Iowa Public Television

 

Iowans Share Ideas

posted on June 4, 2004

LIVE FROM THE STUDIOS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS "IMAGINE IOWA," A VIGOROUS EXCHANGE OF IDEAS ABOUT IOWA'S FUTURE. HERE IS TODD MUNDT.

Mundt: HELLO, I'M TODD MUNDT. FOR THE NEXT NINETY MINUTES, WE ARE GOING TO IMAGINE IOWA. TO FACILITATE THIS ENDEAVOR, WE HAVE GATHERED A STUDIO OF IMPORTANT AND THOUGHTFUL IOWANS WHO HAVE THEIR OWN POINTS OF VIEW TO SHARE TONIGHT ON A RANGE OF ISSUES. THAT ENDS THE SCRIPTED PART OF THIS PROGRAM. THE REST IS UNREHEARSED. AND FOR THE NEXT NINETY MINUTES, I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A VERY GOOD CONVERSATION AND WE'RE GLAD YOU'RE WATCHING TONIGHT. LET'S BEGIN WITH THIS QUESTION: WHY TALK ABOUT IOWA'S FUTURE IN THE FIRST PLACE? WHY WORK ON A VISION FOR IOWA? MICHAEL GARTNER, WE HAVE EXISTED IN THIS STATE FOR NEARLY 160 YEARS WITHOUT A VISION, MOST LIKELY. WHY DO WE NEED A VISION FOR OUR FUTURE NOW?

Gartner: I THINK, TODD, THAT IF YOU DON'T MANAGE CHANGE, CHANGE WILL MANAGE YOU. SO IT'S IMPORTANT TO DECIDE WHO WE ARE AND WHERE WE WANT TO GO AND THEN COME UP WITH A PLAN AND A PROCESS OR ELSE IT WILL BE DECIDED FOR US, AND WE MIGHT NOT LIKE THAT DECISION.

Mundt: GOVERNOR BRANSTAD, WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE FACTORS THAT ARE MAKING IT MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO HAVE A VISION FOR A FUTURE OF IOWA?

Branstad: WELL, IT'S A VERY COMPETITIVE WORLD OUT THERE. WE'RE NOW IN A WORLD ECONOMY AND WE HAVE TO COMPETE IN THAT WORLD ECONOMY. AND I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS KIND OF ASSESS OUR STRENGTHS. I THINK OUR STRENGTHS ARE WE'VE GOT A GOOD, SOLID, BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE STATE; WE'VE GOT A GREAT WORK ETHIC; AND WE'VE GOT WONDERFUL, CARING PEOPLE. AND WE NEED TO BUILD ON THAT STRENGTH, BUT I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE THAT VISION OF, OKAY, HOW DO WE BUILD ON THOSE STRENGTHS, HOW DO WE USE THE GREAT NATURAL RESOURCES OF OUR STATE TO BUILD A PROSPEROUS AND VIBRANT FUTURE SO THAT MORE OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO STAY HERE AND OTHER PEOPLE WILL WANT TO COME TO IOWA.

Mundt: THOSE ARE SOME OF THE STRENGTHS OF IOWA. BARBARA MACK, WHAT ARE SOME OF IOWA'S WEAKNESSES? WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE THAT MAKE A VISION IMPORTANT?

Mack: I THINK WE'VE FINALLY AWAKENED TO THE FACT THAT OUR STATE'S POPULATION IS CHANGING. I THINK WE'RE LOOKING AT SOME DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS THAT SOME OF US AREN'T YET PREPARED TO ACCEPT. I THINK WE ARE LOOKING AT COMPETITION IN A DIFFERENT WAY. MY FRIEND WHO IS A FARMER IN DESOTO DOESN'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT THE GRAIN PRICES ARE AT THE CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE; HE WORRIES ABOUT WHAT GRAIN PRICES ARE IN BRAZIL. AND I THINK WHAT GOVERNOR BRADSTAD SAID IS EXACTLY RIGHT; WE'VE AWAKENED TO THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOW COMPETING IN A WORLD ECONOMY, NOT JUST A REGIONAL OR A NATIONAL ECONOMY. AND THAT'S GOING TO DRIVE A LOT OF CHANGE FOR US.

Mundt: JERRY KELLEY, DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS?

Kelley: YEAH, I DISAGREE WITH YOU. YOUR FIRST PREMISE IS THAT WE DON'T HAVE A PLAN. WE ABSOLUTELY DO HAVE A PLAN. IT'S THE IOWA 2010 PLAN. IT WAS ADOPTED IN THE YEAR 2000. IT SETS EIGHT GOALS FOR IOWA FOR THIS DECADE, AND WE'RE IMPLEMENTING THOSE GOALS. WE HAVE A VISION. IT'S ARTICULATED. THE PLAN EXISTS. WE'VE LACKED THE WILL TO IMPLEMENT IT, BUT I THINK THAT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN REFERRED TO ARE GOING TO NECESSITATE IMPLEMENTING IT. WE HAVE A PLAN.

Mundt: WELL, IF WE HAVE A PLAN BUT WE DON'T HAVE THE WILL TO IMPLEMENT IT, IN THE END IS IT ANY BETTER THAN HAVING NO PLAN AT ALL?

Kelley: ABSOLUTELY. WE'VE BEEN OUT -- IOWANS FOR A BETTER FUTURE, WHICH HELPED PUT THIS THING TOGETHER, WE'VE BEEN OUT FOR FOUR YEARS ALL OVER IOWA. YESTERDAY I WAS IN MY 212TH SERVICE CLUB OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS TALKING ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO CHANGE THE FACE OF IOWA. PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK. OUR LEADERSHIP SO FAR, LEGISLATIVELY, BUSINESS, AND SO FORTH, HAVE BEEN MORE HESITANT THAN THE PEOPLE. THEY'RE THE ONES THAT HAVE TO BE WILLING TO TAKE RISKS.

Mundt: DAVE SLY, YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF COMPANIES THAT YOU'VE STARTED. YOU'VE BEEN DOING -- WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?

Sly: WELL, I DO THINK WE NEED TO DO SOME BETTER PREPARATION OF OUR PEOPLE. I MEAN WE HAVE A FAIRLY CONSERVATIVE ENVIRONMENT IN IOWA. WE'RE CONSERVATIVE INVESTORS. WE'RE CONSERVATIVE BUSINESS PEOPLE. WE'RE ACTUALLY CONSERVATIVE INDIVIDUALS. AND I THINK THAT ENTREPRENEURSHIP ISN'T SOMETHING THAT WE'VE REALLY PROMOTED HEAVILY IN THE STATE IN THE PAST, AND YET IT'S KEY TO WHERE WE NEED TO GO. WE CAN'T RELY ON OTHER BIG, FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES LOCATING FACTORIES HERE. WE NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CREATING BUSINESSES IN IOWA THAT CAN GENERATE REVENUE THAT COMES FROM NOT JUST OUTSIDE OF IOWA BUT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES IN GENERAL. I'M NOT SURE THAT WE'VE QUITE YET ALIGNED THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT OR EVEN THE COMMUNITY FOR THAT CHANGE.

Mundt: YOU SAID -- WELL, YOU'VE SAID SEVERAL THINGS THAT ARE INTERESTING, BUT ONE I'M GOING TO PICK UP ON HERE. WE DON'T HAVE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT NECESSARILY PROMOTES RISK TAKING OR ENTREPRENEURIALISM IN IOWA. WHY IS THAT?

Sly: I THINK IT'S JUST PART OF OUR HERITAGE. I MEAN WE HAVEN'T -- I THINK IN THE PAST WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE CREATION OF THE STATE, WE FOCUSED VERY HEAVILY INITIALLY ON AGRICULTURE. WE'VE BEEN KIND OF SLOW TO TRANSFER FROM THAT. WE'VE ALSO FOCUSED HEAVILY ON MANUFACTURING. WE DO, BY THE WAY, HAVE A LOT OF, I THINK, TERRIFIC ENTREPRENEURIAL MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. YOU LOOK AT IDA GROVE, LIKE GOMACO AND MIDWEST INDUSTRIES, OR YOU GO TO A TOWN LIKE HUMBOLDT AND YOU SEE PEOPLE LIKE JET CO OR HOTSY OR BORN FREE, AND THERE'S HUNDREDS OF THEM THROUGHOUT THE STATE. SO WE DO HAVE SOME OF THAT GOING ON, BUT WE'RE STILL KIND OF STUCK A LITTLE BIT IN SOME OF THE OLD STYLE TYPES OF BUSINESSES. TECHNOLOGY HAS NOT BEEN OUR STRENGTH. IN FACT, WE'VE BEEN RANKED IN IOWA SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 42 AND 49 IN TERMS OF TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION. I THINK THAT'S THE REALITY OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN. THAT MAY BE SOME OF OUR STRONGEST COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES IS OUR ABILITY TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO GET OUR ECONOMY GOING.

Mundt: TECHNOLOGY IS KEY. SOME WOULD SAY IT'S NOT NECESSARILY. THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER THINGS THAT YOU COULD DO, ESPECIALLY IN A SOCIETY, IN A CULTURE THAT IS SOMEWHAT MORE AGRARIAN. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A NEED FOR FOOD. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A NEED FOR MANUFACTURING. AND TECHNOLOGY, OTHER PEOPLE CAN HANDLE THAT.

Sly: I DON'T KNOW IF I AGREE WITH THAT. IN A GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE, SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE BEEN DOING FOR, OTHER PEOPLE ARE GOING TO START DOING THE SAME WAY WE DID THEM. THAT'S GOING TO CREATE A LOT MORE COMPETITIVE PRESSURE. OUR WAY IN INNOVATION IS TO CREATE WAYS TO FARM, WAYS TO USE THE PRODUCTS THAT WE HAVE IN FARMING IN DIFFERENT WAYS, OR TO INVENT OTHER TECHNOLOGIES THAT KEEP US AHEAD. LET'S LOOK AT THE REALITY. WHEN YOU LOOK AT COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA AND CHINA, THEY HAVE OVER A BILLION PEOPLE EACH. INDIA HAD 1.3 BILLION PEOPLE. THEY'RE GRADUATING MORE ADVANCED DEGREED ENGINEERS IN SCIENTISTS, SCIENTISTS, MASTERS- AND Ph.D.-LEVEL PEOPLE, THAN WE ARE BY A SIGNIFICANT MARGIN, LIKE TEN TIMES. SO THESE PEOPLE NOT ONLY ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO COPY WHAT WE DID, MUCH LIKE THE JAPANESE DID TO OUR ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY OR EVEN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, BUT THEY'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO IT AND DO IT BETTER. UNLESS WE STAY AHEAD OF THAT GAME, WE EDUCATE MORE ADVANCED DEGREED PEOPLE, WE GENERATE MORE TECHNOLOGY-ORIENTED BUSINESSES SO THAT WE ARE INNOVATING AHEAD OF THEM, WE'RE GOING TO BE BEHIND THE GAME VERY QUICKLY.

Mundt: VIRGINIA JANISEK, YOU'RE A BANKER. YOU HAVE COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS AND ENTREPRENEURS WHO MUST APPROACH YOU AND HAVE IDEAS. CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW MANY DO THAT AND WHETHER YOU REALLY SEE A CLIMATE THAT IS CONDUCIVE TO ENTREPRENEURIALISM IN IOWA?

Janisek: WE COME FROM SIOUX CITY WHERE WE RUN INTO THE TRI-STATE REGION. WE RUN INTO WHERE NEBRASKA AND ESPECIALLY SOUTH DAKOTA HAVE SUCH NICE TAX STRUCTURES FOR BUSINESSES. SO IN TURN, THERE WE LOSE OUT A LOT IN SIOUX CITY TO THE DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES. BUT IN GROWTH, YES, THERE'S A LOT OF NEW START-UP BUSINESSES COMING. WE WERE JUST RECENTLY AFFECTED BY GATEWAY, THE LOSS OF JOBS. BUT NEW BUSINESSES ARE COMING AND THEY'RE WALKING IN OUR DOORS, ASKING US WHAT TO DO, AND WE'RE GETTING THEM STARTED.

Mundt: DAVID YEPSEN, YOU OBSERVED IOWA FOR A LONG TIME. DO YOU SEE THAT FROM ONE CORNER OF THE STATE TO ANOTHER THERE ARE DIFFERENT FEELINGS ABOUT RISKTAKING, ABOUT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, ABOUT THE NEED TO STAY AHEAD IN THIS PARTICULAR AREA?

Yepsen: I DO, TODD, AND I THINK YOU CAN SEE IT. IN THE GOING COMMUNITIES OF IOWA, YOU'LL SEE RISKTAKING. YOU'LL SEE BANKS THAT MAKE LOANS. IN THE DEAD TOWNS OF IOWA, YOU'LL SEE BANKS THAT THEY'VE GOT A LOUSY LOAN/DEPOSIT RATIO. WE'VE FOCUSED A LOT ON OUR PROBLEMS, BUT THERE'S A REASON WHY JERRY IS COMPLAINING ABOUT HIS PLAN NOT GETTING IMPLEMENTED. IT'S THE SAME REASON ALL THE OTHER PLANS HAVE NEVER BEEN IMPLEMENTED, AND THAT IS WE'RE TOO COMPLACENT. IOWA IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A FEW OF US, AND THIS IS A NICE PLACE TO LIVE. AND SO ANYBODY IN TOWN WHO STICKS UP THEIR HEAD AND WANTS TO MAKE CHANGE, SOMEBODY WILL TAKE IT OFF. WE'RE JUST VEXED BY THE NAYSAYERS IN THIS STATE WHO DON'T WANT TO CHANGE, WHO LIKE THE WAY THINGS ARE, AND AS A RESULT IT'S DARWINIAN, TODD. I MEAN YOU EITHER ADAPT OR YOU DIE. SO TOWNS AND COMMUNITIES AND REGIONS THAT ARE ADAPTING AND CHANGING, THEY'RE DOING FINE. AND THE ONES THAT AREN'T, THEY'RE DYING.

Mundt: SOM BACCAM, YOU HAVE BEEN IN IOWA SINCE YOU WERE ABOUT TEN OR ELEVEN YEARS OLD. YOU CAME FROM LAOS. CAN YOU SPEAK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE TAI DAM COMMUNITY IN IOWA AND ABOUT IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES IN GENERAL? THOSE OFTEN ARE THE COMMUNITIES WHERE WE SEE A GREAT SENSE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AND A SENSE OF RISKTAKING.

Baccam: WELL, I WANT TO SPEAK TO THAT. TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO WHEN WE FIRST CAME, THE OPPORTUNITY WAS VERY LIMITED TO THE MINORITY, ESPECIALLY THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN. BUT I THINK AS TIME HAS GONE BY, THE OPPORTUNITY IS INCREASING. AND ONE OF THE OBSTACLES THAT I HEAR A LOT FROM MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE TRYING TO GET INTO SMALL BUSINESSES IS LOANS THAT THEY CAN'T GET JUST BECAUSE THEY GET TURNED AWAY. THE PEOPLE DON'T FEEL THE SENSE OF BELONGING. THEY FEEL LIKE IF THEY'RE NOT WHITE OR THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION, THEN THEY'RE NOT BEING ACCEPTED OR GRANTED A LOAN JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. THEY FEEL THAT THE TREATMENT IS NOT AS FAIR. ONE EXAMPLE IS IOWA STATE FAIR. I KNOW IT'S A GREAT STATE FAIR. IT'S THE NUMBER ONE TOURIST ATTRACTION FOR THIS YEAR, IN "U.S.A. TODAY" THAT I READ A MONTH AGO. I'VE BEEN CONFRONTING SOME PEOPLE ASKING WHY DON'T YOU HAVE DIFFERENT MULTICULTURAL GROUPS' FOOD VENDORS, OR ANYTHING ELSE BESIDES CERTAIN FRIED FOODS, AND THEY JUST TOLD ME, WELL, THIS IS THE WAY WE'VE DONE THINGS FOR THE LAST 150 YEARS AND WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO SO. SO IT'S JUST THE RESPONSE LIKE THAT MAKES US AFRAID TO GET IN AND GET STARTED OR BRING OUR IDEAS TO YOU BECAUSE YOU FELT LIKE YOU JUST GET SHUT OUT WHEN YOU HAVE A REALLY GOOD IDEA THAT YOU THINK COULD BRIGHTEN THE STATE'S VISION.

Mundt: I WANT TO BRING OSCAR ARGUETA INTO THIS TOO BECAUSE I THINK IT WOULD BE A LOT EASIER IF YOU TOLD THE STORY OF IOWA THAT JUST INVOLVED A BUNCH OF WHITE PEOPLE LIVING HERE FOR MORE THAN 150 YEARS, BUT THAT IN FACT IS NOT THE CASE.

