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<v Announcer>More and more people sliding into the underclass. <v Tanya Fortson>I'm just trying to get a better place for me and my children. <v Announcer>Welfare. Is it a helping hand or a trap? <v Announcer>Major funding for By the Year 2000 is provided by the James Irvine <v Announcer>Foundation to promote civic and social responsibility and the development <v Announcer>of sound public policy through the understanding of community issues. <v Announcer>And by the Michael J. Connell Foundation. <v Announcer>Additional funding is provided by the law firm of Latham and Watkins proudly <v Announcer>supporting public discussion of community issues. <v Announcer>And by Kaiser Permanente working with Southern California for
<v Announcer>a healthier tomorrow. <v Speaker>Those who live in the underclass of this, one of the world's richest societies, usually <v Speaker>get most of the worst of everything. <v Val Zavala>Extreme poverty goes with crime ridden neighborhoods. <v Val Zavala>The worst schools and often lifelong dependance on welfare. <v Val Zavala>I'm Val Zavala. <v Joseph Bendi>And I'm Joseph Bendi. This program is part of our month long look at the have <v Joseph Bendi>have not society. In Southern California, the number of people falling into the <v Joseph Bendi>underclass is growing. <v Joseph Bendi>Why? Decent paying jobs are disappearing and without enough education, <v Joseph Bendi>the very poor have nowhere to turn. <v Val Zavala>There are about 22 underclass neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. <v Val Zavala>Residents in these neighborhoods are very poor and mostly black. <v Val Zavala>This is their story. <v Val Zavala>They live in neighborhoods where crime is so high, not even their laundry is <v Val Zavala>safe from thieves, where Mother's Day is on the 1st and the 15th - when
<v Val Zavala>welfare checks are delivered. <v Val Zavala>And where eight out of 10 births are to teenagers who sometimes become grandparents <v Val Zavala>in their early 30s here. <v Val Zavala>More than half of high school students will never walk in a graduation line, <v Val Zavala>where poor health care means they spend more time than anyone else in emergency rooms. <v Val Zavala>And where tensions are so high that tempers flare at a moment's notice. <v Val Zavala>Just as the rich are gated away from the rest of society, so are the underclass, <v Val Zavala>some living in the projects, low rent prisons of despair, where <v Val Zavala>success is found mostly on street signs. <v Val Zavala>All this despite their living in one of the wealthiest cities on earth. <v Val Zavala>These are society's underclass. <v Leonard Schneiderman>What one is attempting to describe the use of a word like <v Leonard Schneiderman>underclass is not the fact that there are people at <v Leonard Schneiderman>different income levels in the society. <v Leonard Schneiderman>But the progressive disconnectedness of a group of people from the mainstream
<v Leonard Schneiderman>of the society. <v Val Zavala>Dean of the UCLA School of Social Welfare, Leonard Schneiderman. <v Leonard Schneiderman>We have a kind of polarization going on, a kind of two tier society <v Leonard Schneiderman>in which the polarization between the haves and have nots is intensifying <v Leonard Schneiderman>very greatly. The ladders available to people to achieve upward <v Leonard Schneiderman>mobility have been cut off at the bottom. <v Val Zavala>And a changing job picture is one reason why. <v Val Zavala>Gone are high paying blue collar jobs replaced by low paid service sector <v Val Zavala>jobs. The lucrative information based jobs are unattainable by a poorly educated <v Val Zavala>underclass. Twenty years ago, a high school diploma and hard work meant a ticket <v Val Zavala>out of the ghetto. Today, that's next to impossible. <v Val Zavala>They are unable to keep up in a world that is rapidly changing, one requiring high <v Val Zavala>levels of education and highly skilled workers. <v Val Zavala>And because they've been unable to adapt, it's getting even more difficult to get out of <v Val Zavala>the ghetto. The world is passing many of them by.
