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Thick Descriptions with Tressie McMillan Cottom
There is not an efficient way to determine one's human capital. The only thing we can do try to hire some time. Listen, I wish my people would no seriously. I wish more people would. And then tell me that you've got a better system for we don't, you know, there are so many jobs that I would be terrible at on my own staff. Yes. That I would interview very well for as good at now if I came in with my like nice fancy degree, and my my love you my way of talking that is smack communicates a certain essay socioeconomic credential. Yes, maybe you'd hire me to do that job for the job. Hello. And welcome to why is this happening with me your host, Chris. Okay. So indulge me for a minute. But put a minute on the clock. Maybe to Tiffany champion. Just a little rant mini rant about the state of the discourse capital t h he capital D S discourse. Consign the fly. Here's here's the thing about the world, we live in and the information we consume there is at this moment because of the way technology works the way that my industry in cable news works there is this just like insane competition war for people's attention, and between Twitter, which is particularly bad in this way, and the way the internet functions and the way social media functions. All content all information is in these little packages that are small and are designed to grab your attention. And then have you share them move them along and they're all constrained in these tiny little worlds like a tweet. I have found that my ability to think deeply about things or with context or it with complexity or nuance is constantly being assaulted, by the fact of the way that information moves through our conversation nationally, it that's really really true Twitter where it's literally about a length. Limit words like you. Can only have an idea that can be articulated in these two hundred eighty characters. That's it. That's as big as you can have. And if you really want to be told story, you can threat a whole bunch together and go super deep, maybe you go twelve tweets deep, and then man, you're just that's like that's like your dissertation, and all of that, I understand the technological moment we're in and the market incentives that have produced that way, the discourse works, but what is lost is space for depth and complexity, and particularly when we're talking about complicated things, and we're talking about complicated political topics. We're talking about complicated questions of identity or the live reality of people that might be different than us. What you need is what a something that that that sociologists called thick description thick description is the opposite of the flatness of a tweet. A tweet a headline that tries to get you to click the front page of a magazine the thing that is trying to grab your attention. That's flat. It's flat. It's it's two dimensional is trying to grab you thick description, which is a term co sociologist us is to really inhabit the life world of a culture of a group of people of an institution and to mine all the complexity all of the internal contradictions all of the manifestations of that life world. That's what really good sociologist. Do. It's what really good ethnographers do anthropologists. And it's a really necessary skill in this moment precisely because the flatness of the discourse. And because the thing that we're constantly talking about this show talks about that. Our politics are all around are people from different backgrounds. Trying to communicate to each other about what their identity is where they're coming from. And so what we have is this crazy mismatch of a politics that demands. That were interacting and listening to folks that are coming from different backgrounds and a medium of communicating that is as flat as humanly possible. And so very excited to have a discussion with associate whose name is Tracy McMillan Cottam. She is a teacher at Virginia Commonwealth university. And she has just written this phenomenal book of essays, which is called thick thick both as a description of female body thick as a description of the kinds of sociology. She does which is thick description, and it's a book of essays that really makes you work to think through the complexity of the life world that she's experienced as a black woman who is in academia, who is taking her perspective and applying it to her research for ram, she wrote this incredible book before this book of essays about basically private colleges called lower Ed, but she's got a way of doing this thing that we used to call troubling concept when I was back in college which. Sounds like a sort of annoying and academic term. But is just the process of taking a concept or a contention or premise or a truth that you think, you know, shaking it and poking and prodding and turning it upside down, it is a really difficult thing to guide a person through the thinking of that to guide a person using your words through thinking about society or institutions or human life in that way. An in this book of essays trusty does that extremely well. She's gotten incredible I story she sitting at the intersection of a whole bunch of interesting forces in American life this moment, but more than anything. She has a way of getting to the deepest part of a topic and most urgently she got away a combining of the way of thinking about siding politics. She gets from her trainings a sociologist with the urgency of talking in the language. With which we all communicate every day. I learned a lot from her book. I learned a lot from this conversation. I think you will too. Your mom had you up here in Harlem, right? Yes. She was part of that wave families from North Carolina. We are actually fortunate in a way that many black people aren't I mean, we've been in North Carolina for as many generations, as you know, we can count. But we did the whole great migration to Harlem as most people did in North Carolina that was the typical path and we took it. She had gone to college in North Carolina married and had me in Harlem lasted a couple of years story is there was apparently was Sam serial killer. Right. Son of Sam wanted to seventy s she decides that we we can't live here. We moved that this right? That's what story. That's a pretty good. That's pretty good, Spike Lee film, right? There's Spike Lee films when he was trying to go legit for the academy that didn't work that. Well, that's an interesting movie sort of embodies like kind of New York rock bottom situation. So that was she was jam Cam. And so and then you went back with her and you raise North Carolina's. Right. So for me, North Carolina is you know, we were all from north county even Harlem felt like North Carolina to us. I mean, we were there with a million other blind people from North Carolina, but I grew up. Yes. All around the Sabin, mostly in Charlotte, North Carolina. And I still I consider homes where most of my family now is how did you become an academic? How'd you the heck knows it wasn't even part of the lexicon for me? It wasn't that we weren't educate. Parents went to college. But like, we should know like among certain strata of folks in which a college education is taken for granted. There is a tremendous overestimation of the percentage of Americans, right? Get a college education you go one. Back. That's right. And it's even smaller. It's the same thing. Like how many people took a flight this past year? Correct. Like half of America. For those of us who fly all the time. Rain seems pretty strange. Exactly. Yeah. Your mom went to college. My mother and my father both we are products of historically black colleges, which is probably part of the story of why we didn't think of academe Lia as a career path. We're like immigrants in the sense that we had four jobs. You could do you can be a teacher, a lawyer a doctor a preacher. We think this is a job, by the way. So and you know, I'm a little girl who can talk and right in that always been my things I was supposed to be a lawyer. I didn't even know about other jobs where you kind of plucked early is like this is a good student. This is this this. I was that annoying. Yes. That was absolutely hand-raised kind of situation body ever offered me drugs in school. I watched all those program, and I kept waiting and waiting. Nobody offered. It was clear apparently that I had inclination to be dark. That was me. I did with the teachers wanted me to do. I was happy to got passes to go to the library. Right. And then you went to an HP, you almost really didn't even know any other choice. Right. Like, I was recruited by the places. But that's what we done. So I went to North Carolina central in Durham, North Carolina. I have a pretty normal sort of experience there, a black college life is this insular, wonderful and solar bubble that. I think really figures pretty promptly, actually, my intellectual development. I have to say I strickly by colleges and universities are not a world that I grew up knowing. Uh-huh. Even though I was in the Bronx in the nineteen eighties. And I was in extremely racially diverse heterogeneous world, I knew nothing about it. Then I went to this very elite public, magnets, New York. And it's amazing to me in my adult life in the careers of people that I follow that. I'm fans of that. I like essential is how central I mean, even listen to Kamala Harris talk about it. There's something sort of striking to me about just how profoundly important those institutions are they still I mean for everything that, you know, one of my bailiwick says that I am constantly promoting the value of historic by colleges and universities, but just to our community still despite you know, years of being chronically underfunded and politically marginalized etcetera etcetera etcetera, they still overwhelmingly produce our black middle class upper middle class, professional classes, black doctors black lawyers, black educators, still very much a point of access remains historically black college, and you had a really good time there. Yes. Probably had too much fun. I stayed there long within my scholarship. Allow. Say it was a checkered path to completion. But I had a great time. And then once you want to be a sociologist, I didn't even really know what sociology is when you know, a black school. We have sociology but is not a discipline. And one of the things I've come to realize is that's because everything in B C you associate right? We're learning black literature in our biology classes because our professors overwhelmingly came from black colleges too, and they tend to be their very mission oriented, right? And so every class you took had an element of what sociology does which is the study of structures and systems if only because we were trying to understand racism, right, and almost all of your courses. Right. So that's so pervasive. You can't write the frame of analysis always has to be that at some level. That's right. So for me sociology was just like this thing we had checked out like there was no robust sort of sociology department. You kinda didn't need it. It would be like having an African American literature class at H B C, you write like, every English course, was African American literature. So it was not until I started to do. I'd gone off and worked after a new grant like I was not I was going to go to law school. But I wanted to work a few years. I life got in the way, I got married all this other stuff when I decided to go back to school. I was still thinking about law school. So so I'll take a couple of courses and went back to my modern take a couple of courses to prepare for the L set. While I was there. There was this program and said, well, listen, we'll pay for these courses for you. And we will give you a check and housing. Here's the thing. You just gotta consider getting a PHD instead of a lot of green. Well, you know, economic incentives being what they are. Then worked on me who set that up Duke University, set mostly by the African American faculty on that campus and consortium with our university and with the university of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and it was to you know, you try to get more African American students and HD programs. And so that was the way they did it. They said, look if you're an and they were recruiting from the base of Elvis tractors. That's that's pretty smart because they again, they know like everybody else in our community would know that we're probably. They're waiting to go to law school because that's what we know. You got a business agree alarm degree or a medical degree? Right. And so they simply sure, you know. But you gotta promise you're gonna take the GRE instead and think about a PHD, and I get there, and I go I ended up being almost immediately good at research, you work with a senior researcher at Duke and I worked with one of the best. I work with sandy charity. Still now at Duke University as an economist and I worked at truly just one of the best social thinkers alive today. And I ended up being really good at it. And he keeps saying to me your sociologist. And it's like, I don't even really know what that is. No, you think about the world this way. And as it turned out. He was right, right? I did this project and got into all the sociology programs that apply to you. And as it turned out. I was a sociologist you've got a really interesting career because you you write economic you're a book that I think crew out of your displaying where you got this new essay collection, but you've also just been writing public. I mean was that from the beginning that you were doing kind of public writing you talk about sort of experience of having pieces really take off and go viral. I think I I encountered you're writing the great piece you wrote about the kind of psychology of poor people buying. Yeah. This is an incredible. And that was the first time I sort of encounter your byline. And then started searching how did that start? I think a couple of things again, I'm associated right? So I think there's a structure a nation. And so there are a couple of things I'm not always been an internet cultures. Right. I was alive journal early HTML programming kind of juror. I was on black planet. I done all of that. I'm telling you. Black planet accounts for ninety percent of probably the black famous people. You know, and I'm not even kidding. Not a joke now planet, I know Roxane gay people think like we meant is no we knew each other. But then everyone I mean is like yes, it was black planet. That's where I found my voice. That's like black Twitter Twitter Otis existed. What is right? That's how we knew how to work that platform. We gave Twitter meaning because of what we once built at black planet. What was black planet? Black plan is where black people went to get on the internet. So Wade back in the day before you had like Ghulam these interfaces, right? The internet. I just remember it being strange like you knew it