tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN April 27, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
the united states is broke. we are a debt nation. you go to places like saudi arabia, you go to catarrh, you go to china, you leave airports that are the most incredible places in the world, you land at claudia, it is old and broken and fallen apart. even same thing with newark, lax. one was the last time -- you go to china, mass of bridges being built. one was last time we built a bridge in this country? the president does not know what he is doing. the fact is, you come to this country come out when was the last time you saw a bridge, a big bridge being built?
you do not see it. when is the last time you saw a big, beautiful, new airport. you see places like that and it is very sad. i will make the decision sometime prior to june. people say you could make it in june. you do not understand. i have been telling people for three months i will make a prior to june. people that want to represent me, i have a lot of people, they said you can make it in july or august. you do not understand. that is a politician. that is what gets us into trouble. i will make the decision sometime prior to june. that is what i will do. i will engage in a lot of politics. i have friends who live in new hampshire and i have a good relationship with new hampshire. he could say this started in 1988 in new hampshire when i came up to make an unrelated speech and people view that, i
made a good speech because people viewed that as well as he running. it started with that speech. >> [inaudible] >> i have the temperament. what i would do is make this country rich again. if i decide to run, that is a big this -- big decision. including the fact i would have to give up one of the most successful shows on television which is a lot of money and prestige and power. it is cool billion a television star. i have to give that up and i would have to give a lot of other things up. i would make iran and by one, i would make this country rich again. i would make this country powerful again and i would make this country respected again.
maybe that last point is the most important. the united states would be respected again. thank you. i will take a tour. >> [inaudible] >> donald trump holding that news conference this morning at the same time the white house released the birth certificate of president obama and they held a news conference also and it can see that on our website or video library. while the president is likely to make comments tomorrow about some changes to his national security team, according to the ap, he plans to name leon panetta as the next secretary of defense and general -- move general david petraeus into the cia's top job in a major shuffle of national security. we will comment -- cover those
comments from the president. earlier, we covered the comments of ben bernanke holding his first news conference on the u.s. economic outlook and changes to interest-rate changes. he covered a number of things, including employment. this is a conference that is a series of four. we will show it to you at 8:00 p.m. eastern. union issues have played out in several state legislatures. here is a discussion on the future of labor unions with the remark -- with remarks from national urban leaders in michigan. it is one hour and 20 minutes. >> to workers and employees across the country. as everyone knows, a union representation in the work force has declined to less than 12%. it is less than 7% in the private sector. a majority of union members work for government. you have about 35% of the
workforce in the -- that is immunized. i have asked each of the panelists to comment and think out of the box and i can tell you that they come from different perspectives and have different ideas about how unions can go about rebuilding themselves. our panelists, we will go in alphabetical order. i will ask them to raise their hands when i call their name profess. professor robert bruno, the director of education at the university of illinois. professor paul clarke is the head of the department of labor studies in employment relations at penn state university. j. frank dane, and professor
sheryl moranto. we welcome all of them. there is some connection between some of us. jack and i went to school at the university of illinois, the same school where monica and bob are from and paul was a graduate of the universe of -- university of pittsburgh. he used to be at the penn state campus close to pittsburgh, but now he is in state college, pennsylvania. in that vast urban area. i will turn things over first to monica. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. i wanted to thank merrick
masters and all the people for inviting me. i have been enthused by the fact that there has been an increasing amount of attention being given to labor relations. normally when i tell people what it is i do and what it is i teach, i get like stairs or confused looks. i have to say that people have been much more enthused about talking to me about my work. i think this is an excellent moment for us to be addressing what lies ahead for labor. i thought that i am looking at the topic of the future of unions, i would focus on three issues. i wanted to look at how we can refocus the public's view of the union's and i wanted to address
how labor can extend its reach through central labour bodies and i wanted to talk about how unions can address diversity. especially with regard to young people. there is a popular bumper sticker that reads the labor movement, the folks that are you the weekend. i think it pays homage to labor pose a rich history but unfortunately, many people in the public are aware about the role of unions throughout american history. it does not factor in to high- school history curriculum. it is not a common topic of programs on the history channel. in reality, it is labor who fought for the 40 hour work week, who fought for child labor laws, social security, health
and safety regulations, anti- discrimination legislation, social security, all the protections that american workers enjoy. any efforts by unions to increase awareness of labor history are crucial and act -- not exhausted as to strategic pursuits. it has been clear that most people are becoming more aware of labor's role in progressive politics. thanks in part to msnbc and rachel matsko -- maddow in recent months. [applause] it is true the democratic party has relied heavily on unions for financial backing and also for extensive political mobilization efforts. at a time when corporate contributions to campaigns and contributions from right wing organizations are continuing to rise, it is unions that are able to provide any kind of
countervailing force. my hope is that by increasing this attention to labor's role in progressive politics, ties will be strengthened between unions and organizations like the sierra club, the national organization of women, and the naacp. it has been clear that the depiction of labor union members as people who are greedy and irrational, and to use collective bargaining to demand more than is reasonable is really not an accurate depiction. that became very clear when we saw public sector employees in wisconsin agreed to monetary concession. in the form of higher contributions to their health care benefits and pension program. this is not the first time they have a great when confronted with harsh economic realities or employers in legitimate economic
growth distress. those of you in detroit are aware that the united auto workers have bargained to lower labor costs for u.s. auto workers and since the 1970's, united steelworkers have worked with steel producers to lower costs so these companies can stay at of the bankruptcy and so we can continue making steel in the u.s. collective bargaining has not only resulted in unions are running in costs, but in labor and management working cooperatively to improve productivity and quality. we see unionized nurses negotiating for patient focused care with a lower nurse to patient ratios. teacher unions advocating for students through improved conditions and these examples of positive outcomes for collective bargaining are too often ignored by the media who tend to focus on the times when collective bargaining ends in a strike or lockout. people outside the labor
movement need to realize that union collective bargaining objectives include improving quality, safety, and other outcomes that impact the public, consumers, and employers. i also wanted to talk about the role of central labour bodies. i think that some of the most innovative work by unions to impact the government and economy has occurred at the grass-roots level and has involved unions and gritting efforts to central labour bodies like the afl-cio's labor council. they pool resources and also have worked to build coalitions with community groups and civil rights organizations that have served to strengthen the influence of labor and worked to broaden their public appeal. in a growing number of cities, including los angeles, boston, and atlanta, they have formed a
nonprofit organizations that bring together groups for the purpose of building coalitions to advocate for economic development and government policies that benefit working people. in addition to campaign work and a supporter for organizing, join efforts have included living wage campaigns, project labor organization grew -- agreements, the support of worker organizing, advocating for extended health care coverage, fighting predatory lending practices, and recruiting union apprentice ships for community members. the goal remains to work on issues that not only benefit unions or one segment of the community, but that really look at how the largest group of individuals can be assisted. a regional focus for a lot of this work has also allowed for smaller victories that build on each other and have created a permanent network that can be
activated not only during elections but in the event of other worker or community struggles. finally on the topic of diversity, over the last 40 years, we have seen any dramatic shift in the composition of the american workforce. women make up nearly half of those in the paid labour market. there is more diversity in terms of race and ethnicity. the increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered workers has become apparent and young workers are another constituency. given the diversity of the u.s. work force, unions need to be responsive to all groups and need to work to overcome the misguided public perception that unions represent the white male, middle-aged, heterosexual, and
workers. not that there is any thing wrong with those guys. there have been major steps toward this goal, including the support of vale fell constituency groups such as the coalition for women and the coalition of black trade unionists. there is a new next up initiative to incorporate young workers to conferences and mobilization campaigns. these efforts have been accompanied by an expansion of the issue addressed by labor. the fight for workers includes immigration reform, work and family balance policies, sexual harassment protection, protection of civil rights and anti-discrimination actions. i wanted to talk in a bit more detail about young workers because i think they pose a
special challenge to unions. the gender -- generation gap and the gender gap can be especially hard to bridge. young people also present a great hope for the future and as a generation, seem to be interested in social justice. the afl-cio reports on young workers conducted in 2009 and 2010 revealed an increasing number of americans between 16 and 34 are experiencing unemployment, part-time employment, and low-wage jobs. there also overwhelmingly worried about their future. young americans have been responsive to the progress of political agenda as seen when a sizable majority of voters under 35 voted for president obama in 2008. labor's efforts to reach out to young people are more than appropriate and should extend beyond the young people who are union members. the growing discontent of the young byrdak -- generation and
their openness to labor's agenda of of fighting for workers' rights was evident in the activism surrounding the recent attack of public-sector workers and unions. it touched me to see high school students who came out to support their teachers and expressed concerns about what lies ahead for public education. it was evident the core of protesters who occupied the capital building in madison consisted of unionized graduate student employees and many in the crowd for undergraduate college students. they are confronting cuts in higher education and increasing tuition costs, a growing debt, and fewer prospects for employment upon graduation and their fear is palpable. some question why liver should focus on young people because they do not represent the majority. they soon will inherit the labor movement. connecting to young people now
more than ever is definitely something that unions need to be thinking about and working on at the moment is definitely right. thank you. [applause] >> our next presenter is robert bruno of the university of illinois. bob? fori want to thank marick and being here. it is quite a privilege. marick is quite the negotiator and taskmaster. when he e-mail this -- e-mail us, he suggested we have 20 minutes and those minutes began to shrink in follow-up e-mails. the last e-mail we got, eight minutes.
you needed to be concise and you needed to be provocative. i think i can provoke in eight minutes. m. e. began. after wisconsin, everything was changed. after wisconsin, nothing has changed. not quite as evocative as charles dickens. it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. any reflection on organized labor's future has to implausibly take into account the resistance movement that catalyzed within the capital in madison. whenever i have been asked to comment on labor status, the presumption is the subject of reflection is in trouble, address, or at minimum, in need of a change. the very asking of the question signifies the existence of a problem.
