Women's Enterprise Network October 11, 2008 Cleveland Heights Library, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 2008 Presidential Campaign Issues

: Growing the Economic Viability of Women" Part 1: A Pre-Election Discussion Links to broadcast: http://www.livestream.com/womansenterprisenetwork/video?clipId=flv _614fc221-f1d5-42de-bf92-29eded8869a4 http://www.livestream.com/womansenterprisenetwork/video?clipId=flv _39f94c5a-0b2d-4724-847f-5f6b19c02fa0 http://www.livestream.com/womansenterprisenetwork/video?clipId=flv _05f82a9c-62ff-4340-9dec-09c9008b92ba Gloria Ferris: Hi, this is Gloria Ferris and I’m here today at the Cleveland Heights Library on Lee Road with four members of the Women’s Enterprise Network, and I’ll let them introduce themselves as well as we have a guest to meet, Tim Ferris is going to be speaking with us and in fact he is our token male, we have flipped the paradigm and instead of the one woman in the room, we are going to
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have a one man in the room. Our subject today is, if you were in a room with Senator Obama and Senator McCain, what issues would you want to discuss with them that we should all be thinking about? So, without further adieu, I’m going to turn it over to Susan Altshuler. She will introduce herself and tell us why she is here today. Susan Altshuler: Hi, my name is Susan Altshuler and I’m a member of the Women’s Enterprise Network and of the I-Open team. Good morning. I think the subject today is very important because…this election, I think is very important, for women especially, because of health care issues, equal pay for equal women [work], equal opportunity for jobs, and also for the economy, because we are all affected by the economy, and especially women because a lot of times because they make a lot less than their male counterparts, and we, a lot of us have families to raise, and I think that the economy is going to be a huge issue going forward. And, I would like to ask Senator Obama and Senator McCain, what they would do about the economy and how are they going to bring back jobs to this country and how are women, especially single women, going to raise their children and be able to provide for them? Gloria Ferris: Thanks, Susan. Mary Beth? MaryBeth Matthews: Hi, I’m MaryBeth Matthews and I’m also a member of the Women’s Enterprise Network. I am a teacher and I teach at the Cleveland Municipal School District. Why am I here today? Because, gee, I’m always here. But of course for the topic, that is very relevant. My focus is on jobs. I would like to hear more specifics from the candidates and what they are doing to get jobs. Gloria Ferris: Alice? Alice Merkel: Hi, I’m Alice Merkel, a Chagrin Falls High School student, I’m a Junior, and I’m also a part of the Women’s Enterprise Network. And, I’m here for the conversation because even as a
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student, we constantly are dealing, talking about, gossiping if you will, about the Election and how it’s going to affect the downswhirling economy. I want to hear them actually come out and say, you know, “We have messed up and we’re going to fix it one way or another.” Tim Ferris: Hi, there, I’m Tim Ferris and I’m married to Gloria and I’ve been a fan since the first day, since the first recording of the Women’s Enterprise Network. And the reason I’m here today is because someday when women take over the world, not that they don’t control it already, I want there to be somewhere a record that I was on the women’s side at the early stage. That’s why I’m here today. What I’d like to do, is just make sure everybody reads the Oct 16 (2008) Rollin Stone that has a marvelous piece of journalism in it about Senator Obama; a great piece of investigative journalism. Gloria Ferris: Okay, well, I guess my reason for being here is that I was one of the ones who chose the topic. I believe that when we see the candidates, you can tell that they are reacting to polls and to what they see as expediency to either turn down the another candidate or just throw out things, that, on healthcare, you know, “I’ll give a five thousand dollar health care tax credit” that’s the ticket, and everybody will want that because that will help them with their health care. But, we don’t hear a lot of substantiation, and I also think that Town Hall meetings are a joke. They never listen to the people who come, the people who come are allowed to ask a question, and then they give this two minute answer that “…somebody rebuts it…”I disagree with you”…”you didn’t vote that way in Congress”… Tim Ferris: Wait, Gloria, for example, and pardon me for interrupting… Gloria Ferris: Yes? Tim Ferris: Are you saying this is pre-arranged, that people are preselected, pre-screened?
