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(06/17/05) Clyde Prestowitz on Lou Dobbs Tonight

(06/17/05) Clyde Prestowitz on Lou Dobbs Tonight
Copyright 2005 FDCH-eMedia, Inc.
June 17, 2005
A New Low; Out of Touch; The Smoking Gun?; California Quakes - Part 2
Lou Dobbs, Dana Bash, William Schneider, John King, Kare
Date: June 17, 2005
Time: 18:00
Tran: 061701CN.V19
Type: Show
Time: 18:00

The two five...DOBBS;  Was that on the -- as I understand it, that was San Andreas fault and the other to were on the San Jacinto?

JONES:  No.  The one up in Northern California -- the two in Northern California were in what's known as the Gorda Plate.  It's one of the most active areas in California.  It's north -- it's beyond the San Andreas system.

The two here in Southern California, one was on the San Andreas and the San Jacinto, which are related faults.  There's a possibility that there was triggering, that the first one could have triggered the second one.

Every earthquake makes another quake more likely.  So for awhile and for the next few days, we will have an increased chance of activity.

But also, on the long run...

DOBBS:  So, what you're saying is that -- I'm sorry.  Go ahead.

JONES: Just on the long run, California has a lot of earthquakes. And actually the last ten years has been quiet.  And maybe we are getting back to normal.

DOBBS:  Getting back to normal.  Normal in this case, how many earthquakes have you had there in Southern California have you had there in Southern California this week?

JONES:  Oh, something like 800 or 900.  Those included all the aftershocks to those two fives.

DOBBS:  Southern California is not for the timid and the weak, is it?

JONES:  Well, not if you are scared of earthquakes.  But you are far more likely to be murdered here than die of an earthquake.  So we need keep our risks in perspective.

DOBBS:  Well, I'm sure that a lot of your fellow Southern Californians there are feeling a lot better right now.

But looking ahead to this -- the fact that this was significant magnitude this morning, you had four in a row.  You say it does raise the possibility of another occurring.  Give us some sense about the probabilities that you are talking about here and what you are looking for.

JONES:  OK.  They're still very low.  We don't see the Northern and Southern California activity as being particularly related.  And the Northern California activity, although the magnitudes are large, they are very far offshore.  And the aftershocks will probably continue to be very far offshore.  So, again, the risk to people is not very high.

Here in Southern California, they are on land around people.  But they aren't that big.  They's only magnitude five.  So maybe we have a one, two percent chance that we'll have another 5 in the next week.

That's true of every earthquake that happens.  It makes others more likely.  And then probability dies off very rapidly with time.

DOBBS:  You know, I don't know what happens at the U.S. Geological Survey, but I can tell you in news rooms, one of the things that starts happening is there starts to be people connecting dots, talking about the Mexican volcano of fire beginning to smoke and to send up ash.  And at the same time, talking about the fact that other earthquakes are taking place in South America.  Is there any relationship to this Pacific Rim activity?

JONES:  Not over those distance scales.  When we've looked for global patterns, we find that they are random.

But one of the issues is, is that human beings really dislike random patterns.  We like to form patterns out of random behavior.  We don't like it to be random.

And so -- and actually, the whole field of statistics was invented to help keep us from fooling ourselves when we try to make patterns when they weren't really there.  And when we use statistics on the global scale, we don't find a relationship.

If we look within 100 miles, the sort of range on which the earthquakes are happening themselves, then we do see some triggering. And that's why we have a slightly increased risk for the next week or two.

DOBBS:  For the next week or two.  Lucy Jones, we thank you for being here.  We will take that as your forecast.  I know you don't mean it that way, but I thought I would do...

JONES: Well, actually...

DOBBS:  Go ahead.

JONES:  We do have a -- we are actually trying to put all this information together.  And we do have from our networks on the web a forecast for the next 24 hours.  And you will see about a 1 percent chance of having another earthquake.

DOBBS:  And I think that since you brought that up, I should give your Web site a boost there, it's -- I believe it's usgs.gov, correct.

JONES:  Right.  Earthquake.usgs.gov.  You can find all of the information that we put out on earthquakes.

DOBBS:  Lucy Jones, thank you very much for being here to guide us through this.  We will be watching your forecast carefully.

JONES:  Thank you.

DOBBS:  Not as carefully, I'm sure, as Southern Californians, but very carefully indeed.  Thank you.

JONES:  OK.  Thank you.

DOBBS:  Still ahead, my next guest says the American economy is on life support.  The author of a new book explaining why he says we are losing money, power to the east.  And the American future is in doubt.   

Heroes,  tonight how one Marine's bravery during an insurgent attack saved the lives of his countrymen.  His story is next here. Stay with us.


