Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why Lou Dobbs Does a Disservice to America/Why I Hate Lou Dobbs

So Lou Dobbs is a flaming idiot. Not a stupid fellow, but an idiot nonetheless. I keep reading his driven on CNN.com, and every so ofter he's on while I am at the gym. I think he's never actually said something I agree with. His campaign for the 'middle-class' is hilarious, and his campaign against the evil immigrants is shortsighted and obnoxious at best. His flames against NAFTA and free trade policies are poorly formed and shortsighted, and his whole xenophobic attitude is reminiscent of bad times gone by, Why is it bad for America to buy things that are made less expensively overseas? Because people in Ohio lose their jobs? You know what? If Bob in Alabama can make my car part faster than Joe in Ohio, then maybe Joe should find something different to make, or figure out how to make that car part at a lower cost. If not, Joe won't be selling too many car parts anymore. Joe and all his employees are going to lose their jobs. They could:

A) Get some job retraining.
B) Sit around and complain about how the evil Alabamese and their price-cutting evil capitalist leaders are flooding the market with cheap car parts.
C) Take a long look at the state of the market and push your union reps to start defending not just your current wages, but the future of your family and community.

Unfortunately, they usually do B and C, but the culprit isn't Alabama, it's Mexico, China, Japan, what have you.

Lou Dobbs spends all his time spewing nativist rants about protectionism, when the simple fact is that America doesn't really NEED nor should it WANT to have these manufacturing jobs. The demand isn't there to buy goods made by union labor drawing $25-35 an hour. Why would it be? Lou Dobbs' next show topic should be called "The Fleecing of the Middle Class: Support America and Buy Overpriced Stuff!". How would that go over?

Want to rant about something, Lou? Rant about unions. Unions were created for a noble purpose. A century ago, Upton Sinclair wrote of the abominable conditions in factories, and the powerless workers who were just lucky to have a job, even if it meant risking their lives each and every day to do the work. Unions were necessary, and government controls were necessary. That kind of thing would never happen nowadays, and if it did, there would be some 20/20 expose or a YouTube video posted that would blow the scandal wide open. Unions are not protecting people's safety anymore. So, what do they do? Let's see.

1) Take a cut of everyone's check
2) Use that money to pay for a cadre of lobbyists in DC who bribe politicians to support the unsustainable industry
3) Force companies to pay unsustainable wages to the workers in the union in the unsustainable industry
4) Strike when the unsustainable industry tries to do something that will lower costs, hence making it a sustainable industry
5) Pay unemployment (only for a while) when their bully tactics inevitably end with bankruptcy and business shutdowns of said unsustainable industries

Where is the union after the factory moves to Alabama? In Alabama, of course, where the cycle of inevitable cost rises will continue. What about when the factory moves to Mexico? Hmm. No more union. What do those workers do then? Collect unemployment and watch Lou Dobbs! Yay!

Why aren't the unions doing the respectable thing and telling their people "Look guys, here's the deal - this is no longer a manufacturing economy. This plant will eventually move or shut down, so what you guys need to do is get educated so that you can get a job in the service industry. We are going to take all your dues and help this become a reality. In the meantime, we probably won't get many pay raises for you, but we will work with the companies to keep your jobs while you go to school and get training." That would be so much more productive. But instead, we complain about evil NAFTA. Meh. Not that great.

The immigration policy rants by Dobbs are a whole 'nother post.