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Gloria Ferris: Well, I don’t even think that’s the problem; the problem is there’s no dialogue. I haven’t heard any yet…. MaryBeth: Nothing has changed…you know, when I happened to submit a question, that was one of the questions they wanted to deal with, they need to let me read my own question, it could be tweaked a little bit you know, it’s an insult, I think, to those of us who would really like to see, to see a dialogue interchange. But, if I can ask a question, but not ask for clarification, or may be not deviate from the thing that’s written on that slip of paper, then what’s the use, it’s, it’s… Susan Altshuler: I don’t think you can get out of the conversation what you’re really interested in hearing, and they don’t let them do that and I don’t know if you could, because they have to be respectful of each other when they are answering questions to give the other time to answer it. I think one of the things in elections that are so bad is that all they’re doing is putting each other down instead of talking about the real issues and the American people don’t care about, I think they really care about what’s happening to my money? What’s happening to my job? How am I going to help my children? How am I going to send my children to college? How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to make my car payment? I think those are, you know that is right to the heart of what I think most American people are thinking about right now. The economy is in a mess and this should be our first priority – I mean health care is really important, but if you don’t get the economy on track people can’t afford to even get or even think about getting health care, or employers can’t provide it. You know, we’re no farther ahead. We need to get at the crux of the problem which is the economy is in a horrible state and of course the administration that is in power now, of course its all their fault and you know its not always all their fault but it trickles down. We need to really pay attention to it and get serious about it instead of slinging that “You didn’t do this and you didn’t do that.” I wish elections would stop until we pass because we could get to the issues much better and find out what they are really about.
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Gloria Ferris: Well, you know, I think what we are really saying here – I’m just kind of free associating – is that, instead of taking this opportunity of “going on the stump” as they call it and going all around the nation and actually engaging the people. They’re not engaging us; they’re not asking what we think. I think that when I lived in Washington, DC and they used to talk about inside the beltway versus the rest of the country, and its very very true – they live un an unreal kind of situation, and, much like Hollywood, kind of an unreal situation, and they don’t really get out very often, and I don’t really think they talk to people and even with Congress, Alice brought up Congress and she’s saying Congress were the ones who screwed this up, you were both members of Congress, how did that happen? And I think that even there, there’s not a dialogue. It’s what Susan said, “I’m right and my way is best.” And I think that if they really truly wanted to change things they would have to acknowledge that both of them have some good ideas. They have differences in implementation, but that’s not what its about. MaryBeth Matthews: But, you know what, yes that is what it’s about. Implementation. Implementation, that’s what we need to hear. I don’t need to hear somebody saying, “Yes we’re concerned, we need to bring jobs back.” Well, yes, we do. Now, tell me how you are going to do it? What’s your strategy? They seem to avoid all the specifics. Yes, we need to revamp the health care system. Now, tell me how? Because therein lies the difference. Tim Ferris: We’ve been in a dialogue relationship for a couple of years now and the one thing we know about true democracy and leadership is that when a leader asks, the people know the solutions, by the aggregate they know the perfect solution and we know this from the “Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki. But, its works and instead of these people out there telling us, we’re waiting for them to tell us the national answer they should be asking questions, because the true leader understands the more he or she cedes control, the more power he or she has.