was a thing because everybody was writing about it. You all of a sudden getting Email addresses people were giving them to you. And is remembered being a relative that's like sixteen seventeen ish about to go after college and all of us understood the internet was a thing. But nobody knew how to really get on it. And what to do once you were there. And at the time the solution to that where the AOL chat rooms. Right. And so you can have an interest. He was supposed to organize around interest, gardening, etc. Right. Right. The largest almost immediately group that takes off as one called black plan took on life of its own. It starts AOL CHAI is every black person who was on. The internet. We didn't know what else to subdivide into like gardening. Or are you black black is is like the UPN of its time. Right. It was just wasn't that more. Good is what we have. So everybody was on blood plan. I'm gonna family. Animal planet. That's right. Which is like a message board. That's right. And so we start then we learn basic sort of coating, I remember you had to learn this is again before everything sort of plug and play internet interfaces. And so you had to do a lot of sort of on the go programming. This is early introduction to how the internet would work. So that's happening at the same time that I've always been a writer, but what else am I going to do in a group to represent myself in this text based environment? I think that carries over to live journal, which was about shaping a longer form writing community, the group there that was very influential was called black folk in every black person. I knew on live journal was in a group called black folk about quarter of those people now people, you would probably know. And it's and it's fascinating because we're built like a we never mentioned it publicly that it. No, it's true. It's wild that. And it's also so much of internet culture. I am the one thousand th person to note this so much of internet culture starts in black internet subculture. And then kind of move out from there. Whether it's words phrases names things originally f very much in, you know, people shorthanded black Twitter. And so there's this like that history of it actually makes that coherent make sense. So I in a way. Yeah. And you're right. That history is not told. So it's like, oh look at this. You'll just magically. I remember articles from my back in two thousand and the black. People are good at they're so good amino fascinating. In working on this for twenty years. Hit shopping. This is just you. What is it? They always say about the ban. I like them before they were they were hot. We like the internet before it was. So you're so that's how you start. Yeah. That's your kind of public facing your and that's from the beginning this, right? Being that dates my understanding. So it really made no sense to me when I interact -demia for me to not do that for me. That would be like giving up one's hobby. Right. They didn't own my whole life. So I kept writing, but that's a front thing. Yes. It is. Got you. Tell story here about having an older colleague. Yes. Basically come up to you and be like cut it out. That's right. There's a lot of censoring about what the profession in every profession is undergoing there. Right. Like, what's the right way to be a journalist, right? Oh, you're just one of those internet journalists. Right. Everybody was that. I've heard kidding me. Pretty much. Pretty much a whole byline of my life. I like if you went tweeting so much you could do it. And I'm like read Sam. I mean, this is what we see and it took forever to come to politics. That's really all anybody is now dealing with with the new freshman class. Right. Is this resistance Jackson? God there on Instagram. Right. That's exactly like AO. See is getting the message from her elder colleagues that you got at that conference. Tell the story of a woman coming up. I'm stone deeply basically that was my Claire mccaskill right seriously comes up to me out the balloons like, but was saying thing that that was clearly being said about me behind. Exactly. Part of that being frankly, they if you were not born in that culture, they really could not imagine that I was doing both of those things simultaneously that. I was doing the deep academic work at the same time that I was doing the other stuff because this is there's a real there's real status coding in academic environs about what is Republican function. We're not. And what if you're talking too much the public? It almost lowers your stock and status because then you're not it is Rex elaborately culture. We have celebrities, but it works inversely, proportional to way, celebrity works writ large, which is we actually want you to be a micro celebrity strangely. Well, known with a small group of people as opposed to popular Lee, well known among the popular masses. But yeah, I wanna talk about one of the sort of themes in this essay collection, which I think sort of tracks through your work both sort of public and academic, which you've got this incredible Esa here about competence, which is an essay about well. I is an essay that centers on an incredibly. Traumatic experience that you had an how when you were pregnant and got to a hospital. How you were understood as having competence were not having any. Yeah. So the point of entry has had these really weird things that I'll say I'm talking to my editor about the possibility. This essay does it was really supposed to be about how technology it makes us all incompetent in these ways that we can't solve and I said, well, my way of thinking about this problem talking about this thing that of all the things I've ever written about it never written about it had no intention of ever writing about it. But I had this draft that it just always sort of been in my files, and the fact that essay exist in this book is really reflective how much I'd grown to trust my editor and how much more comfortable, I think just was sort of with my voice. This was not a story. I would've wanted to write an academic voice. For example. It was not a story that I have been willing to write without the status to defend myself right now have as opposed to maybe a few years ago. But it is an example of how oddly. I come to topics because I actually didn't think that was the heart of the essay I thought I'm going to tell the story about technological change making us incompetent and the political economy won't allow us the competence to an act agency. But the way I was gonna tell that was the way I had experienced it perhaps most dramatically which was the loss of my daughter in an almost dying myself in childbirth. I'm a healthy young adult woman, married, and educated and employed and I'm pregnant, and this should be the most in the United States of America. Right. This should be the most sort of typical pregnancy known to man, and it was just not in the way that I understood it to be typical by the time. It was over understood. It was actually very typical experience for black women and that experience involved at every step of the medical process, which is really just a stand in for how all of our organizations structure, who is the acceptable typical person that they'll work with right? We have to make assumptions and organization about who this organization is four and then. All of the processes are built out for that. You have to be English speaking because the forms are in English you have to be this tall. Because that's while the equipment is right. You have to be this is for the gowns to fit. But that we don't think nearly as much about race and gender, and how you need to present for the medical system to take you seriously and being taken seriously. I argue is the precondition for getting the actual healthcare to get actual healthcare from a healthcare organization. The healthcare organization has to assume that you're competent subject on your own behalf that when I say, I'm in pain at his actual pain that when I stay I am I am in labor. And I'm having a contraction. I am having a contraction. Right. It has to assume that I can actually speak to those things competently and at every step of the process of my medical experience every medical professional. This is really important. I think for people to take away from that story. I'm not talking about one bad, doctor, right? A one bad nurse. I mean when you're in the hospital for three and a half four days, which I was. Yeah. This constant rotation of people every. Everyone is making this assumption about me, and I think one of the for me personally. Anyway, one of the points of reflection for me once I was able to many years of reflect on the experience was how how is actually kind of angry with myself that I had ever expected better. Right that I really have bought into the idea more than I was comfortable with that. I had somehow earned a little bit more extension of grace from organization, and I had not a new also say on the issue you go to this hospital. You said you chosen it because it is a frequented and use by affluent white women us, right? It's like, we're should I go. Well, that this is the place for the community that has a lot of social capital. That's right. Goes you go in you say, you're having pain at four four and a half months. Right. And you get sent home you come back again ended up miscarrying and at every step. They just don't take you serious enough to do what they should do medically. There's a moment when I'm sitting in the waiting room of my upset tricks office, and I'm literally bleeding all over the. Share? And I can't get them to take me to the back room, right until it becomes a problem for the other people in the waiting room because that's who medical care was for the other people in the medical room, those were the healthy attractive middle and upper class white women, right again, I chosen it with the same logic that we choose schools that we choose neighborhoods that we choose which grocery store in which TJ Maxx, we'll go to the one on the quote, unquote, good side of town through that was that was the rough sort of cultural geography, I knew to us and everyone uses that. That's right. All of us do deeply ashamed. I was when I realized I had done all of those things, right? Knowing what I knew about how such things work, and then had the nerve to sort of be surprised at it had not worked for me. When of course, it was never designed to work for me, one of the takeaways that essays just, you know, it's a very it's extremely profound and moving story. I have to say as someone who does not have access to it subjectively for variety of reasons you talk about Serena Williams to afterwards. Which that story just blew my mind in half. And I know again, I shouldn't be surprised at that. But that's where he'd literally blew my mind link. Serena Williams had to Serena saying yeah, had to get up in a hospital and be like I am the person in the world who is literally most in touch with her own body of any human on planet. And I am telling you as that person that there is something going wrong here to deal with and she had to fight for to muskrat. And I and I think it says one of the one of the interviews and tells like she had to pull on her husband's. You know, Boniface staying in the right? Like, can you imagine your Serena Williams, and you you've got to have your husband and proxy disorder to your legitimacy for saying that you're in pain is one of those ways that we talk about how race works because here's the thing that is as true for black men probably in different ways for black women. But I bet we have a hard time imagining them doing that to LeBron James and arguably Serena LeBron are the greatest athletes in the in the world at this point in time. And I find it very hard to believe that LeBron would have to turn to his wife to get her to mediate the conversation with his medical doctors. Right. The idea that celebrity the greatest escape out of all social norms, and our culture every that's right. You can get right as supersedes every social norm. We have that. If black women and cheating that level of celebrity cannot get a system of healthcare to work for them. There's absolutely no hope for the rest of us. How do you think about the category? Black women. Like, here's the reason. I asked that I feel like there were having this moment, you have a very funny ethical black people are over here. And you mentioned this about the trust black woman. Which I think is like both good advice, but always rubs me a little the wrong way. Because it feels like it's this overcorrected reductive category that ends up being invoked. I understand right. Asking you to turn off your critical thinking faculties that. But also, there's a trope there's atropine you write about this trope. There's a certain kind of like wise black woman that is a trope in Hollywood atropine. It's everything exactly. Yeah. Listening to tell the white people who are like fumbling around and not finding their true loves like how to get it together. I love my people. Here's the thing about the internet. So first of all, you know, the great job that you know, nobody knows your dog on the internet for all. I know some of the people who are masquerading as black women on in not even black. But let's just say it was sort of just I was on black planet for like seven years. I figured out. I probably know which one was you. Cookie monster seventy four me. So that's the first thing. But there is there's an economics to the digital culture. Which is you have to get people to give you money, right? And one of the ways you do that actually the primary way is through attention. You know, this attention Konami. We have the trick for everyone is converting the attention into actual money. Right. So we come up with these slogans that I think is supposed to drive people to people's cash up. Right. And and I listen, I, okay, we're we're all vortex. Like, you're one hundred percent, correct. That is a Pam game is the pem game. And just let's just learn the rules just to be honest about it. Right. That to me is a whole other thing that has absolutely nothing to do with black women, except that some of the things that we talk about are very useful as a discursive tools to get people to do that the real substance of conversation. I think about, you know, trust black women believed black women, my understanding of that is not to say to trust everything black women say as being an unchargeable fat. But to trust them as thorns on their ability to say it now, that's quite different. That is about the fact that in all of my work to date, and I'm just going to go ahead and say it, I think I am one of the most cited most discussed sociologists public sociologist working in my profession today, and I can count on one hand the number of my colleagues who have taken my work critically seriously. Right. Yeah. They take me seriously. They don't mind critiquing me the person, but to trust black women would be to assume that you could take off the table that I needed to