Argueta: NO, IT'S NOT THE CASE AND IT WON'T BE THE CASE ANYMORE. I AM HERE TONIGHT BECAUSE THE PEOPLE OF MT. PLEASANT HAD A VISION FOUR YEARS, FIVE YEARS AGO, TO ASK ME SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, BECAUSE YOU MIGHT HAVE A PLAN BUT IF YOU DON'T TALK AND YOU DON'T MEET, YOU DON'T GO ANYWHERE. SO THE LEADERS OF MT. PLEASANT ASKED ME WHAT THEY COULD DO TO MAKE YOU COME AND FEEL WELCOME, AND I ANSWERED THEM WITH SHORT ANSWERS, INFORMATION. I WILL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE TONIGHT OF WHAT HAPPENED IN MT. PLEASANT DURING MY FIRST DAYS IN MT. PLEASANT FIVE YEARS AGO. THE SUPERVALU STORE DID NOT HAVE BLACK BEANS. I WENT AND TOLD THEM I'M HERE, I EAT BLACK BEANS. THE HY-VEE DIDN'T HAVE BLACK BEANS. NOW THEY DO HAVE THAT. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MT. PLEASANT BECAUSE OF THE WELCOMING, BECAUSE OF THE GOODWILL AND SINCERITY, I HAVE INVITED FAMILIES FROM ALL OVER LATIN COUNTRIES TO COME TO IOWA, AND THEY'RE HAPPY IN MT. PLEASANT. HY-VEE AND SUPERVALU STORE ARE HAPPY MAKING MONEY, AND I'M HAPPY TOO. SO THAT'S THE REASON I'M HERE TONIGHT BECAUSE THEY HAVE A VISION AND THEY DID MORE THAN JUST HAVING THE VISION. THEY WERE NOT DREAMING THE AMERICAN DREAM. THEY WERE AWAKE, BECAUSE YOU DON'T ONLY DREAM, YOU ALSO NEED TO WAKE UP. SO NOW I PUBLISH A NEWSPAPER OF 12,000 ISSUES, AND I HAVE A RADIO SHOW, I HAVE A WELCOME MAT.

Mundt: THERE'S A WELCOME MAT BUT IS THE REST OF IOWA OFFERING A WELCOME MAT TO LATINOS WHO ARE COMING TO LIVE HERE?

Argueta: THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING. BECAUSE OF THE VISION OF THEM, I'M HERE TONIGHT. AND BECAUSE OF THE VISION AND WORK OF THE OTHER CITIES, IN THE NEAR FUTURE THEY WILL INVITE OTHER PEOPLE -- OTHER SPANISH SPEAKING PEOPLE BESIDES ME TO SPEAK TONIGHT.

Mundt: OKAY, ANOTHER QUESTION FOR YOU. AND I'M GOING TO GO AROUND TO OTHER PEOPLE AND ASK THIS TOO. I THINK THAT MANY OF US WHO HAVE LIVED IN IOWA FOR MANY YEARS, GENERATION AFTER GENERATION, HAVE KIND OF AN IDEA OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN IOWAN, WHAT THOSE CORE VALUES ARE OF AN IOWAN, BUT I WANT TO ASK YOU. IN YOUR FAMILY AMONG THE LATINO COMMUNITY, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN IOWAN?

Argueta: I BROUGHT EIGHT CHILDREN TO IOWA. NOW I HAVE NINE. IT MEANS THAT WE'RE SAFE HERE AND WE'RE HAPPY TO BE AMONG FRIENDLY PEOPLE. WE VALUE THE FREEDOM WE HAVE, AND WE CAN DO ALL WE CAN BE. AND THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN OFTEN IN OTHER PLACES. BUT I HAVE -- I FEEL HAPPY HERE AND I KNOW NO ONE IN MT. PLEASANT -- AND THIS IS RARE AND IT SEEMS UNIQUE OR RARE -- NO ONE IN MT. PLEASANT IS UNHAPPY OR SAD, BECAUSE THE WHOLE COMMUNITY IS WORKING -- BUSINESS LEADERS, POLITICIANS, AND RELIGIOUS MINISTERS, THEY'RE WORKING TOGETHER AND THAT'S AN EXAMPLE. AND THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TONIGHT.

Mundt: WHO ELSE? WHAT ARE SOME OTHER CORE VALUES THAT IOWANS SHARE?

Yepsen: COMMUNITY. YOU CAN SEE THIS AS YOU TRAVEL AROUND THE COUNTRY. WE CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER AND WE'RE FRIENDLY WITH PEOPLE. YOU GET IN THE MAJOR CITIES, THAT'S NOT TRUE -- AS TRUE. SO I THINK THAT'S ONE; IT'S A SENSE OF COMMUNITY. WHETHER YOU'RE FROM JEFFERSON, IOWA, OR WHETHER YOU'RE FROM IOWA, I MEAN, THERE'S A SENSE OF COMMUNITY. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MEET ANOTHER IOWAN: WHERE ARE YOU FROM; WHAT ARE YOU DOING; OH, I KNOW SO-AND-SO. SO I THINK, TO ME, THAT'S WHAT IT REALLY IS A LOT ABOUT. THERE'S A LOT OF GLUE IN THIS STATE THAT HOLDS PEOPLE TOGETHER. IT'S A REAL ASSET, TODD, BUT IT'S ALSO SOMETHING THAT CAN HOLD US BACK. AGAIN, GOING BACK TO THIS COMPLACENCY THING: IT'S GREAT; WE LOVE IT HERE; AND WE GET REAL SELF-SATISFIED; AND WE DO NOT, THEN, PUT OURSELVES IN A MIND TO MAKE SOME CHANGE, TO WELCOME IT. YOU KNOW, WE TALK ABOUT THIS DIVERSITY ISSUE. WE'VE HAD DIVERSITY PROBLEMS IN THIS STATE FOR A LONG TIME. HALF THE LUTHERAN CHURCHES IN THIS STATE WERE BUILT BECAUSE THE GERMAN LUTHERANS DIDN'T WANT TO WORSHIP WITH THE SWEDISH LUTHERANS. SO I MEAN WE'VE HAD THESE KIND OF DIVERSITY ISSUES IN OUR STATE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. WE'VE GOT TO GET BEYOND IT AND RECOGNIZE IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY, BE MORE WELCOMING SO THAT WE'RE BRINGING NOT ONLY PEOPLE OF COLOR BUT ALSO GAYS AND LESBIANS. THE WAY WE ACT AND REACT TOWARD PEOPLE WHO DON'T LOOK LIKE US I THINK IS A REAL IMPEDIMENT AT THIS POINT TO THAT COMMUNITY GOAL.

Mundt: JERRY?

Kelley: I THINK THAT I AGREE WITH DAVID THAT PEOPLE ARE USING COMMUNITY AS A WAY TO DIVIDE US INSTEAD OF A WAY TO BRING US TOGETHER. WE NEED A DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE. WE HAVE THE POLITICAL CLASS. I'M A MEMBER OF THE POLITICAL CLASS; I CAN SAY THIS. TERRY, YOU'RE THE ONLY OTHER POLITICAL CLASS UP HERE, SO YOU MAY BE ON THE LINE FOR THIS ONE.

Branstad: I'VE RETIRED FROM POLITICS.

Kelley: OH NO, IT'S STUCK TO YOU. BUT OUR POLITICAL CLASS USES THE COMMUNITY, RURAL COMMUNITY, URBAN COMMUNITY, DIVIDED: SMALL TOWN, LARGER TOWN; COUNTY SEAT TOWN, LITTLER TOWN DIVIDE. WE SPEND MOST OF OUR TIME IN IOWA ARGUING WHETHER THE GLASS IS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY. AND THE REALITY IS, THE GLASS IS THE WRONG SIZE. WE HAVE THE WRONG SIZE GOVERNMENT, THE WRONG SIZED EDUCATION SYSTEM, THE WRONG SIZE TAXING STRUCTURE. WE NEED TO STOP TALKING ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THIS LITTLE THING IS SIGNIFICANT AND START TALKING ABOUT THE BIG THINGS THAT ARE ACTUALLY SIGNIFICANT. DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE, WE'RE ALL IN IT TOGETHER. AND THOSE PARTISANS THAT KEEP US SEPARATE INTO LITTLE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE NOT JOINED DO US NO SERVICE.

Mundt: TERRY BRANSTAD, ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD ON THIS?

Branstad: WELL, I THINK HE MAKES A GOOD POINT, AND THAT IS THERE HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN BATTLES -- YOU CAN THINK BACK HISTORICALLY, THE FIGHTS OVER WHO GETS THE COURTHOUSE. SO IT GOES BACK A LONG WAYS. THERE IS THAT SORT OF, WELL, I'M INTERESTED IN MY COMMUNITY AND NOT THAT INTERESTED IN THE NEIGHBOR. BUT I THINK WHAT WE FIND TODAY, WE'RE SO INTERDEPENDENT. I'M COMMUTING FROM BOONE COUNTY TO SERVE AS THE PRESIDENT OF DES MOINES UNIVERSITY. WELL, IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME WHAT HAPPENS IN DOWNTOWN DES MOINES. IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT WHAT HAPPENS IN BOONE. I DRIVE THROUGH DALLAS COUNTY ON THE WAY TO GET HERE, WHICH IS THE FASTEST GROWING AREA IN OUR STATE. SO I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. I'VE SEEN SOME EXAMPLES LIKE WHAT CEDAR RAPIDS AND IOWA CITY AND THE AMANAS HAVE KIND OF DONE TOGETHER, WORKING AS A CORRIDOR THERE. AND WE'RE STARTING TO SEE SOME OF THAT IN CENTRAL IOWA TOO. THOSE THINGS ARE GOOD. I THINK THE MORE OF THAT KIND OF REGIONAL COOPERATION -- THE SIOUXLAND, YOU'RE DOING THAT WITH THREE STATES. IT'S A GREAT EXAMPLE. IT'S BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL. WE SEE THAT IN THE QUAD CITIES WITH ILLINOIS AND IOWA. AND SO WE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID TO REACH OUT BECAUSE WHAT I FOUND IN GOING TO VISIT PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING IN ILLINOIS, A LOT OF THEM WERE IOWANS, AND THEN I WENT TO THE BUSINESSES ON THE IOWA SIDE AND FOUND OUT THERE'S A LOT OF ILLINOIS PEOPLE WORKING HERE.

Mundt: WE HAVE -- WITH SOME COMMUNITIES SHRINKING AND SHRINKING AS PEOPLE MOVE TO LARGER CITIES, FOR INSTANCE HERE IN IOWA, I MEAN WE REALLY DO HAVE TO THINK OF COMMUNITIES, I THINK, IN A DIFFERENT WAY BECAUSE THE COMMUNITIES THEMSELVES ARE CHANGING. AND IN SOME CASES THE COMMUNITIES WON'T BE THERE TEN OR TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW, SOME OF THE SMALLER ONES.

Argueta: THE FEELINGS I RECEIVED FROM THIS GROUP AND BEING IN THE UNITED STATES IS YOU'VE BEEN HERE TOO LONG HAVING TOO MUCH, SO YOU COMPLAIN A LOT. [ LAUGHTER ] I COME FROM ANOTHER SITUATION. FOR ME, IOWA IS A FANTASY LAND. THE SCHOOLS ARE WONDERFUL. EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL. WITH THAT ATTITUDE IN MY MIND, I SEE NO BARRIERS. I SEE NOTHING TO STOP ME TO BE HAPPY AND TO MAKE IOWA HAPPY AND ADD TO THIS GREAT COUNTRY. BUT THAT'S THE PROBLEM I SEE, THAT YOU HAVE BEEN HAVING SO MUCH FOR SO LONG THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE NOT TO HAVE IT AND YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT THINGS THAT AREN'T IMPORTANT TO COMPLAIN.

Branstad: WE ALL NEED TO START THINKING LIKE IMMIGRANTS. THEY'RE THE PEOPLE THAT BUILT THIS STATE. THEY'RE THE ONES THAT BUILT THIS COUNTRY. AND I THINK DAVID IS RIGHT WHEN HE SAYS THERE'S TOO MUCH COMPLACENCY AND PEOPLE GET TO THE POINT, WELL, I KIND OF LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS SO I DON'T WANT TO SEE A NEW BUSINESS COME TO TOWN. IT MAY BRING, YOU KNOW, PROBLEMS. IT BRINGS OPPORTUNITIES. I LEARNED IN A TRIP TO CHINA, I THINK MY SECOND YEAR AS GOVERNOR, THAT THE CHINESE SYMBOL FOR DANGER AND OPPORTUNITY IS ONE IN THE SAME. AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT IT ON THE OPPORTUNITY SIDE.

Mundt: SOM BACCAM, YOU HAD YOUR HAND UP A MOMENT AGO.

Baccam: I WAS GOING TO SPEAK A LITTLE BIT TOWARDS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER SIDE HERE. FROM MY EXPERIENCE, YOU KNOW, THE UNITED STATES IS SUPPOSED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST PROSPEROUS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY THROUGHOUT THE NATION. AND ONE OF THE THINGS I NOTICED THAT I HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING, FOR INSTANCE, LOOK AT DES MOINES PUBLIC SCHOOL COMPARED TO WEST DES MOINES SCHOOL. AND I'D NEVER BEEN OUT TO THE WEST DES MOINES HIGH SCHOOL UNTIL WE HAD A CONVENTION A COUPLE MONTHS AGO AND I WAS OUT THERE. AND I TOOK A GREAT LOOK AND A LONG TIME TO JUST LOOK AROUND THE SCHOOL. I MEAN IT WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL, JUST GORGEOUS, JUST EVERYTHING. WHY CAN'T WE HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THAT IN DES MOINES? WHY IS THERE SUCH BIG DIFFERENCES FOR THE STATE OF IOWA FOR ONE COMMUNITY TO HAVE SO MUCH AND THEN ONE COMMUNITY TO HAVE SO LITTLE? WHY CAN'T IT BE DISTRIBUTED EVEN OUT? THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING. AND WHY CAN'T WE FIND A SYSTEM THAT IT CAN EVEN OUT FOR ALL THE COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

Mundt: DOES SOMEONE WANT TO TRY TO ADDRESS THAT? THAT'S A QUESTION WE'VE HAD IN IOWA FOR MANY YEARS, HOW SCHOOLS ARE FUNDED AND WHETHER THEY SHOULD BE EQUALIZED OR NOT. MAYOR KELLEY?

Kelley: YOU SAID SOMETHING A FEW MOMENTS AGO. WE STILL THINK OF COMMUNITY AS BEING HISTORIC POLITICAL BOUNDARIES, AND WE NEED TO START THINKING OF COMMUNITIES AS LIVING CENTERS, SERVICE DELIVERY CENTERS, AND EMPLOYMENT CENTERS. AND THEY ARE NOT BOUND BY POLITICAL BOUNDARIES. THEY ARE BOUND BY EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION. OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM REACHES OUT BEYOND THE CITY BOUNDARIES. IT GOES OUT AS FAR AS IT CAN EFFECTIVELY DELIVER A SERVICE. THE SAME THING NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN TERMS OF GOVERNMENTAL SERVICES AND OTHER THINGS THAT WE EXPECT GOVERNMENT TO DO FOR YOU.

Mundt: GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE, BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE SOME MAJOR CHANGES IN INDIANOLA. WHY DON'T YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF ONE.

Kelley: WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS, I MEAN JUST AN EXAMPLE OF ANYWHERE, BUT IF YOU BEGIN TO DELIVER SERVICES TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY NEED THEM, WHICH MEANS NOT ON YOUR TIME, NOT ON GOVERNMENT'S TIME, BUT ON THEIR TIME, MAKE THEM AVAILABLE ELECTRONICALLY -- EVERY TIME YOU ASK A CITIZEN TO COME TO CITY HALL ON THEIR TIME, YOU'VE TAXED THEM BECAUSE YOU'VE TAKEN AWARE PART OF THEIR PRODUCTIVE LIFE TO DO YOUR BUSINESS -- GOVERNMENT BUSINESS. HAVE IT SO THEY CAN DO IT ELECTRONICALLY. HAVE IT SO THEY CAN DO IT AT HOURS DIFFERENT THAN JUST GOVERNMENT HOURS. SIXTY-TWO PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE IN MY TOWN DON'T WORK IN MY TOWN. WHY SHOULD THEY HAVE TO GIVE UP THEIR DAY TO COME AND SERVE GOVERNMENT NEEDS. OTHER WAY AROUND: WE NEED TO SERVE THEIR NEEDS. BUT IF YOU DO IT ELECTRONICALLY, YOU ALSO REDUCE THE ADMINISTRATIVE COST. AND BY DOING IT THAT WAY, YOU REDUCE THE COST OF DELIVERING THAT GOVERNMENT SERVICE.

