Can Capitalists Afford Economic Growth?


Modern capitalism can’t seem to get enough of economic growth. Capitalists, workers and the unemployed all say that they need it. Politicians pledge their commitment to it. And the experts… claim they know how to achieve it. Yet over the past fifty years, global economic growth has slowed down dramatically, including in the US and in the OECD countries. If the trend persists, by 2030, growth will have fallen a mere 1%, compared to 5% in the 1960s. So… the question is… With so much goodwill and expertise apparently available, why won’t the economy cooperate? Mainstream economists argue that a perfectly competitive market would have grown rapidly, but that external interventions keep distorting the competitive balance and slowing the economy down. But – that’s not what the data suggests. As we’ll see, economic slowdown fuels upward income redistribution and a greater share of power for leading capitalists. Far from being a distortion of contemporary capitalism, slowing growth may be part of its very logic. Let’s begin by taking a closer look at the data on growth. Liberal and heterodox economists both maintain that “growth is the key measure of economic health”. In other words, that the faster the growth of the economy, the better off the society. And, if that is indeed the case, the numbers don’t bode well for the U.S. This figure shows the growth of the American economy, measured in so-called “real” terms. Each annual observation represents the percentage by which the economy’s gross domestic product, or GDP, grew relative to the previous year. For example, in 1942, when the United States entered the Second World War, its economy grew by 19% compared to 1941. By contrast, in 2009, when the U.S. entered a Great Recession, the economy contracted by 3%. Since annual growth rates are very volatile, we can use a “trailing average” to track long-term movements. In this chart, we plot a five-year trailing average, which means that every observation shows the average of the previous five years. The trailing average clearly shows that US growth has trended downwards for almost a century. If well-being depends on growth, you’d expect both workers and capitalists to have suffered from this slump. So, let’s take a closer look at this claim, beginning with American capitalists. Capitalist income is made up of profit and interest, and its growth rate, measured in so-called “real” terms, displays a close correspondence with the overall growth of the economy. When the economy accelerates, profit and interest rise even faster, and when it decelerates, they fall more rapidly. As with growth, we see a long-term deterioration. Capitalist income growth is far weaker today than it was during the first half of the previous century. Now let’s turn to workers. Just like capitalists, they’ve experienced a significant income drop closely synchronized with the American slowdown. But not only have their earnings shrunk, workers have also suffered through rising unemployment. Since the 1940s, U.S. growth has oscillated inversely to unemployment – lower growth has yielded higher unemployment, and vice versa. And the same relationship has applied to the general trends. For the postwar period, then, the overall picture in America does indeed appear to be one of progressive decline, marked by decelerating real GDP growth, falling real income growth for both capitalists and workers, and rising unemployment. Based on this picture, it would be easy to conclude that everyone should be interested in faster growth. This reasoning assumes, as does liberal economic theory, that society is made up of isolated individuals, or “agents”. The agents’ ultimate goal is to maximize their individual pleasure, or “utility”, which they do by consuming more and more goods and services. Now, since consumption depends on earnings, all agents must want their income to rise – and since all agents obey the same hedonic drive, they must probably all suffer when the economy slows down or contracts. But let’s cut the data along different lines, and have a look at the following graph. We’ve already seen that the growth rate of “real” capitalist income has trended downwards with the slowdown. Yet, the relative share of capitalist income out of overall income has actually trended upwards. In other words, capitalists and workers have not borne the damage from the slowdown equally. Indeed, capitalists have redistributed income in their favour, therefore doing better for themselves despite the slowdown. And this, doesn’t square with the utilitarian assumptions of liberal economic theory, and so deeply challenges the theory’s explanatory power. Instead, there’s a completely different way to explain this economic phenomenon, based on the capital-as-power approach, or CasP for short. CasP shifts the emphasis away from individuals and utility to analyze capitalism not as a mode of production and consumption, but as a mode of power. Instead of a uniform society made of identical “agents”, we can distinguish between two social groups: First, the underlying population – which includes workers, the unemployed and those not in the labour force. This group definitely wants to improve its material wellbeing and minimize the threat of unemployment. In a capitalist system, these goals do require overall growth. But the underlying population doesn’t control capitalism, capitalists do. And according to CasP, their key motivation is not hedonic pleasure, but power. The very structure of capitalism forces them to seek more power. Those who don’t are quickly overpowered and cast aside by capitalists who do. Unlike wellbeing and utility, power is not about how much a group earns in “real”, or absolute terms; it’s about how much the group earns relative to others. The key point here is that power is not absolute, but differential. Capitalists don’t seek a higher level of consumption, but a larger share in the overall income of society. Their goal is not “purchasing power” but “differential power”. And this distinction is crucial, because in capitalism, the two measures often move in opposite directions, as we saw in the previous graph. The growth rate of capitalist purchasing power may have declined over the past century, but their differential power has actually increased. Even more tellingly, these opposite processes are intimately connected. We’ve already observed the close association between weakening economic growth and rising unemployment. But as this figure shows, rising unemployment also correlates with a higher capitalist income share, and therefore, with rising capitalist power. The two series not only trend upwards, they’re also cyclically correlated. If instead of plotting the current rate of unemployment, we plot the rate of unemployment three years earlier, we can see that unemployment is an accurate leading indicator of the capitalist share of income. In other words, if we know the rate of unemployment at any given time we can predict the extent of capitalist differential power three years later! It appears that weakening economic growth, resulting in rising unemployment, is actually a boon for capitalists. This makes a lot of sense: rising unemployment reduces the bargaining power of workers, the unemployed and those that are out of the labour force. And as this bargaining power weakens, capitalist power increases along with the capitalist share of income. So, is there truly a social consensus in favour of economic growth? For those who believe that everyone in society, including capitalists, is after utility, the answer would be a definite yes. But this view fails to explain why growth has remained so systematically elusive. Moreover, it’s directly contradicted by the actions of capitalists. Over the past century, they’ve strategically restricted greenfield investment, stalled pro-growth policies and objected to downward income redistribution. By contrast, this historical record is fully consistent with CasP. CasP argues that capitalists are driven by differential power rather than by maximum utility, and that their power doesn’t hinge on rapid growth but on relative stagnation, which decreases the employment rate and redistributes income in their favour. In other words, decelerating growth is not a historical anomaly. It’s an integral component of the capitalist mode of power. And that means that vigorous growth is not in the forecast. As long as they remain in control, capitalists will continue to oppose it, because it would undermine their differential power by cutting their income share. Simply put, continuous economic growth is something that capitalists can hardly afford.

