Skip to main content

tv   The News Hour With Jim Lehrer  PBS  August 10, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

7:00 pm
captioning spoored by macneilehrer productions >> lehrer: goodvening. i'm m lehrer. on the newshouthis monday, the leastory is, today's deadly truck bombings in ir. then, we have the othenews of the day, includg a look at bordeissues, as president obama meets with his mexic and cadian counterparts in adalajara; some perspective he increasingly heated healt care reform bale involving seniors and medicare provisns;
7:01 pm
a paul soln conversation about e high cost of r discount culture; and other in our "blueprint americaseries: tonight a look at highway versus mass transit argument in a ma. major fding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provid by: ( hard ro guitar riff aying ) >> were intel, sponsors of tomrow. >> what the worl needs now is engy. the energy get the economy humminagain. the energy to tkle challenges like climate change.
7:02 pm
what if that ergy came from an ergy company? everyday, chevron insts $62 milli in people, in ias-- seekng, teaching, building. fueling growth around e world to move us all ahead. thisis the power of human energy. chevron. the national science undation. supporng education and research across all fiel of science and gineering. and with the ongoingupport of these institions and foundations and... this programas made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by ctributions to your pbs station from viewers li you. thank >> lehrer: iraq was hiwith a new wave of bombings todayhat killed at ast 48 people.
7:03 pm
re than 250 others were wound. the attacks were the lest to target shiites, andhey raised fears that wideread sectarian iolence will erupt again. we have a report narred by nathan rugman of independen televisn news. >> cominiraq and the regn. about 107 wounded. the shiite village, a similar attack on loc shiites only last friday. the -- in northern iraq a full day of attacks.
7:04 pm
in baghdad bombings day, in reas where shiites were. the past earlier two explosions. >> gatherng her what did pple do to deserve this. >> reporter: t prime minist, only lasweek the main roads ere the aq 'general said it wasot an issue anmore. the situation has improv. 24 civilians were killed last month.
7:05 pm
the improvement om the first eight months of last year. sometimes fewer than 3,000 of theame area. with upsge iniolence inclung today's attacks and mosul, at lst 120 civilians were killed. iraq's secuty forces have been -- >> leer: there was no immediate claim respoibility for any of today's attacks. inther news today, the top commander of u.s. and to forces in afghanistan warnedhe taliban is making major gai. u.s. army generaltanley mcchrysl spoke to the "wall street journal."
7:06 pm
he said, "it's a very aggressi enemy right w. we've got to st their momentum. to do thatmcchrystal plans to put more troops inhe country's most heavily populad areas. he'll present his overal assessment latethis month. a typhoon has left dastation across southern taiw. th powerful storm dumped up to 80 inches of rain ovethe wekend. wespread flooding submerged towns aneven washed away a three-story building. and mudslides buried an tire village, leaving as my as 400 people missing and feared dd. the stormoved on to mainland china, where nrly one million ople were evacuated. hundreds of americans began ining up in eight cities tod for swinflu vaccine trials. about 2,800 people wiltake part in the governnt-funded testig. it's pa of the process of getting a vaccine for widpread
7:07 pm
use thisall. ultimately, heal officials expect toave 160 million doses avlable. back in this country, wa street backed a bit today. the dow jones industrl average lost 32 points to closeelow 9338. the nasdaq fell 8 points to clo at 1992. and still to come on th wshour tonight, health care and senors; the discount culture; and transptation priories. that follows the summ in guadalajaramexico, where u.s.- mexican cooperatioand tension topped the agend jeffrey brn has that story. >> rder violence to trade wars
7:08 pm
to the swine flu pandem. the list of pressing issues in today's summit meeting between resident obama makinghis sect trip to mexico and mexican presidt felipe clderon and canadiaprime minister stephen sharpener. rned to escalatingescalating form border violenc the. >> the amy presence has "newshour" special correspondt reported on th situation from mexo earlier this summer >> the mexican city of juarez just acoss the boarder from el paso is und military occupatio police soldiers control. the show of force gan is designed to intimidate violent drug cartel who are fighting eachther and the police. a woman killed recentlyas she drove ha r filled with passengers was o of three murder victims on the sameay.
