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Climate Crisis is Near the Point of No Return; California Governor Jerry Brown Leads the Fight to Save Environment; New Memoir, "Small Fry," by Lisa Brennan, Credits for America's Booming Economy; Trump-enomic with Paul Krugman; Best-Selling Memoir "I Can't Date Jesus" By Michael Arceneaux. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired September 12, 2018 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to our new hour-long edition of "Amanpour." And here
is what's coming up.
As Hurricane Florence bears down on the East Coast, the U.N. chief warns the climate crisis is near the point of no return. California Governor
Jerry Brown is leading the fight save our environment, a herculean task, he tells me.
Then, for years, Steve Jobs denied he was her father. I speak with Lisa Brennan-Jobs who wrestles with her complicated childhood in her new book
Also, tonight, who does deserve credit for America's booming economy? Ten years after the financial crash, I talk Trump-enomics with Nobel Laureate
Paul Krugman. And our Alicia Menendez talks to Michael Arceneaux, author of the best-selling memoir "I Can't Date Jesus."
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
Hurricane Florence off America's East Coast is shaping up to be a catastrophic storm. Made even more so because of the extra warm waters of
the Atlantic Ocean. And as more than a million on the Carolina shores flee for higher ground, the Trump administering's EPA ironically chose this
moment to give oil and gas producers a green light to release more methane into our atmosphere.
Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. States, cities and business have formed the We Are Still In alliance since President Trump out
pulled out of Paris climate accord with California Governor Jerry Brown leading the charge, pledging to make his state, the world's fifth large
economy, carbon free by 2045.
Today, his global climate action summit begins in San Francisco and it brings together prominent Americans as well as Chinese climate |officials.
As he was preparing for the launch, he joined me earlier this week to warn that the global environmental alliance has to do better before we all reach
the point of no return.
Governor Brown, welcome from Sacramento.
JERRY BROWN, GOVERNOR, CALIFORNIA: Well, thank you very much. Great to talk with you.
AMANPOUR: So, you are really fighting fast and hard for this issue, which is so close to your heart. And now, the Global Action Climate Summit that
you've organized is upon us. What specifically do you hope to achieve with it?
BROWN: We hope to accomplish is it inviting people who are now coming who will increase their commitments, mayors, governors, corporate executives,
universities and some national leaders. For example, we have the Paris representative from China, the person who led the Chinese delegation at
Paris. He'll be here. He's a co-chair of the summit.
So, what we have is a gathering of thousands of people who are coming to manifest and increase their commitments and they're trying to stir
enthusiasm and the commitment and the energy because we've stall. The Paris Agreement has stalled. Most countries in the world are not doing
what they need to, including the United States. And in fact, even California, which is leading the world still has a very long way to go.
AMANPOUR: So, Governor, I'm hearing it stalled and to me it's a little bit of a shock because even after President Trump pulled the United States out
last year of the Paris Climate accord, you and others like Mayor Bloomberg were saying, "But hang on a second, the United States is still going for
it. It's the cities and state thing and we're still leading the way." But now, you're saying it's stalling in other countries as well. Why is that?
Is that because they've got a pass from the United States?
BROWN: No. You have an economy that is based on oil, gas and coal. The very essence of maturity is fossil fuel.
So, trying to get off that doesn't happen with a bill or the snap of one's fingers. This takes a growing understanding, a scientific research and
development and massive, trillions of dollars investment in new technology, clean energy and different patterns of land use.
California is doing a lot. This week we're doing even more with our 100 percent commitment of renewable electricity. But the emissions are going
up in Germany, in China, in India and all over the world.
So, this is a real threat. But unlike war, we don't see the enemy. The enemy is catching up with us but it's obscure enough and global enough that
any individual company is slow to react. And that's why the subnational jurisdictions, states, cities and regions are stepping up to the plate at
this Global Summit in San Francisco.
But that's just one more step. We need 1,000 steps from this day forward and continuously over the next several decades to get the zero carbon
emissions. If we don't, we're going to have deaths, we're going to have mass migrations. It will make the European migrations look like a tea
We're facing big, big dangers in changes. Unfortunately, we can't see them. Fortunately, they're not here. But unfortunately, we can't grasp it
in our imagination to make the concrete financial and political moves and decisions that will forestall this horror that is coming down our way.
AMANPOUR: So, Governor, why is it that you cannot, as you say, make it grasp people's imaginations? Because let's face it, you in California,
which, as I said, at the vanguard of this fight, you've also been swept and ravaged by the most terrible wildfires, not just this year but in previous
years. That's a real thing. That's not just imagination, that's real. The people can --
AMANPOUR: -- hang onto. And in the meantime, President Trump seems to blame you and California's environmental laws, as he said in a tweet, for
these wildfires. That California wildfires are being magnified and made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive
amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It's being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also (INAUDIBLE) to stop fires from
So, what's that all about? He's actually blaming you and the state laws.
BROWN: Well, to quote Donald Trump, "Fake news. Fake facts." Climate change is upon us. The forest fires in California are now just not during
the summer, they start early in the year and last all the way until Christmas.
Yes. We have to manage our forests a lot better. But no, we have plenty of water to fight fires. What we need to do is to reduce carbon emissions
so we reduce the incidents of fire itself. And Donald Trump has his head in the sand, he wants to destroy the vehicle emission states in California
and many other states are trying to implement. He's trying to bring back coal, a dying resource, and he's not making the investments in electric
batteries and zero emission automobiles and trucks that China is doing.
