: All right. When we come back on IN THE MONEY, guns that think safe even if you don't. We'll tell you about a new take on gun control.
Also ahead overexposed. Find out how some of your most private information can wind up on the Internet.
And some call it art. Some call it junk. We'll see what you call it when we show you the fun site of the week. Stick around.
CAFFERTY: No matter which side of the gun control debate you come down on, gun sales, perfectly legal in this country. You can't pick one up at the corner drug store, but a gun is still a readily available consumer product. So why does it seem like there are less safety features on handguns than on say a bottle of aspirin? Here with a possible answer is David Hemenway, who is author of "Private Guns, Public Health." He's also a professor of (INAUDIBLE) Harvard University. Mr. Hemenway, welcome to the program.
DAVID HEMENWAY, AUTHOR, PRIVATE GUNS: Thank you.
CAFFERTY: You suggest approaching the idea of gun safety the way the automobile industry approached the idea of making car safe. There was a time in this country when it was just generally accepted that automobiles would cause X number of deaths and injuries per year, when in fact, that wasn't the case at all.
HEMENWAY: That's correct. There was a time when we decided that all problems were caused by the driver and so we should focus on the driver. But then public health studies began to look at why were people really getting injured and they found out that people were being stabbed through the heart with steering wheels which didn't collapse or their faces were being ripped apart by safety glass which really wasn't very safe. And so, they figured out, gee, we can make cars much safer. We can make the roads much safer. In the last 50 years, even though no one thinks drivers are any safer, there has been a reduction by more than 80 percent of fatalities per mile driven.
SERWER: David what specifically are you talking about to make, would make guns safer? Are you talking about safety locks, that kind of thing?
HEMENWAY: No, there's lots and lots of things we can do. For example, a number of years ago, I was at a public health meeting and in the restaurant, there were a lot of delegates waiting to be served and this nice local gentleman was there. Something fell on the floor. He went to pick it up. Out of his pocket dropped a derringer. It hit the ground. The gun went off and it shot two female delegates. We have guns in the United States which can go off when they hit the ground, which is really unnecessary. We have guns in the United States which a 2-year-old can find and pull the trigger and injury themselves or somebody else. That's very different than say aspirin bottles in the United States.
SERWER: But do you have specific things that we can do to make them better? I mean are you aware of gun technology and that kind of thing?
HEMENWAY: We've made, 100 years ago, we made guns which were child safe, which were child proof. They made guns so that when you pulled the trigger, you had to put just a little pressure on the handle and most little kids couldn't do that. So, it really reduced the problem of small kids shooting guns unintentionally. Every day in the United States, there are teenagers who find, say their dad's gun, their semi-automatic pistol and they take out the clip and they think the gun is unloaded because you can't tell from looking at the gun whether or not there is a bullet in the chamber. You can tell when looking at a camera whether there's film in the camera but you can't tell about most of these semi-automatic pistols and so they think the gun is unloaded and they pull the trigger and mostly nothing bad happens but sometimes they shoot their best friends.
LISOVICZ: Too often it happens. Professor --
HEMENWAY: Much too often.
LISOVICZ: You have outlined a litany of serious problems. But actually there's an even greater issue, which is that there's no regulating body for the gun issue.
LISOVICZ: The past few days, the FDA for instance, the Food and Drug Administration has been scrutinized by Congress, saying how could you get Vioxx get to the public and there were some deaths associated with this drug that was approved. We don't have such a system for gun manufacturers or do we?
HEMENWAY: That's correct. We really don't. Virtually every product in the United States has a regulatory agency sort of overseeing it, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to the FDA. That is not true with firearms.
SERWER: Let me ask you a question, David. How can we take the emotion out of this issue? You got so many people say in the blue states who say, we should ban all guns, which is not going to happen and it's unrealistic. Then you have people on the other side who say as soon as you do one thing, then they're going to take all guns away out of our hands. How can we get these people to talk to each other?