7:09 pm
last year, there were 16 killings. that is more than double the murd rate in the mst violent city the u.s. police have detmined that thousandsf weons they seized were smuggl in to mexico fm the united stas. since mexico has strict gun conol laws it's governnt demanded the u.s. review the fiarms across the border. the obama administration had pledged millns of dollar to trade and under the so-called iniative, the u.s. promid 1.4 billion dollars in aid to help mexico fht the drug vlence. today in guadalaja president obama talked of that cooperation and prais calderon's eorts. >> resrces, equipment trsfers in order to hel predent calderon is what is a very curageous effort to deal with a drug cartel, is that are
7:10 pm
not only resulting in extraordinary olence to the people mexico, but arelso undermining institions like police and judiciarysystem, is very damaging. >> mr. obama also joined president calderon in defending the mxican goverent's crackwn amid criticisms er alleged human rights violations. >> have greatonfidence in president calderon's adminisation. applyinghe law enrcement techniquethat are necessary, the power of the cartel is the way that we'r doing so. the bigst by far violators of human rights are the cartels that are kidnapping pople and destroying peoplend encouraging corruptionn these regions. that's whateeds to be stopped, thas what president calderon is committed to doing what's that's what'm committed to
7:11 pm
helping psident calderon accomplish as long as hes prident of mexico. >> there have been a ve strict effort to try to protect human rights. in all cas. and anyone who says to the contrary probab would have to prove any case, where the prop authority has notcted in a rrect way that parties have not punish anyone who has abed their authoriy, play be police oficers, soldiers or anyone else. we have clear commitmen with human rights, we have met this commitment and we ll continue to do so. >> reporter: on econoic mters a dispute over letting mexican trucks opera in the u.s. di not come up publicly. u.s. congress halted a pilot program this year to retaliation mexico imposedillions of dollarin tariffs on u.s. goods.
7:12 pm
the soalled buy american clause in the u.s. econoc stimulus plan did come up. both canada and mexico imposed a ovision that said public works pjects receiving stimulus money must use u. made materials. one lontanding issue, iegal immigration,ook a back set at the summit,till president obma said he hopes toave drt legislationby the end of the yr. >> i've got a lot of faith that th very important int in i a way where they don'tll crash at the same tim and what we've said, when we come ck, complete healthcare reform, still have to act on energy legistion, but sete i'mure going to ha some idea how we haveo approach it. we still have financial regulator reform. >> reporter: leade also pledge to fight swine fluan
7:13 pm
epidemic th started machines coand connues to spread. in a joint statement th said they wouldshare exrtise and enhance e exchange of information. >> reporter: f for more oall of this, we're joined by andres martineza nior fellow at the new ameri foundation. he was priously editorial page editor of the "los anges times." denise dresser, ofessor of politicalcience at the technological autonomous institute of mexicin mexico city. she's a mexican citizen. and andrew selee, directoof the mexico progm at the woodrow wilson iernational cent for scholars here in washington. andre martinez cooperati here, attenti there. in general terms what is the state of t.s.-mexico relations? >> the state of the relaonship a bit li a tired marriage in need of counling. we're at a stage with both partiesave agreed to undergo coseling. e have thesepportunities whenever you ha a new admintration. clearlyhere's an additional timely ptern.
7:14 pm
i think there's a receiveness exico to the fact at u.s. said thdrug car is a shared responsiblity. what we ne to do now is a commitment that matches us that responsibility. so far what we're seeing in terms of actual colloration fallsshort. >> reporter: nise dresser, h do you see the general state? >> think thatthe climate for cooperation has improved since presiden obama came to office. a hillary clinton's tripto mexicoin recent months wher she stopped the rhetoricf co-responsibily has helped a great deal in tha regard. i think have to transition from the rhetoric of collaboration to the reaty of it. and that would entail thu.s. assuming greer responsibility for arming the drug wars. i think one of mexics greatest concerns is la of ogress on stoppg the influx of weapo that cross om the united states in to mico on daily
7:15 pm
basis. i that is a continuing topic of ccern in the bilaral relationship. >> reporter andrew selee, ck up, is that in fact the major point a the moment is the dr violence at e boarder? >> i think overall that the drug vience is what is ally -- the glue that surpringly has brought theountries closer togetr, it's complicated, yet relly because of certain issues on both sides of t border in trying to find strategies working on this together. however becse it's such a complited issuet lends itself to a lot of pathways. one of the the arms questi, or $15-25 billion in money that goes from the us to mexico. on the other side ofhe boarder is concerns about whether poli, how practice ca move thugh, a huge investment in that dng it as fast as they can, itakes a long time and wheer there are sufficient changes.