Mundt: DOES THAT MAKE CONSOLIDATION THEN POSSIBLE?

Kelley: CONSOLIDATION REALLY ISN'T THE WORD. HERE'S YOUR GOVERNMENT 101 LECTURE. GOVERNMENT HAS TWO PURPOSES. IT HAS A STRUCTURAL PURPOSE AND A RELATIONAL PURPOSE. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT STRUCTURAL THINGS. YOU'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT RELATIONAL THINGS. CONSOLIDATION: YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE AWAY MY SCHOOL MASCOT; YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE AWAY MY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT PATCH. THOSE ARE RELATIONAL. KEEP THEM. YOU ONLY NEED ONE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS IN A COUNTY. YOU DON'T NEED EIGHT. YOU CAN KEEP THE INTENDANT CENTERS, BUT YOU DON'T NEED EIGHT SUPERINTENDENTS. YOU DON'T NEED MULTIPLE CITY MANAGERS IN A COUNTY TO DELIVER ESSENTIALLY THE SAME SERVICE WITHIN A COUNTY. YOU DON'T NEED MULTIPLE STREET DEPARTMENTS IN A COUNTY. YOU CAN CHANGE THAT. THAT'S NOT CONSOLIDATION. THAT IS CHANGING THE ADMINISTRATIVE DELIVERY OF ESSENTIAL PUBLIC SERVICES.

Mundt: MICHAEL GARTNER, HOW DO WE SET UP AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM SO THAT WE CAN HELP PEOPLE IN COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OF COMMUNITIES UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE WAYS THAT THEY CAN WORK TOGETHER WITH OTHER COMMUNITIES AND NOT BRING UP THE WORD CONSOLIDATION?

Gartner: WELL, I THINK IT EXISTS. IT'S JUST, YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY UP HERE IS SO NEGATIVE EXCEPT FOR MY TWO FRIENDS ON EITHER SIDE OF ME, AND THAT'S JUST NOT THE WAY IT IS. I'VE SPENT THE LAST FOUR YEARS FULL TIME GOING AROUND IOWA, HANDING OUT MONEY, AND MAKING DEALS. I MADE 140 DEALS HANDING OUT GAMBLING MONEY. AND IT REALLY BOILS DOWN TO WHERE IS THE LEADERSHIP, WHERE ARE THE GOOD IDEAS. AND THE TOWNS THAT HAVE LEADERS HAVE GOOD IDEAS, AND IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE IF IT'S A BIG TOWN OR A LITTLE TOWN. IT'S MAKES NO DIFFERENCE IF IT'S IN THE SOUTHWEST POOR PART OF THE STATE OR THE NORTHEAST RICH PART OF THE STATE. IT BOILS DOWN TO PEOPLE AND LEADERSHIP, AND THERE'S PLENTY OF THOSE PEOPLE HERE. AND THE OTHER THING IS THIS STATE IS WEALTHY, YOU KNOW, DESPITE WHAT EVERYBODY SAYS. THERE'S ALL KINDS OF MONEY IN THIS STATE THAT'S AVAILABLE. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT THE STRUCTURAL CHANGES LIKE THE MAYOR IS OR LIKE THE GOVERNOR IS AND, SURE, YOU HAVE TO HAVE THOSE AND MAYBE YOU DO IT ALL AT ONCE OR MAYBE YOU CREEP INTO CONSOLIDATION, BUT IT REALLY DOESN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. IT REALLY COMES DOWN TO WHERE ARE THE IDEAS, WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE, HOW DO YOU IMPLEMENT THEM, AND A LOT OF TOWNS ARE DOING IT. I WAS IN DAVENPORT YESTERDAY AFTERNOON AND DUBUQUE LAST NIGHT, AND THEY'RE DOING SPECTACULAR THINGS. SHENANDOAH DOES SPECTACULAR THINGS. MASON CITY -- AND SOME TOWNS DON'T. IT'S JUST BECAUSE THERE'S NO LEADERS THERE, AND THEY'LL DRY UP AND DIE, NOT BECAUSE OF NATURAL RESOURCES, NOT BECAUSE OF LOCATION, NOT BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE A RIVER, BUT BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE ANY LEADERS.

Mundt: BARBARA?

Mack: I WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT SOM SAID ABOUT VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL. I TEACH AT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, AND SO I GET TO SEE STUDENTS WHO HAVE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOLS ALL OVER THIS STATE. AND WHILE I AGREE WITH YOUR POINT ABOUT THE NEED FOR AN EQUITABLE FUNDING FOR OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM, I'LL TELL YOU I SEE 500 KIDS A SEMESTER FROM MY CLASSES AND I'M PRIVILEGED TO WORK IN SMALL GROUPS OF 17, WITH MANY OF THEM IN MY WRITING CLASSES. THE SIZE OF THE HIGH SCHOOL AND THE WEALTH OF THE HIGH SCHOOL DOESN'T SAY SQUAT ABOUT HOW EXCITED THOSE STUDENTS ARE ABOUT LEARNING, HOW EAGER THOSE STUDENTS ARE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS, HOW RESPONSIBLE THEY ARE. WHAT REALLY COUNTS IS -- I'VE NOW LOOKED AT THIS FOR FIFTEEN YEARS -- IS THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATION THEY GOT IN HIGH SCHOOL DEPENDS ON THE QUALITY OF THEIR TEACHERS AND THE QUALITY OF THEIR PARENTS.

Baccam: EXACTLY.

Mack: I'VE SEEN KIDS COME OUT OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHERE THEIR GRADUATING CLASS WAS 19, AND THEY ARE EAGER AND EXCITED AND FOCUSED. AND THEY MAY HAVE HAD THEIR SCHOOL IN A MOBILE HOME, IN A TRAILER OUT BACK, BUT THEY'RE EXCITED ABOUT THE LEARNING PROCESS BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY AT LARGE HAVE SAID THIS IS IMPORTANT AND YOU'RE GOING TO GO THROUGH SCHOOL AND YOU'RE GOING TO DO WELL AND YOU'RE GOING TO GO TO COLLEGE AND YOU'RE GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL. IT'S THE SWIFT KICK IN THE REAR END AND THE REAL COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION THAT WORKS.

Mundt: MICHAEL?

Gartner: IF YOU WANT TO MAKE STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN THE STATE, THE SINGLE, GREATEST STRUCTURAL CHANGE YOU COULD MAKE WOULD BE TO GO TO AN ELEVEN-MONTH SCHOOL YEAR.

Mundt: A STAGGERED SCHOOL YEAR?

Gartner: NO, NO.

Mundt: ELEVEN MONTHS.

Gartner: ELEVEN MONTHS. AND MAKE IT AS LONG AS THE SCHOOL YEARS IN MOST COUNTRIES IN EUROPE. AND IF YOU WANT TO ATTRACT INDUSTRY, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SAY TO THE GUY WHO OWNS THE COMPANY IS, BY THE TIME YOUR KIDS GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL, THEY'LL BE ONE YEAR SMARTER THAN IF YOU'D GONE TO ILLINOIS OR GONE TO OHIO OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IT WOULD BE A GREAT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. IT WOULD BE GREAT FOR EDUCATION. IT WOULD BE GREAT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, AND YOU'D BE PRODUCING KIDS WHO ARE REALLY, REALLY SMART AND COULD GO ON AND BE LEADERS AND, ULTIMATELY, THEY WOULD BE BUILDING IOWA TOO. BUT YOU CAN'T DO THAT BECAUSE THE TOURIST INDUSTRY IS AGAINST IT, THE TEACHERS ARE AGAINST IT.

Mundt: WELL, OSCAR, YOU HAVE NINE CHILDREN. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT SENDING THEM TO SCHOOL FOR ELEVEN MONTHS?

Gartner: HE'D LIKE IT. ANYBODY WITH NINE KIDS -- [ LAUGHTER ]

Argueta: I DON'T BELIEVE THAT WAY. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THEY SHOULD BE AT HOME AND PARENTS CAN ALSO BE CREATIVE AND TEACH THEM AT HOME. SCHOOL IS NOT -- IN THE BEGINNING THERE WERE NO SCHOOLS. THERE WAS A FAMILY. BUT TODAY -- NOWADAYS WE HAVE GIVEN THE SCHOOLS TOO MUCH POWER AND WE THINK THEY ARE THE ONES THAT SHOULD EDUCATE OUR FAMILIES. BUT WE -- IN OUR COUNTRIES, WE EDUCATE OUR FAMILIES AND THEN THE SCHOOL COMPLEMENTS THEIR EDUCATION. SO THE LESS THEY CAN GO TO SCHOOL, THE BEST. AND THE REST IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO IT AT HOME.

Gartner: FIRST OF ALL, LOOK AT WHAT -- YOU SAY AT HOME THE AVERAGE -- WHAT'S A FAMILY THESE DAYS? YOU KNOW, A FAMILY ISN'T A MOM AND DAD AND KIDS. A FAMILY IN THIS STATE MIGHT JUST AS WELL BE A SINGLE PARENT OR SOMEBODY ON WELFARE, SOMEBODY -- YOU LOOK AT STORY COUNTY, FOR INSTANCE, AND THE NUMBER OF KIDS WHO ARE ON THE SCHOOL PROGRAM AND SUBSIDIZED. THEY GET NOT ONLY AN EDUCATION AT SCHOOL, THEY GET THEIR FOOD AT SCHOOL. SCHOOL HAS REPLACED THE FAMILY. IT WOULD BE IDEAL IF EVERY FAMILY WAS LIKE YOUR FAMILY, BUT THAT'S ISN'T THE WAY IT IS.

Argueta: BUT WE STILL SHOULD BELIEVE IT THAT WAY BECAUSE THE OTHER WAY WON'T MAKE IOWA GREAT.

Mundt: BUT FOR THOSE CHILDREN WHO GROW UP IN A ONE-PARENT HOUSEHOLD WHERE THAT OTHER PARENT IS SO BUSY THAT THAT PARENT CAN'T BE THERE WITH THEM OR GROW UP IN ABUSIVE SITUATIONS, THEY DON'T HAVE THE STRONG FAMILY STRUCTURE THAT EXISTS.

Branstad: I THINK YOU NEED TO HAVE CHOICES, BUT I THINK THE POINT HE'S MAKING -- WE MADE A COMBINATION SEVERAL YEARS AGO WITH HOME SCHOOLERS. AND IF YOU'VE WATCHED THE SPELLING BEES RECENTLY, A LOT OF THE HOME-SCHOOL KIDS DO REALLY WELL. IF YOU'VE GOT MOTIVATED PARENTS THAT ARE THERE ENCOURAGING THEM -- MY DAUGHTER IS TEACHING FIRST GRADE IN CALIFORNIA IN PRIMARILY A LATINO AREA. THE REAL -- AND THESE KIDS ARE COMING FROM A DIFFICULT ECONOMIC SITUATION, BUT IF THEY HAVE MOTIVATED PARENTS THAT ARE ENCOURAGING AND SUPPORTING THEM, THEY'RE DOING GREAT. IF THEY'RE NOT GETTING THAT SUPPORT AND HELP AT HOME -- AND MY DAUGHTER IS TEACHING FIRST GRADE AND SHE'S VERY DEDICATED, BUT EVEN WITH A DEDICATED FIRST GRADE TEACHER, IF YOU'RE NOT GETTING THAT REINFORCEMENT AND SUPPORT AT HOME, IT'S TOUGH. AND THAT'S ONE OF THE REAL CHALLENGES.

Mundt: VIRGINIA, YOU'VE BEEN NODDING YOUR HEAD. DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD?

Janisek: WELL, WHAT WE'RE FOCUSED ON -- I'M PART OF A SIOUX CITY GROWTH INFORMATION. ONE THING WE FOCUS ON IS TRYING TO TAKE THOSE STUDENTS WHEN THEY GRADUATE AND MAKE THEM LEADERS. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT HAVING LEADERS IN THE COMMUNITY. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU'RE A SENIOR IN COLLEGE, YOU'RE INVOLVED IN SCHOOL AND THEN HAVE YOU SPORTS AND THEN YOU'RE WORKING AND GOING OUT WITH YOUR FRIENDS. YOU GRADUATE, WHAT DO YOU DO? YOU WORK, YOU GO HOME. DO WE HAVE IN IOWA, IN THE DIFFERENT TOWNS, DO WE HAVE A PLACE FOR THOSE STUDENTS THAT ARE GRADUATING KNOW WHERE TO GO TO GET INVOLVED TO BECOME LEADERS? I MEAN I GRADUATED. WHAT DID I DO? I SAT AT HOME. YOU KNOW, ONE THING THAT WE'VE DONE IS COME UP WITH THE SIOUX CITY GROWTH ORGANIZATION AND TRY TO TAKE THOSE STUDENTS THAT ARE GRADUATING AND BECOME LEADERS, BECAUSE SOME FRESH IDEAS, SOME NEW IDEAS CAN COME RIGHT FROM YOUR YOUNG ADULTS THAT ARE BECOMING PROFESSIONALS IN YOUR AREA. AND I'M ALSO SEEING A CHANGE WITH THE PROFESSIONALS THAT ARE TAKING PROFESSIONAL JOBS. WE'RE BECOMING MORE OF A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT INSTEAD OF MORE OF AN AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT.

Yepsen: TODD, I AGREE -- I AGREE WITH MIKE GARTNER THAT --

Gartner: I'M RECONSIDERING MY POSITION. [ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: WE'RE BEING AWFULLY NEGATIVE UP HERE. SINCE I'M IN THE MEDIA, I CAN GET AWAY WITH THAT. I'M PAID TO DO THAT. I THINK YOU DO HAVE TO FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS. I THINK FIRST OF ALL, EVERY INSTITUTION IN IOWA SOCIETY AND EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THEY'RE DOING AND WHERE THEY WANT TO BE IN THE FUTURE. I MEAN A STRATEGIC PLAN ISN'T JUST SOMETHING YOU CREATE. IT'S SOMETHING YOU KEEP WORKING AT ALL THE TIME. I CAN GO THROUGH EVERY INSTITUTION IN IOWA, INCLUDING THE MEDIA, AND I CAN POINT OUT TO YOU WHAT'S WRONG, WHAT'S RIGHT, AND MAYBE SOME THINGS WE OUGHT TO DO DIFFERENTLY. BUT MY POINT HERE IS I THINK IN SCHOOLS, IN GOVERNMENT, WE HAVE TO LOOK AND SAY WHAT DO WE DO DIFFERENTLY, HOW DO WE PLAN FOR A BETTER FUTURE. I THINK IT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO PAY FOR RESULTS RATHER THAN PROCESS. I THINK AN ELEVEN-MONTH SCHOOL YEAR SOUNDS GREAT, BUT IT MIGHT NOT WORK FOR EVERYBODY, SO LET'S PAY FOR RESULTS THAT SHOW UP IN TEST SCORES AND THEN SAY TO THE SCHOOLS, "YOU TAKE IT FROM THERE. WE'RE NOT GOING TO MICROMANAGE YOU HERE FROM DES MOINES." AND MY SECOND POINT, TODD, IS I THINK WE FOCUS TOO MUCH ON GOVERNMENT. YOU KNOW, IOWA'S ECONOMY IS ABOUT A $90-BILLION ENGINE. GOVERNMENT IN IOWA -- THE STATE BUDGET IS RIGHT AROUND $5 BILLION. SO, FRANKLY, GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS ARE BIT PLAYERS IN THIS. AND WE HAVE SORT OF THIS NEW-DEAL ETHIC THAT SAYS, OH, WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM, LET'S LOOK FOR A GOVERNMENT SOLUTION. THIS GUY ON THE END WHO'S THE ENTREPRENEUR, THAT'S WHERE THE SOLUTIONS LIE FOR IOWA'S FUTURE.

