AMANPOUR: This week -- jobs. Employment numbers just out look better than they have in two years. But how real is the recovery? How can America keep putting people back to work? We'll have a spirited debate. And I'll be joined by Diane Sawyer. And we ask, how important is it to buy things that are made in America?
In Libya, an uprising erupts into civil war. Colonel Gadhafi told me his people love him.
MOAMMAR GADHAFI: All my people with me. They love me, all.
AMANPOUR: But his forces are now battling a rebel army in the streets. We'll have the latest. And my exclusive interview with Senator John McCain. He's calling for American military intervention.
And we meet the women warriors behind the uprising. Could they be al Qaeda's worst nightmare? "This Week," America and the world starts right now.
Welcome to our viewers here and around the world. These days, Americans have had to think hard about where the United States stands in the world, how the American worker fits into a new and changing global economy, and what stance the United States should take as people fight for basic freedoms around the Middle East.
We turn first to jobs, issue No. 1 for the American people. And this week, finally, some good news to report. For the first time in almost two years, the unemployment rate has dropped below 9 percent. 192,000 jobs were created in February. It's progress, but for many Americans, it's not enough. Amid the frustration, concern that so many manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, which raises a provocative question. If Americans bought more products made in America, would it make a difference? And would giving up all those products made with cheap labor overseas be too expensive?
All week long, my colleagues at World News with Diane Sawyer have been reporting on their effort to answer that question. Here are the highlights from their series, "Made in America."
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made in America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Made in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made in America.
OBAMA: We want to create and sell products all over the world that are stamped with three simple words, made in America. That's our goal.
DAVID MUIR: We searched all over the country for one very brave and willing family. Meet the Usrys (ph). Mom, dad, son, daughter, and the dog, Amber. They were like so many other families who told our producers their house must be filled with plenty that is made in America. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to think we buy more American than the typical family.
MUIR: But what would happen when we start to pick things up?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is made in China.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the cross?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honduras.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made in Honduras.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're covering the world here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made in Thailand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Usually you're looking at what's on the plate, not underneath it, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here's the test.
The table is made in Thailand.
MUIR: And the chairs?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mexico.
MUIR: And we had a fork from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Saint Pattern's (ph).
MUIR: This one's from Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: China.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the plate is from Japan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anything made in America on this table?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't appear to be that way.
MUIR: Even the children's rooms.
What about your Texas hat here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's see. Bangladesh.
MUIR: So this is your room, huh? And little Ellis. And her prized American Girl dolls. Right there, what does it say? Made in --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: China.
MUIR: In the 1960s, nine of every 10 products Americans bought were made in America. Today, more than half of what we buy is foreign made. So we wondered, could the Usrys manage without any foreign made products at all?
So we're going to ask you, if you would leave your own house in our hands? And they did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye, David.
MUIR: You're really going to leave me with your house?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's all yours.
MUIR: Take one last look.
Back inside, we kept going. It was every room of the house. The bedroom. The bedspread, Pakistan. Night stand, Indonesia. The lamp, China.
This is where it's all going. Anything foreign made from inside that house, right in here.
The stove, ripped out. The refrigerator, gone. The piano. That is a heavy piano. And every inch of that trailer filled. And with the sun setting, the Usrys were about to return to this. And this. And this. Their living room, with one lone vase.
What do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. It's quite barren.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of our appliances are gone.
MUIR: We did leave the kitchen sink because the kitchen sink was the only thing made in America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything but the kitchen sink. Thank you.
MUIR: But now would come the real challenge. Helping the family scour the country for items to replace what we took away.
Enter the best shopper I know. Armed with her Blackberry and her laptop, Sharyn Alfonsi.
SHARYL ALFONSI: Hi.
ALFONSI: We immediately started working the computer and decided to start small.
Hi, I'm trying to find out if a certain coffee maker was made in the USA. What's made in America?
Frustrating, but worth asking, because economists say if we all just spend 1 percent more on American made goods right now, 18 cents a day, that would be 200,000 new jobs today.
And then the moment that made even us sweat. The trucks. All six of them coming down Snow White Drive. Would it be enough to fill this home?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, our American-made room. Oh, wow, wow. This looks great. All American-made?
ALFONSI: All American made.
MUIR: Twenty-four hours ago, you thought this was impossible?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you saw how empty the house was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit skeptical that we'd be able to pull it off. Or you guys.