7:16 pm
>> reporter: how do y see that? >> the drug war, so to speak, the flash pots on both sides. althou, what andrew was saying one of the daers, ptfalls tt we keep falling in to in this relationshipis being obsessed and losing sight how interconneed the issues are. immigration refor fact that so ma people are forced toross, a l of the coyote are bringing peopl across arepart of larger drug carls. youan't talk about smuggli one type o year and another type next year. ether talkingbout the trucking or envirmental questions or even onof the issues that popped earlier this ye just reminder tt there's a capacity to this intertwined country that we have and we can't ju pretend th we canreat that as a simiar
7:17 pm
issue. >> denisedresser, staying w with therug violence, we mentioned the ise that ccerns something about ov humanights -- alleged human rightsviolations there in mexico seems to be holding up france some of the cooperation, how is that seen in mexico? >> 's clear da that the war on drugs that fepe calderon talked about is collateral damage the. is aumber of ces bore the human rights commsion, the numberas increased almost 60 reaching 1 cases a month. and i think this is the biproduct of an army that s been brought out fill in the holes that the mexic police weakened coupt, not strong enough toeal with the drug war that has ft many of the daily tasks in hand of a ill-train military at is doing the best it can in a very complex
7:18 pm
diicult situation. but at the same time, encourage -- in curingn a series of mistakes that a ldingto -- leading mexicans to question whether or t the army should stay pernent force on thstreet. human rits want police to report couple months ago called uniformed impugn tee ere it very carly cumented over 17 cases in whch the army has been engaged in arbrary detentio and disappearancesith torture. i think isause for ccern among certa members of the u.s. coress and all of those who are fallingthe implementati of the so-called initiative, the aidpackage that the sus giving mico. itontains a condition and one of th is that, forxample, military officers who engage in han rights abuses be prosecuted in civilian court. and this is t commitment that the mexican vernment made that it has been very reticent to own
7:19 pm
up to. i think that felipe calderon is really caught between rock and a hard place beuse at the sam tie that he needs to rely on he military, he is coming under tack for precisely the violations tha areccurring as a result of, as i said the collateral damage of is war. >> reporter: so andrew as we continue walng through the issues that u've all rais here,he hardes economic,he trade issu is this truck issue. now this goes backo nafa, right? >> yes. both countrs allow lg-haul tru, is that come in to the other country. something that the u.s -- the program goingor awhile that allow all number of trucng coanies that were previously doi long-haul tcking, mexican compies, defended by congrs earlier thi year. >> reporter: because opposion -- >> primarly by the teamsters but also number of members of congress that passed overwhelminglyconcerned about safety and standars.
7:20 pm
thebamas admistration has admitted that the s. is in violatn of trty obligations. has been working with congress trying with new demonstraons program. the mexicanovernment reacadem calm to this. they have put a f sanctionsn the.s., they're hoping obama admistration will keep its word ale to do something. both sides have reted i think trying to -- way trying to fix this soon as poible. >> reporter: andrew that kind of ise by amerin issues these things all ld to the question of the economic - affected relation overall? >> sytomatic of wat mexicans perceive to be a lack of fairness in dealings, a lac of appreciatiofor how much mexico chaed in the last decade, to play by the erican rules. ironically,exico like a lot other emerging marketsn developingcountries, they to medicine that was pscribed to th by the clton years, by
7:21 pm
bo rin darry sommers and implemented very respoible licy and this year mexico uffering a result, many ways of financial contagion that emanated here in t united states that traveed from north to south as owe pitivessed to in the '90s whereou had the bloup in argeina and turkey and mexico. so, for mexican middle class peop whose living standads are being severely h, gdp i mexi last quarte fell 10%. now that's largely resul also of the swine fluoming on top . this but there a feeling that we play by the american rules but now the u.s.asn't abided by its own prescription, that it gave us, it didn't balance the project. now notlaying fair inerms of its own obligations unr the nafta whethere're talking about the tcking issue or the uy american. >>eporter: denise, just in ur last mite i wouldn't ask you about the flu,e brought it up a few time is that exale , well,
7:22 pm
