Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Sep 22nd, 2010 :: 7:44:15 to 8:03:30
Total video length: 9 hours 49 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:406 Duration: 0:19:15 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Byron Dorgan

7:44:01 to 7:44:23( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: senator from north dakota. mr. dorgan: mr. president, there is a lot of talk in politics and on the floor of the congress always about something called the american dream. people talk about the american dream. and i suppose we reflect on that and we think well, the american dream is about a time when people have a good job, a job

Byron Dorgan

7:44:15 to 8:03:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Byron Dorgan

Byron Dorgan

7:44:24 to 7:44:44( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: that pays well, a job with some security, a career with a growth ladder to it, a family, a home, living in a nice community, living on a safe street, the american dream. and so we look at the history of this country and discover in a century, beginning early in the last century, we started changing things in america and

Byron Dorgan

7:44:45 to 7:45:05( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: lifting people up and doing a whole series of things that expanded opportunities for middle-income americans, or at least to develop a group of middle-income americans. and we have been enormously successful, perhaps more than any other country in the world, we expanded a middle class.

Byron Dorgan

7:45:06 to 7:45:26( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: now things are changing and we see that people are upset, nervous, in some cases angry. we see reports that they worry that their children won't have it as good as they had it. they worry about the future. and -- and so what's at the root of all of that and what can we do about all of that? everybody wants to do well.

Byron Dorgan

7:45:27 to 7:45:47( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: i mean, all of us have hopes and aspirations for ourselves and our children, our families. the american dream. someone once asked, by the way, jay paul gety, they said to mr. goetty, how is it that you can be successful, give me the elements of success? jay paul goetty said it's very simple. he said, number one, go to

Byron Dorgan

7:45:48 to 7:46:10( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: school and get the best education you can get. number two, get a good job and work really hard. and then number three, strike oil. so that's the advice of jay paul goetty. i suppose that works if you're jay paul goetty. but his advice, of course, makes a lot of sense on the first two points -- get the best education

Byron Dorgan

7:46:11 to 7:46:32( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: you can and then get a job and do well, work hard. but the problem is, today, in 2010, late september, a lot of people woke up this morning without a job and can't find one. it's estimated there are about 20 million americans this morning that woke up unemployed and most of them put on their clothes and went out looking for work.

Byron Dorgan

7:46:33 to 7:46:53( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: a triumph perhaps of hope over experience, because many of them have tried for a long while and have not been able to find a job and are very worried that there may not be a job for them in future. we've had 2.1 million workers in the last 24 months having to leave manufacturing plants, losing their jobs as

Byron Dorgan

7:46:54 to 7:47:15( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: manufacturing workers. those are often the very good jobs. they pay well, with good benefits, in most cases. 2.1 million of them have lost their jobs in the last 24 months. 5.7 million have lost their jobs in the last five years.

Byron Dorgan

7:47:16 to 7:47:38( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: so what do we do about that? what -- what can we tell the american people when they see their neighbors and their friends and their relatives searching for a job, having been laid off at somewhere they've worked for 15 or 20 or 25 years? and

Byron Dorgan

7:47:39 to 7:48:01( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: that in virginia, in stanley, virginia, a company that was started boy a man named thomas stanley, a young dairy farmer in southern virginia. he decided he wanted to create furniture that was of superior craftsmanship and affordable still, and so he started making furniture.

Byron Dorgan

7:48:02 to 7:48:23( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: and it became stanleytown and he employed highly-skilled craftsmen, 1,300 people, carried on his vision at a manufacturing plant of 1.7 million acres. and then those who make stanley furniture would wake up a couple months ago and they'd read in

Byron Dorgan

7:48:24 to 7:48:45( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: the paper this: "stanley furniture's decision to close its plant in the small town that bears its name fell like a hammer blow on southern virginia and resounded across an industry increasingly moving overseas. more than 500 employees will lose their jobs this year as the manufacturer shuts down its stanleytown, virginia, plant, where the company has made

Byron Dorgan

7:48:46 to 7:49:06( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: furniture since 1944." where is it going? well, it's going to asia. those 500 people, i don't know their names, i can't tell you who they are. i wouldn't recognize their faces because i don't know any of them. but i'm sure those 500 people are paying an enormous price in their lives for having lost jobs

