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Discussing Potential Third Stimulus Plan; Biggest Mistakes at Work; Social Media: Hobby or Obsession?
Aired October 11, 2009 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST (voice-over): It's a whole new world for your money. The almighty dollar, not so much. And all that glitters is gold. What that means for your job, your investments, your home, and your country.
David Letterman in a high-profile office affair. We'll reveal how you come back from even the worst office mistakes.
And learn how to make money from your passion, from a guy with 800,000 Twitter followers. Get ready to crush it. It's time for YOUR MONEY.
(on camera): Welcome to YOUR MONEY. I'm Christine Romans. Ali is off this week. It's a whole new world for your money. The supremacy of the American dollar is being challenged. The rules are changing. The future is uncertain. Economists say we're in a recovery, but is it a meaningful recovery for you.
Let's track the three pillars you depend on. First, your investments. The DOW is up 50 percent since March 9th when it plunged to a 12-year low just above 6,500.
Next, your home. Now there are signs the housing market is stabilizing. The government is handing out tax credits for thousands of home buyers. Prices are up slightly over the past three months.
Next, your job, your wages. This is the most important of the three pillars. The American worker is under assault, 7.2 million jobs have disappeared in the recession so far. Hours and overtime are cut. Wages are not rising, and the sense of unease in the job market only gets worse.
Now, technically we may very well be in a recovery, but the almighty dollar is not so mighty these days. The rumble grows to replace it as the world's most important currency. And for gold, the investment for bad times, it's at a record high above $1,050 an ounce this week. What is going on here? Woes it mean for America? What does it mean for where you are money?
Stephen Moore is editorial writer at the "Wall Street Journal." Our good friend Stephen Leeb is author of "Game Over." And Kathleen Stephansen is chief economist at Aladdin Capital Holdings. Welcome, everyone.
Stephen Moore, let me start with you. What's going on here? I mean, I look at what's happening in some of these international markets, the dollar, gold, lots of action in currencies and the bond market, and it's giving me conflicting signals and kind of a mystery.
STEPHEN MOORE, EDITORIAL WRITER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: It is, Christine. I'll admit. I'm totally confounded by this economy. As an economist, usually I think I know what's going on. But you set it up very well. There are all these conflicting signals right now.
On the one hand, we're looking at maybe 3 percent growth in the economy this quarter, which obviously is a big improvement over the negative growth we've had over the last four quarters. So that's a very positive sign. The stock market, as you said, has been on a tear. And we've seen a 50 percent increase since the March lows.
But the big negatives that I see are the ones that you mentioned, Christine. The fact that we're not creating jobs, that we've lost 3 million jobs even since the stimulus bill was introduced and put into action. And even more troubling to me, Christine, is the fact that king dollar has just collapsed. And usually a decline in a country's currency is usually a harbinger of bad things to come. It means other things become more expensive, energy, oil, food and things like that. So I'm worried about the economy, but there are positive signs, too.
ROMANS: We're watching the dollar, Kathleen. It's been so interesting to watch it and some could see it's actually the dollar is benefiting -- it's actually falling because it's a lack of safe haven buying. The crisis is kind of over. We're banking on a recovery down the road. The dollar is reclining. Is this bad for America to have the dollar declining? And maybe could Washington maybe be saying we can tolerate for now because it's helping our exporters?
KATHLEEN STEPHANSEN, ALADDIN CAPITAL HOLDINGS: Well, I think Washington generally speaking has always had a kind of benign neglect with regard to the foreign exchange. I mean, it's always the mantra that we support the strong dollar but at the end of the day, it isn't that strong. I think the dollar at the moment is essentially inversely related with risk appetite. The question is are we in a recovery? And the answer to that is yes. And is it strong? The answer to that, it's strong enough to support risk trade.
ROMANS: You have been talking about major challenges down the road and this idea that you have to protect yourself against them.
STEPHEN LEEB, AUTHOR: You have to, Christine. You said at your top that the rules have changed, and they have, and what we're seeing now is really what we've been seeing all decade. If you look at the last -- starting in 1999 and you look at asset classes that have done well, gold clearly number one. Bonds kind of number two. Stocks under water. The major change which basically underlies all this, all this, it's a shift in economic power to the developing world.
ROMANS: I want to listen to Nouriel Roubini, he's called sometimes Dr. Doom, although I don't think he likes this moniker. But Nouriel Roubini said something that caught our attention this week about the job situation. We all have been talking about when are these jobs doing to come back? How many years will it take for them to come back? Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOURIEL ROUBINI, CHAIRMAN, RGE MONITOR: In my view, the unemployment rate is going to peak at some point in the next year about 10 percent. It could be even closer to 10.5 to 11 percent, and not only is it going to peak at the high level, but it's not going to fall very much very soon because many of these jobs are gone forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Stephen Moore, that just scares the pants off me almost when you start talking about a job market like this.
MOORE: Yeah. Look, I don't think anybody's job is safe in this market, and the reason I'm not bullish right now is if Americans aren't working and they're not earning an income, they can't be buying products, and it doesn't generate the demand. There's a lot of talk now, Christine, in Washington about maybe a new stimulus plan.