MUIR: We were skeptical, too. But we found it. In fact, too many American companies to count. Just the living room. Harden, upstate New York. Lee Industries, North Carolina. Mohawk rugs, Georgia. The drapes, New Jersey. And the mirror, Missouri.
But it doesn't come cheap. At least not everything. The lamp, $250. But the drapes, just $40 at J.C. Penney. Remember that first label we checked?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is made in China.
MUIR: That cost them $80. And the American options we found of comparable quality, the same price range, a little cheaper, $73 up to $89. The one loaned to us with the rest of the furniture, $250. We paid the shipping.
ALFONSI: And the kitchen. Just when we ripped that stove out of the wall, we realized we were in trouble. Yes, we scooped up fiestaware for $35 and the glasses for less than a dollar. But then the appliances.
The only 100 percent American-made appliances we could find were the legendary Viking, Subzero, and Wolf. High end and highly expensive. But there was another option, a compromise. We did find some appliances half-made in the U.S. and they were about half the cost of what we bought.
MUIR: The old bedroom set, $1,758. The new one, $1,699. The American goods, less expensive, and just as durable. And those workers who made it all in their Virginia factory, so proud to tell us, made in America. (END VIDEOTAPE)
AMANPOUR: Well, now I'm with Diane Sawyer, and the team who put this series together, David Muir and Sharyn Alfonsi. Thank you all. And it is quite stunning to see a house which is then completely emptied of everything, because nothing was made in America.
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: You just start from the question, how much of in your shopping cart was made in America? How much of what you have in the living room, around you right now as you're watching?
AMANPOUR: What kind of reaction did you get?
SAWYER: Most people think about half. Isn't that what we --
SAWYER: Yes, at least half. And then the revelation. And that was the first thing we wanted to do. It's just a wakeup call about the reality around us.
We know it's a global economy, but the thousand pressure points that create what really establishes jobs.
However, I loved knowing that my neighbors are making things that I'm buying. That's one factor among other factors. We thought people should start asking the question.
AMANPOUR: What really will put the jobs back where they're meant to be here in this country?
ALFONSI: Well, if you look at it, every economist we spoke to say, you might say it seems very simple, but the reality is, if you make something in America, it creates American jobs. It is that simple. At the same time, of course it's more complex than that. We don't want to be bemoaning the loss of the lightbulb. We don't make a single lightbulb in the United States. What we want to be thinking about is the next lightbulb and being -- manufacturing in smart areas, in areas that create high-value jobs.
MUIR: It's funny, economists say don't worry about the plasma screen that we had to remove from the Usrys' house. They have no TV in the living room or their bedroom now. They said we should be thinking about the next generation of televisions that interconnect the Internet and On Demand and everything else.
AMANPOUR: And to get that next generation of innovators, you're going to need the next generation of great education. Where does that really play into this manufacturing debate?
SAWYER: Well, it's everything, as we know. And we think that if you look at the whole path ahead for the -- for America, for what we want to achieve, you see the convergence of what we are making, what our aspirations are, and is our education serving what we want to be?
AMANPOUR: Thank you so much. And Diane and the team will be continuing their made-in-America reporting in this next week and in the next several weeks.
And when we come back, my exclusive interview with Senator John McCain. I'll ask him about jobs, as well as the escalating violence in Libya and what can be done about it. Stay with us.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back. Senator John McCain has one eye on the jobs picture here in the United States and another on the unfolding revolutions in the Middle East. And he's just returned from a trip to the region, so we have lots to talk about today. And we're glad to have him here with us at the Newseum.
Senator McCain, thank you for joining us.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you first about the report that we just saw. What does it say to you about that empty house but particularly its impact on jobs here in the United States?
MCCAIN: Well, I think it's obviously a recognition of the reality and the trends, that cheaper, lower-cost labor products will usually prevail over the products made in higher wage and income countries.
But I would also point out that, if you'd emptied that house, if you'd left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America. And as the president said, continuously, and I agree with him, innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy.
And that's got to be exports. We've got to have free trade agreements. I'm glad the president is supporting the South Korea free trade agreement. We basically abandoned Colombia and Panama. All these other countries are concluding free trade agreements amongst themselves while we are being left behind. And that's very harmful.