justify my ability to do my work and instead to take my work seriously. That's what we mean about trusting black women. And that's where you know. It's interesting you bring that point because you read about this a little bit about the ways in which being a black woman writing there's a push to write about being a black way. Because like that's the consumable contact about your life as opposed to like, here's my very rigorous work. I say, Laura education. No. And again, that's because there's a lot of attention available to people. Who want to participate that? And there are lots of people willing to do. That's the way the internet works part of it is you know, there's a there's an old Simpson's episode. Where like Homer Simpson's? Watching a stand up routine, and it's a black Santa continent. White guys drive like this. And this was true. And there there's a little bit of the racial discourse. Even in the woke left, racial discourse. Online gets very white people dance like this black people. I like this sometimes in a way, I just feel like so ethic reductive, and that's just the media. I think you're right. Like when I'm what's troubling me is the attentional impulses of the medium as opposed to what's under it. But I do that like the complexity with which say that you write about it here. People are not getting that. Well, yeah, I mean. Takeaway version and not the discourse. Which listen, my friends are get on me all the time about asking too much of people. Stuff in here. The essay about in the name of beauty is a challenging essay. It's a great SSI take that as a compliment twice. And it's like, I I was like man I'm worth this. I haven't worked hard and while because it's really it's dense and it's thick and thick. I thought if we do this, right? We've done enough thin, right? We've got thin slices of media thin slices of politics thin slices of philosophy thin slices. I feel like the idea of intellectualism head accelerated towards he's sort of very thin margins. You really only operate push at the margins of thinking so much before I think you lose all of the explanatory power of everything that you're saying the point for me was to say, yeah. But we've got this really rich tradition of actually being really complex nuanced about how the world works. That's deeply embedded and black feminists philosophy that I think is really useful for very thin time the collection of of slogans that supplant politics the collection of sort of soundbites that I think supplant public discourse. Right. So we've got this going and just all the Rina's of public life and political life. Listen, this is a minor shot across the bow. Those used to say we can push back. And I think that if I can get people. To take seriously a dense essay on something that is not about themselves because people do dense when they are the subject. People love actually to go fake de when this all about themselves. That's a good point. Yeah, we love that give me more of that stuff. But yeah, if I can get people to do that right to remember one that we're capable of doing it. We have the capacity to do it. That is not nearly as terrifying. As I think, the sloganeering of our has made us believe that it is that is absolutely possible to not have the right answer it or something and still do something. Pretty good with it. Yeah. That's a great way of saying. I like what's great about this collection in what I think what it's pushing out just like pushing complexity pushing on difficulty like all these things that we that. I learned in school at at a college troubling concepts that that is part of the academic tradition. That you're that you come out of a lot of that discourse has been channel to the public. Yes. But it's been channel. No, very flat weigh and that's partly out of necessity. But the way that we're getting these very thick concepts and complicated difficult ones that come out of a sort of discourse. Of critiquing hierarchies that exist in social life. Get shaved down into these signs, and they seem paying around. I'm like, no, I mean, they made poor Kimberly Crenshaw come out and tell people to stop saying intersection -ality. A woman was minding her business. That's what we do Kimberly control. Who is the black woman law professor academic who sort of I think coins time. Yeah. But the the ideas but head coach and the term of sexuality, and she and she. Yeah. She writes this piece of the I think it was about a year ago. And she was like, okay, y'all got to chill Riley. Awards and him out. But she was kind of just like, y'all chill. I appreciate it. I appreciate the name drops in the citation. But I don't recognize what you guys are talking about that. All that's a perfect simple moment on. I'm talking. Of specifies it. You your academic work. I think your first book is fantastic. I read it really changed the way I think about or or enlighten me in how thinking about education, it's called lower Ed, and I think there's a real relationship between where you're coming from. And the kind of work you're doing tell me about what your work is about. And how you decided that was going to be your your work is this article about two thousand and ADA article comes out in his list all of the schools, which is a list annual list. They've done for decades the schools that produce the most African American students with bachelor's degrees that year, right? And it's a holdover from the nineteen sixties seventies jet era, where you know, you published all the black notable facts. I'm the week. And so it's awesome. That's right. This is awesome list is just such a throwback and this list this year listed, the number one producer blind people with a bachelors degree was not the HPC's. We talked about that have produced all these notable black people that we were talking about. But it was the university of Phoenix which was a for profit college. And I knew immediately what the university of Phoenix was. But at the time this happened, I'm sitting in Duke University in a coffee shop with my mentor, and we're talking about a research project and the list is sitting there any time. It goes university of Phoenix. Where is that? Is that in like Tempe, right, haze, the story next? Now, he's like, I know I know what it is. Now, like, I know, but the the moment, and I thought here was the moment. Right. I'm sitting in Duke University. If a professor of economic inequality and stratification and endure universities been studying racial, inequality his entire life hadn't, you know. Didn't have purchase on this thing that was producing more black people with bachelors degrees in any other stormy black college that year something had happened. And it happened. Fast. And why did I know what it was? And he didn't. Well, this is the question of class. Right. I had not been born of the world has sends one to do go Harvard or Yale Princeton at cetera. I had been born of one that while we had gone to college. We were also still very proximate to working class if we weren't and certainly people in our family were and so I knew what for profit colleges where because I knew people who had attended them. I knew that they were structurally different. Even if I didn't understand how or why? And so when I tell them what it is. He goes, you know, what this is. He was like with this should be your work. And I'm thinking surely someone is done this, right? This phenomenon has taken into three billion dollars a year federal student aid money in rolling two and a half million students this in the news all the time, surely someone way more important than me had figured out. What was going on? And I go and do the thing we're trained to do which is you go all the literature about your subject, and there isn't any. And I thought well, I'm clearly doing it wrong. So I try again and again again for about a year on. Seriously. I couldn't fathom that someone had not taken seriously the millions of students in these institutions seriously enough to find out what the hell was going on. And why so many of them were black and why so many of them were women while of course, the question was it Santer nobody had bothered because so many of them were black and so many of them were women right by and large. We study ourselves. Right. Some aspect of ourselves. The great truism of academia, we all studying ourselves, and because people like that had not made it into a research community. No one had bothered to ask not really seriously and not in any sustained way, and certainly not in the social sciences, economists or sociologists, and so as is often the case when it comes to my work, I was a little pissed off. And how we're gonna resolve that. Well, you resolve that, but trying to get at the heart of why you think no one's asking the question. And this really where the book starts because there wasn't anyone like me capable and able and trained to do that kind of work. The world that you end up writing about is massive. Yes. And fascinating and infuriating all three of those things. What what did you find? So a sound. You know, the short answer is this theme that we could probably say, maybe the theme of the twenty th century, but we had not thought about higher education. It just been thought of as the sort of untouchable engine for upward mobility inequality. The truism had become so powerful the myth had become so powerful that even people who were sort of critique in the edges of higher education warrant critiquing its core. Right. Whether or not that was still true. Most of that myth had been built on the mid twentieth century colleges and universities. But this was this new thing. These were these colleges owned by large by shareholder companies or private families private corporations that were not part of the higher education universe. And the story is this is that as the world of work had changed, and we help people responsible for their own individual economic security when the government and social policy isn't willing to make you secure. Employers are no longer willing to make you secure because that's globalization. When you're on your own the only thing we had given workers to make themselves more economically viable was we told them to go to school train yourself. Get more skills. That's all call me to succeed on the twentieth. Jobs of the future. Remember all of those? Nobody knew what the jobs were. We just knew they were of the future, and we can ready. That's correct. But you. And you don't you can't do that. So we told millions of people to take on the individual opportunity costs set out the labor market et cetera. Do what you gotta do and the individual economic costs pay the tuition to go. Well, and we will subsidize it, and we subsidize the heck out of it. That's an important part of the story. This only becomes profitable and interesting to the private sector because of the public investment, right? The public investment in securing much like the mortgage crisis. These are secured by the federal government. So the for profit colleges themselves are mainly off the hook ITT doesn't care that it went out of business and made ten fifteen trillion dollars by that time. Everybody was happy to walk away when the schools close the only people who couldn't walk away were the students, and these are students who are disproportionately already impacted by all those other things that were happening in the economy. They were more likely to be working in jobs that were undergoing structural change meaning shift from Sally work to hourly work, they were the people more likely to be sorta stuck in job. Where the job mobility or the ability for it to be promoted within the same company had flattened over time. They were more likely to be women who were bearing the cost of childcare. This is a huge part of the story. Seventy percent of the students enrolled in for profit colleges where women right now is about sixty six percent. But it's almost always about three quarters. So when we're talking about this problem. This was a gendered problem. This was about women who couldn't afford childcare. So they couldn't go to the evening classes down the street at the community college because we don't provide subsidized daycare in this country. What they did was they got the loans, and they paid for it has to be a full stop time. Because that was the way the only way you can't change any other part of your life. You can't stop being a mom. You can't stop going to work. You can't stop paying the rent. Can't stop taking care of your husband. But we have told you that the only way for you to be better at any of those things is to go to college. You know, there's this debate an interesting debate about when you talk about mobility in the higher earning potential say college graduates people with four year college. So there's this question to oversimplify so two theories right one is that those people. Have better wages because they acquire human capital in the four year college that better suits them for the jobs of the twenty first century. And then they go to the market and that is the market price for their skills. The other is that it's essentially just playing a credentialing function and not a human capital. And so then incomes this world. Yes. That it that kind of test the thesis. It is. The human element. It was one of the most elegant natural experiments set of experimental conditions that we'd seen in in the higher education space. That's exactly what it was. Yeah. Because because now we're gonna see okay. What happens if you get rid of the credentialing aspect are hit because people don't know what university of fees. It's only mixes. But that's what they're selling. Yep. And then what does happen? That's right. So this is what happens. This is what we now know which is what people had high argue for quite some time. But we now have the most convincing evidence of the labor market pays as much for signaling or the credential as it does for human capital. Right. Right. And that is true up and down the class hierarchy this for lower income as well as upper in common with race and all that attached to it. So that's true. Whether you're working in an elite financial service sector or you're working in the call center, you know, at the Bank, partly that happens because there is not an efficient way to determine one's human capital. The only thing we can do we try to hire somebody. Listen, I wish more people would no seriously. I wish more people would. And then tell me that you've got a better system for we don't, you know, there are so many jobs that I would be terrible at on my own staff that I would interview very well for as might be good at. His job. I would I would be terrible. If Tiffany keeps the show on time every night, she sort of manages this incredibly sophisticated like auction of air, traffic control might I would not be good won't doing that job. Now, if I came in with my like nice fancy degree, and my my love, you my way of talking that is communicates a certain essay socioeconomic credential. Yes, maybe you would hire me to do that job