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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 21, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. president obama reached out to the business community again today and chose general electric c.e.o. jeffrey immelt to head a new jobs council. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we look at the frayed relations between corporate america and the administration, and assess the president's moves to change the tone. >> lehrer: then, judy woodruff talks to two doctors about the road to recovery for brain injury patients like arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords. >> brown: margaret warner files the last of her reports from south korea. tonight-- a look at the country's pressure-packed education system.
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>> i have to go to school in the morning like 6:20 and school ended up around midnight. so it was-- stressed out. and mark sh >> lehrer: and mark shields and david brooks analyze the week's news. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> i mean, where would we be without small businesses? >> we need small businesses. >> they're the ones that help drive growth. >> like electricians, mechanics, carpenters. >> they strengthen our communities. >> every year, chevron spends billions with small businesses. that goes right to the heart of local communities, providing jobs, keeping people at work. they depend on us. >> the economy depends on them. >> and we depend on them. >> for three hours a week, i'm a coach, but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer, i needed a coach.
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our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions, i felt lost. united healthcare offered a specially trained r.n., who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me, cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids, but my coach had hit that pitch before. >> turning data into useful answers. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. united healthcare. >> bnsf railway. the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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>> lehrer: president obama took to the road today in his latest effort to woo the business community, and he appointed a major c.e.o. as an economic advisor. ray suarez begins our coverage. >> suarez: speaking at a general electric plant in schenectady, new york, president obama tried again today to highlight bright spots amid a sluggish economic recovery. >> and over the years, in the wake of these shifts, upstate new york and places like it have seen more than their fair share of hard times. but what has never changed-- we see it right here at this plant, we see it right here at g.e.-- is that america is still home to the most creative and most innovative businesses in the world. >> suarez: he used the event to name general electric c.e.o. jeffrey immelt to a new economic policy panel. >> the past two years were about pulling our economy back from the brink.
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the next two years, our job now is putting our economy into overdrive. our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root, and folks can find good jobs, and america is leading the global competition that will determine our success in the 21st century. and so now, to help fulfill this new mission, i'm assembling a new group of business leaders and outside advisers. >> suarez: immelt said the new council would focus on manufacturing, trade and innovation. >> i'm now honored to lead your council on competitiveness and jobs. it's a great honor. ( applause ) and i know that, despite the fact that 60% of g.e.'s revenues are outside the united states, i, personally, and this company share in the responsibility and the accountability to make sure that this is the most competitive and productive country in the world. >> suarez: immelt had previously served on the economic recovery advisory board chaired by former
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federal reserve chairman paul volcker. today's announcement signals an administration shift from policies designed to stabilize the economy towards a renewed focus on boosting job growth. naming a prominent c.e.o. to head the panel underscored the president's recent attempts to shore up relations with the business community. immelt was one of 20 c.e.o.s who met with the president during a daylong summit at blair house last month, and one of 14 u.s. business leaders invited to meet with chinese president hu jintao at the white house this week. on tuesday, the president ordered a review of federal regulations on businesses which may hurt job creation. he wrote in "the wall street journal": "our economy is not a zero-sum game. regulations do have costs. often, as a country, we have to make tough decisions about whether those costs are necessary." meanwhile, yesterday, first lady
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michelle obama joined executives from walmart, the nation's largest retailer, to promote healthier eating habits. >> when i see a company like walmart launch an initiative like this, i feel more hopeful than ever before. >> suarez: and earlier this month, mr. obama named former commerce secretary and j.p. morgan chase executive william daley his new chief of staff. all of this comes after a series of moves to jumpstart private sector hiring, including a tax cut compromise that cheered wall street but angered liberals, and a long-awaited trade deal with south korea. but a new associated press poll released today shows a public still skeptical of the president's economic policies. while the president's personal approval rating improved to 53%, more than half of those surveyed disapprove of how he's handled the economy, and just 35% say it has improved on his watch.