Sly: I COULDN'T AGREE MORE. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, WE TALKED ABOUT, AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS PROGRAM, HOW GREAT IOWANS ARE. AND WE ARE GREAT. I MEAN LET'S FACE IT. WE MAY BE A LITTLE BIT BIASED, BUT WE ARE. SO THE FACT IS THIS STATE ISN'T ABOUT RAISING OUR CHILDREN. WE IOWANS, WE RAISE OUR CHILDREN. THE STATE IS TO PROVIDE FAIRNESS, EQUITY, AND A BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE FOR US TO LIVE THE LIVES THE WAY WE WANT TO LIVE THEM. SO WE'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR RAISING OUR KIDS, FOR EDUCATING OUR KIDS. WE'RE ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR SAVING OUR COMMUNITIES IF WE WANT TO SAVE THEM, IF THEY'RE WORTH SAVING. WE'RE NOT OUT HERE TO SAY, "OH, THIS TOWN IS NOT DOING WELL. LET'S PUMP A LOT OF MONEY INTO IT." THAT'S NOT WHAT IT'S ABOUT. SOME TOWNS ARE GOING TO DIE. SOME TOWNS HAVE ALWAYS DIED. IN THE '20S TOWNS DIED, RIGHT? IN THE '10S, IN THE '30S, IN THE '40S. THEY'RE GOING TO DIE AGAIN. OTHER TOWNS ARE GOING TO BE CREATED OUT OF NOTHING AND GROW AMAZINGLY. LOOK AT ANKENY IN THE LAST TWENTY, TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. I MEAN A HUGE GROWTH. AND THAT GROWTH -- AND I THINK WE'VE TALKED ABOUT IT -- ISN'T ALL JUST HAPPENING IN ONE OR TWO OR THREE AREAS. THERE'S A NUMBER OF COMMUNITIES, TWO I MENTIONED, IDA GROVE AND HUMBOLDT, WHO HAVE DONE VERY, VERY WELL. AND THEY'RE NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF ANY KEY CENTER. IT'S BECAUSE THE PEOPLE IN THAT COMMUNITY TOOK RESPONSIBILITY, THEY CREATED BUSINESSES, THEY CREATED JOBS, THEY CREATED A SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT WHERE PEOPLE WANTED TO LIVE, EXCELLENT COMMUNITIES, AND THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF COMMUNITIES THAT ARE GOING TO FLOURISH GOING FORWARD.

Gartner: IF YOU GUYS ARE AGAINST GOVERNMENT'S ROLE, AS YOU APPEAR TO BE, THEN ARE YOU AGAINST THE IOWA VALUES FUND?

Yepsen: THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE, MIKE.

Gartner: ARE YOU AGAINST IT, DAVID?

Yepsen: NO, I'M NOT. I'M FOR IT BUT I'M TRYING TO EXPLAIN THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE THAT DON'T THINK IT'S AN APPROPRIATE ROLE FOR GOVERNMENT TO BE PICKING WINNERS AND LOSERS. IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR GOVERNMENT TO GIVE A HUGE SUBSIDY TO WELLS FARGO BANK? THEY'RE NOT EXACTLY IN POVERTY. I'D LIKE TO SEE GOVERNMENT, IF YOU WANT TO HAVE GOVERNMENT DO SOMETHING, GO OUT AND CREATE 900 JOBS IN EVERY LITTLE TOWN IN IOWA, OFFSET WHAT HAPPENED IN MAYTAG TODAY, AND THEN I THINK YOU GET SOMETHING GOING. SO IT'S ISN'T JUST A ROLE OF WHAT GOVERNMENT DOES, IT IS A ROLE OF WHAT THE PRIVATE SECTOR DOES, AND IT'S A ROLE OF HOW GOVERNMENT GOES ABOUT THIS.

Gartner: WELL, I GET THE IMPRESSION YOU THINK GOVERNMENT IS OKAY IF IT'S GOING TO HELP BUSINESS, BUT NOT IF IT'S GOING TO HELP THE POOR AND THE NEEDY.

Yepsen: I THINK GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN AN IMPEDIMENT TO A LOT OF BUSINESS IN THIS STATE, MIKE.

Gartner: HOW SO?

Yepsen: JUST GO ASK BUSINESS. TAX POLICY... YOU'VE GOT THE 14TH HIGHEST COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAX RATES IN THE COUNTRY. YOU KNOW THAT. YOU'VE WRITTEN A LOT OF PROPERTY TAXES. THE LITIGATION CLIMATE. SO I THINK GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE IN SAYING ARE WE HELPING OR ARE WE HURTING AND THEN HOW ARE WE HELPING. IF YOU WANT TO HAND OUT BIG CHECKS TO WELLS FARGO, THAT'S FINE. I GUESS I'M FOR THAT, BUT I'D ALSO LIKE TO SEE SOMEBODY GOING OUT TO MAIN STREET IN JEFFERSON, IOWA, AND CREATE A COUPLE JOBS IN A NEW WELDING SHOP.

Sly: I'D LIKE TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE VALUES FUND AND SOME OF THOSE OTHER TYPES OF FUNDS. I MEAN WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING -- AND I THINK THE VALUES FUND IS DOING IT, AND I APPLAUD THE IDED FOR A LOT OF THE THINGS THAT THEY'RE DOING. THEY'RE TRYING TO FACILITATE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL ENVIRONMENT. -- JOHN PAPPAJOHN WAS DOING THIS AS WELL; I THINK HE WAS ON THE PROGRAM A FEW DAYS AGO -- WHERE WE CAN TAKE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, OUR ENTREPRENEURIAL PEOPLE, AND CAN GIVE THEM THAT INFRASTRUCTURE SO THAT THEY CAN SUCCEED. AND I THINK THE CREATION OF THE RESEARCH PARK IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE AT IOWA STATE, JUST ONE EXAMPLE, NOT THE ONLY ONE. BUT HERE'S A PROGRAM THAT THE STATE PUT MONEY IN TO BEGIN WITH ABOUT TEN, FIFTEEN YEARS AGO IN AMES, THIS PARK THAT HAD NO ONE AT IT. IT WAS A CORNFIELD TEN YEARS AGO. IT HAS 1,000 EMPLOYEES, 37 MILLION IN ANNUAL PAYROLL THAT PAYS AROUND 3.5 MILLION A YEAR IN TAXES. NOW, THAT'S MORE THAN THE STATE PUT IN. SO THE STATE IS INVESTING IN IOWA, AND WE NEED TO DO MORE OF THAT. LOOK AT IPERS. HERE WE'VE GOT ALL THIS MONEY GOING TO INVESTMENT THAT'S NOT COMING BACK INTO THE STATE FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL EFFORTS.

Gartner: I DON'T DISAGREE WITH YOU THAT THE STATE SHOULD INVEST IN IOWA, BUT THE STATE SHOULD ALSO INVEST IN THOSE PEOPLE WHO AREN'T ABLE TO START UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS BECAUSE OF --

Sly: I AGREE.

Gartner: -- BECAUSE OF VARIOUS SOCIAL CONDITIONS, BECAUSE OF LACK OF EDUCATION, BECAUSE OF TERRIFIC MEDICAL PROBLEMS, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. AND I THINK YOU HAVE TO DO THAT TOO, AND SO I DON'T THINK YOU CAN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT --

Sly: BUT THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INVESTMENT FOR THE SAKE OF ACTUALLY MAKING MORE MONEY DOWN THE ROAD -- AND THE STATE CAN INVEST FOR THAT BEING THE SOLE PURPOSE -- AND A SOCIAL NET, GIVING PEOPLE MONEY BECAUSE THEY'RE NEEDY OR BECAUSE THEY'RE DISADVANTAGED. THOSE ARE TWO DIFFERENT SITUATIONS BECAUSE --

Gartner: BUT DON'T YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO DO BOTH?

Sly: I'M NOT SAYING YOU DON'T, BUT YOU'VE JUST GOT TO TEMPER IT.

Branstad: IT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEACHING THEM TO FISH AS OPPOSED TO FEEDING THEM FISH. AND I THINK WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS IF WE CAN TEACH PEOPLE TO FISH SO WE HELP PEOPLE, GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO BE ABLE TO HELP THEMSELVES -- I THINK WE HAVE TO DO THE SAFETY NET TOO, BUT I THINK THE BIG PROBLEM IS IF THAT'S ALL WE DO IS WE'RE SO FOCUSED ON GOVERNMENT PROVIDING ALL THESE SERVICES THAT OUR TAX STRUCTURE AND OUR BUSINESS CLIMATE IS SO UNCOMPETITIVE, IT MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT, BECAUSE WE ARE IN A WORLD ECONOMY AND THE ENTREPRENEURIAL DECISION-MAKER IS GOING TO CHOOSE TO LOCATE WHERE THEY FEEL WELCOME AND WHERE THEY FEEL THEY CAN SUCCEED IN THEIR BUSINESS.

Gartner: OR WHERE THEY FEEL THEIR CHILDREN WILL GET A GOOD EDUCATION, OR WHERE THEY FEEL THAT THEIR AGING MOTHER WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO THEM, OR WHERE THEY FEEL THERE ARE GREAT SOCIAL SERVICES, OR WHERE THEY FEEL THERE'S GOOD TRAILS AND LAKES AND RIVERS, OR WHERE THEY FEEL THAT THERE'S GREAT ARENAS. I MEAN YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE THE WHOLE THING. IT CAN'T JUST BE PRO BUSINESSES, YOU KNOW. IT CAN'T JUST BE WORRYING ABOUT HIGH TAXES OR WORRYING ABOUT SUBSIDIES TO BUSINESSES.

Yepsen: YEAH, BUT IT CAN'T BE ANTIBUSINESS EITHER, MIKE.

Gartner: DO YOU THINK IOWA IS ANTIBUSINESS, DAVID?

Yepsen: I THINK IN A LOT OF WAYS IT IS. YOU JUST HAVE TO GO ASK THEM. BUT I WOULDN'T QUARREL WITH MUCH OF WHAT YOU SAID. I JUST SAY WE'VE GOT TO ALWAYS BE MINDFUL THAT GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE, BUT IT SHOULD NOT GET IN THE WAY OF BUSINESS AND PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DO THINGS.

Sly: ALSO, DON'T FORGET THAT SOME OF THOSE SAFETY NETS WE TALK ABOUT ARE PROVIDED BY BUSINESSES. I MEAN THERE'S A LOT OF WORK THAT IOWA BUSINESSES, BOTH THE BIG ONES AND THE SMALL ONES IN THE SMALL COMMUNITIES, ARE DOING TO HELP THEIR COMMUNITY. THEY'RE PUTTING TOGETHER PARKS AND THEY'RE SPONSORING ALL KINDS OF EVENTS THAT HELP THOSE COMMUNITIES. SO HELPING BUSINESS ISN'T NOT HELPING THE SAFETY NET, ESPECIALLY IF BUSINESSES PARTICIPATE AND THEIR EMPLOYEES.

Mack: I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THIS STATE, YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE HISTORY OF TERRIFIC ENTREPRENEURS. YOU'RE LOOKING AT ROCKWELL COLLINS OR YOU'RE LOOKING AT MAYTAG WHO SAID, "YOU KNOW, I BET AN AGITATOR WOULD WORK," AND INVENTED IT.

Yepsen: ON TELEVISION?

Mack: PARDON?

Yepsen: ON TELEVISION?

Mack: ON TELEVISION... AND THEY'D BE REAL DEPENDABLE. BUT YOU ALSO SEE BUSINESSES HERE. THE SMART BUSINESSES IN THIS STATE I THINK ARE DOING A VERY SOLID JOB OF GROWING THEIR OWN PEOPLE AND IN SAYING, OKAY, WE'RE HERE, WE'RE COMMITTED, WE'RE SMART, WE WANT TO BE HERE, AND WE ARE GOING TO INVEST. AND THAT'S NOT ONLY INVESTING IN THE COMMUNITY, BUT SOMEBODY LIKE PELLA CORPORATION -- I WAS DOWN THERE AND LOOKED AT THEIR -- SPOKE TO THEIR INTERNSHIP CLASS. THEY BRING PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE NATION TO PELLA TO WORK IN ENGINEERING POSITIONS. AND I TALKED TO SOMEBODY FROM STANFORD AND I SAID, "HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FEEL ABOUT COMING TO PELLA, IOWA?" THIS WAS A YOUNG WOMAN OF VIETNAMESE DESCENT, AND SHE SAID, "GREAT, IT'S A GREAT JOB. IT'S A WONDERFUL COMMUNITY. I'M HAVING A GOOD TIME HERE." AND I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THIS STUFF ABOUT PELLA SAYING IF YOU AIN'T DUTCH, YOU AIN'T MUCH, HA, NOT A BIT OF IT.

Branstad: PELLA IS NOT JUST IN PELLA ANYMORE. THEY'RE ALSO -- THEY'RE IN THIS NORWEGIAN TOWN OF STORY CITY UP HERE. THEY'RE ALSO IN SHENANDOAH AND CARROLL, AND THEY BOUGHT A PLANT IN CLEAR LAKE. AND THEY'RE ALSO IN SIOUX CENTER. SO THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF AN IOWA COMPANY THAT'S KIND OF GROWN THEIR OWN. THE IOWA ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS INDUSTRY, SEVERAL YEARS AGO, STARTED THIS LEADERSHIP IOWA PROGRAM FOR YOUNG UP-AND-COMING TALENTED PEOPLE. AND MANY OF THE COMMUNITY CHAMBERS -- I THINK YOU DO THAT IN SIOUX CITY. CEDAR RAPIDS DOES THAT. THOSE ARE GREAT PROGRAMS BECAUSE IT'S THE NETWORKING THAT THEY GET FROM WORKING WITH OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE THAT ARE INTERESTED IN BUSINESS, AS WELL AS WHAT THEY LEARN FROM THE PRESENTERS.

Mundt: OSCAR?

Argueta: I CAME TO IOWA HOPING TO LEAD A QUIET LIFE.

Gartner: AND HERE YOU ARE. [ LAUGHTER ]

Argueta: BEING A FACTORY WORKER AND GO TO MY FAMILY AT THREE O'CLOCK SHARP AND THE MACHINES BACK IN THE FACTORY. I'M NOT A BUSINESSMAN. I AM ONE NOW BUT I WASN'T FIVE YEARS AGO. BUT NOW I SUPPORT THE FAMILY FROM A BUSINESS THAT NEVER EXISTED BEFORE THAT NO ONE HAD THE IDEA THAT CAN BE A BUSINESS, A NEWSPAPER THAT GROWS DAILY. I DON'T SELL ADS ANYMORE. PEOPLE ARE BUYING THE ADS FROM ME. SO THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD BUSINESS. IT CAME FROM WHAT DID NOT EXIST. SO I'M HERE A BUSINESSMAN, AND MY FAMILY IN MY COUNTRY DON'T BELIEVE THAT, BECAUSE I WAS A VERY -- I'VE BEEN A SHY PERSON, A VERY ROMANTIC PERSON ALL MY LIFE, WRITING POEMS AND WRITING STORIES, NOT MANAGING MONEY. BUT NOW I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT MUCH MONEY.

Mack: ASK MIKE, HE'LL TELL YOU.

Branstad: YOU HIRE AN ACCOUNTANT. HIRE AN ACCOUNTANT TO HELP YOU.

Kelley: YOU STARTED THIS DISCUSSION ASKING IOWA VALUES, AND MOST OF THE PEOPLE UP HERE SAID COMMUNITY. FOR THE LAST TEN MINUTES WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT -- MICHAEL'S BEEN TALKING ABOUT COMMUNITY IN TERMS OF WE CARE ABOUT THE LEAST AMONG US, AND WE'RE GETTING INTO THIS DISCUSSION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE LEAST AMONG US SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY GOVERNMENT OR BY BUSINESS OR WHATEVER. IT'S A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW WE FRACTURE WITH THE WORD COMMUNITY. HOWEVER, DAVID, SEEING AS HOW THE LEAD ARTICLE IN THE REGISTER TODAY WAS THE GOVERNMENT LAYS OFF 300 WORKERS OR 400 -- I CAN'T REMEMBER WHICH; 300 IN RETIREMENT AND ANOTHER 100 -- WE FOCUS ON GOVERNMENT IN THIS STATE AS THOUGH IT WAS THIS LIVING, BREATHING THING THAT EXISTS IN EVERY PART OF OUR LIFE. MOST OF THE PEOPLE UP HERE SAY, NO, THAT'S NOT TRUE, BUT WE STILL FOCUS ON IT LIKE IT IS. AND THE THING IS --

Mundt: ISN'T THE CASE THAT WE HAVE A HERITAGE IN IOWA IN WHICH A NUMBER OF THE CULTURES COMING TO IOWA FROM, FOR INSTANCE, NORTHERN EUROPE HAD A DIFFERENT KIND OF VIEW OF GOVERNMENT THAT WAS MUCH MORE A PART OF THEIR LIVES?