HEMENWAY: Hopefully, what the public health approach is all about is assuming we're going to have lot of guns in the United States because undoubtedly we will, for years and years, the same way we have lots of cars, the same way we have lots of chain saws and what we really want to do is we're going to live in a world with lots of cars, and lots of chain saws and lots of guns, let's figure out a way to reduce the problems that they cause, while keeping the benefits they bring.
CAFFERTY: But the political sensitivities are different. You have the National Rifle Association which I would presume would probably get in front of any potential legislation along the lines of the things you are talking about here.
HEMENWAY: Right. Well, one of the things you should realize is that, there have been surveys done and the overwhelming majority of the population is for every one of these measures. There's more than 25 measures, simple policies, which are very inexpensive which can reduce the problem.
CAFFERTY: There's lots of things that the government does that the public objects to and they do it anyway.
HEMENWAY: The majority of gun owners are for these policies and even, for almost all these policies, the majority of self-professed National Rifle Association members are for these policies.
CAFFERTY: So why don't we have these rules? HEMENWAY: That's sort of an issue about democracy. One of the things which would help, too, is for programs for the media to sort of emphasize, look, here is the problem. Every day in the United States 40 to 50 people are shot unintentionally with guns. Fortunately most of them don't die because we have a very good medical system, but two to three a day die. That's too many when there's a problem for kids getting trapped in trunks of cars and two to three die in a year, not a day, but in the year. Then the automobile manufacturers get together with the government, said get, can how can we address this problem because we don't want two or three kids to die a year. But in the United States two or three people are dying every day just unintentionally from guns. There's lots of things we can do about guns that would reduce the problem of suicide, that would reduce the problem of homicide in the United States.
SERWER: To be sure a debate to be continued. David Hemenway is a professor of injury prevention at Harvard University School of Public Health. Thank you David.
Coming up after the break, a match made in retail. Find out if Kmart and Sears add up to a department store powerhouse.
Plus how to turn a mouse into a bloodhound. See how easy it is to sniff out your secrets on the web.
And turkey with a cranberry sauce chaser? Discover the Thanksgiving dinner that comes in a glass.
LISOVICZ: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our money minute. A second possible case of mad cow disease sent cattle prices tumbling this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it will take several days to get conclusive results on the suspect beef. However, officials did say the meat did not enter the food chain. Some foreign buyers like Japan have had bans on U.S. beef since the first case of the disease was confirmed 11 months ago.
Just in time for the holidays -- shopping is getting more expensive. Climbing energy prices fueled a 0.6 percent hike in consumer prices last month. That's the biggest jump in five months. The consumer price index works as a barometer of inflation.
And the Food and Drug Administration is throwing cold water on a racy Viagra ad. The FDA charges that drug maker Pfizer overstated the effectiveness of its erectile dysfunction drug in the ad. The feds also say that Pfizer did not disclose the risks associated with taking Viagra. The company says it is in the process of pulling the devilish commercial.
SERWER: Big news on the retail front this week. Discount retailer Kmart is merging with Sears Roebuck and Company in an $11 billion deal announced Wednesday. The new company which will be known as Sears Holdings, will continue to operate both brands but some Kmart stores will be moving into Sears locations. The deal gives Kmart a presence in shopping malls across the country. Kmart has come a long way since it filed for bankruptcy protection in January of '02 only to emerge from it in the spring of '03. Shares of the company have soared ever since and that makes Kmart our stock of the week.
A lot of people are saying, oh, this deal is all about putting Sears and Kmart together so they can do battle with Wal-Mart. That's only partly true. It's really about this guy Eddie Lampert, the billionaire who is behind all this, who is trying to make money for his hedge fund which is all fine and well. I mean this is America but he is the guy pulling the strings here.
LISOVICZ: And he is making money in the process.
CAFFERTY: What about the antitrust concerns? I read the government may want to take a look at this. It seems kind of silly, the combined company pales in comparison to a Wal-Mart.
LISOVICZ: Still number three.