And all this rhetoric about China, I'm afraid America, if we keep following Trump, will wake up to find out that most cars in the world are made by
China because America went down a rat hole of oil and coal dependency that is no longer consistent with the way the world is now going.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let me ask you this then, because as you said, it is people's imagines or their political will that has to be engaged to get
them to understand that this is serious, as you say.
So, how do you react to these figures? And let me just pop my specs on. Today, only 42% of Republicans know that, "Most scientists believe global
warming is occurring and that percentage is falling." Whereas, in the '80s, apparently, the idea of climate change and trying to stop was a
political winner for both parties.
So, the politics have got monied (ph) as we know and the deniers are given a huge amount of sort of equal space in the environment to the point that
President Trump has appointed a climate change skeptic as adviser on emerging technology.
Somebody, William Harper, he's a scientist, who has compared the Paris Climate Agreement to the appeasement that people accuse the British
Minister Neville Chamberlain of showing towards Hitler during World War II. I mean, how do you fight that kind of reality from the top?
BROWN: Well, first of all, that border is on criminal behavior because it's wrong, it's false. To call it lies is not exaggerating at all. And
we have this Republican party that by some set of circumstances has adopted climate denial as one of their pillars and they've been using that issue
and they have financers, very rich people, billionaires who are willing to finance that.
But the mood and the understanding is changing. You can't deny scientific truth forever. And the science is getting clearer, the research is getting
more obvious but it's an uphill battle, and that's why we have this summit. We have to do anything we can to wake up the world. The world is asleep.
We are sleep walking on this matter of the dangers of climate change and I'm going to do whatever I can here in California and beyond to change that
AMANPOUR: So, let's go back to about the year 2000 and President Clinton and just show a little bit of how various presidents have really tried to
tie this for ill or for good to the economic factor. And just listen to this mashup of soundbites we've brought up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It seems to me that these last seven years should finally have put to rest the idea that you can have a strong
economy and a cleaner, safer, more balanced environment. And I hope we will never have that debate again.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Today, the world has officially crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement to take effect.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama did this so I'm going to undo it.
MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: He was elected by the people of Pittsburgh not Paris.
BROWN: This is not a game. It's not politics to talk to your base. It's humanity. And whether it makes it through the 21st century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Governor, that was you ending, you know, a series of soundbites on this issue. I mean, it really does seem to be, though, a
political game. One very much tied to the economy and to donors, it seems.
BROWN: Well, look, politics and electoral societies that have votes are very much turning to money, the money is turning you into power and the
power is the status quo. And to deal with climate change, we need to change this status quo.
But I think the summary point is mankind has created incredible, powerful technologies. They've made our live better in so many ways. But they are
now threatening our continued existence. One is climate change, the continued production of nuclear weapons is another.
So, there's many, many dangers that are up ahead that come from many achievements that are quite good. But we have to watch out when goods
become a bad, and that's what's happened to fossil fuel. Yes, we need it. In California we have 32 million vehicles. They travel almost 350 billion
miles a year mostly on fossil fuel. We got to change that and we have to do everything we can but it is lifting a big stone up a very tall mountain.
AMANPOUR: And finally, Governor, can I just turn to some personal political issues. I mean, you've been in this game for a long, long time.
You've been an elected official for longer than most people could remember and you're 80, you're not running again for another term and really you've
kind of done it all and you're still fighting.
I just want to read something that we found from a 1976 "People Magazine" profile on you when you were running for president. And in that article,
your father says, "When jerry took up golf, he'd play 36 holes day every day. When he took up ice hockey, he'd skate for three or four hours at a
stretch. Once he gathered $75 worth of pennies and went through every one to see if the dates were valuable and then he totally lost interest. He
goes out for something until he gets it."
Is that the accurate description of you? Is that -- I mean, you just never seem to give up.
BROWN: Well, that's -- in some ways, that's a flattering description. I hope that I can live up to that. But I -- what -- ever since I went into
the Judgement Seminary to study for the priesthood, I've been very interested and moved by fundamental issues. What is the fundamental issue,
the condition of our lives? What should we be doing? What is fundamental?
Theology is the study of fundamentals. Ecology is also the study of physical fundamentals. And that work in making sure we don't destroy our
environment, our human home, has that almost religious feel to it and aspect that must call from us all our energy, our imagination and our
commitment, and that's really the way I see this issue.
AMANPOUR: Governor Jerry Brown, thank you so much and good luck with this important summit.
BROWN: Well, thank you.
AMANPOUR: And for some reason, California produces more than its share of charismatic, complex figures. Jerry Brown definitely fits that bill. And
so, of course, does the Apple founder, Steve Jobs.
In her new memoir, "Small Fry," Lisa Brennan jobs paints a complicated portrait of what it was like to grow up as his daughter. And he had denied
paternity for years. And Lisa struggled to feel loved and valued by the man who happened to be a great, great giant for the rest of us.
She joins me here in New York and told me that writing this book went a long way to resolving this relationship.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Welcome to the program.
LISA BRENNAN-JOBS, AMERICAN WRITER: Thank you. I'm so happy to be here.
AMANPOUR: You know, this is a cute title, "Small Fry." It really does conjure up something little, something sweet, something a little bit in the
footsteps of a giant, obviously, Steve Jobs was a giant.
What are you trying to tell and say with this book?
BRENNAN-JOBS: It's a story of a girl growing up, coming of age in California in the '80s and '90s in Silicon Valley against the backdrop of a
complicated family. And sort of starts when really I'm young and it goes to when I go away to college.