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but nearly 75% said it's unrealistic to expect noticeable improvements after two years. >> brown: and we look further at all this with robert reich, former labor secretary in the clinton administration. he's now professor of public policy at the university of california, berkeley. his latest book, on the financial crisis, is titled "aftershock." and john makin is chief economist for caxton associates, a new york-based investment hedge fund, and a resident scholar at the american enterprise institute. >> john, i will start with you, what do you any of the president's latest moves to reach out to big business? >> i have very positive. you know, somebody once said i'm an economist. somebody once said an economy cyst somebody who won't take yes for an answer. look, the president i think had an epiphany on december 3rd when we saw that we still weren't create jobs. we had an unemployment rate of 9.8% and we really needed to get moving on this. so now we have the chief
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executive of general electric appointed as the head of the commission on jobs and competitiveness. so i think the president has got the message that it is really going to be necessary to do some things differently both in the area of regulatory tax and budget policy in order to get the economy moving and to generate some jobs. it is a good thing. >> robert reich, the emphasis on big business, how do you see it? >> well, certainly politically it is important for the president, for any president to maintain good relationships with the business community and to avoid being charged as anti-business. but it is very important that the president not be seduced into thinkinging that the interests of big business are the same as the interests of the american economy or for that matter the interest of american workers. big companies like general electric and others have made profits recently, indeed for the last 30 years but more intensively over the last ten years by actually cuttinging their payrolls by laying people off, by reducing wages and
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benefits. that is not going to be helpful to the american workforce. >> mr. makin, how does appointing the c.e.o. of a major company address the kind of concerns that the relationship had in the past. >> well, i think clearly the president did have an image problem with the business community. and i think many business leaders met with with the president and felt he just doesn't get it. the rhetoric on regulation is harming the economy. it's making businessmen hesitant about investing. i think the president's new tone where he is basically writing an op ed in the "the wall street journal" of all places about how we need to move toward more job reation and competitiveness. how we need to examine our regulatory policies is basically the right thing to do. >> and mr. reich's point that the interest of big business and everybody else aren't necessarily in sync? >> look f the pie gets bigger than it is a lot
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easier to discuss how you cut it up. and if the pie gets bigger, and by that i mean we create more jobs, then labor is going to be better off. we can argue about how we are goinging to divide it up later on. but right now we have an unemployment rate well over 9%. we have virtually zero job growth. we've created a few jobs, job growth is about less than a percent over the past year. we've got a problem. and if the president wants to cooperate with the business community and create more jobs, i'm all for it. >> robert reich you wrote recently looking at the situation that the president you thought was quote legitimizing a republican narrative on the economy. so fill in your argument here. what do you see happening? >>. >> well, the republican narrative is essentially there are problems have to do with big government, getting too big, and too intrusive and all we have to do is reduce government and we will all do better. and therefore reaching out to the business community, although politically
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necessary, freezing federal payrolls, freezing nondefense discretio discretion-- discretion air spending, having a deficit commission that is coming up with huge proposals to cut the deficit-- deficit mostly by spending cuts rather than tax increases, all of this does reinforce that republican story. there is another story though that i think is more accurate and also very important to be told and acted on. and that is the biggest reason we are having such a problem right now is the vast majority of americans don't have the wages, the salaries, the wherewithal to spend in the economy, to keep the economy going. and one reason they don't is after 30 years of outsourcing, of shaving payrolls, of putting pressure on unions to provide wage concessions and benefit concessions and also doing all sorts of things that reduce, automate that use the technologies to get rid of jobs, most americans
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just simply are not part of the global economy in terms of american prosperity any longer. >> and in that story, mr. reich, what would you think would be-- what should the president's posture towards big business be? >> well, again, i want to emphasize it's very important politically to maintain good relationships with big business but what the president has to do is lead the charge investing in education, in infrastructure, in job training, having a much more progressive income tax, expanding the earned income tax credit which is a wage subsidy. in other words, making sure that the vast majority of americans who have not benefited from make growth over much of the past 30 years actually do start benefitting. >> so john, this is a tale of two stories here. >> right. >> the way you see it, you can't do this without big business. >> well, look, i just-- i just totally disagree with rob reich on this. this is not a negative sum game. tax reform would be a great example.
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as the deficit commission has suggested and as the president has hinted, you pay her back tax preferences and reduce marginal tax rates, you can make the economy grow faster. remember tax preferences are regressive. that is they are more beneficial to the rich than they are to the poor. so there are lots of things you can do which business will like which will be good for employment and which will help the economy grow faster. >> let me ask you. looking at what he did today and in a recent week, is this enough for the business community or does he have to keep in a sense proving himself. >> well, sure, you know, the president has changed his rhetoric and a signaled that he would like to change some policies in a way that will help create jobs. and so that's a necessary but not a sufficient condition. what really has to happen next is that we have to change some policies. and i think we need to start with tax policy.
