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tv   [untitled]    May 17, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT

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mission street. manufacturing in america once the heart and soul of this country not just a faded memory of the middle class and that white picket so will the united states ever be able to reassemble and we have to admit anything the department of defense does we do as well to support them so we've been fortunate over the last several years the experience a considerable amount of well despite the u.s. financial fallout it seems that one industry can still make a killing it's our jobs with military contractors the last line of defense for the unemployed. and the tale of the true princess first the founder of blackwater
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now known as the second the leader of all the gobby as these two princes prepare to create an army for hire in the u.a.e. we explore whether a contractor loyalty is lived. good evening it's tuesday may seventeenth we're joining you live from washington d.c. police and coughing up and are watching r.t. . now super secret the jobs in the economy are on everyone's mind these days you numbers from the fed out today show that the united states factory output actually dropped for the first time in nearly ten months and more evidence that the housing market is continuing its downward slump but the details of all of these little bits of financial information really miss the broader trend of globalization and how it's fundamentally changing life as you know it something that former british prime minister gordon brown actually pointed out in this week's op ed writing in newsweek
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gordon brown said this year for the first time in industrial history the combined forces of america and europe are being out produced out manufactured out exported and out invested by the rest of the world global shift that he and many economists say is much more done dramatic than any since the industrial revolution now manufacturing jobs used to be the backbone of america's economy and as artie's christine for sour reports these days they seem to be a relic of the past. at one time it was a familiar scene for so many americans the job along the assembly line for millions of men. and women this was a portrait of the american dream like individual vertebrae dotting the nation factories like this together once form to the backbone of this country in some cities and towns manufacturing plants were the sole industry on which everything
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else rested and according to president obama it's an industry that still alive and well and central to the american economy america is still home to the most entrepreneurial most industrious most determined people on earth and i love. visiting places where people are actually making stuff america's economy is always going to rely on outstanding manufacturing but for others it's an industry on the brink of extinction u.s. senator jay rockefeller of west virginia says his state has suffered immensely over the last decades as plant after plant has shut down we must redouble our efforts to make it in america. manufacturing is critical not critical apparently to anyone else on his committee the senate commerce committee as they met to discuss the topic manufacturing our way to a stronger future invited to testify mike rowe host of the television show dirty
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jobs on the discovery channel. i like your manufacturing used to be the thing that people would think it's hosted and now it's not something really that we pay much attention to a trend that worries union leaders like leo gerard we should have been graduated chemical engineers aeronautical engineers mechanical engineers we should have been building things like the rest of the advanced society like the rest of the developing countries an investment that could have kept this country more competitive and a pretty improved america is the legacy we should leave our children and grandchildren not to be crippling falling infrastructure but that is what you see across this country both in rural towns and urban centers where the only signs of life are the vegetation growing up the sides of unused buildings and perhaps a pigeon that's decided to set up camp if you want or own a minivan there's a good chance it may have been assembled here what is now
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a one hundred eighty five acre empty field in southeast baltimore but it used to house a huge manufacturing plant and employ down the worker now all that remains is this g.m. bridge going over the highway one for a chosen few like this wonder bread factory in washington d.c. there is a chance for a top thirty two it's now owned by a development corporation and there's talk of it being turned into pongo. but most of them look like this camden new jersey has seen one of the worst domino effects in the nation after several factories and a ship building plant shut down leaving much of the city jobless and homeless in america what is made in america is no. longer the norm in the end we're going to get a car we segregate the clothes we still have everything we need which is not celebrated . perhaps that's because they are no longer our neighbors or friends instead they live in far away places five screen t.v.'s and skinny jeans this week all jeans are
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one thousand bucks come at the cost of jobs and industry and what was once the foundation of america's future christine throughout our t.v. . right all we all know that politicians love love love love love to talk about reviving those manufacturing games made in america and campaigning on promises to restore an area where this country was once the strongest but promises or promise isn't numbers well unfortunately they're grim in two thousand and nine the number of unemployed americans is actually bigger than the total number of people working in manufacturing in this country and over the past decade the united states lost an average of fifty thousand manufacturing jobs per month ok i mean is that really something that we can actually turn around or are we victims of something more sinister perhaps just empty political rhetoric we're going to break it all down is michaela he's a labor journalist and contributing editor for in these times mike thank you so much for being there to be on the show so you know i can't imagine what political