the republican party. there pathological drive to crush organized labor, even at the cost of further wrecking the economy and disabling democracy has reached epidemic proportions. well aware of the unfavorable conditions and merciless forces that confront labour's rebirth, i am compelled to speculate about a future waiting to be born within a contested [unintelligible] [laughter] i realize that no one thinks it is interesting to ask, what is the future of the labor union movement? implicit in the question is the corridor. what does liver have to do different to preserve its future? the emphasis is on different because if more of the same was
good enough, the question would not have been asked in the first place. norwood wisconsin would have happened. i prefer to look backwards. if the seeds of the future are planted in the past, -- i think there was also in "the matrix", we must begin with a diagnosis. labor has done more for americans than any other institution. labor tramped over a barrage of bullets, beatings, court injunctions, and too many red scarce. this to repression of 1877 was a few of the murders challenges overcome. after world war ii, the business
community campaign for the hearts and souls of american workers but organized labor continued to grow. at the age of reaganism which unfolded in nail liberal policies, globalized markets, and one-dimensional media coverage of trade unions, c-span excluded in that, trade reunion's remained working class americans only legitimate shot at the promised land. when labor inhad been -- had been charged by the militia, frowned upon in public opinion and deceived by politicians, it future events. notwithstanding all this and these, labor is today the most vital and potential power this
planet has ever known. its mission is as certain of the ultimate realization as the setting of the sun. libbers mission is eternal, but its realization is less determined than the clocklike workings of the cosmos. labor's survival enters a new hideous face. republican and democratic governors as well as state legislators are shamefully demonizing the nation's public sector workforce. these opportunists that apologists insist on eradicating collective bargaining even if that means once again turning the national guard into strikebreakers and criminalizing unionism. living public-sector unions for shortfalls is the latest example of conservative extremism. for most of america's existence, corporate instigated attacks have come from within a political and economic structure that has never accepted a
legitimate workers' rights to control their working lives. as part of the architecture of the u.s. capitalism, we expect labor will be vilified and caramelized and if necessary, crucified. favre has also survived its own ugliness. -- labor has survived its own ugliness. corruption, nepotism, cronyism, sexism, racism have all played labour's dissension to what he called the march to the grandest civilization the human race is known. the record of accomplishment bear standing on mount olympus but it seems to many review the world from unstable and nostalgic kites. labour's enemies have always been relentless. perhaps rescuing labor is not such an exaggerated way to understand this task.
what has gone wrong? what can be made right again? at this point,-- things not done well, what then to suggest what has not been proposed? building civicus, faith-based coalitions, and try-union olidarity -- in trade uniointrn solidarity. in light from the -- independent political action would not be a good idea. there is no denying workers made
a liberal law that treats this like [unintelligible] another powerful idea is to regulate educate the rank-and- file. too few workers understand the political economy that makes living prosper sleet and meaningfully so difficult. spreading internal governing practice would be a good idea. do need tond file to be in charge of their unions. better advocacy media would help. let's not forget that labor and offered american citizens a convincing alternative interpretation of this country's landscape. in the age of social network revolutions, labour could a larger presence. statewide battles suggest there is merit in redefining. organizing women and people of
color are no-brainers. promoting go emergence of a leadership class that represents a 21st labor force would be a super strategy. finally, worker upsurges unfolding suggests that demonstrating a willingness to defend industrial democracy and political citizenship has the potential to shape the nation from its near capitulation to rule by the elite. working class people welcome the good fight as a way to purge any ingrained political apathy. to do all this and more, labour would transform the nation but here, i offer another path to a prosperous future. organized labor needs to do what it has usually not done very well. ready for this?
this is what you brought me out here for. it needs to act like a working class organization. instead of representing working families and working people and working men and women or the middle class in america, labour should shake loose of the within contradictory shield and be the genuine class conscious organization that workers have needed. labour should serve as an unapologetic self proclaimed a beacon of liklight for the workg class. one labor champions the middle class, it uses language that disempowers the same individuals and needs to rally by telling workers there middle-class. they suggest that workers have been mediated power. the results as are ticketed --
as articulated that while defending a middle-class way of life, they experience cognitive dissonance and come to believe they have more control over their lives than they do. unions in to represent the kind of workers who could make no legitimate claim to being part of the middle class. once they are situated, they are further alienated from their struggle. a middle class labor movement is misaligned. it is only as part of a working- class movement that workers position themselves to work -- fight back against their oppression. i put forth that labor needs to embrace class consciousness and not be afraid to say it. the 20th-century philosopher warned that what we cannot speak
about, we must pass over in silence. if sarah palin cancer working class or class work, so should every liberal leader in america. -- can say working class or classes, so should every liberal leader in america. i'm not recommending another version of how to frame the issue. i am asking that the labor operates inside and all encompassing classroom and there is no other frame that could raise of the people who do the work and can rebuild fortune. in closing, today's poison arrows that are rolled up labor reflect more than a century of assaults designed to the historic trade unionism. if the laws remain undisturbed, how workers think about are always contested.
what is the matter, america? samuel gompers lament that workers have been parsons first and wage workers after provides a persuasive explanation as to why class conscious peril -- politics are [unintelligible] let me close. if labor speaks to class, it would be clear we are going direct to heaven but if labour insists on holding to the middle ground, i fear that we're all going direct the away. thank you. [applause]
>> our next panelist is professor paul clark. a professor in the health care policy department of penn state university. paul clark. [applause] >> thank you. as the other panelists have done i would like to thank you and your colleagues for organizing this program. it is great to see a vibrant and active labor program at wayne state. the field of labor and liberal studies needs a program like that here in the industrial heartland and it seems like the
program has a lot of good momentum and it continues to do work like this, it will make a real contribution. i interpreted the question that was asked as being basically, how do we build a stronger labor movement? that represents more workers and represents the more effectively? and ask us to do that in eight minutes. i will take a different approach. i will suggest in a minute. before i do, i do not know how many folks here know much about penn state. we are university that is proud of all we contribute and we have a lot of notable people who were associated with penn state. many of you will know this guy. he has been the football coach for 89 years.
starting his 90th season. he will be there as long as he wants to be there. what many of you do not know is there is another notable penn stater. we are proud of that. getting back to the substance. i was wise enough not to follow bob bruno in terms of looking at the big picture. i will focus on the relationship of unions to its members. that is going to be a very different take on the question. i want to do it by looking at organizational culture. not culture in terms of art, music, literature, but the
culture of an organization. at the heart of what makes unions effective, at the heart of where they get their power is the membership. and the real challenge on a foundational level is to increase member participation and involvement in the union. we know from the field of social psychology that to do that, you need to focus on people's attitudes and the key attitude that unions the to focus on is member commitment to the union. committed members will participate. to the degree we do not have participation among union members, it is because we do not have sufficient levels of commitment on the part of those members. in a lot of research i have been doing and a lot of teaching and
working with unions, i have come to believe that one of the key things that unions need to focus on in order to build greater member commitment and participation is to build a stronger union culture. doing a little anthropology when no one here. anthropologists define culture as the shared beliefs, values, goals, roles, and procedures of an organization. every organization or group from the boy scouts to the citizenry of this country, every organization that group has a culture. unions do as well. the logic here is that a strong culture that promotes, that reinforces, that continually stresses the shared beliefs and values of an organization is
going to play a big role in generating high levels of commitment to that organization, and high levels of commitment to law as i have mentioned, will lead to high levels of participation. in all of this, values are the key. that is one of the things that the labor movement needs to think a little bit more about. the values of the labor movement resonate with people. if you think about what people would generally say or list as the values of the labor movement, it is things like fairness and dignity and respect. solidarity, working with other people. being concerned about brothers and sisters, trying to make the world a better place. there are an awful lot of people who do not resonate with those values. the labor movement needs to take every opportunity to put those values front and center, to
communicate them and emphasize them to its members as well as to society at large. that is where organizational culture comes in. culture again is that mechanism that communicates those values and works to connect people to those values. anthropologist tell us there is four elements of culture in any organization. rituals, ceremonies, rights, taboos, hero stories and mets, and symbols and language. to get our hands dirty in this, i wanted to go through each of these elements and get people to think about how we can build a stronger culture through these elements in the labor movement. most organization groups of any
kind have rituals, ceremonies, and rites. if you think of organized religion. lots of ceremonies. as a nation, we have the ritual of pledging allegiance to the flag. we have our children do that in which we have them restate the values of this country, to inculcate them and make them aware of the values. graduation is a ceremony that sends a message about the importance of education as a value in our society. we also have taboos in all groups and we think about our society, three of the strongest taboos are incest, cannibalism, and treason. it is almost uncomfortable mentioning those words, because we have been so effective as a society at making sure everyone knows this is behavior you do
not engage in and do not because it threatens the very basis and existence and continuation of society. all cultures have hero stories and myths and everything back to first grade, every american child learns the story about george washington cutting down the cherry tree and learns about honest abe. to communicate the values of society through stories and heroes. the value is honesty. i and symbols -- symbols and language are powerful. these three symbols, it is hard to overstate the power and the influence and importance they have to people around the world. other values and other symbols are well known everywhere. probably the most powerful of these is the pittsburgh steelers logo. that is a cheap shot in detroit
with the lions. people identify with that love go -- logo. they identify with the values. winning, toughness, hard work. people -- the culture of the steeler nation is strong. and language. we all used language in our groups and organizations that reenforce the values. hail mary ann silber 5 -- and semper fi. forever faithful, always faithful. that is a key value in the marine corps. and the scout oath. i can barely remember were parked, but i can recite the oath from the time i was 12 years old like it was yesterday. that?s
that is a statement of the core values of the organization. how does all this relates to the labor movement? if you go back historically and study the labor movement, there was a time when most unions in this country had a much stronger culture within their organization. rich and i grew up in western pennsylvania. i have a lot of exposure to the mine workers and steelworkers union. in the 1960's and 1970's, there was a strong culture. i would say stronger than it is today. it was a much bigger part of people's lives. the union hall, the pride of being in the organization, constantly wearing pants identifying people's -- pins identifying people's identity with the union.
we need to move toward rebuilding that. do unions have ritual ceremonies and rites? they do, but i do not know what degree -- to what degree we think about how they build participation. i am not sure that these kind of rituals and rites are practice the way they used to be. it is important we think about what culture is -- what aspects of culture going to be effective today. the culture that was effective 30 years ago may not be as effective. new member orientation, i have done a lot of work in that issue and if you ask me the one thing unions can do to build greater participation, the most cost- effective thing is to do a high- quality new member orientation program for every member that comes in the union.