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and the president's giving signals and he is going to start in that area. if the president does things that annoy liberals like help cut corporate taxes, cut tax rates, pare back tax preferences and the economy starts to grow more rapidly, if the unemployment rate is closer to 8% a year from now than it is to 9%, he's going to be better off. >> mr. reich, you get the last word here. he is doing things that annoy liberals, right. >> i want to agree with john. this is not a zero sum game but i do want to emphasize that we are now experiencing in this country a degree of concentration of income and wealth at the top. we've not seen since 1928. trickle down economics has not worked. the median wage, the average wage for the typical american worker has gone absolutely nowhere. and we now have more unemployment and more long-term unemployment than we have seen in this country really ever before. if the american business community is goinging to make jobs, great, but
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american business is now globalized. ge is making 80% of its profits in its foreign operations. it's closed 14 factories in ohio over the last ten years. we've got to be realistic about what business can and can't do. businesses objective is to maximize profits. not maximize the benefits to the american worker. >> all right. we will leave it there. robert reich, john makin, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> brown: still to come on the newshour: the rehab road ahead for gabrielle giffords; pressure-packed schooling in south korea; and shields and brooks. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: representatives from six world powers gathered in istanbul, turkey, today for talks with iran about its nuclear program. iranian delegates said they were off to a positive start. but they insisted a freeze on uranium enrichment is not open for discussion, since its program is for peaceful purposes.
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iran currently is under four sets of u.n. security council sanctions for its nuclear activities. about 2,000 tribesmen rallied today in northwest pakistan against u.s. drone attacks on taliban forces. the protest was in the town of miran shah in north waziristan, near the border with afghanistan. nearly 150 taliban fighters who control the area appeared to sanction the rally. protesters called for the arrest of u.s. officials responsible for the drone attacks. tunisians began three days of national mourning today for those who died in a month of protests that led to a change in government. meanwhile, the new governing coalition struggled to maintain calm. today, hundreds gathered outside government buildings for more protests against keeping any members of the old regime in power. police officers were seen joining their ranks, and protesters greeted them with hugs and kisses.
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members of a conservative house republican group are calling for even deeper spending cuts than their party's leadership has proposed. yesterday, the republican study committee wants to slash immediately at least $100 billion from non-defense related programs. the group also calls for a return to 2006 federal spending levels over the next decade. at a house democratic retreat in maryland today, congressman chris van hollen called it a bad idea. the full house is set to vote on wall street today, stocks had a mixed day of trading. the dow was helped by strong results from general electric, but weakness among technology stocks dragged the nasdaq down.
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the dow jones industrial average gained 49 points to close above 11,871. the nasdaq fell nearly 15 points to close at 2,689. for the week, the dow gained seven-tenths of a percent; the nasdaq fell nearly 2.5%. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jim. >> lehrer: and to the next step in recovery for arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords. judy woodruff has the story. >> woodruff: an ambulance took representative giffords from tucson's university medical center this morning, the first leg of her journey to a rehabilitation hospital in houston. the move came less than two weeks after giffords was shot in the head outside a tucson grocery store. before the transfer, giffords' husband, astronaut mark kelly, sent this tweet: "gg going to next phase of her recovery today. very grateful to the doctors and nurses at umc, tucson pd,
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sheriff's dept. back in tucson asap!" the ambulance headed to a nearby air force base, escorted by police and motorcyclists from a veterans organization. well-wishers lined the street and waved. from there, she was flown to houston, accompanied by kelly, her mother, gloria, her tucson trauma surgeon, peter rhee, and a nurse. she arrived at texas's tirr memorial hermann hospital, where her new team of doctors held a press conference late today. >> she's actually doing very well. this was a tangential gunshot wound. fortunately, it didn't go crosswise or right down through the center. it could have been a whole lot worse, and clearly did not damage large portions of her brain, did damage some portions. >> she looks spectacular, in all ways: from a neurological point of
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view. she came into i.c.u. and she was alert, awake, calm, comfortable. we were already feeling some interaction, which is important. she's very good movement on left side of body and very purposeful. we were testing her vision, and she didn't like us shining the light in her eye, and wanted to keep them closed. and these are good sign. she had good tone in her leg, which is a precursor to better recovery. as i say, she just looked spectacular. there are varying stages of what we call either paralysis or weakness. she has maybe some movements on her legs.
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she has tone. we're not seeing much tone or movements on her arm, but that's only over 30 minutes. some nurses have reported she had some movements in tucson. >> she has great rehabilitation potential. great rehabilitation potential. we will keep her busy and she will keep us busy, as well. >> when she squeezed my hand that first day-- the most encouraging thing -- when i saw her reaction to cheering confirms to me she knows what's going on. >> her personality's coming out with her touches, the way that she looks at us. for a deeper understanding of the role of rehabilitation in brain injury cases,
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we turn to two specialists: dr. alexander dromerick is co-director of the neuroscience research center at the national rehabilitation hospital, and practices at georgetown university hospital in washington. and dr. christina kwasnica is director of the neuro- rehabilitation program at barrow neurological institute at st. joseph's hospital in phoenix, arizona. >> thank you both for being with us. dr. dromerick, let me start with you with this new information that we heard from this medical team in houston. and i made some notes. alert, awake, calm. we just heard the nurse talk about a sense of awareness. the doctor talk about good movement on the left side of her body. they said not sure about movement in her arms and they said she seemed to want to keep her eyes closed when they shown a light. what does all that say to you? >> so, in the context of somebody who has had a gunshot wound to the brain, that's pretty good news.
