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Job Creation Stalls; Interview With Commerce Secretary Don Evans

Aired January 9, 2004 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: a shocking employment report, virtually no new net jobs created in this economy last month, corporate America enjoying rising profits, while unemployed Americans struggle to find work and pay their bills.
In "Exporting America" tonight, not only does this country have a half-trillion dollar trade deficit with the world; Americans don't even own the ships that bring those products to our shores.

In "Broken Borders" tonight, no matter what the president and Congress decide about immigration reform, millions of illegal aliens are likely to remain in this country forever. Tonight, we focus on why and what should be done.

And in "Heroes," we introduce to you to a soldier wounded in battle and decorated for his bravery in Iraq, now home struggling with the next phase of his life.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Friday January 9. Here now, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening.

Employers all but stopped hiring new workers in the month of December, and more than 300,000 people looking for work simply abandoned their search for jobs. The Labor Department today said employers added only 1,000 new net jobs in December, even though economic growth has risen sharply in recent months. The unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent, but that was entirely due to the large number of people who dropped out of the labor market altogether.

Instead of hiring new staff, companies have been working their existing employees harder and shipping an increasing number of American jobs overseas.

President Bush, with an eye on the election campaign, today said the economy is improving, but America needs more jobs.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I see things happening. Unemployment dropped today to 5.7 percent. That's not good enough. We want more people still working. But, nevertheless, it is a positive sign that the economy is getting better.


DOBBS: The president's analysis of the jobs report not shared entirely by Wall Street investors and most economists. Economists, in fact, say this is not only a jobless recovery. It is beginning to look like a selfish recovery.

Corporate America's profits are now surging, but business is investing only modestly and not hiring, at least in this country.

Peter Viles reports.


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The jobless recovery alive and kicking. In fact, it's kicking American workers right in the teeth. Here is an example. Holiday sales came in better than expected. How did the retailers do it? By pushing their workers harder and harder. In fact, retailers cut 38,000 jobs last month, on top of 28,000 jobs they cut in November.

ERIC FRY, "THE DAILY RECKONING": I'm not a trained economist, but I would say the jobs report was awful.

VILES: In this recovery, profits are not trickling down to workers.

Backed by worker productivity gains, corporate profits rose an estimated 22 percent last quarter. Investors are riding a new bull market and yet employers are not giving raising and they're not hiring. In many cases, they are moving jobs overseas.

RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO: When you see the corporate profits increasing by 25 percent, but workers wages stagnant, that's a bad policy. The jobs that are being created are, one, two-thirds of them are part-time, and they are inferior when it comes to wages, on average, $2.50 an hour less.

VILES: Put it another way. Americans are working harder, smarter and more productively and they have nothing to show for it right now.

BILL DUDLEY, GOLDMAN SACHS: The businesses don't pay higher wages if they don't have to. And they don't have to when the unemployment rate is high. So, I think that the productivity growth will eventually get captured by workers, but only after the fed pushes the unemployment rate lower than it is right now.

VILES: Labor leaders now talk of 15 million Americans who want work. And here's how they get there: 8.4 million officially unemployed, another 1.5 million not working, but not counted as unemployed, because they have given up working lately, and another 4.8 million who want a full-time job, but can only find part time work, total 14.7 million.


VILES: Now, there is another factor. And that is the huge underground labor market in the United States, illegal workers. It is likely there is job creation in that sector. And it could well be that that job creation hurting job growth, Lou, in the legal economy.

DOBBS: And likely, not only possible. All right, Pete, it's a sad commentary.

VILES: I wish we had better news on this.

DOBBS: Pete, thank you very much -- Peter Viles.

Well, in "Exporting America" tonight, American businesses are not the only ones exporting American jobs. So are a number of state governments. Those governments are using taxpayer dollars to employ workers in India, Mexico, and other countries to do government business.

Katharine Barrett reports on what is a rising controversy from Washington state.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the customer service help line.

KATHARINE BARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Call the welfare office in Washington state to check your food stamp balance, and, if you want a human voice, you may be routed to Bangalore, India, or Mexico.

New software for Washington State Health Care Authority is being coded in part in Hyderabad. Even a Department of Corrections contract with IBM may be filled, in part, overseas. In a state with the nation's fourth highest unemployment rate, labor groups are stunned and steamed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shocking. It's just absolutely unbelievable that the state government would willingly begin to hire skilled technical workers in India at the same time Washington state high-tech workers are facing double-digit unemployment.

BARRETT: Politicians defend the practice of sending work overseas, saying the technology projects aid government efficiency and save money. Battered by a recession, Washington state has cut corners to overcome a $2.5 billion budget shortfall.