So -- and I guess the title is kind of a term of endearment and it's also a term of -- it also kind of means insignificant. So --
AMANPOUR: Really interesting. Because clearly, those are the two currents --
AMANPOUR: -- that seem to be dominant in your life. So, let's start at the beginning. Why did your father not want to claim you from the
beginning or to admit publicly and out loud that he was your father?
BRENNAN-JOBS: So, I don't know. I mean, one of the things about this book is that I tell my own story as a girl and all my feelings growing up. But
that doesn't mean I know all the answers. I examine the complications and I shed light on them and I explore them from the child's perspective and
from the adult's perspective but I don't necessarily know the answers.
I would say that he was really young, my parents are really young, and it was an accident. I was not planned on. And I guess he was -- you know,
I'm the last person to talk about his business life. But he was young and he was starting this rocket ship career and I don't imagine I fit into that
AMANPOUR: In all your questions and all your, you know, examination of your life as small fry, when did you get to a point where you were
confident, where he accepted you, he claimed you, he said, "Yes, I'm your dad and I'm your my daughter"?
AMANPOUR: I think that it's a more complicated story than that. So, it goes in and our, it flickers in and out of being the reality, I think.
There's a scene in the book that I talk about when we in Hawaii and he sort of pulled me on to his lap and says, "Hey, you know, we have -- we got the
same toes, we got the same eyebrows. Look, we have the same fingernails. Look." And I didn't know what was happening at the time particularly. But
looking back, I realize, "Oh, he was saying we're related." And I was eight. I was eight or nine then, I think.
And I think that was part of the reason to write the book, was to go back and look at these moments when I was a girl but with the perspective of a
woman and spend time with my young parents but also understand what was happening in moments when I wouldn't have known particularly -- exactly
what was happening.
AMANPOUR: I mean, obviously, this was at a time when he was launching, as you say, his rocket ship career, which involved pieces of hardware. There
was it Mac, there was the laptop, there were all these things. And you talk about the story of the Lisa Computer. Tell me about that.
BRENNAN-JOBS: So. there was a computer that happened that was named the Lisa, I think it was supposed to be an acronym, and it was after I was
born. I think my father started working on it.
And later I was trying to find out -- my mother had said it was named after me but when I would ask him -- whenever I would ask him he would say it
wasn't. And I kept on trying to ask him because if he had named a computer after me when he hadn't been around, it would have meant that he did care
about me and he was thinking about me.
So, it's a -- and I kept on asking him and he would say no. And I don't know if it's because the computer was a commercial failure or if it was
because he didn't want me to ride on his coattails. But he said no for many years. But I do think it' an interesting point of intersection,
right. I mean, it's like it's an interesting story because it's the sort of digital world intersecting with the emotional one in its uncanny way.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And again, it really does reflect your terms of endearment, you're trying to find that connect but also --
AMANPOUR: -- your sense of alienation throughout much of your life and certainly, much of your relationship with him.
You know, you just said, he may not have wanted me to ride on his coattails. And there are some rather staggering examples in the book of
him kind of being a bit mean to you and saying things like, "You're not going to get anything," when you asked him, you know, "Can I have this or
can I have that," as a child might ask a parent for anything.
You say that, at one point also, there was -- I think he cut off your tuition. What was he trying to do and how did you absorb that? This is
Steve Jobs, a multibillionaire massively successful pioneer revolutionary. I'm trying to equate that with how you report some of his treatment to you
as a kid.
BRENNAN-JOBS: Well, I think sometimes people forget that when I was growing up, he wasn't actually in his super successful phase at work. But
his moments of pushing me away, I think that you're asking me about, they were painful for me, of course. Especially that's a moment when I was so
young and he said, "You can have nothing." I think there was this quality of not wanting me to ride on his coattails, certainly, that was part of his
AMANPOUR: Just sort of stiffen your spine?
BRENNAN-JOBS: I think it's hard to hit that middle ground. And I'm not implying that his -- that not paying a tuition or saying, "You're going to
get nothing in that moment to a nine-year-old was premeditated. It might have been pretty harsh.
AMANPOUR: A bit harsh.
BRENNAN-JOBS: And I don't necessarily think it was premeditated and that was very hurtful. But I think it's hard -- it's not necessarily easy to
get that pendulum right.
AMANPOUR: So, just to fast forward, you obviously did reunite with him, you did get part of the inheritance. So, let me ask you what it took to
actually establish a relationship with him and to go to live with him at a certain point and with his new family? How did you reconcile? How did you
become father and daughter?
BRENNAN-JOBS: So, he put a lot of effort into getting to know me. I think he would come and we would go for these long skates, which I write about in
the book. And he would sometimes fall, he would sometimes trip on the pavement. We would sometimes have long awkward silences. But it was a
time where we got to know each other, it was very dear. He would say, "You've got to smell the roses." And I would think, "OK." And we would go
and smell the roses together.
And then -- but I think the catalyst for moving in with him was actually that my mom and I were getting in big arguments at the time.
AMANPOUR: What was it like when you moved in with him and, again, his new family? And I ask you because it seems that your book has put some noses
out of joint, hurt some members of your family. So, I'll read from your stepmother, Steve's widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and her children and his
sister. "Lisa is part of our family. So, it was with sadness that we read her book, which differs dramatically from our memories of those times. The
portrayal of Steve is not the husband and father we knew. Steve loved Lisa, and he regretted that he was not the father he should have been
during her early childhood. It was a great comfort to Steve to have Lisa home with all of us during the last days of his life. We're all grateful
for the years we spent together as a family."