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she is clearly awake for at least parts of the day. she's clearly aware of her surroundings. she's having meaningful interactions with people. and the left side of her body is moving well. sounds like the right side is maybe not moving so well based on what we heard from the neurosurgeon in texas. but you know, given that she is less than two weeks out from the injury, she's making pretty good progress. but it also suggests that the brain injury was pretty significant. >> woodruff: and dr. dromerick, they also revealed today that she has a drain in her head, excess fluid in the brain. what does that say to you? >> so that says to me that there's difficulty with the circulation of the spinal fluid, the cerebral spinal fluid that is not circulating and being reabsorbed the way it should be so they have to drain it off to maintain normal pressure in the brain. and it probably means she'll be in the intensive care unit long never texas before
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she actually makes the move to the rehabilitation hospital, at least that's the typical things that's done. >> woodruff: now dr. kwasnica, they did say they would start rehab as soon as they come they talked about starting it this afternoon. explain for us the theory behind rehabilitation. >> well, it's really important to get to know what the patient can and can't do as quickly as possible. it's also very important to keep them mobilized. what happens is while you are in bed you have complications of being in bed. muscles get tight. it's harder to maintain your blood pressure. you have problems with your skin. and so it's important that we get people moving and up and normalize things as early as we can, even if we have to do so in an intensive care unit where they have monitors going on. >> and is rehab any different for a patient with a bullet injure, a gunshot injure than it is for other brain injury? >> well, it's very similar as far as what we offer to
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the patients. they have physical therapy which getting up and moving, occupational therapy, taking care of themselves and speech therapy. but what is a little bit different that after a surgery such as she had, they have to wear a helmet because there is not a bone there to protect their brain. the other thing is that we are very cautious about the risk of seizures because in patients with gunshot wounds they're at risk of having seizures early on and a delayed time after their injury is pretty high. so that is always a concern they have when we are taking care of these patients. >> dr. dromerick they were saying up to three hours of rehab right away. what exactly, what are some of the things they'll be doing with her. what kinds. >> i would imagine they will start with the nuts and bolts. make sure she is medically stable and there are no lurking meingd call problems that might interfere with her recovery. the next thing they will do is get her moving. when you stay in bed you lose about 1% of your muscle strength per day so she's
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been in bed for about two weeks. and they will begin standing her and hopefully begin walking training. and then the occupational therapists will focus on what we call activities of daily living. eating, dressing, bathing, going to the bathroom, those kinds of things. the speech speech therapist will be working on her language and swallowing and all of these things are practiced based. all on the assumption that when you practice certain kinds of activities just like when you go to the gym that are you going to become more skilled at them and that the brain is going to recover more function than it would have without those activities. >> and dr. kwasnica, all these therapies going on at the same time, and say in the same afternoon or in succession? how does that work? >> it generally how the day looks for our patients in rehabilitation is they get up about the same time you would normally. they have breakfast. they work with the therapist on getting dressed so that is considered therapy even though they are just working on getting dressed.
