The Real Reason Jobs Go Offshore

By June 14, 2005Dobbs Watch

Dobbs WatchEnergizeEcon.jpg Our pal Louie was at it again tonight, interviewing Clyde Prestowitz. Can you guess what’s Clyde’s view of trade is? Right-o. You know what it is if he was on Lou’s show. He’s a card-carrying Flat Earth guy. Here’s a quick way to get on TV: just say that trade is bad, say that America is being outsourced, and Lou will probably ask you to be his Joan Rivers (a la Johnny Carson) guest host when he goes to hunt illegals on the border.

In any event, while Lou is busy reading a yellowed and dog-eared script over and over again, we’re out here trying to make a difference, trying to make it easier for manufacturers to compete in this global economy. We put up the maps, below, that tell the tale of the huge disparity in natural gas prices around the world, among our competitors. Ours are the highest.

Now comes a great ad from the Consumer’s Alliance for Affordable Natural Gas, which will run around town this week. It shows the real reason why jobs are going offshore. The chemical industry alone has closed some 70 facilities in 2004 and has another 40 scheduled to be shuttered. From employment over a million in 2002, they are now at 880,000. Long a net plus in the balance of trade, the chemical industry is hurting. Anyone in the industry will tell you that reason number one is the price of natural gas.

Those are facts, but it doesn’t fit into Lou’s script. But if he were serious and not a demagogue, he’d be talking about it, helping to make a difference and not just being a clanging gong.