How to deal with work and money stress without freaking out


Here at ReachOut we get there not having
a job, and not having enough work and not having enough money is the perfect
recipe for life to feel quite *fart noise*. Feeling useless, worthless and not good
enough are pretty common. So if you’re struggling with work and money, there are
three things we want you to know. Number one you’re not alone. With youth
unemployment pretty high here in Australia dealing with feeling crap
about not having work and not having money is unfortunately pretty common
Number two – this is not forever. Things will change in your life and you will
not always be feeling this bad. And number three, you are still a valuable
person it’s really easy to tie your identity to your job and a sense of
contributing, but job or no job, you are still a person with a whole stack of
stuff to be proud of. Plus there are three things we want you to try. One – talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Whether it’s friends family or even a
counselor or your GP, if you’re feeling down it’s important to talk and get some
help. Two – check out some of the links below. We got together with a bunch of
young people from across Australia who’ve all struggled with money and job
stress and they shared their tips on what can help. And 3 check out our best
of the web guides about employment and money. You can get practical tips and
resources to help with everything you need to know about looking for work and
how to budget, even when you have hardly any money. Stressing about work and moneyis really tough and while you may not be able to create a job out of thin air,
there are things you can do to make yourself feel better. Head to ReachOut.com to find out more

Deaf Americans At Work: Closing The Employment Gap


♪♪ ♪♪ Hyland:
While national jobless rates are the lowest they’ve been
in decades, Americans who are deaf
continue to struggle with high rates of unemployment. Hello, and welcome
to “Comcast Newsmakers.” I’m Sheila Hyland. Despite advances
in accessible technologies, only about two in five people
with a hearing disability are employed full time. Joining me to talk
about this employment gap is Eric Kaika from TDI, Telecommunications for the Deaf
and Hard of Hearing, Inc., and his interpreter,
Jamel McCaskill. And thank you, Eric, so much
for being with us. McCaskill: Thank you. Hyland: So let’s look
at some of those numbers. 53% of people who are deaf
were employed in 2017, compared to over 75%
of the hearing impaired. What accounts
for that major gap? McCaskill: One of the biggest
misconceptions that people think is the 50%, that 47% are,
you know, not employed. That’s really not true. Some are actively involved and they’re looking
for work, you know. So the ones that are still
searching for jobs also count, so that 40%, that could be
a little misleading. But it doesn’t matter. Still, the 50%, you know,
those people get jobs and try to catch up with
the hearing population, as well. Hyland: But there are obviously
a lot of challenges for the hard of hearing
and deaf on the job. Talk to us about
some of those challenges and what prevents some people maybe even from
looking for employment. McCaskill: Well, you know,
many diverse reasons. You know, what I believe
is that some of the workers, you know, there’s a bit of
a hesitation to hire deaf people or hard of hearing people, and they’re not really sure
how to deal with them. And, you know, what’s gonna
happen with the co-workers? The company’s gonna have to
pay for interpreters or accommodation services. And deaf people,
when they get a job, you know, and they tend to earn less
money, and that’s not fair. You know, it’s not the same
as their hearing co-workers. So they have
a social-service program that more of a motivation to transfer deaf people
to these jobs. Hyland: And speaking of jobs,
one of the things that I know that you —
TDI is concerned about is getting the deaf
and hard of hearing into more meaningful jobs. How do we go about
changing that? McCaskill: I think, you know,
the biggest start of it is changing the misconception
of the deaf people, thinking that deaf people
can’t work or deaf people can’t communicate
or the education. You know, today many of the deaf
people have really good degrees. And to get deaf — you know, for the hearing employers
to look at them and say, “Hey,
we should hire them and work with them so they can
get that experience.” Start with internships,
part-time jobs, and get those workers to really start looking at
their perspective of deaf people and bring them in. And often I’ve talked
with those hearing employers, and they say,
“Oh, those deaf workers, those are the best workers
I have,” you know. So that’s really common
with a lot of the employers, and a lot of people
don’t know about that, and the awareness
is not out there. Hyland: On the flip side of the
coin, it’s interesting to note that there’s a higher percentage
of deaf people who are self-employed
than hearing people. What accounts for that? McCaskill:
Maybe it was possibly because, you know,
they’re looking for work and they’re struggling, and they
say, “Well, I have the skills. I can do these things myself,” and they’re very involved
with the community, so the community starts
to really look at him and say, “Well, I’m deaf.