Kelley: WELL, THAT'S TRUE. BUT ONE OF THE THEMES OF THIS PARTICULAR PANEL IS "IMAGINE IOWA," NOT TALK ABOUT IOWA PAST BUT IMAGINE WHAT IOWA MIGHT BECOME, SHOULD BECOME. AND I WOULD SUGGEST TO YOU THAT IF YOU ASK MOST BUSINESS MODELS WHY DO YOU LOCATE SOMEWHERE -- NUMBER ONE, SKILLED AVAILABLE WORK FORCE. EDUCATION, THE THING THAT MICHAEL WAS TALKING ABOUT. NUMBER TWO IS QUALITY OF LIFE; WHAT DO WE DO IN TERMS OF HOW DO YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE. NUMBER SEVEN IS TAXES. WE TALK ABOUT TAXES AS THOUGH IT WAS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE IN IOWA, AND IT'S NOT. HOWEVER, WE HAVE TO GENERATE ENOUGH TAXES TO PAY FOR A SKILLED AVAILABLE WORK FORCE AND QUALITY-OF-LIFE ISSUES. AND WE HAVE A REAL SIMPLE MATH PROBLEM IN IOWA, WHICH IS ONE OF THE ANCHORS THAT KEEPS US FROM CHANGING. TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT OF THE BUSINESSES IN IOWA ARE THIRTY YEARS OLD OR OLDER, THE SECOND HIGHEST PERCENT IN THE UNITED STATES. THEY ARE THIN-MARGIN BUSINESSES. THEY CARE ABOUT TWO THINGS: COST OF LABOR, COMPETITION FOR THE SKILLED AVAILABLE WORK FORCE, WHICH WE HAVE A DECLINING NUMBER; AND TAXES. SO THE TWO THINGS THAT WE MUST HAVE ARE TWO THINGS THAT THOSE STABLE BUSINESSES ARE REAL UNEASY WHEN WE START TALKING ABOUT WE WANT TO BRING IN MORE BUSINESSES. ARE THEY GOING TO USE WELDERS? ARE THEY GOING TO USE SHEET METAL FABRICATORS? ARE THEY GOING TO COMPETE FOR OUR DIMINISHED LABOR FORCE? WE WANT TO SPEND MONEY ON BIKE TRAILS. YOU WANT TO SPEND MY TAXES ON QUALITY-OF-LIFE ISSUES SO YOU CAN ATTRACT MORE PEOPLE? SO WE HAVE THIS PROBLEM THAT EXISTS THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET AROUND, OTHERWISE THE FUTURE THAT WE IMAGINE IS GOING TO BE ANCHORED BY A PAST THAT WE CAN'T CHANGE.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT A GREAT GOVERNMENT FOR THE 19TH CENTURY, TODD. THAT'S WHEN MOST OF IT WAS CREATED. WE CAN SIT UP HERE AND SAY GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE, AND I AGREE WITH THAT. BUT I'M NOT SURE WE NEED 99 COUNTY RECORDERS IN IOWA. I'D LIKE TO HIRE 99 NEW SCHOOL TEACHERS IN THIS STATE. SO I THINK WE'VE GOT TO LOOK AT THE ISSUES IN GOVERNMENT IN THAT REGARD. AND, JERRY, YOU CAN'T TELL ME TAXES DON'T MATTER BECAUSE GO UP TO NORTHWEST IOWA. BARBARA WANTS TO TALK ABOUT --

Kelley: I WAS THERE YESTERDAY.

Yepsen: BARBARA WANTS TO TALK ABOUT ALL THE GREAT SUCCESS STORIES. HOW ABOUT THE WAITE BROTHERS TAKING GATEWAY TO SOUTH DAKOTA? THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF WHERE TAX POLICY MATTERS. SO I THINK IT DOES MATTER, PARTICULARLY IN BORDER AREAS. THIRTY-FOUR PERCENT OF IOWANS --

Kelley: I LOVE THIS.

Yepsen: THIRTY-FOUR PERCENT OF IOWANS, JERRY, ONE OUT OF THREE PEOPLE IN THIS STATE, LIVES IN THE COUNTIES AROUND THE STATE'S BORDERS. THAT MAKES IT REAL EASY FOR THEM TO TAKE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ACROSS THE STATE LINE IF THEY DON'T LIKE A TAX OR IF THEY DON'T LIKE A REGULATION OR WHATEVER, AND I THINK SOME OF US IN CENTRAL IOWA TEND TO FORGET THAT.

Kelley: AND I AGREE WITH YOU. AND I'M GOING TO TELL YOU THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO DO IN IOWA IS STOP LIVING TOGETHER AND GET MARRIED. AS LONG AS THE STATE GOVERNMENT IS ON THE LEAST DEPENDABLE TAX STREAMS, SALES TAX AND INCOME TAX, AND MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS ARE ON THE MOST DEPENDABLE REVENUE STREAM, PROPERTY TAX, WE'RE NOT MARRIED. WE NEED TO BLEND OUR REVENUE STREAMS SO THE STATE CAN GO ON BIANNUAL BUDGETING, SO THAT THE LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES CAN ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THEIR BUDGETS ARE. AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE LEGISLATURE WILL NEVER DO IT, EVEN THOUGH THEY NEED TO, BECAUSE IT'S TOO EASY TO SIT IN THE LEGISLATURE AND SAY WE'RE GOING TO CORRECT WHAT THEY'RE GOING IN INDIANOLA WITHOUT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CORRECTING WHAT THEY NEED TO DO. AND I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU; OUR TAX STRUCTURE NEEDS TO BE REDONE TOP TO BOTTOM. MICHAEL GARTNER, YOU DID SOME GREAT THINGS WITH VISION IOWA, BUT THERE'S ONE THING THAT REALLY DISTURBS ME. THE LAST MATH NUMBER I SAW THAT IT TOOK A JOB THAT PAID $13.58 AN HOUR, OR ABOUT $27,000 A YEAR, TO ACTUALLY PAY THE TAXES FOR THE SERVICE IT DELIVERED TO THAT PERSON. THAT ANYTHING UNDER THAT IS ESSENTIALLY A SUBSIDIZED JOB BY PEOPLE WHO MAKE MORE THAN THAT. IN MY TOWN IF YOUR HOUSE --

Gartner: WAIT A MINUTE. WHY ARE YOU LAYING THAT ON ME? I MISSED THE CONNECTION.

Kelley: I'LL COME BACK TO IT. IN MY TOWN, IF YOUR HOUSE ISN'T WORTH $141,000, IT DOESN'T PAY FOR THE SERVICES DELIVERED TO THAT HOUSE BECAUSE OF THE COST OF DELIVERING SERVICES. SO ANY BUSINESS IN THE COMMUNITY OR ANY HOUSE ABOVE THAT ACTUALLY PAYS FOR THOSE SUBSIDIZED HOUSES. IF WE CAN REDUCE THE COST OF GOVERNMENT, WE CAN REDUCE BOTH THAT HOURLY WAGE NUMBER SO THAT IT CAN PAY ITS WAY, AND THAT HOUSE SO IT CAN PAY ITS WAY. THE COST OF GOVERNMENT MUST BE REDUCED. WHEN YOU LOOK AT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT -- NOW I'M COMING BACK TO YOU, MICHAEL, SO YOU DON'T FEEL LEFT OUT -- YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT IS THE LONG-TERM COST OF THE JOB YOU'RE CREATING. NOW, YOU MENTIONED WELLS FARGO EARLIER, AND I BELIVE THAT CREATED JOBS THAT AVERAGED $33,000 A YEAR. I BELIEVE THAT WAS THE NUMBER -- THAT WAS THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF JOBS. THEY'RE JUST SLIGHTLY ABOVE THAT BREAK-EVEN POIN IN TERMS OF THE COST OF DELIVERING SERVICES TO EACH ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. AND THE SUBSIDIARY JOBS THAT WERE CREATED ARE LESS THAN THOSE --

Gartner: WHY IS THIS MY FAULT?

Kelley: IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT.

Gartner: OKAY, I WAS JUST CHECKING.

Kelley: YOU WERE LOOKING KIND OF LEFT OUT JUST SITTING THERE. YOU HADN'T SAID ANYTHING SINCE YEAR-AROUND SCHOOLING. BY THE WAY, I'M IN FAVOR OF THAT.

Gartner: I WOULD SAY JUST ONE OTHER THING IN RESPONSE TO WHAT DAVID SAID. I THINK IF YOU GO OVER TO THE QUAD CITIES, YOU'LL FIND THAT THERE'S MORE PEOPLE WHO LIVE AND CHOOSE TO LIVE IN IOWA EVEN THOUGH THEIR JOB MIGHT BE IN ILLINOIS THAN WHO CHOOSE TO LIVE IN ILLINOIS WHOSE JOB MIGHT BE IN IOWA. I THINK THE GOVERNOR NOTED IT GOES BOTH WAYS EARLIER, BUT I THINK THE BALANCE IS IN FAVOR OF IOWA. I MEAN OVER IN THE QUAD CITIES RIGHT NOW, YOU KNOW, I MEAN OUR TAXES ON CIGARETTES ARE SO LOW THAT THE QUAD CITIES ARE KNOWN AS THE PLACE WHERE, IF YOU LIVE IN ILLINOIS, YOU GO TO BUY CIGARETTES. IS THAT WHAT WE WANT TO BE KNOWN AS?

Yepsen: NO, MIKE, BUT IT'S ALSO TRUE THAT PENSION INCOME, WHEN RETIREES RETIRE, IT'S ALSO CHEAPER TO LIVE IN ILLINOIS, SO YOU'VE GOT RETIREES --

Gartner: YOU CAN FIND ANY STATISTIC AND --

Yepsen: BUT, MIKE --

Gartner: AND MAKE IT SO IT'S BETTER IN THAT STATE OR IT'S BETTER IN THIS STATE.

Yepsen: YOU'RE THE ONE THAT -- YOU'RE USING STATISTICS TOO. OKAY, YOU BROUGHT UP THE CIGARETTE TAX. I'M BRINGING UP PENSION TAXES. I THINK, TODD, WE HAVE TO STIPULATE. GOVERNMENT HAS A ROLE. IT'S NOT THE ONLY ROLE. IT OUGHT TO BE AN EFFICIENT ROLE. IT OUGHT TO BE FOCUSED. IT OUGHT TO PAY FOR RESULTS. AND WE OUGHT TO BE TALKING ABOUT OTHER THINGS THAT OTHER INSTITUTIONS IN IOWA SOCIETY SHOULD BE DOING BESIDES GOVERNMENT. WE CAN TALK ABOUT BANKS. WE CAN TALK ABOUT ENTREPRENEURS. WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE MEDIA. I THINK GOVERNMENT IS A PIECE, BUT A SMALL ONE, OF THIS PUZZLE.

Mundt: AND MAYBE LET'S DO THAT FOR A LITTLE BIT HERE BECAUSE I'D LIKE TO -- I'D LIKE TO TALK FOR A WHILE ABOUT URBAN AREAS AND SMALL TOWNS. LET'S START WITH SOME OF THE LARGER URBAN AREAS. AND I'D LIKE FOR YOU AS A PANEL TO BEGIN THINKING ABOUT HOW YOU WANT IOWA'S URBAN AREAS TO GROW AND DEVELOP. AND THAT'S GOING TO INCLUDE, PROBABLY, A LITTLE BIT OF GOVERNMENT. IT'S GOING TO INCLUDE A LOT OF BUSINESS. IT'S GOING TO INCLUDE A LOT OF INDIVIDUALS AND SCHOOLS AND ALL THE REST. VIRGINIA, WE'LL START WITH YOU. HOW DO YOU THINK IOWA'S URBAN AREAS SHOULD BE GROWING? WHAT SHOULD THEY OFFER TO IOWANS?

Janisek: YOU KNOW, WE DON'T REALLY HOUSE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT IN THE WAY OF TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO WHEN THEY HAVE THAT IDEA. THEY HAVE THAT IDEA AND THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO. WE FIND THAT IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY ALL THE TIME. THEY WALK IN OUR DOOR AND THEY GO, "OKAY, I WANT TO OPEN UP A BUSINESS." AND YOU GO, "DO YOU HAVE YOU BUSINESS PLAN?" AND THEY GO, "WHAT'S THAT?" "DO YOU HAVE THIS?" THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START. SO ONE THING WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE AND TO HELP EVEN ENCOURAGE SOME OF THE YOUNG ADULTS IS A CENTER OF WHERE TO GO TO START YOUR BUSINESS: HOW TO GET THE GRANTS; THE VENTURE CAPITAL; WHERE TO GO TO FIND THIS CASH THAT'S OUT THERE TO HELP START THESE BUSINESSES.

Mundt: DAVE SLY SHOULD BE TEACHING IT.

Janisek: I AGREE, I AGREE. HE'S DONE A GREAT JOB. BUT GETTING A CENTER WHERE THEY KNOW WHERE TO GO AND, KIND OF, ADVERTISING IT AND LETTING PEOPLE KNOW THAT IT'S OUT THERE, THAT'S ONE THING THAT WE'D LIKE TO SEE IN URBAN IOWA.

Mundt: THERE SHOULD BE A WAY TO BRING THAT TO YOU. ISN'T THAT WHAT THE PAPPAJOHN CENTERS ARE ALL ABOUT?

Janisek: YEAH.

Sly: AND I THINK TO SOME EXTENT, YOU KNOW, STARTING YOUNG SO THAT THESE PEOPLE IN HIGH SCHOOL ARE EXPOSED TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP -- WE ALL WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL. YOU GOT OUT, YOU MAYBE GOT A JOB THEN, OR YOU WENT TO COLLEGE AND THEN YOU GOT A JOB. THAT WAS HOW IT WORKED. NOWADAYS WE NEED TO TAKE MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CREATING THE JOBS BECAUSE THERE MAY BE NOT THE JOB TO GET. AND I COMPLETELY AGREE. AND I THINK THAT'S A GREAT WAY THE STATE CAN VERY COST EFFECTIVELY, IN AN INVESTMENT, INVEST IN IOWA'S FUTURE.

Mundt: I'M A PRODUCT OF THE IOWA EDUCATION SYSTEM, AND I'M A PRETTY REASONABLY WELL-EDUCATED PERSON. BUT I'M NOT REALLY THAT MUCH OF A RISKTAKER. I THINK THERE ARE A LOT WHO ARE LIKE ME WHO CAME UP IN THAT GENERATION. THAT'S JUST NOT SOMETHING WE LEARNED IN SCHOOL. WE DIDN'T LEARN A LOT ABOUT BUSINESS IN SCHOOL.

Sly: PART OF THIS IS -- PART OF RISK IS BEING ABLE TO ASSESS WHAT IS RISK. I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE CAN REALLY TEACH PEOPLE. THERE'S THIS -- DO YOU KNOW, AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, WHAT RISK TO ME IS? HAVING ONE SOURCE OF INCOME. AND WHAT'S REALLY DOUBLY RISKY IS HAVING ONE SOURCE OF INCOME AND BEING ABOUT SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS AWAY FROM NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY MY BILLS. AND YET A LOT OF IOWA IS DOING THAT. AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, I HAVE COMPANIES THAT PAY ME FROM ABOUT 36 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, ABOUT 1,800 DIFFERENT COMPANIES. THAT'S QUITE A DIVERSIFICATION AND I THINK THAT WE NEED TO PROPERLY EDUCATE PEOPLE ON WHERE THE RISKS ARE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP -- THEY'RE THERE -- AND WHERE THEY MAY NOT BE, IN OTHER WORDS WHERE IT MAY BE RISKY TO TAKE THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE, SO THAT THEY ARE AT LEAST PROPERLY EDUCATED AND THEY HAVE THE TOOLS THAT IF THEY CHOOSE ENTREPRENEURSHIP OR IF THEY CHOOSE TO WORK FOR AN ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPANY -- THEY MAY NOT BE ENTREPRENEURS THEMSELVES, BUT IF YOU WORK FOR AN EIGHT-PERSON COMPANY THAT'S STRUGGLING FOR PAYROLL EVERY MONTH, YOU'RE AN ENTREPRENEUR. WE JUST NEED TO TEACH THEM WHAT THAT ENVIRONMENT IS LIKE AND HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THAT ENVIRONMENT, AND I THINK WE CAN DO A REALLY GOOD JOB OF THAT.

Janisek: AND WE ALSO HAVE A VERY OLD POPULATION. OUR POPULATION IS GETTING OLDER AND OLDER, AND WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO KEEP YOUNG PEOPLE IN IOWA. I JUST RECENTLY HAD TWO EMPLOYEES MOVE TO NEBRASKA. THEY COULDN'T FIND JOBS IN SIOUX CITY OR THEIR SPOUSE COULDN'T FIND JOBS IN SIOUX CITY. I HATE TO SEE THEM LEAVE IOWA. WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP KEEP THE YOUNG PEOPLE HERE?

Mundt: DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANY IDEAS?

Yepsen: WELL, ONE THING THAT'S INTERESTING -- WHEN I INTERVIEWED JOHN PAPPAJOHN FOR THE SHOW THAT AIRED THE OTHER NIGHT, ONE OF THE THINGS HE WAS TALKING ABOUT WAS TRYING TO TAKE MANY OF THESE SENIOR CITIZENS, THESE RETIREES AND MARRY -- WHO ARE FROM BUSINESS, AND MARRY THEM UP WITH YOUNGER PEOPLE TO HELP THEM LEARN HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS. WE TREAT SENIOR CITIZENS IN THIS STATE AS SOME KIND OF LIABILITY.

