Well, 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.
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