TOM FITZSIMMONS, WA GOVERNOR'S CHIEF OF STAFF: We want the most value for our technology investment. And the most value adds up to perhaps including teams of vendors that include capacities from offshore.

BARRETT: But those capacities may not always live up to their promise. The Indian subcontractor building Washington's new health authority software has repeatedly delayed delivery. Local legislators are battling back. Zack Hudgins will introduce a bill next week preventing government from hiring overseas workers. ZACK HUDGINS, WASHINGTON STATE REPRESENTATIVE: We're talking about millions of dollars that are being expended on these I.T. projects. And that's potentially millions of dollars that can be spent in our state that aren't.

BARRETT: Washington is one of five states considering similar legislation to keep government jobs on U.S. shores. But, so far, none of those have passed into law.

Katharine Barrett, for CNN, Olympia, Washington.


DOBBS: New Jersey is also one of the states that's been considering a law to prevent the export of government jobs. But a powerful coalition of lobbyist groups convinced lawmakers in New Jersey to bury a bill that would have stopped taxpayer dollars going to foreign workers.

Bill Tucker reports.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bill to ban outsourcing of state contracts sailed through the New Jersey Senate, passing unanimously on a vote of 40-0, and then hit a brick wall in the assembly state government committee, where it sat for over a year and was never given a hearing or a vote. The Information Technology Association of America opposed the bill and actively lobbied against it.

HARRIS MILLER, ITAA: What we're objecting to is these across- the-board bans in which the only factor that a procurement official would be able to consider when making the determination of looking at the vendors who want to bid on that contract is whether the work is done inside the United States or outside the United States.

TUCKER: The ITAA is an industry alliance. Time Warner, parent of CNN, is a member. The bill was also supported by NASSCOM, a consortium of companies in India that provide outsourcing services.

Public relations powerhouse Hill & Knowlton represents NASSCOM's interests. A representative from Hill & Knowlton says the firm didn't so much lobby against the bill as -- quote -- "educate lawmakers." Hill & Knowlton continues to represent NASSCOM and says it isn't currently educating legislators in any other state.

Senator Turner isn't going away.

SHIRLEY TURNER (D), NEW JERSEY STATE SENATOR: The bill may be dead, but my efforts are not. And I am determined that I'm going to get this bill passed. And, in fact, it will be my first order of business.

TUCKER: The senator will reintroduce her bill to ban taxpayer money from going to overseas labor as early as next week. (END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER: And while the senator will not let her bill fade away, the opposition is no less committed to making sure that these types of legislations in whatever state they appear, Lou, don't get passed.

DOBBS: Bill, this is -- it's amazing. We are seeing the economic power at work here, now the political power. And, again, working men and women in this country are seriously under-represented, whether it be in state or federal Capitol buildings.

TUCKER: Exactly right.

DOBBS: Bill, thank you very much -- Bill Tucker.

Coming up next, "Exporting America," on, of course, foreign ships. Another American industry falls to foreign competition. We'll tell you all about that.

And Commerce Secretary Don Evans will join us. He's the point man on the president's team on the economy. And he is the point man on the president's plan to put Americans back to work. He joins us to discuss what it will take.

And in "Heroes" tonight, an Army staff sergeant who has been home from Iraq for months, but still living the war every day.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Not only is the United States' trade deficit surging to record highs, an expected half-trillion dollars this year; the imports we are buying are arriving on foreign-owned ships. Foreign companies have bought out nearly all of the top American cargo carriers. And now our port terminals are increasingly under the control of, you guessed it, foreign companies.

Kitty Pilgrim reports on yet another in which way we have exported America.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seven hundred and fifty billion dollars worth of goods come into the United States on ships each year, but not one of the top 10 international shipping companies is American-owned.

ALAN HICKS, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT POLICY, P&O NEDLLOYD: The major U.S. flag operators have been absorbed by non-U.S. companies. The U.S. has gotten out of operating container ships on a major basis. As manufacturing has moved offshore, shipping as a quintessential smokestack industry has followed that same path.

PILGRIM: Four major American shipping companies have been bought in the last six years. The premier American shipper, Sealand, has been bought by Danish-owned Maersk. A company once known as American Presidential Line is now called APL and has been bought by Singapore- based NOL. Lykes was bought by Canada's C.P. Ships, and Farrell bought by Anglo-Dutch P&O.

One reason for the buyouts, foreign governments often subsidize their international shipping companies. So many American firms found they just couldn't compete in international shipping.

PETER TIRSCHWELL, "THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE": A number of foreign companies remain partially owned by the government, fully owned by the government, and, therefore, they are somewhat immune to the boom-and- bust cycles that tend to characterize container shipping.

