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Fox News Suggests Pay Cuts Are “Good For America!”

Reported by Ellen - January 21, 2011 -

By Brian

On Saturday (1/15/11) Forbes on Fox debated panelist Dennis Kneale’s suggestion that pay cuts are good for our economy and, therefore, as the banner on the screen read, “GOOD FOR AMERICA!” Funny, none of the proponents volunteered to reduce their own wages.

Kneale said that when wages are low, U.S. productivity “is among the highest in the entire world” and that keeps prices down. When wages are “too high,” our automobile industry “gets destroyed by Japan or Korea.” He also noted, “the airline industry has a problem."

Steve Forbes, who’s usually on board with any conservative meme, argued against this one. "If that was true, North Korea would be a global power today... When high qualified people have to take low-paid jobs, that means this economy is not doing what it should do." He said the economic problems were a "weak dollar, uncertainty about taxes, massive new regulations coming across from health care."

Elizabeth MacDonald also disagreed with Kneale. "Dennis lost me at the term if wages are low, … and Neil lost me at wages being flexible… If that were true, there’d be zero unemployment… We've got soaring tuition and health care costs, soaring clothing and gas costs… It’s a dreadful trend"

But Neil Weinberg said he wanted “flexibility.” "The issue is do we have a good labor market when wages are going down… Would we be better off like we were in Detroit where we had wages going up and up and we put ourselves into bankruptcy? …Thank God that in our economy wages can go down (or) we'd be France."

Bill Baldwin also wanted "flexible wages.” He said, “When demand slackens, your employer would be cutting your bonus check, he wouldn't be firing you."

Quentin Hardy, the only progressive on the panel, told his "crazy-haired friend" Kneale, "The lowest wage countries in the world are Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. The highest wage is Switzerland. Where would you rather live?"

Kneale shot back, "It's just the market. What do you want, a maximum wage?"

Weinberg, in a let ‘em eat cake if they can afford it moment, said, "Quentin, you were talking about the fact that people in Bangladesh… aren't making money. That's how you start out. You pull yourself up by your fingernails… What we need in the United States right now is a certain moderation."

Comment: Sure. Let's see if these guys "moderate" with their own salaries. I'm not holding my breath.

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