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Alice Merkel: But, shouldn’t a leader accept responsibility for what they’ve done wrong instead of saying you’ve done it, like Obama and McCain are, its all his fault, his plan sucks, mine’s awesome, why don’t they just accept responsibility – I messed up, we all messed up, I should have said something and this is how I’m going to change it. MaryBeth Matthews: Where do we go from here and what are our next steps? Gloria Ferris: Yes, exactly right, that is part of being a leader, you accept. One of our friends was saying, accept all the blame, take none of the credit. Because if you are a true leader, that’s what you’ll do. I mean you’ll say, “Yeah, we messed up, we deregulated the banks, we listened to the bankers – you know, who knew that they were thinking about all of us collectively that they were just thinking about one part of this. So say that, yeah, we made some missteps, we found some ways we can change this, this is how we’re going to do it. But they never tell us that. Tim Ferris: McCain has been around since the 70’s [XXXX11:56] but the fact of the matter is will he go ahead for atonement? Than Obama has because he’s older and he’s been around. But does either one of them say, “I was wrong. Mea culpa. My fault. My fault. I was wrong.” Gloria Ferris: No, and I don’t think you need to take the world on your shoulders. You have to accept what Alice is saying, that, I was part of this. Alice Merkel: And you know what, they’re so, they don’t say that, because they want to get ahead, they want to win. But, if they did say that and that’s the part that would actually help them. Susan Altshuler: I would think so. I would think people would respect them more for doing that.
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MaryBeth Matthews: Well, absolutely respect. You always respect. I’m sorry but even, even in the lowest level in my classroom. 95% of my students are boys. Gloria Ferris: I was going to say; here I would have thought that at a vocational school MaryBeth Matthews: There is some kind of instant Tim Ferris: You are also a bigot… MaryBeth Matthews: Anyway, back to the fabulous thought I’ve almost lost track of…Some little incident will occur and, okay, for example, kids tap on the desk and it makes me crazy…-er. And so I’ll say, “Jim, enough of the tapping.” They will look at me and say, “Who me? I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it.” The proper response is, “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” And then, I have respect for you because you’re honest; you’ve apologized to me. But when you tell me you didn’t do it, the feeling becomes that I’m a crazy woman. Now, that I’m making up a lie, that I’m seeing things and that I don’t know what’s going on. But, if you just man up and say, “Hey, sorry, it won’t happen again.” We talk about the past, we finish it, we talk about the future – the future will be rosy. Now if our politicians can say, “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again. I’m sorry; we’re going to do our best to change the situation/” Wouldn’t we just respect one another? Tim Ferris: XXXX..He had an adolescent response. Gloria Ferris: Basically, it’s in our culture now that one can’t accept responsibility. For some reason, to say, “I did something wrong, I’m sorry.” It’s like… Susan Altshuler: It’s a blame game. You know, it’s always the other person and if they could stop doing that and really come out and say Yeah, this happened and this is wrong – all wrong – and how do we
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fix this? How do we work together to fix this? Who ever wins they should each be working with the other one to get it fixed and get something done and people get sick and tired of hearing same old same old because they say, “Well. The next administration comes up and it’s the same thing,” nothing happens. Gloria Ferris: And that’s what I think a lot of people are deciding, I mean I’ve heard more people say they hope there will be change, but they doubt it. They doubt that the whole culture cannot change overnight, one person will not be able to do that because all of the same other players will be there, so I think that a lot of people are realizing that it really doesn’t matter – Democrat, Republican – its going to be up to us, because we’re the ones who can say, “Hey, this is a bad situation.” And we can move on. Susan Altshuler: Don’t you think people need to stand up and start saying, “No, you can’t do this. You work for us, you serve the people. Now how about dong that?” I really believe that. But, a lot of people don’t want to stand up. We’re always afraid to come out and say what we really feel because we think we’re going to get into trouble. Gloria Ferris: Well, no. I think its because we see our meters, our supposed meters up there and just nit picking and, “You’re wrong” and “No, you’re wrong.” And you get so used to that kind of blame game that… MaryBeth Matthews: I see it as a distraction from the reality of what’s really going on. If one party can distract the other party, you’re going to say “Hey, Obama --- ex-terrorist.” Its like, Wow… he must be a terrorist too…They are appealing to the lowest, most stupid factor in people as opposed to saying, “What does that have to do with the price of gasoline?” You know, somebody could say to me - if I was going for politics - “She taught murderers.” You know what? I did. I’ve had students in my teaching career who have been murderers and rapists. They were in my classroom and I had an influence on them
