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YOUR MONEY

American Tourists Hurt by Weak Dollar; New Jobs Numbers; Contributing to Election Campaigns

Aired October 6, 2007 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: YOUR MONEY is coming up next. Here is a preview.
ALI VELSHI, CNN HOST, YOUR MONEY: Thanks. Coming up on YOUR MONEY, with the new job numbers out see if this economy is going to be good for you.

Plus, find out what matters more the money you contribute to a candidate or your vote.

And why a weaker dollar could actually pay off for you right here at home. All that and more after a quick check of the headlines.

WHITFIELD: Here are the top stories. We're waiting for an arraignment in Philadelphia where a convicted bank robber charged with murdering two armored car guards. The guards were gunned down Thursday while servicing an ATM.

President Bush is trying to reassure the Arab world that he has no plans to attack Iran. In an Arabian television interview Mr. Bush said the U.S. will continue to rely on diplomacy to get Iran to end it nuclear program. He dismissed speculation to the contrary as baseless gossip.

A day of rallies around the world to protest Myanmar's violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. Rallies in Europe, Asia and Australia, as well as here in North America.

And protests in Pakistan as unofficial results show General Pervez Musharraf winning a third term as president. The results won't be binding until Pakistan's Supreme Court rules on whether Musharraf was an eligible candidate. Critics say he should have resigned his military post.

And a frozen beef patty recall is under way; Sam's Club is pulling American Chef Selection Angus beef patties off the shelf nationwide. Four Minnesota children who ate them got sick with E. coli. The patties were produced by Cargill and have an expiration date of February 12, 2008.

We'll update your top stories at the bottom of the hour. Now, it's time for YOUR MONEY.

VELSHI: Welcome to YOUR MONEY, the show that looks at the news of the week and how it affects your wallet. I'm Ali Velshi. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST, YOUR MONEY: I'm Christine Romans. Coming up on today's program, find out how your money or your vote counts more on getting a candidate into office.

VELSHI: Very interesting to read about that. We'll have a good discussion about it.

Plus, we'll break down the story of a falling U.S. dollar and why it matters to you specifically.

ROMANS: Listen to this one, how to keep from sabotaging yourself when you go on a job interview, very important.

VELSHI: Some very good tips for you.

First, the big news on Friday. The jobs report 110,000 jobs added to the U.S. payrolls in September and the disappointing August numbers that we talked about, those job losses, they were actually revised upward. We actually gained jobs in August and didn't lose them.

ROMANS: We're going to take a whole look at the labor market where it is strong and not so strong. Wall; Street overall got pretty excited about those figures and you know maybe you should too, even if you feel secure in your job and your career, the employment report matters. Our good friend Mark Zandi the chief economist of Moody's.com. He'll tell us why. Hi, Mark.

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ECONOMY.COM: HI it is good to be with you.

ROMANS: OK, the president today very optimistic about the job numbers and the job situation pointing to months on month of overall job growth, but when you dig into those numbers, there are some areas of weakness that maybe weren't all that surprising.

ZANDI: Well, wasn't bad. It certainly a lot better than feared, it suggests that the economy is not going to slide away into recession, but the economy is still not creating a whole lot of jobs, certainly not enough to keep the unemployment rate from rising and it did in the month and I think it will continue to rise as we make our way into next year.

VELSHI: When Christine makes this point, I know you make this point when Christine makes it, I draw a little square while she's talking to me to indicate I think it's a little but square, but you know what it's actually a really important point. People say we created 110,000 jobs, wow, that sounds amazing. What's wrong with 110,000 jobs?

ZANDI: Well, nothing. We'll take every job we can get. The problem is the economy creates about 125,000 people, new people into the labor force every single month. So, just it keeps the unemployment rate from rising we need to create roughly 125,000 per month. When we're south of that, less than that, then it are not quite what we need. It's not healthy job picture.

VELSHI: Despite President Bush trumping, 40 months of job creation, we haven't averaged 125,000 jobs a month, that's why we're inching back and seeing the unemployment number inch up a little bit.

ZANDI: That's right. We have 110,000 jobs in September, but it you look since the beginning of the year, it is less than 100,000 and I don't see that changing any time soon. So, I would expect the unemployment rate to be higher next spring/summer than it is today. Today it is higher than it was last spring.

ROMANS: We are seeing job losses continuing in manufacturing, no surprise there, 15 months now of job losses in manufacturing. Construction job losses, anything related to housing and mortgage and mortgage finance we're starting to see job losses there and another interesting point, temporary jobs have been lost for eight months in a row, that's kind of a sign when companies are starting to think about not hiring or laying people off. They lay off the temp workers first, don't they?

