President Bush is running into a lot of criticism these days over his decision to allow an Arab company called Dubai Ports World the rights to run six of our biggest seaports. Dubai is capital of country called United Arab Emirates. Don't ask me what an "Emirates" is and don't ask me to put my finger on Dubai on a map of the world, either.
Dubai will be paying almost $7 billion for the rights to run our seaports. It isn't clear to me why it's worth that much to them or how they plan to get their money back. Nothing about this deal is clear to me.
A lot of Americans are involved, considering that Dubai Ports World is supposed to be a foreign company. The head of it has been an American - a Yale graduate named Ted Bilkey. Several of his assistants are American. For all we know this is a business deal put together by Americans to make money by using Dubai as a front.
A lot of Americans have complained because they think that having another country run our ports in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami could be a security risk.
Well, security isn't what bothers me. What I don't understand is why the hell can't we run our ports ourselves? Is it too hard for us? Aren't we smart enough? Sometimes it seems as if we aren't doing any real work ourselves in this Country.
Most of our clothes are made in China. More and more of the cars we drive are built overseas. About all we make in the United States these days is money.
The credit card companies are using people in India to do their customer service business. If you call them with a problem, you get someone who speaks English, sort of, but she's sitting in New Delhi.
Too much of our work is being what they call "outsourced." "Outsourcing" means having it made in another country. What's the matter with doing it in our own country?
Have we lost our ability to do anything for ourselves?
Why don't they outsource The White House, or outsource Congress. Get some really smart people from other countries to run our country for us. A congressman gets $162,000 a year and all he can eat. I'll bet we could get some natives of Dubai to do the same work twice as well for half the price.
I hope CBS doesn't decide to outsource 60 Minutes. They'd probably replace me with someone from Dubai, Anwar Rooney, who'd do what I do for a quarter of what they pay me.
By Andy Rooney