tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 26, 2014 8:30am-9:31am EST
caller: good morning. you know, i am amazed at republicans. why would anyone want to vote and have republicans in charge? -- what is the last thing you or plan on doing? let's talk about obama care. i assume that everything is bad, if that is what the republican say. why are they trying to do to make it better? saying, hey, mister president,this is the thing that you want to be remembered for. we want to destroy to take it away and make sure that no one remembers you as president. why not try to fix whatever the issue is? and try to make it better for all americans, instead of wanting to be against the president. work with the president and try to make things better for all americans.
host: kevin, we are going to have to leave it there. terry jeffrey? guest: actually, republicans do to -- and replace. people to d caution look at -- united states in america has the greatest healthcare system in the world before obama care. you had wealthy people from foreign countries where they do not have health care coming healthcare the because they knew that we had great doctors in great health care institutions. it wasn't medicare and medicaid that made it that way. of i believe as the control medicine has centralized, the payment of medicine and healthcare is brought into the government and the has more control, we're going to chase people out of the
healthcare industry. we're going to destroy excellent institutions in the healthcare industry. for what we have taken granted, as americans, this is, over time, going to be degraded. and eventually we will have a lousy health-care system like a lot of other countries. you, roger tweets into the fact is, bboth parties are responsible for the state of this economy. guest: i have heard that for a long time. and i think that is the mistake at this point in history. people have been saying that for a long time. you see third-party candidates go out, and they don't do very well. the two party system obviously has a long history in the believe it es, and i for an excellent
person to win the nomination of a major party and be elected president of the united states. so i would tell people, look for that candidate to their party. host: that is coming from somebody who worked with pat buchanan. guest: i did. host: and peg says keep uterus ent out of our and our private life. guest: taking the life of an unborn child is frankly murder. the government has a responsibility to protect that child's life. if you conceive a child, you have a moral duty to conceive and protects that child's life all the way through. i believe the government has a duty to protect the life of that child. host: finally -- in the spirit of charity, can you name three things president obama did that you approve?
guest: three things that that i nt obama did approve -- [laughter] -- i haven't disagreed with every he did as ng president, but you know what, i have to sit down and get back to. host: terry jeffrey. as always, we appreciate you coming over here. we'll see you back soon. guest: thanks very much. up next, "chicago tribune" longtime syndicated columnist, clarence page. we will be talking with him, considering this conversation the day after christmas. week on our his "newsmakers" program, governor
steve bullock of minnesota. [video clip] thing i , one of the think is difficult about our system is the amount of money system, and o the the amount of undisclosed money. they took 100-year-old montana law all the way to the supreme court. unfortunately, we lost a 95 four decision. in my last decision, i said, if we are going to have to work under these new rules supreme court put find out least let's who is the wizard behind the curtain. we just got done with 2014 midterms. $1 billion was spent in the congressional races by outside groups. on the republican side, 75% of that was undisclosed dollars.