Does that hurt? Have you become estranged from the rest of the family now?
BRENNAN-JOBS: So, I was thinking about this and I was -- I realized that I had been written about since I was three years old. And so, I do know that
it's a strange feeling and sometimes it doesn't feel so good when someone else takes a part of your life and writes about it, a slice of your own
But when I felt that I wanted to write this book, I thought a lot about it and I believe people have the right to tell their own story. And this is
very much my own story. You know, there is a famous guy in it who is my father. But this is a story of my complicated family and growing up. And
it's 400 pages of whispering in libraries and dangly earrings and, you know, the difficulties of adolescence.
AMANPOUR: You very poignantly opened the book by talking about the last months of his life, and that you would go to visit him. And you say, "I
started to steal --" about three months before he died, you started to steal bits and bobs from his room, from his home, from the Steve Jobs
environment. What were you doing?
BRENNAN-JOBS: The bits and bobs were so interesting because they were not particularly nice things. They were used lip gloss and old pillowcases and
chipped little bulbs (ph). And I -- even though I was doing it, I was thinking, "This is really weird," like --
AMANPOUR: Of course, the lip gloss hopefully wasn't his, hopefully.
BRENNAN-JOBS: No, he didn't wear lip gloss, if anyone was wondering, as far as I know. So, I think it was -- you know, I don't want psychoanalyze
myself. I don't know what -- or pop psychologize myself. I don't know --
AMANPOUR: But you open the book like that. So --
AMANPOUR: -- it was something really profound to you.
BRENNAN-JOBS: It was profound because it was furious, this need to take these little old things. I felt as if if I took this lip gloss and I
carried it back to my apartment in New York that I shared with my boyfriend that somehow it would complete my life.
And then, I had -- toward -- at the end of the book, we sort of go back to that same scene and my mother says -- you know, I call her and I said -- I
just wanted her to say, "Lisa, you can keep everything. You can keep everything," you know. And she says, "You have to return everything."
AMANPOUR: So -- I mean, again, every sentence, everything you're saying to me now is all about trying to establish that connection and trying to feel
AMANPOUR: How did it end for you? How did -- did you have a verbal resolution on his deathbed?
BRENNAN-JOBS: We had a sort of totally unexpected and very meaningful, I think, kind of Hollywood ending. I mean, you never think, you could never
put it in fiction, right, because it's too strange. Where he was apologizing for not having spent more time and for how difficult it was and
saying this phrase -- like that was so odd, "I owe you one. I owe you one." I thought, "Hmm. What does that mean?" And I knew that I would
have to take it with me, carry it with me and bring it back to my life and understand it maybe even over years what it meant to me.
AMANPOUR: He has dominated our lives for the last 30-plus years with his inventions, hooking us on to these incredibly beautiful pieces of
technology that really life, you can't imagine, without it.
AMANPOUR: And he's done his share of commencement addresses and he's tried to inspire and galvanize other people. I just want to play a little bit
from the very famous speech he gave commencement addresses at Stanford university in 2005.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE JOBS, AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR: Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you
believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking and don't settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll
on. So, keep looking. Don't settle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How does it make you feel to see this man who was your father give so much to so many younger generations and really try to embrace them
and move them across their own finish line?
BRENNAN-JOBS: I think just hearing you say that even now it sounds magnificent, it sounds so meaningful, and I'm so proud of that. I think
that in the book, it's more complicated because I had to share him. And I talk about at his memorial people coming up to me and saying, "He felt like
a father to me," I'm thinking, "Oh, oh." You know, I'm so glad he felt like a father to you. Sometimes he felt like a father to me and other
times he didn't, and how it -- maybe it was more complicate being on the inside of that.
AMANPOUR: I want to end with going back to the Lisa Computer, because although he said, "No, it wasn't for you. It wasn't for you," one day at
the ripe old age of 27 years old, you were on a trip with him in France, written beautifully in the book, and you got a resolution to that. Tell
us, tell the audience.
BRENNAN-JOBS: Oh, we went to have lunch with someone and he wouldn't say who it was. And then it turned out to be Bono and -- who was wearing his
fabulous sunglasses, even then on his day off, I guess. And we went to lunch with him. And at some point, they were talking about the beginnings
of things, I think the beginning of the band and the beginning of Apple.
And Bono looked over to my father and said, "Oh, that Lisa Computer, that was named after her, wasn't it?" And I paused bracing myself for what I
knew would be the answer, which is that to disappoint everyone, no, it wasn't actually named after me. It's just a coincidence. And then my
father paused and said, "Yes, it was." I thought, "Oh, my gosh. Oh, right, of course it was. Oh, that makes sense." And also, why did it take
a take a famous person for another person to reveal his secret?
AMANPOUR: Have you fully accepted your dad?
BRENNAN-JOBS: I think I -- that's a good way to ask it. I think some people have said, "Have you forgiven him," and I don't know how to answer
that. But acceptance is another thing, isn't it? I think it's been wonderful to examine our relationship and write about it and live in it
again because I do feel another level of acceptance, but I wonder if it's for him or if it's for myself, that I felt ashamed of certain things and
certain ways that I couldn't connect with him and then going back over and doing the book, I found some sort of joyful resolution.
AMANPOUR: That's wonderful. Lisa Brennan-Jobs, thank you so much.