elections are a ritual. scoring in officers. do we still do that? singing solidarity forever. i know we do not do that as much as we used to. values of theballot th movement when we do that. we need to think about what would work in our local union in terms of bringing back rituals, rites, and ceremonies. union taboos, we have them. the 11th commandment. thou shalt not cross a picket line anytime, anywhere. you could molest barnyard animals in the 1960's and it would be less -- that would be considered less of an act of moral turpitude than crossing a picket line. i do not think we have kept that taboo as strong as a used to be. there are others. being a free rider, speaking ill of the union, raiding another
union. these played important roles in keeping a strong labor unions and what degree we pass this on? unions have heroes, stories, and myths. communicating values dear to the movement. mother jones, walter ruther, norma rae, and that film. we have heroes every day who work -- to all the work of the union. one thing i suggest is they hold these people of what they should be. unions have symbols and logos, they are very important. if you look at them, they state the values of the organization.
unity, democracy, strength. this means give me five. organize, build power, win justice. even though my wife refers to this this job because they are throughout my house, the more we can get people to wear the colors of the union, bumper stickers, advertising the fact that the union is a part of their life, it is a small thing but it makes unions of bigger part of a community in the presence. do we do things like singing " solidarity forever"? i know using a brother and sister has got out of fashion.
that cannot come out -- maybe that cannot come back. this communicates the core values of a union. in closing, one of the challenges at the foundational level is what can we do in our unions to reinstate these elements of culture, build a starter culture, and how can we adapt the idea of culture to this new generation of union member? thank you. [applause] >> our last presenters are professor jack fiorito from florida state university and cheryl maranto from marquette
university. i will let them divided their time. >> thank you. >> following up on tracking time allotment, we're down to 4 minutes. i want to live a couple of minutes for my co-author. there is a paper and if you're interested in some of what i have to say, let me know and you can reach me through marick. or look me up on the internet. we are out there. there is a long " from a -- quote from a rolling stones song. a lot of what is going out there is difficult to understand. there is an allusion to the book title, what is the matter with kansas? how people act against their own self-interest. i wish i knew. i am reminded of a quotation from someone we have seen
here. i will get to that in the proper place. we took on this topic. how to make unions more appealing. what is that the workers want? -- what is it that workers want? what do workers what? what can unions do about it? we were told, do not stress the environment. we know the infirm it is awful. at least at the moment with a t backers -- tea baggers running wild and people do by their misdirection in the magician's sort of sense. i can do this trip with my dog all the time. how does that keeping out across the united states with human beings? those of the basic questions. the first question is simple and
straight forward and it turns out there are polls trying to assess this question. i will refer to polls because they are a basic source of information. not the only one we need to rely on but they give us the big picture. how do people feel about a lot of things? the polls tell us and this is confirmed by our experience. people want fairness, compensation, respect and dignity, all those good things we think of as being part of a good job. they think unions can play a role in providing those things but they're not entirely confident. there are some folks who doubt that. a fair proportion. there is this issue of risk. the risk that if we do bring in the union, it might improve pay, but will it cause employer relations to go bad? that is a concern. people did not want conflict on their job. there is also the cost. you have to pay a price to be a
member of the union. i am a president of a local chapter, the faculty union. i know how many people out there tell us, i support what you're doing, it is a good thing, but it is a lot of money. ok. we try to convince them and sometimes we're successful. they also do not want risk. there is a risk the employer might decide this has gotten to be too difficult or expensive. maybe i should use less people. there is job loss. what can unions do? they do a lot of things. you could take off a list of bargaining and grievance handling and lobbying and so forth. what i would like to stress and it is something we have heard some references to is mobilization. that is a fancy word for activism, participation, lots of different words we could use. the point i would like to stress is that the strength of
the union lies in its membership. it is a compared of the advantage that unions have that they can wield much more effectively than any other units -- organization. the membership activated is a powerful force. incredibly powerful. there is a short journal article called "organizing for everything we can do". it was not organizing in terms of recruitment. it was organizing in the sense of getting ourselves organized and active. i will say mobilization. in the sense of activism can support that -- everything that unions do. there was the political battles in madison. even down to individual
grievances. one of the effect of things to do, i ask how your colleagues feel about it? can you go to your department chair and talk about this? that can be an effective way of nipping this in the bud and not going through the formal brigance process and the frustrations that can entail. you need to know the territory. this is one of my colleagues' favorite expressions. looking at things like polls but not only polls. they give you the big picture. the view from 40,000 feet. you need to get down on the ground and find out what is going ouon. one of my jobs before was driving a truck. i loved be able to talk to people on their jobs every day and being on their job sites, we could talk about their jobs and we talked about all kinds of stuff. get down and talk to people.
focus groups come close to that. a technique for bringing people together. talking in depth. why do you say that? following a five-point likert scale. we ask people to join the faculty and it -- union and they say is too much. you do not have that much money, what is behind this answer saying it is too much money? maybe it is an ideological objection but they're trying to hide behind something less controversial. it can ask those questions. participate. one of the reasons i am involved is i wanted to know more about how unions worked. i had studied them for 20 some years already and by the time this invitation came, i thought, i would like to get in there and know more about it instead of
studying. action research is the way to learn more. get involved. we're trying to focus on what unions can do rather than the environment. you have to know the environment. to seek out the best information you can. polls might be part of that and there are other sources as well. i think transparency is important. one of why the -- the speakers referred to repeating the unions values and so forth but being open about what unions are about. that is important. a cliche is something like, management is like cockroaches, you turn on the light and they scatter. shine the light of truth. there is so much misdirection and so much spin, but you have to stay on message.
you have to continue to fight the misdirection. getting the message out, one of the things i want to stress here is i realize as an academic, trying to say things precisely, that does not work on bumper stickers. unfortunately, in our land of short attention spans and ever- shorter attention spans, we need to say things simply and to the point. this gets back to the point about symbols and logos. below says that in a few words. the expression we use to use, keep it simple, make it fun. there is an adult version, keep it simple, stupid. conveying the essence short way
and humorously if possible. we made a 53-second video. we put some of our faculty in the background. it is a video that portrays the imbalance between the employer organization and the employee and says, don't you want to even up the odds? joined the union. it is out there on youtube. you can see us from -- in action. einstein said something like, and savvy as trying something over and over again and expecting a different result. unions need to try different things. there are natural experience
going on -- natural experiments going on all the time. we can find out what works and spread the word and others can adapt it. we need to evaluate. you cannot just try things and ignore what happened. even if it is a failure. why did that not work? everything said it would work and we thought we had a winner. something went wrong. what were we missing? what was wrong with our experiment? finally, wrapping up for myself, and a minute for my co- author. need good information to make good decisions. there has to be a careful analysis process. results may indicate they work or did not. we have to recycle that and say what went wrong, evaluate the
experiment and the results and news that to come up with a better decision for next time around. i will stop there. [applause] >> i will ask for unanimous consent to give cheryl five minutes. is that ok? [applause] professor maranto is a professor at marquette university. >> thank you for making a part of this great event. honoring richard trumpka. i have to comment. i became popular with media buying in wisconsin after having been ignored. i am with the liver person at marquette. after discussing what the report -- with a reporter the basic idea that as reflected in the un
declaration of labor rights, labor rights are human rights, the reporter said, you are chair of the management department of marquette? that sounds so management-y. i guess my contribution is we have to look at the bigger picture. the question we need to ask, that should in fact everyone is what kind of a society do we want? particularly for children. this is a time of threat and opportunity. state laust or proposed state laws are decimating union instrumentality in the private sector. the basic -- or in the public sector. the basic idea that, you know, what is it that unions can do to
actually make a difference in people's lives and they're also setting a high bar for in the case of wisconsin annual recertification, where basically every year there has to be a vote where unions get not just 50% of the voters but 50% of the total bargaining unit, membership, in order to stay certified. and i guess i would ask scott walker and the other govern fathers they would stay governor if the same rules applied to them. at the same time we've seen unprecedented public mobilization and support for collective bargaining rights, specifically larger than any time any my lifetime. and that's quite contrary to, in the past, the successful painting of the labor movement as just another special interest group. i think at a societal level we
really have to try to remind people that the labor movement is more than just -- as important as what it does for members in the workplace is, that it's more than just that. concurrent with all that other stuff we have budget proposals across the states as well as at the national level that take the meat axe to education, programs for children, the poor and disabled, social security and medicare. so at the same time that laws are reducing union instrumentality in the workplace, i would argue that it's increasing union instrumentality for just and equitable society. and as you're probably well aware if you look at graphs in the u.s., as unionization has declined, income and equality has increased. they're almost mirror images
much each other. there is no middle class in societies without unions or working class, i guess. and arguably there's no democracy either. so i really do think that this is a much, much broader societal issue. so picking up on themes that other panelists have made is the time to mobilize laws and public policy remain an incredibly important scaffolding to support the labor movement. along with everything else that happened during the new deal. i think the national labor relations act was a big piece of it. so we really do have to push hard on the political front. and finally i would argue maybe somewhat self-servingly for action research. we're really in the starting point of a grand natural experiment, with very different laws across the states, governing public sector bargaining.
it is an opportunity for unions to innovate and if different locals do different things and have different results in terms of being able to maintain membership in these very, very trying times, if we do the research as we go along, we can really learn what works and how we can do things differently in this very new environment. so, don't mourn, organize. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. i'd like to thank each of the panelists and give them a hearty handshake. applaud. we have time for some questions. there is a microphone, i believe, if people would like to ask any questions. so i hope that you do have questions. i see a gentleman over there. if you just will introduce yourself and ask your question.
>> my name is ted -- sorry. i apologize. monica really described, i'm the typical blue collar worker in america. i'm a former retiree. my question basically is, -- [inaudible] outsourcing to asia, mexico and central and south america, how can unions possibly survive? isn't that the thing that we must stop now? in your civil presentation you had an apple symbol. apple has outsourced their jobs to china to exploit indigenous mountain people and their slave labor factories and wal-mart and the rest.
andal salvador pays a worker eight cents an hour to make a t-shirt they sell for $25 an hour. my question is, how does the american worker compete with this climate of world manufacturing as we lose our jobs? >> anybody want to field that question? bob. >> well, she can't. that's the answer. she can't compete and so workers in the united states have to understand that workers inal salvador might belong to an international working class. they're fighting same enemy as the global enemy and building those kinds of alliances is going to be the best approach to addressing that problem and there are some unions like the steel workers, they're not alone, but they have begun and have extensive relationships with workers in other countries and helped to lift up those -- and learn from those labor movements. i can't imagine another way to do it. >> you can do a rebuttal and a quick follow-up question.