I mean, let's face it, the first stimulus plan has been a complete bust. There have been no jobs created by it. We've lost 3 million since it was launched. Now if you were to ask me what we should do, we need a big supply side business tax cut to get small businesses hiring again, and that's something that's been absent. In fact, small businesses have been sort of the pay for for all of these initiatives that have been going on in Washington, whether it's health care or cap and trade.
LEEB: Stephen, yeah, I basically -- we need something to get ourselves going, but I don't think it's a tax cut. What we need, we need to slap ourselves in the face and realize that our imports of virtually every commodity has been increasing for the last 10 years. Not just oil, almost anything else you need. But the way out of this is massive, I mean massive, infrastructure spending on let's say alternative energy. That would be the starting point. That creates another major industry in this country. From bottom to top, blue collar to intellectual jobs --
ROMANS: We're spending on alternative energy investment, but not enough?
LEEB: It's a drop in the bucket, no pun intended. We need something in the trillions in on alternative energy and we can turn this whole ship around.
ROMANS: We're going to leave it right here for a second because we have to take a break. Speaking of jobs and getting paid for things, we have to take two minutes. We're going to come back, we're going to talk about this. We're going to talk about retooling the labor market. What are we doing to address these changes and do we need more stimulus? Can we afford to do it? Can we afford not to do it?
Plus, David Letterman, hardly the only guy fooling around at the office. Mistakes at work that can cost you and how to fix them.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: A number for you. It's today's "Romans' Numeral." Can you translate it? There it is. It's 2,563 for those of you who didn't already know that. It's your share of the $787 billion stimulus. It's called the Recovery Act. It's the second stimulus in as many years. Now many provisions are expiring. It's why you're probably hearing about another, a third stimulus. Do we need it? Can we afford it? Can we afford not to do it.? Let's hear what the law firm of Stephen, Stephen, and Stephansen have to say. Welcome back, Stephen Moore, Stephen Leeb and Kathleen Stephansen.
Do we need to do it? Do we need to spend more money, more taxpayer money that we don't have to keep juicing this economy?
STEPHANSEN: I think at the moment, we need to spend what is in the pipeline, and it's taking a long time, so the bulk of that stimulus is happening in 2010.
ROMANS: It was meant to be time released all along. It was meant to be time released to try to kind of blunt the pain over a couple of years.
STEPHANSEN: Right. And I think that when you look at what has been done thus far in terms of spending and transfer payment to the taxpayer, I think that this has helped to keep ...
ROMANS: For example, unemployment benefits and those are these sorts of things.
STEPHANSEN: That's right. And that has helped disposable income to actually continue to grow while you've had a collapsing wages.
ROMANS: Should we extend those things? Should we be extending unemployment benefits again? Should we be extending the home buyer tax credit? Should we be thinking of new ways to maybe keep money flowing to people next year?
STEPHANSEN: I think that certainly the unemployment benefits need to be extended and I think that the spending also needs to continue but within this Recovery Act. And the fact is I know that some parts would say that -- parties would say that there has been very little effect. The fact of the matter is that we have to see that it has essentially dampened the contraction in the economy.
ROMANS: I think I know one of those parties. I think his name might be Stephen Moore. I'm not sure. Are you one of parties who thinks that maybe it hasn't done what it was billed to do?
MOORE: Well, I would trade in the Obama stimulus plan under the Cash for Clunkers Program because it just has not worked. I mean look, we have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 to $400 billion. That's a lot of money to throw at this recession. And there's one simple fact of the matter. We have lost three million jobs when the president said this program would gain three million.
ROMANS: But wouldn't we have lost more than that without it? I mean, is it impossible to measure -- it's just impossible to know what would have happened without it, right?
MOORE: You're right. We never will know what would have happened if we hadn't done it. All we know is that we continue to lose jobs. And what's really spooky, Christine, about the most recent jobs numbers that came out last week is that at least the Obama administration was able to say well, we're losing jobs at a slower pace.
We can't say that now. We lost more jobs in September than we lost in July and August. And so I think it is time for a change in strategy. We ought to go back. We know what works. We should go back. What got us out of the huge mini recession we had in 1981 which was the Reagan tax cuts which provided incentives for investment and business expansion and that's just not in any of the plans I see on the table right now.
ROMANS: The other Stephen over here is giggling a little bit.
LEEB: Well no, I mean, I agree that we have to do something, but we just can't mindlessly spend and spend. We've got to create. We were talking about education before, Christine.
LEEB: And education is it when it comes to jobs. I mean, if you have a good education, your unemployment, you know, the likelihood is you're employed fairly well. Unemployment rate between highly educated people is very, very low.
So instead of just mindlessly spending money, why don't we take advantage of what we have, the Internet. Why don't we make education a public phenomenon on the Internet? Why don't we let somebody plug in their computer and get educated on the Internet? We do it on private education on the Internet. If you're willing to pay for it, you can do it. There are public schools you can go to.
Why not make education public on the Internet? What a great way to spend money. Creates jobs and, you know, that comment by Alan Greenspan coming back, that was chilling. Anyone that doesn't view that as chilling, I don't know where they're thinking. Let's address it. We have the tools. We just need a little thinking out of the box. My goodness.
ROMANS: Always thinking out of the box, Stephen Leeb, the author of "Game Over." He's got a whole book about being out of the box. Thank you so much. Our Stephen Leeb, sorry, I'm getting -- the Stephens, the Stephansens, what am I going to do? This whole segment booked by Stephanie Genkin.