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they may work with a speech therapist on eating. they have breaks scheduled during the day because this is very hard work. and so it is not three hours straight of a workout. but it's half hour, hour blocks depending on how the patient can tolerate it. their day usually finishes up about three or 4:00 and then they are pretty tired. and most of our families will tell you that when they come and visit the patients at the end of the day, the patients are pretty ready for a nap or an early bedtime because they've worked very hard during the day. >> dr. dromerick, in addition to the tube, the nearal tube she has, we believe she's still on a feeding tube, still has a tracheotomy, does that affect the rehab. >> you know, those are pretty routine things that we deal with in a large brain injury, rehab program. so that's part of the stock and trade, yes it's more complicated. it suggests a somewhat more severe injury. but those are things that generally come out as the weeks go by i would expect
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in her case over the next several weeks those would both come out and that there is a reasonable shot of eating by mouth and much more than that. >> how much heart should we take from what we heard from that nurse and another doctor saying that the doctor saying she squeezed his hand when they heard the crowd cheering in tucson. is there much one can tell at this stage? >> well, i think those are all very good signs. i believe that we all want to be able to understand what a person is feeling or seeing around them even though they can't communicate with us. and sometimes they communicate nonverbally first. i also think after an injury as big as this we have only been just under two weeks and so to be just under two weeks and to be that alert and be that aware of your surroundings is actually quite remarkable. so i think we have to put it in perspective and realize that there are many injuries like this where you wouldn't be aware of what's going on
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around you even at the two week point. >> and dr. dromerick the doctors did say realistically we should look for four to six months in rehab s that consistent with what you see, with what -- >> it's hard to know for an individual patient without seeing them. typical patients will be in the in patient rehab hospital for a few weeks, typically, somewhere between 3 and 8 weeks. and then the real rehab actually starts after that as an outpatient that could go on for months, in some cases years. so it really depends on the individual circumstances of the person. >> and dr. kwasnica, just pulling all this together, i guess so many of us not only her family but the rest of the country have been hanging on every word about her condition. and thrilled with with the progress that she's made over the last two weeks. what do we expect in the way of new news, i guess i should ask in the weeks and days to come. >> i guess that we have to realize this is a very long
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road. and rehabilitation is about tiny little step as long that road. so i would expect in the next few weeks the first thing we're going to see is her getting out of the intensive care unit. and then moving to the point where she's sitting up regularly and taking some steps. and one of the most important goals for families and definitely for patients is to be starting to do some eating. those are the things that are coming and those don't come over a couple of days. those come over the course of weeks. the real issue is that this is a long-term process. and it is months of rehabilitation, not just in a hospital but afterwards. and that's really where in the outpatient settinging is really where the biggest changes occur and people go back to resuming their normal lives. >> well, dr. christina kwasnica, dr. alexander dromerick, we thank you both for helping us understand it all better. thank you.
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>> brown: next, making the grade where the pressure is on. margaret warner reports from south korea. >> warner: just outside seoul, high school freshman yoo jae won gets ready to study. his mom and dad, both doctors, already out the door; big sister, away at school. so that means all the more time to spend with the lovely miss lee. jae won's virtual teacher leaves this 16-year-old with virtually no time off, and that's the way he wants it. >> i think i need to study and work harder for my future. >> warner: that's a widespread belief in south korea, where extraordinary passion for education is the norm. have we mentioned jae won is on his two-month winter holiday? no matter. he began his day by walking in the biting cold, past a billboard touting perfect- scoring students, to a 90-minute math tutoring session and study hall.
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the tutoring was at a private cram school, or hagwon. from early morning until late at night, six days a week, nearly 60% of south korean youngsters look for a leg up by adding hagwons on top of their public school load. that kind of dedication-- some say obsession-- has catapulted south koreans into the top tier of educational achievement. in world rankings of 15 year- olds released last november, south korean students scored second in reading-- american kids were 17th-- and fourth in math; americans came in at 31st. >> koreans have something they call "kyoyukyeol", which means "education fever." u.s. ambassador kathleen >> warner: u.s. ambassador kathleen stephens first came to south korea in the '70s as a peace corps volunteer, teaching some 70 young boys in an
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unheated classroom. >> the passion for education here is part of the korean passion for excellence, and that is what has given this country such dynamism, such vibrancy, such success, even in the face of very daunting circumstances. >> the very first phrase of confucius analects goes, i quote-- "to learn and to practice and repeat it every time and every day, isn't this a joy?" >> warner: korean society is permeated by values reflecting the teachings of the ancient chinese scholar. but joy of learning is not the sole motivation. >> on the other hand, education and learning is a channel for your social mobility. and if you want to become somebody in society, you want to go to a better college, better school, and study certain areas which will bring you higher status, and probably high
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income. >> warner: this hyper- competitive personal drive is what jet-propelled resource-poor south korea into the top ranks of world economies-- from a war- torn wasteland, one of the globe's poorest countries, 50 years ago to the 12th richest today. shin dongpyo runs the s.d.p. institute, a hagwon that specializes in teaching english for a pretty price. >> we have competitive parenting going on here. >> warner: competitive parenting? explain that. >> you see your neighbors' kid speak better english than your kid, and you try to figure out what kind of english program he is getting and what kind of kindergarten he is attending. you figured it out and you send your kid to same kindergarten, that kind of competition going on. >> warner: 25-year-old kim tae-