BRENNAN-JOBS: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: The author of "Small Fry."
BRENNAN-JOBS: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
BRENNAN-JOBS: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: A complicated story indeed. But Lisa does seem to be finding some closure. Moving now from the personal to the political, 10 years
after 2008 global financial meltdown, acceptance and forgiveness are not quite so forthcoming. Nobel Economist, Paul Krugman, joins and he
continues to document the massive impact of the crash in his column for "The New York Times."
And while the economy does seem to have finally gotten its groove back, the political backlash is still very much being felt.
Paul Krugman, welcome to the program.
PAUL KRUGMAN, AMERICAN ECONOMIST: Hi there.
AMANPOUR: So, 10 years since the crash and the economy, as we've said, and you see and document is kind of going gangbusters. How do you assess the
health of the economy today right now?
KRUGMAN: Well, we are back to full employment. I mean, there are some -- close enough. We are pretty close. Jobs are available. The jobs don't
pay very well. Wages have gone nowhere. Family incomes have just -- just now regained where they were before the crisis; so that's ten years and
that's a ten year lost decade in terms of family incomes.
We're far below where everybody expected us to be. So the shadow, even though, yes, things are okay compared with two years ago, the economy is
growing, but the shadow of that crisis over the US over the economy, over the lives of Americans and everyone around the world was very, very long
and we really still haven't escaped from it.
AMANPOUR: So you talk about the unemployment figure, the GDP, all of that seems to be going -- and certainly the stock markets seems to be going up.
You've talked about wages and the others that seem not to be going that way. What about the most important part of President Trump's promise, and
that is about manufacturing jobs, or manufacturing in general?
KRUGMAN: Yes, that's not significantly coming back and it's not going to. Fundamentally, even if we completely eliminated our trade deficit, only a
small part of the long-term decline in manufacturing as a share of the economy would be reversed. The fact of the matter is, we don't do a lot of
manufacturing because we're so good at it.
We have farming in the United States, it's a tremendously successful industry with almost no farmers because they are so productive, and
basically manufacturing has gone the same way. . we ask what do we do now? Somewhere I saw that the ten fastest growing occupations in the United
States, eight of them are basically nurse by some definition. We're a service economy, we're a health care economy, manufacturing -- that's
There are lots of ways to have a good economy. It doesn't have to be back to the days of lots of steelworkers.
AMANPOUR: That's really interesting. We will want to go back to the details of today's economy. First I just want to go back to 2008. I just
interviewed the Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the House, in Capitol Hill earlier this week, and she recalled where she was Speaker during the George
W. Bush administration which is when the crash happened, there was an urgent Cabinet meeting and members of the Cabinet, and she turned to the
Treasury Secretary, this is what she told me about that moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, MINORITY HOUSE LEADER: At that meeting, the Secretary of Treasury explained that a meltdown of our financial institutions that was
so devastating. And so I said to the Chairman of the Fed, "Mr. Chairman, what do you have to say about what the Secretary presented?" To which he
said, "If we don't act immediately, we will not have an economy by Monday."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, it's really dramatic and let's not forget, she rammed through this rescue bill. A lot of Democrats came forward to save the
economy. But it also, she admits, that that sort of rescue in 2010 led to a lot of the pain amongst people and cost them the 2010 midterm elections.
KRUGMAN: Well, yes. It was necessary to rescue the financial system. I think everybody ...
AMANPOUR: I said 2010, but that was in 2007 and 2008.
KRUGMAN: Yes, and it was necessary to rescue the financial system. It's not clear that it was necessary to rescue the bankers, and the way it was
structured was one that did not -- certainly, we didn't prosecute and there were certainly people who could have been prosecuted, but we also didn't
make sure that the upside of the rescue was going to go to taxpayers.
So this was an argument. You couldn't worry too much about finesse because things were really on the edge, but more could have been done. I mean, I
was certainly among the people who was arguing -- there was a lunch at the White House where some of us were arguing basically to take at least one
big bank into receivership just almost as a symbol. We lost that argument.
But I am not sure that that was all of that. There were a lot of other things going on. It seems to me on the whole, the financial rescue was --
should have been done better but that was the part we did relatively well. It was the follow-up. Because the financial markets had stabilized by the
summer of 2009. What some of us called the "oh, god, we're all going to die period for the economy" lasted only a little bit over six months.
But then high unemployment, the weak economy went on for years and years, and that's where policy fell down in not bringing an end to that long
period of pain for ordinary workers.
AMANPOUR: So at some point, it did start to turn back again, employment went up. The economy started growing under the Obama administration which
now leaves a huge political argument over who is to get credit, who deserves credit for the current strong economy and this is what ...
AMANPOUR: ... Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers said just this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN HASSERTT, CHAIRMAN OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORSL I would assert that if you look at the collective body of evidence, the
notion that what we're seeing now is just a continuation of recent trends, it's not super defensible. And I think that -- I know that we're in a
political time and passions are high, but as geeky economists, one of the things we have to do is to think ahead to what historians will think when
they look back at this time.
And I can promise you the economic historians will 100 percent accept the fact there was an inflection at the election of Donald Trump and that a
whole bunch of data items started heading north.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Who is to gain credit for this economy now?
KRUGMAN: Two things. First, look at any chart. Look at the chart of employment growth or something and try to forget that there was an
election. And you would never see it. There is no sign that anything -- it's just straight line that begins in 2009 and continues straight on right
to the present day.