for the job empirically. We would hire the hell out of you. Oh, exactly who we would hire to ask. Oh. Yeah. Now, I'm the same. I tell people the same thing. I am perfectly suited for the work that that's right. And not none of the forty nine other jobs. I had before I got and figuring that out is tough. Right. Right. So because that's because there's something mysterious now chemical about what's happening here in labor markets is that the credential is standing in for some rough approximation that because we don't actually have a very good way of doing part of it. That's right. It's closest proxy is a sustained in for social class. Right. And what happens is that employers on on the side became increasingly sophisticated assessing if your now suddenly getting more people with those credentials, which is what a university of Phoenix like system. Does it just produces more people with the credential? It floods the Mark that is right. All right. How can we become more efficient than at sorting those credentials, and what you do is you rely on those same four or five institutions that have always that? We've always relied on the value accrue to the elite institutions because those were the only ones that we had mutual sort of mass agreement where the ones that were worth the invent the. Critic and everybody else gets swept up in the sort of you know, mushy middle and lower end. And yet would so messed up about it is that the thing that they're selling to these people who are doing the thing that they are told to do is for people that are poor people working class voters who are being told up route your life take out a lot of debt is very difficult thing because the way this society works is you need to do it and put it in yourself, and they're like all in. I'm in. I'm going to take the responsibility. I'm gonna night go like go to school. Even though the last thing in the world that my household could deal with right now, and they come out of it. And it's like, screw you. I didn't go to a better school. Yes. Literally, what our social policy said to people they came on the other side. And we said screen why didn't you go to a better school? This this university. You gave you a online tool you're supposed to plug in your information and figure out the right one. This is literally the types of solutions we come up with by the way, which is why we don't deserve to exist anymore. But so the solution to this mass problem was to build a website where people would go and plug in their information in what tell them the school that will be worth their student loan investment. I mean, really I mean, it is so ridiculous. Right. The assessment it is still assuming that the student could ever figure out the complexities of the labor market. The labor market hasn't figured out the complexities of the labor market. But that's what happens was social policy doesn't feel the void when social policy doesn't fill the void. And you've Ouch arise people. Which is what we did. We subsidize we've out your. Sized them, the private sector will just make it a profit extraction. And that's what and then there's real sort of there's a sort of spectrum of legitimate to entirely predatory outfits. Some of them are just essentially like Glengarry Glen Ross getting site this year. Like, you're out on your ass. Yeah. I I call it a timeshare model, which is actually very much what the enrollment process of for profit colleges. Dislike is that timeshare high pressure reporter? That's right, close close close that day cetera. It runs all of them have that process, but the quality or at least the investment in the credential ranges from that to something to be quite honest. I don't know that there is much of a difference between getting a master's in education from the university of Phoenix. And getting one down the street at your local state flagship your state flagship is not happy about that truth. But we don't have any evidence really aren't quite that different. Right. So this is where the story gets complicated. Because not it wasn't that the classes were real, right? And some of the education was perfectly good. Yes. Part of the problem here is that it turned out that the with the labor market that. This correct. And the problem of what we were asking them to do this. This is the part west say, they have an argument a fair argument is just not made in good faith on their part. Those for private schools will say, listen, we're doing a better job than you know, such such nonprofit college down the street, and I go. Yeah. But you also know it doesn't matter how good a job, you do the fact in the matter is a place like a university of Phoenix is never going to do the transformation of your social capital that you need if you were poor Brown woman with a baby strapped to your back. It could never do that for you. No matter how good your human capital development was because the reality is, and they would not what we're doing. And their argument always is we're attending to an actually investing in human capital of this underserved population. So why are you mad at us? You're just refiling the hierarchy defend themselves. That's right. And then what I mean, the whole thing kind of blew up rights at a certain point. The Obama administration comes in changes the policy for student loans, which is very. Controversial they lobby against it. L fighting yet are still fighting. How is shaking out now? So as much as I think oversight mattered, and it, and it did absolutely actually because the Obama staffer people will call me when I don't say this strongly enough. So I want to go on the record it mattered. Okay. It did not ultimately matter nearly as much as eco changes in the labor market. So what really happens is you always have this the cycle when the labor market is bad people go back to school because you got to do something to sit it out and a lot of that just about you have to demonstrate the people that you were doing something during your downtime. That's right. It really is just a moral credential out of the stigma of being unemployed. That's what people are are paying for law schools. All these enrollment went through the right? So some of that was always a bubble. Right. So the bubble burst. But the for profit college sector overstate the bubble burst. And now they're all out of business. The bubble bursts sort of flat line back to where it has a store economy been its share of the overall pies. Roughly now about what it was in ninety three before. Right. So we lost some of the big chains. ITT the Carinthian college ones, which were the ones with the worst sort of commercial advertising. Right. Yeah. They I miss those commercials. 'cause they always made my case so beautiful would do these presentations. I mean, those were just some of the most obvious agree just actors and have left behind the ones that were a little bit more financially stable didn't overreach quite as much in aggressive marketing and taking on a student loan debt and default, but what those schools also have in common. Is that they never doubled down quite so much on serving women and poor people people of color, though, students at a place like a stray or something more likely to be male. Right interesting. And so what it means is that it was about that larger issue of social inequality that you honestly, just can't build a good faith institution built on this foundation of inequality. The okay. So then what are we left with there for a policy standpoint? Is there a way to produce in? I mean HPC us, I guess example, right? There are institutions that manage to combine both right in that the do function as engines of social mobility, because they lend whatever they're doing the human capital side and education tied the they're taking folks from backgrounds that wouldn't necessarily catapulted them towards a credential. I are doing that six. Correct. I think our lesson here. And it's a lesson that we knew was just that. It's not a convenient policy lesson, right? Policy policymakers know, this it is just more expensive to do that work than we want it to be period. That's all it's not that. We don't know. How to do? This is the this is our takeaway from like what like eighty years now sociology of education in some people in my sub-field like to joke like they're no new answer. We've known sort of the answer for very long time. Which is it can surely be done it takes longer, and it takes more money than we are generally willing to spend to do it. What needs to happen is human capital development and social capital development is the social capital part? That's the tough part because that usually means a host of wraparound services because social capital is what we give them our families our communities, the cultural norms and signals that we learn and basically a lot of what some place like a stork Lee black college was about was about giving you that right giving you this new shared base alumni. No that is right. So there are now people that you can go for that. You did not have those connections. You do have. That is right. Yeah. And that more than almost anything is what people who come from backgrounds that are not already born going to Ivy league institution need the most. And that's the thing that we are. That's the hardest sell to make to policy people because it's hard to count. Right. It's not an economic question. But is the thing that we know works. What are you working on? Now. Sleep. Yeah. I keep thinking about as you can probably tell like, I'm really obsessed with finding right now right now, I don't know what the answer is because I'm still working on the good question. But the question I'm leading to right now is absolutely something about technology. I want to ask a question of that has not quite yet been asked. And I think is somewhere in the the way I approach most of my questions is if I start with the community that has not yet been centered in the analysis usually come up with a really good question. And that's how lower Ed happens. Oh, I'm just gonna talk about the women. And we'll do that. This whole thing opens up, right? The essays are about I'm going to talk about black women. And when I do that this whole world opens up. I think we have centered the conversation about technology, whether that's digital technologies or surveillance policy, cultural change, the economic models have centered a lot on white boys in Silicon Valley and the way I'm pitching it right now is I'm going to tell the story about technology that doesn't talk about them at all. And let's see what happens. But yeah, I'm still working on that good. I thought I'm I'm the thing. You said I thought really efficiently about attention and how that. Works is something. I'm yeah. Personally obsessed with because I'm living in all the time. And it's it's the thing. I worry. Most about trustee McMillan cotton is a sociology professor of Virginia Commonwealth university. Her newest collection of essays is called thick. It's really excellent. It's a great read challenging in all the best ways. Her first book is called lower. Ed. It was great great to have you here. Thanks for finally making this after only been hounding you would. Let that part sliding seriously. Thank you. Thanks. Once again, my thanks to Dr Cressey McMillan Cottam two books that she discusses in that conversation. The first is lower Ed, which is about her research, which is really mind blowing and his is really the only kind of study of it's kind of this entire world of of higher education, the US and the second is her latest essay collection, which thick which really challenged me. Like, they were some tough reads. I get out the pan and underline and work at it. And it was extremely rewarding a work. So I really recommend you go out and you cop that all right? We love to hear from you. You can tweet us hashtag with pot Email with podgy mill dot com. We got great feedback on our little experiment on the New York City subway, which I worried was going to be two provincial did have someone on Twitter being like what about the rest of us know of New York City. I was like that's a fair point. But a lot of people who don't live in New York City people who don't take the subway who never set foot in the subway really liked it. There was someone who tweeted at me. And I can't remember their handle. There's a there's a moment in the conversation where I say, I try to set up why if you're driving to work in Iowa City, Iowa you should care about this. And someone tweeted saying like I listened this episode from Iowa City so mission accomplished, I think it was great to have Aaron Gordon on the show. He wrote a follow up piece to go along with that conversation. You can find it at NBC, news dot com slash wise, as happening another important thing. Tickets to the law. Live with pod February twenty four th with the one and only Stacey Abrams, the tickets have gone very fast faster than I think any. Well, Tiffany champion who's got us sort of just inner chilliness and confidence about her. She was not stressing that we were going to sell the tickets. I was maybe stressing them a little bit. I was yes. Yes. I was stressing a little bit. Well, I didn't know how whatever we sold them. And we sold them very fast too fast in some ways because I think people felt like they got there right at the time. We said they would be available and weren't able to buy them. We're learning our lesson. Like, I said, we're scaling this up next time. We're doing a ten thousand seat venue. We're just getting. Oscillate wildly from like from two small to way too big. No. So here's the thing at Tiffany. And my direction we have set aside a few few tickets to give away to with pod devoted with pod listeners who were not able to get tickets, but would like to come see the show we're trying to figure out the mechanism that we're gonna do to give that to do that like some little contest or something. Like, can you do a podcast Colin show like them like the old mister show skit, I don't know how we will do it. But we will come up with some means of giving away. These this small group of tickets we have to devoted listeners, and we will we will announce that in next week's episode. So stay tuned for that. And like I said this is the first amendment if you're not in New York, if you love the show, if you wanna come watch me talk to someone live, we will rim do everything we can over the next year to to make that happen as much as we can. So why is this happen? Is presented by MSNBC and NBC news produced by the all in team and features music by Eddie Cooper, like mentioned before you can find a lot of great stuff for the podcast by going NBC. News dot com slash wisest app. Hi, it's Lawrence O'Donnell. If you love MSNBC where your heart on your sleeve, you can gear up with t shirts. Hoodies hats and more from the last word and all of your favourite MSNBC shows you can shop now at MSNBC store dot com.
Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes
Aired 3 months ago 25:18
Midterms are over. What happens now?