ZANDI: Yes, that is exactly right it is a sign of caution. Businesses are nervous. They're not laying off workers outside of housing that you point out, in housing they are laying off, but outside of that, they are not. But what they're doing is they are not hiring as aggressively. They are being more cautious, there are soft hiring freezes in different parts of the economy.

So, the fact that temp jobs fell, that's a sign that businesses just aren't fully engaged. Animal spirits still locked up.

VELSHI: Mark, if you want it look at the economy generally, there are a number of things you can look at. First of all, another record week on the Dow and then you got these employment numbers, you got housing and you got mortgages and you got energy costs and fundamentally I always think that the jobs numbers are the most important because before you can pay for your gas or your house, you have to have an income.

You're talking about a few states where we're almost in recessions in those states and you're saying the chance of a recession over the next 6 to 12 months is as high as 40 percent.

ZANDI: It is. There are a number of states and reasons that are very soft, again, related to the very severe housing down turn in those states. California is a complete mess. Florida is even worse, Arizona, Nevada, parts of the northeast and, of course, the industrial Midwest because of the problems in the auto industry. There are now growing parts of the country that are struggling to avoid recession and in many cases are already in recession.

Thus, the odds of a national economic downturn are high. I don't think we'll experience one. I think we have some fundamental strength that will eventually win the day, but a bit dicey over the next three, six months.

ROMANS: What are the strengths, Mark? The strengths that will the day and keep this economy out of a recession.

ZANDI: Well I will give you three of them. One is that the trade picture improves. The falling dollar is helpful and the global economy is strong, that's very, very positive. Second, businesses outside of housing, they are very flush. Profits are high; margins are as wide as they've been. It will take a lot to induce them to pull back on their hiring and investment, something you would need for a recession. And third, policymakers are now fully engaged. The Federal Reserve came out with a very aggressive move to lower rates and they will ease, again, if the economy continues to slip away. The fact that the Federal Reserve is on the case, is a reason for optimism.

VELSHI: Mark, always great to get this analysis from you. It is always so straight forward and helpful. Thanks a lot for joining us.

ZANDI: Thanks a lot.

VELSHI: Mark talks about one of the things the might keep us out of the recession, being that falling dollar. We are going to have a good conversation this show about how the falling dollar actually matters to you and how you can benefit from it.

ROMANS: That is absolutely right and up next on YOUR MONEY, now that you heard about the big job picture, we'll find out where the jobs are by place and by industry. Where to find the jobs, after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Before the break we were talking about the employment picture and how it's affecting the power of your pocketbook and now we are going to find out where the jobs actually are.

VELSHI: Specifically. What types of jobs and what part of the country are the hot places to land a gig right now. Joining us for that is Jeff Joerres; he is the chairman and CEO of Manpower. Jeff thanks for being with us.

JEFFREY JOERRES, CEO, MANPOWER: Great to be here.

VELSHI: Jeff, you guys studied this in great detail, you break it down and, you know, over the last few years the fact is that job growth, the hottest jobs, the jobs that you have the most trouble filling are the same industries. They're sort of a top ten that if you're looking for a new career, you can go in to right now.

JOERRES: It's true. But the challenge is that you have to prepare for those careers. What you're seeing right now in the labor market is where you're seeing people getting shutout of jobs and have to move on. They don't have the opportunity to the next day to get into these jobs because they're skilled positions. These are skilled positions, including the top-ranking job, which is a sales representative.

ROMANS: Really, well we keep hearing all this about when the job is lost, you need some retraining and you can go and you can search out the next level, but it's not quite as easy as that, is it?

JOERRES: It is not and what we are seeing is sort of the people who are most prepared are those that keep themselves fresh while they're in the current job. So, the jobs are available and you saw the labor numbers come out this morning and while they're not robust, it says there are opportunities out there. Ironically, some of the opportunities come within the skilled trade. So, in the building industry, which tends to be weakest, but they still need the talent right now.

VELSHI: You have to have those particular skills. One things Jeff that we covered extensively here is the auto industry and the shift away from auto workers. And we sort of studied that one of the best places for them to go into, for instance, is trucking, the delivery industry. That is just booming in this country. They can't fill enough positions.

JOERRES: That's true. What really happens is very interesting when you look at trucking and the drivers; it gets harder and harder to fill the driver when there are more options in the marketplace. We actually look at drivers as one of the indicators of a recession or not. When you're in the downturn, you have a lot of drivers because people are willing to take those long haul roads and be away from home. During a time when you have unemployment rates the way they are now, you see drivers really difficult to find. Actually they are extremely well-paying jobs.