>> [inaudible] what's to keep them from dragging us zphoun because i believe the united states is on a fast track to becoming a third world country with the present world trade organization. we're on the race to the bottom, we're not on the race to the top. but also, wisconsin, six weeks ago i was in detroit. mr. clark, you also put the logo of give me five which i'm an active member, i appreciate that. but now we're going to lose everything. >> anybody want to comment? we have another question, please. if you'd just introduce yourself. >> i'd like to add a new dimension for our panelists. what is the role of higher education and all of these
critical concerns? and it's not just having one event, but thank you for this event. but we need to build seriously curriculum in our higher education institutions, with all departments again working together, using our community resources, labor is an intricate part of our society and if we must provide the early education to our young people as well as some of our faculty in regards to labor, not just the movement itself, but labor as an intricate part of our society.
and i hope that we will begin to talk about that from all of you professors on the podium. number two, we would be remiss if we did not say what's happening at wayne state university. wayne with state university, afghanistan c.i.o., has unionized -- aflcio, has unionized its part time faculty. i don't know if that exists anyplace else but here at wayne state afl-cio and our board of governors chair, afl-cio, organize those workers, a fantastic group of people who have never been in the same room at the same time. and lastly, professor from marquette. thank you for talking about the universal declaration of human rights, article 23, everyone has
a right to work and to pay equity, 1948. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. why don't we take the question about what higher ed can do in this area. somebody want to tackle that one? paul, you're the head of the department of labor studies. some of the rest of us are management business types. >> you're kind of speaking to the choir here in terms of academics who have a background in the labor movement, work with the labor movement. unfortunately the number of programs that do that across this country at universities and colleges has just been declining steadily over the years. where you have a labor studies program, it enables that program to give labor a voice on campus. and it enables the university to expose students of all kinds, part time, full time,
undergraduate, graduate students, union members, to the labor movement, to labor's purpose, to labor's role in a society. we do that very extensively at penn state through all kinds of different forums. labor has a voice on campus. but unfortunately there are only a relative handful of universities who do that. and folks like governor walker and in other states are going to make sure, where they do have labor studies programs, are going to put pressure on labor's voices on campus as the republicans are doing by harassing a professor at wisconsin with a freedom of information act request to see all of his emails. so we need the labor movement to stand behind us in this instance and make sure that labor programs that exist are protected. >> anybody else want to comment on that? or any other -- jack?
>> i'd like to jump in and say that the situation at florida state is probably more typical where we don't have a labor studies program. so i'm teaching the only labor relations course in the business school. certain there may be a couple others out there, maybe in the college of education, maybe one in the social sciences college, but it's a very small proportion of our students who get the exposure and in many cases they're doing it because they have to as part of their mainly and they don't really have the entheist enthusiasm that i'd like to see them have for the subject matter and i warned the first day of class that i'm very serious about this subject matter. if you think you're here just to get your ticket punched, i'm sorry, i'm going to force to you learn something. if you don't like that, find another course. it is kind of an uphill struggle. >> thank you very much. bob and then we have time for a couple more questions. but go ahead, bob. >> just real quick i. i also have the great privilege of directing the labor education program at the university of illinois. and just one thought. when with we expanded to offer
undergraduate courses to the students, over 1,000 students signed up to take courses. over 1,000. in fact, the university capped our numbers and they've never done that before. it's the fastest growing undergraduate program and they're taking not only one course in introduction to labor but they're taking classes in race, class and gender that monica teaches and the european movement. so paul's right. if we can be there and we can get some support of students' response and then of course students vote and students respond at picket lines. >> i saw a hand back there. go ahead. >> my name is michelle and i worked at the university in the labor study center for 11 years and now i'm the executive director of the faculty union here on campus. and my question is, how to --
when we're organizing people who identify themselves as professionals, whether they be faculty and not necessarily in trying to use the term working class is sometimes not an effective way to go about identifying with the organization. but it applies to teachers and nurses and others and in developing some sort of identity and i guess i'm asking and i appreciated particularly your preference to what's going none florida and you have my sympathies with the laws that you're dealing with over there, actually you all do, wherever you are. for public employees. but my question is, how would you craft a culture or -- do you have any -- to take that working class, because i would love to see, you know we belong to the afl-cio as well and it's often very difficult, there's this sort of give and take, members who don't identify themselves as
working class or -- but yet we need to pull together with these other labor organizations and build participation among profession alleges who are very individual -- professionals who are very individual and do individual research. i wonder if there's any advise or insight -- advice or insight. >> it sounds like a question for me. if you look at our video on youtube, you'll see that we're all dressed with ties and sport coats and appropriate professional looking attire. dealing with academics, i don't mean to leave out anybody else, but you have to know your audience and an academic audience is not ready to sing the jon lennon song, working class hero, just yet. as much as i love that song. we did a poll -- we do a poll every year of our faculty, members, what do you want and so forth. one particular response that was very memorable was from somebody who said, this poll made me feel
more like a blue collar worker than anything i've ever done. and i understood that to be a very critical comment but i took it as kind of like, well, wise up, buddy. because working in ac democrat unithese days is not a -- academia these days is not a lofty ivory tower. maybe it's a much better job than a lot of folks have but it's still basically -- it's a job. you're being paid for your job and increasingly faculty are under pressure to try and cut costs, teach more for less. so we face that. we are much more fortunate than many but i think you have to try to, if you know your audience, you try to appeal to them with the things that you know work with them. i, for example, i studied unions for 30 years, but i try to avoid using the word union. we are the united faculty of florida. the word union does not appear in our name. let's not turn off people who
are going to have these gut reactions and i've had fact faculty tell me, every time i think about the union i think about my father was so afraid when he crossed that picket line when i was a child that they were going to shoot him and we were hiding in the floors in the dark in my house. that was 70 years ago. forget the union. united faculty of florida. that's who we are. we're a professional organization. let the consciousness raising about being part of the working class come later. just get them into the organization. >> can i add something from some research we've been doing at penn state over the past 10 years with nurses? we've been doing research to find out why nurses -- what can be done to more effectively organize nurses. the occupational culture of nurses really doesn't have unions as any part of their culture. nurses are somewhat averse to unions. the idea of striking, leaving their patients, they think of
these kind of things. but what our surveys have found out is that if you tell nurses, if the message to nurses is, a union can give you a greater voice in the workplace and can help you play a greater role in making decisions about patient care, that's what nurses care about with. they want to provide the most high quality care they can and if the union can convince them that by joining the union the union will get them a seat at the table, a greater voice in improving patient care, and in fact that's what nurses unions do, they negotiate limits on staffing so that patients can have -- or that nurses can have a small enough number of patients to take care of that they can really provide quality care. they negotiate limits on overtime, on mandatory overtime so nurses aren't working 18-hour shifts and making mistakes. that resonates with nurses. the idea that a voice at the workplace, you're a
professional, you have a lot to offer, i think personally our health care system in this country would be greatly improved if we turned it over to nurses. and let them make decisions instead of insurance companies. that's not a coincidence that nurses have one of the fastest, if one of the few, growing union density figures in terms of their occupation. more and more, a greater percentage of the nursing profession are joining unions are every year and it's because it gives them a voice as professionals. and i think that applies to faculty. we have a faculty senate at universities that give faculty some supposedly opportunity to be involved. they're a joke. they're a scandal. they're advisory. they just keep us busy. we don't have any say and i think that's a message that professionals of all kinds will
resonate with. >> we have time for one more question if the questions and the answers are brief. yes, sir. >> i'm a retired auto worker. one of the first things -- it's more of a comment maybe than a question. the comment that we're working class is, if anybody takes any other message out of here today it should be that one. i consider the description of ourselves as middle class, as identity theft. it's identity theft. and it's an appeasement of the powers that be that we call ourselves middle class. we should be proud that we're working class. in regards to the question of symbols, which i think is a very good presentation, that we need new symbols in the labor movement and i think the brother earlier from ford pointed out that we're in an international context and we need new symbols
explaining international solidarity and the essential nature of that and we are dealing in an international working class. lastly, on the question of the values of unions, one of the things that we're confronted with is that the defending of the values is one of the values is to fight. unions are fighting organizations. we don't exist for any other reason than to fight. one with of the ways that we're challenged and the lady here mentioned a concept of the declaration of human rights, article 23, section four says, equal pay for equal work. we are today faced in the auto workers union with two-tiered wage structures that violate a basic human right and a basic human value and we have to challenge that. we can't support some of these symbols that were talked about without saying that we have to support the symbol of equal pay for equal work and that means
going up against corporations for insisting on fracturing us and making us two-teared and creating -- two-tiered and creating confusion over our members. it goes back to the original point that the members have commitment to unions it's essential for us going forward and waging this fight that we're confronted with and the only way we can do this is to say, we're all equal, we're all the same. >> thank you. anybody want to comment? [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> tonight watch ben bernanke's news conference on possible changes to interest rates. it's the first news conference in the federal reserve's 97-year history and first what have is expected to be four yearly briefings from mr. bernanke. that's tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. and following that news conference we'll bring you remarks from president obama on his decision to release his
birth certificate in response to repeated questions about whether he was really born in the u.s. following that, reaction from potential republican presidential candidate donald trump who said he's proud to have played a role in getting the president to release that birth certificate. and after that, major general richard mills talks about military strategy in afghanistan and the current effectiveness of afghan security forces. next, a discussion on sustainable agriculture and global food supplies. we'll hear about investing in organic food production, agriculture research and biotechnology. from an all-day conference hosted by athletic magazine, this panel's an hour. >> i'll invite them to come up here and get seated and get miked. i had the great opportunity to celebrate the inspiration behind this program and its architect for the past two years and that is athletic senior editor and food writer, corby comer.
