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<v Val Zawala>Middle class jobs are disappearing in Southern California. <v Man>Downward mobility really says work hard and you <v Man>still lose. <v Val Zawala>Should displaced workers be given a helping hand? <v Speaker>Major funding for By the Year 2000 is provided by the James Irvine <v Speaker>Foundation to promote civic and social responsibility and the development <v Speaker>of sound public policy through the understanding of community issues. <v Speaker>And by the Michael J. Connell Foundation. <v Speaker>Additional funding is provided by the law firm of Latham and Watkins proudly <v Speaker>supporting public discussion of community issues and by Kaiser <v Speaker>Permanente working with Southern California for a healthier tomorrow.
<v Val Zawala>Hello, I'm Val Zavala. This week, we begin a month long look at the Have Have <v Val Zawala>Nots Society and we welcome Mr. Joseph Benti, new co-host for By the Year 2000. <v Joseph Benti>Thank you, Val. It's a pleasure to be working on an important program. <v Joseph Benti>It's important because it focuses on where we might be going on our way to the 21st <v Joseph Benti>century. We're going to begin this month's series with the middle class. <v Joseph Benti>It's a class that appears to be in decline. <v Joseph Benti>After World War two America's middle class came to symbolize our long held belief that if <v Joseph Benti>any of us worked hard enough, there was always plenty of room to grow. <v Joseph Benti>That most of us could enjoy the good life and, of course, the opportunities that life <v Joseph Benti>offered to us and to our children. <v Val Zawala>But in the past decade, middle income jobs started disappearing. <v Val Zawala>America has been struggling to keep up in a new global economy. <v Val Zawala>The By the Year 2000 staff examined the numbers and what we found were startling changes. <v Val Zawala>Between 1981 and 1988 in Southern California the numbers <v Val Zawala>of low income and high income households increased dramatically, but <v Val Zawala>the portion of households earning between fifteen thousand and fifty thousand dollars
<v Val Zawala>dropped by half. It's that area that we call the waning middle. <v Speaker>["Ozzie and Harriet" plays in the background] <v Val Zawala> In the 1950s, everyone in America knew what it meant to be middle class. <v Harley Shaiken>The dream of the 1950s personified by Ozzie and Harriet <v Harley Shaiken>had an important grain of reality. <v Harley Shaiken>A lot of poor people in the 1950s. But the notion of opportunity <v Harley Shaiken>is what held the society together. <v Val Zawala>In the 1950s, John Rementeria was a poor boy growing up in East L.A. <v Val Zawala>dreaming of making it to the Middle-Class. <v Val Zawala>He went to college, got a job as a mechanic with a company that rebuilt auto engines and <v Val Zawala>worked his way up to management. <v Val Zawala>And in 1972, his dream of a middle class life in the suburbs came true. <v John Rementeria>It was the height of success for me at that time. <v John Rementeria>I always lived. He needed my parents home or rented places. <v John Rementeria>When I was younger and I was born and raised in that part of Los Angeles, that's not
<v John Rementeria>necessarily known for its status. <v John Rementeria>And so when I moved right into the middle of Orange County, smack dab in the middle <v John Rementeria>of College Park, I really felt that I was uh I thought I had arrived. <v John Rementeria>Around here we could leave our doors unlocked. <v John Rementeria>There's times that I even left my my garage wide open and never <v John Rementeria>had any problems. <v John Rementeria>I still haven't fixed that up yet. <v Val Zawala>Today, John Rementeria still takes a lot of pride in that neighborhood. <v John Rementeria>This is it right here. <v Val Zawala>And he still takes a lot of pride in the home he bought in 1972. <v Val Zawala>But today he can only show you the outside. <v Val Zawala>His dream house no longer belongs to him. <v John Rementeria>This is it right on the corner here. <v Val Zawala>The neighborhood he loves so much is no longer his home. <v Val Zawala>In 1989, his middle class American life went bust. <v John Rementeria>My base income at that time was around twenty eight thousand seven hundred dollars. <v John Rementeria>I was getting a company car, company gasoline, credit cards.
<v John Rementeria>And then I was getting a a bonus that was up to sometimes fourteen thousand on our best <v John Rementeria>year. And I was living on that more than anything else. <v John Rementeria>I was definitely living beyond my means. <v John Rementeria>And then when that virtually disappeared overnight, I was in trouble because I couldn't <v John Rementeria>I couldn't pay some of my bills. <v Val Zawala>Since 1989, the self-storage locker is the closest thing. <v Val Zawala>John Renteria has had to a permanent address. <v Val Zawala>Inside are all that's <v Val Zawala>left of his possessions and of his middle class identity. <v John Rementeria>I truly felt I was middle class. <v John Rementeria>We had a Mercedes Benz, had all of the other little amenities and features that I felt <v John Rementeria>um epitomized middle class life. <v John Rementeria>There's some very good sheet music.Oh, this is like the navel navel photograph. <v John Rementeria>Being able to delve into these things, be able to enjoy these things. <v John Rementeria>It was almost like something that was only reserved for like a privileged few. <v John Rementeria>And here I had some of these things in my very own home.
<v John Rementeria>Some of these art books were marvelous. The ones that came from Europe, the colors and <v John Rementeria>the plates were just unbelievable. <v John Rementeria>This must be a Spaniard. This guy's a Spaniard. <v John Rementeria>You're looking at the Titanic. <v John Rementeria>The details here. This guy is a Spanish painter. <v John Rementeria>Sometimes I wish I had nothing. I really do. <v John Rementeria>Well, because it's so hard, you know, hard to see the contrast, to <v John Rementeria>see that the difference, the way it was, the way it is now. <v John Rementeria>It was really hard to take sometimes. <v Val Zawala>After a lifetime of upward mobility, of successfully pursuing the postwar American <v Val Zawala>dream, John Rementeria is now part of a new and disturbing American trend, <v Val Zawala>downward mobility. <v Harley Shaiken>It really is running the American dream in reverse. <v Harley Shaiken>That's what downward mobility is all about. <v Harley Shaiken>It's looking at what you lose rather than what you can gain. <v Harley Shaiken>And that's hardly the formula for a society that prides itself on opportunity. <v Harley Shaiken>Downward mobility really says work hard and you still lose. <v Val Zawala>Harley Shaiken is Professor of Work and technology at the University of California, San
<v Val Zawala>Diego. He's worried that America's middle class is fast becoming an endangered <v Val Zawala>species. <v Harley Shaiken>What we're seeing in the 1990s is the promise itself is under threat. <v Harley Shaiken>The whole notion of what the American dream means is becoming increasingly remote <v Harley Shaiken>for many middle class Americans. <v Val Zawala>A study by the UCLA School of Urban Planning shows that middle income jobs in <v Val Zawala>Los Angeles jobs which pay 20 to 30 thousand dollars a year in 1986 <v Val Zawala>dollars declined from one third of all jobs in 1969 to <v Val Zawala>one quarter in 1987. <v Val Zawala>What's puzzling about this is that in Southern California, the job situation appears to <v Val Zawala>be better than ever. From 1969 to 1987, overall employment in <v Val Zawala>Los Angeles rose by 38 percent. <v Val Zawala>Since 1972 over a million new jobs have been created in Los <v Val Zawala>Angeles County. Far more jobs than were created in Chicago or New York. <v Val Zawala>But Goetz Wolff, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Roundtable <v Val Zawala>believes those numbers are deceptive.
<v Goetz Wolff>The problem is the kind of jobs, the kind of industries, the studies <v Goetz Wolff>that we've done at the economic roundtable indicate there's a kind of dual growth taking <v Goetz Wolff>place. On the one hand, there are the obvious kind of <v Goetz Wolff>high tech, high paying kinds of industries. <v Goetz Wolff>But at the same time, at the bottom end, there's been a massive growth of low wage <v Goetz Wolff>industries, including things like retail, garment industry, <v Goetz Wolff>manufacturing area, restaurants are the examples. <v Goetz Wolff>Beauty shops, these kinds of industries do employ <v Goetz Wolff>people. But on the whole, these, at least according to our data, <v Goetz Wolff>indicate that their average wages are fifteen thousand <v Goetz Wolff>dollars a year and under. <v Val Zawala>Wolff says his own studies show little or no growth in middle income jobs <v Val Zawala>in Los Angeles during the last decade. <v Val Zawala>Many liberal economists warn that the statistical shape of American wages may be changing <v Val Zawala>from the traditional football - wide in the middle - to something more like a pear.
<v Val Zawala>Small of the top and huge at the bottom, with very little in between. <v Goetz Wolff>We really are in a different era. <v Goetz Wolff>The fact of global economic relations has such a profound <v Goetz Wolff>effect. <v Val Zawala>Global economic relations cause John Momenteria his job, <v Val Zawala>his house and his marriage. <v John Rementeria>Here's an engine here, a complete four cylinder Toyota engine for one hundred seventy <v John Rementeria>five dollars. We charge one hundred and eighty dollars for a voucher. <v Val Zawala>Suddenly finding itself in the new Pacific Rim economy, LA's engine rebuilding industry <v Val Zawala>has struggled to survive an onslaught of foreign competition. <v Val Zawala>Some companies have survived by quickly acquiring the latest computerized repair <v Val Zawala>technology. But for John Rementeria's company it was too late. <v John Rementeria>By the time we got to that point, we were - our income was so low and we started selling <v John Rementeria>off so much of - so much of our own equipment that we can no longer keep up can no <v John Rementeria>longer stay open. <v Val Zawala>Last September, the company went out of business. <v Val Zawala>By then, John had been forced to sell his home. <v Val Zawala>His wife had divorced him and left California, taking their son with her.
<v John Rementeria>I think I could have patched things together. I think I could have made things work if <v John Rementeria>these other circumstances weren't just like piled in the way. <v John Rementeria>You know, I've gotten over all the pain and the anger, but that doubt is still there. <v John Rementeria>Like this little black cloud, it's thinking that maybe I could have turned it around, <v John Rementeria>that maybe I could've stayed together, that maybe I would have still had my son. <v John Rementeria>I'm not sure, you know, that doubt, is always knawing ast me. <v John Rementeria>That's never leaves me. <v Val Zawala>But John does have hope. <v Val Zawala>He's been accepted by a program which trains unemployed people in new technologies and <v Val Zawala>places them in new jobs. <v Speaker>Everyone here said they're receiving unemployment. <v Speaker>Are you receiving a check? Can I see your hands? <v Val Zawala>Faced with growing numbers of the downwardly mobile, labor unions, businesses and <v Val Zawala>government are working together to retrain them for the good jobs of the future. <v Speaker>I will tell you, we can trust to you that we go. <v Val Zawala>But some workers laid off after decades in the old economy say they're having trouble <v Val Zawala>learning the skills of the new. And some economists question whether simply retraining
<v Val Zawala>displaced workers will save the waning middle class. <v Goetz Wolff>You can't retrain people if there aren't industries with jobs that are hiring. <v Goetz Wolff>And in the view of the Economic Roundtable, which is part of the L.A. <v Goetz Wolff>County Private Industry Council, the emphasis should be linking training to <v Goetz Wolff>economic development that you can't do one without the other. <v Val Zawala>Conservative thinkers like Larry Arnn say retraining isn't the issue. <v Val Zawala>Arnn criticizes studies of Middle-Class Decline for ignoring entrepreneurs. <v Larry Arnn>What they are underestimating is the fact that an enormous proportion <v Larry Arnn>of the new jobs that have been created are in very small businesses, and an <v Larry Arnn>enormous proportion of the salaries are going to the owners of those businesses. <v Larry Arnn>What that means is there is upward mobility. <v Larry Arnn>But the way you get it is much different than the way you used to get it. <v Larry Arnn>And those who are not willing to get it that way and there are going to be more <v Larry Arnn>of them as time goes on, are are going to be part of a <v Larry Arnn>large bulge at the bottom.
<v Val Zawala>Conservatives and liberals agree on one thing. <v Val Zawala>Future Harriet's will have to be just as highly educated and work just <v Val Zawala>as hard as their Ozzies for a couple to achieve a middle class lifestyle. <v Val Zawala>If Ozzie and Harriet tried to buy their home in Hollywood today, it would cost them over <v Val Zawala>a million dollars. They'd need two pretty hefty paychecks to cover that mortgage. <v Val Zawala>And they'd also wonder at all the strange new signs in their old neighborhood signs that <v Val Zawala>times aren't quite as good as they used to be and that the American dream Ozzie <v Val Zawala>and Harriet personified for millions may soon be out of reach for all <v Val Zawala>but a privileged few. <v Harley Shaiken>Ultimately, this is not an economic question. <v Harley Shaiken>The decline of the middle class at its core is a social and political issue <v Harley Shaiken>because the middle class was more than an economic category. <v Harley Shaiken>It was the social glue that held the democratic society together. <v Val Zawala>To discuss what's happening to the middle class and what might be done, we go to our
<v Val Zawala>panel of experts. <v Joseph Benti>Our guests are the chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Roundtable, Goetz Wolff, <v Joseph Benti>who believes the middle class is in serious trouble, but that trouble is symptomatic of <v Joseph Benti>some deeper problems in our society. <v Joseph Benti>Kathye Murphy is a career planning executive. <v Joseph Benti>She works in the trenches with victims of the changing economic picture. <v Joseph Benti>Those who lose their jobs. She believes that private industry could be doing more to <v Joseph Benti>solve the problem and Finis Welch, who teaches economics at UCLA and who <v Joseph Benti>is on the research staff at Unicon Corporation, believes that whatever is happening <v Joseph Benti>to the middle class is the result of the free play of our free enterprise system, which <v Joseph Benti>he wouldn't change. <v Joseph Benti>Now, Mr. Welch, what would you do over the next nine or 10 years to make it work? <v Joseph Benti>Whatever making it work means for the betterment of guys like John who are out <v Joseph Benti>of a job and out of luck? <v Finis Welch>Well, there's there's absolutely no question that the world is in transition. <v Finis Welch>Continual training is very important simply because old fashioned skills, <v Finis Welch>physical skills are becoming very obsolete.
<v Joseph Benti>So if we cared about John in the army, the growing army of Johns, we would do <v Joseph Benti>something to see that they were bumped up in skills. <v Finis Welch>Well, first, I think the most important concern is the younger John's. <v Finis Welch>The people are in their formative years that we can see right now, and we can send <v Finis Welch>signals to seeing move toward universal education, stay flexible, acquire <v Finis Welch>skills, use your head, do the best that you can. <v Finis Welch>And I think, by the way, the earlier question, what should corporations do? <v Finis Welch>I think they're doing just fine. They're sending signals as to the kind of people they <v Finis Welch>need, the kind of people who are productive for them. <v Finis Welch>Back to the schools. The schools need to be careful attention to the signals <v Finis Welch>that they're receiving and make sure that the students understand. <v Finis Welch>For the older displaced workers, that's very tough. <v Finis Welch>I don't know what kinds of programs were optimal to the extent that they can be re- <v Finis Welch>retrained and can pick up flexible skills and can be usefully <v Finis Welch>employed. Of course, you'd like to see that.
<v Finis Welch>But it's true for many of us that the skills that we once had <v Finis Welch>are just not highly valued in today's world. <v Finis Welch>And that's just the way it is. <v Joseph Benti>We always get back to a real person and we saw one and Kathye, what do you do with it? <v Kathye Murphy>I think the test - I think the solution will come if we start with our young people now. <v Kathye Murphy>But the test is on all of our shoulders right now in the next 10 years, because the <v Kathye Murphy>number of displaced workers is growing dramatically and will continue to grow. <v Kathye Murphy>Often it is a case like the Metrocolor labs closing down at Lorimar Studios. <v Kathye Murphy>Those people, 50 percent of them were over 50 years old and <v Kathye Murphy>had worked for the company from 15 to 20 years. <v Kathye Murphy>Those skills, a lot of that labor has moved to Canada because they can get it done <v Kathye Murphy>more cheaply. The technology has changed. <v Kathye Murphy>They're using laser equipment to do that kind of film processing that was done. <v Kathye Murphy>The hardest thing to deal with with a group of people such as those, is <v Kathye Murphy>for them to come to grips with the fact that the chances of their finding a job
<v Kathye Murphy>with the same skills that they dedicated their lives to is very slim. <v Kathye Murphy>And in the meantime, in the months that it takes to come to grips with that and and also <v Kathye Murphy>come to grips with the fact that they will have to probably exist on a lower wage, within <v Kathye Murphy>that timeframe, many of those people are looking at losing their homes and their <v Kathye Murphy>and their lives. <v Joseph Benti>I don't want to leave you sounding heartless, Mr. Welch, but they were in that contrast. <v Joseph Benti>How do you handle that? <v Joseph Benti>What would you recommend? <v Finis Welch>I don't know. One I want to correct what I think of is <v Finis Welch>mis misperceptions. <v Finis Welch>It's my impression that the number of displaced workers associated with <v Finis Welch>plant closings etc is not rising in the US, that <v Finis Welch>it reached a peak in the early 1980s and has been falling subsequently. <v Finis Welch>There are lots of studies as to what happens to displaced workers, and <v Finis Welch>what we find is that when following a plant closing, if you track the individuals <v Finis Welch>who are displaced, that their unemployment experience is not unlike
<v Finis Welch>the unemployment experience of people who lose their jobs, any <v Finis Welch>running concern. Just the ordinary friction associated with job change <v Finis Welch>that displaced workers will be unemployed one or two weeks longer. <v Finis Welch>But that's all. <v Finis Welch>The desperate exception of the individual who moves from a highly paid, stable <v Finis Welch>position of a long time to facing a <v Finis Welch>very severe long term reduction in his or her wage. <v Finis Welch>In order of magnitude, save a 50 percent cut in wage rate is very clearly <v Finis Welch>an exception. <v Joseph Benti>Mr. Wolff, I take it you disagree with the basis upon which Mr. Welch <v Joseph Benti>is basing his argument, but why do you disagree? <v Goetz Wolff>Well, there's several different components to it. <v Goetz Wolff>One, with regard to the fact that significant plant closings are sort <v Goetz Wolff>of a thing of the past, or lay offs. <v Goetz Wolff>I think we're neglecting a very real process <v Goetz Wolff>that's taking place right now, which is going to be the cutbacks of procurements in
<v Goetz Wolff>defense. And Los Angeles has been an incredible benefactor <v Goetz Wolff>of a protected industry coming with federal defense dollars. <v Goetz Wolff>Those cutbacks will create a situation, I think, in Los Angeles, where very, very <v Goetz Wolff>many high paid, high skilled people will not have equivalent <v Goetz Wolff>positions waiting for them in the past. <v Goetz Wolff>There might be a contract loss, but then the employees could shift over <v Goetz Wolff>to another firm. But the fact that we're having now is a restructuring. <v Goetz Wolff>I think we already see that to some extent with some of the aerospace firms anticipating <v Goetz Wolff>that. <v Finis Welch>I don't know why that's such a frightening specter of this kind <v Finis Welch>of change. The world is changing. <v Finis Welch>Opportunities are emerging. <v Finis Welch>Some people are not winning. There are some losers. <v Finis Welch>That's unfortunate, but that's just a tiny part of the overall picture <v Finis Welch>by rapidly changing world. <v Goetz Wolff>Well, one of the images at the beginning of this program <v Goetz Wolff>vividly displayed these new private guard security
<v Goetz Wolff>services that the affluent, semi affluent feel they need to <v Goetz Wolff>protect themselves. <v Goetz Wolff>And I don't think they're doing it to protect themselves from their neighbors. <v Goetz Wolff>I think they're protecting themselves against this lower bolds, which is expanding. <v Goetz Wolff>And I think one of the things that we have to recognize is do we view <v Goetz Wolff>our society as one which is a healthy one, where you do have this kind of bifurcated <v Goetz Wolff>growth? Or is it really what we want is a society where <v Goetz Wolff>there are sufficient opportunities at all levels. <v Goetz Wolff>I mean, just the studies which indicate the dollars per capita spent in schooling <v Goetz Wolff>at the university level in California, at the state college level in California and the <v Goetz Wolff>junior at the community colleges, it is a profound fact that the <v Goetz Wolff>per capita student cost for the for the community college student <v Goetz Wolff>is something like one sixth of what the University of California student gets. <v Goetz Wolff>And if you look at the class breakdown of where the students come from
<v Goetz Wolff>to go to those various institutions, you essentially have public institutions <v Goetz Wolff>subsidizing the more affluent students in the University <v Goetz Wolff>of California system. And you have the same time, the students at the very bottom, <v Goetz Wolff>who perhaps are only eligible for the community colleges getting the short end <v Goetz Wolff>of the stick. So we aren't even giving them, in a sense, the tools, the opportunities, <v Goetz Wolff>because nobody can deny that they want to achieve, that they want to <v Goetz Wolff>do more. We don't need only go into some of these third world areas of Los Angeles <v Goetz Wolff>and you see bustle and hustle. <v Goetz Wolff>You see people desiring to advance themselves. <v Goetz Wolff>You find people overloading the schools and trying to learn English. <v Goetz Wolff>But there aren't enough schools to provide that. <v Joseph Benti>But I would get the impression that Mr. Welch would say that's a sign of health. <v Joseph Benti>That's the very thing America promises that that kind of <v Joseph Benti>cauldron of life and seething hope to better oneself can only be <v Joseph Benti>an American realization. <v Goetz Wolff>If it's not denied.
<v Kathye Murphy>But the schools are not really educating. <v Kathye Murphy>They- the people may desire it and may be motivated for <v Kathye Murphy>it. But the schools are not educating, not only for reading and writing, which is <v Kathye Murphy>why I'm sure some people put their children in private schools, but even greater <v Kathye Murphy>even at the university level, in the community college level, they're not educating to <v Kathye Murphy>the realities of the labor market. <v Kathye Murphy>And that's really what we're talking about, is how can you survive in the year 2000? <v Joseph Benti>I have a terrible time trying to get someone to say, where do we start? <v Joseph Benti>Who do we work on? <v Kathye Murphy>Kindergarten. <v Joseph Benti>Ok, kindergarten. <v Joseph Benti>Los Angeles Public Schools. Orange County Public Schools. <v Joseph Benti>Is that where we begin? And how do we get them to change to see what you see? <v Joseph Benti>Because I don't see that kind of reaction. <v Joseph Benti>Mr. Welch, do I? <v Finis Welch>Yes, I, I, I just don't understand the sources of the comments. <v Finis Welch>I'm not aware that crime rates are rising. <v Finis Welch>In fact, I think to the contrary, crime rates have fallen in the last decade, they've <v Finis Welch>fallen very precipitously, particularly crimes against property.
<v Finis Welch>Largely because the number of young people of teenagers has gone down as the baby boom <v Finis Welch>has aged. But the fact demographic solutions. <v Finis Welch>Sure. With crime rates have gone down. That's the fact. <v Finis Welch>We opened this program talking about high priced housing in L.A. <v Finis Welch>as if what drove up the price of housing wasn't people with dollars to spend. <v Finis Welch>And we're acting as if dollars that people have spend are going away and things that <v Finis Welch>they're buying are becoming more expensive. <v Finis Welch>I don't understand. <v Kathye Murphy>But housing - <v Finis Welch>We act as if schools are educating less? <v Finis Welch>All of the statistics on student performance that I'm aware of show that sure, in <v Finis Welch>a 25 year period, what high school students know seems to have deteriorated, <v Finis Welch>particularly relative to the Japanese. <v Kathye Murphy>Particularly relative to we're 14th in the world we're not first anymore <v Kathye Murphy>at secondary school level. <v Finis Welch>We're probably not 14th either. That's that's tough. <v Finis Welch>I mean, we're the bloom is off the rose as far as the United States being
<v Finis Welch>number one and outstanding source of growth, the shining light. <v Finis Welch>Average incomes in the U.S. have only increased five percent in the last 20 years <v Finis Welch>rather than the 30, 35 percent that we had become accustomed to. <v Joseph Benti>But we thought young people were not seeing the way to the Shining <v Joseph Benti>Hill. How are we getting to the 21st century in light of what you just said? <v Joseph Benti>What are you recommending for us and citizens watching wanna know what do we do? <v Finis Welch>If I only knew I wouldn't be here. <v Joseph Benti>That's why you're you're an economist. <v Joseph Benti>All of you have to have some sense of where the right way to go is. <v Goetz Wolff>Let me suggest something here. <v Goetz Wolff>I think part of it really is how we look at a problem. <v Goetz Wolff>And I don't mean to beg the question. <v Goetz Wolff>I think too often sometimes we feel we have to act before we know. <v Goetz Wolff>On the other hand, people spend too much time studying these things to death. <v Goetz Wolff>I'm not suggesting that, but there is evidence, for example, yes, the housing market is <v Goetz Wolff>booming in one sense, but at what end? <v Goetz Wolff>I mean, it's not booming for the people who really desperately need housing.