Stephen Moore, editorial writer "Wall Street Journal." Stephen Leeb, author of "Game Over." And Kathleen Stephansen, chief economist of Aladdin Capital Holdings. Thank you all for joining us. Fantastic discussion, a very complicated but incredibly important topics and interwoven issues for our economy and our future.
The fighting, the shouting, the politics, and now finally the Senate readies for a key vote on a health reform bill. How much is it really going to cost you? Do these guys even know?
ROMANS: Time now for our "Ticker." That's where our unique panel takes you beyond the headlines. We're going to be joined today by journalist and commentator Stephen A. Smith and Joe Queenan, author of the book "Closing Time."
OK gentlemen, first up, health care reform. President Obama's August deadline came and went without a plan in place. But at least now we have a price tag sort of. According to the Congressional Budget Office, $829 billion over 10 years is the cost for the bill that's now before the Senate Finance Committee, but it would reduce the deficit by $81 billion.
The president has said many times, he will not sign a bill that increases the federal deficit by a dime. Who is covered? Ninety-four percent of eligible residents would be covered compared with 83 percent in some prior versions but it leaves 25 million people without health insurance. About 8 million of them, illegal immigrants. It does not cover every person in this country without health insurance.
That of course means there still would be a burden on the taxpayer at some point for people that are not insured. This final bill can change in the end. But this is most likely the version to make it through.
So does it go far enough? Does it achieve President Obama's dream of health care coverage for all Americans? Joe, let me start with you. It's going to look different in the end, I'm sure. That's why we really don't know what it's going to cost because it's going to look different. This is the political process.
JOE QUEENAN, AUTHOR: I just like the idea that they still think we believe any of the numbers that they throw around. Like $81 billion -- yeah, that sounds like a plausible number, but I think we will be doing this for the next 25 years. We will be coming back and saying OK, the next time around, 15 million will not be covered. The goal is to get everybody covered and eventually we will get to that. But he has to get some health care reform in. He just has to get points on the scoreboard. So they have got to push this thing through.
ROMANS: Is this going to be his legacy, do you think?
STEPHEN SMITH, JOURNALIST: There's no question about it, but it's because of the manner in which he's handled this whole fiasco, because it is a fiasco. That's why this is going to be a part of his -- such a significant part of his legacy.
First, it was supposed to be $1 trillion or $2 trillion, whoever you listen to. Then they came down, Max Baucus' bill was $856 billion. Now all of the sudden, the Congressional Budget Office has gotten involved and they've done some amendments that have taken place. It's $829 billion. As if it's cheap. It's a bargain, by the way. We're going to save. Oh and by the way, keep remembering that key number there, over the next 10 years. Oh, so I see, so that's for the next 10 years, at which time you can come up with a whole plethora of different things to come up to tax us even more about. And then after those 10 years are up, then it's back for a free for all. And oh by the way, we still have those illegal immigrants out there. We have to figure out a way to make sure they're insured. It's a disaster. It's a fiasco. It makes no sense whatsoever.
And more importantly, like Joe said, you can't believe anything out there because they keep coming up with something different.
QUEENAN: Yes. They put 95 cents at the end of one of them. OK, that sounds -- but you know what I like? I like the whole idea that the Democrats can ram this thing through, through this reconciliation. They can do the filibuster. But people are saying the Republicans are saying you don't want to do that because it's going to poison the waters. I'm thinking how much more poison can we get into these waters?
ROMANS: You're going to put water in the poison.
QUEENAN: The Republicans and the Democrats hate each over.
SMITH: I'll tell you, on a more serious note though, if you're Barack Obama, this is where you're really hurt. You are the president of the United States. You received more than 69 million votes. You've got a Democratic House. You've got a Democratic Senate. And you still can't come together.
The Democrats don't even realize how embarrassing this looks for all of them because if you can't get something done when you have a majority in the House and Senate plus the president is a Democrat, why should the American people believe in anything that you're offering?
ROMANS: Let's talk about taxes because you know, we hear a lot about how taxes aren't going up, taxes aren't going up for the middle class. But we all kind of know the math and know that at some point taxes are going to have to rise.
And, government frankly needs money. Just like many Americans, states and cities are running these huge deficits and they are turning to addictions as a source of tax revenue. That's right, if you're addicted to anything, taxes on it are going up. Cigarettes, fattening food, marijuana, they're all the popular targets for tax increases. Are all these addictions tax proposals fair? You always hear that its state and local governments are the ones with an addiction. They're addicted to taxing things so they can get more revenue.
QUEENAN: Tax poor people. Tax people who smoke. Tax people who eat fast food. It's always tax poor people. I agree with taxing vice, OK? Tax greed. Tax the guys from AIG who got us into this mess, OK? Tax skateboarders. I hate them. Tax all kinds of people who do things that annoy us, but things like smoking, that's just poor people. Most bad food -- the other thing ... ROMANS: Hasn't smoking dropped considerably because of all the tax?
SMITH: That's why they're coming up something new now. They're taxing soda. And let me tell you something right now. I would go against the Republicans on this one. I actually support these kind of taxes because let me tell you something right now. I have an addiction. Let me just put it out there on national television. I'm addicted to cereal. I'm addicted to crunch berries, Froot Loops, Honeycombs. Any cereal with sugar that is not healthy at all, I'm all for it.