<v Val Zavala>Their numbers tripled in the 1970s alone. <v Val Zavala>At last count, there were two and a half million people nationwide. <v Val Zavala>Using 1980 census data the urban Institute measured <v Val Zavala>the underclass. They looked for neighborhoods with an overpopulation of welfare <v Val Zavala>dependents, high school dropouts, female headed households <v Val Zavala>and jobless males. <v Val Zavala>They found 880 underclass neighborhoods nationwide, 22 <v Val Zavala>in Los Angeles alone. <v Val Zavala>Among them, Watts. <v Val Zavala>Despite the riots 25 years ago, it is still economically depressed, <v Val Zavala>but it's home for 24 year old Tanya Fortson, a high school dropout <v Val Zavala>and single mother of three. Tanya is a third generation welfare recipient. <v Val Zavala>She lives in Nickerson Gardens, the largest housing project in Los Angeles, <v Val Zavala>where she sees the despair daily. <v Tanya Fortson>They feel, why should I have to work? <v Tanya Fortson>I have a girlfriend now who is working and she only makes I mean, she works seven <v Tanya Fortson>days a week, and she only makes $730 a month, OK?
<v Tanya Fortson>I make more than her just sititng on my behind and waiting on the mailman. <v Val Zavala>Tanya and many like her have fallen into a trap. <v Val Zavala>Victims of a program originally designed as a safety net, but the net is slowly <v Val Zavala>pulling them under. Faced with little more than the prospect of low wage jobs, <v Val Zavala>most stay on welfare and low wage dead end jobs <v Val Zavala>mean the young men of the underclass resort to an underground economy of selling <v Val Zavala>drugs seen as the only way out. <v William Rathburn>When people are poor, there's no question but that a larger percentage of those people <v William Rathburn>are going to get involved in crime. <v Val Zavala>And this lifestyle has severe consequences. <v Val Zavala>Many young black men are being killed in gang warfare. <v Val Zavala>Those who avoid getting shot end up in jail. <v Val Zavala>Today, one in four young black men are either in jail or under court supervision. <v Val Zavala>Many expect to go to jail, according to Leon Watkins, who runs a South Central L.A. <v Val Zavala>Crisis Hotline. <v Speaker>I've heard some of the guys say it's not if you go to jail, it's when you
<v Speaker>go to jail. It was out there on the street. <v Speaker>And that in and of itself is something different than what it used to be a few years ago. <v Val Zavala>Fred Owens and James Weaver may be the next generation of underclass. <v Val Zavala>Both are 16 and both have been in trouble for gang activity with <v Val Zavala>no father in the home, Fred wanted to help his mother financially, so he began <v Val Zavala>making over fifteen hundred dollars a week selling drugs. <v Fred Owens>I just say kept a secret to myself say, hey, I will come in and pay the bills and <v Fred Owens>whatever she wants, I give it to her. <v Val Zavala>Many parents close their eyes to the crimes their sons commit, <v Val Zavala>something ex-con Marshall Brown has seen time and time again. <v Marshall Brown>Their mom was gonna go along with it, you know, because mom would like the money. <v Marshall Brown>That's what's happening, it's happening all around here that you got. <v Marshall Brown>You got 15 years of 15 year old taking care, his whole family, <v Marshall Brown>you know, and provide transportation. <v Marshall Brown>And so, what do you know, how how would they lose it if they feel they're surviving? <v Val Zavala>These men speak from experience.
<v Val Zavala>They're prisoners in a halfway house awaiting release. <v Val Zavala>To them, crime and drugs are both a matter of survival and a ticket <v Val Zavala>to the American dream. <v Marshall Brown>You can't give a man that's um say I have three kids and a <v Marshall Brown>wife. You can't give him three dollars and thirty. <v Marshall Brown>Minimum wage. Three dollars - four dollars, thirty five cent. <v Marshall Brown>So it results back to dope, you know, where they can make money. <v Alan Hudson>I was looking for that goal. <v Alan Hudson>You know, that's all I wanted was that go a nice family, a nice home and <v Alan Hudson>a car to get back and forth to work. <v Alan Hudson>In other words, I'm going to ride the boat like everybody else. <v Val Zavala>But along the way, people are being terrorized. <v Val Zavala>Every week this group meets to help residents cope. <v Val Zavala>Some have lost sons in this urban battleground. <v Val Zavala>Mrs. La Floras son was killed during an argument sparked by a minor car <v Val Zavala>accident. <v Ellamae LaFleur>When the police came to the house, it was about three o'clock and <v Ellamae LaFleur>they told me about it. I couldn't believe it because
<v Ellamae LaFleur>it just was it just was a real shock. <v Ellamae LaFleur>I couldn't believe it. <v Ellamae LaFleur>He's always in my mind day and night. <v Ellamae LaFleur>We wer very close. <v Speaker>When the sun goes down I stay home. <v Speaker>Early in the morning I stay home. <v Speaker>And it's very dangerous in my neighborhood. <v Speaker>Because you see little kids, little teenagers, eight, nine, <v Speaker>10 years old, pushing kids. <v Speaker>And I'm afraid to go out of my house at night. <v Woman>You didn't put that there. <v Val Zavala>Some parents have spirited their children out of the neighborhood altogether. <v Val Zavala>That's the case with Beverly Williams and family. <v Val Zavala>Now, its daughter, Robin Stern, who today joins the military. <v Beverly Williams>And there are a lot of young ladies watching. <v Beverly Williams>And if you go and show them that you can do it and <v Beverly Williams>they'll change you.
