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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 292 -- Unions Win As Dubai Port Deal Blocked.

Struggling Unions Finally Get A Win-

Overall, union membership in the United States is down from its 1953 peak of 32.5% to 12.5% in 2004. Union membership in the private sector in this country is WAY down over the past few decades, while simultaneously WAY up in the public sector (via The Club For Growth blog):


Way to win a Pyrrhic victory on this UAE port deal, Congressional Republicans.

You fools were played like a fiddle by left-wing interest groups, particularly labor unions, who started this whole controversy. The ramifications of blocking this deal will include:

1. American labor unions get a rare win and get to prevent innovation in order to protect their high-paying longshoreman dock jobs.

Yay for them. Isn't that what you wanted, GOP Congress? To boost union fortunes?

Other ramifications:

2. Resentment and mistrust between the U.S. and a genuinely modernizing, moderate ally in the Middle East. UAE helped us take down A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network. UAE has helped us track and freeze terrorist finances. UAE has allowed us to dock many thousands of American military ships and aircraft and soldiers at UAE ports. Do we really want to reward the loyalty and good-faith efforts of the United Arab Emirates in the War On Terror with this slap in the face? Do we really want to send a message to moderating Islamic nations that cooperating with the U.S. will lead to nothing but embarrassment and rejection?

Apparently, yes.

3. When the UAE decides to buy several billion dollars worth of airplanes, do you think they'll buy American (Boeing)? Airbus must be licking its chops right now. And it's not just airplanes.

Way to "protect" America's interests, Congress!

4. Weaker national security. Yes, blocking this deal almost certainly makes our ports less safe. The deal would have strengthened, not hurt, port security.


5. Democrats can now claim victory over President Bush on a national security issue, although this deal would have had zero negative consequences for national security.

Way to go.

6. Our leverage against Iran takes a blow. One of the worst-kept secrets in Dubai: UAE worked behind the scenes, helping us substantially in the 1991 and 2003 invasions of Iraq. If and when military action is required against Iran, we may not be able to count on that sort of no-strings-attached cooperation.

Thanks for that, Congress.

7. Globalization takes a hit. The company vying to take over port operations, DP World, manages operations some of the world's busiest ports. Incidentally, those ports ship quite a bit of cargo to American ports. The point of departure is a far more meaningful security zone than the point of arrival. It is fascinating that DP World is planning on buying port management rights in the U.K., and not a single politician raised the slightest fuss over it. The reason: the British have more experience with globalization than we. America's isolationist past is haunting us here. And we're going to hurt for it:


Way to be, Congress.

8. Dubai's quest to diversify its economy away from oil-only takes a hit. Just days before the port deal hubbub erupted, I was speaking with a neighbor who lived in Dubai for several years in the 1990s. We reached the conclusion that it is in America's best interests for Dubai (and the rest of the Middle East) to diversify its economy. Banking, transportation, high-tech, tourism, and so on and so forth. It's good that Dubai is engaging in the global economy. It's good that Dubai is becoming a beacon of modernity and progress and moderation and commerce (other than just oil) in the heart of the Middle East. Blocking this deal is bad for the Middle East.


9. A win for knee-jerkism and ignorance. While some people had legitimate concerns with the Dubai port deal and operated from sincere and honest positions, much of the opposition came from people like Lou Dobbs and Michael Savage stoking the fires of econo-nationalism and xenophobia. Once the hysteria had taken over, all the facts in the world couldn't turn back the tide. We can't afford this sort of willful ignorance from our leaders.

10. A win for hypocrisy and inconsistency. We have many ports that have been managed by foreign companies for many years. We have airports that allow foreign airlines to fly in and out, with foreign employees and all. We, meanwhile, demand access for American companies everywhere abroad. When denied, we (rightly) expect our leaders to throw a collective fit to make it right. Now, where is the room for protest?

That's right, there isn't room.

So, to recap. The blocking of the port deal is a lose, lose, lose, lose for everyone, except the labor unions. AWESOME!


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Overpopulation In The World.

Posted by Will Franklin · 10 March 2006 11:24 AM


Will, Rob Port has a post that you need to see! At first I thought I was at WILLisms. Both of your posts would compliment the other???

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at March 10, 2006 12:33 PM

I am so depressed now.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at March 10, 2006 05:32 PM

Ken...Why are you depressed?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at March 10, 2006 06:29 PM

I am thinking the three of you guys could write some History books for public schools??? Between Ken, Will, and Rob Port it would make for some great learning! If you threw in Rob B. you all could be his advisers when he runs for President!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at March 10, 2006 06:43 PM

Well I think Will is right, the Dubai ports deal would have actually increased our security all things considered.

And the rank opportunism used by so many groups to criticize this deal is just . . . depressing.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at March 10, 2006 06:44 PM


Posted by: Zsa Zsa at March 10, 2006 06:45 PM

Upon first hearing about the port deal, I was leaning against it. It took a lot of digging, reading, and listening to people before I was convinced that approving the UAE port deal would be good for the US with a few minor modifications.
I think you are on the money with your 10 point evaluation, illustrating the point that you have to do your homework.
Unfortunately, without discussing the tripe from the MSM and politicans that brought them to their conclusion, the American public could offer no more than a quick no to the proposal. After all, when you can spend a lot of time watching American Idol, learning everything about the contestants, and discussing it with your family, friends, and work associates all week, it does not leave you time for such trivial crap as the War on Terror and the UAE port deal.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at March 11, 2006 07:15 AM