ROMANS: So on this list that we just showed, we have teachers on that list, mechanics, truck drivers, delivery drivers, accountants. My question is, if we're losing high-paying manufacturing drives in the past 15 months but we are adding teachers and mechanics are we adding jobs where there are jobs in this country, are they say the same kind of benefits and pay level as the ones we are loosing?

JOERRES: Well clearly when you look at manufacturing across the board, entry level manufacturing all the way to mid-level manufacturing, you tended to see higher entry wage rates in that area. It's not a trade out. When you look at the skilled trade positions, electricians and carpenters and welders and plumbers, you actually would exceed what you would be seeing in the manufacturing area.

ROMANS: With training. You have to make sure your skills are fresh and the right kind of training, but there are jobs available in these areas.

JOERRES: There are jobs available and what you really should be targeting, in which you see a lot in the U.S., is really in the younger populations, preparing themselves for these jobs as opposed to think you just go into manufacturing and making a living there.

VELSHI: Let's talk about geography. If people are prepared to move around a little bit for a new career, Mark Zandi one of our previous guests was sort of saying that there are some states where we're seeing this housing problem is causing a bit of a recession. What's hot? What direction in the country should you be going to, to generally look for a job?

JOERRES: Well you know, as usual, it gets more complex than that. It depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking in the housing market, you're not going to go to California. If you're in the services industry and in some of the other areas that are doing well, teachers and others, you can go to California, actually find a job. So, the western states, which includes far more than California, is actually doing better than what you would see with the northeast, which is really where the most difficult positions are right now.

ROMANS: Before I let you go, Jeff, just for fun, we wanted to show you the screen we put together of the top-paying jobs. News anchor isn't on this list and a lot more school, actually, before either of us would get --

VELSHI: If you look at those top five there is nothing but a medical- type of job and I think the second five are very similar, except for the number ten, which is an chief executive.

ROMANS: All right. Manpower CEO Jeff Joerres, thanks so much for joining us, really appreciate your help on this.

JOERRS: Thank you.

VELSHI: He's a CEO, he made the list.

ROMANS: Nice.

VELSHI: We're going to take a break. When we come back, we'll talk about the campaign. What you can do, more than a year away to the presidential election. What's more important do you think?

ROMANS: Your money or your vote? I don't know.

VELSHI: We are going to find out. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: The presidential candidates have been reporting their third quarter campaign take this week with Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the lead taking in $27 million. None of the Republicans could even touch that figure.

VELSHI: No, not at all. But that got us wondering what these candidates do with the money you donate, most goes to advertising. Massie Ritsch is going to help us figure it out. He is the communication director at the Center for Responsive Politics, which is a nonpartisan research group in Washington, D.D. Massie, how are you doing? Good to see you.

MASSIE RITSCH, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: Hi, guys, how are you?

VELSHI: Good. One of the questions we had is if you are going to donate to a campaign at this point in the game, more than a year away from the presidential election how valuable is that and should I just vote as opposed to donate my money?

RITSCH: Well, unless you're living in New Hampshire or Iowa or South Carolina or one of these early primary states, then your money is worth more than your vote right now. The candidates want both your vote and your money, but right now what they need is the money. We're in the money primary. We are in the final stages of this where the candidates are really being measured by how much they can raise. ROMANS: What are they raising this money for? I mean, this is the longest campaign I can ever remember. It must be expensive. What are they spending it on?

RITSCH: They're spending it on a lot of things. These campaigns are medium-size businesses to small businesses that pop up for two years at a time at the most and maybe just less than a year. And they're hiring staff and multiple states; they're traveling around the country to raise money and to meet voters. They are doing polling and other research and they're also spending the money on advertising. The advertising hasn't kicked in heavily, that will come. They're banking right now the money they will spend on the radio and TV ads come primary time.

VELSHI: So, what your point was a little earlier, there are some places where the vote matters. In the primary and in the general election, there are some places where it matters less, I'm cautious about how I say this, it matters less because you're so much in the majority in a particular state that your extra vote in that place is not going to do as much as your donation.

RITSCH: Well, that's true maybe for the general election. Let's focus on the primary now, though. That's really a few states initially where the candidates have to catch fire and then try to take that momentum into the other states. So, ultimately, though, it's important to vote wherever you are, of course, and you can have an impact, as we've seen in past elections that have been very close in all sorts of places around the country. But right now the candidates are focused on getting voters in New Hampshire, in Iowa, in South Carolina, Nevada, some of these other early primary states and, of course, they are interested in your money.

VELSHI: Anybody prepared to write a check for $10 or more is going to vote.

ROMANS: Well, you would think so.

RITSCH: We're talking about a small percentage of Americans who are giving this money and they tend, I think we can assume people who intend to vote.

