tv BBC Newsnight WHUT August 14, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
we seek new ways of living and expressing ourselves. we take risks, we learned from experience and we keep moving forward. that is why we celebrate the explorer in all of us. >> and now "bbc news nite." >> the new poor of america. the u.s. federal reserve wants pace of recovery has slowed. we have a special report into how the economic hurricane has millions of middle-class americans on the bread line. >> i grew up in a moderately
comfortable middle-class family. i never dreamed i would be as close to home less as this past year. >> the protection from [unintelligible] does its strengths lie in constant change? a classical actress and president of the queen's own society today about it. english society. america is supposed to be the land of opportunity. it must feel like anything but that for those out of work. the federal took measures to stimulate the of economy, warning growth is likely to be more modest. they times are seeing many middle-class slip towards poverty. our correspondent has been meeting america's new poor.
>> a journey to america passed. this was once the which is a place on earth -- richest place on earth. ♪ that gold rush ended and virginia city trains on its heritage, relics and ghosts. there is another american recession, the jewels are on sale the tourists are not buying. >> we are getting crowns. this is how are high season -- we are getting crowds. we just watched them look around. >> they are not spending.
it is no one is lucky day. >> in the previous recession, you cannot compare it to this one. this is the hardest. those that are not working are scared because they don't know if they will get laid off. >> america is in one of its post-gold rush era as. this one started and ended in the last 10 years. unemployment here is 14%, and nation's worst. bankruptcies have soared and the thousands of people are losing their homes. in a state that prizes its reputation on risk-taking, all the bets have gone bad. stranded in the desert, nevada is taking chances to make a buck. 50 years ago if legalized
gambling. and industry was born in reno, but the jobs are drying up. people like this help build a modern nevada. two years ago he was extending the state's hotels. he has not worked since. he is one of 83,000 construction workers who have lost their jobs. now he is going to lose even more. halfway down the hill on the road to reno is his home. he and his wife bought a 10 acre plot a decade ago. they saved money and build this place from the foundation up. >> just the two of us.
we did it on our own. >> we physically build it. with our labor and sweat we've built this. >> now they have to move out by the end of the month. >> it is just that. this is ed. this is my last time here. i hate to make him do it all, but it will end up being that way. my daughters get too emotional. >> it is better if you don't come back. >> they were not subprime are worse. their loan was modest. the bank offered $500,000, but then he lost his job. >> everything fell apart. the banks would not work with us. they acted like they would give us a loan modification and they
knew things were bad, but they said for a year they would work with us and a couple months back they told us no. >> we don't have any other debt but the property. we were getting our affairs in order so we could stay here. >> why did you take at this mortgage in the first place? >> at that time i was making $4,800 a month. i have never been out of work this long in 30 years. this is the worst i have ever seen it. i have always been able to travel to find work. but i have not been able to find any work. >> do you blame the banks or the government? >> obama passed something down where it would help small people and it went to the banks.
they took it and they keep asking for more. now we get to start over again. we are at the bottom. we have this beautiful piece of property and it was planned for the future. >> the family is far from alone. foreclosures have crippled not that cost housing market. they have yet to hit the bottom -- foreclosures have crippled nevada's housing market. houses are now worth less than half -- half what they originally were. it will take at least a decade for the market to recover. america's casualties are mounting up.
when this couple moved to nevada in 2006 they rented. now the unemployment has pushed them to the foot of the property value. last autumn this trailer became their home. >> to stay cool you have to maintain some kind of air conditioner. i just hang a mister on the outside. >> you need that. >> he was a machinist in the texas oil industry. the boom in new jobs brought them west. >> the company i was working for eliminated some positions. the next job i had, the company was going through reorganization. >> when the recession came on
they were feeling is like everything else. >> he is also coping with a deterioration in his health. he is a diabetic. >> what happened to the rented home? >> we could not pay for it so we moved out. >> we had to find something we could afford. at that time, it fell on us like a ton of bricks. we had to make drastic moves that could preserve our ability to stay alive. >> did you ever think things could end up like this? >> never in my wildest dream. >> i remember telling her about the plans and what we could do and our excitement, we thought this was going to go perfectly. >> i grew up in a moderately
comfortable middle-class family. he never dreamed i would be as close to homeless as this past year. >> if not homeless nor humiliated, but dependent on handouts. they are among 124,000 who receive free food here. that is a threefold increase since. those who donated in the past now stand in line asking for help. >> we are learning every day more about the plight of people with less. i am ashamed i did not give this more thant because -- did not give them more thought because there are people in need. that is kind of what i need. i can see what they were looking at. >> thank you.
>> the president gambled $1 trillion on the stimulus, but has yet to hit the jackpot. nevada has created under 5000 jobs. much of the money has gone to saving the posts of teachers and police. out in a vast sense of the desert, [unintelligible] when americans talk of growing jobs, they mean building business. in nevada, that is about to happen here. it is 30 miles from reno, and will be the biggest industrial park. >> we have built 9 million square foot 7000 jobs for
people out here. >> this man runs the entire 15,000 acres. from walmart store in the american west to a cryogenics company for the living dead. >> you can see with these beautiful companies out here -- >> it suggests you will come out of recession soon. >> it will take five or 10 years and it will be slow. >> iraq and afghanistan have seen this company flourish. the desert wilderness is a perfect location for testing guns. the firm is not hiring. they blamed uncertainty over whether congress will increase taxes. >> hit you think that is a link between that and unemployment?
