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Tips On How To Teach Teenagers About Spending; Flu Vaccine Shortage Creates Concern;

Aired October 10, 2004 - 15:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: From New York City America's financial capitol, this is IN THE MONEY.


SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to IN THE MONEY, I'm Susan Lisovicz sitting in for Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's program:

The strength to keep the peace: The Pentagon's excuse of not sending enough troops to Iraq. We'll look at whether the numbers and the price tag really fit the job.

Plus the invisible threat: Flu season's on the way, and so is the flu vaccine shortage. Find out if it had to be this way every year.

And the next best thing to being there: You can't follow teenagers around while they spend, but you can teach them to be smart about it. We'll get some tips.

Joing me today, a couple of very smart IN THE MONEY veterans. "Lou Dobbs Tonight" correspondent, Christine Romans, and "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large Andy Serwer.

Do you guys remember the day when gasoline was actually cheaper than bottled water? When $50 a barrel actually was good compared to what we're seeing now.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Fifty? Oh, 50, I long for the days of 50. It's 53, and it -- you know, and it hurts. And we heard from the government this week that it's going to cost you twice as much to heat your home this winter as it did just three years ago.

LISOVICZ: And no flu vaccines, too.

ROMANS: Right. Exactly. So it's tough. You know, it's tough for consumers.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: The price of oil's up 60 percent, year to date. $270 extra this year, American families will be spending on heating oil. The price of gas is already up. This is a tax on the American economy. Christine, I know that you've been speaking to people across the country. ROMANS: Right.

SERWER: You talked to the people at Wal-Mart. They will tell you that this is taking money out of consumers' pockets, it translates back into the economy. The campaign is not focused on this, which is a surprise to me, because I think this is going to become critical after the election probably.

LISOVICZ: And you know, it's interesting because one of the things we've seen is quarter after quarter terrific quarterly profits. But one of the ways that it has come is by squeezing the costs, right? And you just don't have it when your expenses increase.

ROMANS: And if you're a consumer, you just moving around the pieces on the -- you know, the piece of the puzzle, paying more to fill up your tank, but then you can't buy some of the non-necessities and it's -- everyone's doing it.

SERWER: And you stay at home and watch cable. You stay and watch our show. It's a good thing.

LISOVICZ: OK, we like that, we like that, but everything else we don't like. Of course, Iraq is an oil exporting nation, but we want to talk about the violence there. The volatile situation in Iraq was very clear to western journalists staying at one Baghdad hotel this week. Our own Brent Sadler who was right in the middle of it, and Brent joining us now with more on the situation in Iraq.

Brent, what kind of impact did you see this week with the recent speeches by administrator -- former administrator Paul Bremer and Ayad Allawi, those recent comments?

BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's take this to Bremer first. Certainly, his comments, public comments, about concerns about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq really has been causing some criticism, some dissent within members of today's interim Iraqi government, and many of them who were around as part of the former governing council, I was talking to, and were really exclaiming to the point that why hadn't Mr. Bremer mentioned it publicly or privately at the time? And they particularly point to that devastating period soon after the fall of Baghdad, when Iraqis in the capital and elsewhere in this country went on a looting spree, shocking images that really triggered lawlessness from day one. Add to that the disbanding of the Iraqi army, that's still a very sore point here, and the departification (PH) policy that also was put in place immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein. That also is a policy that's had to have been revised since then.

SERWER: Brent, Andy Serwer, here. Can you talk a little bit about the violence that was directed against journalists the other night? How horrific was that?

SADLER: Well, it was just literally across the road from where I'm standing. The two rockets came slamming straight past me, literally 100 yards away. And hit the lower floors of this Sheraton hotel. The Sheraton's been hit several times in the past. It is where the Western media is based. It's where private contractors are based. And the U.S. military says that these kind of attacks, audacious brazen attacks right under the noses of the U.S. military, that's on top of that hotel, really is planned, executed from Fallujah, just 30 miles from here, west of Baghdad. And it is the insurgents following orders, it's believed, of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that, it's understood, has decapitated the British hostage Ken Bigley. "Reuters" reporting that video has been seen by them showing the beheading of a man identified as Ken Bigley.

Ken Bigley one of three. Two of his co-workers, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, Americans, were beheaded several days after their capture. Now it seems Bigley has joined their gruesome fate.

LISOVICZ: Brent Sadler from Iraq. Thank you.

