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FOX News Headline: "Losing Factory Jobs Is Good for America!"

Reported by Marie Therese - January 8, 2007 -

Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics reports show that prospects are bleak for American factory workers (my youngest brother included). 12,000 manufacturing jobs were lost last month and the projected trend line through 2014 is down, down, down. However, for some of the replete fat cat "business analysts" on last Saturday's Forbes on FOX show, such a job loss is - to paraphrase Martha Stewart - a good thing. The only problem is they weren't talking about baking blueberry compote, but about the lifeblood of a nation. FOX News host David Asman set the tone for this foray into fantasyland with his toothy smile and bright, bubbly lead-in: "Well, the latest employment reports show that 12,000 more factory jobs were cut last month and THAT is great news for America. Well, the more manufacturing jobs we lose the better, some here say!" (With video.)

The video below speaks for itself. Thankfully, Quentin Hardy and Dennis Kneale spoke up (sort of) for the working men and women of this country. However, the remaining members of the panel - John Rutledge, Michelle Steele and Steve Forbes - made it very clear that they have zero understanding of or concern for the devastation caused when workers lose their jobs.

Remember, as you watch the video, that when they speak of an increase in productivity it means one of two things. A worker was replaced by a machine or was asked to do more work in the same number of hours.

Additionally, when Michelle Steele claims that "logistics" jobs are comparable in pay to factory jobs, she is basically distorting the truth to lull the FOX viewers into a false sense of security. There are not enough of those high-paying logistics jobs to employ the tens of thousands of displaced factory workers. The word "logistics" has been carefully coined to mean anything from a unionized teamster hauling cheap Chinese stuff across country in his big rig to the low-paid Wal-Mart employee loading that same cheap Chinese stuff onto a hand cart for placement in the store.

It still confounds me that American workers have allowed themselves to be distracted by phony "culture" issues like stem cell research and abortion while corporate America has engaged in a carefully planned, systematic evisceration of our manufacturing sector.

I firmly believe that all business analysts on all business shows should be required to publish their entire investment portfolio for all to see. It has long been my contention that many of the FOX News Business Analysts are - like their uber-boss Rupert Murdoch - heavily invested in China and other countries that have robust economies fueled by massive increases in manufacturing output. In other words, while they wave the American flag and say rah-rah, they are actually investing in countries outside the United States. I, for one, would like to know exactly where they're putting all their money all the time.

ERRATA: Post corrected 9:20 PM EST. Adam Lashinsky was not part of this panel. His name has been removed. He's part of the next panel in the next post that I'm working on. Hat tip to John for the catch. - MT