ROMANS: What about the folks who are writing out checks for $2,300. How many people are shelling out that kind of money because they believe in a candidate so much?

RITSCH: Just the people giving more than $200 amount to 0.5 of 1 percent of all Americans. Very few people are participating in this money primary, but they're deciding who the choices will be for the really rest of us. They are saying with their wallets these are the candidates that we respond to and we like and, you know, we'll forget about the rest of them and that's a pitfall in this system because some voices are excluded because they simply don't have the money to get their messages out.

ROMANS: Matthew, there is no other place like this in the world, is there? RITSCH: Really, a remarkable system and we speak to a lot of people in other countries and they're astounded by how much money there is. They are also astounded by the transparency of it. People can go on our Website and enter their zip code, and see if their neighbors are giving, you can't do that anywhere else in the world.

ROMANS: Fascinating. All right. Massie Ritch thanks so much, Center for Responsive Politics, very interesting.

VELSHI: I used that Website many times; it is very interesting to see where the money comes from and where it goes.

All right. We're going to take a break, coming up, speaking about money. Reasons to be happy that the U.S. dollar is losing its muscle.

Later, job interview secrets from somebody who really knows about the interview. Stay tuned for both of these things. We'll have to get a little richer and maybe get another job. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Hello I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta. Stories now in the newsroom. We're waiting an arraignment this hour from Mustafa Ali. He is charged with murdering two guards during Thursday's armored car robbery in Philadelphia.

And a day of global protests over the crackdown of pro-democracy protests and the detention of Buddhist monks in Myanmar. Amnesty International is organizing marches in more than two dozen cities.

President Bush's ally in the fight against terror is claiming victory in Pakistan's presidential election. An official ballot result shows President Pervez Musharraf winning a third term.

A frozen beef patty recall is under way. Sam's Club is pulling American Chef selection angus beef patties ff the shelves nationwide. Four Minnesota children who ate them got sick with e. Coli. The patties were produced by Cargill and have an explanation date of February 12th 2008.

Now back to YOUR MONEY.

ROMANS: Oh, the poor U.S. dollar. It's been limping along. In fact, it would be an improvement if it was limping along. So frail that the European business finances leaders this week started pushing for Washington to try to beef it up. You know while a weaker dollar may sound like a lot of trouble, it might have some advantages back home.

VELSHI: Andy Busch is going to tell us about what those advantages are in language that you don't need an MBA to understand, but he might have one. Andy Bush, big guy at the Global Foreign Exchange Strategist joining us now. Andy good it see you again.

ANDY BUSCH, MBO CAPTIAL MARKETS: Hey.

ROMANS: You don't have to go that far down the road to find out how this is very helpful to many Americans to have a low U.S. dollar.

BUSCH: Right. First of all, I would say take a look at jobs. Jobs in this country should stay a little perky in the manufacturing sector or any company that's exporting overseas because their goods are actually cheaper now. Their sales should be going up. Jobs in that area will maintain and, unlike what we're hearing from so many other people out there, I think this is one of the biggest benefits for a weaker dollar. I don't see a lot of down side for it. It should help growth and maybe offset some of the problems in the housing sector.

ROMANS: Help U.S. export-related jobs and domestic tourism, as well, because you've got all these Canadians who are coming here, Europeans who are coming here and America's on sale.

BUSCH: Absolutely. You know, the crazy thing is prices up in Canada are still like 15 to 20 percent higher, even though the Canadian dollar is above parity against the U.S. dollar. That is just insane. So, what I look at it is shoppers not only coming from Canada, which they should, anybody on the border who is running a retail business should very happy with that.

Also, here's what you're going to see, a lot of people coming from Europe with empty bags and leaving with them full.

VELSHI: The way you heard about Americans doing the other way. When you buy a book in Canada or the United States, every book cover you open up has a Canadian price and a U.S. price. The Canadian price is substantially higher except the money is now worth the same. You buy an ipod in Canada now, it's more expensive now. Places like Detroit, they'll benefit from the fact that people might come there as opposed to go to Windsor across the river. That could be a big benefit.

BUSCH: Oh yeah. I think that is a great thing. When you have a free floating currency like we do, this is what you hope happens. It devalues a bit when the U.S. economy is softening up at the right time. This is what it's doing. Don't expect anybody in Washington to say anything bad.

ROMANS: Don't they always say a strong dollar is in the best interest of the U.S. economy? Isn't that what we always hear?