As we mentioned just a moment ago, Paul Bremer, this week, became the latest former U.S. official to say the Pentagon did not send enough troops to Iraq to keep the peace. A day later, Washington's old administrative boss for Iraq said hindsight helped him see the problem.

But even before the war General Eric Shinseki, the retired Army chief of staff, testified that more soldiers were need than the Pentagon planned. And if you agree that we're short on manpower today, you might wonder why nobody in the military yelled about it earlier. For a look at that story we're joined from Columbia, South Carolina by retired Brigadier General Mitchell Zais. He commanded U.S. and allied forces in Kuwait between the gulf wars and now serves as president of Newberry College.


BRIG. GEN. MITCHELL ZAIS, U.S. ARMY RET.: Thank you. My pleasure.

LISOVICZ: So why the disconnect? Please try to put some perspective on these comments. These are bright people, all of them, whether they're here, in the U.S., or right in the thick of the action. Why is everybody saying it so much later?

ZAIS: Well, one thing you have to understand is the military culture is to provide your best input to the civilians appointed over the military. And once the decision is made to salute and go out and execute to the best of your ability. I think the American people don't want a military that contests every decision by their elected officials or those appointed over them by their elected officials. And it's impossible to overstate the influence of the example of Douglas MacArthur, who really ignored the guidance he was provided by the president of the United States and was fired. To, in public argue with the administration is really seen as a sign of disloyalty and inappropriate behavior in our military today.

ROMANS: But this is a life and death situation. I mean, if you don't have enough boots on the ground to get the job done -- you know, isn't it the responsibility of the military and the civilian leaders to make sure that the American casualties are as few as possible? That should be the overriding thing, not protocol or making -- you know, the civilian leadership unhappy, the elected officials unhappy.

ZAIS: Well, the civilian leadership have continued to receive advice from the uniformed military that we can, and probably need to, increase our strength levels. You know, you mentioned General Shinseki. And after that testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he really was humiliated and insulted by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and that message got out pretty clearly, that any public testimony contrary to the party line was unacceptable.

SERWER: But general, now wait a minute. You served in Vietnam, correct?

ZAIS: That's true.

SERWER: Now, but didn't we hear the same sort of talk about Vietnam, that if we could only send in more troops then we could win the war. And in fact, that's what President Johnson did for several years. We kept sending more troops, but we were never able to defeat the enemy. There are some people who say if we had finally sent even more troops we would have won that war. But isn't it also true that if the local populace doesn't love you you're not going to be able to prevail?

ZAIS: Well, there's two issues there. One, the issue in Vietnam wasn't so much of inadequate troop strength, but an inadequate strategy that provided sanctuary for our enemies in North Vietnam in Laos, and in Cambodia. So, when they didn't want to fight, they would withdraw to a safe haven and then they would be able to attack us on terms that were favorable to them at the time and place of their choosing.

LISOVICZ: General, we don't have that much time. I just want to ask you quickly, I mean, what should be done? Everybody's saying behind -- you know, after the fact that too few on the ground. But what should be done now? What would you do now?

ZAIS: Well, we would need to increase the soldiers in Iraq as quickly as possible and to the maximum level as possible to provide security during that period when we are traing the Iraqi army, the Iraqi National Guard, and the Iraqi police force.

LISOVICZ: Retired Brigadier General Mitchell Zais, also now serving as president of Newberry College. Thank you for your insight.

ZAIS: Thank you.

LISOVICZ: Sit tight. We'll be back after the break. Coming up, from a great house to the big house: Martha Stewart may be going to prison, but she's nothing like the average female inmate. We'll show you the real face of America's women prisoners.

Plus, getting stuck: This year's flu vaccine shortage is nastier than usual with one company's product pulled off the market. Find out how money plays a role in whether you beat the bug.

And animal magnetism: See if you're attracted to talking rabbits as we show you our fun site of the week.


SERWER: Martha Stewart began serving her five-month sentence in a federal women's prison in West Virginia on Friday. And while it may seem obvious, Stewart is far from your typical prisoner when it comes to the nation's female prison population. Most women behind bars are African American, poor, and risk losing custody of their children. And for the first time reports in a number of states show the percentage of women inmates is growing much faster than that of men.

Joing us to talk about why more women than ever are in prison is Ann Jacobs. She is executive director of the Women's Prison Association, a non-profit advocacy group.

Welcome to the program, Ann. So why are so many women going to prison these days?