So there's no sign of the election of Donald Trump in there. So there's no inflection point. And I don't know, I can't imagine what he -- I can see
why he wants to say that, but it's not at all what anyone else is saying.
AMANPOUR: So can you explain to me why given the strength of the economy, maybe it's because of what you're saying right now, the President by and
large isn't using it as a midterm campaign sort of slogan and that as another analyst said, the fact of a strong economy and the President's
hovering ratings around 40 percent shouldn't exist at the same time, it shouldn't exist in the same sentence.
KRUGMAN: Okay, two things. One is that he political scientists tell us that midterm elections are surprisingly not driven by the economy.
Remember, probably the best year of the Bush economy was 2006, which was also the year the Democrats took the House and the Senate. Other things
dominated, as they tend to in midterm elections.
The other thing is that the benefits of -- the GDP number looks fine. Wages are down, adjusted for inflation. People are not feeling it. People
are not saying, "Gee, this is great. This is wonderful." People are saying, "I'm still having trouble making ends meet," and they have a sense,
correctly, that the tax cut was for a few rich people and corporations and not for them.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you, because you've become a really popular and very prominent political columnist and rather economic columnist but also about
political and social affairs and you have one amazing sort of conversation with Stephen Colbert on a roller coaster a few years ago.
AMANPOUR: But, finally, it was said that you weren't always politically obsessive, but you were obsessive about the difference between stupid and
KRUGMAN: Oh, boy.
AMANPOUR: What has changed?
KRUGMAN: I mean, what happened? Look, the US politics has changed. A lot of the world has changed, but the fact of the matter is that one of our two
great political parties is all about selling policies that benefit a few people by exploiting stuff like racial antagonism, but also by saying
things that aren't true.
I'm not saying that all Democrats are honest as the day is long. But here is the complete dishonesty. I'm sorry, I don't want to be partisan, but
you have to be. Everything that one party has said about fundamental economic policy for the past 15 years has been not true. And that kind of
-- you have got to say that.
AMANPOUR: And you do, loudly. Paul Krugman, thank you so much indeed for joining us.
KRUGMAN: Well, thank you.
AMANPOUR: One of the most fascinating things about Paul Krugman is that even though he's a world renowned economist, he reaches outside his
specialty and he applies his expertise to an American crisis which is the gaping political divide. Now I want to bring you a more personal take on
that divide from author Michael Arceneaux. He grew up struggling to reconcile his identity and his faith, and our Alicia Menendez reports on
stories at the very intersection of politics and pop culture which is one of the many reasons she's a great addition to the program.
So Alicia, welcome again. We're going to talk to the author who we played an excerpt just earlier this week during our roundtable.
ALICIA MENENDEZ, TELEVISION COMMENTATOR: You know, Christiane, the title of the book says it all, it is "I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family,
Race And Other Reasons I've Put My Faith In Beyonce." I asked Michael about what inspired the title.
MENENDEZ: Michael, thank you so much for joining me.
MICHAEL ARCENEAUX, AMERICAN AUTHOR: Thank you so much for having me.
MENENDEZ: I think it would be easy to read the title of this book and assume that you are deeply irreverent about religion ...
MENENDEZ: ... when in reality, you have great respect for faith.
ARCENEAUX: I do. A lot of the book is about forging your identity through an expression with sexuality to like live a complete full life and if you
grow up particularly in a church like the Catholic Church, you might grow up with a lot of resentment. And if you're a queer person who has been
(inaudible) to feel isolated, you carry with you a lot of contempt and a lot of it is justified.
But I think for me just knowing how much religion has helped my mom -- I love my mom dearly, but this is important for me and she was the
inspiration actually of the title "I Can't Date Jesus."
We were having a conversation and she knows that you're born gay but I shouldn't act on it because I might get hit by a bus and go to hell.
Because apparently it's such a grave sin. And it's just why I go, I can't date Jesus, what do you want me to do?
I didn't want to be angry at religion. I think I let go of the anger about my dad. I to let go of this anger I had with my mom and I wanted to let go
of my anger towards religion, too because I just felt like if I carried all of that anger with me, if I didn't tame my inner Chris Brown, it would kind
of like devour me and I said, it's only like, you're either going to follow down that path or you're going to forge your own and figure it out and I
chose to figure it out.
MENENDEZ: You are a devout Catholic.
ARCENEAUX: I was a devout Catholic myself, yes because I was raised, I was indoctrinated well, and I say that with all the respect in the world. I
think religion is very important. I think it has a lot of value. It doesn't really fit in my life anymore, but at the time, yes, I was very
much ingrained in the Church like to the point as I write that I got approached for the priesthood at 20, a little lightweight recruiting.
MENENDEZ: So you have a pivotal life experience at the age of six with an uncle who dies of AIDS and in many ways your family's reaction to that
gives you a window into how they feel about difference.
ARCENEAUX: Right. So it's 1990, it was around the same time I was at a daycare center and, you know, people play doctor. I played, but I played
more so with little boys during that time, so I didn't necessarily have the language, but I knew I was more attracted to boys than girls because I
tried it with girls and it just wasn't as fun for me.
And while I was understanding that my uncle died of AIDS and as I write in the book, how I went to the funeral and in the aftermath, my father had
visceral reaction, is how I described it, and my mom didn't necessarily confirm his sexuality because my dad had more than enough, but she put it
into context because he did die of a drug addiction but he was also gay.