Gartner: I'LL SAY! [ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: THERE'S A LOT OF TALENT -- THERE'S A LOT OF TALENT THAT'S SITTING ON THE SHELF OUT THERE THAT'S RETIRED AND THAT IS NOT DOING A WHOLE LOT. THEY'RE RUNNING BASEBALL TEAMS. [ LAUGHTER ] I THINK WE CAN DO BETTER WITH HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE BY BRINGING SOME OF THAT TALENT TO WORK. THE SECOND THING IS I THINK AS INDIVIDUAL IOWANS, WE TALK ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND RISKTAKING. I MEAN THOSE SOUND LIKE FOREIGN WORDS, BUT THERE ARE ENTREPRENEURS ALL OVER. SOMEBODY MENTIONED THE PERSON WITH THE EIGHT-PERSON BUSINESS. WE AS INDIVIDUAL IOWANS OUGHT TO SAY TO THESE PEOPLE, "THANK YOU. HOW CAN WE HELP? GO FOR IT!" ENCOURAGE THEM RATHER THAN DISCOURAGE PEOPLE WITH THIS NAYSAYING AND THE BACKBITING AND "DID YOU HEAR WHAT CHARLIE WANTS TO DO IN THE FACTORY OUTSIDE OF TOWN?" ONE LAST THING, TODD. I REMEMBER DURING THE FARM CRISIS PICKING UP MY PAPER AND READING THE STORY ABOUT FARMERS HANGING THEMSELVES WHEN THEY WENT BROKE. IT WAS A DISGRACE TO GO BROKE. IT WAS A DISGRACE TO FAIL IN IOWA. I PICK UP "THE NEW YORK TIMES," THERE'S A FRONT-PAGE STORY ABOUT TEXAS GOVERNOR JOHN CONNELLY. HE'D GONE BROKE. HE WAS HAVING AN AUCTION AND ALL HIS FRIENDS HAD COME TO HIS HOUSE FOR THE PARTY. TO ME THAT WAS QUITE THE CONTRAST. IN TEXAS, IT'S BOOM AND BUST AND WHEN YOU GO BROKE, IT'S NO SIN. YOU TRY ALL OVER AGAIN. BUT HERE IN IOWA, FAILURE IS SOMEHOW BAD. WE AS INDIVIDUAL IOWANS HAVE GOT TO CHANGE THAT MENTALITY.

Mundt: THAT'S AN INTRINSIC ELEMENT, THOUGH, OF OUR CULTURE. IS THAT A VERY DIFFICULT THING TO CHANGE?

Branstad: YES, IT IS. THAT'S WHY IT HASN'T CHANGED FASTER. BUT I THINK DAVID HAS A GOOD POINT. WE HAVE TO NURTURE AND ENCOURAGE THAT ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT, AND WE'VE GOT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BE MORE RISKTAKERS. THAT DOESN'T MEAN TAKING WILD RISKS, BUT IT MEANS TAKING CALCULATED RISKS THAT ARE GOING TO HELP CREATE MORE WEALTH AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES, AND NOT BE SO CONCERNED ABOUT, YEAH, WHAT THE OTHER GUY IS DOING. I THINK THERE IS -- I KNOW FARMERS THAT ARE DOING WELL, AND RIGHT NOW, ACTUALLY, I'VE NEVER SEEN FARM COMMODITY PRICES BETTER THAN THEY ARE NOW. BUT DO YOU FIND ANY FARMERS TELLING YOU THAT? EGG PRICES ARE GREAT. MILK PRICES ARE GREAT. CORN, SOYBEANS, CATTLE, HOGS --

Gartner: WE KNOW YOU'RE NOT RUNNING FOR ANYTHING WHEN YOU SAY THAT.

Branstad: I'M TELLING YOU RIGHT NOW -- AND YOU CAN SEE INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX IN IOWA HAS GONE UP PRETTY DRAMATICALLY HERE JUST THIS YEAR. WE'RE IN A SITUATION WHERE WE'RE GOING TO SEE A LOT MORE INCOME GENERATED THAN PEOPLE EVEN IMAGINE BECAUSE OF AGRICULTURE. AND ALTHOUGH IT'S NOT AS BIG A PART -- YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS A KID, WE FARMED 300 ACRES. MY BOTHER IS NOW FARMING OVER 3,000. HE'S STILL GOT 300 ACRES THAT GOT DROWNED OUT THAT HE NEEDS TO TRY TO REPLANT. THAT'S WHAT EVERYBODY IS TALKING ABOUT. BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS, THE PRICE OF THOSE CATTLE THAT HE'S RAISING ARE VERY GOOD. AND I ALSO KNOW WE'VE GOT GOLDEN OVAL EGGS UP THERE IN WINNEBAGO COUNTY WHERE I COME FROM. IT'S A FARMER-OWNED COOPERATIVE. THEY'RE DOING REAL WELL. THERE'S ONE DOWN IN SOUTHWEST IOWA THAT'S AN EGG CO-OP OWNED BY FARMERS TOO. IN MT. PLEASANT, YOU JUST GOT A TURKEY PROCESSING PLANT WITH AN EXPANSION FROM WEST LIBERTY, AND THAT'S A FARMER-OWNED COOPERATIVE TOO. SO I THINK THERE'S OPPORTUNITIES OUT THERE, AND WE NEED TO BE ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO BE WILLING TO TAKE SOME RISKS. AND ALL OF THOSE VENTURES INVOLVE SOME RISK.

Kelley: BUT WE DO NOT ENCOURAGE OUR LEADERS TO TAKE RISKS. WE DON'T ENCOURAGE OUR TEACHERS TO TAKE RISKS. WE DON'T ENCOURAGE MOST BUSINESS PEOPLE ON OUR STREETS TO TAKE RISKS. AS A CULTURE, WE DON'T DO IT. IF YOU HAVE A TEACHER THAT GATHERS UP HIS OR HER CHILDREN AND TAKES THEM OUT ON A FIELD TRIP, IT TURNS INTO A CRISIS IN THE COMMUNITY. THEY MIGHT HAVE SEEN SOMETHING THEY SHOULDN'T SEE, AS OPPOSED TO SAYING, WAIT A MINUTE, THEY'RE EXPOSING THESE KIDS TO SOMETHING IN LIFE THAT THEY NEED TO KNOW. WE DO NOT ENCOURAGE -- AND I'M TALKING ABOUT ENTREPRENEURS IN TERMS OF THE SPIRIT AT ANY LEVEL. OUR STATE WORKERS RIGHT NOW LIVE IN FEAR. THEY'RE GOING TO PICK UP THE PAPER TOMORROW AND SEE THEY'RE THE TARGET AND THEY JUST GOT LAID OFF. THEY'RE NOT DOING THE BEST THEY CAN. THEY'RE TRYING TO STAY OUT OF SIGHT IN HOPES NO ONE WILL NOTICE THEM. IT IS NOT THE WAY TO HAVE OUR STATE GROW AND TO BE VIBRANT. WE NEED TO HAVE PEOPLE STEPPING OUT AND LEADING THINGS.

Sly: THAT'S THE PROBLEM. THAT'S, LIKE I SAID, THE BIGGEST RISK, HAVING THAT ONE INCOME AT A FACTORY. MAYBE THE TIME TO START THIS EDUCATIONAL PROCESS -- AND I'M NOT SAYING RISK FOR RISK'S SAKE, BUT LET'S EDUCATE PEOPLE ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP, HOW TO START A BUSINESS, THINGS LIKE THAT. WE CAN BE DOING THAT TO PEOPLE WHO ARE EMPLOYED. WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT. MAYBE THEY CAN CREATE BUSINESSES OUT OF THE BUSINESSES THEY WORK AT. SOMETHING THAT'S KIND OF TAKING OFF, ENTREPRENEURIAL ARBITRAGE. THE BASIC CONCEPT IS THAT YOU'RE WORKING FOR A COMPANY, YOU SEE A PROBLEM, MAYBE YOU OFFER FOR THAT COMPANY THAT, HEY, ON THE SIDE I COULD DO THIS TO HELP YOU BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND CREATE A BUSINESS AS WELL. THAT CREATES A WHOLE BUNCH OF OPPORTUNITY WHILE THAT FACTORY IS STILL THERE. AND IT CREATES SECOND INCOME OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PEOPLE THAT MAYBE COULD GET BIG ENOUGH WHERE THEY COULD LEAVE THEIR FACTORY JOB AND CREATE A WHOLE OTHER COMPANY. A LOT OF IOWA COMPANIES CAME FROM PEOPLE WHO WORKED AT OTHER IOWA COMPANIES. AND THAT HAPPENED JUST BECAUSE IT HAPPENED. WHAT IF WE ACTUALLY STARTED TO FOSTER THAT, CREATED A PROGRAM TO HELP PEOPLE LEARN HOW TO BE MORE INDEPENDENT.

Mundt: WELL, WE DON'T HAVE TO DO ALL THIS WITHIN IOWA WITH EXISTING IOWA RESIDENTS EITHER. WE CAN BE MORE WELCOMING TO OTHER PEOPLE NOT ONLY FROM OUTSIDE OUR STATE BUT OUTSIDE OUR COUNTRY TO COME HERE AND BE A PART OF THIS STATE AS WELL. WHEN WE WELCOME THEM INTO OUR CULTURE, WE USUALLY, YOU KNOW, BRING IN THAT NEW BLOOD AND NEW IDEAS AND NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT AT THE SAME TIME.

Argueta: I AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN NOW, BUT I ADMIRE YOU AND I ADMIRE YOUR PAST. WHY DO I ADMIRE YOUR PAST, A HUNDRED OR MORE YEARS AGO? BECAUSE OF THE SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE. YOU PORTRAYED IN THOSE DAYS -- AND I HAVE STUDIED A LOT YOUR FIRST DAYS THAT MAKE THIS COUNTRY GREAT. THE SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE, IT SEEMS AND IT SOUNDS AND I PERCEIVE THAT YOU ARE LOSING THAT DAILY AND WE'RE BECOMING A MORE COMFORTABLE SOCIETY, THAT WE DON'T WANT TO GET OUT AND SUFFER A LITTLE BIT OF HUNGER, A LITTLE BIT OF TIREDNESS, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, A LITTLE BIT OF SWEAT. WE DON'T WANT TO DO THAT. WE'RE COMFORTABLE. WE WANT TO BE PLEASED AND HAVE EVERYTHING. I HAVE A BUSINESS AND I NEVER WENT TO A BANK TO ASK FOR A LOAN. ASK ME HOW I DID IT.

Gartner: HOW DID YOU DO IT?

Argueta: WITH THE SAME SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE YOUR PIONEER PEOPLE MADE THIS COUNTRY GREAT, THE SAME. SOMETIMES I WENT HUNGRY A LITTLE BIT, AND SOMETIMES I WAS VERY TIRED. BUT NOW I SELF-SUPPORT MY FAMILY, AND I PAY FOR ALL MY BILLS AND EVERYTHING. SO THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO RECOVER. WE NEED TO BRING THAT BACK INSTEAD OF FIGHTING ABOUT THINGS THAT WON'T MAKE US STRONG, BUT WILL DIVIDE US.

Yepsen: TODD, I THINK WE'VE GOT TO DO A BETTER JOB WITH WELCOMING PEOPLE WHO DON'T LOOK LIKE US, WHETHER THAT'S PEOPLE OF COLOR OR, AS I SAID EARLIER, GAYS AND LESBIANS. I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT. BUT IT'S GOING TO BE EQUALLY VALID TO TRY TO BRING BACK PEOPLE WHO HAVE LEFT. YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT BAD THAT PEOPLE LEAVE, SEE A LITTLE BIT OF THE WORLD, AND THEN MAYBE TRY TO COME BACK TO IOWA, SO WE'VE GOT TO BE ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF CREATING THOSE OPPORTUNITIES SO THAT WHEN SOMEBODY WHO IS IN THEIR TWENTIES AND TIRED OF LIVING IN CHICAGO AND WANTS TO COME BACK AND RAISE A FAMILY, THEY CAN MARRY THEM UP. GOVERNOR VILSACK HAS GONE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, AND HE'S FOUND ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO COME BACK. CAN'T FIND ANYTHING FOR THEM TO DO HERE. SO THAT'S ONE THING. AND I THINK IN THE SPIRIT OF, SORT OF, SOLUTIONS, YOU KNOW, WE NEED, IN COMMUNITIES, PLACES WHERE PEOPLE CAN GO WHEN THEY WANT TO START A BUSINESS. WHERE WOULD YOU GO IN YOUR COMMUNITY IF SOMEBODY CAME TO YOU AND SAID I NEED $10,000 TO START A BUSINESS? IF YOU'RE WELLS FARGO OR SOME BIG BUSINESS, YOU'VE GOT ALL KINDS OF HELP FOR YOU AT THE STATE LEVEL. BUT THE LITTLE ENTREPRENEUR WHO WANTS TO START SOMETHING SMALL, THE NEXT MAYTAG, THEY'RE HAVING TROUBLE GETTING STARTED. SO WE'VE GOT TO PROVIDE THAT OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE PEOPLE TO SORT OF GET SOMETHING GOING ON THEIR OWN.

Kelley: THERE'S A MATH PROBLEM HERE AND DAVID SOMEWHAT COMMENTED ON IT. 1945, ADD 62 YEARS TO IT, IS 2007. ADD 65 YEARS TO IT, IT'S 2010. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE 300,000 WORKERS, BECAUSE OF THE BABY BOOM, LEAVE OUR WORK FORCE IN THIS DECADE. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE EVERY JOB IN THIS STATE AVAILABLE. I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT EVERY LOW-PAYING JOB; I'M TALKING ABOUT EVERY JOB. IF WE GO AFTER THE 28 TO 35 YEAR OLDS, THE PEOPLE STARTING THEIR FAMILIES THAT WANT TO COME BACK TO IOWA, SAFE ENVIRONMENT, GOOD ENVIRONMENT, AND SO FORTH, WE COULD MARKET THIS STATE, WE CAN MARKET THE JOBS TO PEOPLE WITH SPECIFIC SKILL SETS, AND WE CAN MAKE THIS STATE BOOM AND HAVE JOBS FOR THEM. THERE ARE 200 JOBS RIGHT NOW AT ROCKWELL COLLINS THAT THEY CANNOT FIND TO FILL IN IOWA BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT FOUND THE SKILL SETS TO FILL THOSE JOBS.

Yepsen: THERE'S ANOTHER THING, TODD, THAT'S HAPPENING. YOU TALK ABOUT AN OLDER POPULATION. PEOPLE ARE DYING OFF AND THERE'S GOING TO BE A HUGE TRANSFER OF WEALTH IN IOWA. ONE OF THE REAL ENCOURAGING THINGS UP AT IOWA STATE AT THE COMMUNITY VITALITY CENTER THAT MARK EDELMAN RUNS IS TO TRY TO HELP COMMUNITIES CREATE COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS SO THAT WHEN PEOPLE PASS ON THEY CAN LEAVE SOMETHING TO THEIR COMMUNITY. NEBRASKA DOES A BETTER JOB THAN IOWA DOES OF GENERATING COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS SO THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LEAVE SOMETHING TO THEIR COMMUNITY CAN PUT IT IN A FOUNDATION WHEN THEY PASS ON, SO COMMUNITIES CAN RAISE MONEY TO INVEST IN ALL KINDS OF THINGS, FROM BIKE TRAILS TO CREATING JOBS.

Mundt: WHY COULDN'T I PUT MY 401(k) IN EITHER, EVEN IF NOT A RANGE OF IOWA COMPANIES, IN SOME KIND OF FOUNDATION? I COULD INVEST IN IOWA COMMUNITIES.

Yepsen: ABSOLUTELY.