Number one on the election. Call it a relief rally number two on the other political news call that priced in. And then number three, you know, the whole rest of the global economy coming up from American public media. This is marketplace. In Los Angeles. I'm Carl resolve Wednesday today. The seventh of November good as always to have you long. Everybody a quick nod here to the market reaction to last night's elections as we get going relief rally as I said relief amongst traders and their algorithms that what they got was pretty much what they expected also enough or nothing markets. Don't really historically have a problem with divided government. But with last night's results do come some economic big picture things that make you go. So we convince marketplace's Kimberly Adams to stick around after a long night and then along morning of covering the midterms and the results hi KAI solich with the with the stipulation here that the economy is doing really well. And that was at least somewhat of a factor for a lot of voters last night. Democrats did win the house. Now, what do we do economic policy wise with them in control the house is not much? They can do on their own to be put perfectly blinds about it. I mean, look, yes, they have the house, but the Republicans still. Control the Senate by now a wider majority and President Trump is still President Trump. And so if we go back to our schoolhouse rock days, you need all three of those pieces in order to pass legislation into laws so what they can do. Instead is they can potentially pass bills on policies that maybe lay down the framework for what they would do if they were in power which could sort of lay down in economic marker in case there running again in twenty twenty year, but hang on a second right because a lot of things Democrats want to do. And and also, you know, the president and Republicans is going to cost money. And and I'm obliged here to mention the record-setting deficit, we've got a national debt at I think twenty one trillion dollars now so real money that that somehow has to be accounted for right? And the Democrats like to talk about expanding social safety net and providing extra programs as you said those programs cost money in many ways. It's like, congratulations. Democrats you just one, but you have. No money to spend. And it's always popular for the party. That is not in power to raise the alarm about are rising debt are increasing deficits. And then as soon as they are in power, and this is the case for both parties. Once they're in power, all the sudden that's not so important anymore. C exhibit a tax cuts and jobs, and it will be interesting to see what Republicans do given the tax cuts and jobs act and also the deficit spending that they are piling on with with all kinds of other things we've got some deadlines coming up at the end of the year the continuing resolution that is funding the government runs out. And so there's probably going to be a fight over border wall funding. And now the Democrats have a little bit less incentive to play along. Because they know they're going to take over the house in January and then come March there's going to be that debt ceiling slash limit. That's going to either have to be extended or increased or something or let's get back to speaker Pelosi soon to be speaker Pelosi assume for minute here and some of the things that she. I may actually or has actually said she wants to do, you know, it's interesting a lot of the policy proposals. That Nancy Pelosi says that Democrats would pursue once they come to power in January oddly enough don't cost any money because who wants to come in and add to the deficit. So they're talking about things like campaign finance reform like controlling the cost of prescription drugs and oversight of the Trump administration. These are things that would make really nice talking points, but don't necessarily add to the deficit. So spit ball this form just on the way out we have had a change in one house of congress, but there are real fiscal and policy limitations on anything. That's going to happen. This is true. But there's debate over how much that matters because as we talked about a marketplace before honestly as long as the rest of the world keeps buying our bonds. We can technically spend as much as we want to there's a real conversation. That's going to eventually have to happen in America of how much of our budget. Are we comfortable spending? On the debt interest on the debt, which pretty soon is on track to outpace spending on things like education or the military. And these are just decisions that we have to make a country to really Adams in Washington for us on this day after thanksgiving, really, no problem hard decisions too. By the way, are decide for the Democrats in the house. One of the big winners in last night's election was healthcare Medicaid expansion to be precise government sponsored health insurance for low income Americans states have the choice you might remember under ObamaCare to cover more people with Medicaid, some Seitz did a lot of conservative states didn't. But last night voters in Idaho. Nebraska, and Utah red states all chose to expanded and Medicaid expansion. Friendly governors one in Wisconsin, Kansas and Maine. Marketplace's replenish your explains what all that might mean for the American healthcare economy. If all goes planned around three hundred thousand people could get health insurance in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah, tectonic shifts in politics of health care in this country. Jonathan schlieffer is. Executive director of the fairness project the advocacy group that spearheaded the bout initiatives two years ago, don't from one these states by huge margins while promising to repeal before care last night loaders overwhelmingly voted to expand the ACA slicer says attempts to get Medicaid expansion in these states by going through the legislatures didn't work so his organization used ballot initiatives to put the question directly to voters. Diane Roland is executive vice president of the Kaiser family foundation a healthcare policy. Nonprofit people have a very favorable opinion of Medicaid, and that's why when voters are asked whether they want to expand even in some of the deeper red states, they elect to do so but ballot initiatives don't guarantee that Medicaid will actually be expanded in any hurry. I think we've got to be a little cautious. Matthew, Butte gins is a senior fellow at the urban institute even have that referendum. You need the commitment of the executive and legislative ranch in order to make. Reality in Kansas and Maine governors were able to veto or otherwise hold up attempts by legislatures voters to expand Medicaid, those governors have now been replaced by politicians who are in favor of expansion. The fairness project says it's assessing which states to target for expanding Medicaid in twenty twenty in New York. I'm Sabrina sure for marketplace. All right. So about the market reaction to the other story of the day the forced resignation of attorney general Jeff Sessions the phrase once again is priced in. Traders knew it was coming were not surprised, and in fact, sent the major indices higher after the news broke. We'll have the details when we do the numbers. We're gonna mix a little politics into our trade policy right now as we have been telling you, low these many months, one of the things that country's President Trump has tariffs on have done is try to target their counter tariffs on products in places that would hurt the president and his allies and supporters politically. So how'd that go? Marketplace's Tracey Samuelson has been looking into that one age eighty hey. Hey, so tarp straight midterms big deal. Not so much out. Yeah. Well, you know, looking at yesterday's results at exit polling at polling that we did before the election. It just it doesn't really seem like tariffs were particularly motivating factor for people on these elections. We've heard for months and months about from various farmers and companies about how much these tariffs are hurting their business, but at least from early analysis of Mathies midterms, it seems like healthcare and immigration other economic issues might have drowned out trade when people were in the voting booth deciding who to vote for I talked to a couple of farmers for the election, and they said, you know, were hurting, but we're also going to be patient. We're hoping that this is, you know, short term hit that's going to pay off for us in the longer run. Give me some for instance, give me some examples. Okay. So we saw democrat Heidi Heitkamp. She lost. Her Senate seat to a Republican yesterday. She's been critical of Trump and his tariff policy calling out the impact of tariffs on her state. Same for democrat Claire mccaskill of Missouri. She was also unseated by Republican Republicans picked up a Senate seat in Indiana. Where trade was mentioned in TV ads more than any other race. According to Kantar media, which tracks this sort of thing on the other hand Democrats picked up to house seats in Iowa Iowa big export of soybeans and port which have been hit by tariffs. And so far ings -iety about trade might have had something to do with that in general, though, the state's most impacted by tariffs, according to the chamber of commerce, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, those are reliably red states. They stay at red even though Democrats picked up two house seats in Texas and one in South Carolina. So give me the takeaway, we've been spinning our wheels. Here you got thirty seconds. What does all this mean? Voters weren't sending Trump particularly loud or unified message on trade. And so it's it's unlikely that Trump will moderate has stance on trade. We can expect him to move forward with tariffs that are in place already potentially add more if tens of talks with China, don't go the way that he wants right? And the next raunch the next of those China tariffs, increasing Jenner the first twenty five percent yet from ten to twenty five percent, tracers Samuelson has always and ever on the trade beat New York. Thanks, tracy. Thanks guide. As we told you on Monday, we had filed a freedom of information act request to find out how ready the Commerce Department was for the president's original tariffs on steel aluminum. Specifically we wanted to know what preparations the government had made to deal with what turned out to be more than forty nine thousand requests from American companies for exemptions from those tariffs that is requests not to have to pay them. We've called Ronnie Smith McMahon steel company, there still distributor down in Texas Houston way to see what it's been like on the receiving end of tariffs. Smith. Welcome to the program, sir. Thank you very much to be here. First of all you've been dealing with these tariffs now for what six eight months has been. Well, it's it's been an experience. It's to be honest with you. It's it's been a little bit on the frustrating side house show. Well, you know to begin with there, you know, there was no information about you know, how they wanted to done or how the process would be determined in terms of you know, what would be accepted, what would be rejected. So we kinda shooting in the dark working with law attorneys and trying to understand the best way to follow these exemptions. And you know, it's kind of evolved. I guess to to where it is today. We sent you some of those documents that we got from our freedom of information act request. You had a chance to look at them. What's your sense of how prepared the Commerce Department was to deal with what seems to be like pretty technical metallurgical in an harmonized tariff, schedule stuff? Well, my sense is that you know, in in a guy's been doing this for over thirty years. And you know, I still don't know everything obviously metallurgy the metals markets metals harmonize tariff codes and things like that. It's hard to envision that. Somebody would be able to gain enough knowledge from PowerPoint presentation to make these kind of determinations we asked commerce about the average time it tastes review. One of these requests, they said, you know, plus or minus three to four months with those that have objections to them like a lot of yours head. It's going to be more than four months. What does that mean? Do you in a business sense? Just hanging around for four months, in some cases. It means that we lose business in some cases, our customers are literally moving their manufacturing offshore. We've already lost business while we're waiting on our refiling of our exemptions. We've filed some earlier exemptions that were objected to supposedly an error by some of the domestic steel companies and we've gone back and refile them. And if anybody objects, again, it's another four months, and in the meantime, we lose business have you been able to to pass on any of the cost of the terraces slightly sideways. But have you been able to pass on any of the cost of the chairs or you eat number? What are you doing? We've probably passed on fifty to seventy five percent of the costs with some limited success. And we have basically eaten the the difference. In terms of what our margins are now less things are gonna let you go. I'm gonna mix a little politics in here tariffs, of course, have been all over our air. Because it's it's a huge economic story in the national conversation though, perhaps not. Quite as much as Tracey Samuelson was just telling us, what was the sense down in Houston, where you are of how much tears your plan into politics. Well, in Houston, you know, this is, you know, pretty strong Trump country down here. So, you know, I have heard some formerly pretty staunch Trumpers supporters, not very happy with tariffs at all. And others have said, you know, well, maybe we should do whatever it has to do to to get a fair shake where international trade is concerned running. Smith is vice president of operations McMahon steel in Houston, Texas, Smith extra time. So I appreciate it. Thank you. We put a bunch of the Commerce Department documents. We got from that foia request online. They're pretty interesting actually trust me on that one. Check him out. Marketplace dot org. Coming up the whole continuum of life going on inside of the four walls. But at least one hospital company is trying to break down those four walls. First though, let's do the numbers. Dow is up five forty five today tuna tenth percent closed at twenty six thousand one eighty the NASDAQ up one hundred ninety four points two point six percent. Seventy five seventy the S and P five hundred increased fifty points to a tenth percent twenty eight thirteen with healthcare topping voter concerns as we said, some states moving you expand Medicaid coverage. If you the companies across the healthcare sector about many, tell care company United health group shot up four point two percent today. Health insurance Cigna delivered to and eight tenths of one percent. President Trump mentioned infrastructure today in a press conference is an area where he and Democrats might find common ground. So in the world of companies that build stuff KB, our construction engineering firm lifted three and nine tenths percent today. Jacobs engineering group up one point seven percent. You're listening to marketplace. This is marketplace, I'm KAI Ryssdal. There is although you wouldn't necessarily know it unless you look the bunch of non election news today. I want on that list for us is what's called an emergency airworthiness directive from the Federal Aviation Administration about the new Boeing seven thirty-seven max airplane, the brand new model the crashed in Indonesia at the end of October killing one hundred and eighty nine people. The warning was about an equipment defected could in layman's terms crashed the plane United American South west Air, Canada, a bunch of others. Fly the seven thirty seven max. Marketplace Emma Jacobs looked into what this morning good mean to them and to their passengers investigators in Indonesia have not definitively determined what caused the lion air seven thirty seven to crash, but they have determined the plane had a faulty sensor measuring what's called the angle of attack. That's the angle of the wings relative