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for forty minutes a day. More so than their parents did. And yet, they went on to be criminals. Now that would be like taking that little toy and twisting it and using it to…well, I guess I hung around with them, you know, I was their mentor. I mentored murderers and criminals…and yet, you don’t know my background and there could be some…and what happens is they use those things, those toys to distract, because it appeals to the interest of people, to distract them from what’s really important. You say you want to bring jobs back. How are you going to do it? Give me a plan. Tim Ferris: You keep saying distract, distract, distract. Is this whole thing a distraction to keep us all from knocking everyone out of power? XXX How long has this election been on TV? A year? A year and a half? That’s an awful long time. We went through the Primary. I don’t even know if we should spend time talking about the Election today because… Gloria Ferris: No. We are talking about this because this is something that needs to be fixed and its, a distraction, insulting the American public that we certainly could possibly know what’s best for us. You know, um, this whole idea of what are you going to do about these things? This needs to be out there and more people need to demand of leaders we’re not going to stand for this distraction. MaryBeth Matthews: Why should we not talk about it? If we don’t talk about it we’ll just hope it goes away. [Discussion] 19:55 Tim Ferris: Let’s talk about something else instead of them and their Election, their XX Election, why aren’t we talking about XX, we’ve already said no matter which party gets in … MaryBeth Matthews: I’ve never said it doesn’t matter which party gets in. [Discussion between Gloria, Tim and MaryBeth]

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Susan Altshuler: I think that one of the things is that people always have hope that it is going to change. And if we loose that hope then I think we’d really be in trouble. I think we need that hope that somebody will come in and surprise us. Tim Ferris: Should we look to them or should we look to ourselves? Gloria Ferris: No, we have to look to ourselves. Susan Altshuler: We have to look to ourselves. Alice Merkel: They always have this shield of what their name is, who they are associated with, what their positions, their very vague positions on healthcare but they never focus – it’s so vague. The public is so used to just saying, “You know, I like McCain” – you ask them why and they say, “I like the health thing, the healthcare plan.” You say, “Well, what are the details?” and they say, “I don’t care.” We’re so used to saying, “This is their picture, which one do you want?” And we just pick one because it looks better to us. We don’t really look deep into what their affect is going to be. Tim Ferris: If it came out to be XX elected on substance today, we’d have to vote for Alice! She’s delivered more on substance this morning than what we’ve seen on… MaryBeth Matthews: That’s why she is in our group. Susan Altshuler: She brings that perspective from a young person and that is really important. Gloria Ferris: But, that is something really true. And I do think that young people cut through the bull shit a lot more than… Alice Merkel: Because we haven’t been through so much of it yet.
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Gloria Ferris: Yes. Tim Ferris: You have nothing to loose either. Susan Altshuler: So, how do we, as citizens try to change the dynamics of what goes on? How can we be a part of something, and effective? MaryBeth Matthews: Okay, I was thinking about this before when XX was talking. [Discussion…laughter] One of the things, I think we, who are not politicians, you know the every woman and every man needs to take responsibility for…and this is what sparked the thought when you said that “They’re not asking questions, they’re not giving a response…” and actually, yes they are. How many letters have you written to the people who are our civic leaders? They do throw questions out there and they do watch a response…How have each of us communicated what our thoughts were? I mean, you know, we say it all the time, “You know, nobody asked me.” Yeah, well, have you written a letter? Have you made a phone call? What have you done? And, I see Susan, you shaking your head yes, but I mean for the general person who’d rather sit and complain how no one’s asking me, well sometimes – and I tell this to my Father when he says,” You haven’t called me…” I say, “Dad, the phone works both ways.” You know, if you haven’t talked to me, it’s because you haven’t called me. If they’re not hearing my point, maybe it’s because I haven’t made the effort to tell a civic leader or the people who can make those decisions, what my point is. Gloria Ferris: I think that’s a good place to stop for our break and when we come back I think we ought to talk about that a little bit more because I think that technology makes what MaryBeth is talking about much easier to do. You are watching Women’s Enterprise Network TV Show available on Mogulus and You Tube and we must thank our videographer Betsey Merkel who does such a good job of getting that up and out and the Cleveland Heights Library is where we are meeting today. They graciously let us do this once a month and