DOBBS:  My guest tonight says the American economy is like the Titanic headed toward an iceberg.  He says we are losing our wealth and our power to Asia, and that could lead to the demise of America and a global economic crisis.  In his new book,  Three Billion New Capitalists,  Clyde Prestowitz addresses the causes and offers a few solutions to this issue.  The causes are all -- the viewers of this program are very familiar with.  Joining me now from Washington, Clyde Prestowitz.  Clyde, good to have you here.

CLYDE PRESTOWITZ, AUTHOR:  Nice to be here, Lou, how are you.

DOBBS:  I'm great.  And despite the forecast of your book, one of the first things that has happened is some critics have said that you are now a protectionist, because you say that we should not simply be effectively idiots, and continue this spiral.

PRESTOWITZ:  Well, you know, that's a cheap shot, because I've been a strong supporter of free trade and the WTO...

DOBBS:  Absolutely.

PRESTOWITZ:  ... for a very long time.  But what's wrong here, Lou, is that there are two different games being played, as you very well know.  The U.S. is playing a game of free trade and consumerism, and much of the rest of the world and many countries in Asia are playing a game of strategic trade, in which they specifically focus on export-led growth, and in which they specifically focus on trying to accumulate trade surpluses, and accumulate large dollar reserve holding.  And they do this in a number of ways, but particularly by managing the dollar, either by linking -- pegging to the dollar or by intervening in currency markets, to be sure that the dollar is strong, versus their own currencies.

And for some reason, Lou, for some reason, neither Democratic nor Republican leaders of the United States over the past 50 years have seen fit to recognize that this double game is disadvantageous to the United States.

DOBBS:  Well, I wish I could give you the answers to that one, Clyde.  I was frankly hoping you would offer the answer.  I can't figure out what these people -- we have got -- we are going on our 30th year of consecutive trade deficits.  Today, reported current account deficit rose 195 billion,  a new record; 6.5 of our GDP tied up in the current account deficit.  It's unsustainable.

PRESTOWITZ:  It's unsustainable.  We have got to be -- we are consuming about $700 billion a year more than we produce, which means that we have to borrow $700 billion a year from the rest of the world. And the interesting thing is, you know, Secretary Rumsfeld was in Singapore recently at a security conference, and he sharply criticized the Chinese for their military build-up and warned them against it, but at the same time, every day the United States needs $2 billion from the Central Bank of China to keep our economy perking along.  You know, is this schizophrenic or what?

DOBBS:  There's another word I would use, but we will stay with schizophrenic, you being more diplomatic of the two of us, Clyde. Clyde Prestowitz, we thank you for being here.  The book is  Three Billion New Capitalists.   Let's take a look at that.   The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East.   Clyde Prestowitz, thanks for being here.

PRESTOWITZ:  Thank you.

DOBBS:  We appreciate it.  Terrific book.

PRESTOWITZ:  Good to see you.  Thanks.

DOBBS:  And now  Heroes,  our weekly salute and tribute to the men and women who serve this nation in uniform.  Tonight's hero is Sergeant Jonathan Ayersman.  He saved the lives of dozens of his fellow Marines during a battle with insurgents in Iraq.  Casey Wian has his story from 29 Palms, California.


SGT. JONATHAN AYERSMAN, U.S. MARINE CORPS:  We had set it for security, and we were keeping an eye out on what was going on in the city to my front.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Sergeant Jonathan Ayersman describes what happened the day he saved the lives of 60 Marines last November in Iraq.  On patrol, two light armored vehicles became stuck in mud.  While a nearby mosque broadcast messages instructing insurgents to attack, Ayersman moved a vehicle similar to this one into a defensive position.

AYERSMAN:  That's when the first mortars, RPGs, small arms started going on.  And I actually had to shove my driver, because he was popped up, you know, we were talking real quick, and I actually had to push him down in the driver's compartment and close the hatch and swing my machine gun around when I noticed the insurgents.

WIAN:  Ayersman fired.  As he did, mortars rained down.  One hit the vehicle, showering him with shrapnel.

AYERSMAN:  It knocked my goggles off my helmet, and knocked me back into my hatch right here.  I thought I was actually wounded, but I checked myself out real quick, and I was fine, and shook it off, and grabbed my machine gun again, and continued to engage.

WIAN:  The attack continued, but he needed more firepower -- a missile.

AYERSMAN:  Corporal Adams (ph) already had the turret erected, so I was able to talk him on, get him on target where I wanted him to fire the missile, and exactly how I wanted him to fire it.  And that's when the TOW system went down, and he had to repair it real quick, he had to splice some wires together.

WIAN:  The missile was fixed and fired.