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campaign or rally you can go to where a guy or a lady i guess and whatever case maybe doesn't get up there and says you know we're going to bring the jobs back we're going to restore what makes this country great. but the facts don't really show that those jobs are coming back those jobs are going abroad so where's the disconnect. well i think you can surely bring those jobs that it's that the politicians in this country have been trying really hard probably even trying. to think so i mean i think what you saw in the last two years in this country you know president obama's not trying to pass like south korea retreat you know which a country that you know is basically doesn't allow goods into its own country south korea has such restrictive tariffs so i don't really think that it had been trying to be tough to bring back jobs to this country in stressful i mean you can be you know which country i mean the average compensation for including health care for a factory worker in this country is thirty dollars an hour and we have a huge trade deficit but yet the average compensation for
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a factory worker in germany is forty eight dollars and you have to have a trade surplus and the difference is that they have policies designed to keep jobs in that country and invest the government's money inside of that country so why is it that these when you look at the rhetoric it really feels like i don't know it's one of those untouchable issues where a lawmaker cannot go up there and say you know what this is a real problem that we have i can't guarantee you that we can turn this around overnight you know we're screwed and let's move on and see how we can actually make this situation better it seems that we're stuck in a sort of political lala land where you know it's wrong will will will change the whole system around any of the policy is that lawmakers passed out of congress that we're seeing out of the white house you mentioned free trade agreements they don't match the rhetoric yet and you know i think a lot of it is that a lot of these politicians are in bed with the multinational corporations they've completely sold out and they're aspect is that we've traded security allies allies in the war on terror in the world drugs or whatever war with clinton we did weeks on the audience hard to keep track but we don't have any allies in the war on
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poverty any more than we've created with all the jobs overseas and you know south korea that's about game and i like it's north korea colombia it's about getting an ally in south america for the war on drugs panama and another like you know bahrain and the treaty we have barrera you know who is you know oppressing its government i mean it's government dissidents. and you know we trade is we're. absolutely and we get nothing in return yeah it seems like we're sort of stuck in this big or bigger political foreign policy system but i have to ask you know yeah it's easy to say that the companies are the bad guys or you know corrupt politicians aren't being honest but there are people like you and i to blame as well i mean like i don't really want to pay more for this i'm sure my company doesn't really want to pay a lot more for this fancy t.v. screen that we have behind us i mean we like the cheap crap that we get from china and vietnam or wherever else i don't know if americans are really willing to pay more to keep those jobs you know to to remove manufacturing in this country well and some industries that takes the lead because you make a difference but in high tech industries they don't for example you know in making
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steel one tenth of the cost of making steel the seedings and making it in china come from from labor and the rest come entirely from you know subsidies and technology grants and things like that. you know if you look at germany germany is able to have a very whole feed in any fashion base you despite its workers making more than us because it has the incentive to keep you know jobs in that country and supply you know products within their comfort so what has to change in this country in order what can change what are the steps that we need to take to ensure that we have those kinds of jobs here that pay fairly well keeping us competitive and not making the price of everything go up two thousand fold first off we need to have an industrial policy in this country when the u.s. government buys everything from this country you know you look of u.s. air force is having trouble finding goods in this country. and we need to have something like that second we need to start having these crazy free trade treaties for people that suffer colombia we just ship jobs overseas and we get nothing in
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return except an ally and some obscure war you know i think those are the things we need to do and very briefly you know you always hear folks talking about the skilled labor shortage and i want to ask you for your thoughts on that because is it really that we're having a skilled labor shortage or is it that companies in this country aren't really willing to pay. fair compensation for their labor i mean if i wanted diamonds for nine dollars ninety nine cents and i couldn't find any of those it doesn't mean that there's a diamond shortage i'm just not willing to pay what time it actually cost you i mean corporations are going to go overseas because of the cost of labor you know also because there's much lower environmental cost i mean you know for example you know when g.e. locate in china they're able to see through to bitch seedings from environmental cops and russian from chinese currency manipulation making in china pays for companies not because of labor but because of all these other things so i don't really think there's a labor cost i don't think that's the issue i think this is the pooling and it's not really the real issue behind it we need