ANN JACOBS, WOMEN'S PRISON ASSOCIATION: Well, the short answer is that America is an extremely punitive place. In fact, while crime has gone down the extent to which we incarcerate people has gone up and women have been the fastest growing segment of that population.

ROMANS: They're not violent crimes for the most part. These are thefts, embezzlement, forgery, check cutting (PH), and drug crimes. You point out that in many cases it's the men in the drug rings who can turn over other people's names and get a lighter sentence, but it's the women who are carrying -- who are the mules, who are carrying large quantizes of drugs and frankly don't know anybody to turn in.

JACOBS: That's right. Our criminal justice system relies so heavily on plea bargaining that if you're not high enough up in the drug trade that you have information to trade or to barter with you end up doing a much more severe sentence than people who had much more involvement than you did.

LISOVICZ: So drug crime's, one area with the increased number of women going to prison. But another is economic-related crimes associated with supporting themselves, and undoubtedly their children, which is a real tragedy obviously, because then those children don't have sufficient care in many cases.

JACOBS: That's right. That's right. I mean, over two thirds of the women who are in prison are there for non-violent offenses, both related to substance abuse, drug sales, and the economic crimes that you're talking about. The thing that is most striking about them is that they're poor. Over half of them have not a high school education. Over half of them were not working before they were arrested. They have their own substance abuse issues. I mean, they are a population with certain kinds of needs. But they also, you know, three quarters of them are mothers. Two thirds of them have custody of at least one child before they were arrested.

SERWER: Yeah, Ann. This is not the kind of crowd that Martha's used to hanging out with. I think it's going to be a real eye opener. I mean, what do you expect it's going to be like for her in terms of interacting with these people?

JACOBS: Well, I think that it's startling for anyone to go to prison. I have to say that even after 30 years of working in the system myself I always react very viscerally to being in prison and I'm extremely glad when I can get out. I think it's going to be an incredible experience for her. I hope it will be one that will broaden her horizons. It certainly gives you an opportunity to better understand the circumstances of people who in some ways are so disenfranchised.

ROMANS: I've covered as a crime reporter, in years past, I've covered some -- you know, women going into the prison system, men going into the prison system too, and one thing that I found quite interesting is the number of cutbacks on classes you can take, books...

JACOBS: Absolutely.

ROMANS: Television, things you would think -- you know, if somebody's going to get out eventually there's this captive audience, if you will, for rehabilitation and for education, but building new prisons sometimes means you don't have the money to do those sorts of programs.

JACOBS: That's exactly right. And that's what I mean about this addiction to being -- to punishment that the United States has. We incarcerate a higher proportion of our population than any other industrialized country. As I said, two thirds of the women who are in there are there for non-violent offenses. And the research that we have shows that getting a college education is the best thing that someone can do and not come back to the criminal justice system, and yet in this continuing punitiveness that's reflected not just in our sentencing policies, but also in welfare and child welfare policies, we've stripped all of those resources from the system so that people come out worse than they went in and with no supports.

LISOVICZ: Ann, so this really means that Martha Stewart has an extraordinary opportunity here. This is a woman who talks very well, she's a media mogul, and she's very talented. Don't you think that this is an opportunity for her to help vindicate herself as well as to help large numbers of women who could benefit greatly?

JACOBS: Well, I do. I mean, the way that Martha Stewart is like the people that she's going to be locked up with is that they're there for non-violent offenses. Most people when they think about it would agree that it's possible to punish non-violent offenders who don't present a risk to public safety in the community and redirect those resources from prison to neighborhood reinvestment so that people really have a shot at being able to take care of themselves and be self-sufficient.

SERWER: All right, well who knows? Maybe Martha will take up prison reform as something to do after she gets out.

JACOBS: I certainly hope so.

SERWER: Ann Jacobs, executive director of the women's prison association, thanks for coming on.

JACOBS: Thank you for having me.

SERWER: Coming up after the break:

The space race: Old school radio stations are getting heat from above. We'll check shares in satellite radio upstarred called Sirius.

Plus, they learn the three R's. What about the three S's? Find out how to teach your kids about saving, spending, and splurging.

And forget the monkey. Have you got a mouse on your back? Get the lowdown on some people who kicked their internet habit.


ROMANS: Now let's take a look at the week's top stories in our "Money Minute." It looks like U.S. companies are sharpening the layoff ax once again. Planned job cuts announced by employers rocketed to an eight-month high in September. The monthly report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas also showed a weaker than expected number of employer hiring announcements.