to the air planes. Computer uses information from that sensor to make automatic adjustments to keep the plane's nose from going to high. If that information is wrong the play. In over corrects and pointed to nose downward Ross Amer is a licensed pilot and CEO of aero consulting experts. He says at that point a human pilot can take over car, you can override that. If you need to for some reason, these fellows, or they couldn't Boeing is warning pilots to be alert until more is known about the Indonesia crash. Herro rounder is CEO of the aviation safety network much. More investigation is needed to explain why is good. And if it just a one off occurrence on that particular aircraft or it could be widespread the seven thirty seven max has proved popular for Boeing the manufacturers feeling orders for forty five hundred just over two hundred are already flying. If there's a software or hardware fix needed. Boeing is on the hook for the repairs, but airlines don't need to fly the planes back to the dealer like a car that's been recalled Boeing we'll. Those repairs at airports between flights. I'm Jacobs for marketplace. Let them two on our list of news, not being covered is of the government debt variety. A judge has approved the restructuring deal to address some of Puerto Rico's massive debt, it sits at least seventy two billion dollars all in this particular deal only dresses four billion dollars of that debt. But it could stressing could clear away out of years of loan defaults and fiscal insolvency for the island and US Commonwealth. Marketplace's into Euler his on that one Puerto Rico is not a state. So it can't file for bankruptcy. This consensual debt. Restructuring agreement is just a deal that was worked out between Puerto Rico, government development, Bank and hedge funds local credit unions and other creditors. Kate long founder of Puerto Rico clearinghouse at debt research firms as this is a really important first step partition, very complex practice into individual teacher that can be resolved via their competing noy rounded long says four billion out of seventy two is an ally. Lot. It's under five percent. But she says because this agreement restructures the government development Bank, which oversaw the islands debt transactions Puerto Ricans. We'll directly see the benefit of the steel fair were many Puerto Rican saying had exposure, junior credit union service get deal insurance. They will get it on their only getting up eighty five percent recovery. But that certainly did zero Jose via Quinto is an economist at the university of Puerto Rico. He says those rebuilding the island after hurricane Maria have recovery money. They're paying taxes in Puerto Rico that's revenue the government can use to start repaying the debt, but he's worried about what happens when that money dries up and says, these agreements need to be sustainable without that we're not going to see an economic recovery for many years he says without real economic growth beyond hurricane recovery. The cycle of debt on the island is bound to continue. I mean dealer for marketplace. We're talking about Medicaid expansion up at the top of the program. A lot of people voted healthcare last night as their main issue. This is also open enrollment season under both the Affordable Care Act and a lot of private health insurance programs, which means it's a busy time of year at Kaiser Permanente one of the biggest healthcare providers and hospital networks in this country the past decade, or so has also just been overall an interesting moment in healthcare Bernard Tyson is the chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente miss Tyson. Thanks for coming into the studio, sir. Thank you. Do. I have it. Right. That you wanted to work in hospitals, like not necessarily as a doctor but work in hospital since you were a kid. Yes. Actually, I wanted to be a dodger. Yeah. Why why what is it about hospitals that that is attractive to you the whole mission of what a hospital does. It's there to take your people in need. And I think the thing that fascinates me still about hospitals that you have the whole continuum of life going on inside of the four walls of a hospital. Given where we are today with healthcare in the national debate Howard, are you the people don't understand the healthcare Konami in this country. I think people are learning more about it as the burden of the high cost of care is passed on to people and the two parts of the affordability that I think about all the time the affordability of coverage and the affordability of care help me out then because what what's the difference? Well, you think about the affordability? Oh covers a lot of that has to do with how much of the costs you shift to different funders. Right. So which maze that I'm my find something that I can pay that's less expensive for the coverage. But then when I need care. And now the sudden discover what it means to have a five thousand dollar deductible. Then I can't afford to get the care is a lot of stuff that goes into the calculus. Action of health care. Call d think it's solvable. This dilemma of coverage and care and cost. Absolutely. Do you really have? So have you called people in Washington kit's? I think anyone who's really been thinking about this. A lot would come in and say, no, they're more things that we can do to create more efficiencies and effectiveness in the healthcare industry. There are many people working on that. I mean, obviously Permanente has been working on it for years. I wanna get to Kaiser and what you're doing in a minute. But I do have to ask a follow up question to that. Then which is why isn't it? Being done. Why isn't it changing? Is he Volve it? I mean, it you still have the center gravity of healthcare. Still the hospital. Seti? I think as more people are paying out of pocket, they're asking the harder questions of the industry. What all the turn. It is why am I taking this? How else can I get what I need and rightfully so they're asking the right questions to Kaiser permanent day then. And and what y'all are doing your data guy from way way back for Shelvin hospital was data analyst cousin permitted. Does. A lot of really localized covered. You look at it by zip code, you have special project going to lot of cities one of which is Baltimore I want you to tell me how Kaiser permanent as doing in both more with barber shops and beauty salons. You know, we don't just think about when you get sick. We're here for you. We think what are the determinants of your health that we can predict now based on many factors. One of which is where you live. We also now have data that shows in populations different health outcomes. High blood pressure heart disease, asthma all these kinds of illnesses. And so we have gone into barber shops and churches and the trusted environment to promote health because you have to convince folks that they need to be men. That's the deal. This is not a boring time to be in healthcare in this economy knows there's a crystal ball question to be asked. But but that would be almost too complicated. But but the question is what is the trajectory of your industry the hospital based healthcare industry in this economy? Are we going to see lower costs that you've been talking about? Are we going to see people being able to get more care as they ask these questions that you and I've talked about you going to continue to see the healthcare industry. Volve? You're going to continue to see the hospitals plan a critical role. Not the central role that good thing. Absolutely. Because it's all about the right here in the right setting. Tyson, the chairman and CEO of Kaiser permanent most Tyson. Thanks coming into appreciate. As miss Chechen said data is used for a whole lot of things in healthcare. And where you live can determine how long you live. So we took a look at the places with the highest and lowest life expectancies in this country. It's online at marketplace that on. This final note on the way out today. Dateline San Francisco, California voters there approved proposition see last night attacks on the city's biggest businesses to fund homeless services. Mark many off. So you have Salesforce was on the yes side, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and square was opposed. It is gonna wind up in court chances are but still interesting, right? All right. We gotta go down up five hundred fifty four points today tuna tenth percent, NASDAQ up one ninety four two point six percent on this day after the election as p five hundred increased fifty eight points. That's two point one percent there as well. Sarah gear, Jake Gorski, drew justed, Jeff Peters, Dan Powell, Daniel Ramirez, Charlton Thorpe, and Ben tolliday engineered the program for us. I'm KAI Ryssdal. We will see tomorrow. This is APN.
Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal
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Lubbock County Democrats look forward + Atheists want to pray publicly in Lubbock
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And as always telling your friends, that's what we rely on here. Just friend the friend and word of mouth on other side at Texas wherever listen from. We appreciate you tuning in as we broadcast live on AM five eighty Lubbock. The most listened to platform in the region, perhaps the state whenever you count for all you guys who tune into our podcast pre sheets doing that. I'm your host Jay west Texas Leeson rolling along here from the racer car wash studios. Racer car wash voted love expense wash for five years running. Stop into one of five convenient locations for the best wash around voted the best wash around. Bob years in hub city, guaranteed racer wash dot com. Like coming up in this program. It's going to be a conversation Thursday, John Gibson, who is chairman of the Lubbock county Democratic Party gonna be joining us. What's the way forward? A lot of folks who are interested in listening to that is in John Gibson in studio. Get him just a moment. But here's one where we when the kickoff today, the atheists in the city of Lubbock gonna give the invocation. On Thursday night at the Lubbock city council meeting. This from Casey be d Lubbock read some stories. I like kacie b slant the best because it sets me up to hit some T-ball home runs here on the program. Dateline Lubbock, the Lubbock city council agenda Garner's some attention at times. But this week. It's not for what's on the agenda tool. Be speaking during the usual time of prayer known as the invocation. It was announced last fall at a local atheist group would be given would be giving the invocation sometime in January of this year. And now is set in stone that members of the atheist community of Lubbock that's an official group. I've not looked up on Facebook. But it's the atheist community. A Lubbock will be speaking before the city council. Members this Thursday. He'll be led by their communications in public relations director, Tracy benefit. Now, let me go out on a on a branch here in say, I bet she doesn't get paid very much as I say about liberals in the city Lubbock the chairman in studio may disagree with me more aborigines in Lubbock than there are real liberals. And I would think even the less atheists in Lubbock, but Tracy benefit to do the invocation. Quote. We know there's a lot of people in our group who have lost everything when they come out as atheists. So we want to de stigmatize what it means to be atheists said benefit benefits said she will use the time to invoke ideas, invoke invocation. Invoke ideas. Quote, we are most mostly going to be talking about how we need to come together. As a city, we are the friendliest city in America eight that's what's on the billboards can't descru- Benfield there. We need to think about every minority in Lubbock in thinking about how we can work together. So. So every minority is being carried under the banner of the atheists getting the I don't know what how minorities I'm sure if I reached out to a few of them. They would have a problem with being represented by the eighth easiest, but that's what benefits says we need to be thinking about every minority in Lubbock and thinking about how we can work together. The option of having an atheist give the invocation was announced back in the fall. This has had mixed reaction. Now, listen, it was announced back in the fall that the option would be open. I think. In call me whenever you may. But I think the con- the constitution of these United States gives that option I think that that was announced like way back in the eighteenth century that that option would be open quote. It doesn't really stick within the definition of an indication because it is calling to someone else. If you don't believe there is someone else than you're speaking into the air said Jeff MC Reich, pastor of wrought city church. Jeff mcbride. Following local politics as I do fancies himself on being a political thorny on all things. God centered MC right saying that they're just going to speak into mid air. But I don't know how wrong he is there than I wanna read the rest of this. And we'll break it down benefit explained that an invocation doesn't always mean. Prayer quote. Most people are familiar with a prayer being an invocation, but in invocation doesn't mean prayer those words aren't synonymous an invocation simply means to ask someone or something for help mayor Dan pope emits, it was even a little confusing for him. Quote, first question was I really don't understand who atheists pray to but the more I looked into it. My intuition is that constitution protected their rights in the end. He hopes the community finds a way to accept it quote. I think part of west Texas of part of the west Texas value system is that we are not judgmental. We take care of our neighbor. And we love our neighbor, whatever they may believe they Theus community of Lubbock will give the invocation coming up on Thursday, forty eight hours from where we broadcast live here. Thursday at five fifteen pm couple of things to riff on here. As I look through all this. I don't think that benefit is wrong. I think that she is right in that in imitation means to ask someone or something for help. That's intrinsically what an invocation is to beseech or invoke someone or something for assistance or thority. But. An atheist which means a non theorist someone who doesn't believe in something higher than they must be praying for ideals or principles or whatever the case might be. I know a lot of people who treat treat the constitution. As though were God that they're praying to thing or something not someone, and you know, listen, I'm pretty devout guy. I've got my shingle on the wall. I'm. I've done my theology degree in its Wesleyan, by the way. Methodists Wesleyan, but more Wesleyan Methodist, I don't wanna get into the weeds there. But I sat through a lot of public prayers in gotta tell you. I mean, just being honest with you raven on with you. I hear a lot of public prayers and lots of times, I'm holding my hand my head and my hands in ring among thumbs. Because once you get into public prayers, you get into the weeds of the Olivetti, and is as a Wesleyan as somebody who's trinitaria n- if we're gonna do prayers in this country. You know, I don't believe that the country was founded as a Christian nation. I think it was founded by people who had here to Christian principles, but Yay. Get in the public prayers. I think that there's a reason why we stopped doing it. Because I've heard a lot of good Baptist kids give a prayer before the football game. But, you know, also heard in those Baptists kids prayers is a lot of adoption ISM subordination ISM monarchism. And if you don't know what any of those 'isms are just go Google them. For me. The belief is. That you've got three persons of one substance in that's trinitaria, Missouri. That's the nice seeing creed. Those are the classical creeds, but you can hear a lot of prayers in here that Jesus the son of God is something other than the father of God in that creates a problem in. So I was talking to a the earlier who said no is there a law that says you can't have more than two invocations like maybe we can back up the atheists here in have our own invocation. I don't think that there is a log ins that. But how many