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we are hoping that next month we are back in Judson Park for our follow up question, which will be, “This, Mr. President, is what we want you to focus on.” So, we’ll take a break and we’ll be back. [BREAK] Gloria Ferris: Hi, and welcome back to the Women’s Enterprise Network Live television show. We are broadcasting here from the Cleveland Heights Library on Lee Road (Cleveland, Ohio USA). Before we took our break, MaryBeth was asking the question, “Do we actually engage our leaders at the Federal level, and what do we do about that?” And before I turn it over to what everybody thinks, I wanted to mention two things: there is a new book out called, “Reinvigorating Democracy” by Anthony Williams and his partner who published “Wikinomics.” It’s a very, very good read of how democracy can really become robust and people can engage because with the Web 2.0 tools, it’s much easier – for instance, here we are on an Internet TV show letting the world know basically, what our views are about for the Presidential election and how we’re a little perturbed that it is at such a low level, that there are a lot of us out there who would really like to hear about the issues. I think all of us in this little conversation have different ways we engage our leaders and I think we should talk about it and let’s start with Alice and ask her how she thinks we should go about doing that. Alice Merkel: I think that most of the American public does not engage with their leaders, but the people who do go to town meetings, like I went to one town meeting for extra credit for history and there were like, two people there. And, um, okay fine, three. But the thing is, the people who do ask questions, they weren’t really answered. Like I know, in the second debate with Obama and McCain when they are asking the panel of people, they would just give the same things, they said before. They didn’t, I know that one guy was saying that – I didn’t see this part because my teacher told us but he said, “I am a young black student what can you do for me?”
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And they never answered it, they circled around it and I think that the politicians just give vague, general answers and they don’t really center on the questions because they’re so preoccupied with results. Tim Ferris: The answer essentially is it’s up to you. Gloria Ferris: Really? Tim Ferris: They can’t do anything for the young black students, its up to him; they can’t do anything for the young white students, its up to him. As a matter of fact, I think of this as a paring process we’re actually hiring people to run our great big beautiful country…city…and we’re hired help. What we’re doing is we’re acting like help, or are they acting like people to us? No, they’re acting like they run the estate. We own the estate, you’re hired help. They’ve got it all in context. MaryBeth Matthews: One of the things I wish…I saw the young man sit down and I saw the conversation kind of circle around his question and I wished he could of spoke and said, “Hey, bring it back to me. What can you do for me about my student loans? What can you do for me to ensure that when I graduate I can get a job?” Because they are afraid to say anything more and if they do hear a little bit more of a plan, it’s such a national forum they’re afraid if they throw their plan out there it will get picked apart. Susan Altshuler: Or, they’ll be negative about it. How could they even know what to do, really? Unless they really, when they get into office they start working. I mean, be honest. Say, well I know the country’s in a mess and I know that there are a lot of things wrong, you know, I don’t have anything specific right now but I know I’ll say we have these problems and we’re going to work on it, we’re going to try to get you to be able to go to College and pay your student loans. Because they don’t really know how they are going to do that. Because…
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MaryBeth Matthews: And why not, it’s their job to know. They keep saying, “We’re going to work on it.” Who are you going to get to work on it? What are the people you are tapping into? Those are the questions I want to hear. Susan Altshuler: You’re right. I think, “Who they are surrounding themselves with…?” Gloria Ferris: I think that is very important. It’s like, all we really know; all we really hear about are their campaign advisors. Which is only a small bit part. Who are you going to go to? How are you going to change education, so that it leaps into the 21st century? MaryBeth Matthews: Don’t just tell me you’re going to change it. Or, that we want to bring education back that will be “applicable, will be relevant to the 21st Century…well to young Americans that sounds good. I want, what’s the next step, how are you, and the… Tim Ferris: You guys are making a critical point. Change doesn’t come from the top down. Change comes from the bottom up. The answer is, the right answer is, that I’m not going to do everything. MaryBeth Matthews: And, how are you going to help me do it? Gloria Ferris: Tell us what you need and how it’s going to look. He should have asked that Black man, the young man, the answer to him was another question. How do you want me to help you? What do you need? Susan Altshuler: What do you suggest? What do you need? What is your idea? Alice Merkel: You imply ignorance on your part; that you don’t really know how to fix it. I think that when we elect our politicians we’re so
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used to them giving us a big huge answer that never really answers the question. Gloria Ferris: Well, Alice, part of that is because we’ve been told you don’t have the answers we have the answers. We’ve got to take back our country. I mean town hall meetings, part of the reason nobody comes to those any more is because exactly what you said, they’re questions were really not answered. And the reason is, we’ve gotten into this attitude that the answers lie out here somewhere and they don’t. They are within each and every one of us and when we talk and we exchange ideas, as we talk about problems then we come to the realization that somebody in that crowd is going to say, “Oh, I’ve been there. I know this part of it and then somebody else says something, then you start really drilling down into what the problem is and how it is. I always think that’s what MaryBeth means when she says, “I’m insulted.” We have to be insulted that they think there is some silver bullet for health care. It didn’t happen overnight. There where a whole little things that happened. Independent of each other and then it became rolled together and then it became this huge …well, what is that old thing about “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Well, that’s how you get rid of those things. Those huge, huge problems. MaryBeth Matthews: One thing you just said Gloria, that I think hit home because I say it all the time, but I would like to hear…What do you need? Unless they understand what we need, unless we can articulate clearly what we need then nothing’s going to get done. We’re asking them to help us, they’re saying “Okay” and then we don’t get helped and we’re frustrated, why? But we need to articulate our needs. And they need to ask and they need to listen. And if I were to hear more candidates asking that question specifically and then to say, “Okay, you told us you need a new health care plan…okay, and keep asking those next questions. Because when you stop at the beginning of the conversation, you don’t get all of the information and that is what our political process is doing right now. You start the
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conversation and then you cut it off, and everybody walks away frustrated. Susan Altshuler: In our own small way, when we have these kinds of meetings – these networks that we’re building – we always ask people, “What do you need?” …”What do you see you need for the future?” …”How can we work together to make it happen?” …And I think that is more of what the politicians should be looking at, “What are the people saying?” …Because we live it everyday, and we can come with good questions and answers, there is not a silver bullet, but we could help them to help themselves better to be able to do the kinds of things they need to do for the people by asking, “What do you need and how do you see it happening?” MaryBeth Matthews: This happens repeatedly. I find that in my own career, I’ll walk around my own students and I’ll ask them, ‘what do you need?” and it might be as simple as a pencil or it might be something like, I need you to explain this to me, I need you to show me this, or I’m just not getting that. My question is always, “What do you need to master whatever we’re doing?” Tim Ferris: Are you okay? MaryBeth Matthews: No, don’t ask if you are okay, because the first response is ‘Yes.’ Now, what do you need and what can I do for you? What can I do for you? And if the answer is, “Nothing” and I am looking and I see that they are doing something, then I’ll say, “What about this?” or if they say, “I don’t need you to help me.” I will say, “But, you are sitting there without a pencil, let me go and get a pencil for you. You don’t even know what you need, but I know what you need right now. Unless you continuously ask those questions, nobody gets anywhere. Gloria Ferris: I think sometimes the question is, how? How can I help you to get to where ever you need to be? This is, I think, the whole
16 Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel http://www.betseymerkel.extendr.com/ and IOpen http://i-open.org/. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave 3rd Fl Cleveland, Ohio 44103 USA

thing. I read recently, well, just the other day, that North Carolina had a coalition, Iowa had a coalition, I know that our state [Ohio] really went into the sub-prime lending, they were going to Congress in 2002 and telling them this is a huge problem and they were saying, “We need to do this” and Congress was more or less saying, “No, no it’s just pockets its fine.” Because they were having the banking, they were having the question, they were asking, “Well, why do you think that? How can we help you so it wouldn’t be? They were just asking somebody else who had a different viewpoint completely, never getting the two groups together to, and they maybe could have done something where we wouldn’t have gotten as bad. But they weren’t listening and I think that is what MaryBeth is talking about, they need to listen. And I think that if anything should come out of this today, I think we should tell Senator Obama, Senator McCann, you need to listen to the American public. Alice Merkel: And I think that by listening and asking the questions you are unifying yourself with the people and actually representing them, the people, not by setting yourself differently and not, “This is what I do but, this is what we do together.” Gloria Ferris: So, they need to listen, they need to ask questions and they need to become a part of us, instead of us versus them. I think it goes back to what we said in the beginning…we’re so tired of hearing, “No, but I’m better. No, you did this.” The blame game, we’re all talking about changing the guidelines and make it a true dialogue. Make it the Socratic method of asking the questions and learning from each other. Alice Merkel: And making it a two-way conversation. Gloria Ferris: I guess that is my beef with this whole thing. This brings me back to a story, I remember that when I worked at BP, there were seven us in this little like cubicle, we all worked together and three of us had college educations, we had degrees and four of us didn’t. Of
17 Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel http://www.betseymerkel.extendr.com/ and IOpen http://i-open.org/. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave 3rd Fl Cleveland, Ohio 44103 USA

the four, two of those had worked for SOHIO and BP for twenty plus years. Okay? There was another newbie that had worked there for about a year or two and then there was somebody who was a middle of the road, but this one gal would come in there and she was one of the ones with the college education and she would come in and say, “Well, they’re not like you and me, they don’t even have a college education and he’s trying to tell me what to do.” And I’m thinking, “Oh, my God, here we are stuck in this room with all of these people, who don’t have a college education but have this wealth of experience.” And I always thought, you know, it doesn’t really set you apart if you don’t do anything with it. Experience is an education in itself. But I say education is only as good as you use it and you can use education in a lot of different ways. So, it really bothers me when some of these people are saying, “I know what’s best for you.” How could you possibly know? Maybe I’ve got fifty plus years of experience, maybe my health is in the toilet and I deal with bureaucracy every single day, maybe I have two kids who are not going to be able to go to college because I can’t afford it and we can’t do it. Maybe I know what we would need so my kids could get to college. That’s when I think that when we try to set ourselves apart, because you know even the old Harvard versus Yale education being different and better in a way, I mean this is, instead of our differences, we should be talking about how we can work together. MaryBeth Matthews: We are talking about solutions. You brought up a story, there was something I listened to on the news this morning…of course the first thing that goes is the memory…I forget where this happened but there was a sheriff in a town, it may have been out west somewhere, who was refusing to evict people from the homes they were in that the bank foreclosed on. Now, the people who were living in those houses were renters. The sheriff said they haven’t done anything wrong. I’m not going to kick them out of their homes because the bank, because their landlord foreclosed, now the bank is kicking them out and of course the banks are getting annoyed with the sheriff because he’s not doing his job. “You know [the sheriff]
18 Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel http://www.betseymerkel.extendr.com/ and IOpen http://i-open.org/. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave 3rd Fl Cleveland, Ohio 44103 USA

what? I’m just doing what my heart feels is the right thing.” And it really got me thinking about what the whole problem is, with this foreclosure issue, because I’ve had students in that same position, their families, they’re renting and their families are paying the rent, paying the rent and all of a sudden, “Well, you got to move out. You’ve got two days to move out or your stuff’s going to be out in the street.” Which is very hard to, it’s horrendous for these poor families, but if you would always remember who the victims are and this horrible economic situation and that the standard of living on the ground level that we need to worry about, like this sheriff is doing, this is where we need to pay attention to. How is it affecting the day to day person and in fact, if those renters get kicked out of the house, like the banks