PILGRIM: As foreign ships come into port here in the United States to unload, the shipping terminals are also increasingly run by foreign companies.

CHRIS KOCH, PRESIDENT & CEO, WORLD SHIPPING COUNCIL: Certainly, the vast majority of the carriers serving our ports are not American- owned companies. But the ports are set up to serve whatever carriers come in, whether they be German, British, or Japanese carriers.

PILGRIM: An estimated 50 percent of East Coast terminals and 30 percent of West Coast terminals are leased and operated by foreign companies. And industry experts say that trend will continue.


PILGRIM: It's not just manufactured goods that have to be sent by foreign ships. Virtually all U.S. oil imports that come by sea are transported by foreign vessels -- Lou.

DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much -- Kitty Pilgrim.

Economists predict that the U.S. trade deficit with China will reach $130 billion this year. One of China's leading exports to this country is furniture. Today, the United States International Trade Commission voted unanimously that there is evidence that cheap Chinese imports are hurting American furniture-makers. The Commerce Department now must decide whether China is illegally dumping that furniture and whether then to take action.

Last year, the government imposed anti-dumping sanctions against Chinese textile and television makers.

Let's take a look now at some of your thoughts. On the president's proposal to give millions of illegal aliens legal status in this country, Carl Orahood of Willowbrook, Illinois, wrote: "Can I, as an American citizen, legally change my status to undocumented worker? This way, I can get a job, medical assistance, and a driver's license."

William MacRae of Culver City, California: "If we do not want to import foreign labor for low-paying jobs, then we need to raise the wages of the low-paying jobs, to the point that Americans will want to do them and be able to make a living, even if it means that we pay higher prices for goods."

Sandy of Depew, New York: "Gee, why doesn't Mexico just become the 51st state?"

On the president's announcement expected next week to build a permanent space station on the moon, Gary Goodrich of Brookfield, Wisconsin, wrote to say: "Clearly, sending certain politicians to the moon would serve the nation well. It would also free millions of hard-working American citizens from the fear and insecurity to which they have been condemned by an economy ravaged by outsourcers and proponents of endless worker visas."

And Robert from Ancrum, Illinois: "In hearing of Carly Fiorina's God-given right statement, I feel I have to make my own comment. I have been a good HP customer for the last six years, thinking I was supporting a U.S. company and the U.S. economy. One thing is for sure. She has no God-given right to any more of my business."

We love hearing from you. E-mail us at

Coming up here next, Commerce Secretary Don Evans. We'll be talking about a job market that has turned stagnant and what the commerce secretary sees ahead for our economy.

We'll be joined later by Kathleen Newland of the Migration Policy Institute, who says the president's immigration policy, at least in some respects, is what she calls a fool's errand. She joins us.

Please stay with us.


DOBBS: Our top story tonight, the unemployment rate declining to 5.7 percent for the month of December. It did so, however, because 300,000 people simply quit looking for jobs. Employers added only 1,000 new net jobs to payrolls last month.

My guest tonight is the president's point man on the economy and joins us tonight from Washington, D.C.

Commerce Secretary Don Evans, good to have you with us.

DON EVANS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: Thank you, Lou. Good to be with you, as always.

DOBBS: You had to be disappointed, perhaps even shocked, as many of us were, to see that pathetic job creation.

EVANS: Well, Lou, I wouldn't say shocked, because you can't put a lot of stock in any one data point.

I've been encouraged to see unemployment drop from 6.4 percent to 5.7 percent. We created over 250,000 jobs in the last five months of 2003. The economy is very strong. As you know, growth in the third quarter was 8.2 percent. The manufacturing index numbers have been very strong for the last six months. Housing starts are at record levels. Homeownership is at record levels. Construction spending is up.

So there's every reason to believe that this economy is very strong right now, will remain very strong. We expect job creation to pick up in the coming months. And so I expect those numbers of job creation month to month to certainly improve.

DOBBS: And, obviously, we all want to see them improve right along with you. And, certainly, we are hoping that this is a recovery in which job creation will take hold.

However, this report, the Labor Department revised even lower the numbers for job creation in November, 51,000 jobs, as a result, in two months.

EVANS: Right.

DOBBS: We need 150,000 just to keep pace with our population growth.

Let me ask you -- and I know this is a difficult question, but it's a critically important question, as you know, to working Americans. When are those jobs, in your best judgment and the best judgment of the economists and the people you have working for you, going start kicking in? When will there be that job creation?

EVANS: Well, Lou, the private economists out there in the world today all indicate that they expect job creation in the year 2004 somewhere north of 1.5 million jobs. Now, that's what the private economists are saying.