moment of cooperion where things seem to have workedut alreadyn terms of exchange of information and action response? >>es, as andrew mentied, the relationship is complex,it's mul-faceted, it's multi-layered, issu like the swe flu and collaboration th ensued in the aftmath of the tbreak are necessary reminder of how collabations can occur on multipl levels beyond the diffict thorny issues that will be difficult toesult such as immration and drugs. i think that issues of related to the environment,energy, to health there cld be fertile ground for collaration and justhange in the rhetoric from the bush years to now a necsary recognition on part of e u.s. ofhow much it eds to
7:23 pm
ntribute in term of resolvg thdrug issue. i thinkthat's helped a lot to pen up the possibily of further collaboraon once t economic crisis is surmounted. lehrer: nise dresser, ndrew martineznd andrew selee thank you allery much. >> lehrer: now, ourook at the health care reform diutes over potential changes to medice payments. newshour health correspoent bety ann bowser begins. how dare you! >> it's town hall meeting. >> adph litter issued six million end of life orders -- >> good morning welcome this week - >> >reporter: in debates on sunday morning talk sho. >>communal standards historically is a very dangero
7:24 pm
conct -- you're asking us to trust turning power over to the government when there clear are peoplein america who believe in estlishing euthenasia. >> reporter: what is fueling the fi a provion in the 1200-page hse healthcare reform bill that wou allow seniors to seek what lawmakers called advanced care planning consuation. at provides end of life services includi palliative compare a hospice. the counseling with the physician uld be optional and medicare would pay for it once every five years. critics of the democrats hlthcare reform bills have seized on this. on ytube, e-mailhains and blogs online. alaska's former republican governor, sarah palin, hosted thi entry on her facebook page friy. the america inow and love is ot one in which myparents or baby with down's syndro
7:25 pm
will have to stan in front of obama's dbt panel so bureaucrats can decide based on a subjective judgmentf their level of productivity and societyhether they areorthy ofealthcare. such a syem is down right evil. today, palinrged people to engagin civil diourse when attending twn hall meetings spsored by democratic members of the househo are home on recess. those members found ma seniors across the countryare confus an scared. president obama fielded th estion from a caller at a town hall meing at the aarp last week. >> i have heard ls of rumors going around abouthis new plan, biff told there is a clause in there that everyone that medicare age will be sited andold to decide how they wish to di this bothers me greatly and i want to youromise me that this is not in this bill.
7:26 pm
>> you know, i guarantee you first of a we just d't have enough governmt works to send -- t talk to everybody, t find out howthey want to die. i thi at the only thi that may have be proped inome of thebills, i actlly think this is a good thing, is that it makes it easier for peopleo fi out a ving will. i just nt to be clear, nobody is goin to be knocking onour door, nobody is goingto be telling you you'veot to fill one out. and ctainly nobody is going to be forcing to youake a setof decisions on end of lif care basedon some bureaucric law in washington the innt here simplyomake su that you've got more informatn and that medicare will y for it. medicareis sing you have the option of consulting with somebody about hospice care we will reimrset.
7:27 pm
that's putting mor power, more choice in theands of the arican people and it strikes that that's a seible thing to do. >> reporter: but a town hall meeting all ov the counry, me people aren't buying. the obama administrati is ghting back. over the weekend, the president dedicated considerable portion of his wely radioaddress to thsubject. >> let me start b dispelling the otlandish rum thatreform will pmote euthansia or bing about aovernment take over of healthcare. >> reporter: and today, white house launche a website called "reality check" th top oma administration officialsrying to put down what they say are wild rums. >> me way this bill is going force euthenasia. another provisi being considered by congress would save money b cuing fraud and wae in medicare. but many seniors fear that might
7:28 pm
mean sing some of their benefits d rationed care. presidentbama has insisd any cuts will simply im unnecesry spending. >> $177 billion over ten years is spent on subsidies to insuranccompanies under something cald medicare advantage. there's no showinghat seniors are healthier usingedicare advantage than using regular medicare. but taxpayers, you fork over an additional177 biion to them. ov ten years. >> reporter: and today, the aar launchedts own ad mpaign supporting healthcare reform legislation. >>ehrer: judy woodruff takes it from there. >> woodruff: for a closer ok at what health ca reform might mean for senior citizens we rn to gail wilensky, a former director of the federal ency overseeing medicare, and former adver to president sh. e is a senior fellow at prect hope, a foundation for international healteducation.