want them to be kicked out, then well you know at least what happens around here, they’ll tell you that that house is going to be immediately scrapped. Susan Altshuler: And they’re getting the money, they’re paying the rent… MaryBeth Matthews: These are the things that keep coming up…the issue of kicking out renters, don’t kick your renter out, you renters just keep paying your rent and then put it in escrow and then we’ll give it to whoever who wants to buy it…I’m not sure how that whole financial thing will work out but, kicking the people out? It makes no sense. Susan Altshuler: These are the things that so many people in this country are facing right now. It’s the biggest thing for them; they can’t afford to stay in their houses, where are they going to go? It doesn’t sound like anybody’s, the candidates, are addressing that directly and they need to. Tim Ferris: Alice pointed out the fact that she’d like to have everybody on the same side on the same team, and then you ladies are talking about the disparities how we’re not on the same team how we’re not considering the greatest needs of the most of us, and that’s how the
19 Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel http://www.betseymerkel.extendr.com/ and IOpen http://i-open.org/. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave 3rd Fl Cleveland, Ohio 44103 USA

whole system is so sick they must pander to the general population for the vote, they must tell you what you want to hear to get the vote, but then their power, the money isn’t still power these days – it will be less in the future – they’re money comes from the lobbyists, their money comes from the people who actually feed off of the general population. This whole bank thing is nothing more than the banks feeding off of the common man, and the credit card companies and the credit people feeding off the common man and everybody else, the hospital systems taking advantage of it. Why should the anesthesiologist make $400,000 dollars a year and the guy he administers the anesthetic to only be on Medicaid? We don’t have parallel XX all across the board, and money has been one class of people against one class of people and the people who are supposed to be our lobbyists in Washington, Dennis Kucinich and Sherrod Brown, Voinovich and whoever is filling in for Stephanie Tubbs Jones, they are not really lobbyists because they are compromised, and yet they want to tell you what you want to hear and not lie too much in order to get your vote so that they can continue the charade. MaryBeth Matthews: So that they can say, “We’re working on it.” Tim Ferris: Working on what? Gloria Ferris: Well, I think…Alice? Alice Merkel: Well, I was going to say, can you imagine a politician who is actually like the sheriff who knows the situation and understands that you cannot do that to those people. That’s…can you imagine what kind of impact a politician who is on that side of fence, to say, can you imaging what he would do and how he would affect the world? Gloria Ferris: Well, this sheriff was actually doing the three-question thing, which is: is it legal? Is it ethical? And, is it right? And he’s gone to, Is it legal? Because I enforce the law and this is the law on the
20 Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel http://www.betseymerkel.extendr.com/ and IOpen http://i-open.org/. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave 3rd Fl Cleveland, Ohio 44103 USA

books. Is it ethical? Yes, because it’s the law. Is it right? He said no. And he stood up for it, and he said, “You guys need to make it right.” Because it isn’t right that somebody who paid their rent every month is suddenly put out on the street because a landlord didn’t and a bank wants…and that’s what’s really kind of crazy and the bank is so far removed from the house on the street that is going to be abandoned and vandalized, but they don’t care. They’ll say, “Well, but it’s our property.” Well, that’s not the whole issue. MaryBeth Matthews: So, you need to be out of it, so we can clear that off our books. Gloria Ferris: Right, exactly…So, I guess what we all decided was we would say to the next President of the United States would be, you need to listen, you need to ask questions, and you need to do something. It’s not a matter of everybody is going to blame you if you are not exactly right but you need to start making some changes and we need to start moving forward. Anyway, thank you all for joining us. Alice, it’s always a joy to have your perspective and MaryBeth, its always great that you always bring in that education perspective and bring it to the kids that are dealing with some of this stuff and Susan, you always have a perspective of the economic development part of it, and Tim thank you for the male perspective it’s a new thing, and thanks to everybody watching and here we are it’s the Women’s Enterprise Network TV Show at the Cleveland Heights Library on Lee Road.

21 Copyright 2010 Betsey Merkel http://www.betseymerkel.extendr.com/ and IOpen http://i-open.org/. Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works. Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open) 4415 Euclid Ave 3rd Fl Cleveland, Ohio 44103 USA

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