Small statistic: two years ago, 40 percent of the imports of agricultural goods in Colombia were from the United States of America. They concluded free trade agreements. Now 20 percent is there. So we have the ability to outcompete any other country in the world and outinnovate.
AMANPOUR: Well, to that end, then, what do you make, and how do you react to the good job news over the last month, that 192,000 more jobs have been added and the unemployment rate has dipped below 9 percent?
MCCAIN: I think that's good. And I still worry about the housing situation. And my state of Arizona is one of those that suffered most from the collapse. And we still have nearly 50 percent of the homes are still underwater.
But you've got to look at it as good news. But you also have to recognize that we need to do more. Even at this present rate, we would not be able to see a significant drop in unemployment for a very long time. But it is encouraging news.
AMANPOUR: Well, what about the budget battle right now, the $61 billion in cuts, which even Mark Zandi, who was one of your advisers, has said could lose 700,000 jobs.
MCCAIN: You know, he's the same guy that said that, if we adopted the stimulus package, unemployment would never go above 8 percent. Please.
AMANPOUR: But do you think these steep cuts will affect the employment?
MCCAIN: I don't think so. But what I do know, that unless we get our fiscal house in order, we are facing a calamity. There is no way you can avoid that. So let's -- we did a $787 billion stimulus package. We went on a spending spree over the last 10 years, a lot of it -- some of it, at least, under Republican administrations, as well as Democrats.
We have got to get our budget balanced. And that's -- that's vital to the future. And by the way, it has to include Social Security reform, Medicare, and Medicaid reform. Anybody who thinks we can do that with 12 percent to 15 percent of the budget or make those kinds of changes on that small a percentage of the budget is just wrong.
AMANPOUR: And we're going to be debating this afterwards. But, obviously, a big element of the recovery here is linked, to an extent, to the Middle East, where you've just been, the rising gas prices. And of course, there, so many of the revolutions are about jobs as well.
Let's go first to Libya. You have called for some kind of intervention, a no-fly zone. Do you still maintain that position, to have a no-fly zone over Libya?
MCCAIN: Yes, I do. Senator Kerry and Senator Lieberman and I, and others, have called for that.
I would like to point out their air assets are not large. Their air defenses are somewhat antiquated. And this would send a signal to Gadhafi that the president is serious when he says we need for Gadhafi to go. And also, it would be encouraging to the resistance, who are certainly outgunned from the air.
But these air assets that the Libyan -- that Gadhafi has are not overwhelming. They're not -- you know, not saying they aren't a challenge, but...
AMANPOUR: So how do you respond, then, to what Secretary Gates said?
We're going to play what he said about this idea of a no-fly zone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ROBERT M. GATES: There's a lot of frankly loose talk about some of these military options. And let's just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses. That's the way you do a no-fly zone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Do you think that it is, as he says too difficult, that it's loose talk, when it comes to talk about a no-fly zone?
MCCAIN: I have great respect for Secretary Gates and the outstanding job that he has done. We can't risk allowing Gadhafi to massacre people from the air, both by helicopter and...
AMANPOUR: What he's really doing is attacking military installations, ammunition depots and potentially a rebel army. If the U.S. does get involved, is that taking sides?
MCCAIN: Well, clearly, we are on the side of the rebels. We have called for Gadhafi's removal. That's the president of the United States' policy.
But, again, I want to emphasize. Ground intervention would not be appropriate, certainly not at this time. A ground intervention by the part of the United States could be very counterproductive. But we can assist in a lot of ways, humanitarian, intelligence, providing them with some training and other things that we could do as they form up a provisional government in Benghazi.
AMANPOUR: You mentioned what the president said, calling for Colonel Gadhafi to step aside. I mean, when the president says he's got to go, presumably he has to go. How does that happen? How does one get him to go?
MCCAIN: Well, first of all, I hope that Gadhafi understands the inevitability of...
AMANPOUR: But he hasn't shown...
MCCAIN: Oh, I agree...
AMANPOUR: ... much indication to us.
MCCAIN: He's insane. But perhaps the people around him would begin to depart the sinking ship, and by, again, a no-fly zone, declaring our assistance or support of a provisional government, perhaps which is being formed up now. There's a lot of steps we can take, providing significant humanitarian aid.
Look at this humanitarian crisis. It's huge on -- on both borders. So I think there's a lot we could do, including intelligence capability and giving them technical assistance.