So you need to tax me more. It needs to be bit more expensive so we can get away from those bad habits. You have a lot of people out there eating doughnuts, eating cheese steaks, eating all of these unhealthy foods which by the is contributing to our health care problem.
QUEENAN: You can't tax Captain Crunch. Come on.
ROMANS: What country is this? What country do you live in?
SMITH: Listen, I eat the stuff. I'm trying to tell you something has got to help me. I need it, tax me.
ROMANS: Why don't you just write yourself a check to the Treasury right now and frankly to maybe Health and Human Services to cover your share. All right, speaking of Health and Human Services, the swine flu vaccine had a slow rollout this week.
But is there enough of the swine flu vaccine to go around? In addition to the annual flu season vaccinations, millions are panicked frankly over the H1N1 virus and the second vaccine specifically targeted the swine flu is being distributed. The government says there will be enough for any American who wants it but a report in the "wall street journal" says budget cuts and other restrictions could mean a long wait for you and me.
Joe Queenan, are you lining up for the swine flu vaccine?
QUEENAN: You know, if they're a little bit short, they can have mine because I'm not getting it. I'm giving up.
ROMANS: Why? You told me you're too old. The next thing is going to kill you anyway.
QUEENAN: Exactly. Just because there have been so many -- the influenza epidemic in 1918, that was a bad one, OK? And they kind of warned us about that. But they've warned us about so many things, everything like that, and I'm sort of like saying, there's not that much left in my immune system to go wrong, so everybody else can take it.
SMITH: Not only that, I want to see you take it first. If you're the President Barack Obama, I mean you did about 140 interviews already. You've been everywhere all over the place. I remember a George F. Will on ABC this week said he's like elevator music. You just can't get away from him which I thought that was the line of the year as far as I'm concerned.
So let me see you stand up there. You're having beer with Professor Gates and the police officer in Massachusetts, you're doing everything. How about sitting up there on the lawn in the Rose Garden, roll up your sleeve, and you take a shot and let everybody else do it, too, and then come to me and ask me to be a guinea pig because I'm not interested.
ROMANS: After hearing our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta talk about what it felt to have the swine flu, I'm more inclined to get it because it really -- it was not pretty. It did not feel good.
SMITH: Well listen, he got what he got it and then he took the vaccine for it, right?
ROMANS: No, he got it. He was really sick. He doesn't have to take the vaccine now because he's already inoculated -- he's immunized because ...
SMITH: I guess what I was wondering is if I get sick, maybe that's a good reason to take it. But if I'm healthy, I'm feeling just fine.
QUEENAN: I'll stay indoors and wait for this thing to blow over.
ROMANS: All right, guys. Let's not shake hands, please. You never know where cupid's arrow will strike. For David Letterman, it was at the Ed Sullivan Theater apparently. If you're not a millionaire famous entertainer, how do you bounce back from some pretty bad office mistakes?
ROMANS: Apparently David Letterman is not alone. Forty percent of those surveyed by Careerbuilder.com claim to have dated a co- worker. Eighteen percent have dated more than one co-worker. We hope not at the same time, of course. Either way it can become a sticky situation.
Ellen Gordon Reeves is the author of "Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?" Ellen, welcome back to the program.
ELLEN GORDON REEVES, AUTHOR: Thanks Christine, good to be here.
ROMANS: Oh, my gosh, can I ask you, is it ever OK to have an affair at the office?
GORDON REEVES: Well, here is the thing, you really can't -- we're not going to get into the ethics of are you married or in a committed relationship. Some workplaces actually have regulations against this. And the reason is because there are abuses of power. But if you're going to do it, you have to, first, try to find out what your company's policy is and figure out if it's happening, go to a supervisor and say, what's the deal here? Because one of you may have to leave your job. You know, love isn't easy.
ROMANS: You know, it's interesting because so many people, especially people in their 20s and 30s, their entire life happens to be happening at the office. And so when cupid's arrow strikes, you never know.
OK you say don't talk to your boss. Don't put your colleagues in uncomfortable situations and apologize if you're caught. Let me ask you about a more common one. I hope it's more common. Maybe it's not. Maybe I'm just a pollyanna and I don't know what's happening around the office.
But lying about a sick day. There was a survey this week that said lying about a sick day has actually fallen dramatically. I say of course it was, people are afraid to lose their jobs. If you're lying about being on a sick day, what should you do if you get caught?
GORDON REEVES: No, no, again, I don't understand why in this economy, people cannot afford this kind of indiscretion. And think how sick you will feel if you get caught at a baseball game, running into your boss.
ROMANS: Think how fired you will feel if you get caught.
GORDON REEVES: Think how fired you'll get caught. And again here, the thing is you have to show some good faith in the face of your bad faith. You have to go in immediately, say this was extremely unprofessional. In retrospect, I should have asked for a day off, to convert a personal day or a vacation day into just a day off, a mental health day. And then offer to do something nice. Offer to work an extra day, work on the weekend because you have to really regain some trust there.
ROMANS: For god's sake, don't post pictures of yourself at the game on Facebook or then you really are going to get caught. And operate under the assumption you will run into someone from work because you will. You will get caught. What about bad mouthing your boss either behind their back, either in an e-mail, on Facebook, or somehow badmouthing your boss and they find out?