BUSCH: You know they do. You mentioned that European officials are asking the U.S. to say something; well I just want to say, what I think the response will be what an old genesis song was. "No reply at all." I just saw these guys last night and they were great, they didn't move very much on stage, but they still played great music. I think the lead singer is the same age as the Hank Paulson, the U.S. Treasury Secretary. But that is it, the U.S. dollar is going to keep softening up and the Canadian dollar is going to keep strengthening and this will help the U.S.

VELSHI: OK. Now, that's where I was going with this. My next five trips that I have any choices on are staying in the United States because you are now getting substantially more for your money unless, for instance, you're going to stay in a hotel like Chicago or New York where those prices are naturally high. But how long can this go on for? Can I plan my summer vacation next summer for Italy or do we think this is going to continue?

BUSCH: I would say it is going to continue now. We may move a couple percent away from this, but I think it will stay very expensive for a long time. Anybody who has gone to London recently and bought a meal there, I had a heart attack last time I was there. You take a client out and spend 200 pounds and you get a bill for like 450 bucks and its like, oh, my gosh. But I think where people will go vacation is definitely more domestic, but you can also go to Mexico, they haven't really experienced much of an appreciation, if any, of their currency. If you go in the Caribbean, there are some places that we still have pretty good relationship; obviously, Puerto Rico is part of the United States. That would be a great place to go.

ROMANS: The dollar slump losers then, you mentioned us going to London is a little more expensive, that weekend in Paris. Ouch. But also American consumers have imported products and your imports will go up and the price of fuel, as well. That's in dollars.

BUSCH: Right, exactly. Some discussion of changing that as the Middle Eastern OPEC countries are getting worried that the dollar is going so low that they don't want to get payment any more because they're not getting paid as much as they would in euros.

But, you're right. We continue to so that. That will hit the U.S. consumer spending, obviously, the higher gasoline prices. So we're going it get higher prices in this country from hiring imported goods. That's really; consumer spending will take a little bit of a hit because of this stuff.

VELSHI: Andy Busch, thank you so much for that.

ROMANS: For those Americans planning to travel outside of the U.S. despite what the dollar's doing. New passport requirements took effect this week.

VELSHI: Which means U.S. citizen who want to fly to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean or Bermuda now need a valid U.S. passport. The temporary requirement lift on a law that went into effect in January expired this past Monday. CNN's Ines Ferre is here's with more on what you need to know. Ines welcome to the show.

INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you so much. Well you guys to put it in the words of one travel agent that I spoke with this whole passport issue has been a nightmare. Remember how this year thousands of travelers waited for months to get their passports because of a massive backlog of the applications that had to be processed. This summer the government let citizens travel with proof they had applied for a passport, but as of October 1st, it's been back to the original requirement. If you're a U.S. citizen traveling to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, you need a valid U.S. passport. So, who are some of the folks that are being affected by this requirement? Listen to this travel agent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) YVONNE INSUSSARRY, INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AGENT: We have quite a few people who have called in desperation saying I've applied for a passport; I did it back in May. I didn't think I needed to expedite it. We had plenty of time and its September and I still don't have a passport and we're planning to go to the Caribbean next week and we don't have a passport.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FERRE: Now, the state department says that they're back on track with their regular processing time, about six to eight weeks for most passports, two to three if you pay an extra $60 to expedite your application and that's on top of the regular application fees. So, what are the fees? Here they are. You see them on your screen and most travel agents say that it's really better to expedite it, better it have that peace of mind and make sure that when you travel you have a passport.

ROMANS: You know, Ines, this has really made people very, very angry. There was an intern here at CNN this summer who was telling me, you know, I'm in such trouble, my big trip with my sister has been canceled because I can't get my documents and that's, you know, it's non-refundable. Are those horror stories that we heard over and over again you think those are in the backdrop and people realize they have to get this passport?

FERRE: Yeah, definitely, hopefully so. That's what a lot of travel agents are saying, just plan ahead. What this has really done is it's kind of taken out the spontaneity out of your travel plans. You need to have that passport and especially, you know, a lot of people don't realize, do you guys know when your passport expires.

VELSHI: Only because of that very fear. You're exactly right. The trick is to get it so that if you decide you want to take a last- minute trip you have it in hand.

FERRE: Right, exactly. Make sure that if you do have it that it's up to date.

VELSHI: All right, Ines, thank you for joining us on this.

FERRE: Thank you guys.

VELSHI: Ines Ferre who you can see on CNN.

Well, coming up next on YOUR MONEY how your job interview technique looks from the other side of the desk. We are going to hear from a guy who has interviewed more than 1,000 job seekers. You will hear what he has to say. Stay with us your are watching YOUR MONEY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Not that Ali and I are out looking for jobs, but I'm going to do a mock interview with Ali. What are your weaknesses?