people do you want giving invocations at a public meeting where all you want to get done is just the agenda that to me is the issue is. Well, okay. So you're going to have atheist prey than the Mormons prey, then the Jehovah's Witness pray, and then a Catholic pray and then the Baptist. Pray just to make sure that you get it all covered over. I don't blame the love, and I don't understand the voter cycles. And this is something that Ross. Ramsey our friend from the texts Tarim talks about I don't understand why there's not a bigger uproar about this. But the same time I'm glad there's not an uproar about this. Because nobody wants to go to a city council meeting and listen through thirty minutes of invocations. I don't for atheists. This is what I will say this the old far side cartoon to fleas. Standing somewhere one standing up against the follicle a hair follicle that looks like a big palm tree trunk coming out of the body of something. In one flea looks at the other fleeing and says, so he really believe there's a a dog in. That's what I think I think it takes a lot of faith to be an atheist, and whatever they might say, whatever they might invoke. I'm sure that they're going to invoke principles in for us to have the the better graces of one another. I'm sure that's the route that they're going to go but new day in Lubbock county in the city of Lubbock that eighty eight Theus get the invocation to invoke something or someone for assistance or authority look forward to hearing what they have to say, they're at the Lubbock city council. Somebody else who had looking forward to what they had to say. John gibson. He is Lubbock county Democratic Party chairman. We're gonna have a good conversation coming up those you who younger like I am wondering what's happened in two thousand eighteen is there even the possibility of viable two party system in Lubbock in the surrounding area. John Gibson, somebody good to talk to about that. We'll be in with John gives about ninety seconds from now stick with us right here on the other side of Texas will get him John. What? Some. The Jags all the stars up in the sky. So. In studio with us. We have John Gibson in. He is the Lubbock county democratic chairman preciado him making time to come out with us here. John gibson. Your your debut here on the show, tell us how your I'm doing good. I was on the road yesterday. And I missed your show has Daniel the millennial gut near the new digital studio. Or is he he's working on his working on? It is em- process right now some things to do in and out. Appreciate you checking on the progress of the show Daniel is in process, and if he's listening let that be motivation to Daniel that listeners are wondering what your progress is you got the ipad over there. Yeah. I need some the second generation. I have no third. I have no idea. I think it's the second. Yeah. I'm terrible with names. And so it helps if I've got notes. Yeah. You got twelve inch. That's when I run the program off of okay? Yeah. Got mon. But I got it in the a defender there. There by author box because I don't have young children or you don't have young children. I do so. Okay. So there there's a point of mutual concern. John weather people going to do let me give you my breakdown. My breakdown is that in you, disagree with me as you may. I think if Beddoe Rourke had not taken some unprompted unnecessary stances. He could have become the next you Senator now people read into in because he lost by less than three points. If he hadn't taken the stand that he did on the flag and kneeling at the flag. Then I think that he could had a lot more people come his way. But that was easy Pickens. Ted Cruz ran as ruthlessly in west Texas in rural regions of west Texas during Sunday night football, Monday night football of a a veteran who. Lost his legs stand for me. Stand. For me took a lot of cues that made me wonder is running for president as a run running for Senate. But we're guardless of that he still lost by less than three percent. I would think that as a chairman of an I'm just gonna say, you're chairman of the eleventh largest county in Texas. What your folks feel like in what you alike is the way forward, they're given the progress unprecedented progress since the state went Republican well first off I think there's a difference between what Beto did. And what some of our local candidates did. I mean, we gotta be honest locally. We didn't do probably as well as we would have wanted to given the fact that but oh made the showing he made you talked about Beddoes success or lack thereof barely missing out. I don't think there's ever any one thing that causes a politician to lose an election. There's usually multiple factors. I have complained some about this with respect to bed. Oh, I think that had he done what what's called the hero's journey. You do hauteur and fifty four county tour and got all these different counties. And then you come out of it, a new person you come out of it. And you say, well, I visited the cotton farmers in lamesa. And I learned this about. About this. And so now, here's my new policy point on this or I went to the timber farms and east, Texas, the sawmills, or whatever you come out of that. And you change your policies somewhat. You don't have to change a great deal, but you change somewhat that would have been beneficial. I don't think the the whole standing for the flag, and that sort of thing, I think that that would have cost him votes on the democratic side had he changed positions on something like that. But the chain. That's my question though. Joe that's just he didn't change. No. He took an unprompted stance. Right. And it it excited a lot of people. I don't think you can fault him for that. I think there's there's a lot of people on our side that were really invigorated by his stance. But I'm saying that had he gone and taking a taken a stance after doing his two hundred fifty four county tour where he says okay now, for instance, I'm gonna go ahead and vote for the farm Bill, even though the rest of democratic colleagues aren't vote for the farm Bill, for instance, that might have gotten him some. Or favorite west, Texas, didn't right? But he didn't. That's what I'm saying. Okay. You know, there's things like that. There's things like I know that millennials like to drop f bombs right and left, and it's cool for a millennial to do that sort of thing. But you know, it doesn't cost you votes to clean up your language. You don't lose anything. But you see that more as a liability to him than the flag stands prompted when you're only talking about losing by three percent. Every little thing counts. You know, you're talking about something with the flag that might have been a a a it's one of the things that you're gonna make a break you, and I don't think you're gonna get a whole bunch of Republicans to go and say, oh, you know, what I'm gonna vote for Beto. Because now he's or because he's taking a position with the fruits of the flag that I like that's the hard core. Okay. You're talking about the interest people. I think for the interest people you get some little a lady in Arlington, Texas, for instance, who's about. To be in a nursing home. And she hears this drop an f-bomb. She may like him. She may go boy, he looks like like, you know, Bobby Kennedy, and I like that guy. But then he says something that offends her will then she's not gonna vote for it or maybe post. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Pose? And and that's just sit you got west of I thirty five where he struggled. I think there are some people within the Democratic Party who look at it and go, well, he didn't get enough Hispanics out. Well, okay. Yeah. That may be one factor too. There are all kinds of different things that could put him over that three percent fresh oil. No, no one single factor. Did it for him? But there are a number of things could have tweet. My view is Hettie tweaked that children fit four county tour and heady cleaned up his language a bit. It would have helped me to make the case for him with with my contact with the people that I regard well in the circles that I run if you've got somebody who's out there dropping f bombs it gets really really hard to go to church and say, hey, this is this is the guy you need to be supporting people are turned off by that. Even though they may like the message, even though they may like a lot of the things he saying it's hard to get over things like that. Yeah. So John Gibson who is the Lubbock county Democratic Party chair. He came in this role. How John e been here since ninety three. So a lot of millennials. You could say I've been here longer than you've been alive. Yeah. But you came in. Roll hal. I sometimes question that myself. I have always been politically active in the sense that in the local people here know this. I was the youngest person ever elected to a countywide office in the Harris County GOP Harris County Republican party that was back when I was in college, my wife, and I were married at the time. When did you get elected to I was the I was on the candidate selection committee. Okay. So like, we've got this guy that we recruited run for district judge there in Harris County that he went on to become attorney general, and and you may know him, Greg Abbott. He's now in the governor's office. You know, that's one of our recruits Ted POE who was recruited for run for judge. And then he was congressman Dan Crenshaw just took his place. I think I'm I'm terrible with names in Crenshaw thinks dozen the patch cabbage. Anyway, did that head sort of a falling out in the sense that? It's the same thing everywhere. I think with the GOP too far to the right? They get a little bit. Theocratic all or you know, you get into these kinds of things where it's just pretty hateful and ugly. And I didn't like that. Anyway, came up here for law school American meal, shoe gal, and she insisted that we come here for law school and bought a house. And so that tied to Lubbock to where I wasn't going to leave and my wife has happy with that. And then in the meantime, I really wasn't really excited about the Republican party here in town because it seemed to be the same way what I'd encountered in Houston and was voting democrat democratic because that was where my values seem to be going. And then over the years, I've just been more and more to the point where I felt like I really needed to take more of an active role in the political process, and excuse me, I got involved the Lubbock Democratic Party. And like I said, they sort of know my background. And so everybody knows that. I'm something of a centrist when it comes to comes to democratic values and principles and whatnot. And and the party faithful here elected me chairman. So that's how you got here. Yeah. So here, so I wanna do only take a quick break. And then I wanna get him with you on what the way forward is. We've just talked about Beddoe in his imprint and the sort of gains that were made gains that and maybe disagree with me gains throughout the state, especially in suburban and urban areas, but not felt here. So maybe in suburban and urban areas they feel like it's best to go further into. Democratic platform dogma, but can Lubbock do the same in still get some results will give them with John Gibson on that is he takes drink water. We get into the break. You're listening to other side of Texas about ninety seconds. We'll be right back with you KRLD. Love. Do the sound. Jones. Fans knew. Have on the air with us. John Gibson who is the Lubbock county Democratic Party chairman people take offense to. Democrats being called democratic they to say, the Lubbock county democrat party talked to us about parlance there. I have no idea where that comes from people. Tell me that Rush Limbaugh is the one that started that I'm old enough. I remember the world before Rush Limbaugh. And and back whenever I was in college, the professors would complain about that sort of thing. I don't I really complain that it should be called democratic or democrat both. Okay. Because unlike what a lot of Republicans believe when you go to college, and you're in the political science department. They aren't all raving liberals, you've got conservatives in the political science departments to and I would have conservative professors that would insist that you call it democrat, and I'd have liberal professors, call it democratic you insist on just whatever comes out of my mouth grad democratic I get some of my some people will will correct me at times because I happen to make the mistake of saying. Democrat at times, but democratic Democratic Party. I I don't say democrat party at that sounds kind of silly. I would say Democratic Party. I mean, but it's it's semantic quibbles. I don't I don't get caught up in those kinds of games. Yeah. Okay. So I tried to get you caught up in that game. But you stiff arm there, John Gibson. But you are an attorney sure. Yep. Okay. What do you practice worker's comp? Okay. So guys mostly guys getting injured out in the oilfield. I've got an office. No Desa, and I spent a lot of time out. No Desa, but I love Lubbock. And this is where we raised our family, and this is where I wanna live. But yeah, the injuries the work is out in out in the oilfield. So so, but also you run out of DFW as well from time to time. Yeah, I've got an office in Fort Worth too. So okay. That to say, we don't have just some schlumpy sittin here. You know, it's not like it's not like there's a guy who just ran for Democratic Party chair who doesn't really do anything. I mean, you're an accomplish your accomplished within your profession. I'm. I'm blessed to have good clients that have given me some good cases and had some good success with that. So what's the way forward? John. Are we going to see the Democratic Party because you know, I say this all time we rave on in the program in always say, I'm non adherent. I'm not a devout adherent, I vote Republican, but I'm not a devout adherent to either party. And I think a lot of people listening program. I'm thirty nine people who are younger than me who if we go through and we look at the demographics and who's listening to the podcast. I think it'll show that the not devout adherents either in. I think a lot of people are wondering what this Lubbock county Republican party do. Now, we can critique Beto all day long. But in day moss by less than three points. Does the Lubbock county Democratic Party look that is cute run further to the left. Or run more to the middle. You know, I don't know with respect to the state party. I can tell you that here locally. I think that one of the reasons why I got elected was because I am more of a moderate. And I think that we were elected win. I think June. I think okay. So this is before all the November hullabaloo area. Yeah. But anyway, yeah. Here. Locally the problem that we have is. We've got thirty percent versus seventy percents. I mean, that's just the fact and we can slowly over time road that thirty percent or erode the seventy percent and gain numbers off the thirty percent. But what the Democratic Party here is primarily right now as a watchdog for the Republicans. And so yeah, I want to see my Republican legislators do well because I live in this community. And I like you I'm somebody who believes in the politics of place, and I want my Republican legislators to have success for the south plains. You know, Bob Duncan. I know Bob Duncan. He's a he's a good guy thought he did a really really good job state Senator is pointed at his campaign side. Yeah, you've got you've gotta sign here. There were times when I disagreed with what Senator Dunkin might have have, you know, legislated. However, I appreciated the fact that he was a statesman. We have local politicians that I don't believe are in the same class as Robert Duncan. And so therefore, it is the it is incumbent upon the local Democratic Party to hold our politicians feet to the fire and say, look when you go to a league of women voters breakfast, and you say that we don't really need to pay attention to renewable energy, for instance, when for crying out loud who said that. One of our one of our three put it that. Okay. One of our three said, we don't need to be paying attention to renewable energy fossil fuels is is where we're going to focus our attention. Okay. That's fine. But that's that's just. That stupid. I mean, Lubbock has more sunshine and more wind than probably anywhere else in the country. And why are we not going to go and pay attention to renewable energy in this area? The reason why that's important is tucked any millennial, and they're going to tell you man, my future's at stake. You people aren't paying attention to global warming and my future's at stake. And I wanna party that pays attention to environmental issues. Well, democratic party's gonna be paying attention to that. And but here locally, we're going to be holding our local politicians accountable win. They don't engage in that politics. A place, for instance, and pay attention to renewable energy here. Fossil fuels. You know, if you're down in Odessa fossil fuels are important fossil fuels aren't important in Lubbock county. That's we're the we're the pump jacks going low accounting. You don't see any what you do see your win meals, and we need to be paying attention to renewable energy here in this county. So anyway, like, I say. And I think that one primary function that we need to be engaged in is holding our legislators feet to the fire and making sure that they are engaged in politics place. The other thing is is I'm a generation xer. I'm assuming you are to somewhere in the. You know, my generation is nothing more than a placeholder for the next generation the millennials are gonna come along. And what we're seeing you. You had the the professor from tech last week that was talking about southern politics. He didn't talk about generational politics. And we were in the middle of a generational shift. Where a lot of new issues are coming up with millennials that need to be addressed. And one of the things that we need to be doing here. Locally is we need to be recruiting good candidates candidates. That are have character charisma, and competency, you might have seen Claire mccaskill have the interview on. I think it was dateline couple months ago where it was like the exit interview. And and a lot of the people in Democratic Party were pooh-pooh in her responses because she's more of a conservative democrat, and she was complaining about the Democratic Party saying we pay attention too much to identity politics, which I would agree. We do we need to get away from identity politics guards. What in what regards? Do we pay too much attention identity politics? Just speaking personally and not on behalf of the party. I was a supporter of injury white. I thought it was silly for the for the powers that be done in Austin to look at the at the ticket and go. Wow, we got a bunch of white, you know, bunch of white man on the ticket. We need to go out and get somebody who isn't a white male. Well, you know, we saw what happened with Luba Valdez just got a bum. Steer ward him, the texts monthly round of the poorest run campaigns. But still within thirteen points, and I will concur with you there chairman why? Still within thirteen points. She still came within thirteen points at sixteen points. Well, no, I mean, she got trounced by thirteen points, L K. Well compared to Wendy Davis. It's pretty good. I mean, that's my standard there. That's a last serious quote unquote serious candidate. And I appreciate you corrected me. But but again what we're talking about there. If we're talking about the entity politics run campaign. He even ran ads from this radio. They never asked me for permission. But they ran ads. Yeah. My show about what a disaster. She was right. No. I saw the ads. No. But that shit that was identity politics get away from the identity politics. Let's get character, competency, and charisma. Let's get candidates that have those characteristics. And who cares if they're black white Christian, Muslim, Brown, Latino, whatever whatever is praying. At the Lubbock county or Lubbock sitting, you know, if they got character charisma incompetence more power to them. Let's get them regardless of their gender. Any of that kind of stuff? We need candidates that have those qualities, and so part of what I have to do is is I have to identify those people in our community that have those qualities that also have the same values that we have in the Democratic Party, and we need to you know, we need to be encouraging those people to get involved and growing those people within the democrat. So you just said you personally speaking is that not a feeling within the the mainstream of the Lubbock county Democratic Party. No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that I'm giving my personal opinions. And I'm not speaking on behalf of the of the party proper. You've had meetings since the election. Sure is that a fair sampling of what you're saying. No, that's that's my. Personal tirade that. I just went on. Yeah. That's not. So then I would think you as chairman or saying, hey, guys, we've got to begin to appeal to the middle. We have an opportunity here. And maybe that is or is not being hurt. Lubbock is a very unique place. It's it's it's a. Lubbock presents a number of challenges. We had one candidate in the last election who was dyed in the wool Bernie Sanders. Democrat we had another candidate who was more of a Jon tester much more conservative democratic candidate. Our are Bernie Sanders candidate lost forty percent to sixty percent are Jon tester style candidate lost twenty five percent to seventy five percents. But to be fair. Yeah. That wasn't just you're Bernie Sanders was in Lubbock, right? Your tester was in seven different counties. One of which was Lubbock county in that just a sliver. But the thing is is when you talk to the when you talk to the party faithful and party faithful are always the people who are going to be all the hold on. Let me just because what we're talking about his drew Landry right now. Okay. The tests candidate, right and everybody knows that that district is takes tech terrorists in it. Takes six rural counties to devastate. Right tech terraces in everybody knows anything about Lubbock. He might be listening. Suddenly tech terrorists. A lot of tech administration. A lot of tech professors much more nuanced area in just two. It's like a peace symbol. It comes down nineteenth university to Indiana intakes out like a peace symbol out on the south loop. And then takes in three counties to the west three counties to the east, right, but okay that for context go ahead to me if I'm. Lubbock county democrat. I'm not looking at sixty percent versus seventy seven because those districts are weighted in in a fashion that don't lead to the sumptious that might be being made. Well, I think that some people in Lubbock might look at this and say well are Bernie Sanders. Style candidates did so much better that where the party needs to go. I would argue that. Instead, we need to be looking at Beddoe and look at how Beto did statewide, and we need to be saying that here within the rural metropolis of of Lubbock we need to be fashioning a candidate that can win locally more in the style of a better Rourke, then perhaps a Bernie Sanders or Octavio always want call her Octavio detail because huge Houston Astros fan and Octavio doto tell with Astro. We'll see what whatever. I o c. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, but yeah, I would like to see us move in more of a of a moderate direction. I don't think there's any secret to that. But at the same time, I do see why there are people in within my party that are more of the far end on the left. You know, a lot of people have been getting left out in this economy and. And even then it just like, I'm literally rolling my fingers through my hair is say this. Yes, you're my head saying there are classical democratic issues public education agriculture. Yeah. Medical access to health care. Right. The classical that you could run on run on strongly unabashedly in leave the Cussing to the side leaves the flag kneeling to the side and gain a larger audience. I one hundred percent agree with that get anything else we need to get in with you how I mean. I could talk to you about politics for hours. But but no there's nothing you'd have to miss a couple of your commercial breaks or something we can with. So how often do you guys meet in? If people are interested in joining in with the Lubbock county democratic process how. How can they do? So well with any to do is they need to go to our website or you can find us on Facebook Lubbock Democratic Party on Facebook. And just messages, that's easiest way we meet quarterly, plus a few more meetings throughout the year. In fact, we've got a meeting next Tuesday at seven o'clock if anybody wants to show up it's over the Democratic Party headquarters is over behind target on the south loop useless there in the little office park. That's there. So just cross to the south from the science spectrum right right right directly behind the science spectrum and fifty s fifty yard line. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, John Gibson. I appreciate you coming out and fill in some difficult questions. I wouldn't expect less from you. But I appreciate you doing that. Thanks for having me. I think that you're willing to talk about issues in ways that others aren't in. We appreciate your time going to get into a quick break here. About ninety seconds. Get back with you here on the other side of Texas close out the program tell you what's going on the rest of the week cliff Kingsbury gonna be head coach of the Zona. Cardinals was is happening get in with that and more as we roll along here on your other side. Yes. Agreeing though. Great conversation there with John Gibson Lubbock county Democratic Party. He is not a crazy, which is why he makes an appearance on the program and just hear the guy out in if you're about place above party in the wanna know what's going on John Gibson's. Good guy. Preciado him come in. And quite frankly, taking some fastballs. I appreciate him VM willing to do that in. If there are people within the Lubbock county Republican party dwindling and membership. I'm glad for them to come on as well. Help them glad to help them with their membership. I know that I know that the Lubbock county Republican parties like in full fledge moderating force, and maybe their pride isn't so bad that they can come on the program and have talk about why people all of a sudden they're talking about place in while. They're talking about fiber fuel in. And the food in just glad to have yawned because the old sticking points old talking points aren't working any longer the segment brought to you by Lubbock foul room, providing safe and secure documents storage to Lubbock and the surrounding area since nineteen ninety two for free and hassle free estimate. Give Lubbock foul room, a call Lubbock foul room dot com. Eight oh, six seven four four seven six six six today. Today, the Texas house names Dennis bond and new speaker on opening day this from the Texas Tribune. Gray fog descended on awesome Tuesday morning, but the scene inside the Texas capital was one of colorful festivities to Mark the first day of the eighty six biennial legislative session. Give props were there. Do this is Cassandra Pollick? Edger welcomers Walters. Excuse me. Alec Samuels ima Plata f- there at the texts Tribune amd, perhaps the heartiest celebration took place in the Texas house where lawmakers walked in hollered after the and unanimous election of state Representative despondent as speaker. Baden's election marks new era of leadership in the lower chamber for the first time in a decade, the Angleton Republican. In that's important Angleton. Because now the big state the big three are from the Houston proximity. The Lieutenant governor the governor and the speaker of the house Angleton Republican replaced. Former house speaker Joe Straus who announced in October two thousand seventeen they would not seek reelection. Strauss's San Antonio Republican was elected in two thousand nine held record tying five terms in the house is top seat. Five terms in tying. With mabul. We hear me pound Muhart. Pete laney. Whereas Strauss was known as a mild mannered leader Bonnin has developed more of a combatants reputation in the house. He seemed to lean into that perception in his remarks never seen the use in sugar coating things, I am a direct. I am direct in. I am problem-solver while makers praised his leadership ability in a series of speeches preceding, the vote state Representative Sephora Neha Thompson, a Houston democrat with forty five years of experience in the house juris standing ovation for her remarks enrich, she said Bonnin quote. As learned the ins and outs of the Texas house as well as anyone I've ever served. The new speaker pledge to keep the Texas legislature from getting quote caught up in things that don't lend to real results in quote, hashtag bathroom Bill. He named public school. Funding is his top priority. In addition to school safety, combating, human trafficking and reforming property tax collection. He went so far as to replace the drinking cups in the house members lounge with one's reading quote. School finance reform colon the time is now in quote, you'll be reminded that every day bond and said bonds election was hardly a surprise. He was announced here. He first announced he had the votes become the next leader of the lower chamber in November working behind the scenes to assemble the transition team into our staff to assume the speaker's office in closing remarks after asking for unity amongst house members. He gave a tearful tribute to his father recalling some advice from the elder Bonnin who passed away in two thousand seventeen let's be sure when we adjourn Sanni die. That's the last day of the legislature. We leave this house and the state better than we found it. There's a saying we have in Texas is Texas goes so goes the nation. Governor Greg Abbott praised him. And then there were other scenes in the Texas Senate, which were less important, shall I say in not of course, they were important but less newsworthy as what went on the Texas house. I wanna go on record in say, I'm rooting for Guinness Bonnin mall accounts rate, man, great leader. And may he give his members in that let in that branch on that floor the ability to vote their districts in may they both their districts ever, boldly, not for political favor, not four getting points on scorecards, but doing better made they to tag onto Dennis bond and leave their districts of better place in they found them may they do just that eight. Tomorrow on the program. We've got Ross Ramsey. He's going to cover all the scenes and sites from today. Also, our friend might bazaar. Did you know that they're putting Amazon Alexa and toilets now not into Elit, but toilets said are quipped with Alexa. This is one other nations hate us in. It's why we're so great. We're gonna get into that with Mike bazaar into the scenes and sites from today with our friend. Ross Ramsey going into Thursday and Friday medicinal marijuana discussion with Brandon Darby as well. As on Friday. We're gonna get into some rural populism if you've not seen just Google Tucker Carlson monologue, and you're going to hear him talk. Give critique of the establishment Rockefeller in Republicans with whom against whom I revolt daily on this program. And I thought that good monologue. Don't agree with all of it. But agree with a great bit of it. There from Tucker Carlson, and you can find it there as you Google it. We're going to be playing some sound clips from it coming up on Friday. But for now God to get home gonna get home. Great family above average dinner going to watch us some red raiders tonight in excited to do just that number eight taking on Oklahoma Braschi eight you listening to the program. Pre sheet your thoughts at Jay west skews me as j west Texas Leeson J other side of Texas dot com. That's where you can send your thoughts and critiques over heresy compliments in suggestions on the program. Read all those respond to all those. And when the thank you for tuning in and telling your friends again that you hang out on the other side of Texas until next time Ravon buddies Ravon will see next edition right here. AM? Five eighty Lubbock. It's usually. Stab?
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