GORDON REEVES: This is the worst. This is like having an affair, getting caught, and having to tell your partner and then realizing that you have to rebuild all the trust. You have completely damaged your professional reputation. You put yourself on the line because now he can't trust you with anything. What are you really saying to clients? Did you really do what you said you were going to do? You've got to go right in there with your tail between your legs and say I'm sorry, this was unprofessional. I hurt your feelings, and for goodness sakes, please don't, don't repeat the offender insult and say I'm really sorry I called you a stark raving lunatic.
ROMANS: OK. Crying in a meeting or crying in front of your boss, you burst into tears, you're so upset about something.
GORDON REEVES: You know, this isn't the worst thing. I have to admit, I've cried in front of a boss. Not in a meeting, but don't give too much explanation. This is a bad hormone day for me. Don't lie and say --
ROMANS: Don't say that. Do not say that.
GORDON REEVES: TMI, TMI. And what about, no, don't lie and say that I was upset by grandmother died or my dog died because you are tempting fate there if they are still alive. Just again apologize and if the situation warrants it, you might be able to say I was so emotional, I care so much about what I'm doing. I was so invested in this and next time I will use a little more professional distance and detachment.
ROMANS: Thank you, Ellen Gordon Reeves. The book is called "Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?"
So is any type of office affair ever a good idea? We're going to pose that question to Stephen A. Smith and Joe Queenan. And what is it about young married women that give them an edge over their husbands?
ROMANS: Time again for the "Ticker." Welcome back journalist and commentator Stephen A. Smith as well as satirist Joe Queenan, author of the book "Closing Time." Gentlemen, before we go any further, I need to know what you think about what we just heard, specifically that little disaster at the workplace for David Letterman, still making headlines more than a week later. I'm not sure if any of you have heard this story, but David Letterman was sleeping with women at the office.
SMITH: Quite a few I might add according to the reports and everything like that. Had a bunk up above the Ed Sullivan Theater.
ROMANS: The story doesn't die though. This has been more than a week. You know the "New York Post" every two days is going to have a new headline with a new little salacious detail.
SMITH: Well the thing about it is I don't think -- you can't condone it, and first of all, it's wrong. More importantly, it's very, very embarrassing to his wife even though she was not his wife at the time.
But even bigger than all of that is the fact that you were the boss. And anytime you're sleeping around with subordinates, I mean to me this story is not going to die. I would not be surprised at all if somebody came out of the woodwork and claimed that you know what, they were discriminated against because they weren't willing to sleep with the great Dave Letterman. I don't think that's farfetched at all. I think the worst or best is yet to come.
ROMANS: I wonder if crisis PR people would have said it should have been handled differently or it was handled well. I wonder if they would be surprised that a week later, we're still talking about it. We're still talking about the David Letterman affairs.
QUEENAN: You know, I think that the thing with David Letterman is different from office romances because he's -- you know, he's famous. They were young, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Office romances are just going to happen. People like them. Sylvester Stallone one time married a model and somebody said well, why do you marry models? And he said, well I'm an actor, who do you think I meet?
In an office, it's eight hours a day, it's 40 hours a week. There's a lot of good looking people in the office, OK? You know, you meet people in the office. It's exciting to have romances in the office. It's just human nature to do it. Is it a good idea? Probably not but people are going to do it.
SMITH: You know the one thing I wanted to throw out there, too. When I think about that, I think about Hollywood and the hypocrisy. For example, Angelina Jolie, relatively sexy woman by all accounts. This is what most men think, right? I know a lot of women think that way about Brad Pitt. Well you're sitting up there rubbing up against one another and talking about your acting, you're at work. Oh, really? All of a sudden you don't get excited to be next to each other on a day-to-day basis? It's a given. It's inevitable ...
ROMANS: No one around here is rubbing up against each other in the pursuit of journalism.
SMITH: I understand that but ...
QUEENAN: Oh, I'm never going to work here.
SMITH: But if you're around people hour after hour day after day, you find them attractive and you have problems at home and stuff like that, you just never know what's going to happen.
ROMANS: I've got to leave the creepy office stuff. I know you are being honest.
All right, let's be honest about this. New York City forced restaurant chains to post the calories. If you have ever eaten at a fast food restaurant in New York City, you know what I'm talking about. And other places are thinking about doing this. Conventional wisdom holds that the horrifying discovery of how many calories you're about to eat in your cheeseburger, milkshake, chicken nuggets, whatever, is going to mean you're not going to eat so much. Wrong.
Researchers studying fast food chains in the poorest neighborhoods in New York City found the calorie count of the typical order has actually risen since the law went into effect last summer. These poorer areas may have the highest obesity rates. So what will enable people in the neighborhoods to make healthier choice with their money? It comes at the same time, I think, that the economy is starting to get really bad. So it's almost as if you can't afford to eat healthy. It's kind of sad.
QUEENAN: OK, it's fun food, most of the stuff you're talking about. So remember one thing, poor people are unhappy, and the reason they are is because they're poor. Middle class people should try it and then they'll find out. Poor people go and eat this food because it makes them feel better. Poor people aren't going to look at those numbers and say oh, this is going to make me fat. Oh, then I'll be fat and unhappy, fat and out of work.