VELSHI: My looks are distracted to those around me. ROMANS: And you charm can over whelm the room.

VELSHI: This is the question that gets everybody when you're in a job interview. Last week we talked about resumes, catch phrases that you shouldn't use on your resume.

ROMANS: Don't use team player.

VELSHI: Let's talk interview. We are going to be talking to Brad Karsh; I think he is with us now from Chicago. Brad is a recruiting expert who has interviewed thousands of people. He is the founder and president of Job Bound, a job preparation service and he's an author of a book called "The Confessions of a Recruiting Director." So you have heard it all. Is that a big problem that weakness question?

BRAD KARSH, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, JOBBOUD: I say it's one of the more difficult questions to answer and almost everybody kind of screws that one up.

ROMANS: Is there anything if we're ever asked what our weaknesses are; is there a safety that we can go to? What do we say?

VELSHI: Not that you don't like my looks answer?

KARSH: In that particular instance, it's true, Ali. You could get away with that. But for most of us who do not have the good looks, the biggest problem people make is, again I interviewed a thousand people and three out four people when I ask them what their weakness was, they say the same exact thing. They work too hard. All right.

That is the biggest scam in the history of interviewing. We interview a lot of people, we know that. We don't think that you can outthink us and say, I'll take strength and disguise it as a weakness.

ROMANS: My biggest weakness is I can't answer questions like what is your biggest weakness.

VELSHI: Christine had one she was just telling me.

ROMANS: I was asked if I was a cartoon character, what it would be. I mean ho are you supposed to answer something like that?

VELSHI: Can you turn that one around, Brad?

KARSH: Here's why they ask those questions, sometimes they want to see how you think on your feet. So a question like that , what cartoon character would you be and they want to see what kind of traits you pull out with what traits you pull out which are your strengths or weaknesses. I would be Wiley Coyote because I'm a very clever person and I have a lot of persistence and even when faced with failure I'll keep going at it.

VELSHI: Daffy Duck was coming to mind for me.

ROMANS: I thought Bugs Bunny. VELSHI: You know one of the things that Brad has talked to us about in the past is what you want to do is somehow communicate how you're going to be of some use to this company and maybe the best way to do that is of how you were it use to your last company or where you're working now.

KARSH: Exactly. Most companies conduct behavioral interviews. They want to know not just what you have done, because they can look at that that is your resume. They want to know the whys and the hows. In other words, the reasons behind the things that you've done. What makes you tick? The thought if you did something incredibly successful or it you have a wonderful work ethic, if you succeeded in your past jobs, you'll do that in your future jobs.

ROMANS: What about when, a lot of interviews the first one is over the phone and then you'll meet somebody in person. Any kind of tips for that first phone interview?

KARSH: Phone interviews are tough because, first of all, you don't have the benefit of seeing the glimmer in someone's eye, seeing the smile on their face when they answer a question. A lot of job seekers when they interview, especially over the phone, they are incredibly boring. They tend to be a little monotone; they tend to be a little bit straight in all of their answers. I encourage people to really be animated, be overly animated. Try to talk with your hands, talk with a smile on your face, and make sure no one is in the room with you because you look like a fool but it makes a difference over the phone.

VELSHI: When I'm talking on the phone I stand up and have all the gestures going at the same time and it's not even for interviews. What do you do after you had the interview whether in person or own the phone, how do you thank them afterwards without looking like you're sucking up but that you're eager?

ROMANS: Do you send it on personal stationary or on your currant company stationery.

VELSHI: Or by email.

KARSH: Here is my philosophy. I think you must send a thank you note after any interview that you ever have. And the reason being it is another chance for you to express your interest in the company, another chance for you to show that, hey, you care and you are putting some effort behind this. Fewer than 25 percent of people write thank you notes and, truly, it can make the difference.

VELSHI: Brett, can you correct something you thought was a misperception or misunderstanding during the course of the interview? Is that something you should do in your thank you note, to say you know you asked me this question and I don't think I really answered it fully, here's my answer.

KARSH: You can. You have to walk the fine line between being defensive and explanatory. You don't want to come off defensive but if you feel like they said something it you we had more seasoned candidates than you, I'm not sure that you have as much experience. You could in your thank you not then say well even though I don't have the same number of years of experience as those around me that are interviewing, I have this, this, this that makes sense.

ROMANS: Brad quickly, there is a whole list of questions that your interviewer is not supposed to be asking you. What are you supposed to do if somebody asks you, so, do you have any children? Are you thinking of having children? Are you married? Are you single? What if someone asks you those questions, what are you to do?

KARSH: That is an illegal question you can't ask me that. You're not going to say that. I advise people to try to avoid it or even try to laugh it off. Are you planning it have a family? My husband and I have talked about those things but we haven't come to any conclusions.