Branstad: YOU CAN AND THERE'S A GOOD TAX REASON TO DO THAT. THERE'S A REAL GOOD TAX REASON TO DO THAT. WE OUGHT TO BE ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO DO THAT ABSOLUTELY, WHETHER IT'S FUNDING HIGHER EDUCATION, WHICH IS IMPORTANT. HIGHER EDUCATION ALSO IS A DRIVER OF WEALTH AND CREATES A LOT OF JOBS AND BRINGS A LOT OF PEOPLE TO OUR STATE. WE SHOULD LOOK AT THAT ALSO AS PART OF THE ENGINE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH AS WELL. BUT ALSO, I WANT TO GET TO THIS IDEA ABOUT IMMIGRANTS. YOU KNOW, IF YOU LOOK AT THE DECADE OF THE '90S, MOST OF OUR GROWTH AND POPULATION CAME FROM IMMIGRANTS. MOST OF OUR GROWTH AND POPULATION AND A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN LATINO IMMIGRANTS -- OF COURSE, WE'D HAD EVEN -- IT STARTED BACK IN THE '70S -- SOUTHEAST ASIANS THAT HAD CAME HERE, BUT WE'VE ALSO HAD BOSNIANS AND MANY OTHER PEOPLE THAT HAVE COME FROM PLACES BECAUSE I THINK THEY COULD SEE THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES HERE. AND SOMETIMES THOSE OF US THAT HAVE BEEN HERE TOO LONG OR BEEN HERE A LONG TIME, WE DON'T MAYBE SEE IT AS WELL AS SOMEBODY THAT'S NEW. AND WE GET COMPLACENT OR WE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED, AND THAT'S THE THING THAT I THINK -- WE HAVE TO HAVE THAT SPIRIT, AND WE NEED TO TRY TO REKINDLE THAT SPIRIT AMONG PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN HERE A WHILE THAT THE IMMIGRANTS HAVE. THAT'S WHAT I FIND ENCOURAGING TO HEAR THIS GENTLEMEN SAY HOW HE DIDN'T EVEN GO OUT AND GET BANK LOANS. HE DID IT BY MAKING SACRIFICE IN HIS FAMILY, AND THAT'S HOW A LOT OF THESE ENTREPRENEURIAL BUSINESSES GOT STARTED TOO BECAUSE AS SID RUBIN USED TO TELL ME IN FOREST CITY, WHEN HE STARTED, HE COULDN'T GET ANY MONEY BECAUSE WHEN HE HAD A SUCCESSFUL RETAIL BUSINESS, THEN EVERYBODY WANTED TO BORROW HIM MONEY AND HE DIDN'T NEED IT.

Mundt: BARBARA?

Mack: I THINK WE HAVE COME ALMOST PERHAPS A GENERATION TOO FAR FROM OUR OWN IMMIGRANT STORY. IF ALL OF US LOOK BACK, WE CAN THINK ABOUT MAYBE GREAT-GRANDPARENTS WHO WERE INDEED IMMIGRANTS AND WHO MAYBE CAME HERE WITHOUT EDUCATION, WITHOUT MUCH OF A SKILL SET. I'M SECOND -- THIRD GENERATION. MY GRANDPARENTS IMMIGRATED AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY WITHOUT ANYTHING -- WITHOUT A SKILL OTHER THAN PLANTING POTATOES. AND IN ONE GENERATION, MY FATHER WAS A SMALL-BUSINESS OWNER. THE NEXT GENERATION, WE'VE GOT Ph.D.s IN THE FAMILY AND EVEN A LAWYER. THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN YOUR FAMILY. THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN YOUR FAMILY. THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN LOTS OF FAMILIES. BUT IT'S HARD FOR SOME PEOPLE TO SEE THAT. THEY SEE NEW IMMIGRANTS COMING AND THEY SAY, WELL, MAYBE THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT ARE TAKING THE LOWER LEVEL JOBS AND THEY AREN'T REALLY COMMITTED TO PARTICIPATING IN THE COMMUNITY, THEY AREN'T CONTRIBUTING TO THE TAX BASES. AND YOU JUST WANT TO SAY WAIT. I WENT TO DENISON, IOWA, NOT LONG AGO, WHICH IS DOING AN INCREDIBLE JOB IN THEIR SCHOOL SYSTEM OF TEACHING THEIR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS. THOSE TEACHERS ARE DEDICATED TO GETTING THOSE KIDS TO IOWA STATE OR TO IOWA OR TO ONE OF OUR OTHER WONDERFUL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN THE STATE. AND THEY KNOW THAT THAT NEXT GENERATION IS GOING TO BE ROOTED IN IOWA AND DEDICATED TO CONTRIBUTING TO THE ECONOMY AND TO CONTRIBUTING AND BUILDING COMMUNITY.

Argueta: YOU KNOW, I KEEP SAYING -- I KEEP SAYING TO THE PEOPLE OF IOWA, BE PATIENT TO US. IT TOOK YEARS FOR THE HOLY PEOPLE TO ENTER INTO THE HOLY LAND. IT WILL TAKE THAT MUCH FOR US TO BECOME STRONG AND A STRENGTH TO THE UNITED STATES. I ATE -- I'VE BEEN EATING BLACK BEANS SINCE I WAS A LITTLE BABY, AND I WAS KIND OF GROWING BORING EATING THE SAME BLACK BEANS, BUT I CAME TO THE UNITED STATES AND DISCOVERED CHILI BEANS. WHAT A GREAT IDEA. [ LAUGHTER ] THIS IS WHAT I ADMIRE OF YOU. YOU'RE VERY PRACTICAL. YOU'RE VERY CREATIVE. DON'T FORGET THAT, WHO YOU ARE AND THE GREATNESS THAT YOU HAVE HERE. SEE YOURSELF AS A GREAT PEOPLE, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW WE SEE YOU. CHILI BEANS -- SEE, I TOOK THE RECIPE BACK TO MY COUNTRY. HERE I WAS IMAGINING THAT BLACK BEANS WERE THE WHOLE TRUTH, BUT I CAME HERE AND SAW THAT YOU MIXED THAT, AND THEN YOU HAVE TEXAS STYLE, CALIFORNIA STYLE, OTHER STYLES. SO WE NEED YOU BUT WE BOTH NEED EACH OTHER.

Mundt: WELL, YOU'VE MADE A SUCCESS OF YOUR LIFE I THINK QUICKER THAN FORTY YEARS. SOM, YOU'VE BEEN HERE TWENTY-FIVE YEARS; YOU'RE A SUCCESS. I MEAN ACTUALLY WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS WHAT BARBARA SAID JUST A MOMENT AGO, THAT INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE COMING TO THIS STATE FROM OUTSIDE ARE VERY QUICKLY GETTING A HANDLE ON NOT ONLY WHAT IT IS TO BE IOWAN BUT UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE, MAINTAINING THEIR OWN CULTURES AT THE SAME TIME, AND MOVING VERY QUICKLY TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL AND CONTRIBUTING TO THE STATE. I DO WANT TO ASK ABOUT EX-PATRIOT IOWANS, THOUGH, BECAUSE THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF TALK ABOUT GETTING EX-PATRIOT IOWANS BACK. LET'S SET ASIDE JOBS FOR A MOMENT AND ASK OURSELVES WHAT ELSE IS THERE THAT WE COULD DO IN THIS STATE TO ENCOURAGE EX-PATRIOT IOWANS TO COME BACK?

Yepsen: JOBS ARE THE BIG PIECE. I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE -- I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO GO MUCH BEYOND THAT. YOU'VE GOT TO DO A MARKETING PLAN. I MEAN YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE A PLAN THAT MARRIES UP -- THERE ARE JOBS OUT THERE -- WITH PEOPLE WHO WANT THEM. I'M NOT SURE THE STATE DOES A VERY GOOD JOB THERE.

Mundt: BUT FOR INSTANCE, MYSELF, I COULD COME BACK. I KNOW THAT THERE ARE JOBS THAT I COULD DO IN THIS STATE. I LIKE THIS STATE. I SPENT TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF MY LIFE HERE I GREATLY APPRECIATED. BUT, YOU KNOW, WHERE I LIVE RIGHT NOW, THERE ARE SOME THINGS I CAN'T GET IN THIS STATE: CULTURE, CERTAIN KINDS OF CULTURE. NOW, THERE'S PLENTY OF CULTURE HERE BUT THERE'S SOME OTHER THINGS I WANT TO DO THAT I CAN DO IN LARGER CITIES I CAN'T DO IN IOWA. SO I ASK MYSELF WHAT CAN IOWA DO FOR ME, I GUESS, IN ORDER TO -- TO PROVIDE A KIND OF STRUCTURE THAT WILL ALLOW ME TO COME BACK AND LIVE A FULL, ROUNDED LIFE.

Kelley: YOU SAY THAT AND I HAVE THIS GIANT CRINGE INSIDE, YOU KNOW, ABOUT IT IS -- I HATE TO TELL YOU THIS; IT'S REALLY PATRONIZING ABOUT IOWA. BUT ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IOWANS HAVE IS WE DON'T BELIEVE WE'RE AS GREAT AS WE ARE. YOU MENTIONED TEXAS A WHILE AGO. IF WE WERE TEXANS, WE'D BE THE NUMBER ONE STATE IN THE WORLD BECAUSE WE HAVE IT ALL. BUT WE HAVEN'T MARKETED IOWA TO IOWANS. WE HAVE NOT CONVINCED IOWANS THAT THIS STATE IS THE PLACE TO LIVE. IF YOU GO OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW, THERE IS NO MORE BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE WORLD THAN IOWA RIGHT NOW. THEY MAY TALK ABOUT 27 SHADES OF GREEN IN IRELAND, BUT THERE ARE A LOT MORE THAN THAT BETWEEN HERE AND DES MOINES, AND THERE'S A LOT OF STREETS BETWEEN HERE AND DES MOINES.

Mundt: WE GROW UP APOLOGIZING FOR IOWA.

Kelley: ABSOLUTELY, AND WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT.

Yepsen: WE NEED TO TREAT OUR STATE THE WAY PEOPLE FROM SAN FRANCISCO TREAT THEIR CITY. HAVE YOU EVER MET SOMEBODY FROM SAN FRANCISCO? THEY'RE A WALKING BILLBOARD. THEY'RE A COMMERCIAL. THEY LOVE IT AND WE NEED TO DO THAT TOO. THE OTHER THING I THINK WE HAVE TO DO IS WE'VE GOT TO NOT ONLY BE WELCOMING OF IMMIGRANTS AND PEOPLE THAT DON'T LOOK LIKE US, WE'RE ALSO GOT TO BE MORE WELCOMING OF PEOPLE WHO DO LOOK LIKE US. I KNOW PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIVED IN IOWA, WHITE PEOPLE, MIDDLE-CLASSED PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIVED HERE IN IOWA FOR TWENTY YEARS, AND AT TIMES THEY DON'T FEEL AT HOME.

Mundt: WHY?

Yepsen: WELL, THEY JUST FEEL LIKE -- SINCE YOU'RE NOT NATIVE, YOU'RE SOMEHOW NOT THE SAME. NOW, IOWA HAS -- 70 PERCENT OF US, TODD, WHO LIVE HERE WERE BORN HERE. WE HAVE PROBABLY THE HIGHEST NATIVE-BORN POPULATION OF ANY STATE IN THE COUNTRY. THAT'S AN ASSET THAT GIVES US THIS COMMUNITY, THIS GLUE, THIS STRENGTH. IT CAN ALSO BE A LIABILITY IN THAT WE CAN BE HOSTILE TOWARD NEWCOMERS, WHETHER THEY'RE PEOPLE OF COLOR OR WHETHER THEY'RE PEOPLE THAT ARE WHITE.

Mundt: WELL, HOW IRONIC GIVEN THE FACT THAT ANYBODY FAMOUS WHO HAS FLOWN OVER IOWA WAS AN IOWAN AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER. IT'S IN YOUR PAPER, AS A MATTER OF FACT.

Argueta: FIVE YEARS AGO I CAME TO IOWA, AND I FOUND THAT YOU WERE VERY FRIENDLY. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE. THE CHILDREN WALK ON THE STREETS AND NO BIG WALLS SEPARATING THE HOUSES. SO I'VE BEEN ON A MISSION OF BRINGING GREAT FAMILIES FROM ALL OVER LATIN COUNTRIES. A YEAR AFTER I CAME HERE, A FAMILY FROM ARGENTINA CAME HERE JUST BASED ON MY DESCRIPTION OF YOU AND THE BEAUTIFUL IOWA. THAT'S FAITH. THAT'S THE SAME FAITH THAT THE PIONEER PEOPLE HAD WHEN THEY CAME TO THE UNITED STATES, BY THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PIONEERS. SO NOW IN MT. PLEASANT, YOU WILL FIND PEOPLE FROM ARGENTINA, FROM COSTA RICA, FROM EL SALVADOR, FROM GUATEMALA, FROM MEXICO, FROM COLUMBIA, THAT -- BECAUSE THEY FOUND OUT THROUGH ME OR OTHER FRIENDS HOW GREAT AND HOW FRIENDLY AND HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS PLACE WAS, A PLACE -- LOOK AT IT THAT WAY, AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE AND WE'RE HAPPY.

Branstad: WHAT HE'S SAYING, IF YOU GO AND READ THE BOOKS ABOUT THE CZECH IMMIGRANT TO AMERICA, IT WAS THE SAME THING. SOME PEOPLE CAME HERE FROM -- AND IN CEDAR RAPIDS AND IN THE MUSEUM THERE, THEY TELL THAT STORY. YOU CAN GO UP TO DECORAH AND THEY TELL ABOUT HOW THE NORWEGIANS CAME HERE. BUT WE NEED -- AND WE'VE ALSO GOT THE DANISH IMMIGRANT MUSEUM OUT IN ELK HORN, IOWA. SO WE HAVE BEEN A GREAT PLACE WHERE IMMIGRANTS HAVE COME TO IN THE PAST, AND HE'S GOT THAT SPIRIT OF GOING BACK AND TELLING PEOPLE BACK HOME, HEY, THERE'S THIS GREAT PLACE CALLED IOWA AND YOU OUGHT TO COME HERE. WE NEED TO GET THAT SPIRIT GOING AGAIN AMONG THOSE OF US THAT HAVE BEEN HERE FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS. WE NEED TO REKINDLE THAT PIONEER SPIRIT. THAT'S WHAT BUILT THIS COUNTRY. THAT'S WHAT MADE THIS A GREAT PLACE, AND I REALLY THINK THAT'S THE IMAGINE IOWA -- THAT'S THE FUTURE WE NEED TO HAVE IS PEOPLE THAT HAVE THAT KIND OF PIONEER SPIRIT OF, HEY, THIS IS A GREAT PLACE AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT BETTER BECAUSE WE WANT OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO LIVE HERE AND HAVE GREATER OPPORTUNITY.

Mundt: AND OPPORTUNITY -- FOR AN EX-PATRIOT IOWAN LIKE MYSELF, ECHOING SOMETHING YOU JUST SAID A MOMENT AGO, DAVID, YOU KNOW, I COME BACK TO DES MOINES OFTEN AND I SEE THE GROWTH THAT IS HAPPENING JUST IN THE CITY OF DES MOINES ITSELF. I SEE GATEWAY WEST. I SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING DOWN IN COURT AVENUE, AND I'M EXCITED ABOUT THAT AND I SAY COULD I BUY A LOFT AND LIVE THERE AND ENJOY LIFE IN IOWA FOR YEARS TO COME, AND THE ANSWER IS YES. BUT IT WILL HAVE TO BE A PLACE WHERE EVERYBODY IS TREATED EQUALLY, WHERE GAYS AND LESBIANS ARE TREATED EQUALLY, WHERE PEOPLE OF ALL COLORS ARE TREATED EQUALLY. AND LEGISLATURE AND EVERYONE IN IOWA IS GOING TO HAVE TO GET TOGETHER TO CREATE THAT ENVIRONMENT. THAT'S GOING TO BE AN IMPORTANT THING FOR ME. BUT OTHERWISE, I SEE A LOT IN THIS STATE THAT IS STARTING TO GET VERY EXCITING. BARBARA?

Mack: YOU MAY JUST NOT HAVE AGED ENOUGH TO COME BACK HERE YET.

Mundt: I NEED TO GET JUST A LITTLE BIT OLDER?

Mack: A LITTLE BIT MORE SENIORITY ON YOU BECAUSE -- I TEACH AT IOWA STATE AND PEOPLE SAY, OH, DEAR HEAVENS, THE STUDENTS ARE LEAVING. AND I SAY, FINE, LET THEM GO EXPERIENCE LIFE IN NEW YORK, LET THEM GO EXPERIENCE LIFE IN CHICAGO, LET THEM GO EXPERIENCE LIFE IN SAN DIEGO OR SAN FRANCISCO. AND WHEN THEY'RE TIRED OF SHARING A SHOE BOX FOR A THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH WITH FIVE OTHER PEOPLE AND HAVING A BED THAT IS IN THEIR PRIVATE SPACE BEHIND A BOOKCASE, THEY'LL COME BACK TO IOWA.

Mundt: NO, I WENT RUNNING AWAY FROM THIS STATE, AND AS I GROW OLDER, I REMEMBER WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT.

Mack: OKAY, A FEW MORE GRAY HAIRS, YOU COME BACK.

Mundt: A FEW MORE GRAY HAIRS AND I'LL BE BACK.