SERWER: No, I don't think there's any question that there are no antitrust concerns. It was interesting, one of the senators Jack, who suggested they take look at that was Senator Kohl from Wisconsin. His family started Kohl's, the retailer so maybe he's kind of interested in that. They sold out their position a long time ago but that was sort of interesting. There's Target out there. There's Bed, Bath & Beyond. I mean there's all kinds of retailers out there and I think Sears is a stronger brand than Kmart. These guys are going to have a tough job. I mean between Wal-Mart and Target, that's a lot of stores.
LISOVICZ: There's one advantage right away when you put even two struggling retailers with their kind of size together and that is that they will have pricing power when they buy. That's one of the things that has made Wal-Mart the behemoth that it is. Before I ever stepped into a Wal-Mart store, I used to ask retail analysts, what is it about Wal-Mart that makes it so great because they are not here in the northeast.
CAFFERTY: They hold their gun to people.
LISOVICZ: They do, to their suppliers. But they also are always well stocked both in terms of the merchandise and with people. If you go into a Kmart, there's plenty of Kmarts in the northeast, you don't have that situation. So there are plenty of other problems, but one thing that will be realized with the two of them together is that they should have better pricing power over their suppliers.
CAFFERTY: The pricing power issue aside though, Kmart and Sears have not exactly been lighting up the nighttime sky. If you take one company that's doing poorly and you marry it off to another company that is doing poorly creating one company --
LISOVICZ: One struggling company.
SERWER: You get two wallowing ships and you latch them together, will that make them float?
CAFFERTY: Putting a chain between the Titanic and the Lusitania wouldn't keep either of them up, you know what I'm saying?
SERWER: I know what you're saying. I don't know if I agree with you. If you look at Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, that has not been the healthiest marriage either.
CAFFERTY: What a nightmare. Hewlett-Packard made printers before they ever heard of Compaq and the only thing they're making any money on is printers.
LISOVICZ: Just to give you an idea of how far Sears has fallen, a few years ago it was a member of the Dow 30.
LISOVICZ: You would never figure that.
SERWER: Stock's gone nowhere for 30 years. Anyway, we'll be paying attention to that deal, I'm sure, as it continues to unfold. Coming up on IN THE MONEY, too many people with too much access. If you don't want to find out how the whole world can see your private information, go ahead and change the channel.
Plus, they aren't handing out sainthoods around here. The office martyr who shows up sick for work and costs the company money. See what is driving more employees to do it.
And art dealer or junk dealer. Get the low down on our fun site of the week.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Our top stories right now, President Bush and nearly two dozen other world leaders are tackling some key issues, including trade and world security this weekend. They are in Santiago, Chile for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. So far today, Mr. Bush has met with several other leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.
In Washington, Congress is trying to wrap up its work on a massive spending bill six weeks after the start of the new fiscal year. The $388 billion measure clamps down on spending on a wide range of programs including education and clean energy projects and there's word that congressional negotiators have reached an agreement on legislation that would put in place terrorism fighting recommendations from the 9/11 Commission.
U.S. military officials say terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al Zarqawi are trying to communicate. That's according to the deputy head of CENTCOM, Lieutenant General Lance Smith. Smith says the suspected terrorists are sending couriers carrying CDs in order to talk.
A Polish woman who was kidnapped in Iraq last month is back home in Warsaw today. She appeared at a news conference with the Polish prime minister. The woman says kidnappers treated her decently. They had demanded the withdrawal of Polish troops from Iraq. And I'll have all the days news at the top of the hour. Now back to more of IN THE MONEY.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Whether you put it there or not, chances are some of your personal information is out there on the web, an address, a phone number or maybe even your Social Security number and it does not take a skilled hacker to find that information. So what can do you to protect yourself? Let's find out now from Fred Rica, a cyber security expert and a partner with pricwaterhousecoopers. Welcome.
FRED RICA, PARTNER, PWC: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: I think the key here is cyber. It's so much easier on the web to get to this private information.
RICA: That's exactly the problem. What we're talking about is data that has always been in the public domain, but it was hard to get to. You had to go to the courthouse. You had to see the county clerk. They were only open 8 to 4.
LISOVICZ: Wait in line.