Sales for the nation's major retail chains were weak last month. Part of the blame goes to the hurricanes that shut down so many of the stores in the southeast. But analysts also say low and middle income Americans have been forced to cut their spending on clothing and other non-necessities as gas prices and grocery bills rise.

And the SUV deduction is out of gas. Congressional leaders have agreed to close a loophole that gave small businesses a big tax break for buying SUVs and pickup trucks. Tax fairness and environmental groups have lobbied hard against extending that deduction. The House still has to approve the final tax bill.

SERWER: And another big story this week in the entertainment business was Howard Stern's decision to leave broadcast radio and jump to satellite. Stern plans to make that switch in 2006, but his decision made its mark on the markets as shares of Sirius Satellite Radio soared and shares of Stern's current employer, Viacom, slumped. But the question is can Sirius use this Howard Stern news to become a serious player in the radio business? The stock has seen its ups and downs this year, but thanks to the stern news it's close to its 52- week high, and that makes Sirius Satellite our stock of the week.

And you know, they say that they need a million new subscribers to pay for Howard's $100 million contract. They've only have 600,000 subscribers now. So they've got to get up to 1.6 to pay for it. I think they can do it, actually, because it's a growing business.

LISOVICZ: So does Howard.

ROMANS: This is a company that is losing money and has been losing money. It's an actively traded stock. People like to think that this is going to be the next new wave of am/fm radio -- you know, the new way to do it but there's also XM. It's got a competitor who has more -- has more subscribers already.


LISOVICZ: And that's a very good point, because you know, when I was thinking about this I thought, well, this is sort of the model of cable TV. Remember, there was a day when people said, oh, people will never pay for TV, you get it for free. But with the consolidation of radio, I don't know about you, but the only radio that I listen to for music is college radio because the play lists are so tight. There's nothing different.

ROMANS: Well, would you pay $12.95 a month just for Howard Stern?

LISOVICZ: No. I wouldn't listen to him for free.

ROMANS: Yeah, well me too.

SERWER: People will. I think people will. Listen...

ROMANS: Well, let me ask Andy. Will you pay $12.95?

SERWER: I'm not a huge Howard fan. I like to listen to Howard for free -- you know, but he has 12 million subscribers right now. So if -- you know, 10 percent of them migrate over, then he's good to go. And I think, Susan, your point about this potentially being a transformational event for this industry is a good one. Much like Fox getting the NFL or CNN covering the first gulf war skip like your point, Christine about the two players because you really do have a Coke/Pepsi going on. XM is the bigger player. They've got two million subscribers. They're cheaper. They have a deal with GM. Sirius has a deal with Ford, so you really see it sort of lined up.

ROMANS: But, do you think Detroit is behind this whole satellite radio business? Because, I mean, in the early days people were saying you've got to get Detroit behind this, they have to put this in every car, the equipment and all that.

SERWER: Well, I think they're getting there. I mean, as more and more people demand it, more and more people catch on, it really is the kind of thing that has to take hold. And if you go to Sirius's website, there's a big picture of Howard there, already.

LISOVICZ: But one of them won't make it, right? It's fair to say?

SERWER: Well, although, maybe there's a Coke and Pepsi, maybe there's a GM and Ford.

ROMANS: Maybe Rush Limbaugh goes to one, Howard Stern goes to the other.

SERWER: Bob Edwards went to XM almost the same day.


ROMANS: It will be like red state, blue state radio.

SERWER: Yeah, well all right, we'll check that out.

All right, up next on IN THE MONEY:

Off the shelf as Chiron's vaccine gets yanked, see if this year's flu season just got riskier.

Plus, kicking the mouse: Find out just how hard it can be to stay off the web.

And lights, camera...carrots? Watch some rabbits revamp a few Hollywood hits on our "Fun Site of the Week."


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: Hello. I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center in Atlanta. IN THE MONEY continues, but first here are some stories now in the news.

Israeli military planes launched a third air strike near a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza. Palestinians say the latest incident left three militants with injuries. Palestinians add that two earlier Israeli strikes on the same area left at least seven people injured, four of them Hamas militants.

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, killing three people nearby. Several others were hurt. Police had stopped the man before he was able to enter the mosque.

Steaming and shaking, you're looking at a live picture right now of Mount St. Helens. And that volcano is doing both. The volcano has been shooting off more steam today in an area where a bulge has formed in the crater. The steam comes as earthquake activity in the area has increased every one to two minutes.