corby joined the athletic in 1981, for most of his first three decades with us, he spent time running through the pages of the magazine, writing about travel and culture but of course writing mostly about food. you can go through his assembled writings and drop your finger on the page on any letter and come up rich. s, salad, salt, sandwich, sar dines, supermarkets, sustainability, soil erosions, subsidies. g, gardens, g.m.o.'s, grains, green grocers, gaselta fish. i think i just like saying that word. did i get it right? c, cafeterias, cheese, climate change, cupcakes, crops, cold pressed olive oil. a few years ago corby moved
neighborhoods within the athletic and he's now writing primarily on the athletic.com, delivering his insight and whitt there. he launched our food channel in 2009 and recently oversaw its expansion to a life channel and he recruited a group of friends to his new neighborhood, bringing an a-list of regular contributors and bloggers to the food chapel including a few people we'll hear from today. mike taylor, mario, marijuana, nina, jose and others. corby was previously restaurant critic at "new york" magazine and now serves that role at "boston" magazine. he writes reviews of cook books and other food books for "the new york times" book review. he's the author of two of his own books, "the pleasure of slow food" and "the joy of coffee" both of which were heralded by foodies and the public alike. and he is the recipient now of five james beard journalist awards and is in the running for
a sixth pour a piece he did on wal-mart's entry into the organic food movement. he's at the forefront of the issues we'll be discussing today. so i'm happy he'll be center stage and welcome corby and his panel on sustainable agriculture. [applause] >> thank you very much. elizabeth, the only embarrassing thing is you're right here, i don't have -- i don't know that i'll be able to introduce our much more distinguished panelists. in anything like the detail i didn't deserve from elizabeth. we have -- by the way, the secret recruiting tool of the great athletic food summit is, all of these people are going to appear on the athletic life channel. you will be frequent contributors. so we have a little plan when we invite you all to the stage. and we'll be covering it on the life channel, too. so we have sustainability today and what i've been finding as i've been going through the writings and the speeches of our
very distinguished panelists is, it is an umbrella term of umbrella terms right now, in the food world, in the agriculture world, in the policy world world. there are so many visions of sustainability that you would think they couldn't live on the same stage and yet we're going to try to have them live on the same stage today. because we've got people here today who are, i would say, in the forefront and the country's leaders in different, very different visions of sustainability. so what i'd like this to be is a crash course in sustainability, what the term can comprehend and how it can fit all of the many visions people have for it. so what i'm going to do is go down the panel and ask our panelists to say what they think of by sustainability and what all of you should be keeping in mind.
it's a word we all use loosely and with different things in mind, i think. and i think we'll, by the end of today, use it a bit more preciser, we'll have an idea of what a freighted term it is. so we're going to start with sarah who is the director of environmental practice at the keystone center for sustainable agriculture and she's going to be talking about field to market which is one of many initiatives. the keystone center brings together a very wide variety of stakeholders, from the private and public sectors, from universities, who generally don't speak at the same table, around the same stage but just like the athletic food summit, they all come together at the keystone center, either in colorado or in washington or wherever they convene conferences. so she's going to be talking about the field to market initiative and what they brought together at keystone and what they view as agriculture
challenges of the next century and your visions of sustainability. because after all, it's part of your title. >> sure. just to start, at the keystone center, as you mentioned, where at that -- we're the facilitators of a lot of stake holders to address these issues. so i think that the safe and definition that we use at keystone all the time for sustainability is that it's a team sport. this is something that not any one entity is going to be able to accomplish on their own and hence the need for multistakeholder engagement and agreement on what it is exactly we're trying to do when it comes to sustainability. about four years ago we convened a group of conservation organizations like the nature conservancy and world wildlife fund and environmental defense fund with producer organizations like the national corn growers association, american soybean association, and companies throughout the supply chain for
food and ac consult from big food companies at one end to the big companies that support farmers on the other end and provide them with the resources that they pull together and one of the first things actually one of the farmers said at our first meeting is, shouldn't we agree on a definition of sustainability? i thought, oh, no, we're not going to get anywhere if we start with a definition. . anywhere if we start with the definition. surprisingly, that group was able to quickly come to an agreement on what that definition is. it's a very similar to the one that was referenced by the usda today. it is similar to the un that definition of needing to provide the resources for our generation today without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their needs in a way that increases productivity that we know is one of the challenges for us and
decreases -- improves the likelihood of farmers in their communities. >> could you go through those again? he went through those awful fast. >> the twist on the agriculture side is that we look and care for our current and future generations in a way that both increases productivity of food and other things we rely on for agriculture. that we decrease the environmental footprint, that we improve human health and the livelihood of the farmers and the communities. >> good. i wanted to hear that. what will be your next steps? >> the group agreed it was important, particularly for commodity agriculture who had not been a part of a conversation with respect to
sustainable agriculture to agree on outcomes or expectations we have and figure out if there are ways we could measure the progress on a big scale. can we know if we are actually moving in the meal in a big way. -- moving the needle in a big way. then provide farmers and the private sector they work with the tools to benchmark themselves and figure out ways to continue the improvements we know they have made over the past 20 years as we address these key challenges and increased productivity in tandem in looking at those together. >> and you have just ruined a term -- now we have to learn this -- commodity agriculture. what do you mean and what are some of the other terms we might
know it by? >> commodity agriculture is a vast majority of the agriculture grown in the u.s.. we're looking at specific crops like corn, soybean, wheat, rice that are large-scale productions, largely sold into commodity markets, so they are intermingled as soon as they leave the farm. it makes it hard to look at traditional market incentives where you are connecting the consumer of oil back to the farm, hoping the consumer would pay more for increased performance. needing to look at different ways to measure and embrace what farmers are doing and encourage improvement, it needs to look different in those markets as well. it is a significant part of u.s. agriculture today. >> this is a term we have to
memorize. commodity agriculture. thank you very much. we're going to turn to the chairman, president and ceo and author. i won't say how long we go back, but we go back to when you had a farm in new hampshire which was a long time ago. i will admit i had to containers of the stony field because that is what my hotel served. >> this is an illustration of what he has done. he has decided big can be beautiful and small does not have to be the only way for organic to grow. he is part of the group -- i was just reading about this -- it was a very interesting story.
he has become one of the leading spokesman for organic food production, for food policy and has taken a very strong stance against genetically engineered crops. the very fact that this appeared and was the only brand of yogurt at my hotel -- to be fair, at least two of our speakers have walked through the door with coca-cola products. there was lots of fruit on the table which was well, from another one of our sponsors. this was a vision of growth that made it to the big boys and you can't exactly your same
practices as when we first met and your belief in who you are has not changed a bit. >> what he has become is a video wrapper. i linked to a rap video about organics and i only mention this because he has not gone on to try to expunge it. talents inof many growth and leadership. tell us something about your mission. >> my 18-year-old daughter is horrified by the last antidote -- last and thick coat. i started in the organic yogurt business in 1983. there were very few americans eating yogurt and no one knew what organic was. we had a great business idea
back then, but no supply and no demand. things have come along way it's probably a $30 billion segment, about 4% of u.s. food. i could not even use the word organic at first and we need to be clear about that. what organic is about -- which hotel was that? i have to patronize them. we will get to that later. the notion of sustainability i think we have to confront -- bell language is -- in practice, what it means is we have to stop allowing ourselves this convenient exemption that our modern economic system allows -- this notion of externality.
if you missed economics 101, i think i slept through that one -- that is the direct consequences of our economic behavior said don't appear on our income statement and so no one is accountable. a national obesity epidemic, the president's cancer panel saying 41% will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime -- climate change -- 50% of the topsoils that were here when lewis and clark made their way across the country being gone -- those are the direct consequences of our economic choices. our definition of sustainability seeks to address that you cannot solve a problem like water consumption or topsoil and create other problems down the road. a baby born in any city in america will have 287 chemicals and her blood after birth.
half of them are known carcinogens. this is a consequence -- it's not just a reflection of our food system, it is a reflection of modern-day living. i am a business guy and not a farmer, but i have done my share of milking. we support hundreds of thousands of acres and i bite much more than milk. i by about 160 commodities. the model we use is a model in that, it's critical for us productivity, farm worker health, animal health, those are all addressed. we are trying to underwrite, and it may sound naive, but i've had 30 years of commercial success to tell you we support a
win/win/win situation. modern commerce is almost always about somebody losing, particularly future generations as we deplete non-renewable resources. aside from the incredible ecological wins we have had, we support 40,000 acres of organic sugarcane production in brazil. if you track sugar harvesting, the first thing you do is bring the field. that's because there is a lot of photosynthesis relative to the cane. we see that as waste matter and we burnet so we can get access to the cane and get rid of the rodents and snakes. that is a carbon release of the
first order of magnitude. you see a huge carbon release, but it is damaging because any nutrition built up in the top soil is turned into atmosphere co2 and you have to replace that with something synthesized. we are not the first civilization has done this. rome, mesopotamia, there is always another place to go when we use up our topsoil. in the past, it was going west. in the mediterranean cultures, it was expanding to other places. we drill deep for natural gases. our farmers recognize this as an inflationary system. they did not want to be part of it, so they green harvest and shred the green matter, put it
on the top soil so the topsoil is never exposed to the eroding effects of wind or water for one second. then they drive low pound per square inch tires that are harvesting and dump trucks so they don't crash the topsoil. the net result is they have 90% reduction in pest damage since they converted to organic. they have improved by a diversity. 3 and 12 species have returned to this land. i've stood on organic dairy farms in the middle of the central valley in california or bees and birds are flying all over and farmers have taken non- organic farms across the world -- across the road or there is nothing flying around. the insects are going to go where the action is and they're not going to go where the poisons are. they have improved ground water quality and have gotten 10%
higher yield than when they were non-organic. but their counterparts down the road -- the buildup carbon matter. so they are working to reverse the factors that contribute to climate change. we are not going to solve climate crisis -- we will have to start sequestering and taking carbon out of the atmosphere. if we stopped all fossil fuel burning right now, we would want a plan for another 40 years. the carbon content in this soil is almost equal to what the forests for when they first went in and harvested. but here is the economic punchline -- not only have they had a 10% increase in yield was lower input, but my organic sugar which i for started buying in the 1990's has decreased by 100%.