We don't have any forecast ourselves within the Bush administration. But the blue-chip economists are believing that we'll start seeing job creation in the months ahead. I would say that I believe that is well, because as this economy continues to grow at the 4 percent or better level, it only is natural that jobs will begin to be created and we'll see the unemployment number, I believe, could come down even further.

DOBBS: Mr. Secretary, I can remember being with President Bush and Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher in January of 1992, with Mr. Bush saying on the tarmac of Andrews Air Force Base, as he was about to begin his tour of Asia, that his priority was jobs, jobs jobs.

We didn't see job creation that year and the strength that would be helpful to a president. How concerned are you about the issue of job creation? How important is it, in your judgment, to the president's reelection chances?

EVANS: Well, Lou, I just have to tell you that I wake up every morning thinking about what it is we can do to improve the creation -- improve the conditions for job creation. That's central to the American dream. It's central to our economy.

And so we will continue to take steps, we think, that will improve those conditions, including making the president's tax cuts permanent, including doing things like encouraging Congress to pass an energy bill, encouraging Congress to take action to reduce health care costs and to reduce the lawsuit burden on our businesses all across America. It's something that we work on, Lou, every day. It's not something that you work on and you forget about it.

So, all I can say is, we're going to show up every day doing everything we can to make sure that every American that wants a job has a job.

DOBBS: Is it, Mr. Secretary, ever tempting to you to be as, perhaps, if I may say this just straightforwardly, short-range in your view as much of corporate America apparently is, and look at what is going to happen over the next 10 months, 12 months?

We're looking at outsourcing. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being shipped out of this country for no other reason that the simple fact that the corporations in this country have founds cheap labor markets in which to place jobs, rather than preserve jobs here. How important is that to your thinking? What are your plans to deal with the issue?

EVANS: Well, Lou, look, I think the global economy is becoming more integrated, more interlinked, more networked than anybody thought imaginable even five or 10 years ago.

But I really think it is all about free trade and open trade and fair trade. And I think that's healthy in the long run for the American economy and the American workers. I think the more we work to open up trade all around the world, open up markets for our good products and our good workers around the world, it means that our economy will be stronger.

And so I'm not concerned about the level of job outsourcing that I hear about. You know, we always -- remember, this is a very dynamic economy. It's an economy that creates some one million new jobs every week. And so -- and it will continue to be a very dynamic economy. As I have said on this show before, I think people around the world marvel at our ability to create jobs in America. And I expect that to continue. Free and open and fair trade is a very important part of that.

DOBBS: Do you think they also marvel, Mr. Secretary, that this economy, the strongest and largest in the world, has now run up a half-trillion dollar trade deficit, talking about not only this administration, but the previous Democratic administration, talking about free trade? Do you think they marvel that this economy has to sustain that kind of burden?

EVANS: Well, Lou, listen, trade deficits, trade surpluses go through cycles. Right now, we happen to be at a relatively high end of the cycle.

I would expect, in the years ahead, that the cycle will show that trade deficit will begin to decline. I don't know if that's the next year or two years, exactly when it is. But I would say this, Lou, that I think the financial markets and the capital markets are certainly endorsing the president's leadership on the economy, his growth leadership on the economy.

The stock market, as you know, added some three trillion in value since the beginning of 2003. The Nasdaq was up 50 percent in 2003. And when you look at the financial and capital markets, are they endorsing the president's leadership on the economy? I think the answer is yes.

DOBBS: Mr. Secretary, we thank you very much for being with us and we look forward to talking with you soon.

EVANS: Thank you, Lou. Good to be with you.

DOBBS: That brings us to the subject of tonight's poll. The question is: Are you better off today than you were three years ago, yes or no? Cast your vote at We'll have the results for you later.

Coming up next, a highly decorated hero from the war in Iraq copes with the aftermath of combat. We'll have his remarkable story and a great deal more.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Illegal aliens in this country may number more than 12 million people. Close to half of the illegal aliens reside in the four states that border Mexico, more than 5.5 million people, California, 3.5 million, Texas with 1.6 million. The U.S. government has a history of underestimating these statistics.

Before being folded into the Homeland Security Department, the Immigration and Naturalization Service revised estimates up to eight million, well below current estimates.

My next guest says the president's proposal to grant millions of illegal aliens legal status, only to ask them to leave at a future date, is what she calls a fool's errand. In an editorial in today's "Financial Times," she wrote that the United States has neither the tools, nor the appetite to enforce the law.

Kathleen Newland is the co-director of the Migration Policy Institute. Joining us tonight from Washington. Good to have you with us.

KATHLEEN NEWLAND, MIGRATION POLICY INSTUTE: Thanks so much for having me, Lou.

DOBBS: The idea that the president would like to see people return home after a three-year cycle under this guest worker program, you think it's impossible to achieve?