<v Robin Stern>Aw Mommy. <v Val Zavala>Two of Beverly's other children are in the Job Corps in Northern California and a stepson <v Val Zavala>has left gang life altogether to live and work in South Pasadena. <v Val Zavala>They're a model family that has avoided the trappings of an underclass. <v Val Zavala>But there are less drastic solutions than getting kids out. <v Val Zavala>One is a mandatory approach called gain. <v Val Zavala>And it requires all welfare recipients except those with children under six <v Val Zavala>to get jobs. If you have no skills, you're trained. <v Val Zavala>Child care, health benefits and transportation are also provided. <v Maxine Waters>We've got to keep apartments right? That's right. <v Maxine Waters>We've got to take control of our lives. <v Maxine Waters>Give yourselves a big round of applause. <v Val Zavala>A second approach is voluntary and emphasizes individual motivation <v Val Zavala>and job readiness. Project billed is the brainchild of Assemblywoman Maxine <v Val Zavala>Waters, a former welfare child herself. <v Val Zavala>Her program comes directly to the people in the projects.
<v Val Zavala>The primary focus. <v Maxine Waters>We have any other special talents? <v Val Zavala>Is building self-esteem and motivation. <v Val Zavala>It makes people literally want to get up and sing. <v Singer>[Sings "You'll hold my hand, you might not say a word, but <v Singer>I see a change when I show my face"] <v Maxine Waters>Motivation is an extremely important part of this <v Maxine Waters>job training that we do. We try and open people's minds up to the possibilities <v Maxine Waters>and let them know that they really can do something about their lives if they want to. <v Val Zavala>But some feel such programs don't get to the root of the problem. <v Val Zavala>What's needed, they say, is massive redevelopment. <v Val Zavala>Much more than two recently built watch shopping centers. <v Mark Ridley-Thomas>The point is that this shouldn't be the <v Mark Ridley-Thomas>only sort of development that happens in south central <v Mark Ridley-Thomas>Los Angeles. It's not simply a question of
<v Mark Ridley-Thomas>having a job alone. It is the kind of job that this <v Mark Ridley-Thomas>community needs. <v Mark Ridley-Thomas>I'm arguing for a diversity of opportunity. <v Val Zavala>Which includes bringing industry and other types of businesses <v Val Zavala>into a community where the drug economy and welfare has been the only option. <v Woman>I want to try and get a better place for me <v Woman>and my children. <v Val Zavala>Our discussion will involve two levels of underclass needs. <v Val Zavala>One is the need to survive. <v Val Zavala>The other. The need to find a way up and out. <v Joseph Bendi>And our panel includes from Washington, D.C. <v Joseph Bendi>You've just seen in our brief report Maxine Waters, California state assemblywoman from <v Joseph Bendi>Los Angeles. Here in our studio, Gary Blasi with the Los Angeles Legal Aid Society. <v Joseph Bendi>Virginia Postrel with the Reason Foundation, a Santa Monica based public policy think <v Joseph Bendi>tank. And Denise Fairchild, director of the local initiative Support Corporation. <v Joseph Bendi>It's an organization that helps the poor through economic development.
