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Job Losses? What Job Losses?

Reported by Judy - March 27, 2006

Anyone who gets all his or her news about the U.S. economy from Fox News' "Cavuto on Business" would never know that the American auto industry is near collapse, tens of thousands of workers are losing their jobs, and the pensions of tens of thousands of others are in danger.

Neil Cavuto on Saturday (March 25, 2006) kept up his "everything's coming up roses" scenario for the U.S. economy by opening his show thusly: "Are liberals telling lies about the economy? ... A booming economy, a soaring stock market and more than 95 percent of Americans gainfully employed -- that is America right now. But you'd never know it from listening to these guys [pictures of Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi]. Why all the doom and gloom from largely, I hate to say it, liberals?"

Meanwhile, the screen displayed a chyron reading,“Liberal Lies?” That was followed by a full-screen graphic that read: "Good Times: 3.5 percent growth in 2005, Dow 11,280, 95.2 percent employment.” Cavuto neglected to mention exactly what any liberal has said about the economy recently that might constitute a "lie." Picky, yes, but if a journalist is going to accuse someone of lying, they ought to say what the lie was. But, of course, that assumes Cavuto is a journalist.

Then Cavuto went to his panel, beginning with Herman Cain, a radio talk show host whose economic expertise seems to reside in the fact that he is a rich African American who has figured out that he can get lots of attention from rich white Republicans if he is willing to dump on poor people. Cain's response to Cavuto's "liberal lies" bait: "The cut and run group that last December wanted to cut and run from Iraq, they've now become the bash and trash group. Every measure of the U.S. economy points to an economy that is stable and growing. They are desperate for an election-year message and they're having a hard time finding one because they can no longer bash the economy because people are waking up to the fact that job growth is up, even manufacturing activity is way up, so they’re just desperate for a message, so all they have left is to try to trash and bash the administration and the war.”

Cavuto went to the rest of his panel, which included the competent and articulate Danielle Hughes, from Divine Capital Markets, who is a progressive; Rebecca Gomez, a Fox News reporter who doesn't seem to know much about the economy but is pretty and has a Latina last name; Jim Fisher, from Univest Corp., and Jim Rogers, author of Hot Commodities.

Then Cavuto turned to his guest, Democratic strategist Morris Reid, but instead of letting Reid respond to the same question as everyone else, Cavuto changed the focus of the discussion to put Reid on the defensive, saying that the U.S. economy is almost identical to the 1990s and President Clinton got a lot of praise for the economy. "Why is that?" Cavuto demanded.

Cavuto offered no instances of anyone praising Clinton for the economy of the 1990s at the time. In fact, the situation was just the opposite. The Republicans in Congress claimed all the credit for it. Reid, however, said that Clinton was "very focused on workers" and then put the spotlight on the plight of workers today, including 30,000 jobs being cut at Ford and 8,000 at Kraft. "If you're in management things look pretty good. If you're a worker it doesn’t look that stable," he said.

Cain jumped on those losing their jobs, betraying not a hint of compassion or empathy for their plight, smugly promising: "Anybody can work who wants to work. ... There is no excuse for somebody who wants a job not to have a job." When Reid insisted that these people's jobs are going away, Cain suggested they just get a different job or "go back to school."

So how does one just get a different job if a factory with several thousand workers in the same area shuts down? The lines for job applications at the local Wal-Mart will be a little long, won't they? Going back to school at what, 50 years of age, isn't the easiest thing to do. And what job would they train for that won't be outsourced next year to India? As this story in Sunday's New York Times shows, retraining is an increasingly futile exercise. The woman doing the retraining in this story said her husband had been laid off six times in 25 years.

Maybe they could just move away to where the economy is better, but selling the house might be a problem when three or four thousand other houses in the neighborhood are also on the auction block.

Face it, options are few for a lot of people, but those are facts that bounce right off the foreheads of people like Cain, who lack any compassion or empathy for others.

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