Byron Dorgan

7:49:07 to 7:49:27( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: at a plant n, in a company that produced a product that they cared very deeply about. gone to asia. why? were these bad workers? did they decide it's -- it's -- it's a job but just a job so i'm going to loaf all day and not do my work? no, it wasn't that at all. in search of low wages, this

Byron Dorgan

7:49:28 to 7:49:48( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: company decided we're going to asia to produce this furniture. and so i mention stanley furniture. the other day i came and mentioned a furniture company from pennsylvania because i had just been to philadelphia, enpen house furniture. a very -- pennsylvania house furniture. a very similar story in many ways.

Byron Dorgan

7:49:49 to 7:50:10( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: pennsylvania house furniture, made for a century in pennsylvania, upper-level furniture, fine furniture made by craftsmen. and then one day it was purchased by la-z-boy. and la-z-boy decided we don't want to make pennsylvania house furniture in pennsylvania. we want to take the pennsylvania expwood ship it to china -- wood

Byron Dorgan

7:50:11 to 7:50:34( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: and ship it to china, have them put it together and ship it back to america to be sold. so they told all the workers, you're done, it's over, the plant's closed. and on the last product of the day, on the last day at work, the craftsmen who made this fine furniture for pennsylvania house furniture, they turned over the last cabinet that came down the line, the last one they had made made, and they all signed their

Byron Dorgan

7:50:35 to 7:50:57( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: names -- proud craftsmen working for a company that existed over a hundred years, the last piece of furniture ever to be made with american hands. jobs gone. and the list is endless. i mean, this list. hershey york peppermint patties. the cool refreshing taste of

Byron Dorgan

7:50:58 to 7:51:18( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: mint will take you miles away. in fact, it will take you so far away, it will take you to mexico, because that's where they moved those jobs when they shut down the mint - hershey's plant here in the united of america. it will take you miles away. well, it certainly took away the

Byron Dorgan

7:51:19 to 7:51:40( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: jobs of those who were working there. the question -- and i'm not going to go through all these charts because i've done it before and i know what repetition means around this place. but i want to talk moment about the consequences of this to a lot of people whose names we don't know and whose faces we wouldn't recognize but

Byron Dorgan

7:51:41 to 7:52:01( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: who are living as victims of something they can't control. that is, the erosion of america's manufacturing base with jobs shipped overseas wholesale and the hollowing out of america's manufacturing capability. why does that matter? number one, because a lot of people are losing their jobs who need jobs in this country. and, number two, this country will not long remain a world

Byron Dorgan

7:52:02 to 7:52:23( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: economic power unless you have world-class manufacturing capability. that's just a fact. and the question is: when will we stand up for this issue and decide that we have to do something about the export of american jobs? paul craig roberts, someone i've met. he was a former assistant treasury secretary under president reagan. here's what he said. "outsourcing" -- he means

Byron Dorgan

7:52:24 to 7:52:44( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: outsourcing of jobs -- "is rapidly eroding america's superpower status. only fools will continue clinging to the premise that outsourcing is good for america." another quote, if i might. from dr. paul craig roberts -- "in order to penetrate and serve foreign markets, u.s.

Byron Dorgan

7:52:45 to 7:53:05( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: corporations need overseas operations. however, many u.s. companies use foreign labor to manufacture abroad the products that they sell back in america. if henry ford had used india, chinese and mexican workers to manufacture his model-t cars, indians, chinese and mexicans could possibly have purchased the fords but not americans."

Byron Dorgan

7:53:06 to 7:53:26( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: because they wouldn't have had the jobs. pretty prescient. pretty interes this is a chart that shows stanley furniture's workers and manufacturing plant. but, of course, that

Byron Dorgan

7:53:27 to 7:53:47( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: and now it's gone to asia. i wanted to show this only because "the los angeles times" needs to know this. i spoke of this subject some while ago and showed a picture of the dancing grapes that represented the advertising campaign for fruit of the loom underwear. and they left america and are produced elsewhere, and "the los

Byron Dorgan

7:53:48 to 7:54:08( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: angeles times" wrote a piece saying that i was on the floor of the senate talking about underwear. not describing that i was talking about trade and the movement of jobs overseas. so if they write about it again, they might just mention i was talking about moving jobs overseas that had been performed by ame fruit of the loom.