so i think we do need to do significantly more for transparency. but, as you suggested, at the think it n i don't makes sense as we are doing it every e sure that individual voter's voice matters. you cannot have that discussion if you don't have a seat at the table. would it make ly sense because of, i guess, the amount of dollars in the to say, all ess right, we are going to watch all this money coming to the states. >> so does that mean we can expect to find out more about are those donors are? that weeks think into this aand really trying to overall nse of what the budget is -- but, yes, i think day, if we're the going to be spending money elections, we ought to know where that money is coming from. >> "washington journal"
continues. host: and joining us on journal", a familiar face to television watchers and newspaper readers. clarence page, "chicago tribune". what are you thinking about this days? guest: well, everybody went to see "interview" on christmas day. went to see "selma". out of high school when -- when bloody sunday, as it is called, occurred 50 years ago. time does fly. and i bumped into the former theater naacp in the
lobby afterwards -- who wasn't when selma occurred -- and he said that the really great thing about this is how relevant it is today. have been mething i considering because -- how his civil rights changed over the past 50 years, and how they are still the same. so, yeah, i have been thinking a lot about this. but i am still an optimist that, e of the fact obviously, the reform that we are dealing with in that movie have been t time largely solved. but at the same time, they keep popping up again. the supreme court just the voting part of rights act that they struggled -- the to pass demonstrations -- and we are still arguing about voter id laws. of the re reminiscent
poll taxes and controversies over literacy tests that suppress the black vote 50 years ago. are these directly relevant or not? this kind of shapes today's debate, really. host: what did you think of the movie? guest: you know, it was really well done. and i am delighted to see young directors and producers come modern hese days with technology and financing, and being able to do a risky movie like this. this is not a blockbuster film that is going to have a headline of comic book stars in action heroes. is a -- a meditation, really, on what it means to be an american. done, very artistically very well done. i expect there will be some nominations coming out of this. going to see what
you're m job -- like watching a documentary. dramatic tale, well told from a point of view not just from martin luther king, also from the people who started the movement. the grassroots. you see profiles to see the lives of the people, white and their lives on hold and went down to selma to demonstrate. and risk getting beat up by the police down there. to try and fulfill what the founders wrote in the declaration of independence. why do people do that? you get a good idea in this movie. host: have you ever been to selma? guest: my family is from alabama. been to ot, personally,
the bridge. born and raised in ohio, but then going down there -- what struck me was how nice white folks, -- black folks. but as long as you state in your place. everybody was just wonderful. of , if you did step out your place -- you know, the kid a was, i was running over to white water fountain or turning the water on and off to see it came out clear on both water fountains. for that, elled at me you know? down the wrong seat in the bus, and somebody yelled at me for that. the same time that was killed in mississippi. i was about seven, eight years old. and i could see the worry and my parents faces and other folks. what didn't explain to me
was going on. i found out later on, but that expense across the country. host: clarence page. your most recent book -- "culture worrier: reflections on race, politics and social change". these are columns you have from 1984 to 2014. forward by chris matthews, by the way. you read about race in your columns? guest: i would say that, either directly or indirectly, about 30% of my columns. some of my leaders, who will to me and say -- why is it about race all the time? i thought that was kind of odd. other african american hear the same thing
-- columnists hear the same thing, even when it is not about race. this only helps to give me an incentive to do it more often. really, that , race -- in my view, and these days especially -- is more of a camouflage for problems we have in this country like class. a ery time i get involved in dialogue, meeting, seminar, whatever, it doesn't take long for us to drift off talking about black, white, hispanics. we start talking about income brackets. because that is the real issue in this country. host: in your forward to the write -- political polarization encourages a new, moral cannibalization. new media and movement politics improve the most banal tax-and-spend budgetary issues
with life or death, good versus evil moral urgency. the problem is, politics and government thrive on compromise between opposing political factions. guest: that is right. this has been one of the most dramatic shifts i have seen. and it is especially apparent during the reagan area, when the coalition that ronald cleverly put together was meant to give a moral arguments to budgetary issues and issues of government services. my friend, terry jeffries, who was just on here earlier -- you can see a lot of what he was talking about with how socialism is creeping into american life into all the greatest aspects of it. that, by itself, is an immoral thing.
it is not american, it is now we want to do. i mean, what we're talking time in america where we have stagnation at the lower level of the kind of family i came from. iit is time for us to get away from america where in 1965 -- out of high school -- and tuition to ohio state university was $175. now it is about $13,000. a good state school that has helped so many of us go from, you know, blue class and underclass, if you will, up to the upper class. that is the american way. there is more effort and more mobility in europe. but today, that is going on and we're looking up and saying nothing else.