AYERSMAN:  The whole top of the wall that they were behind, and all the shrapnel and everything, the explosion just took out the insurgents that were shooting the mortars at us.  And after that, everything stopped.  It was completely over with after that, and we recovered the vehicles and went back to base.

WIAN:  No Marines were killed or injured.  For his leadership, Sergeant Ayersman was awarded a Bronze Star with a distinguishing device for heroic achievement.

AYERSMAN:  I never imagined -- would imagine that I would have that prestigious of an award actually awarded to me, especially for just doing -- basically doing my job as a Marine.

WIAN:  Casey Wian, CNN, reporting.


DOBBS:  And Sergeant Ayersman just wants to continue doing his job as a Marine.  He hopes to join the Marine Corps special security forces in Spain later this year.

Coming up at the top of the hour here on CNN,  ANDERSON COOPER 360.   Heidi Collins is here to tell us what's ahead -- Heidi.

HEIDI COLLINS, GUEST HOST,  ANDERSON COOPER 360 :  Hi, Lou.  Nice to see you.  Coming up next on  360,  another arrest in the case of the girl missing in Aruba, Natalee Holloway.  Police have in custody a 26-year-old man who worked as a deejay on a popular party boat.  It's unclear what, if any, contact Natalee Holloway had with the young man, but his home was searched today, and tonight he's behind bars.

We are going to have a live report from the island on the latest arrest.  We will have an exclusive, live interview with Natalee Holloway's mother.  She is still in Aruba, still searching for her daughter.  She said all along there will be more arrests, and we're going to talk to her about today's events.

Also tonight,  Choose to Lose.   A  360  look at the newest diet and weight loss strategies that are having profound effects on people's lives.  All that and a whole lot more -- Lou.

DOBBS:  Well, there can't be much more, Heidi.  Thanks very much, Heidi Collins.

Coming up next, approval ratings are plummeting in Washington. What does this mean for president and the Congress?  An exit strategy for Social Security.  Will there be an exit strategy for Iraq?  I'll be talking with three of the country's top political journalists next. Stay with us.


DOBBS:  Joining me in tonight's  News Makers:   From Washington,  Time  magazine National Political Correspondent, Karen Tumulty;  Ron Brownstein, the national political correspondent for the  Los Angeles Times;   here in the studio, Jim Ellis, chief of correspondence at  Business Week.

Good to have you with us.


DOBBS:  Let's begin, Karen, with 42 percent for the president, 33 percent for the Congress.  The American people aren't too thrilled with our elected officials, are they?

TUMULTY:  That's right.

These are about as low as we have seen these numbers for this president and the Congress' numbers are beginning to look about how they looked in 1994, which is the -- when voters decided to just essentially throw the bums out; the bums then being Democrats.

DOBBS:  Are we near what one could call:  The belly-full level? The American people are tired of no representation and you know, frankly, tepid leadership from both parties?

TUMULTY:  I think that and I also think the fact that people out there have real concerns.  People are worried about their jobs, they're worried about their healthcare, they're worried about their gasoline prices, and they...

DOBBS:  They're worried about their country, Karen, let's be honest.

TUMULTY:  But what they see is that both the Congress and the president -- I mean, the president -- Social Security -- he's got a Social Security plan that people don't seem to be particularly favorable on.

DOBBS:  They hate it, Karen.

TUMULTY:  And Congress has been, you know, working on issues, like the Terri Schiavo case, which, once again, we dealt with this week.

DOBBS:  Well, Ron, let me ask you -- I mean we've got Republican leaders going over to the White House from Capitol Hill saying:  Let's get an exit strategy for Social Security because this is killing us and  meanwhile, we don't hear anything about an exit strategy from Iraq.  What's going on.

RON BROWNSTEIN,  LOS ANGELES TIMES :  Well, the one thing that I -- picking up on what Karen said, I think the one thing that both parties agree on now is that part of the reason the president and Congress are in so much trouble is because the public perceives them as not focusing on the issues that matter across the kitchen table to the American public.   

Part of that poll you mentioned asked:  To what degree do you believe Congress shares your priorities?  It's down to 19 percent.  I mean, that's an extraordinarily low number and you are seeing, I think, Lou,  a direct effect of this.  As you said, you're seeing Republican leaders urging more focus on direct economic issues, rather than the long-term goal of Social Security, which is not a generator of popular support and you're also seeing the beginnings of stirrings of Democratic questioning of Iraq which has been almost entirely muted since President Bush's reelection last November.

DOBBS:  Point of fact:  You're seeing a bipartisan group move forward with a resolution to get us out by the end of 2006...


DOBBS:  ... At least to begin the process.

BROWNSTEIN:  An idea that I think is still on the fringe of the political debate here and doesn't have broad support.  In fact, most are pretty are still pretty cautious about where to go.