RICA: You had to wait in line. You had to Fill out a form. Now anybody with a computer and search engine -- we did a search the other day. We just put public records online into Google. 11 million hits of free and pay services that will provide you access to that information and you're exactly right. It's easy now.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: What did you find out about Susan? You know what's interesting, it's part of the culture now. I mean people when they are going out on dates, they Google the person and when you're having a business meeting, I often do this, Google the person, find out about them and it is pretty darn amazing the stuff that comes out just on the cursory search. The spammers, the phishermen as they call them, whatever, are getting better. I got one from someone who's trying to rip me off. It made it look like it was an e-mail from Citibank and it is so dangerous. It says click here because your account -- we have questions about your account that stuff is really bad.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: I sent you that.
SERWER: Thank you, Jack. And all my money is just disappearing out of my account the next day.
CAFFERTY: And thank you.
SERWER: You're welcome.
RICA: But phishing as it's called is probably the single biggest threat to a consumer's privacy right now because to your point, the e- mails look so authentic. They've got logos. They send you to Web sites that look real and then they ask you for information. They scare you. If we don't get your pin number and your account number by Friday, you're going to lose access to your ATM card.
SERWER: Pin number.
RICA: And studies show that about 5 percent - they get about a 5 percent hit rate on those. So if you send out a million or ten million of these e-mails, you've all of a sudden got a huge amount of data.
LISOVICZ: You just hit pay dirt.
RICA: It's not that hard.
CAFFERTY: The great debate is whether or not the Internet should be regulated at all and this kind of thing sounds like it might lend itself to the idea of some kind of regulation.
RICA: Here is the problem, though. There is regulation around this data. We've got things like (INAUDIBLE) to protect financial data and HIPPA to protect medical data. It's the secondary use of this data that creates the problem. So take an example. Say you were getting divorced. In your divorce proceedings, it might come out that you take antidepressants. Well, normally that data would be protected. Your doctor or your pharmacy would never put that on line. But it gets in the court proceedings, now I can find out that Jack Cafferty takes antidepressants. That's the problem. It's the secondary...
CAFFERTY: Is there anything that can be done about it?
RICA: No. Not in the short-term. It's a complex problem. For the consumer, the main thing is to pay attention and be aware and understand what information you are giving, who you are giving it to and what you think they're going to do with it.
CAFFERTY: There's got to be certain information you just flat don't give out, period. I don't care what kind of e-mail you get, ever, ever, ever.
RICA: Well, but it's not just e-mail. It's physical too. Whenever you fill out a form that asks for personally identifiable information, you have to be careful. You have to understand what they are going to do with it, why they're going to use it, how it's going to get distributed. Most organizations that collect data today have privacy policies. As a consumer it's pretty important that you read that and understand what their stance is on protecting your data.
LISOVICZ: And stealing identity is so much easier now. There are a lot of people who say that you should always be shredding your junk mail because even junk mail has stuff on you that can be used against you.
RICA: That's a really good point. If I were going to target you specifically, I don't know that I'd start searching around on the Internet. I would try to get to your garbage first because your bank statements, your credit card receipts.
LISOVICZ: But even unopened things, solicitations, they have things on you.
RICA: That's right and so your point is well taken that a shredder is not a bad investment if you want to protect your privacy, absolutely.
SERWER: So they're going to know what drugs I have taken. I better get a shredder. This is pretty interesting stuff here. This identity theft thing is a really -- this is the cost of it to society has got to be spiraling out of control. A colleague of mine had his identity stolen, a guy in Columbus, Ohio was buying houses, all kinds of things. The police basically said, you know what? There's nothing we can do. This is a million dollars worth of stuff.
LISOVICZ: And your credit rating is --
SERWER: Exactly. Do you know how much this has increased or the costs of these kinds of things to companies?
RICA: The problem is, the company that monitored this, the credit card companies for example, they typically don't publish that data. So it's difficult to get your hands on it. The consensus is that it's large and that it's going to continue to grow. There's no doubt.
LISOVICZ: And there's stuff -- you know you talked about a divorce trial. But just the fact let's say if you bought a house.
RICA: That's right.
LISOVICZ: You bought a house. You're in your municipal records. It's very pedestrian stuff. You got a ticket.