But this is like 1990, so the reactions to AIDS were a testament to the tones. But when you're six years old, you like boys, and you hear a slur
that speaks to people like that, that's all I remember and that immediately became a point of reference.
MENENDEZ: Did you hope that you would change?
ARCENEAUX: Yes. I literally used to pray it away. I mean, thankfully I didn't have any -- my parents didn't pick up on it that much. I mean, they
picked up on it, I believe, but they didn't want to send me to some kind of camp.
When you grow up thinking you can either die or go to hell, and around this time this is also when you're only going to see Pedro Zamora -- he died of
AIDS, I think that was like Philadelphia, he died of AIDS. I see "In Living Color" the sketch with men on film, men who are overly effeminate
and they are just mocked. Those are my only point of reference to what it means to be gay, so it's like you die, you go to hell, and you're shamed.
MENENDEZ: And when you start living your life as a gay man, you come out to some of your friends but it's five years before -- between when you
start coming out and when you finally tell your mom.
MENENDEZ: How did you break it down for her?
ARCENEAUX: I think being gay was a struggle for me. But the chaos in my home kind of took precedent over that. So there was just a lot of mixed
emotions and anger ...
MENENDEZ: Chaos because your dad was a drinker.
ARCENEAUX: My dad was a drinker. My parents would get into arguments. My dad could become very volatile. I love my father dearly, but at the time,
I was afraid of him. And so, beyond being gay, to be honest, even if I had a girlfriend, it would have taken me a lot to -- and let my parents inside
of that because I think they were my point of reference to where I never wanted to get married or be with anyone.
I saw companionship kind of more as a detriment to someone than anything. But when I was 21, I came out to my friends because my friends had become
like my chosen family. I came up to my brother and sister later. It was very important that I came out to my sister because she's nine years old
and I'm obsessed with my sister, and finally, at 25, I came out because around the time, there were two young black boys who were reported to have
committed suicide because they were being bullied in school for being perceived to be gay or gay.
And so I wrote about my experiences and this is pre-Twitter, so the word "viral" wasn't really used, but the article was everywhere for it that day
and with the subsequent day which is still a big thing for like the internet. So, at the time, I didn't really want to write about my life. I
wanted to keep that part to myself and just criticized other people.
And so I felt like it was at that point, I was like, this is bigger than me and even at the time when I was only 25, but I had a platform, like even a
teensy one, like if I could use it for the greater good, then I might as well use it. And so then, I had to tell my mom. I love my mom. She
didn't have the kindest reaction.
ARCENEAUX: It's hard because I'm so protective of my mother. She's the most amazing person. I don't know anyone stronger. But at the same time,
her religion has kept her alive. Her interpretation of religion, particularly Catholicism just in general, makes me not want to live, at
least that's how I was raised in the Church and the Church's overall teachings about my kind. I don't find it to be like safe space for me.
MENENDEZ: So what I'm hearing is with your parents, you're living in a space that is neither acceptance nor rejection, and I wonder what it is
like to live in that space with the people you love most.
ARCENEAUX: And that's the thing, so often I think the narratives about people coming out, it's usually extreme. You're either welcomed with open
arms and your mom is twerking with you at the Pride Parade or she sends you to, I don't know, a camp or she just doesn't talk to you at all.
So what about that weird middle that I didn't realize a lot more people lived in than I thought because lots of people have reached out to me to
say they understand. The way I write about my parents is that I wanted to make peace with just how we grew up and then make peace with why they feel
the way that they feel about my sexuality and actually, thanks to my sister, I got an education about my father.
My dad is actually less bothered about it than my mom is, I think. Sometimes you have to create your own closure. I would love to have that
conversation with my mom. I don't think it's ever going to happen. I would love to have that conversation with my dad -- why I break it down,
this how it made us feel when we were in this house, but you have to meet people where they are and I don't think -- I don't mean to be insulting --
I don't think my -- they don't have the language to have the kind of conversation I wanted to have. I don't think they are willing to have it.
I have taken qualities of my parents that I really like. Again, my mother's strength, her humor, her candor. My dad just like had this great
energy and he knows how to charm people. I've taken things and he's such a hard worker. I take things from my parents I can apply to my life. But
the things that I didn't want to repeat, I'm good. I think I've changed.
MENENDEZ: Do you feel that you've created that closure for yourself?
ARCENEAUX: I think I have created as much closure as I can in this situation. I think if in a few years I get a call and be like, "I finally
read it, this is how I feel." That would be great. I actually don't think that's going to happen. I think what can happen is that, I can -- as I
write in the book, I can call my dad, just to see how you're doing and then to call with "I love you." And he says it back. But that's already better
than the relationship with his dad.
I can talk to my mom, maybe not about everything, which still bothers me to some extent, but it kind of is what it is. She loves me as best she knows
how to, and in her heart of hearts, she thinks she is protecting me. And frankly, that's probably as good as it is going to get. Once I get a man
or something, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. But I think that's a lot better than a lot of people I know because they don't even get
MENENDEZ: Your book, it's sharp, it's funny, it's probing, the writing is excellent. But the real miracle is that you got it published.
ARCENEAUX: Yes. Yes, it is.
MENENDEZ: What was the feedback you were getting when you were going around trying to sell this?
ARCENEAUX: There was this idea that you're black and you're gay so you're ultra niche. And I also think typically when people consume otherness
especially if you're a black person, it is largely in terms of pathology as in it's so awful to be you. And so my book is like a mix of human pathos.
