The problem of poverty in America
Tavis Smiley and Cornel West opine
- Duration 6:54
- Date Sep 13, 2012
Tavis Smiley and Cornel West opine
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
-- -- tonight according to the Census Bureau the number of Americans living in poverty remains at the highest level since 1993.
Within 46 million people in that category.
-- several Washington -- a smile a doctor Cornell west who have coauthored a book called.
The rich and the rest of -- a poverty.
Doug -- before we get to that any comments about the president's Muslim policy.
Well I think we have to keep in mind that the vast majority well Muslim Brotherhood so this is a decent human beings when I have billion Muslims in the world.
Very decent in fact we all have lunatic friend of our religions other Christian I know I've got some lunatic fringe fringe on all on the far far edges of christianity.
But we have to be committed to both respect and tolerance of one another my -- All right but I think that.
People aren't the issue.
Right now it's the government's controlling.
What happens in the Muslim governments in some countries simply aren't doing that and others like Iran are exacerbating the situation but.
Let's get to your expertise you guys are -- -- poverty tour across the country.
And you know what I applaud you Bob I I think that you guys.
Are really do we mean they'd -- service and and and you're very compassionate toward people who don't have very much.
And and that's why I want to -- and will be a review -- very specific questions.
Are right now we have stats that show that if you have a college degree in the United States you're unemployment rate is 4%.
That's again OK but if you have a less than high school degree if you drop out of high school.
Your unemployment rate is 12%.
So the correlation between education.
And that's what it's.
All of doubt in my wrong.
You actually -- -- I'm I believe we're starting off on a note of how many tonight.
We don't disagree on that at all number one number two education -- -- is not the great equalizer that it once used to be.
Number three either so many millions of Americans now what did greed out there in years arm but they still can't find a job for 1234.
Years only -- That said though that's not a lot tablets and how and when you know the median income for those people is very comfortable that you guys have have have asked the government.
For very specific things doctor.
Like a higher minimum wage.
How much you want what do you think the minimum wage should be.
Well if in fact a minimum wage it kept up -- The changes over the last forty years it would be almost twice what it is now would and one look at the profits and almost that's almost twenty bucks an hour that you're asking for about one talks about that today they say roughly it to be between sixteen and 21 or so but of course we're also talking about can you imagine a small business of the subsidizing the -- Wall Street is something doesn't have free -- -- that's as 200 but the federal we're talking about.
Playing its role in relation to government we're not calling for government program that all we want our.
So what is the responsibility.
OK I have I have a small business all right I'm a corporation and and runs a bunch of stuff -- -- my lectures my books the website this and that.
So you want me to pay minimum wage sixteen to twenty bucks okay all right I don't have a problem with that what else you want doctor what ocean arguably be providing for people -- heart.
What I'm not sure your business would be to so -- what we're talking about who would come up for children we're talking about.
People people in a variety of different context we want -- fundamental fairness in this decided that I don't know what that.
Means -- -- submit -- editorial page where I -- it all that let me set up the scenario Seigenthaler visited several -- single mother.
Inner city and two children to different.
Father's -- don't help.
-- -- That's a -- vast majority of poverty is driven by single mom homes okay all right -- got the single mom.
Got to two hits they don't have a lot of money.
What should we do for that -- Well for -- Rebecca publicity I love the question but I want to tweak it just a bit.
Because the people that we're talking about -- deal will be hurt in this economy are not just single mothers -- -- initiates -- I don't I don't want me he had -- dog -- -- I don't have to step therefore respectfully because you're missing the point the point is that millions of Americans -- not just saying hi all but millions of single mothers and their children -- is that yeah that's what I want to answer that question million dollars.
Millions of -- poor people are in now are from -- so -- and I said many times on this tour that the reason why so many women and children.
-- falling faster and a pocket -- anybody else.
If what we thought we would do in fifteen years ago to reform welfare that turns out to be a -- -- form we put up the social safety net.
And these women and children are falling through and that's why nine million kids in America -- -- -- tackles lead at night you just took a minute you very valuable and I told me not I don't know him.
What I said was that it can -- -- game you put women and children first.
In your public policy number one I don't know what do you government junior -- will you raise the minimum wage and number two.
Often would you suggest that you know your small business that you want you what -- -- -- sixteen obligate -- got a product that what else do you want stop.
If we -- -- people if every -- -- in the company in the country felt like you felt and paid him sixteen doubts about that be a major major star.
Let's just think there's got to start there.
All right okay now do you have anything to add to the single mom scenario with two children in poverty doctor does society the federal government.
What else should they do know these -- job training -- got a training -- down what I -- a lot what are the Mans is I can't go to job training I got two kids in the house transportation.
You know their -- out of the bill -- rising like the -- -- com.
Pick up the -- and the kids and taken the job training that is -- it a lot.
But -- -- we would want quality education.
We will want jobs with a living wage we want child care for the children.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Did you do you definitely believe that that system that you're talking bottom whatever -- She had the same value of the human being that Donald Trump.
Travels regularly idea and I'm looking for so -- -- -- -- -- -- but how would want our leaders I would want our leaders to say that publicly.
And trader with the same dignity that you treat Donald Trump well I three don't drop that.
That's part of -- I don't think I don't know up front deserves that kind of dignity but.
Yeah well I don't know -- -- it is guys you know and again I applaud you guys are trying to help the Americans real -- but in my.