ROMANS: You'll be the first to know, if you hire me, you'll be the first to know.

VELSHI: Brad thanks for joining us. Brad is the President and founder of Jobbound and he is also the author of "Confessions of a Recruiting Director." The insiders guide to landing your first job which is a fun read. Thank you for being with us.

ROMANS: A lot of thank you notes. Coming up next on YOUR MONEY, a presidential veto fires up a health care fight in Washington. We'll have that and more of the week's top stories right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: Long-running secret that Christine and I, we have a lot in common. We don't handle our money the same way, but we handle our meals the same way.

ROMANS: What is best are those big huge pancake places, I-hop, Waffle House.

VELSHI: We should start doing brunch. We sat down this week with Julia Stewart, the CEO of I h.o.p., it is Fortunes most powerful women's Summit; Stewarts company is in the process of acquiring Applebee's Restaurant. Which is an entirely good place for dinner. We asked her how she is going to handle all that on her plate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIA STEEWART, CEO IHOP CORP: I think the big challenge is two slightly different cultures and meeting to working on how to integrate those cultures and integrate the needs of the organizations but still keep their independence. That is my intention to have two separate business units.

The Applebee's business unit and the I.h.o.p. business unit. This is a very social industry that we're in. It is very much high touch. We talk about that all the time. You can't replace what we do with an e- mail or blackberry it's this one-on-one communication. I give you in my world 35 minutes of resba a day. I give you a chance to forget about your problems, forget about your cares and enjoy a breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night with friends and family. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Speaking right to my heart. Jennifer Westhoven joins us now talking about a few things that have gone on in the news this week.

ROMANS: Hi, Jen.

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is hard it get my mind off those pancakes.

VELSHI: The food.

WESTHOVEN: Health insurance, though, was really center stage in Washington this week. President Bush vetoed a bill that would have increased funding by 345 $35 billion for a government-run children's health insurance program over the next five years. The president says he's worried it spends too much money subsidizing middle class families instead of poor children and people really struggling to get by.

VELSHI: Interesting story you followed this for a little while, how did that play once he made that decision?

ROMANS: Well the folks who are rooting for the middle class and rooting for more health insurance say it was just mean and using one of his very few vetoes to hurt middle class kids. On the other side of the fence they're saying, listen, this was a lot of families who were in higher middle income bracket and that it was veering and they just didn't want to do it.

VELSHI: While we're on the topic of two sides of the fence, something that might be considered mean, see the story about the woman who was found by a jury to have to pay $220,000 bucks or something for downloading.

ROMANS: Downloading music.

WESTHOVEN: This is a big fix that they can wield to people who get involved in downloading. A federal jury in Minnesota that ordered a single mom to pay up $220,000 for sharing copyrighted music online. That's more than $9,000 for each of the 24 songs that were involved and we're not saying that it's not because she downloaded 24 songs. It's that she left these songs available; technologically speaking so other people could download them from her through the file sharing program. She testified, she didn't even have an account, but this is a really interesting story to watch. How could you possibly pay this?

VELSHI: Right. Six record companies brought in witnesses who said, you know, from the Internet server to say that account is, in fact, connected to her, her account. This idea of just being available, does that mean if I leave my CD collection outside my front door with a little note to say I'd like my CDs back every night, it's kind of an interesting discussion.

WESTHOVEN: This is one of the first, one of these lawsuits that ever went to trial. Before this most people just caved in and they were afraid and they did settlements and the industry got their scary headlines. She went, this is score one for them. This makes the recording industry look like they've got a big stick.

ROMANS: Let's talk about this story. If I gave you $15 --

VELSHI: I'd go get more lunch.

ROMANS: Would you lose weight if I said, you know what; I'll pay you to lose weight?

VELSHI: No. If I had more money, I'd buy more food with it.

ROMANS: It s just another reason why Ali is so unique and he marches to a different drummer than the rest of the country.

WEESTHOVEN: He is because apparently cash is an effective motive here.

VELSHI: Not much of it.

WESTHOVEN: The smaller size dress might be a really good incentive; this is a provocative idea that in this study when people were offered cash, they were five times as likely to drop some pounds. This is interesting for companies that want healthy workers and lower health care bills and it didn't take a lot of money, $7 or $14 made a big difference.

VELSHI: You have it alter all your clothes. That's not going to pay for anything.

WESTHOVEN: Do you want your boss having you step on a scale.

ROMANS: When does it veer into maybe you're profiling people? You pull your chubbier people aside and say, listen, you need to lose weight. We'll give you a bonus.