>> most definitely. if you cannot have investment, they will not hire people. you don't have people who have a job they will not buy things. >> the policy is we have to keep spending money to grow. >> if you cannot spend money to get out of a recession. we are borrowing too much money from other nations. we are getting into debt to other nations. when you owe somebody they have they said. >> this latest american bulrush is coming up everything. the worst at -- american gold rush. for many americans, this is no economic theorizing, it is a matter of survival. for this couple, a fresh start
at lake tahoe. life is a struggle. vince has been guaranteed a few weeks' work. they rent a small house, but his benefits have almost run out. she has gone part time but still need state assistance. >> it is not food stamps anymore. it comes with a card. you swipe it. >> it saved our lives. >> we have never had to do anything like this. we have always been the ones to have been giving. now we are the ones getting. it is hard to ask for help. when i have kids i don't care. >> america's economy is exposing the thin line between winners and losers.
everyone wants to play but it is always a gamble. people cling on a plane for their luck to hold -- praying for their luck to hold. >> are their standards of grammar and literacy that should not be tolerated? the debate was reignited this week. they castigated them for poor grammar, but is the english language in a state of revolution or set in stone? >> this is a troubling assignment, punishment for my grammatical crimes. the british library is the preserver of all written english. ♪ where they care so much about
its well-being, they are planning an exhibition, -- >> here we have some of the highlights which will be on display in our exhibition. >> this is the first english book ever printed in brussels. the language still much closer to french. some believe it has been allowed to judge to much. >> i don't think it's fair to judge a people by how they speak. cautions colleagues to mind their p's and queues. >> the use of wrong words is annoying. we had an instance where the naturalists were described as naturalists.
there were other times we use words where differences are more subtle and [unintelligible] we occasionally don't seem to know the difference between convince and persuade. >> [inaudible] jonathan swift was always trying to fix the language. he wanted it tethered and it was his contemporary who managed to wrestle english words into a dictionary, but acknowledged the exercise was largely futile. both sides have been arguing about doing that ever sense. this woman expelled tyranny as partial to a split infinitive which she likes to use. >> split infinitives i don't
mind about. i think our rules derived from latin where the infinitive is one word. in ancient greek, a split infinitive is a beautiful construction and used frequently. >> i have never been able to [unintelligible] the most famous split infinitive is to go. [unintelligible] >> can language designed to be spoken ever be preserved in the librarians equivalent of [unintelligible] >> we will be showing have the printing press accelerated change, but also began to fix the language. the scientific revolution brought in a huge amounts of -- the internet is changing
language now. >> some cards were crushed by a television tower. it was built to withstand winds of 110 miles per hour. >> the bbc has produced style guides for announcers. it is funny how often you hear in an emergency people are evacuated. with language constantly in flux come out words come and go and all errors are soon forgotten. my colleague has been speaking to one actor and the president of the queen's english society. >> [unintelligible] >> as far as i have heard what he has to say, i am shocked by some of the errors. >> do you complain?
>> i have written to christina complaining about her writing of a criteria. i will write to brian for writing "me and my four friends." >> does it make you physically upset to hear words used in the wrong context? >> i am so used to read it does not make me sick. >> what about you? >> there is a wider issue, which is then some language is used for carrying means the and if it is maddening if people are ungrammatical. language tries to capture a fusion between what we feel and what we think. for that, sometimes you have to break the frame of the language. in the wider sense of using
language, like head dumps in poetry, it is useful. >> we talked about the movement of language. let's go through a few. americanisms as verbs, she gifted her piano. what do you think? >> i don't like americanisms but i would not object to gifted. >> what about lawmaker? >> it's not at -- not a word of would use. -- not a word i would use. >> the one i cannot stand is in airports were they say this is the last and final call.
>> you do not like tabloid language. >> the hiking interest rates and she was dumped a heron. what do you think of that? >> in the tabloid, that is perfectly normal. >> but in thet like it? >> not really. >> if it excites the reader, that is the point. >> what about pronounced >> -- pronouns? does this were you? >> it is all board. -- does this worry you? --]7c3 it is awkward.
>> if you were on stage delivering a marvelous speech and [unintelligible] >> if the person speaking was splitting the inventive. i would not encourage it, but the forbidding means you are trying to hold the language in a place it is not used vocally. >> is that the problem? the ed and flow, some words for all of uses -- the ebb and flow. >> word usage does change, but some changes are bad. like a child saying my stepfather is. does he mean good or terrible? -- saying my stepfather is wicked.
>> i think we kidd is fantastic because children are a -- wick ed is fantastic. they take a word and invert it. they are not the first generation to do it. there is a kick against the use there before. it implies enjoyment needs an element of anarchy. i think it is brave of them to use it. the day they want to say they want a wicked stepmother they cannot say that. >> my advice is don't [unintelligible] >> you don't take mark this point in the greek language it was a good thing? -- matha's point?
>> that someonepresumably, thats [unintelligible] >> i am all in favor of clarity of language and getting rid of ambiguities. this is creating ambiguities. >> if you say a phrase you are talking -- what you are doing is capturing me chaotic size of an emotion that could not be monitored by a language that describe that feeling. heavens do not have embroidered cloth.
you cannot upon scientific logic to the need to express what most of our lives are about, which is the chaos outside line object. >> you are talking about metaphors. >> if you say you don't like ambiguity, our lives are full of ambiguity. if you say april is the cruelest month, it is an exciting notion because april is just a month. >> i think we will have to agree to disagree. that is all from "bbc news nite." here from all of us here, could buy. -- goodbye. >> funding is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york and honolulu.