But if you look at the numbers on Iraq, I think the clear message to the White House is that even if there is political progress:  the writing of a constitution, the creation of a interim government, has another election later this year -- they are not going to restore public support without a reduction in the violence.  And as long as public support remains low, the temptation will be high for more politicians, in both parties, to begin to pressure him for an alternative approach.

DOBBS:  An alternative approach:  There's one approach that we haven't seen or found an alternative for, at least in terms of policy, that's the trade deficit.

What happened to free, in free trade, Jim?  Where are all those free-traders talking about how good it is to outsource and to just give away the economy, we've got a current account deficit of at 195 billion, six-and-a-half percent of our GDP -- unprecedented, unsustainable.

JIM ELLIS,  BUSINESSWEEK  MAGAZINE:  Well, it is unsustainable, that we can agree on.  I think that, you know, the fed's been saying that for quite some time and sooner or later it's going to catch up with the president here, that something has to happen.  Either we have to get the deficit in line and therefore make sure that foreign investors will continue to basically bankroll us, or we're going to take -- make some tough choices here.  I mean a lot of the things that we love to buy...

DOBBS:  God forbid we have...

ELLIS:  Yes.  Tough choices are tough, you know?  But sooner or later we are going to have to figure out that we can not continually count on foreigners to, basically, finance the profligate lifestyle of the United States.  I mean, that's scary.  I love that profligate lifestyle, but it's not going to go on.   

DOBBS:  Right.  And it certainly isn't going to go on like this.

ELLIS:  No, It can't.

I mean we just don't -- we can not afford to have run up deficits like this.  This is amazing, I mean, the only reason we are able to do this is because a lot of our major trading partners are in worse shape than us.

DOBBS:  They're in worse shape than we are, but our society, right now, is the throw-away society, the disposable society, the consume-at-all-society and oh, by the way:  We don't want to work too hard either.

ELLIS:  Well, we're not quite France, yet.

DOBBS:  Yes.  If we get down to 35 hours a week, we'll be close though, right?

Karen, let me ask you this:  Senator Dick Durbin, with his comments read into the record this week, in which he referred to the gulag in Guantanamo Bay, without noting that, that was in a communist nation.  A fire storm has erupted, hasn't it?

TUMULTY:  Absolutely.

And I think that these were some of the very unfortunate comments on the part of Senator Durbin.  He has not apologized for them.

DOBBS:  He says he won't.

TUMULTY:  Well, certainly there's some legitimate issues being raised about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, but basically Senator Durbin got on the Senate floor and compared them to Polpot. He invoked Hitler.  He invoked genocide, not interrogation techniques and this is, once again, an example of how the Democrats tend to, sort of, not have a volume knob on issues that really could play in their favor.

DOBBS:  Well, one of the things I just don't understand:  Why Republicans and Democrats alike -- just lose the Hitler references, and when you are talking about American military men and women, just -- if you can't say something nice, just shut-up, because these people are actually doing the nation's work, which we can't always say of our representatives and elected officials on Capitol Hill, can we?

TUMULTY:  Well, and again, I just think that on the one hand the question -- there are legitimate questions about interrogation techniques, but to throw -- suddenly throw genocide into the debate is very ill-advised on the part of anyone.

DOBBS:  Ron, you get the last word in your council to Senator Durbin, tonight.

BROWNSTEIN:  Well, look, there is an overall assessment going on now, from the Patriot Act to Guantanamo to Iraq, of the responses we've made post 9/11.  We're further away from horrible events, there's kind of a, I think, across a broad range of issues, people looking and saying:  OK, what is the right balance, did we go too far?

But your first part of your advice, about avoiding references to Hitler in the context of American politics, is probably a good one. These debates aren't over and I -- if anything, I think they are going to intensify in the coming months, but lowering the temperature isn't a bad thing.

DOBBS:  Jim Ellis, are we going to see the temperature lowered?

ELLIS:  I doubt it.

DOBBS:  Jim Ellis, thank you, very much.

Karen Tumulty, thank you, very much.

Ron Brownstein, as always, thanks for being here.

Still ahead, we'll have the results of our poll and a preview of what's coming up Monday.

Stay with us.


DOBBS:  Now the results of our poll:  88 percent of you don't believe asking about a patient's legal status as citizen or not is discrimination.  Twelve percent of you, however, maintain it is.

Thanks for being with us tonight.  Please join us here Monday. One of the country's most respected journalists and commentators will be here -- Bill Moyers, my guest.  Please be with us.

For all of us here, have a great weekend.  Good night from New York.  ANDERSON COOPER 360 starts right now, Heidi Collins sitting in for Anderson.




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