But the other thing to remember is the whole thing that people say, the stomach does one thing and the brain does the other thing. No, this side of the brain says, oh, I will get fat, and this side of the brain says put some extra bacon on that double cheeseburger.
ROMANS: Right. As a girl who eats bacon twice a day, I can relate.
SMITH: To answer the question directly, make unhealthy food more expensive. That's number one because if you got to pay a lot of money to eat those foods, all of the sudden.
ROMANS: Isn't that taxing the poor then?
SMITH: Listen, we're talking about a health issue. Because really, it's an absence of common sense to some degree. And a lot of us are guilty of it, not just poor people, it's all of us.
ROMANS: What about making good food available to people at a good price? Some neighborhoods you can't get a piece of lettuce
SMITH: Because guess what? You know what? They don't mind because to me, I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but again, if you eat unhealthy food, why do you think you have a health care crisis? You know, you're not realizing you're going to pay for it one or the another.
If you have a $1 deal at McDonald's and you're taking the $1 deal again, guess what? You're going to pay for it at the doctor's office because you're going to be unhealthy because of it and you're going to have to go to be made to feel better. People are not really looking at it from a logical perspective and that's part of the problem.
ROMANS: I've got one more thing I want to ask you guys about because I'm dying to get your opinion on this. Guess who is best at handling the family finances? Young married women according to a new survey from FindLaw.com. Joe, younger women somehow are better at handling the family finances than their husbands. Why?
QUEENAN: Because after you spend $50,000 on the wedding, there's no money left to handle. I mean, that will be the thing. Before you get married, handle the finances. Then there might be some money left. Now it's like -- now we got to cut corners. Well, yeah, we don't have any money left. We spent 50 grand on the wedding.
SMITH: Let me break it down to you this way and I'm not being misogynistic in any way.
ROMANS: If you have to start a sentence saying I'm not being misogynistic, you probably shouldn't keep going. SMITH: My dad said it best. He said, no woman is free. You're going to pay. You might pay a little, you are going to pay a lot. But you are going to pay. When you are courting her, when you are pursuing her, you are going to spend money, so you grow accustomed to spending that money. She grows accustomed to managing what you're going to spend. And by the time you commit to one another, it's just habitual and you just go from there and that's just the way it is.
QUEENAN: I wish that my dad had told me that. I would have been so much better off.
SMITH: You're going to pay a little, you're going to pay a lot, but you're going to pay.
ROMANS: I'm going it talk to your dad. Thanks for coming along.
SMITH: He said it, Ashley Smith. That's his name.
ROMANS: I still say if you have to start the sentence with I'm not misogynistic but, you know you're going to make a girl blush. Thanks so much, Joe Queenan. Thanks so much, Stephen A. Smith.
Do you hustle? Do you know how to crush it? Do you know what that means? Do you live for vacation? Our next guest says if you're living for vacation, you're not living. Never heard of Gary V.? He's got a mega following online. He says if you stick around for two more minutes, he's going to change your life.
ROMANS: You can make a fortune and a name for yourself all for free. There is no cost of entry. You take something like Facebook or Twitter and you build a brand and you cash in on your passion. A guy from New Jersey named Gary V. did it with wine and attitude, exploding his family's wine business and attracting the eyeballs of more than 850,000 people who follow him on Twitter.
By now it's probably 865,000 people. He has a 10-book deal with a major publisher to tell the rest of the world how to, as he humbly says, crush it. His name is Gary Vaynerchuk. He's the host of WineLibraryTV.com. And this guy starts a new business just about every day, and that's not an exaggeration. You started a new business pretty much every day for the past few weeks.
GARY VAYNERCHUK, AUTHOR: Yes, I've got wine social network called corked and gourmet library, the food version of the wine site and Cinderella wine, one wine at midnight every day. So I'm hustling. You know, I'm doing what I love.
ROMANS: Why do 850,000 -- now, 875,000 people follow you on Twitter? Why? Why, Gary?
VAYNERCHUK: Because I care. And really, I'm just going to put --
ROMANS: You care about 850,000 people you don't know? VAYNERCHUK: More than that. You know, it's what I do all day. I engage and I listen. See, everybody thinks that Twitter and Facebook is about talking. It's about listening and engaging and caring. This is all old school, I'm no hero. This is 1930s. It's a marathon. Everybody wants it to be a sprint. Everybody wants to make cash in two minutes. It doesn't happen that way. To build real million dollar businesses, you've got to work your face off. I'm not selling anybody the four-hour workweek. This is hard work, customer service.
See, everybody that thinks customer service is a nuance, that social media is a nuance. I think it's the main dish. I think what you sell is the salt and pepper and that your customer service and your caring and social media is the steak.
ROMANS: That turn it just upside down. And you were a guy that was doing wine. Like you did families quality liquors.
VAYNERCHUK: Shoppers discount liquors.
ROMANS: Shoppers discount liquors and you said it looked -- it was exactly what the name sounds like. And then you started to really turn this around. You started to learn about the business. And you started learning about social networking and you started learning about Facebook and the like. And you realize that you had a gift for business development that went beyond wine and talking to people about wine, and you sort of -- you are a social networking phenomenon really.