it used to be 100% more expensive and now is at parity with conventional. this is the key. we've been able to prove it's not just good ecology, but it is excellent commerce. just one last piece about sustainable business. this is one aspect of all this. what i have learned -- and i did not know this when i set out in business in 1983, my gross margins from the very beginning -- the margin left after the production of my yogurt was 10 points, 1000 basis points worse than the leaders in my category. my net margins are better than theirs. somewhere between the gross margin line, higher cost -- when organic sugar cost hundred% more, i could not charge -- i
could not charge 100% more for my yogurt. my gross margins have been at a deficit but at the bottom line, i make more money. why is that? at a conference run by a wonderful magazine -- i spend less on advertising. the way i do this is i communicate everything i just share with you. i have yet to meet a consumer who wants more synthetic growth hormones. i have yet to meet the consumer wants more toxins. you have to start with something delicious and it has to taste great, but we have fundamentally created a partnership with retailers and consumers and producers. so the dairy farmers out there, i have done all of this without penalizing the farmers. they earn a premium on average
between 40% and 60% more than they would get if it were conventional. by sugar farmers are much more productive. everybody in my system is winning, including consumers you are now getting six times the organic phosphates you find in your urine. the bottom line vehicle is is about win/win/win, and that includes economics. he tries to be very transparent about this. there are some anythings you have queued up for our next speaker. thank you very much. but he is the president of the
advancement of american science. a former science adviser to the secretary of state and administrator and offer of the scientists' view of genetically modified foods. . her vision of the sustainability is going to be similar to gary. you have so many beliefs and common but differences in the details. >> let me tell you who i am to begin with. i'm a molecular biologist and i started working on plans back when people did not think plants had dna. i contributed to the development of enhancing the
properties of agricultural plants and other types of plants. i have watched over the years as the techniques we use to modify organisms are totally accepted in parts of the fruit industry and not other parts. what would we do today without insulin produced in microorganisms? yet in agriculture, the world has gotten in many places against the modification using molecular techniques to improve plants, not knowing in the 20th- century and the centuries
before, we have completely transformed both plants and animals to serve as better food sources. my view is the principal of organic chemistry -- not chemistry but organic farming, everything gary says is absolutely true. we have to do better and we have to be more ecologically mindful even as we pay attention to the bottom line. in the future, we have to look at what we do to the land and what we do to the nutrient flow. with organic techniques, the less waste -- today, we poll nitrogen out of the air and turn it into forms plants can use. we mine phosphorus and dump it on the surface.
it is extraordinarily pleased fall. much of what needs to be done for sustainability is well within our grasp. we just have to do it. frankly, although the sugarcane your producers grow can be grown without inputs of herbicides, one of the biggest boosts in soil conservation has come from the development of herbicide -- people shrink when you say that because they equate with pesticides. pesticides affect insects which are animals. herbicides read -- criticized reflect pathways' we don't have. -- affect pathways we don't have. they have no affect on animals.
today, we have only a couple of big commodity crops that are modified genetically. frankly, the bottom line is we have done that to ourselves. we have erected such regulatory barriers against the use -- that govern the use and introduction into production of genetically modified crops. i mean modified by molecular techniques. we have been using other techniques for a long time and these are acceptable in organics as well -- in what is called conventional farming. i want to make a distinction. we have genetically modified commodity crops because they are big enough to support regulatory
procedures and satisfy regulatory requirements to introduce them into the market. the tragedy is, we have essentially put our traditional sciences in the agricultural sector -- we have made it virtually impossible for them to use these techniques to protect specialty crops, which includes all of the fruits and vegetables you like, from diseases and pests. this includes people who are at universities, at the usda, we now have, despite the fact all the research that has been done on the safety of genetically
modified crops, comes to the conclusion that there are no greater dangers in this form of genetic modification than any previously and more widely used methods. in spite of the conclusions, we now have a situation in which it is very expensive to bring molecular techniques to the farmer. it's much more expensive than to use something like radiation, which is ok in organic. this all dates to the formulation of rules. the rules were formulated in the early '90s and the first version of the organic rule included the use of genetically modified crops because it was clear then
that there was not any danger inherent in the use of these techniques. >> that was almost the most controversial part. >> so many people protested that congress said to the usda to go back and make a rule that satisfies people. this is not scientifically defensible, but it is what people believe and they continue to believe it. to me, that is a terrible tragedy because these techniques allow us to do things in a more biologically sound way. we have already with commodity crops decrease the use of pesticides and decreased the use of killing -- and >> and decrease water runoff.
>> it allows you to use an herbicide to kill weeds and only when the crop is already established. this means farmers can adopt something called note till. you don't ever take the residues' off the land. you do not stimulate the release of carbon dioxide into the air. my point -- let me stop because there are other people in need to talk. my view is the principle of organic farming is fantastically important to maintain, but i would throw away the rule book and use the most modern and up- to-date methods that we have. if we cannot use modern science to increased productivity, i think we are not going to make it. what we will see is more
environmental destruction in that way. making more with less damage is it the whole objective. there are many ways to do it, which include all the to have heard today. >> thank you. and going to ask molly to provide the impossible task of why can't we all get along. that point of view is widely shared among a surprising group of people and it finds its way to the atlantic life channel pretty often, along with gary who says he's going to be there. these are two points of view that want to arrive at similar goals of conservation, worker health and environmental health and maintaining resources for
the future. they just have very different ways of going about it. molly john hask been the dean of agriculture at the university of wisconsin madison and is now a consultant to the very same department. she says she gets to do all the stuff denes wish they were doing instead of administration. she's also one of the leading spokespeople on sustainable agriculture, which we are discovering is a loaded term. could you talk about some of the views you have heard today and how they fit in with what you think about sustainable agriculture? >> any discussion of sustainability requires us to do something we are not especially good at and that is to think forward. there is a temporal dimension to these conversations that is important and as obvious as that
is, we are not that good at it. that is one critical element in these discussions. any definition of sustainability requires some consideration of systems in balance. balance is something else we are not very good at. one of the most important influences in my world has contributed is articulation and commitment toward our recognition, agriculture and food production system, our choice of respectful and management as a system. one of the most profound transformations in our thinking is there recognition we need to move from local, maximum -- is yield, yield, yield. that's all we need to know.
too much more complex balance within a system we now understand to be inherently closed and accounting turns out to be an incredibly important set of conversations because the catchy phrase, internalizing our externalities' turns out to be transformative. we need to understand in detail and to manage all of the input and output, not only those outputs we're used to focusing on such as food, but the other balance sheets we've managed like carbon, water, air quality and the social and political implications that apply in a century when we were phenomenally successful at
stay within that a safe operating space. we have to hit those targets at a rate that is intense. we know there is not a single right answer and there's of a one-size-fits-all solution. every technology intensifies output and minimizes input is critical. we understand the burdens wherefores and our producer community, the costs of these improvements will be important. we say success are things are bad for the environment and cost more and the things that are good for the environment cost less. nothing short of an economic transformation.
we are now in a time of dissonance. they will find themselves having to pay a higher cost. we will see some transformations that are critically important. >> i would like to make the point babs there are things developing that address all of these issues. urban agriculture, maintaining greenhouses on the roofs of buildings -- that makes it possible for growers to get their produce to restaurants and immediately to consumers. that is marvelous, but one of the things we have not paid enough attention to in this
country is decreasing water use and increasing productivity on land we consider unable to be farmed. we will see much more sophisticated versions that minimize and so forth developing. there are greenhouses being developed in various places to the north and the desert. >> where have you been? >> i am starting a desert .griculture center i >> water is the theme of the day. so much under -- what we have been talking about. >> you got a call from the
president and the speaker and majority leader of the senate and the invited you in and they said, we understand our regulation of biotechnology is all wrong. we want you to lead in policy development. what are the hallmarks that you would ask for? to reshape the policy. >> i would bring it all together. some countries have done that and we have three different agencies that are regulating. , back in the old days there was -- the nih oversaw recombinant dna. it was an advisory committee and have the flexibility to exempt categories when it became clear that we had accumulated enough
evidence to feel confident. today, we have plenty of evidence but we do not have a regulatory system that can say, we do not need to regulate this any more. it would be the possibility of sun setting regulation, the possibility of a unifying them under one roof, it can be an inter-agency group but it needs to be together because part of the costs, the high cost as having to go to three different agencies. it really constantly is refining what is being asked so of the regulatory burdens are proportional to the risk. we have a big initiative to eliminate unnecessary regulation and the should be a very hard target. those are the most important things. >> i was going to ask if gary
want to be in the same room. he has not answered. >> i am glad that what nina is arguing for is we need a big toolbox. we have a big problem. if i were in that position, you have not asked me but i will join you in the room if invited. we need to level the playing field. we are putting enormous resources into one solution to these problems. as we try to solve, water is a big issue but so are the other issues. the decline of family farm income. as my favorite philosopher says, we're all in it alone. each of us with our different areas. my admonition to our policy makers would be, let's pause and take a look at 13 years of use
of these commodities. what you will find is for example, and genetic engineering is dead on. millions of insulin dependent diabetics are alive because of the advances of genetic engineering. no one can deny that. ge might solve the issues we're talking about and it might be the solution to long-term sustainability. we do not yet know that it is and we should not be putting all the eggs in this basket. let's look at 13 years of experience. what we're going to see is 382 million pounds of increased harborside uses have resulted from 92% of sorey is genetically modified. these crops spread aggressively
and effectively. farmers -- former and comes, it is a national security issue. keeping farmers profitable should be of concern. that is part of the definition of sustainability. they have increased by factors of four as a percentage of farmers in net income. farmers would be spending between 4% and 6% on corn or so i stayed and their spending 16% of 20% of net income. we would see the explosion of super weeds. herbicides tolerant weeds. this is an unforeseen consequence of developing aggressively using herbicides tolerant crops. i just finish this point again. i am not saying that this is a dead-end for genetic engineering. but keep the playing field down.