RICA: Here you go, property tax assessor files so I can find out what you paid for your house, what the value is.
LISOVICZ: How much you earned.
RICA: I might be able to figure out how much you earned from that absolutely and it is very pedestrian stuff. You're absolutely right.
LISOVICZ: So, is there anything pending? You mentioned there was things on health records. There's also some things that protects children, is that correct?
RICA: That's right, the child online protection act which makes it very difficult for Web sites to gather information about children who are under 13 years of age. Yeah.
LISOVICZ: But what we should take away from this is be careful.
RICA: You really do have to be careful. You have to use common sense and I like to call it good e-mail hygiene. If you see an e-mail that looks suspect, don't open it. Don't open the attachment if you don't know who it's from. It's unlikely that your financial institution is going to use something as unreliable as e-mail to communicate with you and if you get those, call up your bank and say did you send me this e-mail? It's very likely that they are going to say no.
SERWER: That whole thing, put your pin number in and send the e- mail back is just mind boggling. But you're right. It's got to be five out of 100 people would do that.
RICA: That's about right and again, it looks legitimate. It scares you because if you don't do something, something bad might happen. And again, if you don't have the level of awareness and attention that you need to pay to that, you may just - I've got to get this done because I'm going to lose my ATM card on Friday.
LISOVICZ: Valuable information from Fred Rica, a cyber security expert, partner with pricewaterhousecoopers. Thanks for coming by.
RICA: Thanks for having me.
LISOVICZ: There's lots more to come here on IN THE MONEY. Up next, they'll live without you. Going to work sick won't save your company. In fact it might cost your boss some extra bucks. We will look at the rise of presenteeism as opposed to absenteeism.
And think of it as an art world garage sale. Test your eye for a find on our fun site of the week.
SERWER: You missed out on a flu shot, thanks to this year's shortage and now you feel a sniffle coming on. Too bad you don't have a single sick day left. So merry or miserable, you're going to go to work. Here to tell us why that's not only going to hurt yourself but your company as well is Joe Robinson. He's the founder of the work to live campaign and author of "Work to Live: The Guide to Getting a Life." So welcome to the program. Why is this such a problem, people showing up to work. How big a problem is it Joe?
JOE ROBINSON, FOUNDER, "WORK TO LIVE": Well, I think it's a major problem particularly this time of year. You have, these days, the problem of the paid time off bank where people's vacation time and their sick time is lumped together so that when somebody passes say five days of sick time, they start eating away at their vacation schedule and so, people don't want to do that so they report in to work. There is also the whole idea of the bravado in the American work culture which makes people think that they can never stop during the workday and that they also have to come in no matter what kind of condition they are in.
LISOVICZ: We in the news business always have that incredible work ethic. We always come in, rain --
SERWER: Please (ph). LISOVICZ: -- sleet, snow. That's right, just like the mailmen. But in any case, our own company actually adopted the PTO system, the paid time off system and I am told that absenteeism went down dramatically because everybody is trying to get more vacation time. But, you are saying that actually employers may pay more in the long run just because they make everybody sick and everybody has to go to the doctors whether it's at the end of their workday or at the beginning.
ROBINSON: It's true. It comes out of your hide one way or the other. It also makes a lot of other folks around you sick when you come in with a bug. And productivity is nowhere near what it is when you are healthy. A lot of studies show that productivity definitely slides when people are just there physically. They call it presenteeism, but they're not really functioning mentally because they are so shot.
CAFFERTY: There's a shortage of something called job security in this economy these days. I wake up with a 103 degree fever and the head is all clogged up and I say, you know what, I'm not going in today. It's a Friday. And Monday my job is in Bangladesh as part of some sort of outsourcing move. I make light of it, but I mean there is no job security. Why should I stay home if I can come in and kind of protect my turf a little bit?
ROBINSON: Well, I think for the same reason you just pointed out, that there is no job security. I mean it really doesn't matter what you do.
You know, we have people who don't take vacations because they are afraid if they do, they might not be able to get their job back. Those people get laid off like everybody else. I think people have to look at what is smart for them physically, in other words, taking care of their health.