<v Joseph Bendi>And I'd like to ask our first question of Assemblywoman Waters. <v Joseph Bendi>Can you do it through voluntary operations? <v Joseph Bendi>Ms. Waters? Or does it have to be a coordination of everything if we're ever going to <v Joseph Bendi>solve the underclass problem or even make a dent in it in the next 10 years? <v Maxine Waters>It needs to be a comprehensive approach to dealing with the <v Maxine Waters>failure of education, the failure of government, the failure of families, <v Maxine Waters>the failure of the society to deal with problems in inner cities <v Maxine Waters>and ghettos. It must be comprehensive. <v Joseph Bendi>And the programs that we now have on the books, the comprehensive program, for example, <v Joseph Bendi>GAIN in the state of California. <v Maxine Waters>Oh GAIN is not working in California. There's not even a gain office in Watts <v Maxine Waters>where you have the problem of welfare. <v Maxine Waters>And the problem of joblessness. <v Maxine Waters>That particular program was contracted out to some entrepreneurs by the county <v Maxine Waters>supervisors who are making money off of it, but they have done nothing for the people of <v Maxine Waters>Watts. <v Joseph Bendi>When you say they're making money off it, what do you mean by that? <v Maxine Waters>Well, they're private contractors who contracted with the county instead of the county
<v Maxine Waters>operating that GAIN program. <v Maxine Waters>There's not even a GAIN office in Watts where clearly you have a disproportionate <v Maxine Waters>number of people on welfare. <v Joseph Bendi>If GAIN were use the way it was designed to be used, wouldn't it work, isn't that the <v Joseph Bendi>right idea? <v Maxine Waters>That's one possibility, one way of helping to deal with the problem. <v Maxine Waters>But that's just one way. <v Joseph Bendi>And you have some other way. <v Joseph Bendi>Miss Fairchild, yours is a very interesting combination of business and private <v Joseph Bendi>enterprise. How does your idea work? <v Denise Fairchild>When we talk about the underclass is as it's defined. <v Denise Fairchild>We're really talking about intergenerational poverty. <v Denise Fairchild>And that means there's been a legacy of deprivation and that deprivation is defined <v Denise Fairchild>by people, actually corporations and the public sector taking resources <v Denise Fairchild>out of our communities. There's been a wholesale rip off of our community in terms of <v Denise Fairchild>industries moving out. Other job creation opportunities not available. <v Denise Fairchild>The maldistribution of public resources, to the extent that we're looking at community <v Denise Fairchild>development block grant funds being evenly distributed across the city of Los
<v Denise Fairchild>Angeles when the greatest need is in south central Los Angeles, for example, <v Denise Fairchild>shows that what we have to do is bring resources back into the communities. <v Denise Fairchild>We have to invest in our neighborhoods, invest in the capacity of <v Denise Fairchild>the of the people in South Central, and that's what we try to do. <v Joseph Bendi>Over the next 10 years if you had your way, how would you change one community, one <v Joseph Bendi>underclass community? How does it work? <v Denise Fairchild>I don't disagree with Maxine Waters, who talks about giving hope and vision <v Denise Fairchild>to people who never had the opportunity to achieve. <v Denise Fairchild>Job opportunities to create their own businesses. <v Denise Fairchild>And that's what we try to do if they come with an idea of owning their own community then <v Denise Fairchild>we say, give us your ideas and we'll invest in housing. <v Denise Fairchild>We'll invest in commercial development. <v Denise Fairchild>We want to support the idea of them being the community builders that they own <v Denise Fairchild>and control their own neighborhoods. Right now we do not own or control our neighborhood <v Denise Fairchild>it's controlled by people outside our community. <v Joseph Bendi>And Ms. Postrel how does that different from what you have in mind yet?