7:29 pm
anjoe baker, president of the medicare rits center, a national n-profit advocacy group. he is a former nework state deputyecretary for health and human services. before we talk abouthat broadly i wodn't deal with th charge that's out there. gai to you first, this so-called euthenasia charge, something in this proposalthat ll have somebody from the government go visit people and say, yo must decide right now how you're going t die. what's theruth of that? >> that is just notrue. there's enougho not likin the bills that are being considered by the congress and proposed by the administtion, this is not a right characrization. what h been proposed that someone wants to g counseling on hospice care, hospice care sifts covered medicare nefit. they wou be able ha the
7:30 pm
physician or other practitioner paid for the counseling. the idea is for peop to be ble to make knownhow they uld like to be trted in the event of a terminal illness,we have advanced directives now. we'vectually first raised, when i s running the medire prram to go into the hospita or nursing me, you are supposed to be asked whetr you haven advanced directive and if so, have it noted. this makes it easi. >> report: this is how y would -- h you want your care to be handled in the event you are incapacitated. >> right. and if people don'tant to have that service, they don't have to make use of it. >> reporter: joe baker wth the medire rights center would you a anything to that, do you agreehat that's not in this proposal? >> that's absolutely right. gailis absolutely corre. this gives actuay people with medire more options, more informatio more coices as president saiand puts tm more in control at the end of life oreforehand as ty plan for thakind of care. so, the micharacterization of
7:31 pm
this has really been ud to scare senior and to drum anti-reform effos. it's reallya good thing overall providing niors and peope with disabiliti on medicare more otions and chois. >> reporte joe baker, let me ask you ths, is healthcare for seniors in any way at risk as a result of thisverall attempt toeform healthca? >> i don't believe it'sat risk. i atually think the untold story re is a lot of good news for people with mediare, that contained in th bill. for example, there' elimination of the part d donut hole which is that pt of the prescription ug coverage where in seniors senior a people with disability get no dr coverage have to pay out of eir own pocket. out three and aalf billion beneficiaries are affectedy. this we get cal all the tme about ople cuttg pills again in this area. , the congressnal bill out there now, t house bill would et rid of thatpart b nut
7:32 pm
hole and provide cverage and -- >> reporter: l me -- i'm going to stop trew ask gail will learn ski abt that, what abo that, would be a positive for seniors? >> that particular prosion is a positive. the nion that you can cut knife to six hundred biion dollars out of medicar and medica program and this think that you don' risk affeing access of groups of seniors is simply incorrt. that is a whole diffent story. whamost of the ways to get money quicklyhich is wh you want if you want to use that moey to expandnsurance corage for pple don't hav it are sure ways that congress wi score a realavings. hat means whacking rembursement. theye going to lori bursement. lori imbursemt for nursing homesor our me car they're goi to reduce the ount hospitals who have high readministration for certai bonuses. you want to be after me of
7:33 pm
these reforming the delivery system, you do in careful and slow ways but ju lacking imbursemenonly way to get quick savings up front whole different tter. >> repter: joe baker, what about that? this idea that reimbursemen would be cu >> they wll be in many instances, although it's not necessarily in eve instance a a cut, it's a sl down in the increa to payment that would be madeover future year. there's out $550 billion in cuts or savings in the medicre program. but there a another $320 milln in investmt in the medicare pgram. a lot of those werimary care physicians and otherhysicians and many much the so-called cuts oreimbursement reform has been suggested by medicare pment advisory cmmission. and recognized by sme of the provider groups wh have stood wh president obama aslaces where savings can be achieved in der to advance reterm,
7:34 pm
particularly inrance coverage for thosender 65. and expandhings like low iome assistance program nor people on medicare. >> reporter: so gail -- >it's a give and take here. >> reporter: gail,is point is th some of these are savings that ought to made, they were tings that people were recommending be don anyway? >> the estion is, how quickly can they happen. there are a lot of thingshat ned to happen to reform devery system how we see healcare provided, aligning incentives, way to encourage the high value kinds of services. the problem the administration has is, iteeds the money quickly. you can expan coverage a spend money in one, two or three years. massachusetts has own us that. most of theeforms of the delivery syst were coming the econd five years or third five years, tt's the dilemma, if you just wha prices that gives you money quickly that mig make actuallyreforming the delivery syst, getting hospitals a doctors to work together, encouring primary
7:35 pm
care that might make it even harder. that's realroblem that the administrion faces. >> rerter: you're saying that hurts seniorsat least in the first fiveears. >> i certainly runs the risk. ny senior that thinks because they're not affected dictly, they shouldn't worry about it. hey ought to go look with their nior advisory groups and make sure they're comfortable that home compare or nursg home care won'tet compromis in their areas. >> reporter: joe bake how do younswer that? >> well, once again, certainly a lot of this is ing to dend on implementaon. so gail is right, there culd be dislocations in certain geographic areas. overall once aain, thes are payment savings or reimbursement savings th have been areed to the provider organizatns at hand, like spitals. a drug companies, et ceta. so, tey believe that the can make these efficiencies and make mor efficien operations intoed absorb these cuts th kn as well th money is being
7:36 pm
invested in the healthcare systm. whether it'sthroughedicare or through insurance or people under5. botering that healthcare infrastructurin the way that this man does wll have the nefit of seniors theyre the ones th disproportnately use healthcare. investments in prima care will help l americans but wil help seniors particularly,ecause they use primaryare more than anyo else. >> reporter: ail, what about this argumt th imary cre, seeing physianss more frequently, they might not have click on "as seeon cbs 5 news" ars before is going to be an vantage? >> that's also problem, quickly, we do need to t to encourage morpheme to go in to primary care in medicine. need expand the abilities of nurse practitioners to provide services. how we do that, wve talked about the medire physician payment problems. the administration is saying they're goingto fix that, they haven't figured out howto pay for that.
7:37 pm
these are no changes that are going to happen in year more two or three d that'seally th dilemma, reform the :uqsit can and must produc savings ov time, but ministration wants to have expansions right away. only way t get money for those expansions rht ay is acking up prices. >> reporter: we'll ha to leave it there. we apprecte dale, joe baker, thank you both. >> thankou. >> lehr: next tonight, newshour economiccorrespondent ul solman has a conversation about the pursuit a good deal. it's part of hiseries "making sense." says, we got tohave it. why we have to have it? >> reporter: author ellen shell, her newbook, blasts the high cost of discoun culture. >> what is it about thse
7:38 pm
particar shorts and these particularhirts that we've got to have? we're compled to buy these things, most by the price. >> reporter: we're coelled by marketer says shell. who understand how human natur d the brain that embodies it olved. our love of bargains. >> scientists ve shown that go deal tggers a pleasure center of the brn. almost all ofus to su an extent that obliteres a more reasonable, rionale side. >> in the case of baain hunting, the anticipation of ning something for very low prce triggers the biggest reaction, biest pleasure sensations inthe brain. it's not the actal owning of the objec okay? >> reporter: shl thinks the brain we huntegatherers were graced with when we stped volvingany millennia ago feels bad when itasses up a barrin in. >> wh we want to avoid in liis . we hate reess.
7:39 pm
>> rerter: for goodeason. >> wn you talk aboutregret, wee going to speculate about ear man, mistakesn those days could very bad. for exale, if you msed the opptunity to r down that elk, you may stae death, okay? so reason w you wod regret n tking action. >> reporter: 15000 years ater, the fear of not rpe-ing the diem might tck us in to buying window gel keenex for 2.99, such a dl. >> the 2.99 for something that y probably wouldn't even pick uoff the beach ift came in wh the tide. >>reporter: it'sretty. it' going to be nice on my grachildren's window. >> if you wanted it, you me in deliberate to buy window gel, i say go for it. >> reporter: buying impulse, says shell, thin twice. >> we've loaded up o this sort of stuff n just you butll of us because one ofthe largest
7:40 pm
growg industries is stoge units. we boughtso many of these things tha we now rent space to sto it, our windo gel clings and things th have natu in separate storage uts for which we pay rent. report: shell knows ere of she wris. >> i used to walk in to tget, i washe biggest vtim, chump. >> reporter: it's a discount stor >> we see everything asreat deal. this candle is bein sold for .9. how much shld a candle cst, do you think? do you have a idea? >> reporr: well not this much unless we're exriencing hyper inflation. but 24.99 -- >> now you think, we know that trick. we knowhat trick. reporter: but are vulnerable to it nonethele. >> you ha to ask why constantly using i is 99 cts for 49 cents -- >>his is on's rig. that temporary price cut gives you urgency. nowe need to stock up on these
7:41 pm
andles. >> repoer: so how doe sist? think, sa shell. about the costs of yur impuse purchases to yourse and to oters. true, for instanc once a luxury now cheap because it's farmed inhailand. unfortunate pa -- >> they ha this wonderfulecosysd anning grovesa tree with enormous roots tat on the coastne that runs all the way downwn is very importantfor shrimp, also important for fish, also protecti barrier in ca of typhoon. those mangves were riped up toake sway for shrim pods. they are scrowlded and so filthy they du tons of antiotics and pharmaceuticals onto the shrimp areable to produce che. you can goo the low price restaurants get all t shrimp you wantfor 15 buks. >> repoer: meanwhile, shell
7:42 pm
insists,hailand suffers. wait aecond, says the economics repoer -- there's always a probl whenever the's tehnological progrss of any sort, the pollution from steam engines or from electricity plants. what do you wa to do, turn back the clock? >> i think it's within people's right tonow where the food comesrom and how it's being rvested how it's being grown. and i don't think lot of us a informed or theanufacturers want to know how the shrimp is farmedn asia. >> rerter: or how the wod for cheap furnure here or at ikea say is illegay harvested in t far east. poached, she sys, by russian mobsteror how the quest for cheaper labor to make toilet st covers here or at wal-mart has frced wagesnd benefi down n the u.s. but tru, shell knows tere's an economicase to be made for low prices. >> isn't there a tremendous
