(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
Show: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Date: June 17, 2005
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
Every earthquake makes another quake more likely. So for awhile
and for the next few days, we will have an increased chance of
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
That's true of every earthquake that happens. It makes others
more likely. And then probability dies off very rapidly with
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
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...
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
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
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 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
Good to have you with us.
KAREN TUMULTY, TIME MAGAZINE: Hi, Lou.
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
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
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
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,
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
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?
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
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
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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