Byron Dorgan

7:54:09 to 7:54:30( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: i've described often radio fly er little red wagon. made in illinois for over a hundred years by an immigrant who put together a company that almost every child has experienced. almost every american child has ridden in a radio flyer little red wagon. but they're not made in america anymore. gone to china.

Byron Dorgan

7:54:31 to 7:54:51( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: and huffy bicycles -- gone to china. left ohio, gone to china. not made for $11 an hour to an hi high worker, as was the case, but made now by chinese workers that make 50 cents an hour, working seven days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day. and by the way, i've often mentioned again, on the last day of work, all of these folks,

Byron Dorgan

7:54:52 to 7:55:12( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: when they drove out of their parking lots, after having been fired so their jobs could be moved to china, they left a pair of empty shoes in the parking lots saying, yeah, you can move our jobs but you're not going to replace us. you'll never replace these workers. this represents the photograph of a company called h.m.c.

Byron Dorgan

7:55:13 to 7:55:33( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: not everybody's moving overseas. there are some manufacturers, and i want to pay attention to what the owner of h.m.c. said recently. they make unbelievable machinery, high-tech gear boxes, really extraordinary high-tech machinery. h.m.c. -- made in america. and enormously proud of it.

Byron Dorgan

7:55:34 to 7:55:55( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: let me just, if i might, show you what the president of h.m.c. has said. the president and c.e.o. of h.m.c. has said, "orshoring in search of higher profits is a mistake because it ignores manufacturing's larger purpose in u.s. this from the c.e.o. of

Byron Dorgan

7:55:56 to 7:56:16( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: american manufacturer. further, he says, "it's my belief that every american citizen, not only me, should feel strongly about maintaining one of the most important cultures we have and that is manufacturing." now, good for mr. robert smith. wherever he is, good for mr. smith, president and c.e.o.

Byron Dorgan

7:56:17 to 7:56:38( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: of h.m.c. believing that manufacturing i important in this country. so what does all this mean? well, our economy is in some significant trouble for a couple of reasons. number one, for about a decade and a half or two decades, we've pursued a different trade strategy, a trade strategy in which we have refused to stand

Byron Dorgan

7:56:39 to 7:56:59( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: up for our economic interests. for the first 25 or 30 years after the second world war, it was just understood that we were the biggest, the best, the strongest, the most -- we were america. whether it's trade competition or any other competition, we could beat anybody in this world with one hand tied behind our back. and much of what was imported

Byron Dorgan

7:57:00 to 7:57:21( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: were trinkets that were cheap. not very expensive trinkets that were pretty worthless. and we made things that were made in america, things that lasted, things that worked, things that you could cou on.but the second period following that first quarter century after the second world war, things have changed and we have largely had concessional trade practices.

Byron Dorgan

7:57:22 to 7:57:42( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: it used to be that we just did outright foreign aid to help other countries. not anymore. we now have, for the last 20 years or so, have done concessional trade frooz help other countries and we've said we can do trade with you, because we're better than you are so here's a trade agreement.

Byron Dorgan

7:57:43 to 7:58:06( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: and we've done that time after time after time, and, therefore, we now have very large trade deficits. let me show you the consequences of a couple of trade agreements. we have trade agreements with korea. now, here's the issue of automobiles with last year, because we had a deep recession -- we weren't buying as many cars -- last year the koreans put on boats and sent to this country 467,000 cars made

Byron Dorgan

7:58:07 to 7:58:27( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: in korea. 467,000 korean cars. those are koreans that go to work in the morning to get a job. they're making cars. they're pleased as punch they're able to make cars because they can sell them in detroit and chicago and bismarck and denver. but here's what we were able to sell in korea. no, not 467,000 cars.