In Arkansas federal officials are working with state police to determine the cause of a deadly bus crash Saturday. At least 15 people were killed when the bus ran off Interstate 55. Meanwhile, families are keeping a vigil for those left critically injured.

On our political plate today it's all about the secret sauce. So will it be Kerry's burrito with Heinz 57 or Bush's Texas hickory sauce? The gut check coming up at 4:00 p.m East Coast Time.

All the day's news coming up at the top of the hour. Now back to more of "IN THE MONEY.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN ANCHOR, IN THE MONEY: Feel a sniffle coming on? Well, I hope you saved some sick days. Biotech firm Chiron announced this week that it stopped the manufacturing of its leading flu vaccine, Fluviron, after concerns over sterility were raised. Fluviron was expected to make up to half the U.S. supply of the flu vaccine.

Medical correspondent Christy Feig joins us now with a look at what that means to you. And I guess that means no flu virus for people like me healthy people who, by the way, haven't taken one sick day this year so far. And I credit it partly that I always take my flu virus shot.

CHRISTY FEIG, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right Susan. Get ready to take some of those sick days possibly because this is certainly a curveball for public health officials at the beginning of the flu season. Remember, just a few weeks ago they thought we'd have more flu vaccine than ever before and now they're learning we're going to have half of what they thought we were going to have.

So you're exactly right. The government is now asking all healthy Americans to skip the flu vaccine this year. Save what we do have for those who are most likely to get seriously sick from getting the flu. That's going to be your children between the ages of six months and 23 months, all pregnant women, anyone who has a chronic condition like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, and of course all people over the age of 65. Now, don't take this lightly.

Remember, the flu kills 36,000 Americans every year. The vast majority of them are over the age of 65. So this can be very dangerous for seniors especially. Now, if you're not in one of those groups, you could also get this flu vaccine if indeed somebody lives with you who is in one of those groups or if you are the caregiver for somebody who's in one of those groups. That's the way that you could also get this vaccine if you're healthy. Susan.

LISCOVICZ: Yes, that's certainly an issue we want to explore further. Medical correspondents Christy Feig thank you.

FEIG: You bet.

ROMANS: All right so if you don't fall into the CDC's high-risk group you're just going to have to build up your own stockpile of vitamin c tablets and canned chicken soup, and my next guest says get used to it. With the consumer price tag of flu vaccines so low the firms that make them have very little incentive to boost production.

Here to explain is Mark Pauly a professor of Healthcare Systems at the Wharton School. Mark also worked on the Institute of Medicine Report on the supply of vaccines. Thanks so much for joining us.


ROMANS: There's a lot of finger pointing and sort of blame game happening here, and one thing that kind of -- I just can't believe is that there are so many so-called lifestyle drugs on the market, the drug companies make all these drugs for all kinds of things that aren't going to kill you, yet we can't get our hands on a flu vaccine that kills 36,000 people a year.

PAULY: Well, of course, one problem is that making and storing a flu vaccine is a trickier business than the chemistry set model that applies to most drugs. The companies have to plan in advance how much they're going to make. It's more like raising a crop than it is like mixing powders.

So when things go wrong, which they seem to do, it has much larger consequence, and it also has to be made new every season because every season the flu bugs stage their revenge and mutate. So that we need a different version of it.

SERWER: Mark, you'll have to forgive me here but I think there's a sense of justified outrage over what's going on here. I mean, let's face it. It is true that thousands more people will get sick this year because of this problem, and it's probably true -- may be true that hundreds more people will die.

I don't really think that's an exaggeration. How is it that the manufacture of the flu vaccine ends up in a somewhat smallish biotech company, number one, and a French drug manufacturer? Where is the federal government here? This is a national problem.

PAULY: Well, part of the reason is that large drug companies used to make flu vaccine and they got out of the business over time just because it's a low margin business and it's not patent protected. And from the viewpoint of the manufacturer it's also a risky product to make because essentially when you're vaccinating someone you're putting a poison into a healthy person and if they get sick from anything thereafter there is a tendency to blame and potentially sue the company that made the vaccine.

So but the short answer, at least according to the Institute of Medicine Committee, the short answer to the solution to this, as you might not be surprised since there were economists on the committee, more money, higher payment to these firms. They would be perfectly willing, one imagines, and evidence to suggest it's true, to take greater precautions to assure the supply of vaccines, if only the profit margin and -- justified it and if only the price were high enough to cover the cost of doing that.