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a comprehensive industrial partner as well and personally i don't think we can hold their breath for that especially when you mention g.e. and jeff immelt of course as obama's would be a first then working in the administration now so we'll see where i guess how much work they're going to put into changing the status quo thank you so much for your time it was labor journalist michael now before the military industrial complex there was simply the industrial complex he was they called the arsenal of democracy by then president franklin delano roosevelt and while america's industrial output may be down the fence contractors aren't exactly in the red these days moreover at a time when unemployment continues to soar those very same contractors are helping some americans make ends meet it's a cycle that makes any serious cuts in military spending a lot more difficult as our teams care plan for reports. it's career day and for one industry business is booming business has been growing as a small business a hundred percent per revenue increase since two thousand and four we're now going
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into this year with a significant revenue increase defense contract. with missile defense maker northrop grumman to chemical and biological weapons producer patel. it is buildable right matters to where fighter supporter be a all of the big names are here at charlottesville community job fair business is very good for be a systems currently we're the second largest defense contractor in the world. we have anything the department of we do as well to support them so we've been fortunate over the last several years to experience a considerable. risk here. afghanistan that the u.s. has more than one thousand military bases worldwide we are located ever sees in iraq afghanistan germany south korea and so we have a lot of opportunities in the united states as well as overseas charlottesville itself is home to one hundred sixty one defense contracting for making more than
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nine hundred ninety million dollars from two thousand seven hundred thirty seven contracts in the last two year. their review. and with the pentagon budget of over six hundred eighty five billion dollars in two thousand and eleven there are plenty of defense dollars to go around northrop grumman is the second largest defense contractor in the united states with nine point nine billion dollars in contracts in two thousand and nine alone b.a. systems had one point nine billion dollars in contracts with the defense department in two thousand and nine as well i was six point two percent of virginians out of work more and more people here in charlottesville so they don't mind taking a piece of that defense contracting pie i'm a pacifist but i'm a realist too sometimes war is necessary and just because we want to be peaceful doesn't mean if you want to use. more than one point six million americans work in companies that supply the military with everything from bombers to forks and they aren't wrong to think it depends john it's a good job even in tough economic times more than fifty percent of taxpayer dollars
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go to the pentagon i mean is the government. government's always a good others don't see u.s. presence in iraq and afghanistan as negative at all with their to help you know what a lot of them do don't they don't know to just look at a miracle like hey you know we're tired of what we're not we're there to help real estate advisor michael o'brien went to iraq as a defense contractor to do just that help but i realized here for i'd been there you know nearly a year i was there fourteen months i was just a warm body to collect fees for my company o'brien became disillusioned the corruption and mismanagement and they were taking land from iraqis without securing title and when i brought this to their attention i said what would you build a house in the united states on a piece of land that you didn't know the guy kicked me out of his office still o'brien says americans won't see the end of defense contractors anytime soon without a draft the military depends on hundred thousand contractors to support its two
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wars abroad and the defense contractors are working and. you know when dwight eisenhower talked about the military industrial complex in one thousand nine hundred eighty one we're there now in to say that without the defense industry america's nine percent unemployment rate would soar to eleven point five percent and facing those odds for many in charlottesville military contracting is the best defense given for an r.t.a. of charlottesville virginia. well staying in charlottesville for a little bit earlier this evening i spoke with somebody who's actually worked a lot to very very hard to bring the local military industrial complex over there to right but of course one thing he is the author of the book war is a lie and here's part of our conversation earlier today the economist tend to agree that you put the same dollars into nonmilitary manufacturing infrastructure green energy education and you produce more jobs and better paying jobs rather impact on
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the economy so while it's true that there are people getting jobs making weapons and working for the military and the whole conflict there would be more jobs putting those same dollars into just about anywhere else and in fact it done right tax cuts for working people would produce more jobs so it's actually worse than nothing so there's. a section here well there haven't been any defense spending cuts there haven't even been any military spending cuts course most of it has nothing to do with expense and these people who are proud to go to work and whatever wars the u.s. government might approve will have to understand that much of what is the industry they're getting a job in because these provide weapons to or in dictators they have to be happy to be provided the countries we will be fighting future wars against we are the big armor of the world and these cuts that get talked about including in the union addresses are cuts to dream future budgets they're not actual military spending in
