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Conservatives Wave "Bye" to Manufacturing Jobs

Reported by Judy - November 12, 2005

Fox News Channel has a message for all you blue collar workers out there worried about losing your jobs to overseas competition: Tough luck.

Neil Cavuto, on his "Cavuto on Business" show Saturday (November 12, 2005), interviewed John Stossel, the co-host of ABC-TV's "20/20" program and author of Give Me a Break, on the topic of manufacturing jobs going overseas.

Sending jobs overseas creates new jobs, Stossel said, because when a company saves money by exporting jobs, it has more money to do new things.

Cavuto asked Stossel, "People say manufacturing jobs are leaving. What do you say?"

"Bye!" said Stossel, waving at the camera. "There's nothing wonderful about manufacturing jobs. I think if you look at what we want for our kids, that should answer the question. We don't want them working in a factory where the work is underpaid, I mean, is very hard, it may be uncomfortable. ... We want them taking jobs as engineers, as biologists. We think the services jobs are good for our kids. I think it's great if people in other countries want to manufacture things and we can just import it and pay for it with our service jobs."

Stossel brushed aside Cavuto's question about whether countries that do not make things lose their dominance. "Where's the evidence. We can trade for the goods we need," he said. Stossel added that we need not worry about bad relations arising with the nations we import from because we can just switch to someone else.

Cavuto did a lackluster job of interviewing Stossel. He never pressed him on any point, such as whether running a negative trade balance as the U.S. does is good for the nation in the long run. Nor did he force Stossel to really deal with the issue of relations with trading partners on which we are dependent for manufactured goods. I think that's because Cavuto basically agreed with Stossel and knew that Fox News Channel's position is the same. Manufacturing workers usually are represented by unions. Get rid of the manufacturing jobs and you get rid of the unions and that will make business happy.

Later in the show, guest Jonathan Hoenig, capitalistpig.com, predicted that General Motors Corp. would "go belly-up by the spring of 2006." Cavuto asked him if that would bring a bailout of the kind that helped Chrysler remain in business for 20-some years before merging with Daimler.

"God, I hope not!" said Hoenig, living up to the name of his website.

Hoenig and Stossel showed their disdain for people who work with their hands. Stossel says we don't want our kids doing these jobs because they might be "uncomfortable." What about the people who are doing those jobs now? What about their hopes for their kids? A lot of factory workers are a little too old to retrain for those jobs as biologists. Engineering jobs? You can kiss those goodbye. The engineering jobs will go where the manufacturing is. If we're not making anything, we don't need many engineers. And if they can figure out how to manufacture things overseas, they'll eventually figure out they can do the engineering over there, too, with engineers that earn a lot less than ones in this country.

In World War II, Josef Stalin looked at the shiploads of tanks, trucks, jeeps, and other materiel that Michigan was sending to the U.S.S.R. and said, "Detroit is winning the war." Michigan was the world's Arsenal of Democracy then. When that manufacturing base is gone, we won't be able to get it back overnight. Tool and die making and all the other skills that support the auto industry are not learned overnight.

How will we support our military with only service jobs? Our soldiers don't need McDonald's hamburgers overseas. They need tanks, planes, ships, helicopters, and guns. Will we let the Chinese make those for us once our manufacturing capacity is lost?

The French already have won the contract to build the next presidential helicopter. Yeah, Cavuto, the French!
The most powerful country in the world cannot even make a helicopter to take its leader to Camp David for the weekend.

If GM goes bankrupt, many other large companies will follow. They will figure out that if they go bankrupt, they can get out of union contracts, payments to their pension plans, and obligations to existing retirees. A lot of people are going to suffer. And people like Hoenig and Stossel don't give a damn.

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