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hoon, a student at s.d.p., says his hard-charging mother had him, even as a young child, attending specialized cram schools every day. >> for a ten-year-old boy, that was big deal and that was a big pressure for me. throughout middle school and high school, the burden grew heavier. in my high school days, i had to go to school in the morning, like 6:20, and school ended up around midnight. so it was, yes, stressed out. >> warner: high school is especially pressure-packed. college admission is seen as a make-or-break moment. scoring well on the national entrance exams means a ticket to a better life. is it ever enough? >> i feel like it is never enough. i have to study more and more, and i have to learn new things. but i never feel its enough. >> warner: preparing for that all-important college test means rote memorizing, says advanced english student kim eun ji, who
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enjoyed the give-and-take of her years in a u.s. school. >> in korea, it's teacher just saying, just lecturing and, like, trying to memorize and take the tests. >> warner: ambassador stephens says some koreans question why president obama holds up korea's educational system as a model. >> i have many koreans say to me, "why aren't you explaining to president obama that really our educational system is very problematical? educational fever is too high here." >> warner: the cost of all that schooling can also be crushing. the average south korean family spends more than 10% of its education on after-hours cram schools, more spending per capita on private tutoring than any other country. sadly, with more than 80% of high schoolers going on to attend college, the demand for prestige jobs in big
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corporations outstrips the market, says yonsei university economics professor lee doo won. >> all of these 500,000 college graduates are looking for decent jobs, and the decent jobs are jobs in large companies. but those jobs are limited-- 200,000 or... definitely less than 250,000. >> warner: some 8% of the under- 30 set are unemployed, more than twice korea's enviably low overall unemployment rate. the relentless pressure on students, graduates and their parents takes another toll. >> when young students are lagging behind in their classes, they get blamed by their parents, and they blame themselves. and sometimes, they blame themselves so hard that it's going to lead themselves to suicide. >> warner: a higher percentage of koreans kill themselves than in any other country in the
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developed world. the nation's suicide rate of more than 20 per 100,000 is more than double the u.s. average. young yoo jae won feels the pressure, even if he scores below his classmates on one test. >> i think, like, negative thinkings. i'm thinking im not really doing good at studying. i'm not a smart student, or i can't go to university. >> warner: does that thought scare you? >> sometimes. if i go to bad university, i can be ignored by other peoples. >> ( translated ): we really need to redefine what is success, like money is not everything. >> warner: national assemblywoman bae eun hee, who sits on the education committee, says something has to be done. south korea must promote more vocational and other alternatives for its young people, she says, and there needs to be a national conversation about what real achievement is.
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>> ( translated ): our success mentality about life, i think it's about time for a change. the point is, it is now time for south korean society to allow a diversity about what is successful. being happy is also success. >> warner: by that measure, these kids seem wildly successful. singing and dancing at song rooms is a favorite pastime here, a way for many young people to blow off steam. hundreds of thousands of those same young koreans come to this lookout over seoul to leave padlocks inscribed with their personal hopes and dreams for a future filled with happiness, if they can just take the time to enjoy it. >> lehrer: finally tonight, the
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analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields, "new york times" columnist david brooks. >> david, what do you make of the president's reaching out to the business community, today and a earlier? >> it's beginning to work. i mean if you look at his poll numbers they're rising. and they're rising among two groups. moderate republicans and independents and actually if you look at the approval rating of congress and approval rating of republicans in congress, that is beginning to go down. so the first thing that we said is this politically he sees the momentum. now economically, it's obviously a tougher road. he's got a high degree of skepticism among the business community but i think he's begun to chip in to that. a lot of the skepticism, and i talk to a lot of c.e.o.s who just loathed obama, and a lot of it was just rhetorical. they didn't like being called fat cats. and he sort of scaled that back. he's had a few meetings where he hasn't screamed at them. they like that. there's been this gesture in "the wall street journal," saying we're going to look
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at the wholesome benefits of regulation and that's being run by cat sun stein who really could put some meet on that substance and the free trade bill, a whole sears of things. and so he sees the political center a bit and really has begun to shift and made people in the business community feel better. so it is, who would have thought three months ago he would have the momentum and the republicans would be back on his heels, but it's happened. >> it's happened, the momentum back on -- >> i don't get as much out of it as david does. i think it's been mostly public relations at this point. i mean when the president of the united states says in skin ect teddy that he picked jeffrey immelt because he is not one of the washington crowd that rings-- that is not authentic, i'm sorry it is not authentic when a democratic president tries to run against washington. and tries to run against the government. >> lehrer: the c.e.o. of general electric -- >> in the third quarter of
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2010 corporate profits in the united states reached an all-time high. the standard & poor's 500 is up 50% since barack obama has been president of the united states it isn't like these people-- the wealth created has gone to the top 1%. i mean it isn't like he has been robin hood and holding them up. they are doing pretty damn well. i think it's a matter of necessity on his part. what he didn't do was extends the tax cuts. that was not a matter of choice but that was -- >> we pushed on him by -- >> by the reality of politics. >> but you know there hasn't been any really major substantive change at this point. >> no policy change. >> i would say the tax cuts extended. the south korean trade deal with which had been in the works for you know a long,
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long time. it wasn't a major innovation. i do think that the tests will be on the budget and the state of the union, as to whether in fact he's going to continue this road. i don't think the independents voters returned to the positive rating of obama like they have in the first time obama 2009. based upon his overtures toward tom donahue and chamber of commerce and jeffrey immelt and the fortune 50. i think there is a perception that he has made things work since the election. he did get start through. he did get don't ask don't tell through. he didn't appear to be rolled by the republicans in any way. and he was, he did act in a bipartisan way and finally, at tucson and in the american tragedy, he did, he was the president not only comforting people but connecting emotionally with them. >> lehrer: dow buy into that. >> tucson was a major part of it, obviously.