NEWLAND: I don't think we know how to make people leave, if we did know how to make people leave, we wouldn't have 8 to 12 million people living here without authorization today. So I think that if there's one thing we know, we all can agree on, it's that the immigration system is broken. It needs fixing. And i'm delighted that the president has put a proposal on the table that's going to open a debate about this, because as a country we need to talk about it and we need to find some solutions.

DOBBS: I quite agree with you. I think this debate is, as you suggest, is under way, it's long overdue. The idea that this country does not have, as you suggested, the will to enforce laws nor the means. What does that suggest to us for this dialogue and where it will end?

NEWLAND: Well, what I said was that we don't have the tools or the appetite to make people go home after they have established themselves in the U.S. labor market. But I think that a guest worker program can have a part in a rational immigration system, because not every immigrant who comes to the United States wants to stay here forever. Some want to be able to come and go to work for a few years and then go home.

DOBBS: Again, migration, is your field. The fact is that one could argue that as many -- more than 10 percent of Mexico's current population now lives in the United States. Yet Mexico is one of the wealthiest countries in all Central and South America in this hemisphere outside the United States and Canada. What are the implications for the future even if a guest worker program is created?

NEWLAND: Well, I think the figures you just cited show that the U.S. and Mexican economies are increasingly integrated, our labor forces are increasingly integrated. There's a huge demand in the United States for low wage laborers that Americans are increasingly unwilling to fill. And several sectors of our economy are dependent on having access to that kind of labor.

DOBBS: Kathleen, you just said unwilling to fill. And I heard the president talk a bit about that. Now this is a country in which irrespective of your job in life, work has been celebrated. We celebrate work in all -- in all strata of this society, in every corner of this country. Do you really believe there's work that Americans won't do? Or do you believe there's work that Americans with -- used to a certain standard of living, won't accept the pay offeredd, because they are really quite different statements?

NEWLAND: No, I think there is work that Americans don't want to do at the wages offered. But the pattern in this country for centuries has been that people come take the jobs on those lowest rungs and then work their way up. Once they started working their way up, they don't want to go back to the lowest rungs.

That's where the entry level worker and very often these days an immigrant worker comes in with a hope of working his or her way up that ladder and becoming part of the classic American dream. There will always be jobs at those lowest rungs that people who have any choice don't want to take.

DOBBS: With your expertise, do you believe that this -- that it is possible to create an immigration policy today that will solve the problem and -- to the extent that we won't see this issue of illegal immigration rear its -- present itself again?

NEWLAND: I think there are policy options that can make the problem much, much smaller and much easier to deal with.

DOBBS: What would you recommend?

NEWLAND: Well, I think a guest worker program may be part of that, but mainly we need programs that help people climb the rungs of that ladder, that give them a path to permanent legal status, once they established themselves here. And that permit those who want to go home to come and go easily. And have a shorter role in the U.S. labor market.

I think we need to make it possible for families to reunify again, once they are members established here. I think we just need to accept reality there is an enormous structural appetite in the U.S. economy for low wage labor, more than the native born job market can fill. And so immigration is always going to be a part. We ought to make it possible for people to fill the jobs legally.

DOBBS: Okay. We thank you very much for being with us. And look forward to talking to you soon on this important issue.

NEWLAND: Thank you so much.

DOBBS: Tonight's quote is from a member of the Bush administration who today talked about Mexico's position on illegal immigration to this country. And we quote, "The Mexican government doesn't like to see people trying to cross the border illegally." Those words from National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

And by the way Mexican citizens in this country, legally and illegally, send an estimated $14 billion in hard currency back to Mexico, second only to the amount of money generated by Mexican oil, $17 billion.

The Department of Homeland Security today lowered the nation's terror alert to yellow or elevated. The level was raised to high just before Christmas. Despite that move Secretary Tom Ridge says officials are still concerned about the continual threat.

U.S. officials say former dictator Saddam Hussein is not talking. The officials say documents obtained during his capture have been more helpful than Saddam himself.

In more than three decades after they died, the remains of two U.S. Navy pilots have been returned to the country. The Pentagon says the pilots were killed when their war plane was shot down over North Vietnam in 1973. More than 1,800 American troops are still MIA from the Vietnam War.

Army Staff Sergeant Carlos Vargas is a decorated hero. He was injured while serving this country in Iraq. And while he is now home safely and well on the road to recovery, the war is still very much a part of his life. Casey Wian has this story from Tucson, Arizona.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been seven months since Staff Sergeant Carlos Vargas came under enemy fire in Iraq. The wounds to his legs and back have healed, but his mind needs more time to.