LISCOVICZ: Professor, Andy is outraged, I'm confused. Here we have subsidies, right? We have subsidies for steel. We have subsidies in farming. Everybody complains about the high cost of medicine, right? And that affects the government as well. Why do we not have government subsidies for something that's proactive and ultimately will not only save lives but will save money?

PAULY: Well, we actually do. The federal government and state governments actually provide a fair amount of the funding for vaccines in general and for the flu vaccine in particular for people over 65. It's covered by Medicare. The problem is not whether there are subsidies or not. The problem is they're inadequate. And so I guess if you were looking for somebody to blame there's plenty of blame to go around.

In a way the government has done for flu vaccines and pediatric vaccines what a lot of people think it should do in general, which is bargain as hard as it can to get that price down. But unfortunately, there are potentially negative side effects from setting a price too low. Just as of course there are bad side effects from setting a price too high. ROMANS: You know, professor, the big concern that I have is that we knew this was coming. I mean you talk to experts now who say, well, one expert said it's sort of like a drunk, an alcoholic who hits a bottom and then has to get into therapy. For crying out loud, if this were some kind of a bio terror attack or something --


ROMANS: We can't even -- the flu is going to come. It's going to kill 36,000 people. And we know it's going to happen every single year. And we still can't get our act together. I just -- I don't know who's to blame and who should be --

PAULY: Well --

ROMANS: Who should be in therapy? Who's the drunk who needs to get up off the table and do the 12-step program here?

PAULY: As I say, there's plenty of blame to spread around. Here's a way to think about it. If your hospital system or your provider wanted to be absolutely sure with the benefit of hindsight, of course, to protect against this, they should have ordered the number of doses they wanted from both manufacturers. Of course, it would have cost twice as much. But then when the one shut down they'd at least have enough from the other one.

But the problem with flu vaccines, at least for the people, who don't have insurance coverage, is they seem highly sensitive to the price. For that matter a lot of people who have insurance coverage from flu vaccines never get around to doing it. So we have this kind of skitsafrania (ph), I guess, but on the one hand we think this is the most important thing in the world and we're outraged that it doesn't happen.

I'm outraged that they don't have the flu vaccine that I may or may not get around to taking, is I think the true story of the way a lot of people look at it.

SERWER: Well, let's just hope this doesn't turn out to be a national tragedy of some sort.

PAULY: Well, certainly there's a serious issue here. For most people the flu is mild, and for elderly people, of course, as you mentioned, it's much more severe. Although in most cases those are people whose health is poor in any case.

SERWER: All right. Let's leave it at that. Mark Pauly professor of Health Care Systems at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. Thanks for being on the program.

PAULY: Sure.

SERWER: Still ahead, it's a mall world. Find out how to make sure your teenagers don't reach for their cash without engaging their brains first. That's tough business.

And here's bunny. Watch some rabbits wrap up a Hollywood classic on our fun site of the week.


SERWER: As you've gotten older you probably come to know the value of a dollar particularly if you have a mortgage, car loans, and a bunch of kids, tell me about it. But try informing your teens they can't have the latest Gap fashions or the coolest new cell phones. Teenagers spend billions of dollars a year, and most of that is your money. So how do you convert your teen from a spender to a saver? Neale Godfrey joins us. She is the author of "Money Still Doesn't Grow on Trees." Neale welcome.


SERWER: So let me ask you a basic question. I've got a couple kids. Is an allowance a bad thing?

GODFREY: No. An allowance is a good thing. And it teaches them the natural consequences of money. The way you get it is you earn it. You don't nag for it. And then there's no entitlement program out there.

ROMANS: You've got $175 billion buying power of this group. I mean, that's more than a whole bunch of -- the GDP of a lot of different countries.

GODFREY: Isn't that amazing.

ROMANS: It really is. So I mean, people have to -- I mean parents have to really understand that this is a group that, you know, needs to be educated about how to save money, how to spend money, and the value of the dollar. This is something that has to start before they -- you know, before they've got a job at a pizza joint or before they're getting their allowance. It has to start when they're pretty young, right?

GODFREY: Exactly. When they start saying I want I want, which is normally in the delivery room as far as I'm concerned. But I give them a year off for good behavior. When they're 3 years old, I start them. But by the time they're teens they have the ability also to start getting credit cards, and that's really scary.

LISCOVICZ: Yes, and that's the thing, is that they're unsolicited. You don't need to co-sign. So what would you favor here? Because that's like, you know, it's like manna from heaven. It's so desirable for a lot of kids. You can just spend at will. Would you suggest some changes in the laws requiring say a second signature?