Sly: I THINK THE OTHER THING WE HAVE TO LOOK AT TOO IS WHO WE WANT TO BE BACK IN THE STATE. I MEAN WE NEED PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES AND NOT JUST LOOK FOR A HANDOUT FOR THAT JOB. I MEAN JOBS ARE IMPORTANT AND NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO START A BUSINESS, BUT IF WE CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW, ENERGETIC COMPANIES COMING IN, THAT'S GOING TO DRAW A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE PART OF THAT, WHO DON'T JUST WANT TO WORK AT SOME BIG FORTUNE 500 COMPANY BUT WANT TO BE PART OF SOMETHING NEW. I MEAN LOOK AT SILICON VALLEY AND THE RESEARCH TRIANGLE AND ALL THESE OTHER ENVIRONMENTS. AND I THINK THAT WE'RE BEGINNING TO DO THAT, BUT YOU DON'T JUST DO THAT OVERNIGHT. IT TAKES TIME. WE'VE JUST GOT TO REMEMBER, THE PEOPLE WE NEED TO COME IN THIS STATE AREN'T THE PEOPLE THAT ARE JUST GOING TO COME IN AND WORK AT SOME BIG COMPANY JOB. WE NEED PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO COME IN AND MAKE THE STATE A BETTER PLACE.

Mundt: VIRGINIA?

Janisek: WE ALSO NEED TO LOOK, THOUGH, NOT JUST AT PEOPLE THAT GREW UP IN IOWA, LEFT, AND CAME BACK. WE ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN OTHER STATES AND INVITING THEM TO IOWA TO COME HERE AND START THEIR LIFE. OUR TYSON/IBP EVENT CENTER JUST HAD AEROSMITH. WE BROUGHT -- ONLY 29 PERCENT OF THE GROUP THAT WAS THERE WAS ACTUALLY SIOUX CITY RESIDENTS. THEY CAME FROM OUTSIDE TO THE EVENT. WE'RE BRINGING PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT STATES IN. THEY'RE GOING TO START SEEING SOME OF THE QUALITY-OF-LIFE STUFF THAT WE HAVE TO OFFER AND MAYBE LOOK AT MOVING THEIR JOB TO OUR AREA IF WE HAVE THE JOBS.

Yepsen: TODD, FORMER COLORADO GOVERNOR ROY ROMER TOLD ME -- I ASKED HIM ABOUT SOME OF THESE SAME QUESTIONS ONE TIME WHEN I WAS INTERVIEWING HIM. THEY'VE GOT THE EXACT OPPOSITE PROBLEM IN COLORODO. IT'S GROWTH THAT THEY CAN'T HANDLE. AND HE SAID, "DAVID, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE SUCCESS." AND THEY CERTAINLY HAVE THIS PROBLEM IN OREGON, IN WASHINGTON STATE, GROWTH. TODD, I THINK THIS STATE IS ON THE CUSP OF A REALLY GREAT FUTURE. AND IF WE DO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE, SOME OF THE SOLUTIONS IN GOVERNMENT, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A GREAT FUTURE FOR ONE REASON: THIS IS STILL A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE. IN THE WORLD THAT WE'RE ENTERING IN THE 21ST CENTURY, IT CAN BE A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE. I HAVE FRIENDS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THAT IS NOT A SAFE PLACE. IT IS NOT A WORLD THEY WANT TO LIVE IN. IOWA IS A GOOD PLACE TO HIDE. [ LAUGHTER ]

Mundt: SOM?

Baccam: I JUST HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD THAT I DID A COUPLE WEEKS AGO WHEN I WAS IN PHOENIX FOR A VACATION. YOU KNOW, I THINK ALL OF US IOWANS HAVE TO BE A SPOKESPERSON TO GO OUT AND SELL A STATE. I WAS SITTING ON A BUS AND ONE GUY ASKED ME, "WHERE ARE YOU FROM?" I THINK HE EXPECTED ME TO SAY MY NATIVE COUNTRY, AND I SAID, "DES MOINES, IOWA." HE LOOKED AT ME AND -- "DES MOINES, IOWA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE?" I SAID, "YOU OUGHT TO GO THERE AND CHECK IT OUT. IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL. THE EDUCATION IS GREAT. WE HAVE A.P. SCHOLARS." YOU KNOW, WE JUST GOT TO TALKING. AND HE GOES, "YOU KNOW WHAT, NEXT TIME I THINK I WILL GO. I'M GOING TO LOOK YOU UP. I'M GOING TO CHECK OUT IOWA." SO I THINK IT'S THE PEOPLE THAT PRESENT THEMSELVES WHEN WE GO OUT OF STATE TO SELL OUR STATE TO BRING BACK VISITORS, TO GET THEM TO COME AND VISIT OUR STATE.

Argueta: WE'VE BEEN TALKING TODAY ABOUT RISK. I HEAR ALL OF YOU -- ALMOST ALL OF YOU MENTIONED THE WORD "RISK." MY ADVICE AS NOT A NATIVE FROM HERE, A FOREIGNER, IS THAT DON'T BE AFRAID TO RISK IN GETTING TO KNOW US. DON'T BE AFRAID TO BE UNKNOWN. MARY BETH YOUNG, A CITIZEN FROM MT. PLEASANT, ASKED ME HOW CAN I COMMUNICATE WITH THE ASIAN PEOPLE IF I DON'T KNOW THE LANGUAGE. I SAID SMILE TO THEM. SHE DID IT. SHE WAS VERY OBEDIENT TO ME, AND THE NEXT DAY SHE CAME TO THE MEETING AND SAID, "YOU KNOW, I DID WHAT YOU SUGGESTED I DID. I SMILED TO THEM AND THEY SMILED BACK TO ME." SO WE NEED TO MEET -- WE NEED TO KEEP MEETING LIKE THAT AND GAINING FROM BOTH GROUPS THE OLD SPIRIT AND THE FRESH BLOOD THAT WE BRING, THE PASSION, THE FAITH, THE FIRE WE HAVE.

Mundt: JERRY, WE'VE HAD A GREAT CONVERSATION HERE TONIGHT, AND WE'VE TALKED ABOUT SOME REALLY GREAT THINGS. BUT IT DOESN'T SOUND TO ME LIKE AN EIGHT-POINT PLAN PUT TOGETHER BY A VISION IOWA GROUP.

Kelley: NO, THAT'S NOT TRUE. IT IS AN EIGHT-POINT PLAN, AND BECAUSE ALL OF THE THINGS ARE INTEGRATED, YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT JOBS UNLESS YOU TALK ABOUT QUALITY OF LIFE. YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT AGRICULTURE UNLESS YOU TALK ABOUT EDUCATION. THE EIGHT THINGS IN THE IOWA 2010 PLAN ARE THE -- WE'VE TALKED ABOUT ALL OF THOSE ELEMENTS. PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT SOMETIMES. THEY KEEP TRYING TO COMPARTMENTALIZE THEM AND CREATE SILOS. A DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE, ALL OF THESE THINGS WORK TOGETHER. YOU CAN'T DO ONE UNLESS YOU ADDRESS THE OTHER. BUT WE'RE DOING IT. BUT IT'S GOING TO TAKE MORE PEOPLE AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE MORE PASSION. IOWANS NEED TO BE PASSIONATE. THEY NEED TO ENJOY LIFE. THEY NEED TO ENJOY EACH OTHER, AND THEY NEED TO LOOK FORWARD TO THE FUTURE AND QUIT WORRYING ABOUT THE PAST. LAUREL AND HARDY, MY TWO FAVORITE PHILOSOPHERS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: THINGS AREN'T LIKE THEY USED TO BE AND NEVER WERE. AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT.

Mundt: AND WE NEED TO, BY MORE TALKING, I THINK, CREATE A NETWORK SO THAT PEOPLE IN NORTHWEST IOWA AND SOUTHEAST IOWA, THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES WHO ARE MAKING CHANGE AND ACHIEVING RESULTS CAN TALK TO EACH OTHER.

Kelley: LET ME TELL YOU, VIRGINIA'S GROUP, THE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS OF IOWA -- AND WHEN WE WERE DOING THE IMAGINE IOWA'S FUTURE TOUR, WE FOUND YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN AMES, IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IN DUBUQUE, WATERLOO, CEDAR FALLS. THESE SELF-MOTIVATED, SELF-PROCLAIMED, THEY'RE THE FUTURE. AND THEY ARE ONE OF THE REALLY GREAT ASSETS OF THE STATE, AND THEY ARE STARTING TO COME TOGETHER AND TAKE THEIR PASSION FOR IOWA AND AFFECT THEIR COMMUNITIES. AND IT'S WONDERFUL.

Mundt: VIRGINIA, CAN YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING THAT THOSE INDIVIDUALS ARE DOING THAT'S MAKING A DIFFERENCE HERE IN IOWA FOR THE FUTURE?

Janisek: WELL, ONE PROJECT WE'RE WORKING ON IS CALLED SCULPT SIOUXLAND. WE'RE TAKING THE IDEA FROM GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, WHERE THEY PUT ART DOWNTOWN, SANCTION ARTISTS FOR ONE YEAR. WHAT IT DOES IS HELPS INCREASE THE FOOT TRAFFIC. I ACTUALLY WENT TO GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, WHEN I WAS A KID. WE SAW ONE ART PIECE. WE SAW ANOTHER ONE DOWN THE ROAD. WE WENT AND WALKED DOWNTOWN GRAND JUNCTION. WE'RE GOING TO IMPLEMENT THAT IN SIOUX CITY NEXT YEAR. SO WE'RE STARTING TO WORK WITH GETTING OUR ARTISTS LINED UP.

Mundt: GOVERNOR BRANSTAD, NOW THAT YOU'RE A FORMER GOVERNOR, WHY HAVE YOU STAYED IN IOWA?

Branstad: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I LOVE THIS STATE. THE THING ABOUT IOWA THAT IS SO GREAT IS THE PEOPLE. AS GOVERNOR I MADE A COMMITMENT THAT WHEN I WAS ELECTED GOVERNOR THAT I WOULD GO TO EVERY COUNTY IN IOWA EVERY YEAR THAT I WAS GOVERNOR, YOU KNOW, 99 COUNTIES.

Gartner: DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA YOU WERE GOING TO BE GOVERNOR FOR LIFE? [ LAUGHTER ]

Branstad: WELL, I DIDN'T EXACTLY KNOW HOW MANY YEARS THAT WOULD BE. BUT I GUESS I ENJOYED IT SO MUCH BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF WONDERFUL CARING PEOPLE OUT THERE, AND THAT'S WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT. IT REALLY NEVER HAD ANY THOUGHT -- ALSO, I WAS A VIETNAM-ERA DRAFTEE AND I REALLY KIND OF HAD SOME -- I SPENT A COUPLE YEARS IN THE SOUTH IN THE MILITARY, AND I REALLY GAINED AN APPRECIATION FOR WHAT WE HAVE IN IOWA AFTER I'D LIVED ELSEWHERE. AND SO WHEN I CAME BACK HERE TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL, I SAID THIS IS WHERE I WANT TO LIVE. AND I NEVER IMAGINED THAT I, AS A LAWYER WHO SPENT MOST OF MY LIFE IN PUBLIC SERVICE, WOULD NOW BE PRESIDENT OF A MEDICAL SCHOOL IN DES MOINES, IOWA. BUT I AM JUST, YOU KNOW -- I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT IT. AND I SEE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE THAT ARE IN MEDICAL SCHOOL, THEIR PASSION FOR HEALING PEOPLE AND FOR ENCOURAGING HEALTHY LIFESTYLES AND THINGS LIKE THAT. I'M REAL EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE. I THINK THERE'S GREAT OPPORTUNITIES AND I WANT TO DO ALL I CAN TO KEEP AS MANY OF THOSE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS HERE IN IOWA ONCE THEY GRADUATE AS WELL. WE BRING A LOT OF THEM FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND ALL OVER THE WORLD TO GO TO SCHOOL HERE. WE WANT TO KEEP A GOOD SHARE OF THEM HERE WHEN THEY GET DONE.

Mundt: WE HAVE JUST A FEW MINUTES LEFT BEFORE WE -- AND JUST ABOUT THREE MINUTES OR SO, ABOUT ENOUGH TIME FOR EACH OF YOU TO GIVE ME ABOUT A TWENTY-SECOND THOUGHT, MAYBE WHAT COMES TO YOUR MIND WHEN YOU IMAGINE IOWA. AND I WANT TO START WITH YOU, DAVE, AND WE'LL WORK OUR WAY DOWN THE GROUP. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU IMAGINE IOWA?

Sly: I THINK IN IMAGINING THE FUTURE OF IOWA, I THINK WE'RE GOING TO ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER OUR GOOD BUSINESS SENSE, OUR GOOD SENSE OF BASICALLY DOING WHAT'S RIGHT, AND BEING WELL EDUCATED, TO ADVANCE TECHNOLOGY AND TO ADVANCE NEW BUSINESSES SO THAT WE CAN COMPETE MUCH BETTER GLOBALLY.

Mundt: THANK YOU. BARBARA?

Mack: WHEN I THINK ABOUT IOWA, I THINK ABOUT A QUIET GREATNESS. AND I DON'T THINK WE'LL EVER BE A STATE OF BRAGGARTS, BUT I THINK WE WILL ALWAYS BE A STATE OF ACHIEVERS. I THINK THAT'S GOING TO INCLUDE THOSE OF US WHO WERE BORN HERE AND THOSE OF US WHO HAD THE GOOD SENSE TO MOVE HERE.

Mundt: THANK YOU, BARBARA. OSCAR?

Argueta: FIVE YEARS AGO THERE WERE NO ARGENTINEANS IN MT. PLEASANT, NO COSTA RICANS, NO GUATEMALANS, NO SELVADORIANS, NO NEWSPAPER, NO RADIO SHOW IN SPANISH, NO WELCOME MAT. AND FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, IMAGINE IOWA AND MT. PLEASANT. IT WILL BE A PLACE WHERE ALL THESE PEOPLE WITH TALENTS WILL BRING THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH MORE TALENTS AND ADD TO THIS COUNTRY THE GREATNESS THAT IT DESERVES.

Mundt: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. MICHAEL?

Gartner: I THINK OF IOWA AS A PLACE WHERE EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO DIGNITY, HAPPINESS, A JOB, AND A CHALLENGE.

Mundt: THANK YOU. SOM?

Baccam: I IMAGINE IOWA TO BE SOMEDAY THAT I CAN GO DOWNTOWN TO BE IN CHINATOWN OR I COULD GO TO WEST DES MOINES IF I WANT TO GO TO EUROPE AND GET SOME DIFFERENT TYPE OF FOOD OR SHOPPING. SO I'M JUST HOPING THAT, YOU KNOW, WE ALL COME TOGETHER AND SUPPORT ALL THESE IMMIGRANTS WITH THE ENTREPRENEUR OPPORTUNITIES AND IT'S A CLOSE-KNIT, FAMILY TYPE OF STATE.

Mundt: THANK YOU. GOVERNOR?

Branstad: WELL, I WANT TO SEE A PLACE THAT'S HEALTHY, WHERE PEOPLE LIVE A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE AND WORK WELL WITH EACH OTHER AND ENCOURAGE THE YOUTH TO STAY AND LOOK FOR NEW CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITY.

Mundt: ALL RIGHT. VIRGINIA?

Janisek: I IMAGINE IOWA WHERE MY HUSBAND AND I WILL BE ABLE TO RAISE OUR FAMILY AND OUR FAMILY WILL HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE ARE IN GETTING AND HAVING JOBS HERE IN IOWA.

Mundt: THANK YOU. DAVID?

Yepsen: TODD, I WANT IOWA TO BE A PLACE WHERE WE THINK AS MUCH ABOUT THE FUTURE AS WE DO ABOUT THE PAST. WE'VE GOT A LOT OF MUSEUMS OUT THERE. WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF THINK TANKS. I LIKE THIS CONVERSATION BECAUSE WE'RE THINKING ABOUT OUR FUTURE. WE NEED TO SPEND MORE TIME DOING THAT.

Mundt: JERRY?

Kelley: I IMAGINE AN IOWA WHERE IOWANS ARE INVOLVED IN MAKING THE DECISIONS. WE NEED PEOPLE WITH PASSION. THEY NEED TO GET OFF THE SIDELINES AND GET IN THE BATTLE.

Mundt: ALL RIGHT. THANKS TO OUR PANEL TONIGHT FOR BEING WITH US. AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING TONIGHT AS WE'VE TRIED TO IMAGINE IOWA HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. I'M TODD MUNDT. TAKING US OUT TONIGHT, THE MUSIC OF THREE IOWA MUSICIANS: AL MURPHY, DAVE MOORE, AND GUY DROLLINGER.


Tags: future Iowa