WESTHOVEN: They're paying for health care bills and it was such a small amount of money that really worked.

VELSHI: We're hungry people, a carrot will do.

ROMANS: No a carrot won't work, nobody will eat the carrot, and they want the money.

VELSHI: Jennifer, thank you so much.

Well we do a story every week about someone who has changed their life by leaving a lengthy career to do something they really enjoy.

ROMANS: This week we met a former graphic designer who hasn't just changed his own life, but the lives of many young men and women who are overcoming challenges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI (voice over): This production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" doesn't look different and that's exactly how Jim Sisto likes it.

JIM SISTO, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, FAMILY RESIDENCES: The thing about this group that is most amazing to me is their drive to exceed and to do well despite any obstacle that life or god or whoever throws at them.

VELSHI: What you might find really amazing is that every one in this production is developmentally or physically challenged.

SISTO: The participants in our program are people with physical disabilities, people with mental health issues. People with developmental disabilities.

VELSHI: Sisto is the assistive director for Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, it is an organization that houses and teaches more than 3,000 mentally challenged adults in Long Island. Sisto took what he thought was a short detour from graphic design in 1999 when he took a job at the center and tested out a theater program. The results surprised everyone.

SISTO: My biggest surprise with this program was the apparent change that came over so many people so quickly. People who could be aggressive stopped being aggressive because they knew if they, you know, if they did cross over that line, that they were no longer able to do this, this thing that they loved so much. People were able to manage their symptoms for the first time in their life.

VELSHI: So 18 years later Sisto continues directing his theater group, performing the same musicals you find on Broadway to sold out crowds.

SISTO: Actors are very special people and you can go out and you can make people feel good, generally this population does not make people feel good. My guys do. My guys do. They really make them feel good. That's special.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: Some of these stories about what people do after they leave their first career, they're interesting to understand that somebody might have taken that left turn but some of them really move you and that's one of them. I really enjoyed that.

ROMANS: That was a very moving one. Up next, the car ad that has South Florida drivers all revved up.

VELSHI: We will show it to when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELSHI: A south Florida car dealer has created quite a controversy with this new TV ad.

ROMANS: He's been called a traitor for running a commercial for his dealership in Spanish on English-language television. Suzanne Candiotti reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUZANNE CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Cue cards Earl Stewart doesn't speak a lick of Spanish, but he knows how to sell cars. His family has been in the business for 70 years at West Palm Beach, Florida. He figured; why not advertise in Spanish on English- language TV to reach Latinos who might be watching.

EARL STEWART: I wasn't trying to make a political statement; I was trying to sell more Toyotas.

CANDIOTTI: Viewers started calling with a vengeance.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): We will no longer be buying anything from your dealership, thank you.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): This is not right what your advertisement is unbelievable.

CANDIOTTI: Within days he got more than 200 angry e-mails.

STEWART: I find your Spanish commercial stupid and insulting. I would never buy a car from someone who doesn't know what country he lives in. This is not Mexico.

CANDIOTTI: This one says tell Earl he is a traitor and un-American. Did you think it would create such a stir?

STEWART: I had no idea, I was shocked.

CANDIOTTI: On the other hand the Sedano's supermarket chain is running a combo Spanish/English commercial on Miami's English language TV with no complaints.

MERCEDES CUBAS, SIBONEYUSA ADVERTISING: People who advertise in Spanish are just trying to expand their consumer base. They're being smart. They want to sell their products.

CANDIOTTI: We asked one of Stewart's customers to watch the ad. She gets it but doesn't think it helps Hispanics simulate.

(UNIDENTIFED FEMALE): They help draw the people in, which is what he wants. But it doesn't help them learn English.

STEWART: It's nonsense to think a car dealer's commercial on television is going to encourage anybody not to learn English.

CANDIOTTI: Stewart shrugs off e-mails like, anything to make a buck, right, Earl?

STEWART: I did do it for the almighty dollar. I did it to sell more Toyotas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That sounds pretty American to me.

VELSHI: He's selling cars. I figure if folks don't like that, they don't have to buy a car from Earl.

ROMANS: Maybe there is a bigger picture, but it's, in a south Florida --

VELSHI: Coming as much a surprise --

ROMANS: In south Florida.

VELSHI: I wonder if Earl will have a net gain. We'll have to talk to him in a year to see whether he did well.

ROMANS: And interesting story none the less.

VELSHI: Well thank you for joining us for this edition of YOUR MONEY. You can catch Christine later today at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, "Lou Dobbs this Week."

ROMANS: And you can see Ali every week day morning on "American Morning." We'll see you back here next week.

VELSHI: Saturday at 1:00 and Sunday at 3:00. Have a great week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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