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i do think healing the war which really was a war is a part of it too. a lot of people work for businesses. and respect business. >> even a rhetorical war. >> it was a rhetorical war and the business leaders would say it was more than that when they were being hit with regulations and all the uncertainty. and there has been a shift, some of it is so far just symbolic but there has been a shift in personnel. gene sperling and bruce reed and bill daly, they have come in or been promoted and they're not necessarily businesspeople but they're not hostile to business. and i think there's been some shift there. but you know, the proof will be in putting how much of the regulatory reform really is done. and to me the big challenge and this is really leading into the state of the union, clearly there has been an emphasis on growth and competitiveness, international competitiveness. now what they are talking about with some of the obama people, before you were talking to them about what you were doing was about health care and all that, now about growth, just going to grow, grow, grow, grow.
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and so that is music to people's ears. but to me the central tension there is it growth trying to begin up some jobs are for 2012, job creation over the next few months or is it long-term fundamental growth, doing the things like scientific research, infrastructure spending, education reform which will yield no benefits by 2012 but maybe by 2020 or 2030. and to me those are two separate subjects and one of the things i'm curious about, which growth are they talking about. >> where does, if at all, does the china summit fit in to this. is this part of the new glow for barack obama? do you think it deserves a glow? >> i think it worked, symbolically for him. i'm not sure of the substantive changes whether they were certainly they weren't earth-shattering. but there were concessions at least verbal but it is not the first time we've had
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that from the chinese in the past. the acknowledgment that they have a human rights problem even though it was blanked out, the chinese consumption. and the acknowledgment that there was a responsibility and north korea and that north korea was a problem. and again, the statements on intellectual property, i mean when microsoft reports that one out of ten microsoft products that ends up in china in use is paid for, nine out of ten are-- you know, that's really international banditry on their part and continues. but you know, i think the president handled himself well. he does that very well. i don't know -- >> what did you think. >> i was most impressed by the level of self-criticism by the obama administration and correction. and that's really the story on economics but also the story on china policy. i think there is a wide spread recognition that they came into power saying we've
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gotten to gauge china. we will open up to them. we will talk to them and this was perceived as weakness by the chinese and they began to walk over the obama administration. and they also began to think this openness was a sign that americans knew their power was in decline and were being more gentle and therefore it was necessary to shift, do some openness and engagement but also do some toughness and strike that balance and allow the china watchers thought they truck that balance quite well. and so that's a sign they are willing to say okay we've sort of got this wrong. let's adjust. >> meanwhile, the house with the republican votes repealed the health reform law. what does that mean. >> well, it means we now have the republicans health plan which doesn't impose any burdens on business or any regulations, doesn't cost a nickel because there is no republican health plan. and it means the law remains. we have gone through that symbolism, that messaging
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and republicans would say we met our responsibility. we suede we would do it, we've done it. and it is over. i think the republicans start to run a little bit of a risk as they try to keep this alive in the senate, harry reid for the democrats to bring it up, what the democrats did. at a time when american voters are concerned about jobs and the economy, the spending time on health care which is already been passed it is on the books, certainly can be improved, is not where the republicans want to be. and politically or substantively. >> lehrer: but they are are had to do it. >> i think they were absolutely right to do it. this was one the dominant issues that propelled them to power. it's not over this was the first step. they talked explicitly about having a whole series of committee meetings and they will talk about some of the problems like unions and employers dumping people off their insurance rolls on to the public rolls which they have a gigantic incentive to do. some of the fiscal problems and that was sort of where
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the debate held up. i thought republicans had a decent case to make that on paper according to the way the cbo counts this it does reduce the deficit over ten years. because of the tax increases but in reality, because of the way some of the accounting gimmicks, it's quite bad for the deficit so they were quite right to talk about that stuff. but the key will be how, how aggressive are they going to be in going forward. and one of the debates they're having right now between the top leaders and the more political people, frankly, let's not touch medicare, let's not touch that stuff. some of the more principalled people are saying we can't really cut spending. we can't cut deficits. we can't really adjust our health-care system unless we're willing to talk about medicare reform so they're having a serious debate. you can't avoid health care. >> david and i didn't hear the same debate. i listened to the debate on the floor. the republicans regularly stood up and said they thought that preexisting conditions and elimination