Byron Dorgan

7:58:28 to 7:58:49( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: korea loued us to send -- korea allowed us to send 6,000 cars to korea. you say, is that an accident? of course it's not. it's exactly what the korean government wanted. they want the jobs in their country, they want to make the cars in their country and send them here, and they don't want our workers making cars that we send to korea. and if you wonder about shows what you'll confront on

Byron Dorgan

7:58:50 to 7:59:10( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: the roads in south korea. if you drive down the road in south korea, what you will see are a lot of vehicles and you'll see almost no foreign vehicles. 98% of the cars made in korea, 89% of the cars -- 98% of the cars on the road in korea are made there. they're made and manufactured in

Byron Dorgan

7:59:11 to 7:59:31( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: that country. now, is that an accident? that's exactly what the korean government wants. they don't want foreign cars and they do all kinds of things to keep them out. they want jobs for their people. so we now have a trade agreement with korea. we've not yet ratified it here in the -- or voted on it here in the senate, and they didn't

Byron Dorgan

7:59:32 to 7:59:52( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: address the automobile issue. it's unbelievable to me. why would you do that? how about standing up for our interests, for our workers? so, mr. president, the reason that came to the floor of the senate is there is now on the calendar a piece of legislation that would at least begin the process of trying to even up some of the trade

Byron Dorgan

7:59:53 to 8:00:14( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: issues. we actually, strangely enough, give a tax benefit if you decide, you know what, i'm tired of manufacturing in america. let's get riffed those workers. let's lock up that manufacturing plant. let's sentdz jocks to china, and we'll manufacture there.

Byron Dorgan

8:00:15 to 8:00:36( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: and we'll just ship the bicycles and all that back to america. that's what we'll do. and our country say, you know what? that would be good. why don't you do that. fire your workers, get rid of your manufacturing plant and move to china. we will give you a tax break for doing that. now, we have voted four times in the united states senate to eliminate that tax break.

Byron Dorgan

8:00:37 to 8:00:57( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: i've offered it four times. on all four occasions i've lost the vote. we are now about to vote again in the coming days. maybe at last -- at long last -- when 20 million americans can't find work, maybe we'll see if we've plugged the drain just a bit on these jobs that are moving out of this country at a

Byron Dorgan

8:00:58 to 8:01:21( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: rapid pace to be located in low-wage countries around the rest of the world. maybe now is the time. maybe people will say here, you kno whose interests i stand up for? the workers in my state, american workers, people who are producing products that say "made in america," good products that say "made in america." now, when i speak this way,

Byron Dorgan

8:01:22 to 8:01:43( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: there are some who will say, well, you're being protectionists. you want to change things. you're being protectionists. you're a xenophobic, isolationist stiewfnlgt you don't get at that time all. we've god got all of these -- we've got awful that's countries that can do things cheaper than we can do that. you don't understand that.

Byron Dorgan

8:01:44 to 8:02:04( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: so you're just a protectionist. let me plead guilty to wanting to protect our country's interests. i would hope every desk in this chamber is occupied by someone with similar interests, wanting to stand up and protect our economic interests in this country. but i'm not interested in withdrawing from the world. i am saying, however, after a

Byron Dorgan

8:02:05 to 8:02:27( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: long, long struggle, doing the things that are necessary to improve things as we've done, the struggle for workers' rights, the struggle for safe workplaces, all of those struggles -- people were killed over those struggles. i described in the first book i wrote, james philer was shot 54

Byron Dorgan

8:02:28 to 8:02:49( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: times -- you know why he was shot 54 times in colorado? because you believed the people who went underground and dug for coal ought to be paid a decent wage and for that he was killed. we've struggled for a century to raise standards, safe workplaces, decent wages. and now all of a sudden we are

Byron Dorgan

8:02:50 to 8:03:12( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: told, it's a new world order. we should compete with the workers that are going to work seven days a week 12 to 14 hours day for 50 cents an hour. if you can't compete with that, tough luck. that's what they told all the folks that made huffy buys conforms they said, if you can't compete with the chinese price, you're out of luck. because that's our standard.

Byron Dorgan

8:03:13 to 8:03:30( Edit History Discussion )

Byron Dorgan: and the list is endless. every kid has played with etch i sketch. everybody knows what it is. maid made in america, it is the principal employer after town in this country. no more.

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid