Axios (2018) s04e14 Episode Script

Season 4, Episode 14

Axios headquarters ARLINGTON, VA Let's take a look very quickly at the boards again.
You're gonna see the Dow futures up by about nine points.
And things are coming down rapidly.
We've just had this jobs report.
- Steve, what do you see? - 194.
I see 194,000.
That is real low.
Jobs report / Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh You have to talk me through this.
I've been covering politics for 30 years.
I don't always understand why the jobs numbers matter in the moment.
So how much does this report impact Biden's narrative, agenda, challenges? It impacts it a lot because it's the big kind of economic narrative.
It's that backdrop against which everything else gets discussed.
It's a downright bad number, and this is gonna drive the political and economic narrative for a while.
Now ten months into this administration, this is no longer the last administration's economy.
It's Joe Biden's economy.
Secretary Walsh will have to explain why the numbers aren't stronger.
You're gonna have some time with the Labor secretary.
You're gonna be talking to Marty Walsh.
What do you want to ask him? For starters, his reaction, why he thinks this number was so weak.
But then the bigger question: Why are so many Americans not going to work when there are jobs for them to work at? - What do you to get out of him? - I want an answer.
Why is this going so slowly? And more importantly, what is the policy to fix it? U.
Department of Labor WASHINGTON, D.
How are you, sir? Good.
We good to go? Mr.
Secretary, has America's job recovery stalled? No, it hasn't stalled at all.
I think it's just moving forward.
Since President Biden's taken office, we've had almost 5 million jobs added to the economy.
If you look at the unemployment rate, it's under 5%.
If you go back to 2016 for the Great Recession, it took us till 2016 to get under 5%.
We've been able to get under 5% in 18 months.
But we still have 8 million fewer jobs today than before the pandemic.
Last month was disappointing.
This month, very disappointing.
The trend line is in the wrong direction, right? Yeah, there's no question that we have work to do.
Number one, we're still living with a worldwide pandemic.
Also, people concerned about the delta variant, about their personal health.
We have folks that are vaccinated, folks that aren't vaccinated.
People who are vaccinated worry about the people who aren't vaccinated.
What's the basic explanation that you have for the fact that we have so many job openings, a record number of job openings since this started being tracked, yet so many people who aren't going to work? You talked about the unemployment rate.
It's down.
But we still have this massive mismatch.
I think that one of the biggest reasons is and, again, we no one's tested this or checked it.
I think is work/life balance.
But they're not working.
What's the balance? No, they're looking at their career, and they're saying, "I want to get out of this career.
I want to move forward.
" People are gonna have to go back into the workforce.
I think, "Okay, it's one thing to take a couple months off for that.
" But there are bills to pay for most people.
So how long can somebody actually sit there and say, "I'm looking"? - These are asked every month.
- What's the answer? I don't think there is an answer.
We're living in a pandemic.
Obviously that 194 this month is not the best number, but we saw 317,000 in the private sector.
So we've seen good growth in the private sector as well.
President Biden laid out a plan.
We just continue to follow that plan.
5 million jobs in six months, eight months is not bad.
You mentioned the distinction between public and private sector jobs.
We expected, and I know it's seasonally adjusted, we expected to see a major rise in the September numbers of school employment.
We didn't see it.
I know from my town there are lots of open school jobs.
So it's not about there being jobs.
Why aren't school employees, public school employees going back to work? If I had that answer, I'd be giving it all day today.
But I think one thing that I'm gonna do is, if I were the mayor of Boston, I would have an understanding why that's not happening.
I think we dig down a little bit more here.
Back in March you told PBS there were certain industries we lost that we're not getting back.
What industries are those? Businesses like restaurant businesses and retail businesses.
Some of the stores in different places that had to shut down, restaurants that couldn't quite make it.
I meant facilities, not necessarily industry.
But those are the areas.
Vaccine mandates that President Biden laid out for private industries, OSHA is in charge of putting out those rules.
When should we expect to see those rules? Hopefully in the next several weeks.
We're going through the process now.
Not for religious exemptions, but for folks who don't want to get vaccinated, are we gonna create in America a permanent unemployed class of folks? No.
Just get tested.
It's that simple.
Who's gonna be responsible for the cost? Employers? Or? We're working through that now.
But the issue here is: If you do not want to get vaccinated for whatever reason and you are going to work, then you get tested once a week.
It's literally a swab, three or four swirls, test.
This way we continue to make sure that we're not spreading the virus.
We need to do what's responsible to defeat this virus.
And that's getting vaccinated, wearing a mask.
And if you decide not to get vaccinated, you need to get tested.
You don't think there's a risk there are gonna be certain employers who just look and say, If you're not vaccinated," particularly if they have to cover the costs and deal with the manage management of it, "it's just not worth it.
We're gonna find a vaccinated employee.
" Well, let's wait to see what happens when the final rule comes out.
One of the bigger kinda growing parts of the U.
economy, at least during the pandemic, was the gig economy: the Ubers, the Instacarts.
What is the administration's position on whether folks who do that should be independent contractors, employees, or some third way? I've had lots of conversations in those areas.
I've spoken to all three of those companies.
There are other industries in this country that I'm concerned about misclassification of employees in this country.
Want to make sure people get paid well, they're able to access benefits.
Does there need to be a rule coming from Congress? That's Congress's purview.
If they want to go do something, that's they have every right to do that.
- That's their ability.
- Should they? I'm not gonna recommend.
They have to decide what they want to do.
- What is it you want to see? - I'm not sure for the answer today.
Again, you think about this economy.
It's a very flexible business.
You have people that are able to work shifts.
They're not necessarily working 40 hours a week.
I want those folks that work for companies, any company in America, whether it's Uber, Lyft, or Door Dash, or whether it's another company that does independent contracting work, that their employees have access to good benefits and their employees have an opportunity to support their family.
I want to go back for a minute to Build Back Better and the plan.
One of one of the things in there that's talked about is adding a lot in terms of home health care workers, for example, for seniors.
We've seen in the job numbers that there's been a decrease in people doing that profession.
I go back to: How do you convince people to take those jobs if Congress and the White House create the money to create those jobs? I don't think we have to convince them.
I was in Phoenix about two months ago.
I sat down with three CEOs of hospitals.
They were talking about a nursing shortage today, and they were talking about long-term impacts of nursing shortages.
We have 60,000 people on a waitlist right now in America looking to get into nursing programs.
In the Build Back Better agenda up on Capitol Hill, there is a major investment in community colleges that we could automatically right now create a program that captures those 60,000 folks that want to become nurses, get them into community colleges, and into our hospitals in two years.
Does that mean that when we think of pre-pandemic labor levels and in the future, that we're really thinking a couple years out until we can get back to where we were before COVID? People who are changing careers, yes.
The answer to that question is absolutely yes.
I think we have to think about pre-apprentice programs so we're getting people paid while they're learning their skill.
I don't think we have to retrain 9 million Americans, hopefully.
In this month's job report, in last month's job report one area that lost workers was in health care and in assisted living facilities.
That's a problem, we're not getting fewer people going into nursing homes and assisted living and fewer people going into a hospital.
So if we have a shortage over here, we're only straining the workers today.
Do you think that's because COVID fears, or the pay isn't high enough? A lot of it's COVID fear.
Some of it's pay.
A little bit of both.
I know you're not an economist, but you've got a lot of them who work here.
There's this chicken-and-egg question when it comes to wage growth.
So we saw good wage growth in the jobs report this morning.
There also continues to be inflation in the U.
From your perspective, does wage growth drive inflation, or does inflation drive wage growth? I don't think wage growth necessarily drives inflation.
We have supply chain issues.
We have shortages all over this country, a worker shortage.
The cost of producing whatever it might be is more expensive.
So I think that's what's really happening in our country.
And I think the wage growth that's happening is a good thing.
These companies wouldn't pay more money if they couldn't afford it.
What do you want the average American to take away from today's job report? President Biden wants to win the future.
We're gonna win the future.
We're gonna continue to move America forward.
- Thank you very much.
- All right.
Thank you.
Scoop! / a conversation with Ben & Jerry Ben & Jerry's Factory WATERBURY, V In 2000, Ben & Jerry's was purchased by the multinational corporation Unilever for $326 million.
The deal allowed Ben & Jerry's to continue its political activism and make certain business decisions independent of Unilever.
- Good morning.
- Yo, what's happening? - How are we? - Good.
Recently, Ben & Jerry's announced it will stop selling ice cream in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.
When you started Ben & Jerry's in the late '70s, you made a concerted effort to infuse your personal politics with a business that eventually became global.
What's interesting to me, too, you're not technically in charge.
Neither of you sit on the board.
We are more than not technically in charge.
We are absolutely not in charge.
But you're kind of the moral compass and conscience of the company.
So isn't there a certain level of risk that you assume as individuals by taking stances and then the level of risk that Unilever assumes? Corporations, they take risks all the time.
A lotta times the ads that corporations come out with are risky are risqué.
That's controversial.
And they don't seem to have any problem with that.
And so some of the stuff that Ben & Jerry's does is controversial.
That's okay, too.
Has the thinking or your strategy in terms of how you stand up for things changed over time with the way politics has changed? I think what's happening now in the general culture is that corporations, the people who run the corporations are realizing that the country is truly at risk.
Now, we see CEOs and business leaders acting kind of as politicians in their own rights.
Do you feel like, "Finally they've all caught up to us"? After the murder of George Floyd, you did see a lot of businesses speak up about racial justice, racial equality.
I'm not sure how many of them have followed through on their commitments.
So there was this piece of legislation in Congress, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, that was going to address police reform.
It just recently failed.
If corporations really cared about this issue of justice in policing, they coulda sicked their lobbyists on this issue.
And it woulda passed.
Are you at all ever worried about the backlash that comes or could potentially come from taking stands or standing up for things that are politically charged? I certainly don't like getting criticized, but it's important to stand up for the things that you believe in and the things you think are right.
It just comes with the territory.
So you're not concerned that by Ben & Jerry's taking stands, as the company does, that it's contributing to the deep partisan divides in the country? - No.
- You think it's a good thing? What I'm saying is that if you don't take a stand, you're accepting whatever the current injustice is.
Ben & Jerry's announced its decision to stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
Were you surprised by the backlash that came after that? No I wasn't surprised.
And yet when it happens, it's still painful.
You have some loyal customers who think that the move is antisemitic.
You're both Jewish men.
How did it feel personally to be wrapped up in accusations of being antisemitic? Totally fine.
- For some reason, I think Jerry - 'Cause it's absurd.
I mean how can What, I'm anti-Jewish? I'm a Jew.
All my family is Jewish.
My friends are Jewish.
I understand people being upset.
It it's a very emotional issue for a lot of people, and I totally understand it.
It's a very painful issue for a lot of people.
Can you help me understand why this decision came now? This conflict has been going on for years.
We're always in favor of a two-state solution.
The policy of the Israeli government has been to endorse the settlements in the occupied territories that keep on making it harder and harder to actually have a two-state solution.
In what way do you both feel that withholding money or taking money from somewhere is a way to hold someone accountable? Well, in terms of Israel, I don't view it as withholding money.
It's just saying, "We don't want our ice cream sold in the occupied territories.
" But that affects the economy, to an extent.
Not much.
It's a drop in the bucket.
So then is that really a big stand? It's not a financial stance.
It's a policy stance.
Ben & Jerry's publicly supported Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter.
But over the years, the company continues to sell more ice cream and thrive.
But there's also new reporting that shows that states are taking financial action.
Arizona is divesting over $140 million in Unilever stock.
New Jersey, $180 million.
Do you care about that? I do care because I think it's largely based on misinformation.
What do you mean? I think Ben & Jerry's and Unilever are being characterized as boycotting Israel which is not the case at all.
It's not boycotting Israel in any way.
If you disagree with the Israeli government policy, why not just stop sales completely? Well, I disagree with the U.
We couldn't stop selling in the U.
I think it's fine to be involved with a country, to be to be a citizen of a country, and to protest some of the country's actions.
And that's essentially what we're doing in terms of Israel.
We hugely support Israel's right to exist.
But we are against a particular policy.
You guys are big proponents of voting rights.
Why do you still sell ice cream in Georgia? Texas, abortion bans.
Why are you still selling there? I don't know.
It's an interesting question.
I don't know what that would accomplish.
We're working on those issues, of voting rights.
I don't know.
I think you ask a really good question.
And I think I'd have to sit down and think about it for a bit.
Every woman who lives in Texas now is going to have an impossible time getting an abortion.
If you're a woman who lives in Texas, you have now been stripped of those rights because of the Texas government.
By that reasoning, we should not sell any ice cream anywhere.
I've got issues with what's being done in almost every state and country.
I think one thing that's different is that what Israel is doing is considered illegal by international law.
And so I think that's a consideration.
Is your goal to shift public opinion, to change policy, or to sell ice cream? All of them.
What we discovered is that you can do both.
You can find ways to do things that that increase justice and also increase ice cream sales.
Up in the air / Airbnb's CEO Brian Chesky Nicasio, CA It's good to see you.
How are you doin'? So the tree house.
This is one of almost 3,000 tree houses we have on Airbnb.
- Let's take a little bit of a seat.
- I like this.
The lodging service Airbnb has a higher valuation than Marriott and Hilton combined.
CEO Brian Chesky recently announced plans to provide temporary housing for up to 40,000 Afghan refugees.
You put your money where your mouth is with housing refugees from Afghanistan, who are our new neighbors now all over the country.
There's probably nearly 100,000 in this country, many of them right now on military bases, and we want to try to provide housing for as many as possible.
And the specific commitment is short term housing until they get into permanent housing.
So it's for a week or a month or a day.
It's as long as they need most, housing will be probably a two or three weeks.
But if somebody needs housing for a few months, that's totally cool and hopefully the host can accommodate.
We're paying the full cost.
- So, Brian, we're still in a pandemic.
- Yeah.
Your revenue and your bookings are higher than before the pandemic.
How the heck? Let's rewind.
It was January 2020.
Come back from the holidays.
We're flying high.
Tech startup preparing to go public.
All of a sudden, the pandemic hits.
If you're a travel company in the pandemic, you were affected before most people.
- You're screwed.
- That's what it seemed like.
And we lost 80% of our business in eight weeks.
But months into the pandemic, something else happens.
Millions of people decide they're stuck in their house.
They want to get out of their house.
And they get in their cars, and they drive to a couple hundred miles away, to an Airbnb where they want to get together with friends, or family, or work in another environment.
And what happened was our business actually came back to 2019 levels without all of the marketing spend we were spending before.
Just as these use cases were diminishing, this whole new use of Airbnb has happened.
We used to live in one space, our house, work in another space, our office; and travel to a third space.
And for millions of people, those three spaces are now the same place.
What it seems to me is that we're gonna about to live in a world where bosses and companies are not gonna be requiring most people to come back to the office five days a week.
Are you one of those bosses? Will Airbnb ever be back in the office? We will be back in the office, but certainly not five days a week.
I also don't want to live in this dystopian world where all we do all day is our 12 hours of Zoom and we live these super isolated lives.
Back when you were looking into that travel abyss, one of the tough decisions you made was laying off 1,900 people, a quarter of your workforce.
And you owned that.
That was definitely the hardest day of my life professionally.
And as hard as it was for me, it wasn't as hard as it would have been for the 1,900 people who were getting laid off in the beginning of the pandemic.
And it was just gut wrenching.
Tech companies all say that they want to be a positive force in the world.
That's taken an obvious shellacking.
You don't expect people to believe that anymore.
What happened was all of us technology leaders had to reckon with the fact that when you build a platform and you put a technology in the hands of hundreds of millions of people, you're gonna have unintended consequences.
The lesson is technology should not be thought of as good or bad.
It's power.
And that should be in the hands of people that are really thoughtful.
What do you think is the biggest risk at this moment for big tech? That the world is rooting against them 'cause they don't think they have society's interest in their favor.
Brian, you made a decision that cost you a million people off the platform, hosts and guests.
You imposed a code of conduct that was designed to curtail racism.
Four five years ago, there was this really concerning hashtag that was trending on Twitter.
And the hashtag was #AirbnbWhileBlack.
And it was a story of primarily Black travelers in the United States that were experiencing discrimination trying to stay in homes in Airbnb.
One of the things we ended up doing was creating a mandatory community commitment.
All you have to do is attest that you will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, gender orientation.
And 1.
3 million people decided not to do that, and we kicked them all off the site.
The between the lines of this is that Black males were being discriminated against both as hosts and as guests.
Yes, yes.
The most of the noise was guests requesting a reservation and then being denied - Not noise, complaints.
Reality - Oh.
Oh, sorry.
Yeah, the backlash.
That's what I mean.
All the all the complaints and the noise in the media was around that.
Well it's not noise in the media.
It's real.
Oh yeah.
That was a lot of the complaints.
But it was absolutely happening on both sides.
And so this is something that we focused really, really intently on.
You made a new commitment to a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
In November, of your U.
workforce 12% were underrepresented populations: Black, Hispanic, AAPI.
You've committed to make that 20% by 2025.
You are way behind.
Yeah, absolutely.
And we have so much more work to do.
Airbnb was started by three young white guys, you know? There are so many things that we didn't have appreciation for when we started the company.
Part of your effort to reduce racial discrimination on the platform was Project Lighthouse? What did you learn? What have you found? We have found that there is systemic bias and discrimination on the platform which is not surprising, 'cause that's what the complaints were.
- Discrimination continues? - Of course.
So long as hundreds of millions of people are connecting and making decisions, discrimination is probably gonna exist.
A true tragedy.
Very recently, a family of three, including a three-year-old was staying in an Airbnb in Mexico, suffocated, died.
A gas leak.
What does that tell you about regulation and hosts? Let me just say that this was an incredibly terrible tragedy.
My heart goes out to the family of the victims.
Safety is our number one priority.
We all want to make sure people understand that when they're using Airbnb they're gonna have a safe experience.
An incident like this could be catastrophic for your business.
And so it's important for us to do everything we can to make sure that, number one properties are as described, hosts are hosting responsibly.
If people feel like they're in danger, they can call us.
We'll pick up.
A CO2 monitor, detector can cost $20, which of course could save your life.
Have you considered mandating those in every property? Yeah.
So in the United States and Canada, it's required.
And so any country that has a mandate for CO detectors, we will require them to have it.
And if they don't have it, their property will be removed.
But we try to make it easy for them.
So if you want a free CO detector, we will actually send free CO detectors to any host that want them.
And would you consider requiring it globally? Absolutely.
I would absolutely consider it.
Why is that something you haven't already done? We've looked at a variety of different protocols for safety.
CO detectors is something where we want to make sure that people have everything they need.
But yeah, so.
Let's talk about China.
What is Airbnb doing to minimize racism, discrimination against minorities in China? Well, we have the same exact policies and community commitment in China that we have anywhere else.
If people have a complaint, we investigate it.
This is one sixth or one seventh of the world's population.
We want to make sure that they also can be able to have experiences and be able to connect with people.
There was a law that recently passed in China that says you have to keep your China data in China and make it accessible to authorities.
How much does that worry you? We tried to try to do the same thing that Hilton or Marriott does in China.
When you stay in a hotel, you have to give a copy of your passport to the government.
So we try to we try to really focus our energy around doing what is kinda standard protocol for hotels.
As long as we're doing that and we're transparent about how people's data is being used, I think that's the best that we can do for this kinda situation.
In 2018, you pulled your listings from the West Bank, a disputed territory.
A year later, based on pressure from hosts who said they were being discriminated against, you restored them.
Which policy was the right thing to do? I think probably the one we have now.
Right now, we allow bookings to happen.
We don't take a commission.
Our commission we give to a nonprofit.
We're not making money off of it.
And so I think that's probably the best policy.
Is there any other place where you give the bookings to a nonprofit? I'm not aware of that.
I'm not sure.
There might be.
So you clearly recognize this is problematic.
I think the situation was absolutely problematic.
It was incredibly complicated.
We waded into it, tried to be decisive early.
Then the issue was significantly more complicated than I appreciated.
This is a conflict that people dedicate their lives to studying.
We had to take a step back and try to reevaluate our position.
So as we say goodbye, besides the Lincoln Bedroom, what would you love to have as a host, as a property that ain't gonna happen? Oprah is the ultimate host.
She's not hostin' on Airbnb, but she's got more than one house.
So that would be kinda cool.
Buckingham Palace would be kind of interesting.
I think anything that feels like, "I wonder what it's like inside," but they're known for hospitality would be quite interesting.
Brian Chesky, thanks for mixing it up with Axios on HBO.
- The first tree house interview.
- Thank you very much, Mike.
Southborough, Massachusetts, huh? - I'm from Worcester originally.
- Oh, Worcester? - Do you know a Vincent Penoni? - I do not.
Not a name game.
The Learys? Like, Jimmy Leary.
- The comedian Dennis Leary.
- Oh yeah.
I served with Jimmy in the House.
It was pretty awesome.
My memory of him is I'm the only person who ever gave him a cigarette to sign when I was 15 years old.
- And he signed it? - It's hidden somewhere in a box.
I love it.
I love it.

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