organics, it is national security. improving former incomes and reducing input. making us less dependent. organic is 1.5% of the budget. what will happen with a super waves, farmers are telling us they need to do manual cropping which they cannot afford or the have to go out and put out defoliants. maybe the herbicides are not bio-active and i'm not a scientist here. we do not need an increased use of defoliants. my point to our policy makers is let's use the tool box. organics does not have the money where an emerging industry is $30 billion. we have excellent science and yield and win-win and inputs
are going down and it deserves a largest percentage of our research budget. >> i am attaching a devilish scheme that i am going to put down at the end. >> farmers are not going to spend more on seeds if they're not making more money. >> you have so much in common. it sounds funny. this is my devilish scheme. we have time for one more question. >> i would like you to have the opportunity to address those inaccuracies. i wanted to address the question to mali and nina. in terms of more systems approaches to agriculture research and a more
collaborative approach, it seems that there might need to be rethinkingrethinking about how science is done. what are the thought to have about how to do that? >> i agree with molly. taking a systems approach. it is larger than just feel than farm. it is the system. it can be a covered agricultural is a self- contained microsystems or it is the entire system. how do we use water? waterdrawing down resources in the southwest on ewably.nwabl
everything in between is the wave of future. it has to be global. that is -- we have done best of using science in diplomacy in the agricultural area. we have gone away from that in the last 20 years. this is a critical area worldwide. >> i would just say the last decade has brought a cultural shift in the way science communities come together. we have seen over a several decade period increasing investment in areas that are foundational. we have seen what space that is
extra competitive. things like boundaries, it is not the issue that creates a competitive advantage. one of the most important influences is the conversation is shifting to recognize foreseeable unintended consequences. a very important kind of risk and we're seeing many businesses doing what businesses do well. seeing a significant shifts in extreme climate. we know that we can model those with respect to their consequences and so we are finding teams coming together that are different from those 10 years ago that were focused on creating those local maximums. we have climate scientists and modelers, a host of disciplines and technologies and techniques coming together. the framing in the 21st century is it is not about food systems.
the management of those services whether it is food or carbon sequestration. >> thank you. in the view of balance systems, here is my devilish scheme. we're going to write a book together. they're going to come into a room and discover how much they have in common and have different sets of information and they will reconcile them. here is where they will gdo it. molly will referee and put the economists and agronomists at their service and the atlantic will publish chapter by
chapter. >> the book has already been written. >> we need you two talking. we are glad to have you start today and we're delighted to have everyone on this panel. thank you. [applause] >> watch ben bernanke is first news conference on possible changes to interest rates. it is thexpected to be one of
four yearly briefings from mr. bernanke. that is on c-span. following that news conference, we will bring your remarks from president obama on his decision to release his birth certificate in response to repeated questions about whether he was born in the u.s. following that, reaction from potential candidate donald trump who said he is proud to have played a role in getting the president to release that birth certificate. after that, major-general richard mills talks about military strategy in afghanistan and the effectiveness of afghan security forces. earlier, the u.s. ambassador to libya held a briefing with reporters on the latest military actions against gaddafi forces in libya. this is 40 minutes. >> i offer those greetings in the hope that you'll go easier on the questions. thank you. good afternoon.
i'm here today to update you on our efforts in libya. the mission of our special envoy to the tnc and the progress the coalition has made in stopping the brutality and bloodshed of the good of a regime. it has become clear that gaddafi and his henchmen have no intention of seizing the violence and bloodshed. despite the claims of recent days, regime forces have continued to commit atrocities in misrata and the western mountains. as the secretary said, the u.s. condemns the regime's continued brutal attacks on the libyan people in violation of the un security council resolution 1973 which calls to a stop for attacks on civilians and an immediate cease-fire. the shelling has not stopped and regime mountains have laid siege to civilian populations
attempting to starve them into submission. with that backdrop, i would like to update you on two fronts. in the past several weeks, there have been several international meetings, including the contact group in doha and the ministerial bureau in berlin and the arab league and the un. separately, chris stevens, our envoy to the dnc -- tnc has had discussions with that body on the opposition at large. the first meeting of the contact group was held in doha on april 13. the contact group came away unified in its commitment to a set of core principles for the path forward in libya. first and foremost, gaddafi and his mission -- his regime have lost legitimacy, leaving the libyan people free to determine
their future. he must put it stopped to the -- his attacks onis that ta civilians. and reestablish water, electricity, and gas supplies. finally, the participants reiterated that a political solution would be the only way to bring lasting peace to libya and reaffirm their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national liberty of libya. that meeting reinforced the nato led coalitions' doors months of the principles set forth in doha and the commitment to sing those principals realized.
the berlin meeting resulted in agreement on a clear set of objectives for operation unify protector. specifically, an end to attacks against civilians, worth -- .ithdrawal of regime forces an our envoy and specialists arrived in benghazi on april 5. he has met with a wide range of libyans, the political and military leadership of the opposition. among those with whom he has had discussions are the tnc chair and chief of staff. chris has assessed the tnc is a political body work of our support -- worthy of our support. members are meeting with local organizations as an effort to get to know the people in the
opposition and understand the situation on the ground. the u.s. aid team is working to get a better picture of humanitarian needs and coordinate responses. the overall security situation in certain areas of libya affects the ability of the mission to reach areas and actors beyond benghazi. the president approved up to $25 million worth of a drawdown of to $25 million worth of non- lethal commodities and services to be provided to keep partners to libya. items that could be useful to further international efforts to protect civilians and civilian populated areas currently under threat by forces loyal to the gadhafi regime include medical equipment, protective vests, and not secure radios and uniforms. the the i will be happy to answer questions you have. >> if your convoy has made the
determination that they are a political body worth our support, why not -- [no audio] leadership of the country? >> i am talking about a body worthy of our support, this goes back to the original statements i have made to you previously. based on our contacts with him on the start, based on actions but the statements over the first few weeks of their existence, we found them to be a credible body. one that we obviously needed to get to know much better. this was a new situation. what has found and we spoke to him an hour ago, he had met with him, to reconfirm this was
a serious group and they continue to say the right things and they are reaching out and trying to be as inclusive as possible. they're working through the normal bugs that would-be part of any stand-up transitional government that has not had a country where we have not had politics for 40 years. in terms of what he has found, he would confirm or firm our determination there were serious -- they are a group for the of support has been borne out. we continue to look at all the issues with respect to libya. the president has not ruled out anything on all those issues we were looking at. recognition remains a legal and
international obligation issue that we are studying and we have not made a determination on the question. that has not stopped us on doing everything we could do. i do not see it as an issue but it is not the main one that we're dealing with. there is a few countries like have recognizedqatar them. as far as i'm concerned, we have not found that that is a detriment to the kind of effort and support we can make to the libyan opposition. >> i want to know why you have not done that. what is it that is holding that up given that your strongest allies have taken that step?
>> i do not know what would be -- if the impact of the recognition would necessarily have that great an impact. the tnc -- we are a legalistic country, and we're looking at the complexity as relates to that question. >> i should infer that the u.s.'s more legalistic than france? >> it is not just a question of legalism. we continue to look a that issue. these are issues that are very complex and we need to continue
to look out. >> is it a question you decided they are worthy of your support but there are some thinks that are holding them up, you're not sure they should be recognized, are you concerned there are other groups that are rivals? >> i do not think it has prevented us from doing what we need to do to show support. remains on the ground and he will be going about his activities in giving us information about the group. we have not reached a decision because it is a complex issue. >> can you give us a concrete example of why you cannot recognize them yet?
one issue that gives you concern? you mentioned the frozen assets. >> our legal people have been looking at this issue so i cannot get into the complexity. there are issues with respect to what happened -- constitutes the government for recognition. >> you said gaddafi is starving the people into submission. i was wondering, you spent time on the ground and you know the people involved. what is the best way to get him to stop? >> if you take a look at where we started and where we are today, on march 15 two days
before 1973 was passed, we were on the verge of what we considered worthy of a humanitarian catastrophe. we took a coffee at his word he would go into benghazi and commit slaughter. since that time, we have been -- the speed with all this has -- with which all this has happened is unprecedented. in terms of getting together an effective united nations security council resolution and getting together a coalition of our european allies. >> all the things you're talking about, you are still saying he has no intention of stopping the bloodshed. >> it is a deliver to of process that we are engaged in with our allies. number one was the military part and the protection of humanitarian life and trying to get services flowing to those cities that are affected by gaddafi.