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was good. they thought people at the age of 26 was this, they thought not dropping someone when they were sick was good. that no lifetime limit was good. but what they didn't want was mandate and exchanges. now you cannot have it. you cannot. if the insurance rates would be so high, it would be impossible. so that they want to cherry pick all the benefits and have none of the responsibilities. >> not quite fair. >> to one extent a little fair. >> a little fair. >> i am trying to open up in a moderate way before i come back in a moderate way. it is true that the republicans have not decided, have not asked for any painful stuff like medicare cuts the way obama to his cede dit. but they do have a theory about how to control cost. and that theory is to define the benefits that the government is going to pay out and have a real competitive marketplace where consumers can see what they're paying and what they're getting. and therefore you can have normal market competition so there is a theory there how much they actually try to
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get that system into place. will be determined by these committee hearings. >> lehrer: a few seconds. >> i mean i wait for that. i mean i have seen this debate has gone on now in this country 50 years. and there was a republican plan in 1993. it was bob dole and john chafee of rhode island. and essentially transforms into the romney plan in massachusetts and obama plan in washington. the democrats embraced that, the republican plan of 1993. and republicans in the congress have just walked away from it. >> i'm now going to have to walk away from the two of you, very, very sad thing to do but thank you both very much. >> and again the major developments of the >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: president obama chose the head of general electric for his economic council; and congresswoman gabrielle giffords was transferred to a rehabilitation facility in houston. and to kwame holman for what's on the newshour online. kwame. >> holman: watch all of margaret's reports from south korea, and find a blog post about the push to save historic
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buildings in seoul amid new construction. plus, as the sundance film festival opens, jeff talks to two festival organizers about this year's themes. that's on "art beat". and finally, many of you have asked how the re-launched "pbs newshour" is doing, now that we've celebrated our first birthday. the short answer is, very well. simon marks, president of macneil lehrer productions, recently prepared a more detailed answer for a tv critics' meeting in los angeles, and we've posted it on our web site. here's an excerpt. >> it was just over a year ago that the pbs newshour was officially launched. >> on the pbs newshour tonight. >> a new broadcast and a new web site. a completely fresh iteration of macneil lehrer journalism that date backs to the 1970s. >> people who are interested in serious new, the kind of
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serious news we provide, i don't care if they get that news on a pink ipod or something stickinging in their ear or anywhere else, as long as they get the information. >> viewers of the program on pbs now find a livelier format, a rotating team of an kers, more taped reports from the field, and a the addition of new on-air staff to engage the newshour's audience. the political editor david chalian formerly of abc news. >> this is a critical bloc, this election season. >> science correspondent miles o'brien, a veteran of cnn. >> looking at leonardo, easy to forget what's behind him. >> and hare sreenivasan formerly of cbs that serves as the bridge between the nightly broadcast and its digital platform. >> i'm hare sreenivasan, i'm joined through the magic of the internet and laptop. >> those digital platfor platform-- platforms have dramatically expanded over the past year. on the web site itself, the
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newshour's focused reporting beat now produced dedicated topic pages. they present enhanced deeper multimedia coverage of the major stories, in areas that include politics, science, business, health and the arts. new interactive widgets like this one developed by the newshour's digital team reached millions of people worldwide who wanted to track the extent of the gulf oil spill. the newshour's iphone app launched in the summer delivers content to a growing number of younger tech savvy users, so does the newshour's utube which regular leigh delivers video streams to as many viewers as pbs he own web site. >> you can watch the entire presentation on-line that and more is on our web site vi >> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we'll look at the next court appearance for jared loughner, the suspect in the tucson shootings. i'm jeffrey brown.
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>> lehrer: and i'm jim lehrer. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> okay, listen. somebody has got to get serious. >> i think... >> we need renewable energy. >> ...renewable energy is vital to our planet. >> you hear about alternatives, right? wind, solar, algae. >> i think it's going to work an a big scale. only, i think it's going to be affordable. >> so, where are they? >> it has to work in the real world. at chevron, we're investing millions in solar and biofuel technology to make it work. >> we've got to get on this now. >> right now. and by the alfred p. sloan
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foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh vo:geico, committed to providing service to
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