AMANPOUR: And in terms of where you've just come back from, Egypt and other parts of that -- of that area, many people look with great optimism to what's going on. Some are pessimistic. How can the United States help manage the transition?
MCCAIN: First of all, by not appearing to interfere or dictate. There's a lot of skepticism in Egypt and Tunisia and other countries about -- because of our support of past rulers.
But offer assistance -- perhaps the most important thing we could do in the long run for these countries is investment. Because you know this was all about jobs.
I'd love to see our high-tech CEOs go over there and say, OK, we're going to invest. But we need to give them incentive to do so, like a trade preference agreement, which we could enact immediately.
This is really about the economy of these countries. And, finally, there's so much to cover, Christiane. I don't mean to insult your intelligence. But really, Egypt is the key to all of this...
AMANPOUR: Everybody says that.
MCCAIN: ... the heart and soul of the Arab world. The other countries are very important. But maybe we could fail in one of those other countries. We fail in Egypt, it has severe consequences.
AMANPOUR: So much more to discuss, Senator McCain.
Thank you so much for joining us.
MCCAIN: Thanks for having me on.
AMANPOUR: Thank you.
MCCAIN: And when we return, how do we create jobs in America? Is buying American the answer? If not, what is?
We take up that discussion after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: One of the things that I think there is a misconception about is that somehow our manufacturing days have passed. that's not true. we're still one off the dominant manufactures in the world. the challenge, the difference is, is that what used to take 1,000 people to manufacture might now take 100.
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: You see row after row of textile mill buildings and you know when you see those buildings that this state had to have gone through an economic crisis at one point. It's going to take more than a speech in this part, more than rhetoric to put the Americans back to work. It's going to take a new president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Mitt Romney, last night in New Hampshire, the presidential campaign clearly well under way. And jobs will be at the very heart of it. Today, the number of Americans in manufacturing jobs is at a 70-year low. And as you have just seen, ABC has asking an intriguing question this week if each American spent just a little bit more on American-made products, would it put more people back to work?
So joining me to discuss that is mu ABC News colleague David Muir, Leo Gerard, president of the United Steel Worker, Chrystia Freeland, global editor at large for Thompson Reuters, and Mort Zuckerman, editor in chief of U.S. News and World Report.
Thank you for being here.
Let me start with you, ladies first, Made in America, that report that we just saw, is that the answer?
FREELAND: No. I mean, I thought it was a terrific report, but, you know, we are not going to go back to a world in which everyone buys goods just made in their own country. And that's a good thing. You know, trade helps the world economy. And I don't think we want to push a line that says, well, if all Chinese people only bought goods made in China, all German people only goods made in Germany that wouldn't be great for American companies that do business around the world. Having said that, what I really liked about the report was focusing on the notion that giving up on manufacturing is really a mistake. And I think we did have a rhetoric in the past sort of, you know, 20 years that said, you don't need to make things in a country anymore. That's a mistake.
AMANPOUR: We're not going to go back for all those traditional things being made in America. Is that bad for your people?
GERARD: No. I think what we've got to recognize, though, is we've had 25 years of record-breaking trade deficits. And in those 25 years America has gone from being the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor nation. And that's because we're not playing on a level playing field and America has no manufacturing policy.
And so we can succeed if we have end up having a manufacturing policy that puts out at as equal footing not one that puts us behind the 8 ball with China as an example.
AMANPOUR: Level playing field, is that the answer? How does one achieve that?
ZUCKERMAN: Well, I don't know that you can get a level playing field, because I don't know exactly what that means. We can't compete on several levels with China and other countries like that, particularly in terms of labor costs. It's just not going to work. But there are many things we can do. And we have to appeal to our strengths not to our weaknesses. Low cost labor is never going to be our strength. America is past those days. But we have to have a highly educated workforce to focus on the industries of the future and to find ways to really develop those industries.
And another thing that we could do, which would really help a lot of companies focus on America is to have a tax code that makes sense so that you eliminate these special preferences and lower overall tax rates. Canada, for example, has a corporate tax rate of 16.5 percent, because they've eliminated a lot of those crap.
AMANPOUR: Let me just ask David about a statistic...
GERARD: Let me make a point on taxes though. We're giving companies tax breaks to move jobs overseas when we ought to be giving people tax breaks to create jobs here.