GODFREY: It's not really the credit card company's fault. It's our fault. It's like handing the keys to a car to a kid and then having them get in an accident and turn around and say to the car company, hey, you never should have done that. We as parents and educators need to educate these kids before they get the financial vehicles. And step away from the credit cards. I like the idea that they would use a prepaid or a cash card. So that I as a parent can control it. However, they will be solicited. And last year we had 150,000 young adults declare bankruptcy in this country. That's scary.

SERWER: All right, Neale I like this because I'm getting all kinds of free advice here today. Is it OK to pay kids to do simple chores around the house like taking the trash out and cleaning up the kitchen and cleaning the computer area, or should they be forced to go out and get a job at Christine's pizza joint?

GODFREY: All right. Well, there are two things. First of all, you need citizen of the household chores, where they don't get paid. My kids have to keep their rooms free of breeding diseases. They don't get paid for that. There are work for pay chores over and above where they do get paid. However, you make a list each week, and they have to do that. By the time they're 16 you need to wean them off the allowance system. They have to start earning some of their own money.

ROMANS: OK. While we're getting free advice, I'm going to ask advice for a very good friend of mine whose son just ruined his retainer by not wearing it. It's going to cost $450 bucks to get a new one. Do you make him work it off? He's 13 years old.

GODFREY: Yes, you do.

ROMANS: Do you put a price tag on household chores; make him understand how much money that is? Because he has no idea how much money that is.

GODFREY: No, he doesn't. And you have to do a welcome to planet earth. What he has to do is start earning this money back. However, you need to get the retainer first before he earns the money because he could be 43 years old by the time he earns enough money for this thing. So you don't want his teeth in his head.

LISCOVICZ: Neale I get it that the parents really should be money managers, right? Overseeing their child's allowance and what they're spending it on and not wrecking your $450 retainer. What about a financial adviser? Do you really think that a tween or a teen, a young teen, should sit down with a real bona fide financial adviser?

GODFREY: Absolutely. We have to do welcome to planet earth. You have to start getting these kids involved in real life. Investing is one. They're going to have a lot of other costs in terms of things that they're going to be responsible for when they grow up. And these kids profoundly don't get it.

They don't understand credit. They don't understand taxes. They don't understand that they're going to have to be paying for their own health care benefits. They don't get it. And if we as parents don't start getting them involved, guess what? 24 percent of our little darlings return back to the empty nest. Now, that's really scary.

SERWER: Neale let me just ask you a quick question here. Christine, you actually worked at a Sam's Club I think growing up. ROMANS: I did. I certainly did.

SERWER: What about these jobs outside the home, though? Aren't kids overtaxed enough as it is already? I mean, they're so stressed out, got so much on their plate.

GODFREY: I don't disagree. During the school year is not a great time. However, they get a lot of vacation time. They're off all summer long. They have breaks about every six weeks. And they can start earning money. And when they start earning money and spending money for their own things, all of a sudden they get it. And the problem is because they have such easy access to credit and get themselves in trouble this is something that they're going to carry into adulthood.

Do you know in the United States we have more people, adults who declare bankruptcy every year than graduate from college?

SERWER: Yes, not a pretty picture.

GODFREY: Not pretty.

ROMANS: All right everybody. Take it easy with your money. Be careful on the credit cards. That's the number one advice. Neale Godfrey, thank you so much for joining us today. The book is "Money Still Doesn't Grow On Trees."

There's more ahead on IN THE MONEY. Up next, using a mouse to catch a rabbit. Stick around, see how that works. It's our fun site of the week.

And don't just sit there, participate. Send us an e-mail about what's on your mind. We might just read it on the air. The address is

But first this week's "Money & Family."

LISCOVICZ: Finding a job can be a rewarding but often frustrating experience. Here are some tips to make sure your job search is on the right track. First, be patient. Allow a reasonable amount of time to find a job. It might take a few months to find the right position. A thorough job search requires hard work. So expect to spend several hours a day on the hunt.

Next, talk to people in the field you're pursuing. Even if their firm isn't hiring, see if you can set up an informational interview. That way you may get some tips and contacts to help your search.

Research the companies you send your resume to. You should know exactly what each does before you go on an interview.

And be organized. Try to keep a record of the places you've applied to, the people you've spoken with, and the responses you've received. Good luck. I'm Susan Lisovicz for "Money & Family."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LISCOVICZ: Just a few years ago our lives were just fine without the Internet. But imagine not being able to go online for two weeks straight. I bet Jack could handle that. But few other people could. Allen Wastler has more on this story of net deprivation and the fun site of the week. Why would somebody do that?

