Jobs on the Move

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 2, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

Watch "Your World w/Cavuto" weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: One of the biggest political footballs this year is surrounding the issue of outsourcing and off-shoring jobs and whether or not it’s killing our economy.

My next guest is the wunderkind behind the Netscape phenomenon, and as chairman of Opsware, Marc Andreessen sees only positives to off-shoring. But this big Democratic supporter isn’t thrilled with the political talk on this issue. Marc joins me now from Mountainview, in California. And Marc, welcome to the program.


VARNEY: Last year you gave, what, about a quarter million or $300,000, back in 2000 in the election, you gave that to the Democrats. You are not giving them a dime so far in this election cycle. Why not?

ANDREESSEN: Yeah, because I think the Democratic Party has gotten seriously off base on trade. All the way through the 90s, the Clinton-Gore administration and the Democrats in the Senate and Congress were just brilliant on trade. They were free trade advocates and they also had the right programs to help people get through the transitions caused by dislocation and job loss, so strong on education, strong on retraining, strong on benefits and so forth. The right position. Democrats now have decided to run, in many cases, including Kerry, against tree free trade and I think it is a huge mistake.

VARNEY: Make the case for us, if you will, that outsourcing is good for Americans and good for the American economy.

ANDREESSEN: Sure, it is good in several ways. One is it leads to both American companies and companies in other countries being able to offer American consumers goods and products and services at cheaper prices, and so we get more for our dollar. Two is, it helps open up worldwide markets for us, and there is new middle class markets now in China and in India specifically that are big new markets for American companies.

VARNEY: But you know, if you bring this down to the individual level, there is a lot of pain out there. Yesterday we had two ladies on this program who had been outsourced, essentially they trained their Indian replacements. And their jobs at 90,000 and $70,000 a year are gone. It is a difficult political sell, isn’t it?

ANDREESSEN: Yes. Yes, it is. And this is where Clinton was so brilliant, because what Clinton would have said is, we have to embrace free trade, we have to develop markets, we have to do this, because it is good for all of us to do this, and then to help the people who are injured in the process, or who lose their jobs, we have to help them find their next jobs, we have to help new companies and new industries get created, and we have to help people through the transitional periods in their lives when they are between jobs.

If we do that, we all benefit, because we all benefit from trade, and then new jobs and new industries get created, and of course, you know, you have been talking about the latest jobs numbers -- it is happening in the American economy right now, hundreds of thousands of jobs are now getting created per quarter. My company is hiring. We are actually hiring both in India and in the United States, and that is the future of the global economy. It’s good for all of us if we don’t basically get paralyzed by fear and try to go sort of back into an era of protectionism, which would just be a disaster.

VARNEY: Do you think the Democrats, under the leadership of Mr. Kerry, do you think they have really abandoned free trade? Would you go that so far?

ANDREESSEN: I don’t think they have, at least the centrist Democrats, I don’t think they have. I think they are being seduced by the theory that this will help them win the election. And number one, I think it’s irresponsible, and number two, I don’t think it will actually help them win the election, because if you look at what happened in the Iowa primary, the really protectionist candidates, like Gephardt and Dean, lost soundly to the least protectionist candidates. And so if voters in Iowa, where I was born, aren’t going to vote for the protectionists, I don’t think voters anywhere else in the country are going to vote for the protectionists either, so I think it’s a loser both on the policy side and on the political side.

VARNEY: All right, one last question, what jobs do you give or provide for that bottom 20, 25 percent of the population that is not going to go to college, maybe doesn’t graduate high school. What are you going to do with those people?

ANDREESSEN: Well, what am I going to do is No. 1, I am going to pay a lot of taxes, as an individual taxpayer, to provide for benefits to help people through all these transitional periods, which is a big part of the responsibility that all of us have, I think.

But, in general the economy does a very, very good job of providing a very large number of jobs that usually corresponds to roughly the number of people who are employable. And over the last, you know, 30 or 40 years wages have been steadily rising in this country across the board, across all segments, including among the bottom 20 percent. And I think we need a healthy, growing economy that’s creating lots of new jobs.

VARNEY: All right, Marc Andreessen, thanks very much for joining us here on Fox. Thanks, Marc.

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