A great example is what happened to Jim Henson, the Muppet creator. He was known as a guy who was an 80 hour a week guy and he got sick. He continued to work through it. He wound up with a pneumonia that eventually killed him because he didn't back off. He was only 55 when he died. There are real repercussions to coming in when you are not feeling well beyond just the impact of spreading it around to other employees and the whole productivity factor which takes a dive.
SERWER: I like your point Joe, that it doesn't matter how hard you work. You're going to get laid off anyway or the flip side of that is, so you might as well not work that hard. I'm digesting this, but I think I like it.
Let me ask you a little bit about flu shots. You know, obviously this has just been a debacle. I mean our company had flu shots. Isn't that a really good idea? Once they get this thing sorted out and they rap some people upside the head who messed this whole thing up and we have enough flu vaccine, shouldn't companies give flu shots?
ROBINSON: Absolutely. It's really to their benefit in the long run to keep people healthy and there ought to be sort of an ethic within the company that when somebody comes in sick, people are saying what are you doing here? Why are you jeopardizing our project? Why you are jeopardizing the health of the section? Instead we have this warped idea that coming in, if you can barely stand up, is what you are supposed to do because we have this ingrained notion that if you slack off for a second, that you are not worth anything when actually if you step back and recover yourself and get recharged, the same thing holds true with vacations. You can do a better job. Productivity is higher, etcetera, etcetera. So business is very short-sighted when they try to constantly get people to be there even if they're only there in a physical sense.
LISOVICZ: Joe, but there are exceptions to the rule. There was a company in Las Vegas, a big hotel that made headlines last month because it actually sent every sick person with the flu home with six days of pay and so a lot of people took it off and that's the kind of thing you applaud. In other words, it should be the employer that is really setting the tone here.
ROBINSON: I agree. I thought that was a fantastic idea. I mean, they sort of just grabbed the bull by the horns. They cut off the potential for even more of their employees to be sick and more --
LISOVICZ: And their customers as well.
ROBINSON: Exactly. Yeah. So, I think that's the sort of thing that if business starts to sit down and really analyze the picture, they can see that it's to their benefit in the long run to keep their employees charged up and energized and healthy and not to have them stumbling around the office in some sort of, you know, state of sickness.
LISOVICZ: Well, I'm going to give you the number for our HR representatives after the show.
SERWER: Yeah do that. I like what he was saying.
LISOVICZ: Joe Robinson is author of "The Work to Live: The Guide to Getting a Life." We approve of that as well, thanks for joining us.
ROBINSON: Nice to be here.
LISOVICZ: Coming up, turkey in the straw. It's the Thanksgiving dinner you can drink and the straw is optional.
SERWER: That's good.
LISOVICZ: Oh, yeah. And whether you are chugging a bird or just killing time, drop us a line. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAFFERTY: So if you are worried about overeating this Thanksgiving and let's face it, most of us do before that day is over, money.com's Allen Wastler has a less filling way to enjoy your favorite dishes. However the jury is still out the tastes great part. Allen's also got the fun site of the week. What up with you?
ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: This is -- there is a little outfit in Seattle, not that little anymore, makes about just under $30 million in revenues a year, but last year they came out with turkey and gravy soda and this year they amplified. Last year they sold out of turkey and gravy soda. Now they've got a holiday pack which has all these fine assortment thing. You got turkey and gravy. You got mashed potatoes and butter.
SERWER: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
WASTLER: Green bean casserole. Your favorite, Andy, fruitcake and cranberry, which I'll tell you right now is the chaser.
SERWER: Cranberry juice.
LISOVICZ: Where's the spittoon?
WASTLER: It's all over the place, but this is put out by Jones Soda Company. They've been a niche player in the premium niche market.
LISOVICZ: You first, Allan.
CAFFERTY: $30 million sales, they're making a buck on this.
WASTLER: On this though, this is not a big buck maker for them. They are selling the holiday packs at about $16. It's the buzz factor.
CAFFERTY: That's one of the reasons. The other reason is that it's awful. I tasted that turkey thing a year ago on the morning show.