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this country has gone up in my town in charlotte or in across the country year after year after year and while there may be happening in some locations those same big employers you name are there's been a full page color at every baby asleep in the charlottesville daily progress of another another job well i don't disagree with you that they're at their profits are up at the end of the day these dream cuts obviously have real implications of it for these thousand guys so i mean as a ploy by the contractors to scare lawmakers out of the dream defense cuts or real defense cuts. wouldn't surprise me but i have no idea so i shouldn't say but in the broader picture of across the country there are not any apathy there are cuts being talked about we might see but in the coming years but we haven't seen any yet and when we do those states will be given jobs to and in fact we're not cutting and we ought to be cutting we could cut eighty five percent of this machine and build up
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the world's biggest military we know we don't need to throw people out of work we need to convert we need to convert these industries to people in the street a factory that makes weapons could make trains make spiller there's no reason we can't do better economically and otherwise. that is a good swanson author of war is a lie. now just moments ago on this program we talked about how the united states isn't exactly making and exporting as much stuff as it used to thank for it looks like certain individuals have decided to step up to the task there's one back who just this week decided to announce plans to hold a restoring courage rally in a fret jerusalem lottery is this exploding is unique special ideology to a part of the world they can probably live without it and then there's eric prince the man who founded blackwater a company probably more famous for slaughtering civilians a couple of years ago than for its other exploits where he's taken his mercenary expertise to the united arab emirates according to
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a new york times reporter the crown prince of abu dhabi is now working with erik prince to set up a private for profit army that would actually help governments in that region pradelle knows annoying rebels and the kicker this army of mercenaries has a strict no muslims hiring policy now former american soldiers and special ops commandos are busy training hired guns from colombia and south africa and elsewhere in a deal that reportedly earns prince half a billion dollars so far so what could possibly go wrong right but earlier i posed just this question to someone who's very familiar with the shady world of private security contractors scott horton is a contributing editor at harper's magazine and here's part of my conversation with him i think we've seen the because it will make use of a major american motion picture if you know certainly every current star themselves and very very deep trouble in the united states he was even yours a name in a number of grand jury investigations that were going on there were a number of prosecutions graunt against blackwater other company was forced to
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change its name and we incorporated and he himself became a target and decided to bail out of the operation entirely and i told us he was going to the gold what was he was going to do. to abu dhabi we didn't have a very clear sense before exactly. what he's doing he says and there i feel right yes he respects it is going to do that but i'm sure you probably is but i have to say hats off to mark mazetti he has done an excellent bit of forensic reporting here and blowing up the story and i think it's also fascinating and this sense in the arab world in the muslim world there is a long tradition of using christian mercenaries they were the mamelukes and egypt for instance the janissaries and this temple this was one of the hallmarks of some of the great long dentist ease that were established in that part of the world and now we see this same idea being reintroduced and in the twenty first century it's
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fascinating yet nothing no concern there at all what's your sense in terms of the potential reach of the army i mean what what are they going to try to do what have they been trying to do what's the stated goal and your p.r. sense of the real goal and i know so if you've been following the news since the middle of february you know that the arab world has been swept with people from morocco to game and to bahrain and in fact it's it's largely people that's focused on recto graphic rulers now most people have identified aboud oppy in the emirates as what may very well be the single most stable state ne entire arab world i think that's probably correct but nevertheless i think the rulers there are very concerned about these troubles and how they manifest themselves there and what we've seen in the gulf now with many of the states and
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the goal is a reach to mercenaries to outside soldiers who have no emotional ties to look at the little population that they be rising up and therefore who can be can be counted on absolutely to follow the commands of. the rule of the leader in fact that we can think of one country in the world where this is going on in a very brutal way and that's what the of course but no more obvious propped up his regime drawing heavily on mercenaries who've been brought out of sub-saharan africa you don't say that moammar gadhafi is doing something similar that one of our citizens that's my goodness. at the end of the day i mean what we heard the state department on sunday say that they were supposedly investigating this issue but we know that the u.a.e. is a close ally of the united states what's your sense about the legality of this thing do you think that the state department or the u.s. government knew about this and is it even legal hard to imagine that the state department didn't know about the origin of the core of his contract with the asian
