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No Port Security? Blame the Workers

Reported by Judy - March 6, 2006

The Bush administration has paid little attention to port security and wants to put a company owned by a country that recognized the Taliban in charge of operating six major U.S. ports. But guess who Fox News says is to blame for the lack of port security.

That would be union workers, of course -- corporate America's all-purpose scapegoats.

Neil Cavuto on Saturday (March 4, 2006) opened "Cavuto on Business" with the premise that longshoremen -- the guys who unload the ships -- are responsible for the failure of the U.S. to inspect containers that come into the U.S. Jim Rogers, investor and author of Hot Commodities, claimed that union interest in preserving jobs kept U.S. ports from introducing new technology to scan container contents.

Gregg Hymowitz, founder of EnTrust Capital, vigorously dismissed Rogers' claim, noting that U.S. ports are among the most efficient in the world and that most longshoremen, rather than being muscular workers toting barrels and bales, actually sit behind computers controlling heavy machinery that unloads cargo.

Even Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, disagreed with Rogers. He said the tight familial connections required to get hired into a longshoreman's job are probably the best screening system ports could have to keep out terrorists.

This blame-the-longshoremen tactic is so typical of the Bush administration -- when prisoners are abused in Abu Ghraib, it's the corporals that are to blame. When Congress and Bush fail to appropriate money to inspect cargo containers, it's the workers' fault. What exactly is Bush responsible for? The buck only stops on the little guy this days.

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