Politicians blamed for loss of jobs

Published 10:51 am Friday, January 21, 2011

Tommy Jensen from Norfolk talks about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States at Paul D. Camp Community College on Thursday.


FRANKLIN—A Portsmouth businessman speaking Thursday about the loss of this nation’s manufacturing jobs blames politicians being bought by corporate America.

Tommy Jensen also called Walmart the gatekeeper for China, noting that 80 percent of the products sold by the retail giant come from there.

“If it seems like I’m picking on Walmart, I am,” said Jensen, founder of Jensen Apparel, during his presentation at Paul D. Camp Community College. “I don’t like Walmart. I wouldn’t walk into one of their stores. They have done more damage to this country than we’ll ever realize.”

Jensen made Franklin his first stop for his “Make it in America Now” presentations and mentioned last year’s loss of International Paper and its 1,100 jobs.

“Franklin lost their paper mill, and that’s a terrible thing,” he said.

“The reason we are here is we want to share with you what has happened, and why it has happened, and what we can all do about it,” Jensen continued, referring to the outsourcing of American jobs and foreign involvement in the American economy.

“You don’t understand no matter what any corporation tells you; it’s only one thing that it’s about — it’s about the dollar, period,” he said.

Jensen noted that this country is being torn apart because corporate America is buying the politicians in Washington, and politicians give corporate America what it wants.

“They tell us it’s all good for us, and it’s not good for us,” Jensen said. “It’s good for corporate America. You and I are losing what we make. We make less almost every day.”

Jensen also touched on unemployment, the negative effects globalization, the World Trade Organization and NAFTA. He also asked the audience to respond to a survey that included questions about government-run health care, the eight million jobs lost during the Great Recession and receiving government assistance due to loss of employment.

He also gave an anti-government message.

“If we allow the government to do as they please, they’re going to chew us up and spit us out,” Jensen said. “For the last 50 to 75 years, we’ve allowed our government to do exactly as they please, and now we’re paying the price.”

In response to American job loss to foreign countries and outsourcing, Jensen provided several solutions.

“Consider the real cost of the cheap imports that you buy when you go to places like Walmart or Target,” Jensen said. “Push for an end to misinformation by our politicians … push for an end to one-sided trade agreements.”

He also encouraged folks to pursue politicians.

“If we don’t do it, nothing is going to change,” Jensen said. “The people in this country can change this, but you’ve got to get involved. I just want to try and help people get involved.”