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ship with the u.s. government was in fact with the state department and he's had a number powerful supporters there a fact i did some research earlier and i was right there on short men to spend number of other countries in which i found us and were maps have been out actively peddling. eric prince's wares trying to persuade local governments to hire and use him so that may have even been the genesis of this relationship and abouta now as to the legal side it's a very complex situation we have the neutrality act going back to the early days of the american republic because initially as american citizens are not to abort themselves and military matters in conflicts outside of the united states other than in connection with the united states and u.s. armed forces that's the law it has penal sanctions on the other hand u.s. of course member law has been highly selective so there is
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a number of cases in the past where the u.s. has given its ok back frequently its affirmative blessing to the involvement of u.s. soldiers and military contractors working with foreign governments and i think one thing that we should see here is a little bit. more of a probe into this relationship between europe. and the u.a.e. and the role the state department u.s. government has played in it that's right and of course we have to keep in mind of this story just broke over the weekend i'm sure they'll be a lot more details coming out about the story over the coming weeks and i would love to have you back on to chat about all that thank you so much for your time as always a scott horton contributing editor of harper's magazine right now for the fun part yesterday evening if you're like me you may have caught a rather interesting collision of worlds on television jon stewart america's most trusted newsman appeared on bill o'reilly's show to be one of the country's most pressing issues now it wasn't the economy or the wars or the future of this country
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no the hot topic of that evening was a rapper's appearance at a white house poetry slam and one little something like this you know we thought inviting a rapper named common to a poetry reading at the white house was a big mistake by the administration because common has openly sympathize with two convicted cop killers but our pal jon stewart disagrees with the criticism of common so i challenge him last week to debate and he answered the call. he would i'm shocked i am shocked as i knew you don't understand why people like me and millions of other americans right now are upset upset annoyed and looking for answers that a guy like rahman would be entertained at the white and you know who's probably flogging no i can't even see you i can have part of for you know that is exactly the same ok bob dylan wrote a song about a convicted killer named hurricane carter he's going to the white house. why are
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you drawing the line of common there is a selective outrage machine here at fox that petty fogs only when it suits the narrative that suits them they was entertaining there are some good points raised this type of fact that the whole thing was clearly orchestrated for entertainment purposes and ratings but then the discussion took rather interesting turn take a look this guy is controversial all day long with this stuff not only did he support this cop killer or celebrate a cop killer he celebrated another one in philadelphia again celebrating someone he thinks was unjustly he's not celebrating he's perry mason we're talking about now he's just the most brilliant lawyer of all time this coat on the loose for sure are you familiar with leonard peltier yes. leonard peltier was convicted of killing you know we're going to wounded knee it's a similar right no it's not your life is it because you're petty fogging you should it's the exact same thing it's a guy convicted of killing
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a law enforcement official no guess who wrote a song about leonard peltier yeah. ok that's where he was right who you know all right that's a rap word leonard peltier to me of which i'm all names and faces that you might be familiar with if you watch this network. in the stacks of persian applications were those of prisoners like need of american activist lynyrd peltier it's shameful the way the u.s. government is letting the capital letter peltier was sentenced to two life terms in prison for allegedly killing two f.b.i. agents but the initial trial was corrupted some argue poti years only crime with his political activism you have no evidence at all. going right to me i would you mall was a member of the black liberation movement he too was charged for a crime rule dignitaries and members of the european parliament insist he did not
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commit the reason why uses jail now is because he was right some argue these convictions are simply the most known cases of a systematic attempt to silence those seen as a threat to the establishment now it struck me as a little strange that jon stewart and bill o'reilly some would say the ideological figure has of the mainstream left and right we're chatting about leonard peltier and i'm all that these cases were as well known as say lindsay logan's latest drug problems the fact of the matter is that the mainstream news jon stewart o'reilly all of them included too often devolves into a meaningless echo chamber in the flames of pointless controversy whatever it may be in that day now this network has been accused of many things critics say the bias questioning the status quo discussing uncomfortable problems facing this country like sore incarceration rates and the economy etc etc etc somehow make this country this network the enemy of america now you may not agree with some of the viewpoints expressed by analysts on this channel.


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