<v Goetz Wolff>You do have vacancies. We have vacancies at the high end in rentals. <v Goetz Wolff>So you don't have the vacancies at the bottom end in the sense that we have to recognize <v Goetz Wolff>that as long as we simply let dollars be <v Goetz Wolff>the vote, in a sense, of for public policy, those people who don't <v Goetz Wolff>have very many dollars have very few votes as to what's going to take place. <v Goetz Wolff>The example I was giving with regard to community colleges would be an illustration of <v Goetz Wolff>that. I think the issue is time to marshal the interests <v Goetz Wolff>of corporate interests, that there is an enlightened self-interest from <v Goetz Wolff>their part to enhance the educational quality of the region. <v Goetz Wolff>There's something called Workforce L.A. in Los Angeles, which is trying to bring together <v Goetz Wolff>enlightened corporations and the school districts and so on to the extent to which this <v Goetz Wolff>is just going to be another meeting of people and patting themselves on the back <v Goetz Wolff>or whether they will be addressing the issues and doing something else, it's another <v Goetz Wolff>question, but at least there is a formal recognition for the need for
<v Goetz Wolff>this kind of improvement in the very fundamentals for <v Goetz Wolff>for for the labor force. We also have to recognize that Los Angeles perhaps is <v Goetz Wolff>somewhat more exceptional than perhaps other parts, the United States, simply <v Goetz Wolff>because it is a pull for a great deal of immigration. <v Goetz Wolff>It's a combined immigration. There are immigrants who are coming here highly skilled with <v Goetz Wolff>money and also people coming in here with very few skills and the extent <v Goetz Wolff>to which that there is this very low skilled labor pool there is a kind of an <v Goetz Wolff>encouragement for low wages, indeed, probably <v Goetz Wolff>more of the upper middle class and upper class people are benefiting from these very, <v Goetz Wolff>very low wage people who are probably off the books. <v Goetz Wolff>They aren't in the numbers that neither of us count. <v Goetz Wolff>They're the ones who are in the informal economy and they're the ones who, in effect, are <v Goetz Wolff>subsidizing the life for some of the people can't afford otherwise. <v Joseph Benti>As you look through this next decade and you try to offer some <v Joseph Benti>prescriptive solutions for our viewers, would you summarize what
<v Joseph Benti>you think we can do? <v Kathye Murphy>We must all as individuals, not become complacent, knowing that tomorrow we may be one <v Kathye Murphy>of the people looking for work. <v Kathye Murphy>And secondarily, to encourage our government, <v Kathye Murphy>our schools and our corporations to take an active interest in the realities <v Kathye Murphy>of the labor market and the realities of the people that are fighting to get training and <v Kathye Murphy>to make the training available, not just to put it push it under the rug. <v Joseph Benti>Mr. Welch, I will give you the last word. You're now looking at California for the next <v Joseph Benti>10 years. What do we do? <v Finis Welch>I think we should ask ourselves why it is that we lost. <v Finis Welch>U.S. share of auto production. <v Finis Welch>Why it is that reliability seems to come from abroad. <v Finis Welch>What we've lost in terms of leadership in performance of <v Finis Welch>students in the schools. <v Finis Welch>I think industry should be concerned with change <v Finis Welch>that's occurring and should be capable of providing retraining opportunities
<v Finis Welch>if people are willing to take them. <v Joseph Benti>And I want to thank you, all of you, for being our guests. <v Joseph Benti>Now to Val for a preview of next week's broadcast. <v Val Zawala>Next week, we continue our look at the have have not society with a focus on the wealthy <v Val Zawala>while the middle class and poor are getting squeezed, other economic forces are producing <v Val Zawala>a healthy group of well-paid professionals. <v Val Zawala>Join us next week on By the Year 2000 for a class by itself. <v Val Zawala>And we thank you for your letters, for the praise, the criticism and the ideas. <v Val Zawala>Here's a sample. We've received several letters suggesting we do a program on the growing <v Val Zawala>population. David Martin of Santa Barbara writes, The population explosion is woven <v Val Zawala>into most of your topics. Why not give it a program? <v Val Zawala>Mr. Martin, we will. It's on the agenda. <v Val Zawala>Regarding our program No Place to Rent. <v Val Zawala>Jay Schwartzbine was highly critical of our reporting on so-called slumlords. <v Val Zawala>Shame. Shame on you. You didn't go into the reason of how they are created. <v Val Zawala>On the same subject, Vivian Zanini of Torrance suggests that old military bases
By The Year 2000
A Class by Itself
Producing Organization
KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
Contributing Organization
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
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Chicago: “By The Year 2000; A Class by Itself,” 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 27, 2022,
MLA: “By The Year 2000; A Class by Itself.” 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 27, 2022. <>.
APA: By The Year 2000; A Class by Itself. 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