no. 2 is the political part. the international consensus that now has become a solid that in order for there to be a solution to this, about the needs to leave. in terms of what will it take to get it off to stop, it is a difficult proposition when you have a government which is willing to bring to bear all its power and everything it has got to destroy its population. this is a difficult issue for all of us. this is not just one man who has been in power for 40 years, it is a system that has been in power for 40 years. i realize the question comes up, are you patient, are you satisfied? we're doing all we could and no one likes to be in a position to find this is a satisfactory
situation. we're bringing to bear all we can in terms of our coalition partners and our actions and in terms of beginning to look at the political processes that will lead to an end. in terms of trying to stop khaddafi, we have seen the defections of some of his people around him, musa kusa being the most prominent one. we are trying to get other nations to take positive steps toward recognizing or having -- to recognizing or having a better relationship with the tnc and we are looking to others to get of financial mechanisms set up to strengthen the opposition. these are steps that we are taking. there is no magic bullet that will convince gaddafi to stop this. it will be a conversation -- a combination of what we're doing now, what we do in the future in terms of the other political
tools, the non-military tools that we might bring to bear and at some point, to get him to realize the game is up and he has got to go. >> do you see an issue of the clock running with the supposed invocation of the war powers act some time ago that when congress comes back, they could be concerned about what -- the u.s. role, with the military operation is there, and adding to that some of the concern that senator mccain expressed asking nato to step up some of its strikes? >> i am not an expert on the war powers act so i will defer that to my legal colleagues. we have from the start been consulting and briefing congress. i have had several discussions with senators, congressmen, and staff as recently as last week. we're keeping them apprised of the situation. >> do they seem satisfied, walking the thin line between the diplomatic and military separation, the they seem satisfied in those
conversations we are in the bounds of what is legally required? >> i cannot speak to whether or not their judgment -- with respect to where we are in the war powers, i can speak to the fact they appear to be satisfied with the kind of information we're briefing them in terms of what we're trying to accomplish with our coalition partners and how we see the situation evolving in the second piece of this, the political peace. >> could you elaborate -- to mention the gaddafi forces trying to surround villages in the western mountains and starve them out? can you talk about what is going on and how you know this? >> as i mentioned last time, when we reconstituted my embassy team back here in washington, once they were evacuated and we suspended our operations, in effect, we brought with us a wealth of talent and knowledge
and experience. a lot of people that are here now with the team have maintained contacts throughout the century. -- country. one of the -- i call it the jewel in the crown of our activities was to expand our contacts throughout the country. we had a good public affairs office which met people throughout the country. we have maintained contact with people throughout the country, including in the western part which has proven largely inaccessible to most media or other kind of contact. and from these people, we have been able to get almost daily reports about the situation in the west and about the brutal activities that gaddafi is taketaking against the west, especially when you think that -- especially in the berber areas and places like yefren and
other parts of the western mountains, where there has always been a suspicion on the part of the duffy toward the gaddafi toups -- the duth were the berber groups. they have been brutal in going after those mountain towns in the western mountains. >> i was -- one element you mentioned was the defections and we had moussa koussa. there does not seem to be much success in appealing of members of the inner circle. why do think that is and what is your assessment of the stability of the corps that he has right now? are they in it for the long haul? what are you going to do? >> i think you have in terms of
support, is the hard core. the elements not only of his family but also the military and security units which have received the benefits of his largess and probably believe their last stand has to be with him because they probably do not have a future. the reason -- there was a moussa in having houss koussa leave. they would like to break from the inner group, and this is the the tightest in their group that is comprised of a few people. these are people who had agencies -- had agencies and other technocrats. it would like to break but they are afraid for their lives and
afraid for their families. i am not sure that one can characterize the current situation as not having more successes. the situation of terror and fear inside tripoli is so great that people who i think that i have known and others have known who would normally -- who up to now would have broken with him are not doing it for those reasons. >> will that situation continue? there was hope in the media or elsewhere that the regime would fracture from inside and shatter part. do think that is likely? >> the actions we're taking along with our coalition partners and what you saw the other day in terms of going after command-and-control centers in tripoli and in terms of our continuing to reach out to these people will send some kind of signal to them that the
time is fast approaching where they have to make a decision and they can decide to go down with the ship or change sides and perhaps seek some -- lives of their family. if that is what is important to them. >> where is moussa koussa? >> he showed up in london and in qatar. >> no one has been in contact with him? >> not to my knowledge. he has been a symbol and important. in the sense that we have shown to the people that remained in the gaddafi regime, here is a person who was part of the inner circle, someone who was problematic in the west because
of his past. also someone who has defected and made that decision to leave and has not been imprisoned and is allowed to travel freely. at least to qatar. >> decides where he can travel and not? >> i am not sure. >> how many people have been killed by the end of a regime so far after the civil war broke out? >> hard to say. we have seen figures ranging from 10,000 to 30,000. i do not think we're going to get an accurate number until we get more hands-on experience on the ground. we keep getting reports from contacts in tripoli and the west of bodies that have been uncovered on the beach. we have no sense of the scale of this thing until it is over.
>> based on experience with the regime, when do you think he will give up, or he will never give up? >> one who knows libya at all and one who knows the mind of colonel gaddafi or, those who are with him does not speculate on what their intentions may be. the only thing i can say it is going to be i hope not a slow process, it is going to be a deliberative process. at some point, he is thought to realize that the game is up, this is not going to be tolerated anymore by the international community, and the best thing he can do for the future of the libyan people and himself is to give it up and allow the democratic process and of their government to take hold in libya. >> thank you. >> i have two parts. one would be the rebels themselves. you say that they deserve
support and so on. some people have heard in the u.s. administration say that they're concerned that the rebels as they are now are really incapable of winning this. i would like to get your opinion on that. also, i know we have been over this many times, but it continues to be an issue, which is the final objective. yesterday or the day before, there was confusion from comments by the british about targeting gaddafi. that was pulled back. you have presidents couldn't raising the issue of oil. every time it comes out because it is so murky, it creates problems. can you define exactly, could he ever be a target? can you protect the people without getting rid of the man who was carrying out and directing this attack? >> on your first question, are the incapable of governing?
>> militarily also, especially. >> as i have said before, this is a group, a country that has not seen politics, civil society, anything resembling normal political or economic life in the 41 years that gaddafi and his regime have been in power. in these first to come out not even maybe three months, we would expect that those who have briefly ways to this resistance and are trying to put together some kind of governing body are going to have problems in terms of organization not only on the organization -- on the political side but on the military side as well. we have seen progress. we have seen progress in terms of the way they interact with each other as a group, the way they have reached out to others, the way that they are talking to
the international community in a very sophisticated way with respect to how to channel assistance to the tnc. so the word incapable is probably a little too harsh. are they in the throes of establishing themselves? yes. can we expect that they should have some problems? yes. are the going in the right direction? absolutely. i would also add that life in benghazi has changed significantly. chris and his team have reported that you have ngos springing up, you have people debating with each other, debating political issues. you have a seminar at the university yesterday of a professor talking about constitutional issues. you have cultural events. you have poetry readings. you have newspapers. he and his team and i think others have described the situation as a world that you
would not recognize and have you -- have you been in libya on february 16. to their credit, this is part of the consequence of having a group like this which which the opposition to gadhafi and we're seeing what we -- what could be the world to be foreshadowed in the life of benghazi right now. in terms of the coffee -- gaddafi, you know our policy with respect to assassination. it was reiterated by jake sullivan here yesterday. i've not spoken to anybody and i do not believe that any credible group or individual sees a solution to the libyan problem without the removal of gaddafi, one way or another.
our job is not and our goal is not to -- our goal is to get a political solution, but through the means we are allowed to by our own laws, and those laws govern the actions of our coalition partners as well. the solution is a transformation, a political process that ends up in a libya and a government determined by the people of libya. >> michel. >> i have been -- are you talking to african countries are arab countries to find a place that can host mr gaddafi a fee decided to leave? >> this is part of an ongoing process. the second part separate from the military one. it will involve -- how would you
talk about a cease-fire, what would be the alamance be? one of the elements of the political process which we hope will lead to a new libya and a new libyan government, will be what his fate will be. we're just at the beginning stage of putting together the various steps that are needed to -- that we will have to address, and certainly one of those will be what country potentially could accept gaddafi if we reach that point. >> is there any countries that has accepted to host mr gaddafi? >> to my knowledge, no. discussions have not gone to that level of specificity at. >> we have time for two more questions. >> i am still puzzled by what the meaning is of your statement that the tnc is a body or the of
our support. does that open the way for the administration to do anything else? does it make it more likely the administration might provide them arms or any kind of support, any kind of new diplomatic activity with them? >> from the start of the crisis, the president has not ruled out -- everything has been on the table. we have had the issue of recognition which we have talked about. we have had the issue of frozen assets, how to deal with them. we have had the issue of how to deal with the question of oil sales, which would also note that yesterday ofac granted licensing authority to american individuals and institutions to deal with the tnc in terms of oil sales. the question of lethal arms has been there. the question -- anyone along
those gamut of issues related to the crisis has been on the table. and i think that as time goes by and i said our mission is able to provide us more information, we will be looking at the different things that we might be able to do to step up cooperation. at this point, i cannot tell you that lethal arms will will not be provided because there has been no decision on that. i cannot tell whether, at some point in the future we will recognize the tnc. those are issues that remain to be determined. i think that we as time goes on, we're gaining at least a bit more confidence in the tnc. >> can i just follow up on that? did i hear you correctly in saying earlier you were encouraging other countries to recognize and or support them? >> even though we have not
reached the point where we have made a determination it would be in our interest at this point to recognize them, let's say the constraints of other countries -- >> right. >> for the interests of other countries to do it made the the will be to recognize them. or to give them more support. close down the embassies and allow the tnc to establish an interest office of some kind as we have done here. that is what i meant by that. >> if it is in fact sure that they tnc is doing and saying the right things and it transformed benghazi into this event-like city where people are frolicking in the streets and writing poetry to each other and doing things like that, why not give them -- >> it is not -- >> where we seeing -- why are we
seeing getting uniforms and radios and not some kind of substantial economic aid other than just the a.i.d., the relief. edenics talk about the view. if you lived in libya in 316, you would have seen none of these things. this is not a playful kitten but it is a different current -- eden, but it is a different environment. >> if they have done this wonderful thing, why are they not getting more assistance? >> we are going on a step-by- step process to determine what is in our interest in what we can do for them. >> the last question. >> for your experience, from
your experience, mr gaddafi mentioned he will bring the travels of he feels he is not going to keep in the power. how do you see this one is going to be feasible? to follow up on the discussion you had with him, if you remember in iran that it happened 30 years ago, the same thing you are talking. the discussion the universities and such thing, you're free movies, press, and all these things, we had it but it did not last long. it will not be an indication that we're going to be moving toward that process. would you please elaborate? >> we can only take this situation as it is now. we ask what is different today in libya from the situation that we and the international community found yourself in on march 15, two days before the unscr, the resolution was passed
and two or three days before we're about to witness the slaughter in benghazi. along the path and this is six or seven weeks out now, look how far we have come. for me to say that the tnc has built itself up as a credible organization right now, i do not think is -- i think that is a realistic notion, but i do not see why we necessarily have to focus on the issue of recognition. to say that life in benghazi has changed significantly is also another data point or another reflection of how a change can occur in libya. which i think is part and parcel and a consequence of the actions that we in the international community have taken over the last few weeks. -- several weeks. we're moving in the right
direction. we have the momentum and i think to use how life was changed in benghazi is of positive and powerful, compelling point to make in terms of the kind of momentum we're building a. the fact that our sense is that it is not only in benghazi in the east that has forged a consensus, as we have in the international community, gaddafi has to go and that the new process has to begin. i think that is a consensus we have heard from our contacts in the west, the south, the north, and the east. there is a consensus and i think the momentum is in our direction. is it as fast as we would like? probably not but this is not going to be an easy effort, and we knew that from the start. take a look at where we were, take a look at where we are now. has been perfect? no. we're moving in the right direction. >> about the troubles, they are trying to -- >> the travel issue is one that everyone is trying to use -- the
tribal issue is one that everyone is trying to use for their advantage. one of the hallmarks of the grass-roots revolutions and the signs that you see in benghazi at the beginning were, we are one libya, we're not tribes. everyone knows that libya for thousands of years has had a tribal society and we know they are very important. we know there are important as social institutions especially in the rural areas. the manipulation of the tribes and the playing of the tribes of one another has been a hallmark of the gaddafi for shame since the start. i think there is a recognition on the part of those who are trying to build this new libya that while tribes constitute an important part of the social fabric, and they will continue to constitute an important part of the social fabric, they of the social fabric, they should not have