<v Joseph Bendi>As I understand it you have a pretty heavy sort of meat axe approach to this problem. <v Virginia Postrel>Well, you've already set me up to be the bad guy. <v Virginia Postrel>Knock me down. I think we have to get away from the idea <v Virginia Postrel>of thinking of the underclass as some sort of black box. <v Virginia Postrel>That's them. They are the underclass. <v Virginia Postrel>And this is something that crossed the political spectrum. <v Virginia Postrel>You find the underclass is individuals who have one way or another <v Virginia Postrel>become trapped in a difficult situation. <v Virginia Postrel>One thing I think we need to do is to realize that any system we have will reward <v Virginia Postrel>certain types of individuals to make certain kinds of choices. <v Virginia Postrel>And in a sense, punish others. <v Virginia Postrel>The system we have right now punishes those who get <v Virginia Postrel>a job if they're on welfare, for example, like the woman in the <v Virginia Postrel>video was talking about, who get married if they're on welfare, <v Virginia Postrel>who save money. There was a recent case of an unusual case <v Virginia Postrel>of a woman who had saved thousands of dollars by scrimping, scrimping, scrimping over a
<v Virginia Postrel>long time on welfare. She was in trouble with the law, and yet she was planning for her <v Virginia Postrel>family's future. Our current system punishes those kinds of people. <v Virginia Postrel>What we need to do is get to a system where we say, yes, welfare is <v Virginia Postrel>a safety net. That means it's temporary. <v Virginia Postrel>That means we, for example, will provide you the equivalent of AFDC <v Virginia Postrel>in that package of benefits for two years. <v Virginia Postrel>During that time, if you get a job, great, you can keep your benefits. <v Virginia Postrel>But when the time is over, whether it's two years, three years, that's it. <v Virginia Postrel>You're not going to get anymore for five years or some <v Virginia Postrel>some fairly lengthy and finite period of time. <v Virginia Postrel>And it sounds very heartless, but what we've done is we're trapped generation after <v Virginia Postrel>generation of people. <v Joseph Bendi>What do you do with those you've trapped? If indeed, let's say in our community, they may <v Joseph Bendi>be as many as one hundred thousand or more and they are trapped and there is no way out. <v Joseph Bendi>And the underclass has been defined as a behavior problem more than poverty, but <v Joseph Bendi>that they have learned or not learned through a bad educational system, through crime,
<v Joseph Bendi>through drugs, through teenage pregnancies. <v Joseph Bendi>They have learned a life that is unending and self-perpetuating. <v Joseph Bendi>How would you solve it? <v Virginia Postrel>Well, clearly, I would say the crime and education problems are major and <v Virginia Postrel>they're major not only for the people who have to live in these neighborhoods and who <v Virginia Postrel>feel trapped by them, but also their major deterrents to, for example, businesses <v Virginia Postrel>coming into these neighborhoods. So one thing I think we ought to look at is getting a <v Virginia Postrel>grip on crime. And by which I do not mean pouring lots and lots of <v Virginia Postrel>police - although probably you could use some - from outside. <v Virginia Postrel>I think we ought to look at creating some type of program of <v Virginia Postrel>people from the neighborhoods working as sort of a souped <v Virginia Postrel>up community watch with some public police training and with pay. <v Virginia Postrel>This is not just going to be good citizenship, but a form of perhaps a part <v Virginia Postrel>time job opportunity. Similarly, we've trapped people educationally. <v Virginia Postrel>We say, first of all, we put the housing project here. <v Virginia Postrel>We don't. Give, say, vouchers and say you'd live anywhere in the city, the housing <v Virginia Postrel>project there, you're stuck there. Your kid goes to this school.
<v Virginia Postrel>You're stuck there. You the parents have no way of opting out, <v Virginia Postrel>opting for a different school in a different part of town. <v Virginia Postrel>We need to look at those kinds of choices. <v Joseph Bendi>Mr. Blasi, you deal with homeless people and that's your main constituency. <v Joseph Bendi>How does that sound to you? <v Gary Blasi>Well, I think you have to look at the problem realistically and realistically, I think we <v Gary Blasi>know what the solutions are. <v Gary Blasi>You know, 30 years ago, there was a tremendous problem in this community and in the <v Gary Blasi>country of poverty and extreme poverty among the elderly people. <v Gary Blasi>We pretty much solved that problem. We solved it with Social Security and the SSI <v Gary Blasi>program. Those programs have tended to work because they've had political support. <v Gary Blasi>The difference between what we're tonight calling the underclass and the elderly <v Gary Blasi>is that the elderly have both political clout and political support out there in the <v Gary Blasi>community. We know what to do. It's a question fundamentally of resources. <v Gary Blasi>Now, there are ways to do it more efficiently. As Denise was was pointing out, and there <v Gary Blasi>are some things that are obviously wrong with the welfare system that traps people at the <v Gary Blasi>bottom of a slippery slope.