we're not talking about those fundamentals in our society. so i think we kind of use moral to camouflage real practical problems and challenges that we have in america. of d the kind middle-of-the-road compromise solutions that we need to have. struck me in reading of your columns is some of the same issues that you are talking about in 2000, 1990's. and we're still talking about sharpton, bill cosby, class. these issues just don't go away. guest: same players, but there is a shift in the role they play. michael jackson, same thing. at the same time, though, we have a lot of everyday heroes the country that are helping to make life better. a genuine having
debate that kind of gets lost in the shuffle of our partisan mechanics. last 30 years, i have been writing the column from to the obama a era, both change and more of the same has occurred. we are approaching these issues in a different way now, i think. i hope we've learned something from a past experiences, but is that certain issues have recently inserted change. the same-sex marriage issue, i would have never guessed that we, this quickly, would have switched from where same-sex marriage taboo topic to one that is now supported and defended by a majority of americans. taking a t a matter of
closer look and people began to doesn't that, well, it affect my marriage. began to that argument collapse, then opposition to same-sex marriage began to erode, as well. look at legalizing recreational marijuana. in the been approved not nation's capital. what happens with that, but obviously, there has been a sea of change of attitudes. am saying that -- at the same time, though, the changing culture bothers me. we seem to have lost some of sense of -- of helping one another. communal sense as americans that we had, say, in 9/11.
and a realization that there are people in this world that wants to kill you just because you are american. at least, a few unified days there were we began to turn against one another. part of that argument is over the culture. culture being shared values. what values do we share. let's take some calls. numbers are up on the screen if you would like to dial-in and talk to our guest, clarence page. 202-748-8001 for republicans. 202-748-8000 for democrats. 202-748-8002 for independents. we are going to begin with a democrat in huntsville, georgia. caller: yes, sir. it is a pleasure to speak with the gentleman. read all of your writings and trying to buy the book. you are absolutely correct when there is a shift.
there has been a lot of on the racial there but also i think the issue of class. a is rearing its head in very profound way. given the shift and policies leading to increasing incomes and gap in social -- but i just wanted to kind of backtrack a little bit. and kind of, you know, we're talking about parties. to me, as a democrat, and never ceases to amaze me how the the le at the bottom of -- i feel truggle constantly against their own self interests. the only group that i think
tends to vote -- tthat i think motivated sometimes by race or moral issues when you vote on the racial issues. the gentleman who called who was a gay republican. you had what the moderator said in regards to gay marriage. i mean, both republican and gay. called people voting democrats stupid. this just a -- host: okay, michael, we will leave it there. clarence page? guest: this is a problem especially brought up on the left. -- book which came out thomas frank's, yes. university of chicago
graduate. i was fascinated by this. think we forget -- you are in conservative, you tend to view the view through an economic plans. all our social problems can be solved if we just take care of the economics. not everybody lives by those economic values. have shared values -- conservative religious values it is somehow m fundamentally immoral to take anything from the government. that private charities fund government charities, somehow. these are values that people have. to hold those ght values and express them. have aa profound effect on our politics because you get people who are directly helped
by social service programs. just take social security, medicare, medicaid. those are the biggest expense the budget, and yet if you ask people what the biggest expenses are, they're going to say foreign aid. which is just 1%. but there are these perceptions people have that shape the values. this is most and people voting in south economic interests because they feel like there is a larger man economic interest out there that they perceived. in politics, journalism, respect to the values of the country. host: william. virginia. an independent. caller: good morning, mister page and c-span. i read a lot of columns in the
"washington post", "new york times", and so forth. when you finish a calm, do desk and from the think -- how can this be seen in 10 or 15 years? just a thought. i will listen to your answer offer. thank you very much. guest: that is a good question. one of the things about the legacy of a columnist. one of the rreasons i have 30 sen look back on the past years is because it is a long time. my marriage is almost 30 years. but i decided to look back and do tend to columns be one day reactions to what is going on in the news right now. and look and see if there are certain trends that stand out, there is something
useful to drive from the last 30 years that can help us deal with the future. about mes we're talking here recurring issues that have up, like questions -- well, welfare reform was very hot 30 years ago. we saw bill clinton in 1990's run under the slogan of we are as we to change welfare know it. but it was a process that did work between bill clinton's and newt gingrich's congress. as much as they fought each other, they did get a welfare program through that resulted in a couple million fewer kids in poverty. that is no small achievement.
now, we have seemed to go back to a point where we are not getting much done on capitol hill at all. but, obviously, i think we can lot from the past if you look more at the 1990's. why did the process work than? even despite -- it seems to work more effectively than it did now. so i think about these things learn from at we can the past in order to -- in order to do a better job in the future. a st: clarence page is nationally syndicated columnist. of the chicago tribune's editorial board. how many words do get in a column? aand how many hours in advance to get? when i first started, i
had about 750 words to 800 word was a typical column. the last couple decades, the syndication world -- the pages are smaller now, so there's not as much space. now, they recommend somewhere between 650 and 750 words. up, like any writer, you know, point back to these limits. in this ind that, age, it is helpful to more with less words. we come in the media, are always begging people for a moment of the time. find it very bracing to get to the point right away and be as provocative as possible without distorting the message that we're trying to get across. and get more of a conversation
going. because you can do that now with today's interactive media. all the other they are used to things in the old days with typewriters and all that. what eally excited about is happening now over the changes because i think -- well, i am learning a lot more a lot more now o iin this age of blogging. this column, i do a video commentary. very exciting, and also, it is a new way to tell my message. due : if you had a column
tomorrow, when would the tribune syndicate? guest: iin fact, i have one do off this program -- due after i get off this program. it in today, friday afternoon. it will run -- it may pop up on our webpage friday night, now. it will run in the sunday newspaper. and of course, in chicago, our the first spapers -- editions -- come out at noon on saturday. i have learned over the years to operate by a clock, as most at the eings do, but same time -- friday night, other people are living normal lives.
and i get the conversation going over the weekend. come in has to interrupt me here and there because i'm kend busy tweeting and i forget about the regular human beings there in the room. but this is how our lives are changing now. i do two columns a week, and in the middle of the week, i will start my column. and then i'll turn around and the the ipad and turn on video camera -- pull out the the video urn on camera and do a video column. host: erie, pennsylvania. laura, please go ahead. caller: good morning, c-span. happy holidays to everyone. mister page, thank you for the point that this should be about race. classes more of the question. i wanted to refer to doctor
walter williams column -- he is a conservative, of course -- but he was mainly making the if you look historically at the poverty have only increased -- or only directly related to single-parent households with no marriage. a marriage drops the probability of poverty 80%. it is unbelievable. in the said, back 1950's, 18% of the black population were in poverty. now, 70%. if you look at what comes from true for blacks and whites. children from fatherless household have much more criminal behavior. and we're talking about the strategies with michael brown and the other person being shot. but the conservatives keep asking, why are we not addressing the week family structures? blacks that were
murdered were murdered by another black. those people are coming from households without a father. there are other very sad social breakdowns. host: okay, laura, we got your point. clarence page? guest: the rage -- it is also true that the rate among white at ricans has been rising the same time. we're talking about them in 1960's. between liberals and conservatives is in interpreting statistics. on the liberal side, as i mentioned earlier, there are much fewer industrial jobs. paying as, again, is $770 in tuition, i was working
at a steel mill. they are not producing jobs like they used to. and that is true, of course, in america today. i am delighted to engage conservatives or anybody else, about we are talking ferguson, new york, and cleveland. and, unfortunately, other towns are popping up on that list. but i will do it only to directly engage a problem, and not as a diversion away from problems were justice. the ones we're talking about in cases, laced dialogue we're talking about justice and effective policing. that has nothing to do, with out of wedlock birthrates. some people say that out of wedlock birth rates leads to unemployment. i will turn that around and say is the high
unemployment that leads to out of wedlock birth. i couldn't have imagined what my mom and dad would have been hadn't had if they jobs to -- to fund their ability to get married. we are dealing with and young people these days. at the same time, as in the title of my book, i'm worried erosion of the dad and that drove my my mom to go out and find a job, even during the recession or the great depression -- my dad was endlessly talking about working two or three jobs of week. a lot of folks do that now. and i don't begrudge them for assistance like food stamps or at risk assistance to help them live while wages are stagnant. these issues are not simple issues.
and we need to avoid oversimplifying the problem in ways that lead to more problems. host: dave is in northport, new york on our democrats lied. caller: hey, good morning. it is a pleasure to talk to mister page. i like what he has to say a lot. i just -- i look at things like and, like nd whatnot you said, it is more of a class stratification than an issue of poverty. it is how, as a country, we address poverty. it is the militarization of the police force, prisons, and whatnot. and it just seemed so destructive to talk about it in terms of race. then i just want to bring up, also, i think about programs -- equal opportunity is destructive because white people see black people taking their jobs.
excuse me? guest: you're talking about affirmative action, right? low er: affirmative action, income housing -- i think you have to talk about it in terms of jobs, like you said, clarence. i don't think we like to talk about that in america. this is, you know, the land of opportunity. i don't think that is really the case and i think it is intentionally skewed like that. host: i think we have gotten your points. clarence page? guest: yes, i think he is right. to a large degree, we distort the real nature of the issues. but at the same time, races during us in the face all the time. i'm happy to talk about island n or staten
without mentioning race. the first thing we notice about each other. steven koerber lampoons the idea of i don't see race. are you nuts? he said, if you don't see race, you don't see me. it is not the question of me having a dark complexion,it is man of my of a black generation -- i have different than a white man of my generation. at the same time, we shouldn't make so much of race. understand, certainly, when -- when michael brown died in or eric garner in staten island died -- you have wonder when you see the men conversation with those folks, he wasn't resisting arrest, he was trying to talk them out of arresting him.
whether he should of been arguing back or not, did he need to be taken down the wasn't ld when he exhibiting any resistance? come to tion has to mind -- with the chicken this way if he were white' that is all. now a twitter hashtag young white fellow who wanted white americans to they got away with indiscretion. that is going to be an interesting exercise because there is a lot of debate over whether it still exists at all. obviously, i think it still exist for white people. it is not like i'm making a to talk plea by wanting
about it, the but, yes, race is still an important issue in our society. but we don't need to give all it, when e to obviously classis growing as a determinant on your chances for success in life. host: and tom is calling in from california. independent line. caller: hi. thank you for taking my call. the caller just talked before about our rights. it isn't about color anymore. it is just our government dividing us into -- it is like they are expecting the blacks to shoot the blacks, and the whites are still complaining. in one takes accountability our family system. they do want to talk about the kids and the rights. at the same time, your child courts , your family law
-- they lie. you know, i'm going to stuff for now. it is unbelievable. put things on your records. you can't get a job because of your credit reports. they lie on that. want to take accountability. it is always for my kids. kids are growing up learning how to lie. the get divorced, the child it is all stem, and over. i had changed documents -- serious civil rights violations that are going on, and nobody listens. they just turn their heads and acts like it doesn't happen. host: tom, we are going to leave it there. see if clarence page has anything he wants to say. guest: i think this a lot of frustration that a lot of people feel.
on we want to take it out the system itself. and sometimes it is the system that is at fault, sometimes it is not. but notice, once again, we start off talking about economics and race. and very quickly go back in the moral issues. americans -- of conservative americans i know of who are frustrated because they feel like welfare is full of people who lie. on the other side, liberals are k that -- that there corporate heads who lie in order to live off government tax breaks. so, we're all looking for some sort of easy explanation to the complexities of the world. and the moral explanations of our interest, at least for a day or so. next up is frank in florida. republican line.
frank, go ahead with your question or comment for clarence page. caller: thank you, gentlemen. mister page, i just want to say this. i am 62, white male, retired. i'm currently working in a just neighborhood, and i find that -- i am finding that the black populace, it seems to me, is in denial. the white populace, it seems to me, doesn't want to listen anymore. and i think the biggest problem is there is no conversation going on. it is polarize, and it has just gotten worse since 1965. see it getting better. frank, what does that mean when you say you are working in a black neighborhood? caller: i volunteer -- i went in to find out about brothers keepers.
i went into speak to someone, a black city leader, to ask them about it six months ago. one knew zement, no about it. very few people in the white population knew about it. and this has been going on for a year and a half, and i decided to go in and try to do something about it. in the six months i have been there, i haven't been rejected. but i feel like throwing my hands up, basically. guest: rejected by the local residents? feel, : sir, i just again, that people do not want to talk about what is going on. just mention the families, and that is a really important issue. and, like you said, it is deteriorating. i certainly agree that americans don't like to talk about race across racial lines.
there was a certain clarity to the issues than, and that is why selma was so effective because it takes us back to a was when that argument very clear between immigration and segregation. and whether or not the government should sanction it or not. it was the good and evil -- it to be very clear compared to today. i draw my optimism that we do have conversations about race. unfortunately, they occur major racial abruption -- like ferguson, or staten the o.j. simpson verdict -- much of which i touch on in the columns in my book. this is a real conversation on race that we have in america. one big reason is
white folks are reluctant to talk about race, and black folks can't stop talking about race. when you have this in your life you you have to deal with, kind of resist when people tell you to stop talking about it. but at the same time, among young people is where i see hope for the future. have a 24-year-old son and millennial's n of but they ost-racial, understand that america is not in post-racism, either. they have a more open view about the future. we say -- and ll shall we say, -- view of the future than the elders do. but i think we're moving in the right direction on the whole. we have to get more comfortable talking about these differences.
host: where did you come up with the term culture worrier? guest: i was thinking about my friend, bill o'reilly, over at fox news. i was thinking about some of he wants to that have -- iit sort of worries me. i think we need to do more more ng aand take a realistic attitude about the difference a culture does make make ur life. in your life. i go back to my parents -- when i was in high school, i asked my dad -- dad, what class are we in? son, we are poor. though t feel poor, even i had holes in my socks when i went to school. my parents were always working,
and they insisted, too, that i work since age 12. it is character building, there's no doubt about it. but that is what keeps you even when you have no resources when you are around. resources your inner drive and that culture that you grew up in. so i am worried about the deterioration of that. host: you refer to both terry is on your o earlier, and bill o'reilly. are they really france? -- are they really friends? guest: actually, i feel know both these gentlemen, and a number of other conservatives here in washington. i'm from chicago. is no such thing as political offices working together. two of them were playing tennis after work.
their socializing or playing tennis together after work, and that is very common in this county. this is what is striking. it is just life. i think it is important that we not let ideology get in our way. terry jeffries worked on buchanan's campaign. i never would have believed that could happen. we can hardly be more opposite, politically. and i'm not alone. she says that weekend and is a wonderful man to know. he is reasonable. i think the rest of the country that side ick up on of washington. but you get more money, better tv ratings, better radio ratings if you are more combative and act like we are war with these people, blah blah.
ost: the next call is greg in new jersey. caller: hi. i want to talk to about -- hello? host: we're listening, go ahead, please. caller: they fought against themselves because they just stand that you cannot take it from people who make money and give it to people who don't make enough money. your comment to 75%, it is -- getting benefits from the government totally out of --
the people who didn't go to are, frankly, perhaps and able to go to college get a job and make a decision income. that is why people are against self interest. you cannot just give people benefits. type of economic collapse. it will continue on that path. thank you. guest: well, thank you. is the debate -- if you can take from one class and give to the other. while, on the one hand, i hear people complaining about how we are these days. look at the stock market. record 18,000. i mean, the stock market is a
measure of the optimism of the money class, if you will, and how they see the future. this country has supposedly gotten more socialist with social security, medicare, medicaid. we have also gotten more prosperous. we are still the number one economic giant to the planet. our biggest competitor, as far as growth goes, china. is not a communist country the communist party rules, but their system is more state capitalism. the central planners running capital system. i don't like that idea, and i think that china is going to pay the price for it. but still, they have been able to grow their middle classes. to the same time, of course, places that people are still in at a plantation level, not even what we're talking about in the great depression over here.
so, i think that this is an an issue worth debating. you cannot just take money from give it to another and solve the problems that way. but through intelligent supports, and incentives -- like food stamps, which help both agriculture hand, and n the one help people with limited needs to be able to feed their at the other end -- we can make a more prosperous america for everybody. tweet -- first -- mister page, has bill o'reilly contacted you about the name of your book? and he follows that up with -- do think bill o'reilly will read your book? guest: well, i certainly hope he does. i have not heard from bill since obama got elected. i don't know what happened.