VAYNERCHUK: I'm a story teller. I have always been good at that. It's all about branding. You feel something when you see that apple with a bite.
ROMANS: Anybody can do this. Anybody can take your stuff, and you say -- so listen, this is what I think is really interesting. You say every single one of us here, no matter what our job, all of us here, we have to have a personal brand and we need to be developing and portraying that personal brand all of the time. Why?
VAYNERCHUK: Because that's your biggest asset. Who you are is your biggest fundamental asset.
ROMANS: And it's free.
VAYNERCHUK: And it's free. Everything I wrote in this book was not possible three years ago. The whole do what you love and the cash will be there. That was a fantasy and I understand why people even today think I'm not serious or I'm silly.
I know it's real because I have seen myself do it. There's people that talk about street food in Midtown Manhattan that make cash. There's people that yarn that make cash.
What it is is this. The cost of entry is now zero. You can produce content. You can distribute content and now because of word of mouth, which is what always built businesses, because Twitters and Facebook and the Tumblers are the Ustreams are word of mouth tools, you can do every principal piece of building all for sweat equity. And the fact that cash has been neutralized is a special moment.
ROMANS: It takes a certain kind of personality, you agree, that it takes a certain kind of personality, a certain amount of hustle, but there are people out there I think who -- I don't know. You're going to stick around -- go ahead.
VAYNERCHUK: I'm going to say one thing. Not everybody is going to end up being Oprah, right? But the fact that somebody is make enough money for a family vacation and talk about the Cincinnati Reds because that's the thing they love the most, they need to wrap their head around that.
ROMANS: And figure out how to monetize it. All right Gary Vaynerchuk, you're going to stick around. The book is called "Why Now Is The Time to Crush It." Cash in on your cash.
Green collar jobs, it's a nice catch phrase but where are the jobs? In the turnaround, we meet one New Jersey business owner who said they saved his business.
ROMANS (voice-over): Scott Needham has a degree in architecture. But rather than designing homes or skyscrapers for a living, he's rebuilding his family's 38-year-old heating and air conditioning business.
SCOTT NEEDHAM, CEO, PRINCETON AIR: It was March '08 we first noticed that something was awry. We weren't hitting our sales plan. We were typically at that point starting to gear up for our busy summer season, and we just said something seems a little strange.
ROMANS: Calls weren't coming in. Business dropped off, and Scott and his father, Joe, were forced to lay off 10 percent of their staff. Then the Needhams started hearing about a push from the state of New Jersey to weatherize homes and tax incentives and rebates for business owners and consumers that went along with it. Needham saw an opportunity, took a gamble, and launched a new division of Princeton Air.
NEEDHAM: It was weird to have this dynamic of laying people off in other divisions, building a new division. All of a sudden things have exploded. We are out workwise or leadswise for about a month and a half.
ROMANS: Needham has added eight jobs to his payroll of 48 and expects that number to rise largely because of the Obama administration's push for green job creation. $5 billion of stimulus cash going to low income home weatherization projects, $4.5 billion to retrofit federal buildings, $600 million in green job retraining programs.
RICK FEDRIZZI, CEO, U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL: The amount of money that's being wasted in houses all across America is immense. I honestly believe that this is one of the single largest areas for job creation and these are permanent jobs. This isn't a temporary blip on the screen.
ROMANS: Scott Needham hopes that's the case.
NEEDHAM: I think there's a huge opportunity to get the country fixed, if you will. I mean, to tighten up all the existing housing stock. And I really believe now that my eyes have been opened. I think it makes a lot of sense to do what we are doing.
ROMANS: Gary V. sticks around. Coming next, the FTC could be monitoring his and your blog. And wait until you hear what ultra and I mean ultra-controversial talk show host might by an NFL team.
ROMANS: Back again with the Ticker. Gary Vaynerchuk is the author of "Crush It" and host of WineLibraryTV.com. Stephen A. Smith is a journalist and commentator.
The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers, that's you, Gary V., to disclose payments or freebies received when they're reviewing products. That starts December 1st. The rules for testimonials and endorsements and all of this stuff hasn't been updated in almost 30 years and had never really extended to the blogosphere. So has the time come for this and for maybe a watchdog to monitor social networking and blogs? Gary V., this could affect -- there are 29 million bloggers in the country. There are a lot of people out there.
VAYNERCHUK: It's awesome. I think it's a great thing.
ROMANS: It brings legitimacy to it. Like we know someone is not peddling something because they're getting paid.
VAYNERCHUK: Yes. But, you know what's funny? People need to wrap their head around what social media is. It's sub-regulate. People understand. You are going to get called out. When I did my wine show, I was getting wine on the back end or kickbacks from those wines and giving good scores, I would have never gotten to where I got. So it's a very transparent world. I'm thrilled for the government to do it. I just know it would have happened -- it's happening and would have happened anyway.
ROMANS: It's one of those things too that you see those ads online where there's like the really fat, not very attractive guy, and then he turns into this totally cut 19-year-old because he took this whole bottle of pills or something and then it says results not typical. You're not going to be able to do that anymore. I never thought that those results really were typical, but the FTC now is going to say that you can't do that.