<v Gary Blasi>Some in some instances, I think intentionally so that people will become dependent <v Gary Blasi>but - <v Joseph Bendi>Funds a major industry. <v Gary Blasi>It's a major industry. And there are people like the agency that that <v Gary Blasi>Maxine Waters was talking about that are making a lot of money off of this. <v Gary Blasi>But fundamentally, it's a question of resources and it's also a question of resources <v Gary Blasi>over time, we're talking about kids who are now, <v Gary Blasi>say, 35, who went to schools here, who got high school diplomas, <v Gary Blasi>who read at the second and third grade level. <v Gary Blasi>They can't conceivably compete. <v Gary Blasi>We're now paying a price for the segregation and for the abandonment <v Gary Blasi>of a whole class of people in Los Angeles over a long period of time. <v Gary Blasi>And to think that we could fix that with some nifty little gadgets and some little <v Gary Blasi>enterprises just not going to happen. <v Gary Blasi>It's going to take a tremendous amount of resources. <v Denise Fairchild>It's a real need to bring added resources to underserved communities. <v Denise Fairchild>When we recognize that that poverty is something that did not happen overnight <v Denise Fairchild>or even the last 25 years, that there has been a legacy of deprivation.
<v Denise Fairchild>That means we need a lot of money. But what we can not lose sight of is that <v Denise Fairchild>money in and of itself will solve the problems. <v Denise Fairchild>It becomes a question of who owns that money, who controls it, how it's going to be <v Denise Fairchild>used. The critical thing is that that money needs to go - the direct beneficiary <v Denise Fairchild>needs to be - low income residents themselves. <v Joseph Bendi>As I watch the evening news, I'm sure you do, too. <v Joseph Bendi>You think the homeless people, the poor people, the people we've seen in our opening <v Joseph Bendi>report are all the bearers of the bad of our society. <v Joseph Bendi>We've got to somehow put the foot on their neck and keep them under control, or else <v Joseph Bendi>we're all going to be in trouble when in fact, they may be able to solve their <v Joseph Bendi>own problems, but they simply haven't been empowered to solve them. <v Joseph Bendi>Is that possible? <v Virginia Postrel>Well we don't trust people to solve their own problems? <v Virginia Postrel>Nobody on this panel except for me trusts people to solve their own problems. <v Virginia Postrel>They want to create agencies they want. <v Virginia Postrel>They want to bring resources from Washington into the community. <v Virginia Postrel>You know, these women care about their children. <v Virginia Postrel>They may have a lot of problems. They may not be the perfect mothers, but they care about
<v Virginia Postrel>their children. If you give them a chance to choose <v Virginia Postrel>a school for their children, they may not choose the school that the Harvard educated <v Virginia Postrel>lawyer in Beverly Hills would choose. <v Virginia Postrel>But they're going to try to find a school that is safe, that they <v Virginia Postrel>see other children are learning at - these are not -. <v Speaker>But how would you get them there? You'd have to bus them there, let's say if they don't <v Speaker>have one in their own neighborhood. <v Denise Fairchild>There's no way - <v Virginia Postrel>That you're going to bus for when people do not have choice, but not when they do? <v Joseph Bendi>I understand what you're saying, but the problem endemic to the underclass is bad <v Joseph Bendi>schools and the bad and the educational system does not serve them. <v Joseph Bendi>The bad crime, all of the worst of the worst is there. <v Joseph Bendi>How are you going to put a good school down in that? <v Virginia Postrel>Well, there are there are fine private schools in the inner city all over this country <v Virginia Postrel>that managed to pull from the same group of people. <v Virginia Postrel>Now, maybe you say the parents who manage to scrimp and save for private school <v Virginia Postrel>care more. But I think that's one way you can use vouchers
<v Virginia Postrel>- the v word - to do that I'm sure. <v Joseph Bendi>Ms. Fairchild is shaking her head. <v Denise Fairchild>There's two levels of conversation. <v Denise Fairchild>And one is the fact that we're dealing with structural inequality. <v Denise Fairchild>And when when inequality is built into the system, that means <v Denise Fairchild>you're going to have to have public policy to change how funds and <v Denise Fairchild>resources are distributed. You gonna have to change how bankers do use their banking <v Denise Fairchild>practices. So there will be a need for agencies because there will be vulnerable groups, <v Denise Fairchild>whether they're senior citizens, whether they're the young, whether the mentally ill. <v Denise Fairchild>There will always be a need for social services and support for <v Denise Fairchild>vulnerable groups. But by the same token, while we have that layer, we're working with a <v Denise Fairchild>larger policy issues, we also have to look at what I call agency issues and the ability <v Denise Fairchild>to work with individuals, with capacity, with motivation, to strive <v Denise Fairchild>to be someplace else and improve the quality of their life. <v Speaker>It's awfully unfulfilling for the viewer if he or she feels that you have not had a <v Speaker>chance to at least sum up and in the brief time we have left let's start with Ms.
