Lou Dobbs: Rapprochement?

By December 16, 2005Dobbs Watch

Dobbs WatchWell, sure enough, Jerry Jasinowski, President of the Manufacturing Institute, finally got his chance on Lou Dobbs’ show last night and he didn’t disappoint. Jerry got to set the record straight on the Skills Gap study, correcting Lou’s earlier and mistaken assertion (alone in the press) that the report somehow blamed the workers for the skills shortage. Jerry also corrected some of Lou’s old data on manufacturing wages which are actually much higher than the average overall wage. In fact, the average total compensation in manufacturing is 26% higher that the rest of the workforce. As for Lou’s “defense of the American middle class worker”, Jerry reminded him that this is a defense that we share. After all, it was manufacturing that built the middle class in this country.

In their brief dance on trade, Jerry shared Lou’s concern over the growing trade deficit, but pointed out the issue of currency as a big driver there, an issue that Lou has thus far largely overlooked.

The two of them got along quite well, actually had a civil discussion. Lou, we think, appeared genuinely surprised by Jerry’s demeanor, but it’s how Jerry is. He’s a gentleman — and, quite literally, a scholar. In the process, Lou learned a bit about the truth of our various stands on issues. We hope that sticks and we hope there are more invites to Jerry and to others who can carry the real manufacturing message. It is a message not of fear or despair, but of hope.

Here’s a link to the transcript of last night’s show.

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • clifford smith says:

    Even as manufacturing employment shrinks as a fraction of the economy, manufacturing output is up.
    And even with fewer manufacturing jobs, the impact on overall jobs and income is hardly dire. Could it be we can have other valuable things to do? The large scale trends are only positive.

    In 1967, 75.1% of 60.8 million households earned less than $50,000, while 8.2% earned more than $75,000.
    In 2003, 55.9% of 109.3 million households earned less than $50,000, while 26.1% earned more than $75,000.
    Figures are per US Census Bureau and dollars are given in inflation adjusted 2003 dollars.

    If the income distribution of 1967 still held in 2003, 19.2% more (75.1% instead of just 55.9%) or 21 million households would still be earning less than $50,000. Rather than discouraging, the change in income distribution since 1967 would seem to be quite positive for at least 21 million (formerly) low income households.

    And for those who would strive to be “rich,” 17.9% more (26.1% instead of only 8.2%) or 19.6 million households now earn more than $75,000 than if the income distribution had remained unchanged.

    The change in income distribution since 1967 at both ends of the income spectrum should be very encouraging for anyone who seeks the opportunity of the American dream in or out of manufacturing.

  • Pat Cleary says:


    Sorry — don’t believe so. I’m a common blogger.

    Pat Cleary

  • Ed Cotter says:

    Are U P Cleary of recent Arnold fame, via a health care co?


  • Jennifer says:

    Ron –

    exactly what is it that you consider crap?

  • Ron Tucker says:

    Do you people really think the american people are buying this crap?