7:43 pm
advange to mass poduction, mas distribution and scount stores like this, thatake things more widely available in the elitarian way. >> it's in part the american way, sinc the turn of the century, veryuch a part of the american wa we're not going to trn the clock back on that nor am i sgesting that weo. ultimately we're spenng more consumeroods than we did te years ago 20 years ag as the prices of the goods get ler and lowr. many of us are filled with remorse within we comehome with discnt purchases find that theyre not what we s outo buy. >> reporter: shell spent three years writing this book and rraining her brain. the adve for those who have le time in writing talent when next lking downhe aisles. >> they walk around thetore, mae get a cup of coffee, ve themselves a break try to project in to the future, it's much more easy think raonally abouthe future than itis to think rationally about the present. >> reporter: les face i thinking rationally about the
7:44 pm
futuresn't that easy either. something to keep in mind the next te we're enticedby an off we can't refuse. >> lehrer: on on r web site, ellen ruppel shell will be answering yr questions othe true cost of cheap goods. to participate, go to >> lehrer: finay tonight , a different take on an gument that comes up lot these days out spending priorities. special correspondentick karr examines a dispute in abama over a feder highway program that's near half a century old. it's part of our "blueprint america" ries, produced in collaboration with wnet, new york. >> trees in this area, the
7:45 pm
lapped just outsidof birmingham for more tn a ctury. >> this,e have kept as a pasture. we had cattle foreveral years a then after the boys left, w din't want cattle any more. >> reporter: she movedhere more than 7 years ag when she was n years old. r husband, berna, joined h just after wod war ii. but the cawfords timen this land may beoming to an end. their home wi be demolished to make room for an interange on the new silane interstate ghway, according to a p prered by alabama's dertment of transportatio >> here's the two northernbelt line lanes. there's our hou right there. >> reporter: basically where we're siing right this second there will a highway 15 feet above us. >> yes, exactly. >> porter: and this road is going to be moved back, you se that tis is a four-laneoad ck there.
7:46 pm
the off ramps g on t this. >> reporter: the roadup there now wil be right through your garen bacally. >> exaly. >> reporter: the new ghway, known as the northern belt line, will connectfour interstates that passhrough bmingham with a 52 mile arc though the hills north ofown. and the crawfords don't think there's anything ey can do to sto it. >>e do not fe that w real have en heard and we've been tod when we talked about the changeof plans that this plan was made and it's too eensive to change it. and that's the way it is. >> repoer: but mbers of the birminghas region business communitsay the area desperately nes the northern belt line. they argue that itill help speed themovement of goods through the area, reieve traffic a most imporantly, spur onomic development. something they say the area needs especially at a ti when the coun government is teering on the edge of bankruptcy. philip is theead of pro
7:47 pm
highway group affiliad with birmingham'shamber of commere. >> the growth opportunities that re presented by the northern belt line will actuallyelp create more jobs, we need more jobs and we need betterax base for jeffson county to be abl to t out of the crisis that they're currently in. >>eporter: the new jobsnd tax base may come from delopments that look like this. the malls and ofice buildgs along brmingham's ex he is continuing sohern belt line. ponents of the new road saying spending billions of new highwayrojects to spurhis nd of development is a thing of theast. birmingham had one of the finest points in america. >> reporter kathy is a re estate devoper, who great grandfather la the foundation of berming hang's economy by building the new stl mill. she has built neighbooods and abandoned factories.