I don't pretend to come from the nicest background, but I don't write about it in this way that I'm trying to invite pity. Again, that's typically how
-- particularly my kind is concerned.
Men My kind being?
ARCENEAUX: Gay, black, country, all of that, again, I am not really supposed to be in these faces, because one person told me flatly in so many
words -- well, no, it was flatly -- he said, white people didn't care about black people and black people were too homophobic. And I reject both of
those notions because I don't think black people are more (inaudible) more homophobic than anyone.
A lot of gay, queer men have reached out to me, but I have gotten a lot of e-mails from like white evangelicals from older people, younger people,
people of all types of background. I knew I can white appeal. I think they didn't -- a lot of them didn't think I would have as much appeal
because of the identity.
MENENDEZ: So you realize now what your success means. I mean, for you to end up on "The New York Times" bestseller list is a great personal
ARCENEAUX: I don't know. I'm very grateful that I made the list. You're not supposed to care that you made the list, but I knew -- what I wanted to
-- I want more money the next time. Let's just put it out there. I also just wanted to prove that I could be myself and sell books.
Because so often black people, people who are not white, anyone, you're told to just kind of dilute some of your culture in order to appeal to
other people because they think they will scare folks off, but like, I wrote a country black book and it's with the references I like and if you
don't know it, you'll look it up. If I buy a book from a white author -- if I don't know something, I use my Google.
ARCENEAUX: It's fine. And so other people who haven't been using their Google and they still like the book because I think it's funny and well
done. But it was this idea that I really -- they just thought I couldn't go further than I don't know, pride pick of the month.
I usually joke that like I'm the Cardi B of lit, like I have a little pill for everybody.
MENENDEZ: Does the story you tell about yourself match the story that other people tell about you?
ARCENEAUX: I am grateful for anyone that is helping me spread the word about the book, but at the same time I do question some of the things that
I've seen because like, "Did you really read the book or did you really take it in?" Because one person tried to describe me as poor. I didn't
say I was poor. I was working class. And they mean like you're from the hood, but I'm like, I think I'm not disrespecting my parents, it's like,
you are -- they are trying to put me as that poor, downtrodden gay black boy in the south, looking at cows and Catholic, and wishing he could have a
man because all of these black people are so awful and told him he's going to hell.
I've already -- I've seen some of that already and I've had to like -- and sometimes, they are real time, shift that, like slow down. That's not what
I meant. But, no, I think I told my story exactly how I wanted to tell it. I think for the most part people have in the press have led with what I
MENENDEZ: And the reality is much more complex. It's one of the things that you talk about very openly and that I wish more people talked about
the reality of student debt, that makes for the choices that we make, how you get to spend your book advance.
ARCENEAUX: Yes. I will be honest because of my private student loans and the way they're set up. I haven't really gotten a chance to enjoy the
moment or take in the moment as everyone is saying. It's I have a book to promote, but I also have to do writing because I need to pay these loans.
Because I don't want to be a "New York Times" best-selling author who defaults on his loan.
Life is changing very rapidly, but at the same time, I carried a big wagon on my back and it has not changed overnight because now a few more people
know who I am. I want to expand on that and try to really speak to what think a lot of millennials in particular are going through because so much
of the narrative is 'we eat avocado toast and we're not buying homes and we're ruining the economy and we don't go to chain restaurants and malls
are ...' like we are the fault of everything, but no one is talking about that.
Most of us were told in order to attain social ability, we need to do x, y, z and if we took out all this debt, it will pay off because you'll get
this, that, and the other. None of those things really exist. Like, a lot of us are going through it.
MENENDEZ: And we're also in our 30s now. I think people hear millennial and they think that we're children.
ARCENEAUX: Yes, well, I'm 34 now. I know now that I'm going to be okay, but the reality is it shouldn't have taken me this long, it shouldn't have
been this difficult that debt is just so much. It literally alters how you see yourself and how your life goes.
I'm depressed now just talking about it because as I mention in the book, I should have been an escort in college.
MENENDEZ: Missed that boat.
ARCENEAUX: I know. I'm old gay now.
MENENDEZ: If there is someone watching, particularly a young person, particularly a young person of color who the way they are and the way they
have been taught to be are in conflict, what do you want them to know?
ARCENEAUX: If you are one or the other, you are going to be told your entire life to conform. The thing about conformity is, particularly if
you're a black person or a queer person or a combination or any just again, any other, that no matter how much you conform, if someone has an innate
prejudice about you, there is nothing that you can do to alter that.
It doesn't matter how you speak. It doesn't matter how you dress, it doesn't matter how you talk, it doesn't matter how you write, it doesn't
matter how you perform. None of that matters because if they have this ignorance and that contempt for you based on this, nothing you can do can
shake that. So you might as well just be yourself and be the best you that you can be and focus on the work, whatever it is, and let that carry you
It might take longer. It might be harder. It might drive you insane, but when you get to the point where you can fully be yourself and be given an
opportunity to do that, it will feel more rewarding.
I wrote the book I wanted to write, not the book people wanted for me. So if there's anything you can take from me, to that young person watching is
to be yourself and be the best you could be because no matter what you change, if someone is dumb, they're going to be dumb. You can't control
MENENDEZ: Michael, thanks so much for being here.
ARCENEAUX: Thank you so much for having me. It has been an honor and a full-circle moment.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: So focus on the work and be the best that you can be. Those are words by Michael Arceneaux that we can actually live by. And that is it
for our program. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast and see us online at amanpour.com and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.