Lou Dobbs: There He Goes Again…..

By December 14, 2005Dobbs Watch

Dobbs WatchNot sure how many of you watched Lou’s show last night. Of course, if you saw it in any prior night for the past several years, you caught the gist of last night’s story — trade is bad, immigration is bad, etc, etc.

Well, any-hoo, in the course of this vale of tears, he took to some good ol’-fashioned name-calling — about us. Yeesh! He went back to the recent Skills Gap study –a study covered favorably by every single press outlet — and there were hundreds — except for Lou, who manged to put a negative spin on it. He continued that spin last night with the help of correspondent Bill Tucker. They somehow juxtaposed the number of applicants for the great jobs at the new Toyota plant in San Antonio with the study’s finding (consistent with every past survey we’ve done) that “some 90% of manufacturers report moderate to severe shortages of qualified production employees” (they got that part right at least), especially those requiring higher sills.

This is either sloppy or sensational journalism, or both. Both facts are true. There are plenty of applicants at the Toyota plant and manufacturers overall are suffering from a lack of skilled workers. New Orleans had a flood while the Midwest had a drought. Conspiracy? Fraud? Don’t think so. Lou bolstered his case once again with quotes from the lefty Economic Policy Institute, who blamed it all on that faceless bogeyman of “globalization.” Nevermind that manufacturing workers involved in exporting make more than their counterparts who aren’t. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story after all.

Manufacturing Institute President (Lou keeps saying “NAM President”, just more sloppy journalism) Jerry Jasinowski was slated to go on Lou’s show the night before Thanksgiving but pulled out because of the hatchet job Lou did on their study. Again, Lou was the only one who made a divisive issue out of a unifying study. The skills shortage is real, talk to any manufacturer. Lou could either focus on that or be content to throw brickbats, hoping to bolster his sagging ratings.

For the record, we return all our calls, even to Lou and his folks. We’re quite sure someone from the Manufacturing Institute will be happy to go on Lou’s show to discuss the real results of this study. That is, if Lou’s willing to do a story without a villain….

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Pat Cleary says:


    You should read the study — we don’t blame the workers for anything. Don’t believe everything you see on Lou’s show.

    Thanks for writing.

  • ronny sczruba says:

    Just watched Lou Dobbs’ show with Jerry Jasinowski.
    I would like to commend Jerry for chapping his lips on Lou’s ass,and for proving a point that most skilled american workers have known for years. The only thing unskilled in America is Management!
    All the problems facing “So Called” American Manufacturers are created by Those “So-Called” American Manufacturers. Trying to place blame on your employees for your problems is ludicris, If you want to find a solution for your problems, Try looking in a mirror!
    Start honoring your responsibilities to the Americans who made you what you were, American Manufacturers

  • While I can’t speak for other manufacturing segments, I’d say it’s true in apparel. The problem is -in our business-, once a person is hired, there’s little to no commitment to train or further a worker’s skills either. Considering the irony, I find it contradictory that an apparel manufacturer would complain of low skill levels from entry level workers.

    Worse, I don’t see owner/operators stampeding to teach themselves better operations methods considering the plethora of FREE tools on
    the web -much less pay for it- so if owners won’t do it for themselves, why should manufacturers complain about low skills when they need improvement themselves? Again, I’m talking strictly about apparel. Of all the segments
    in manufacturing, apparel has ALWAYS been the endeavor with the lowest levels and commitments to education, training, plant infrastructure and the like. Perhaps this report
    would be educational; the low levels of owner
    commitment to plant infrastructure -both human and
    technological- is nothing new. Why should apparel manufacturers complain about low levels of human skill infrastructure when they do little to advance the skills of the people they do have?