ALLEN WASTLER, Well, what it is Yahoo! And media agency, they decided to get together and they do these studies every so often so they can go to advertisers and say see how important the Internet is? So they found 28 people who are netizens and they paid them $950 apiece to go without the Internet for two weeks and keep a diary --

ROMANS: I could definitely do it.

WASTLER: Well you know a lot of them said, yes sure, I'll take your money and I'll do it but then they found themselves, I've got to go to a newspaper for my movie listings? And I can't find the place? I have to go to a paper map and I can't plug in the address and stuff like that?

SERWER: How about the TV?

WASTLER: Well, they did watch TV more, and some of them actually read books. But get this --

LISCOVICZ: They actually read books Andy.

WASTLER: There were some exceptions to the rule. If you had to do it for your job you could use the Internet. OK that would be good for me.

LISCOVICZ: That's a big caveat. We have to use it for our jobs.

WASTLER: If you had to use it for some sort of financial issue or something in your life that was a must get done --

LISCOVICZ: Again, we could do that.

WASTLER: Yes like a banking. They said, OK you can use it as a lifeline. All right?

ROMANS: That's wait "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

WASTLER: More than half used the lifeline. They couldn't get it through. And then the ones that were describing it, they said, not only was it inconvenient in terms of finding things that they're used to doing on the net they suddenly felt socially isolated because --

SERWER: I bet they felt socially isolated.

WASTLER: Some of these folks were college students, and in college these days there's a lot of IMing around.

SERWER: They're trying to get a date online. That's what you're trying to tell us. WASTLER: There you go. But all of a sudden they couldn't use it anymore. They're used to like their chatting. They just couldn't do it anymore. So interesting little study.

LISCOVICZ: OK. Let's talk about an interesting little fun site.

WASTLER: Don't have a lot of time on your hands? All right, how about a movie in 30 seconds with bunnies.

SERWER: Wabbits.

WASTLER: Let's check out how jaws would look like that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You yell shark and we've got a Pentagon on our hands the 4th of July.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This shark swallows you whole.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we are dealing with is an eating machine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those beaches stay open!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're going to need a bigger boat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me the way to go home.


LISCOVICZ: I think you have too much time on your hands.

WASTLER: There's a lovely site. They have all different movies like this.

ROMANS: "The Godfather" that would be great to see "The Godfather."

WASTLER: I've got one for you. "Titanic."

SERWER: King of the wabbits.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God himself cannot sink this ship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm king of the world.


SERWER: There's my guy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iceberg right ahead. Aaaa!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This ship can't sink.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I assure you, she can.




SERWER: That's not good. It's so much quicker, too. That movie, what was that, five hours long?

WASTLER: And the 30-second version, boom.

LISCOVICZ: Like $200 million in cost, I think for the original.

WASTLER: They got "The Exorcist" and "Alien." So go to the show page, and they've got the address right there.

LISCOVICZ: Once again, living up to our high expectations for the fun site. Thanks Allen.

SERWER: Living on the edge.

ROMANS: Susan, there are tears in your eyes.

LISCOVICZ: Coming up next on IN THE MONEY it's time to hear from you as we read some of your e-mails from the past week. And you can send us an e-mail right now. We're at


LISCOVICZ: Now it's time to hear what you would ask the presidential candidates if you were moderating the debates. Walter in Michigan wrote "I would ask President Bush why we did not go after the Saudis when most of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia."

Diane in Texas wrote, "I would ask Senator Kerry if he would push for the elimination of any federal agency or bureau and if so which one?"

John in Massachusetts wrote, "I would ask both candidates what they plan to do about the problem of illegal immigration which is worse than terrorism." Interesting.

Now for next week's e-mail question of the week, have the presidential and vice presidential debates helped you decide how to vote in November? Send your answers to

And you should also visit our show page at That's where you find the address for our fun site of the week and also baby pictures of Jack Cafferty. He says that about us, so we can say that about him. Thanks for joining us for this edition of IN THE MONEY. Thanks to "Lou Dobbs Tonight" correspondent Christine Romans, "Fortune" magazine editor at large Andy Serwer, and managing editor Allen Wastler.

Join us next week on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Or catch Jack and Andy all week on "American Morning" starting at 7:00 a.m. Eastern. Thanks for joining us.



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