SGT. CARLOS VARGAS, U.S. ARMY: It's like a movie that plays over and over in your head.

WIAN: Vargas was in a convoy near Fallujah when rocket propelled grenades hit. He was thrown from his vehicle and lost consciousness. He awoke, alone, injured and in a gun battle for his life.

VARGAS: So, I'm looking around and all I can see is smoke. So I grab my weapon, I saw a couple of vehicles coming my way with what I thought was Fedayeen fighters trying to run me over. So I engaged the vehicles with my weapon.

WIAN: Vargas was rescued by his commander.

VARGAS: He immediately proceeded to give me first aid. And then we came under fire again. And there was about a 15 to 20 minute gun battle there just trying to get out of there.

WIAN: The flight to a field hospital began a long road to recovery and home in Tucson. Today with the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for bravery, Vargas looks strong and well. Struggles with his mind.

VARGAS: To this day I feel like I don't belong here. I feel like I'm still in Iraq. I'm living Iraq every day, because in my mind, I'm still fighting a war. And I still have serious emotions about this country. And I feel every American death that occurs in Iraq personally, personally.

WIAN: Vargas meets often with a psychiatrist at the V.A. hospital in Tucson. At his side, his wife Itsel (ph), an Air Force lieutenant, and son Jiencala (ph).

In three weeks the family will take doctor's advice and move off Davis Martin Air Base. Vargas hopes a new home in the civilian community will help him leave Iraq behind once and for all. Casey Wian, CNN, reporting.


DOBBS: We'll continue in just one moment. Please stay with us.


DOBBS: On the campaign trail tonight with ten days until the caucuses. Iowa senator and one-time presidential candidate Tom Harkin has endorsed Howard Dean. Dean and his Democratic rivals spent weeks courting the four-term senator's endorsement. It's great timing for Dean who has been forced to respond to a four-year-old Canadian TV broadcast in which he took a swipe at Iowa's caucus system.


HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you look at the caucuses system, they are dominated by the special interest in both sides and both parties. Special interest don't represent the centrist tendencies of the American people. They represent the extremes.

Had I known now what I knew then -- or had I know then what I know now about the Iowa caucus, of course I wouldn't have said that. But you learn. I've been campaigning for two years in Iowa. I know Iowa. And I appreciate the caucus system because I couldn't do what I'm doing without the caucuses.


DOBBS: Senator John Kerry called for companies to disclose the details of their top five executives' pension plans. The senator also said so-called cash balance pension plannings shouldn't be forced upon retiring employees over their traditional pensions.

On Wall Street stocks fell after today's employment report. The Dow fell 133 points. The NASDAQ dropped 13. The S&P down 10. Oil prices rose to the highest level since the war began in Iraq. Christine Romans is here with "The Market" and all of that.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, that jobs report really slammed stocks. All but four of the Dow components just closing lower on the day and the second day of pretty heavy volume.

Now the route today in stocks capped a higher week overall. The Dow and the S&P had their seventh higher week. The longest winning streak since '98. The question is does the jobs report end that?

Meanwhile, oil prices spiked to nine-month highs. A cold blast in the northeast comes at a time when stockpiles are the lowest since Gerald Ford was president.

And a bombshell today from Royal Dutch Shell. Almost 4 billion barrels of oil thought to be available for future pumping are no longer a sure thing. And some big investors, Lou, are fuming and say the executive responsible for overstating reserves should have at least shown up for the conference call to explain why.

DOBBS: They wanted to yell at somebody?

ROMANS: Apparently they did.

DOBBS: Just over 4 billion barrels?

ROMANS: And a 10-percent decline in the stock.

DOBBS: Well, I imagine that person has been reprimanded by some folks at Exxon. Christine, what about those executives responsible for that gusher that Dick Grasso got ahold of. Has he acted on? ROMANS: Now it's in the hands of the SEC and the New York attorney general and no word from Dick Grasso about whether he's going to give back any of that $150 million. An NYSE review found as much as that much. $150 million was unnecessary pay. The exchange thinks that Spitzer and the SEC are best equipped to pursue a refund but Lou, could resolve on this front be softening?

Eliot Spitzer looking into the matter but wouldn't commit to getting the money back for the New York Stock Exchange an other New York state officials recently have sort of softened their stance a bit about the review process of the stock exchange.

DOBBS: Why is that?

ROMANS: You want to be careful of unintended consequences. The New York Stock Exchange is a very important part of the market system in this country. You don't want to rush too quickly headlong into any changes in terms of the specialist system...

DOBBS: You're referring to Senator Chuck Schumer, right?


DOBBS: Well, that's interesting. We'll see how this plays out. Politics and economics sort of go together as we demonstrate here each evening. Thank you very much for your demonstration.