a short time after i was on his had a civil discussion. is my imagination, but have friends at fox -- i understand what they do, they very well over there. news, as well as commentary, conservative point of view. it seems like after obama's election, fox became about polarizing and polarizing the rest of the country. before, i would kind of routinely be invited to come and appear on fox or msnbc or al sharpton's program. now, i am only hearing from msnbc. so i don't know what has happened.
bill, i hope we're still friends. host: richards in cazenovia, new york. caller: yes, you are talking about people voting their interest in elections. last time obama was elected in 2012, he got, what, 94% of the black vote? guest: not quite that much, but close. a 67-year-old painting contractor, and about working eks ago, i was for syracuse university. i was working in the kitchen and had a rush limbaugh playing with volume lowered. was man came up aand rush just finished saying -- the war on poverty, we spent well over trillion since 1964. and the rate of poverty is exactly the same.
well, this professor said --bs! and jumped up and down. the next day, he came out of with his ent office head hanging, with a piece of hand, and said -- i did a little research last night, and i found -- he was a ying this as if he had mouthful of cider -- or, of tthat rush was right. if you keep doing the same and it doesn't work, what are we going to do? host: he is gone, i apologize. okay, i apologize, because he started out how 94% of african-americans voted for barack obama. going to ask him -- what now about the 1956, with about 57% voted for eisenhower?
that part gets lost in so many of these discussions. the other issue -- yes, the close to ate is very what was when johnson enacted the war on poverty. actually, it is a bit better. but what is important here is the war on nacted poverty 50 years ago, i was in poverty. we are not in poverty now. that is something i point out. poverty, economics are not a stagnant affair. the question is, how many african-americans moved from poverty to the middle class during that period? 1965 to fact is, from 1985, the black poverty rates dropped from about 60% down to around 30%. by early 1990's, it was down to 24%.
it has then since keeps back up a bit. it goes up and down year after year. but the fact is, we are a lot far as reducing poverty aamong blacks, whites, hispanics, everybody over the last 50 years. and it would be a lot worse now if there were these programs. we have other problems. i mentioned income stagnation. of working has increased, but even if you don't work, you don't have money to rise out of poverty. feeds to the y passions of those who are angry and frustrated out there. host: clifton in saint augustine, florida. caller: good morning, gentlemen. mister page, i miss you on the report. guest: i will let him know that! caller: you made a comment to that ery beginning
correlated very much to terry jeffrey and his startling about government programs -- whether it is food stamps or what have you. there's a common thread. you made a notes that when you go to symposiums or conferences or what have you, you notes that once you get past the black, ew minutes of the white, chinese, whatever, you can get to the problem. core is probably economics. with or me to agree everything jeffrey says, but a lot of the statistics are two. there is a common thread here. is there a variety of people from both sides, and even the center? i'm wondering if that is not wrong with our politics? if people in different rooms had all get together because a common thread there. i was going to ask one other thing. based in chicago
and i went m miami down there for many reasons. but we had our black issues down there, too. times, there many are issues in their own backyards, such as chicago, we ladelphia -- and yet worry about ferguson. and you should, but i believe is like coke, pepsi, mcdonald's, and burger king. i think chicago and philadelphia trade-off -- host: we are going to have to leave it there, i apologize. guest: yes, the last point he makes, i have heard before. why are you worried about ferguson would we have problems right here? well, there are different problems. these are different problems, fight all these problems -- and you are trying
to fight all these problems. the way they resonate because business between race and class and effective policing that we have in this country, and the movement in the big cities like l.a., new york, it etc., to the smaller towns like ferguson, and places like where i grew up, and places that have shifted in race like ferguson, that had been nominally white, now predominantly black, but the government is still part of really white, conservative, and they need to improve their black voting registration and turnout in the long run, but in the short run, they have got issues of justice and equity to deal with, and it resonates around the rest of the country because it is so common. we cannot just sweep it under the rug. is theculture worrier" name of clarence page's most recent book, reflections on race,