AMANPOUR: On that issue about creating jobs. In your report, in the series, there was an amazing statistic about just how much more an American should pay every day, or every year, to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
MUIR: We talked to a number of economists on this, as you know, Christiane. Mark Zandi for one said, if we pumped $20 billion into the economy in the next year, if every American spent that would be the equivalent of $64 in the next year we could actually create 200,000 jobs. But I wanted to answer what Chrystia said about buying only Made in America or only Made in German, only -- that's a giant leap from what the question was that was posed this week. These economists told us unanimously that all things equal, durability, price, that if you want to buy a cabinet from up the street from the furniture store, or a product at your retail outlet that says Made in America, you're not going to throw off the global trade balance. And you will help create a job in America. They said it's as simple as that.
FREELAND: What I liked about David's report, at the end when you were refurnishing that house, the Viking stove was the one appliance you found that was 100% made in America. And I think that's the kind of place you should see America focusing on.
Hang on a sec. The high-end manufacturing. It's something where if you look at western industrialized economy's, Germany is one country that has been really successful at hanging on to manufacturing. And that's because as Mort was saying, they haven't focused on the cheap stuff. They've said what we can do that is special is the super specialized stuff. It requires a highly educated work force.
GERARD: Germany has a manufacturing strategy. We don't. And the reality is when you talk about the high end stuff, the iPad and the iPhone are made in China, they're not made in America. If you look at a modern wind turbine invented in Sandusky, Ohio we can't make a wind turbine from start to finish, because we've never had a strategy.
AMANPOUR: So what is the strategy? If America doesn't have one, why not? Because it is, by far, still the biggest manufacturer in the world.
ZUCKERMAN: We have never had that kind of state intervention in terms of an industrial policy. That's not been the way the American system works. But we actually put handicaps on it in this sense, I mean, we have health care costs that are so dramatically higher than everybody else that people want to ship jobs abroad. We have taxes that makes absolutely though sense. There are a lot of special benefits for individual companies, individual industries. We ought to eliminate as many of those as we can and lower the tax rates so that there's more of an opportunity to develop and do business here in the United States. There are some things we can do.
We should have an infrastructure policy rather than an industrial policy which would make it a lot easier for the private sector to work. We have absolutely -- those would create many, many jobs and would be a great stimulus for our economy.
GERARD: Mort and I probably disagree on the words, because I think if you have an infrastructure strategy, you have in fact got a manufacturer strategy. We don't have any strategy. And when people keep talking about low-priced goods, low-priced goods they have an expensive cost. Low-priced goods with China where we've accumulated almost a $2 trillion deficit with China have meant hundreds of thousands of people unemployed. It's meant poison in our kids toys. It's meant lead in our steel that we have had to send back. The Bay Bridge is three years behind schedule because they bought Chinese steel that won't hold the welds.
FREELAND: You're not saying we should stop buying things from China or stop trading with China?
GERARD: No. I'm not saying we should stop trading. In fact, no country can survive without trade. What I'm in fact saying is that we have got to have some set of rules on which we trade by. Our union filed nine trade cases against China and won every one. Why are we winning them? Because they cheat. At the very least we should ask for an economy where we're not cheated.
MUIR: Just back from China. And I think Leo would agree on this point, correct me if I'm wrong, but we have to pick which items we want to compete with. I mean, we were in these Chinese factories, south of Shanghai, as you know Christiane. In one factory that makes one-third of all the socks in the world. I mean, America doesn't want to make socks anymore. We don't want to compete with that. We want to compete with the products...
AMANPOUR: We're going to continue this right after the break. Lots to talk about. We're going to break. And we'll come back and continue.
Up next, Washington's answer to the job crisis. Will the deep budget cuts on the table stick a fork in the recovery?
AMANPOUR: Coming up next, will the budget battle in Washington have an impact on jobs?
And from the Middle East, the latest on the civil war in Libya.
And the women behind the revolutions, are they the best hope for real democracy in the region?
AMANPOUR: President Obama says the United States needs to build on the momentum of Friday's upbeat jobs reports. The progress is clearly fragile and the budget battles in Washington will certainly have an impact, say many analysts. The question is -- what will that impact be?
Joining me again here in the Newseum, my ABC colleague David Muir. Leo Gerard, president of the United Steel Workers. Chrystia Freeland, global editor at large for Thompson Reuters. And Mort Zuckerman, editor in chief of U.S. News and World Report.
