As regular blog readers know, we’ve kinda laid off Lou Dobbs these days as he continues to run the same show day in and day out, and as his air time continues to dwindle. In fact, our last piece, “Lou Dobbs Jumps the Shark” was the first thing we had written in a while, as he becomes more and more of a shill for the AFL-CIO and their issues. Heck, we can duel with them directly without going through Lou.
Well, we started getting a few comments on Wednesday on our “Jumps the Shark” entry and wondered what was up. We should preface this all by saying that Lou’s off the air this week, so his minions have taken over, but they are clearly sprung from his loins as their stuff looks frighteningly like his. Something in the water up there, we guess. (Who knows? Maybe they’re drinking out of the Hudson River….)
In any event, as you know, we unveiled our 2005 Skills Gap Survey on Tuesday which we recounted below. The beauty of this issue (up ’til now, that is) is that in a city so polarized, this is one topic that seems to unite folks from both ends of the spectrum, i.e., the need for skills in our manufacturing workplace.
So we checked out the transcript from Dobbs’ Tuesday show and found this whopper:
“A new study finds fault with American workers for this country’s manufacturing decline.” When the story ran, it ran with the banner, “Manufacturers Blame Factory Workers for Job Loss”.
How on earth anyone could glean this nugget from this study is beyond anyone who actually read it — or who even read the Executive Summary. Dobbs’ show went on to interview the left-leaning (although they forgot to add that appellation) Economic Policy Institute as saying, “A lot of times when employers are saying we can’t find the skilled workforce they need, the unspoken part of that is, not at the pay raise [they presumably said “rate”] we’re offering.”
Do these people live in the same manufacturing country that we do? Manufacturing workers’ pay is some 20% higher than the average pay. They’re well-paid because they are the best manufacturing workers in the world, plain and simple. Our manufacturers find and keep the best talent by providing top of the line pay and benefits packages. What world do these other folks live in? They need to go talk to a real manufacturer.
Dobbs’ folks threw in some guy from the AFL-CIO (at least we know where they’re coming from) who says that manufacturers cut back on training when times get tough. Actually, that’s not true, but in a mountain of so much stuff that wasn’t true, it was just one more near-fact tossed in the pile.
So Jerry Jasinowski, President of the Manufacturing Institute, the sponsors of the study, was set to go on Dobbs’ show on Wednesday night, a full day after they had stacked the deck against him and made this non-partisan study into an “us vs. them” story. At the last minute, Jasinowski had to decline. And so in Wednesday’s transcript is this gem:
Now, we had hoped to continue our discussion of the competitiveness of American workers with Jerry Jasinowski, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers (sic). However, Mr. Jasinowski today decided to cancel his appearance on this program.
It should be pointed out that NAM sponsors a blog that continually derides this show’s anchor and its reporting and repeatedly calls for opposing positions to be aired.
Now, we had hoped to do just that before Mr. Jasinowski’s change of heart. For the record, we stand by Lisa Sylvester’s report and our invitation to Mr. Jasinowski remains open.”
For the record, they really weren’t having a “discussion of the competitiveness of American workers.” And furthermore, by no stretch of the imagination did the study, “find fault with American workers for this country’s manufacturing decline.” Far from it. As you can see from this summary, it was all pretty forward-looking, identifying problems and offering solutions — not blaming anybody.
Looks like Lou decided to offer up a turkey a little early. Suffice it to say that the press coverage of this study was overwhelming, and overwhelmingly positive. For some reason, only Lou Dobbs’ show drew this conclusion. If we didn’t know any better, we’d almost think that either they didn’t read the study, or they had an agenda.
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