Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) joined Stephen in the Colbert Nation Wednesday night to discuss his new book, Take This Job And Ship It: How Corporate Greed And Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America. As Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, Senator Dorgan has conducted the only meaningful oversight of the past 5 years and deserves our warmest gratitude.
In 1970 the largest U.S. corporation was General Motors, with employees who stayed with the company for most of their working lives. Today the largest U.S. corporation is Wal-Mart, which has a 70 percent turnover rate. Dorgan is concerned about the implications of that shift in employment status and stability for the standard of living in the U.S.
He looks beyond the economic and philosophical arguments, using vignettes to describe the bottom-line competition of large corporations that has resulted in the loss of three million U.S. jobs in the last five years. He cites a long list of U.S. companies and brands that have moved operations overseas, including Fruit of the Loom, Fig Newton, and Radio Flyer. Dorgan cautions that American consumers are in denial about the cost of the cheap goods they buy in terms of job loss and the exploitation of overseas workers. After lauding a host of those who have spoken out on the issue, including Warren Buffett, Ross Perot, and Bill Moyers, Dorgan offers some suggestions, including repealing tax breaks for exporting jobs.