You’re deaf. I support you. I want to support
other deaf people instead of, you know,
getting contract work with a hearing company.” And, you know, they pay
little money to deaf people, and they have to budget. So this really helps them
build their own business. You know, deaf people say,
“I learned something. I learned online the deaf
business, dot-com, online.” And has many, many,
many deaf workers that are deaf business owners
there, too. And I look at that,
and so that was really cool, and that number is growing,
growing exponentially. Hyland: Right, so we still need
to get more hearing impaired and deaf people into
the regular employment world. What is TDI working on as far as public policy
to make that happen? McCaskill: TDI and my focus
is really on telecommunications and media and information
technology, those three. So anytime, you know,
the companies are developing the technology and services, I want to make sure
that they are accessibility — they’re accessible to the deaf
and hard of hearing community. I want to make sure that,
you know, I suggest and find deaf workers for them and also clients
and customer service, managers, you know, testing, you know,
a whole diverse thing. So to be able to make sure
that their companies and service and products are to general
and all deaf people. Hyland:
You mentioned companies. There are a lot of companies who are being more inclusive
of the deaf and hard of hearing. Talk about some
of those companies and the strides
that they’re making. McCaskill: Companies. Yes. I think one of the biggest
things right now is Starbucks. Starbucks, they just set up,
you know, four signing stores. They have one in D.C.,
and they’re setting up their fourth signing store
there in Japan at the end of the year. So Starbucks
is growing, growing, growing. I think that’s wonderful. I think it’s wonderful
for the hearing world to look at the deaf people and say, “Look at that.
Look at the service there.” And another company is CDI,
Customer Services for the Deaf. And they make festivals, and they really support incorporating
deaf-owned businesses. And they also work
in partnership with other hearing big companies to really provide
customer service for deaf and hard of hearing
people. Hyland: They are really
leading the way. Where can people go
for more information? McCaskill: Yes, for starters,
you can look at our website, tdiforaccess.org. There — You can
contact us there, or we can refer you
to many different other deaf and hard of hearing
organizations for specific information. Hyland: All right,
Eric Kaika from TDI, Telecommunications for the Deaf
and Hard of Hearing. Thank you for joining us. And, Jamel McCaskill, thank you
for being our interpreter. And thank you
for joining us, as well. For more great conversations
with leaders in your community and across the nation,
visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I’m Sheila Hyland. ♪♪ ♪♪

Pedestrian Question – On Vacation or Unemployed?


ABOUT WITH CAITLYN. AS YOU KNOW, WE DO OUR SHOW RIGHT ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, WHERE ESPECIALLY THIS TIME OF YEAR WE HAVE A VERY ECLECTIC MIX OF PEOPLE STROLLING BY. WE GET A LOT OF TOURISTS ON SUMMER VACATION. WE ALSO HAVE A LOT OF UNEMPLOYED CRAZY PEOPLE JUST HANGING AROUND. IT’S AN INTERESTING MIX. WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN FOR OUR PEDESTRIAN QUESTION SO, THIS AFTERNOON WE WENT ON THE STREET, WE ASKED PEOPLE, ARE YOU ON VACATION OR ARE YOU UNEMPLOYED? THE WAY THIS WORKS IS WE’LL SEE SOMEONE INTRODUCE HIM OR HERSELF AND THEN BASED ON THAT INTRODUCTION TOGETHER WE WILL TRY TO GUESS IF THAT PERSON’S ON A TRIP OR OUT OF WORK. OKAY? YOU GOT IT? ALL RIGHT. LET’S PLAY.>>WHAT IS YOUR NAME, SIR?>>I’M EDGAR.>>EDGAR, ARE YOU ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED?>>Jimmy: ALL RIGHT. IS EDGAR — TAKE A LOOK AT HIM. ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED? [ AUDIENCE YELLS OUT ANSWERS ]>>Jimmy: ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT. YOU’RE SCARING ME. [ LAUGHTER ] LET’S FIND OUT.>>I’M UNEMPLOYED. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>Jimmy: WAS IT THE HAIR ENCIRCLING HIS HEAD THAT GAVE IT AWAY? [ LAUGHTER ] ALL RIGHT. NEXT UP — >>WHAT’S YOUR NAME, SIR?>>CORY. McCONNELL.>>IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE AFTERNOON. ARE YOU ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED?>>Jimmy: IS CORY — [ AUDIENCE SHOUTS OUT ANSWERS ]. ALL RIGHT. ALMOST EVERYONE SAYS VACATION. ALL RIGHT. LET’S FIND OUT.>>ON VACATION. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>WHERE ARE YOU FROM?>>PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA.>>WHAT DO YOU DO OUT THERE?>>DELIVER PIZZAS.>>AND YOU NEED AID VACATION FROM THAT?>>YEAH. [ LAUGHTER ]>>Jimmy: I USED TO DELIVER PIZZA. IT’S VERY STRESSFUL. YOU GET LOST. PEOPLE GET MAD. ALL RIGHT. LET’S MEET ANOTHER.>>TELL US YOUR NAME, SIR.>>TRAVIS.>>TRAVIS, ARE YOU ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED?>>Jimmy: IS TRAVIS ON VACATION? [ AUDIENCE SHOUTS OUT ANSWERS ] ALL RIGHT.>>ON VACATION. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>LEFT THE SUN BLOCK BACK IN THE HOTEL, HUH?>>YEAH.>>Jimmy: THAT IS — LOOKS LIKE HE’S WEARING A TANK TOP UNDERNEATH HIS TANK TOP. [ LAUGHTER ] WHO DO WE HAVE NEXT?>>WHAT IS YOUR NAME, SIR?>>AHMER.>>AHMER, ARE YOU ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED? [ AUDIENCE SHOUTS OUT ANSWERS ]>>Jimmy: MOST EVERYONE SAYS AHMER IS UNEMPLOYED. LET’S FIND OUT.>>UNEMPLOYED. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>YEAH. HAVE A GOOD DAY.>>YEP. UNEMPLOYED.>>WHAT’S YOUR FIELD?>>SECURITY GUARD.>>NO, NO, THE FIELD WHERE YOU SLEEP. [ LAUGHTER ]>>Jimmy: AT LEAST WE GOT HIM TO CLOSE HIS SHIRT. I THINK WE HAVE ONE MORE.>>TELL US YOUR NAME.>>MY NAME’S VICTOR.>>VICTOR, ARE YOU ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED?>>Jimmy: IS VICTOR ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED? [ AUDIENCE SHOUTS OUT ANSWERS ] THE AUDIENCE IS SPLIT ON THIS ONE. IS VICTOR ON VACATION OR UNEMPLOYED?>>I’M UNEMPLOYED AT THE MOMENT. [ APPLAUSE ]>>WHAT KIND OF WORK DO YOU DO?>>WELL, I’M AN ARTIST, AND I WOULD LOVE TO DO WORK IN VOICE ACTING AS WELL BECAUSE I CAN MAKE A LOT OF WEIRD NOISES INCLUDING ANIMAL NOISES.>>LET’S HEAR SOME ANIMALS. [ HORSE NOISE ]>>Jimmy: THAT’S ACTUALLY A GOOD — PRETTY GOOD. YOU KNOW, LET’S BRING VICTOR IN HERE. [ APPLAUSE ] VICTOR. HI, VICTOR. THAT’S VICTOR, EVERYBODY. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] VICTOR. I JUST WANTED TO GET THIS STRAIGHT. YOU’RE CURRENTLY IN THE MARKET LOOKING FOR A JOB MAKING ANIMAL NOISES?>>SURE. ANY OTHER NOISES OR ANIMAL NOISES, I GUESS.>>Jimmy: CAN YOU DO A COUPLE OF THE OTHER NOISES THAT YOU DO?>>SURE. I CAN DO A CHICKEN. [ CHICKEN NOISE ] [ APPLAUSE ] I CAN DO — >>Jimmy: OKAY.>>I CAN DO A PIG. [ PIG NOISE ] I CAN DO A SEAGULL. [ SEAGULL NOISE ] [ APPLAUSE ] MY BEST ONE IS THE HORSE. BUT I CAN ONLY DO IT A FEW TIMES BECAUSE I GET HOARSE. [ LAUGHTER ]>>Jimmy: YEAH. WE HEARD THE HORSE. BUT GO AHEAD AND DO IT AGAIN IF YOU LIKE.>>OKAY. [ HORSE NOISE ]>>Jimmy: THAT IS GOOD. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WELL, IF ANYONE’S LOOKING FOR — IF ANYONE’S LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO MAKE ANIMAL NOISES, MAYBE AT A WEDDING? WHERE WOULD YOU DO THIS?>>I HAVE NO CLUE.>>Jimmy: YOU HAVE NO IDEA. YEAH. WELL, IF ANYONE NEEDS HIS SERVICE AND YOU CAN’T AFFORD THE GUY FROM THE “POLICE ACADEMY” MOVIES, GET IN TOUCH. VICTOR, ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK?>>I AM ON FACEBOOK.>>Jimmy: FIND VICTOR ON FACEBOOK.

Mayor’s focused on filling Cargill’s vacant space, employing former workers


ONE MORE ROUND WILL COME THROUGH. COMING UP IN WEATHERWATCH 12. HELP TODAY FOR THE CARGILL WORKERS WHO LOST THEIR JOBS WHEN THE PLANT SAID IT WAS CLOSING ITS DOORS. SOME OF THE HUNDREDS LAID-OFF WORKERS SHOWED UP TO TAKE PART OF THE CITY’S RAPID RESPONSE PROGRAM AND AIMED TO HELP WORKERS TO APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND CONNECT WITH A PROGRAM THAT HELPS THEM CONNECT WITH NEW WORK. WE HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT THEY CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE TO BE RECONNECTED TO THE WORKFORCE. THE JOB FARE WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY. 40 COMPANIES HAVE SIGNED UP. MILWAUKEE’S MAYOR WANTS TO KEEP THE VALLEY GROWING. WHAT KIND OF COMPANY CAN SET UP SHOP. RSH IT’S NO SECRET, LOCATION IS EVERYTHING, WHEN CARGILL, THE BEEF HARVEST FACILITY ANNOUNCED CLOSING ITS PLANT, THE WHEELS STARTED TURNING. THOSE CONVERSATIONS HAVE BEGUN. THE MILWAUKEE MAYOR SAID HIS MAIN FOCUS IS TO FIND WORKERS FIND NEW JOBS AND FINDING A NEW BUSINESS TO MOVE IN OR TAKE OVER WHAT HE CALLS PRIME RECALL ESTATE. THERE HAS BEEN A TRANSFORMATION THAT OCCURRING. HE POINTS TO THE LATEST EDITION, 18-STORY HOTEL. SOONER THAN LATER AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE A NEW COMPANY COME IN HERE. AND OTHER COMPANIES WANT THAT TOO. GROWTH IN THE VALLEY LURS THEM HERE. WE DON’T WANT TO SEE AN EMPTY OR VACANT BUILDING ESPECIALLY IN THIS COMMUNITY HERE BECAUSE IT IS TURNING OUT TO BE A NICE WAY INTO DOWNTOWN. I HOPE THERE WILL NOT BE ANYTHING VACANT BECAUSE IT IS HOT SECTION OF TOWN. WHO AND WHEN. THEY TELL US THEY HAVE NO COMMENT.

Jon Danzig directs: ‘Could You Be Self-Employed?’


“Employed” “Employed” “Unemployed – sort of” “Unemployed” There’s an alternative to employment or unemployment. It’s self-employment. Giving yourself a job. Making a job for yourself – and maybe others too. Creating enterprise – and a business you can call your own. There are some advantages to being self-employed. Such as having more control over your work. Your hours. “And at midnight, here is the news.” And your place of work. There are also some disadvantages. Such as the insecurity of an irregular income… or possibly no income at all. The isolation of working by yourself.. And the fact that everything you need, you’ll have to provide. A bit different to being employed. Not everyone is cut out to be self-employed. You can’t blame the boss for making a wrong decision. “It’s YOUR fault!” You ARE the boss. You can’t overspend on expenses… it’s your money you’re spending. You can’t expect to be paid for time-off, holidays or illness. Who’s going to pay you? More important perhaps, is that if you neglect your business… your business may die. It will need constant care and attention from the one and only person who stands to gain or lose the most… YOU. So. Do you have what it takes? Of course, you’ll need a good business idea. One that will attract continuous customers prepared to pay you enough money to make at least a reasonable living. But you’ll need a lot more than that. You’ll need the ability to sell yourself in addition to your product or service. “Um…” If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will buy from you. “No thank you!” And if you don’t believe in your product or service, no one will buy that either. “NO thank you!” You’ll certainly need to be good with money. Anyone can sell a product or service cheaply. But could you sell yours for a profit? “Yes?” “Aha, yeah!” “Yes, yes, OK right!” “Oh, sorry!” “Yup!” You’ll need to be able to cope when you’re busy. “Ah, that’s the one!” And when you’re not. You’ll need to be prepared to do things you’ll never be paid for. Such as your book-keeping… Selling… And letter writing… You’ll need to be tough… to deal with all of business’s problems… Determined… to see them through to the end. Friendly… to keep your customers and suppliers happy. Flexible… to cope with changing circumstances that affect all businesses. You’ll also need the support of your family… “YEAH?” Will they help you in the right way? “WHAT?” “I’m phoning about your flexible service.” “He’s tied up at the mo…” Most of all, perhaps, you’ll need vision.. the vision to see how your business might develop prosper and grow. And you’ll need to acquire the right skills, support and attitude to help make your vision come true. In this country, everyone has the right to give themselves a job. To become self-employed. To start their own business. To create enterprise. It could be the most exciting, risky, adventurous and dangerous decision you’ll ever have to make. And the decision is all yours.

When Homelessness Reaches Middle-Class Working Families | Megyn Kelly TODAY


>>>WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.>>>WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY. IT HOMELESSNESS.
ITS AN UNCOMFORTABLE TOPIC. ITS AN UNCOMFORTABLE TOPIC.
ONE WE OFTEN ASSOCIATE WITH ONE WE OFTEN ASSOCIATE WITH
PEOPLE LIVING ON THE STREETS. PEOPLE LIVING ON THE STREETS. MENTAL ILLNESS, EVEN DRUGS, BUT MENTAL ILLNESS, EVEN DRUGS, BUT TODAY EVEN WITH THE SURGING TODAY EVEN WITH THE SURGING STOCK MARKET AND LOW STOCK MARKET AND LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, HOMELESSNESS IS UNEMPLOYMENT, HOMELESSNESS IS SURGING AND AFFECTING REGULAR
WORKING FAMILIES.TING REGULAR WORKING FAMILIES.
IN FACT, YOU DONT HAVE TO GO IN FACT, YOU DONT HAVE TO GO FAR TO MEET A HOMELESS PERSON FAR TO MEET A HOMELESS PERSON WHO NOT LONG AGO MIGHT HAVE BEEN WHO NOT LONG AGO MIGHT HAVE BEEN YOUR OWN NEIGHBOR. YOUR OWN NEIGHBOR. JANE OCK SOBOROFF HAS THE JANE OCK SOBOROFF HAS THE REPORT. REPORT.>>Reporter: THIS IS LOS
ANGELESS SKID ROW.IS LOS ANGELESS SKID ROW.
TRADITIONALLY WHAT HOMELESSNESS TRADITIONALLY WHAT HOMELESSNESS
LOOKS LIKE. LOOKS LIKE.
AS UNAFFORD ABILITY GROWS ITS AS UNAFFORD ABILITY GROWS ITS
STARTING TO LOOK DIFFERENT. STARTING TO LOOK DIFFERENT.
TODAY MENTAL ILLNESS OR TODAY MENTAL ILLNESS OR ADDICTION ARENT THE ONLY ADDICTION ARENT THE ONLY REASONS PEOPLE LIVE ON THE
STREETS.PEOPLE LIVE ON THE STREETS. MORE WORKING PEOPLE ARE ENDING
UP HOMELESS AND CONSULTING RVs UP HOMELESS AND CONSULTING RVs
HOME. HOME. YOURE ALMOST IN JUNIOR HIGH
SCHOOL.LMOST IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL. WHAT DO YOU HOPE? WHAT DO YOU HOPE? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?>>WHICH I GROW UP I WANT TO
HELP ALL THE ANIMALS ENDANGERED HELP ALL THE ANIMALS ENDANGERED
AND LIVING ON THE STREETS THAT AND LIVING ON THE STREETS THAT
ARE ABANDONED. ARE ABANDONED.
>>DO YOU SEE A LOT OF ABANDONED>>DO YOU SEE A LOT OF ABANDONED
ANIMALS OUT HERE ON THE STREET? ANIMALS OUT HERE ON THE STREET?
>>YEAH.>>YEAH.
>>Reporter: FOR FROM SKID ROW,>>Reporter: FOR FROM SKID ROW,
NEAR THE BEACH, WE CAME ACROSS NEAR THE BEACH, WE CAME ACROSS
12-YEAR-OLD CARLY AND HER SINGLE 12-YEAR-OLD CARLY AND HER SINGLE
MOM LILY WHO HAD JUST MOVED INTO MOM LILY WHO HAD JUST MOVED INTO
THIS RV. THIS RV.
ITS HARD MISSING THE FRESH ITS HARD MISSING THE FRESH
COOKING, WARM FOOD, AND — COOKING, WARM FOOD, AND —
>>I SAW YOU HAVE THE STOVE.>>I SAW YOU HAVE THE STOVE.>>YEP.
NOW ABLE TO GET A LITTLE COOKING NOW ABLE TO GET A LITTLE COOKING
DONE HERE? DONE HERE?>>I CAN GET MY COFFEE.
>>Reporter: AVERAGE MONTHLY>>Reporter: AVERAGE MONTHLY
RENT IN L.A. COUNTY NOW OVER RENT IN L.A. COUNTY NOW OVER
$2,200 AND RISING, THE AREA HAS $2,200 AND RISING, THE AREA HAS
THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE
LIVING ON THE STREET IN AMERICA. LIVING ON THE STREET IN AMERICA.>>YOU BOUGHT THIS RV LAST WEEK?
>>FOR $500.T THIS RV LAST WEEK?>>FOR $500.
>>ITS YOU, LILY, CARLY.>>ITS YOU, LILY, CARLY.
>>MY ELDEST DAUGHTER WHOS 16.>>MY ELDEST DAUGHTER WHOS 16.
OUR LAUNDRY FOR NOW. OUR LAUNDRY FOR NOW.
>>Reporter: LILY BROUGHT HER>>Reporter: LILY BROUGHT HER
DAUGHTERS TO CALIFORNIA FROM DAUGHTERS TO CALIFORNIA FROM
COLORADO. COLORADO. BEFORE THEY MOVED INTO THE RV
THEY BOUNCED AROUND IN MOTELS THEY BOUNCED AROUND IN MOTELS
AND SPENT MONTHS LIVING IN THIS AND SPENT MONTHS LIVING IN THIS
MINIVAN. MINIVAN.>>ALL THREE OF YOU SLEPT IN THE
VAN?LL THREE OF YOU SLEPT IN THE VAN?>>YEAH, AND PUT OUR FOOD IN THE>>YEAH, AND PUT OUR FOOD IN THE TRUNK. TRUNK.>>WHATS IT LIKE TO LIVE IN THE>>WHATS IT LIKE TO LIVE IN THE RV? RV?>>NICER.>>NICER.>>NICER THAN THE VAN?>>NICER THAN THE VAN? YEAH. YEAH. TELL ME WHY. TELL ME WHY.>>WELL, FOR EXAMPLE, ITS
ROOMY.L, FOR EXAMPLE, ITS ROOMY. YOU CAN COOK. YOU CAN COOK. ITS LIKE A SMALLER HOUSE, BUT ITS LIKE A SMALLER HOUSE, BUT YOU CAN JUST — ROLL IT.
>>AND MOVE AROUND.L IT.>>AND MOVE AROUND.
A HOUSE WITH WHEELS. A HOUSE WITH WHEELS.
ARE ARE YOU DOING? ARE ARE YOU DOING?
GOING TO SCHOOL RIGHT NOW? GOING TO SCHOOL RIGHT NOW?
A. HA. A. HA.>>Reporter: CARLY A HOME
SCHOOLING HER MOM SAYS IT FIT SCHOOLING HER MOM SAYS IT FIT
BETTER WAY MOBILE LIFESTYLE. BETTER WAY MOBILE LIFESTYLE.
>>YOU SAID YOURE HOLDING DOWN>>YOU SAID YOURE HOLDING DOWN
A JOB. A JOB. HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU MAKE A
MONTH.CH MONEY DO YOU MAKE A MONTH.>>$2,000.
>>ABOUT $2,000 A MONTH.>>ABOUT $2,000 A MONTH.
BASICALLY, YOU SPENT THE MONEY BASICALLY, YOU SPENT THE MONEY
ON HOUSING YOUD HAVE NO MONEY ON HOUSING YOUD HAVE NO MONEY
TO DO ANYTHING ELSE. TO DO ANYTHING ELSE.
>>YEAH.>>YEAH.>>Reporter: SHE MAKES THAT>>Reporter: SHE MAKES THAT MONEY WORKING AS A FREELANCE
PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING PICTURES PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING PICTURES
LIKE THESE. LIKE THESE.>>WHATS THE SECRET MAKING SURE>>WHATS THE SECRET MAKING SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED? YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED?>>BE POSITIVE.>>BE POSITIVE.>>STAY POSITIVE.>>STAY POSITIVE. IS IT HARD? IS IT HARD?>>NO.>>NO.>>YOU SEEM LIKE THE MOST SUPER>>YOU SEEM LIKE THE MOST SUPER POSITIVE PERSON IVE MET. POSITIVE PERSON IVE MET.>>Reporter: HOMELESSNESS IN LOS>>Reporter: HOMELESSNESS IN LOS ANGELES SURGED 23% BETWEEN 2016
AND 2017 AND NOW THERE ARE 2016 AND 2017 AND NOW THERE ARE
NEARLY 58,000 HOMELESS PEOPLE IN NEARLY 58,000 HOMELESS PEOPLE IN
L.A. COUNTY WITH THE NUMBER L.A. COUNTY WITH THE NUMBER
EXPECTED TO RISE AGAIN THIS EXPECTED TO RISE AGAIN THIS
YEAR. YEAR. ITS ABOUT 24 HOURS SINCE I WAS
LAST HERE.24 HOURS SINCE I WAS LAST HERE.
LILY TOLD US HER OTHER DAUGHTER LILY TOLD US HER OTHER DAUGHTER
HANNAH IS NOT WORKING TODAY. HANNAH IS NOT WORKING TODAY. I CAME BACK TO MEET HER.
SO THIS IS THE 16-YEAR-OLD. SO THIS IS THE 16-YEAR-OLD.
>>YEAH.>>YEAH.
16-YEAR-OLD. 16-YEAR-OLD.
>>UH-HUH.>>UH-HUH.>>LIFEGUARD.>>LIFEGUARD.>>16-YEAR-OLD LIFEGUARD.
>>YEAH.AR-OLD LIFEGUARD.>>YEAH.>>THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH AT
THE Y, DO THEY KNOW YOU LIVEAT THE Y, DO THEY KNOW YOU LIVE
OVER HERE IN THE RV? OVER HERE IN THE RV?
>>NOT REALLY.>>NOT REALLY.
ONLY MY MANAGER DOES. ONLY MY MANAGER DOES.
I DONT KNOW IF ITS A GOOD IDEA I DONT KNOW IF ITS A GOOD IDEA
TO TELL THEM. TO TELL THEM.
>>HOW COME?>>HOW COME?
>>BECAUSE PEOPLE THESE DAYS,>>BECAUSE PEOPLE THESE DAYS,
THEYRE SO JUDGMENTAL. THEYRE SO JUDGMENTAL.
>>DO YOU THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE>>DO YOU THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE
HAVE A WRONG IDEA OF WHAT IT HAVE A WRONG IDEA OF WHAT IT
MEANS TO BE HOMELESS? MEANS TO BE HOMELESS?
>>UH-HUH.>>UH-HUH.
>>WHY DO THEY HAVE THE WRONG>>WHY DO THEY HAVE THE WRONG
IDEA? IDEA?>>MAYBE BECAUSE THEY NEVER>>MAYBE BECAUSE THEY NEVER EXPERIENCED IT THEMSELVES AND
JUST SEE HOME LDSLESS PEOPLE. JUST SEE HOME LDSLESS PEOPLE.
>>HERES MY LONGBOARD.>>HERES MY LONGBOARD.
>>Reporter: HANNAH IS NO LONGER>>Reporter: HANNAH IS NO LONGER
TO SEE PEOPLE FALL INTO TO SEE PEOPLE FALL INTO
HOMELESSNESS. HOMELESSNESS. PEOPLE AT HOME, YOUR HOMELESS PEOPLE AT HOME, YOUR HOMELESS NEIGHBOR COULD BE GIVING YOUR NEIGHBOR COULD BE GIVING YOUR KID A SWIM LESSON. KID A SWIM LESSON.>>COULD BE ANYBODY.>>COULD BE ANYBODY. AND ITS SAD THAT IT CAN BE AND ITS SAD THAT IT CAN BE ANYBODY, BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY ANYBODY, BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY WE LIVE IN.
>>WOW. IN.>>WOW.
JACOB SOBOROFF IS WITH US NOW. JACOB SOBOROFF IS WITH US NOW.
UNBELIEVABLE. UNBELIEVABLE.>>GOOD TO SEE YOU, MEGYN.
>>WHERE DO THEY PARK THE RVs?>>WHERE DO THEY PARK THE RVs?
WHERE DO THOSE GO? WHERE DO THOSE GO?
>>PART OF THE PROBLEM.>>PART OF THE PROBLEM.
MANY CITIES HAVENT CAUGHT UP MANY CITIES HAVENT CAUGHT UP
WITH THE TIMES, A GROWING WITH THE TIMES, A GROWING
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HAVEs AND DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HAVEs AND
HAVE NOT ITS AND OUTLAWED THEM HAVE NOT ITS AND OUTLAWED THEM
ON THE SIDE OF THE ROADS. ON THE SIDE OF THE ROADS.
CITYING ARE TRYING TO CATCH UP. CITYING ARE TRYING TO CATCH UP.
THIS FAMILY, GREAT FAMILY, GREAT THIS FAMILY, GREAT FAMILY, GREAT
YOUNG GIRLS HAVE TO MOVE ALL THE YOUNG GIRLS HAVE TO MOVE ALL THE
TIME TO MAKE SURE THEYRE PARKED TIME TO MAKE SURE THEYRE PARKED
IN A PLACE THEY WONT HAVE A IN A PLACE THEY WONT HAVE A
POLICE OFFICER TELLING THEM TO POLICE OFFICER TELLING THEM TO
GET OUT OF HERE. GET OUT OF HERE.>>THEY HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT
SEWAGE, FIRES WITH RESPECT TO SEWAGE, FIRES WITH RESPECT TO
THESE THINGS HAVE BEEN A THESE THINGS HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM. PROBLEM. NOT NECESSARILY THE SAFEST PLACE
TO LISTEN.ARILY THE SAFEST PLACE TO LISTEN.>>OF COURSE NOT.>>OF COURSE NOT. FOR THEM, THEY FIGURE ITS THEIR
ONLY OPTION.EY FIGURE ITS THEIR ONLY OPTION. THEY SAY, TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THE THEY SAY, TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THE LUXURIES OF WI-FI HOT SPOT AND A LUXURIES OF WI-FI HOT SPOT AND A PRINTER, A BUNCH OF SCHOOL PRINTER, A BUNCH OF SCHOOL BOOKS. BOOKS. STUFF IF WE LIVED IN A HOME OR STUFF IF WE LIVED IN A HOME OR APARTMENT WE COULDNT AFFORD, APARTMENT WE COULDNT AFFORD, THATS THE TRADE-OFF THAT THATS THE TRADE-OFF THAT THEYRE FACED WITH MAKING. THEYRE FACED WITH MAKING. A TRADE-OFF SO MANY PEOPLE
ACROSS THE COUNTRY NOW FIND ACROSS THE COUNTRY NOW FIND
THEMSELVES HAVING TO FIGURE OUT THEMSELVES HAVING TO FIGURE OUT
THEY HAVE TO MAKE. THEY HAVE TO MAKE.>>I KNOW — SOME PEOPLE HAVE>>I KNOW — SOME PEOPLE HAVE LANDLORDS WHO OWN THE RVs AND
RENT THEM.WHO OWN THE RVs AND RENT THEM.
IS THAT THEIR SITUATION? IS THAT THEIR SITUATION?
>>EXACTLY RIGHT.>>EXACTLY RIGHT.
NOT THESE GUYS. NOT THESE GUYS.
I TALKED TO LILY — WE TALKED TO I TALKED TO LILY — WE TALKED TO
LILY YESTERDAY. LILY YESTERDAY.
LOOKING AT GETTING A BIGGER RV. LOOKING AT GETTING A BIGGER RV.
THEY OWN IT THEMSELVES, SAVED UP THEY OWN IT THEMSELVES, SAVED UP
ENOUGH TO INVEST. ENOUGH TO INVEST.