<v Speaker>Waters in Washington. Give me a summation about how we're gonna get to the 21st century <v Speaker>and solve this underclass problem or at least deal with it fairly and effectively, Ms. <v Speaker>Waters. <v Maxine Waters>Well, certainly I'm a strong advocate for support and resources. <v Maxine Waters>I find that the so-called underclass have been dropped off of America's agenda. <v Maxine Waters>We have programs that do not work. <v Maxine Waters>We have job training money that's unspent, spent incorrectly. <v Maxine Waters>We brought in the private sector. And these job training programs because they were <v Maxine Waters>supposed to help. They have never involved themselves in the Jeptoo program, the private <v Maxine Waters>industry -. <v Joseph Bendi>Ms. Waters, we're running out of time. <v Maxine Waters>Support in order to people want to work. <v Maxine Waters>Let's give them a chance. Let's help motivate them. <v Maxine Waters>Let's work with them. <v Joseph Bendi>Mr. Blasi. <v Gary Blasi>Well, you can't make something out of nothing. <v Gary Blasi>And people talk about they don't want to throw money at this problem, but they <v Gary Blasi>recognize that if you want to solve a problem in Eastern Europe or you want to solve the <v Gary Blasi>problem of the savings and loans or you want to build bombers, that takes money. <v Gary Blasi>And I'm saying that if we take the same 200 billion dollars, we're gonna spend on the
<v Gary Blasi>savings and loan bailout, some of the 70 billion dollars we're gonna spend on one bomber, <v Gary Blasi>some of the billions that we're going to ship overseas, spend a little bit of it here <v Gary Blasi>rebuilding our inner cities. We can solve this problem. <v Joseph Bendi>Ms. Fairchild, Ms. Postrel, Thank you. <v Joseph Bendi>But I can't give you the opportunity to sum up because we're out of time. <v Joseph Bendi>But I think since we ended with you in the last brief round of discussion, your points <v Joseph Bendi>were made too. Thank you for joining us. Thank you, Miss Waters. <v Joseph Bendi>Now, let's go to Val for a preview of next week's show. <v Val Zavala>Next week, we wind up our month long series on the have have not society with a one <v Val Zavala>hour special in it. We'll look at the growing gulf between rich and poor, <v Val Zavala>at the shrinking middle class and at proposed solutions. <v Val Zavala>Some experts are proposing nothing less than a massive Marshall Plan to rebuild our inner <v Val Zavala>cities. Join us next week on By the Year 2000 for the Have Have Nots <v Val Zavala>Society. And if you have any comments or show idea, write to us at By the Year 2000, <v Val Zavala>KCET TV 4401 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, <v Val Zavala>90027. I'm Val Zavala. We'll see you next week.
By The Year 2000
The Underclass
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KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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"Produced for KCET's critically acclaimed weekly, single-subject public affairs series, BY THE YEAR 2000, our entry (3, 1/2-hours and a culminating one-hour special), aired in April 1990, is focused on an issue profoundly affecting Southern California and its future: Los Angeles County's changing class structure and the economic schisms that separate various segments of society. Hosted by Val Zavala and Joseph Benti, BY THE YEAR 2000 features field-produced documentary segments and in-studio discussions with community leaders. "The month was launched with 'The Waning Class', a disturbing look at how middle class is being squeezed out of the employment market, a market featuring mostly high or low end jobs. Next, 'A Class By Itself' focused on LA's upper echelon, those [benefiting] from the right education and expertise, and Southern California's emergence as a financial hub in a global marketplace. The third documentary, 'The Underclass', probed the conditions that have created communities of Los Angeles residents who are more and more disconnected from the mainstream of society. The month concluded with 'The Have/Have-not Society', a one-hour special that examined why the gulf between rich and poor Los Angeles is widening and what must be done to reverse the trend. "Our entry exemplifies KCET's continuing commitment to local, documentary public affairs programming that not only provides context and analysis to reporting on community problems, but gives voice to many diverse ideas and possible solutions."1990 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-a744e9bf201 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
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Chicago: “By The Year 2000; The Underclass,” 1990-04-01, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “By The Year 2000; The Underclass.” 1990-04-01. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: By The Year 2000; The Underclass. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from