WASTLER: Let's taste a little.
LISOVICZ: I haven't tried it. I'll try it.
CAFFERTY: Go ahead.
SERWER: This stuff, you put a little splash on your tetrazinni for the leftovers.
WASTLER: There you go.
LISOVICZ: Do I need to swirl it around in my paper cup?
SERWER: Here we go again.
WASTLER: It's vegan; it's kosher.
CAFFERTY: None of the above. It's horrible.
SERWER: That's the toughest part of the year, drinking the turkey soda.
WASTLER: It's surprisingly sweet.
WASTLER: As you know, they're going to donate 50 grand out of their proceeds and they are only making 80 grand off of this. They're only making 15,000
LISOVICZ: Why don't they donate their root beer flavor?
WASTLER: They are donating to toys for tots.
LISOVICZ: Why don't they give a better flavor for their charity?
WASTLER: They get all this buzz going, everybody is buzz, buzz.
LISOVICZ: Jack is talking about it.
WASTLER: Jack's talking about it. We're talking about it. Other news services are talking about it.
SERWER: You know what you could do is you could make ice cubes out of that stuff.
WASTLER: There's an idea.
CAFFERTY: What about the fun site of the week?
WASTLER: The fun site of the week, well, we have all seen art that we're like, that couldn't possibly be art and then we've seen stuff, say, oh that's beautiful oh, never mind. Here is a website for you. It's a quiz. Is it heart or is it crap? Here we go.
SERWER: That's art.
WASTLER: You think it's art?
LISOVICZ: I think it's crap.
SERWER: That's Katherine's (ph) wheel.
CAFFERTY: I vote art.
SERWER: That's a wheel.
WASTLER: And the answer is -- art. It is art.
WASTLER: Next one?
CAFFERTY: Those are chocolate bunnies. That's crap.
SERWER: I'll eat that stuff.
WASTLER: Jack, you have the eye for it. Yes, indeed, they are plain old chocolate bunnies and now your final test.
LISOVICZ: Oh, this is definitely --
SERWER: That's food.
CAFFERTY: I don't know.
LISOVICZ: It looks --
SERWER: It's a trick question.
CAFFERTY: That's like an Andy Warhol treatment of something. Remember when he did the soup can? I don't know. What is it?
SERWER: It's art.
LISOVICZ: That looks too familiar.
WASTLER: It is art. It's actually called wax fingers. Anyway, that website has loads of ones that you can just sort of figure out.
SERWER: That's a good way of spending an afternoon.
CAFFERTY: Get your bottle of turkey soda.
CAFFERTY: Coming up next on IN THE MONEY, it's time to hear from some of you as we read some of your e-mails from the past week. You can send us an e-mail anytime you'd like, like right now if you want. We're at email@example.com. Back in a minute.
CAFFERTY: It's time now to read your answers to our question about the issues you would like the Supreme Court of the United States to address. Robert from Washington State writes -- what I would like to see the Supreme Court do is not take up the case of homosexual marriage. While homosexuality's increasingly been accepted in today's culture, the subject it too sensitive to approach at the moment.
D.W. in California says, let them decide whether we are a religious society or a secular society. When I came to this country 40 years ago, I understood that there was religious tolerances here. Now when I state my views, I'm told to go back to England if I don't like it.
And finally Mike simply writes this. As to the upcoming Supreme Court action, I just hope they enforce the separation of church and state.
Here is next week's e-mail question for you, question of the week. What do you think is the biggest problem facing the nation's education system? Is it the quality of our public schools, the cost of a college education? We're talking all about education next week on IN THE MONEY and we've like to know what you think. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. And you should visit our show page at money.com/inthemoney which is where you'll find the address of our fun site of the week. Is it art or is it junk?
Thanks for being with us for today's edition of the program. Thanks to CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer and my pal money.com managing editor Allen Wastler. Join us tomorrow at 3:00 Eastern time. We'll look at the Bush tax plan. Reform is a key priority for term two. Find out what it might look like and how it might affect us all. That's tomorrow at 3:00. Hope to see you then.
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