SMITH: Well, there's definitely a lot of quality bloggers out there. You don't want to disrespect that. You understand the need for people that are not attached to something, that they won't have a conflict of interest. You've got to be out there. You are willing to tell the truth to say what it is. But obviously, you have a plethora of them that needs to be monitored in some way, shape, form or fashion.
I've often argued with bloggers because I've said, listen, you can say whatever you want but when I write a column, when I go on television or radio, I'm held accountable because I answer to somebody as well.
Who are you to say that you shouldn't have to answer to anybody? I like the fact they are brought into my world. It's a beautiful thing.
VAYNERCHUK: I agree. But I also think that you've got to realize, those people that have made false claims or haven't been accountable ...
ROMANS: The market is going to punish them.
VAYNERCHUK: They crush them. Those guys and gals lose every time. They have not been able to win.
SMITH: But you still don't want their win or losing to be defined by all right, the public is coming down on you or we recognize it. You need some kind of censorship to some degree. If journalists have to go through it on radio or television and newspaper magazines, et cetera, they should have to go through it as well.
ROMANS: Well, I don't know, 29 million bloggers, they are going to have to hire a lot of 12-year-olds.
SMITH: It will help the unemployment rate.
ROMANS: All right, speaking of our employment rate, there's a one man money machine who I think will never be unemployed. His name is Tiger Woods, and he is unquestionably the world's best golfer. But is he the first athlete to earn $1 billion?
"Forbes" reported recently that he is in fact factoring in estimates from endorsements, tournament winnings and appearances, he has had $1 billion in career earnings. Is it true? Tiger reportedly said he doesn't have that much money. Is there a way to know and do we care? I mean, if he doesn't have $1 billion in career earnings, he's pretty close.
SMITH: He's pretty close. He'll probably get there if he's not yet. And the bottom line is, I don't know anyone who has money who admits how much money they have. So his denial is pretty much predictable. I don't blame him for denying it.
ROMANS: Maybe he thinks he's not a billionaire because night now he doesn't have $1 billion or he spent some of it. SMITH: When you're Warren Buffet or anybody like that, you're rolling in those circles with people who make those dollars. But when you are an athlete or a sports figure of any kind and you're known to make that money, you become even more of a target. So you don't want people to know. I don't blame him for denying it. I wouldn't admit it, either, even though it's kind of foolish for him to deny it.
ROMANS: He should be proud of it. He's self-made. This guy is self-made. He's made more money than any other athlete, right?
VAYNERCHUK: You know what though, you have to break down his DNA. He's already way up here. So anything he can do to make him a little more -- I think he's being very smart. He's humanizing himself to some level. And I think he needs to do that at some level because he knows that's how he got there. Because once you get there, people are taking shots.
ROMANS: That's true. Quickly, Rush Limbaugh may become part owner of the St. Louis Rams football team. It does not sit well with some black NFL players who claim if Limbaugh is the owner, they won't be playing in it. Should the NFL allow Limbaugh to purchase or invest?
SMITH: Absolutely. If he has the money, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. And those black ball players that are saying that, I'm here on national television telling you they are lying through their stinking teeth. They're walking hypocrites.
ROMANS: Aren't they making a moral stand?
SMITH: Oh, please. Their moral standard is greed. I'm an athlete and Rush Limbaugh happens to be the owner of the St. Louis Rams, so the New York Jets offer me $10 million, but Rush is offering me $20 million. I'm going to have a problem with it? Please, they are lying. They are wasting my time.
ROMANS: What about Donovan McNabb? Wasn't it the comment on ESPN...
SMITH: The media's desire is that a black quarterback do well. Yes, it caused a lot of controversy. I thought that Rush Limbaugh should have been criticized for that, which he was and unceremoniously fired by ESPN. But the reality is that that does not mean he should not own an NFL team. If he has the dollars, he should be allowed to do it. He's definitely an NFL fan. I've listened to him talk about football. It's not like he's ignorant to the game of football. The man knows football. He's a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He wants to buy them.
ROMANS: And he's got money. Gary is a guy who his whole driving goal in life -- A, he loves his family, B, he wants to buy the New York Jets.
VAYNERCHUK: Buy the New York Jets. So I'm jealous of Rush and more importantly, I agree with Stephen A. Smith, knocked it out of the park just now. The players don't give a rat's butt. I totally agree. They are going where the contract is. That's just the way -- and I don't blame them. These guys -- especially NFL players, they get beat up. Running backs are has beens of 28. They've go to go there.
SMITH: Christine, you've got a three year max, four years if you are lucky in the NFL. This is a very serious sport, a very violent sport.
ROMANS: Don't spend it over being mad at Rush Limbaugh.
SMITH: That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is oh, you're going to pass up money because oh, my god, I'm offended by Rush Limbaugh being the owner? Who are you fooling? Liars. I wish they would say it publicly. Show me who it was.
ROMANS: They would never do that.
VAYNERCHUK: No chance.
ROMANS: Stephen A. Smith, thank you so much. Author Gary Vaynerchuk, very nice to see you again, Gary. Thanks for joining us for YOUR MONEY. You can join us online all week long. We're on Facebook and Twitter, @ChristineRomans and @AliVelshi. Ali is going to be back next week. So you'll see him then.
Make sure you join us every week for YOUR MONEY, Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and Sundays at 3:00. You can also log on, 24/7 to CNNMoney.com. Have a great weekend, everybody.