A reminder now to vote in tonight's poll. The question: "Are you better off today than you were three years ago?" Yes or no. Please cast your vote at We'll have the results a little later in the show.

Coming up next, President Bush goes on the offensive to kick off the election year. This week's news makers are up next, but first, updating a list of American companies that we've now confirmed to be exporting jobs to cheap foreign labor markets.

These are the companies sending those jobs overseas or choosing to employ cheap foreign labor instead of American workers. Our additions tonight include the No. 2 supermarket chain in the country, Albertsons. Computer Sciences Corporation, Fedders, manufacturer of airconditioners, Metasolv, a software company, National City Corporation of Bank holding Companies, Suntrust Banks and SurePrep, a tax preparer.

Please continue to watch our list as it grows and grows and grows. We'll be right back with news makers. Stay with us.


DOBBS: As we reported, job growth all but nonexistent in December. President Bush, still, however still pressing ahead with his controversial proposal to legalize millions of illegal aliens living and working in this country. Joining me now the "News Makers," Rik Kirkland, who is the managing editor of "Fortune," Paul Maidment, the executive editor of "Forbes," Steve Shepard, managing editor/executive editor of "Businessweek" magazine. Good to have you with us.

DOBBS: We'll do it all. Well, let's start. No growth in jobs. A revision lower for jobs in November. What's going on, Steve?

STEVE SHEPARD, "BUSINESSWEEK": Look, it's a bad number. But there really were two reports today. One was the payroll report from employers which was the only 1,000 jobs created. There also was the household survey that came out today, too. That was 200,000 nonagriculture jobs were created in the last month. So it depends which number you're looking at.

There are a lot of other indicators out there that suggest that jobs are being created. We have unemployment claims which come out every week are now running at the lowest rate in three years.

DOBBS: Until last week. 14,000 higher last week.

SHEPARD: Four-week average is the lowest in three years. We have information from small businesses and purchasing managers all suggesting there is job creation. I'm not saying this is a good number. I'm not saying things are really robust. I am saying one number doesn't make the...

DOBBS: Let's throw another number out there. Another decline in manufacturing jobs for the 41st consecutive month -- Rick.

RIK KIRKLAND, MANAGING EDITOR, "FORTUNE": What we're really learning, I think we're going to see this throughout the year is it's just the job machine isn't working the way it used to. Companies are very reluctant to hire and I think the high productivity that we're all very happy for and grateful we have is a sign of this.

You're going to have to grow -- we're going to grow 4 percent plus this year in the U.S. and that's not going to create anything like the jobs it used to as long as businesses -- I think we will see job growth, but not like we've seen in the past.

PAUL MAIDMENT, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "FORBES": Manufacturing is going the way agriculture once went. It's a tremendous creator of wealth that is not going to be a big creator of jobs. That's just the way the economy is developing.

KIRKLAND: You hope you will see jobs in healthcare and service. The fortune 500 don't create the jobs in this country.

MAIDMENT: It's small businesses and service businesses that create jobs.

SHEPARD: What's we're saying is something is different this time than it was in the past. It's because of productivity and outsourcing of jobs. And you can make the argument but...

DOBBS: Do you find it fascinating that no one is trying to figure out how many jobs are being outsourced under various means and guises? It's critically important. The Labor Department isn't tracking it, commerce isn't tracking it, business associations aren't tracking it. Labor organizations aren't tracking it.

SHEPARD: Every time we raise that issue people say to us, the number of jobs being outsourced is relatively small compared to the size of the economy or to these numbers.

DOBBS: What is not small...

SHEPARD: That's not what is causing the problem.

MAIDMENT: A lot of the companies aren't sort of narrow American companies anymore. They are multinational companies just as much as they buy and sell.

DOBBS: They may not be narrow American companies as you put it, but workers in this country are also consumers and they are narrow American workers, citizens and consumers and they better be well taken care of, don't you think, Paul?

MAIDMENT: Well, they should. And a growing economy should be providing them with wealth. And whether it's a Japanese country like Sony in the U.S. providing the jobs or if Sony can indeed be said to be a Japanese country rather than an American company these days, but which ever company is providing the jobs, yes they should be creating new jobs.

DOBBS: Isn't there a bit of a chump factor going on here, Rik? This is the largest economy in the world. Nearly every CEO we have talked with all over the course of years have invested billions of dollars in China, talking about it as a consumption market. It turns out, whoops, China is a production market, not a consumption market. And what we thought is a production market is a consumption market, the United States.

KIRKLAND: Well, it wont stay that way. China is -- I'm afraid you're right but probably for different reasons. That is really an interesting challenge for this country and other countries in the west. As China and these markets become more consumption markets for us and their incomes rise, the question is can we maintain the same kind of income gap in the west that we've had traditionally against these huge countries with these giant populations. Just doing the math, it's a very complicated puzzle.