PEOPLE, BECOMING A BIG PEOPLE, BECOMING A BIG
PHENOMENAL ARE BUYING AND PHENOMENAL ARE BUYING AND
RENTING RVs TO HOMELESS ACROSS RENTING RVs TO HOMELESS ACROSS
THE COUNTRY. THE COUNTRY. MOST AMAZING TO ME, THIS IS MOST AMAZING TO ME, THIS IS HAPPENING IN SOME OF THE MOST
PROSPEROUS STATES, LIKEE MOST PROSPEROUS STATES, LIKE
CALIFORNIA. CALIFORNIA. BOTH IN SOUTHERN AND NORTHERN
CALIFORNIA.THERN AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. IF YOU ADJUST FOR THE COST OF
LIVING, CALIFORNIA, THE MOSTF LIVING, CALIFORNIA, THE MOST
PROSPEROUS STATE, SIXTH LARGEST PROSPEROUS STATE, SIXTH LARGEST
ECONOMY IN THE RECORD, TALKED ECONOMY IN THE RECORD, TALKED
ABOUT THAT, TALKED ABOUT ABOUT THAT, TALKED ABOUT
MARIJUANA, ACTUALLY THE STATE MARIJUANA, ACTUALLY THE STATE
WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF WITH THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF
POVERTY. POVERTY. YOU DONT THINK ABOUT IT THAT
WAY.DONT THINK ABOUT IT THAT WAY. PEOPLE DOING REALLY WELL, PEOPLE PEOPLE DOING REALLY WELL, PEOPLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ECONOMIC
LEVEL ARE STRUGGLING MORIN THAT LEVEL ARE STRUGGLING MORIN THAT
YOU KNOW. YOU KNOW.>>THE POINT, YOU LOOK AT THE>>THE POINT, YOU LOOK AT THE COST OF LIVING, MOVED SOMEPLACE
CHEAPER SHE WOULDNT BE MAKINGCE CHEAPER SHE WOULDNT BE MAKING
$2,000 FOR HER PHOTOGRAPHY. $2,000 FOR HER PHOTOGRAPHY.
DOESNT MATCH UP. DOESNT MATCH UP. NOT A LOT OF OPTIONS.
PEOPLE THINK OF HOMELESS, THEY PEOPLE THINK OF HOMELESS, THEY
DONT THINK OF SOMETHING WORKING DONT THINK OF SOMETHING WORKING
CLASS, MIDDLE CLASS WHO FELL ON CLASS, MIDDLE CLASS WHO FELL ON
HARD TIMES. HARD TIMES.>>YOU THINK OF PEOPLE USING>>YOU THINK OF PEOPLE USING DRUGS ON THE STREETS, AND THE
REALITY, PEOPLE LIKE LILY HELD REALITY, PEOPLE LIKE LILY HELD
DOWN A JOB. DOWN A JOB.
MOVED FOR WHATEVER REASON, FROM MOVED FOR WHATEVER REASON, FROM
ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER.
ENDED UP IN CALIFORNIA, AND THE ENDED UP IN CALIFORNIA, AND THE
REALITY IS, $2,000 A MONTH ISNT REALITY IS, $2,000 A MONTH ISNT
CLOSE, $2,300 JUST TO RENT THE CLOSE, $2,300 JUST TO RENT THE
AVERAGE APARTMENT IN L.A. AVERAGE APARTMENT IN L.A.
COUNTY. COUNTY.>>CAN THE DAUGHTERS GO TO>>CAN THE DAUGHTERS GO TO PUBLIC SCHOOL? PUBLIC SCHOOL? WHEN YOU — WHEN YOU –>>THEY COULD.>>THEY COULD.>>YOU OWN A HOME.>>YOU OWN A HOME. YOU FAY PROPERTY TAXES. YOU FAY PROPERTY TAXES.>>THEY COULD.
REGISTER TO VOTE IF THEY WANTED. REGISTER TO VOTE IF THEY WANTED.
BECOME OF LEGAL AGE, REGISTER TO BECOME OF LEGAL AGE, REGISTER TO
VOTE. VOTE. THE ISSUE, BECAUSE THEYRE SO
MOBILE THEY NEVER KNOW WHERE MOBILE THEY NEVER KNOW WHERE
THEYLL BE NEXT. THEYLL BE NEXT.
FOR NOW, LILYS MOM HAS THEM IN FOR NOW, LILYS MOM HAS THEM IN
A HOME SCHOOLED PROGRAM. A HOME SCHOOLED PROGRAM.
LIKE I 1EDSAID, HANNAH, THE 6 LIKE I 1EDSAID, HANNAH, THE 6
16-YEAR-OLD, GIVING SWIM LESSONS 16-YEAR-OLD, GIVING SWIM LESSONS
TO MY KID. TO MY KID.
SOMETIMES HAVE TO THINK, YOU SOMETIMES HAVE TO THINK, YOU
NEVER THINK ABOUT THIS. NEVER THINK ABOUT THIS.
>>THINK ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF>>THINK ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF
FRIVOLITY MOST OF US HAVE IN OUR FRIVOLITY MOST OF US HAVE IN OUR
LIVES AND HOW YOUD SPEND MONEY LIVES AND HOW YOUD SPEND MONEY
ON STUPID THINGS THAT DONT ON STUPID THINGS THAT DONT
REALLY MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU AND REALLY MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU AND
YOU SEE A STORY LIKE THAT, IT YOU SEE A STORY LIKE THAT, IT
MAKES YOU REMEMBER THE VALUE OF MAKES YOU REMEMBER THE VALUE OF
A DOLLAR AND HOW WELL YOU COULD A DOLLAR AND HOW WELL YOU COULD
BE SPENDING IT AND HOW YOU COULD BE SPENDING IT AND HOW YOU COULD
BE HELPING OTHERS WITH IT AS