7:48 pm
>> we've rovated them to be xed use, we ve restaurants and shops and galleries, tre's aheater here. >> the market demd is for walkable urban living you can't g that on a belt line. you can't get that,t doesn't exist. and i thinkhat it's imptant that people remember tofollow the market and that's where th rket is now. >> rorter: this isn't just a local fit, because t rthern belt line is a federal proje, which means it will be paid for by taxpayers a across the country. alabma republican senator richard shby added authorization for to a 2004 bill. added the road to the appalaianevelopment highway system. thameans planning experts never evaluated whether birmingham eds the road, according to environmental lawyer, david burwell. >> there's no cost analis in adding neprojects to the ppalachian development highw system. it's entirely a political process. >> reporter: the appalachian system wasauthorizedby
7:49 pm
president linden johnson 45 years ago to overce poverty and isolation in the mountaius region. bak then it was planned for nie states with about 2300 miles mu rod. today incding the northern belt line, it's expanded to 13 stat and more than 3,000 miles burwell calls prects like that it keep going beyond the original inte, zombie highways >> you have an initially good program for goodurpose, but to d up christmas treeing it with althese aitional projects. 's out of contl. once you art the program, you never stop it. it is a zombie highway proam. >> the cgress and legislators and lawmakers must say, is it worth it. >> reporter: berming hng mayor says the last thing his city needss another superhighway. >> have got enough interstes to kill our ier
7:50 pm
cies. we can get fm point a to point b. bu now what we're doing is cyclin traffic around because of the grandiose idea we nd more interstates. we don't need more interstates, we need high speed public transportation. we ways spending our ney in thewrong places. >> report: opponents ofthe beltway say alabama's literally spendg money in the wrong place. theyoint to the spot where officls plan to start blding the highy, not where itould connect t another interstate, but ther in the midle of the countryside. what the alabama deprtment of transportation thinks rmingham'sbirmingham's drive need first is a six-lane highway th starts here and runs about two miles ov that ridge. there isn' a lot of there there. ich prompted some toall it alabama's road to where.e. but at t alabama deptment of transrtation chief engineer done vaughn doesn' see it that way. >> we ca't build all the ro
7:51 pm
at oneime. whave to start somewhere. we y to build segments of the road that canbe used and have independetility. bu according to the environmentl impact study,that is the segment of northe belt line that would have the lowest amount of traffic on i 4900 cars a da >> sti, you have to stt somewhere >> reporter: t big winners along that rst stretch of highway will be the owners of land ne the interchanges, according to environmental lawyer, did burwell >> that ed immediately raises the value of the property for variety of devopment purposes. >> reporter: ameran taxpayers will benefit fromhe belt le, too, according to highway advocate, philip reedmeyer. >>t's needed toimprove th nation's highway syem. this is notoing to benet just jeffers county or ju the state of alabama. the's a lot of traffic movement through th stateof alabama from other states. so thisill benefit the country
7:52 pm
by having the nrthernelt line. >>eporter: can you make the case to somebod who isatching us in clifornia or illinois, why shouldheir tax dollars g inthe funding this road? >>well, our tax dollars have gone to helpund roa in other parts of this country. it kind of o turn so to speak. >> reporter: on average for every dollar in gas taxes that alabama stonds washingt, the state gets back $1.12 in subsidies. and that'swhy it's so hardto kill zombie higay programs like th appachian development system. the federal government gives a promise that whatever it takes to complete the program, federal governmenwill pay 80% of that cost. it does not say, okay,e'll ve you the first billion dollars thenit's up toou. it says, whatever it costs we will pay 80%.
7:53 pm
>> reporter: bwell says that enourages states to build as many roads as th can and make themas expensve as possible. in the case. rthern belt line arnd three and a thrd billion dollars congress isconsidering a new natial trsportation picy, but buell says unlikely that lawmakers will try to kill off zombie highwa pgrams. >> nobody wantto turn off that federal spigot o money. >> reporter: birmgham real estate deveper wishes that tht spigot could send money in the different direcon. >> it would be pretty wonderful if we could shift some of the dolls for largerrojects bck in to cities. the question is, how do we build neighborhoods that we wantto live in an we want to walk around in and we wt to know people. and that requires investment. i would much rather personly see investment in public transportation which i mu less expensive than new highway system. >> reporter: b so far
7:54 pm
that's just adream. ile alabama'spending millions totart acquiring land for the northern bel line, efforts to raise mr mo money for transit has faid. >> lehrer: in hisext report rick looks cloly at what's bend birmingham's mass transit problems. again, the major devopments of the da least 48 iraqis were killed and mor than 250 wounded in a new wave of bombings. they were the latesin a string of attacks on shiites. and president obammet with the leaders of mexico and cada in guadalajaramexico. the economy and drugiolence ong the u.s.-mexican border dominated the agenda on, aonline- only feature tonight. yocan read what former taliban leade have to say about the relationshibetween the u.s and
7:55 pm
afghanistan. the sites part of a collaration with public radio international's "the worl and global post. 'll see you online, and aga here tomorr evening. i'm jilehrer. thank yo and good night. major funding for the newshr with jim lehrer is providedy: intel. supporting math and ience education r tomorrow's innotors. chvron. the atlantic philthropies. and with the ongoi support of thesinstitutions and undations. and... thiprogram was made possible by e corporation for public broadsting.
7:56 pm
and by contributions your pbs statiofrom viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored macneil/lehrer oductions aptioned by med access group at wgbh
7:57 pm
7:58 pm
7:59 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on