SHEPARD: You have to say that it's different this time, because India and China are different than we faced in the past. And I'm not sure that's true, India and China are very large and strong, but I still believe that globalization is a positive trend for the U.S. in the medium and long run even though there are winners and losers.

DOBBS: They are winners and losers. And I hear this medium and long term. And I have to tell you, I'm looking for a winner. We're losing half a trillion dollars in the not zero sum game as every free trader wants to tell you. We are -- I'm looking for jobs being created. It isn't happening.

SHEPARD: You think it's a zero sum game? DOBBS: Do I think it's a zero sum game? No. But I'm saying that every proponent of free trade says it isn't a zero sum game. I would love to get us to zero. We're down a half trillion. We're looking at 3 trillion dollars in claims against American assets. I can't be as sanguine as those who are so committed...

KIRKLAND: That's because we love to consume in this country. We don't like to save. So, we're happily buying stuff from the rest of the world and they're buying our dollars and we're saying thank you. And it's one reason interest rates are so low.

In other words, it's just not somebody is playing a game with us. Some of us we need to save more in this country than we do. That would affect that trade deficit.

DOBBS: I think there are a few people who might say some probably 15 million of them, who say, hell, we need to earn first then we'd be delighted to save, too.

KIRKLAND: You do need too. We need all of it.

I would bet we won't earn as much if we went really protectionist and started blocking trade to this country..

DOBBS: Protectionist. What does that mean?

KIRKLAND: High tariff, quotas.

DOBBS: Just willy nilly?

KIRKLAND: Or selectively.

There are plenty of laws against dumping and against other things. There's a very complicated body of law that tries to prevent you from being completely taken by the other guys and so it's a question of whether you want to go further down that road or not. Whether that would be good for you.

MAIDMENT: And the recent steel tariffs, for example, seemed to have been net harmful to America rather than net beneficial. Again, that's the function of the complications of all the global economy. What helps a steelworker hurts a co-worker.

SHEPARD: The thing that should make you a little more optimistic than you are, Lou.

DOBBS: Oh, I'm a very optimistic fellow.

SHEPARD: The same argument we heard in the 1980s, except it was Japan and not China and India.

DOBBS: There's another difference though. And I think it's a critically important difference. And by the way, Steve, you know me well enough to know I'm as optimistic as you get. But the fact of the matter is, we're not only exporting jobs, we are also exporting intellectual capital, technology, and the factors of production to overseas economies. None of that is envisioned in Ricardo's "Comparative Advantage" nor in Michael Hammer's.

SHEPARD: But it's only part of the story. We get the benefit of immigrants to this country, their brain power, their purchasing power. We get benefit of low cost imports. There are a lot of things that are very good in what is going on now. It's not a one-sided thing either way. There are winners and losers. You can focus on the losers and you lose site of the macro benefits.

MAIDMENT: That's another thing, job creation in America is a 1 way street. It's not as if all jobs are going and no new jobs are coming in.

DOBBS: We have to go, Paul. I have to apologize. It's been fascinating. We're going to have to pick it up next week. Thank you very much, gentlemen.

We're out of time, as the saying goes.

Coming up next, the president prepares to launch another major initiative, this one into space. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Now the results of our poll tonight. The 6 percent of you said you are better off today than you were 3 years ago. 94 percent of you said, you are not. Now that seems to me, the decided area of concern for a few political strategists.

President Bush will be unveiling a new far reaching vision of manned space exploration next week. The president is expected to call for a return of men to the moon and the construction of a permanent base there as the first leg of a manned trip to Mars.

It has been nearly 35 years since Neal Armstrong first stepped on the Lunar surface and more than 30 years since the last American Apollo mission. The president hopes the aggressive plan will reenergize NASA's manned space program, stalled since last years Columbia disaster.

The president's call may sound familiar by the way. That's because it echoes a very similar proposal made 15 years ago.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FRM PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For the new century, back to the moon, back to the future, and this time, back to stay. And then -- and then a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet, a manned mission to Mars.


DOBBS: Back in 1989 it was estimated the Moon base and subsequent trip to Mars would cost $500 billion. It will be interesting to see what the budget for this space adventure in this new century will be. That's our show for tonight. We thank you for with us. Next week, our special report, America works. We'll introduce you to just a few of the hard working Americans who are doing the job some would have you believe Americans don't want.

And we will be joined by Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico Monday to talk about what his state is doing to secure its borders and its citizens' financial future.

For all of us here, have a very pleasant weekend. Good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER" is next.



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