Let's just go back to the lightbulb and finish that rather heated debate.
MUIR: Well, it's interesting, because we were talking about China. And the workers in those factories make $14 a day, $270 a month, and they send much of it back to their child who's being raised by the grandparents in rural China. We could never survive competing against China in certain respects. We have got to pick--
MUIR: We've got to pick which products.
MUIR: They say the answer are multiplier products, the ones that take multiple people to get it from start to finish. But Leo saw the reporting this week and brought us this, about a lightbulb here in America. This is what I love.
GERARD: The Ashram Sylvania Super Saver lightbulb has no mercury in it. It's the most energy-efficient lightbulb invented so far. We can hardly get it sold in America. MUIR: But who knew about it?
GERARD: Who knew about it?
AMANPOUR: Well, who knew? Why not?
GERARD: Because of the onslaught of Chinese products, you can't get it put in the store. I mean, it's a totally different discussion about how you get on Wal-Mart's shelf or how you get on the shelf at Home Depot or the big box stores.
AMANPOUR: What about the key issue of human capital? With technology, sort of, you know, replacing the workforce -- what about a 55-year-old guy who is making x and now doesn't have that job? How does one retrain him?
GERARD: Three quick points on that. First of all --
AMANPOUR: Or woman.
GERARD: Men or women. There's training adjustment assistance that was cut by the Republicans in the last budget that we need for the people who are 55 and older. We have got 40 percent unemployment in the trades, so we're having a hard time getting apprentices done. Most of our manufacturing workplaces, we lost 55,000 factories during the Bush era, 2,800 factories as the result of the Wall Street collapse. Those factories used to train apprentices. Now they're barely scratching to get back. And we have got to train, we've got to get our community colleges ramped up, and we've got to get people getting back--
AMANPOUR: This is the problem. The cutting of spending on education.
ZUCKERMAN: The jobs -- the -- most jobs are created by start-up companies. OK? A huge part of them come from people who have intellectual or educational knowledge, MAs and PhD's in the hard sciences. Roughly 50 percent of the graduate degrees in the hard sciences are foreign students. We have reduced the number of foreign students we have allowed to stay and work in this country from 195,000 in the year 2000 to 65,000 today.
This is absolutely criminal.
AMANPOUR: What does it mean?
ZUCKERMAN: It means we do not have the intellectual power. These people go back to their own countries. There -- and they start the high-tech companies.
I'll give you an example. The computer was built in the United States, developed and built in the United States. Andy Grove wrote about it. We now have 166,000 jobs in the computer industry in the United States, but 1.5 million jobs are overseas. This is exactly what's wrong.
ZUCKERMAN: That is a manufacturing company. We have to train -- just a minute. We have got to keep the intellectual capabilities and the educational capabilities to put high-value added products into the stream of this country's economy. Because if we don't, we're going to lose that, and then we'll really be lost.
FREELAND: I totally agree with you, Mort. And that piece that Andrew Grove wrote was very interesting, but his point was that America is really good at inventing stuff. And if you look at who are the big leading edge high-tech companies in the world, they're still American. Right? It's Apple. It's Google. It's Facebook. We're seeing a revolutionary effect.
But what is not happening is the follow-on jobs for hundreds of thousands of people are not there. Apple is a good example.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you about the budget cuts as well.
GERARD: Let me make this last point. One of the things that is wrong is that for the last 30 years in both the United States and Canada, we have told our kids, you have got to go to school and become financial engineers. What we should have been doing is getting more mechanical engineers.
It's not our fault. It's the system that said you ought to go to school and become a financial engineer. We've got too many financial engineers--
ZUCKERMAN: Financial services is a major industry in this country. We don't tell kids what to do. We can make it very attractive for kids to go into the hard sciences.
GERARD: Tell them they'll make $28 million.
ZUCKERMAN: And have the jobs available. Not everybody thinks in terms of going into the financial industry.
AMANPOUR: $61 billion of budget cuts. Mark Zandi says 700,000 jobs will be lost.
FREELAND: I think he's right. I mean, I think that, you know, the problem is the U.S. government at both the federal and the state level needs to figure out how to walk and chew gum at the same time. So what you need to do is find a way in the medium term to have a full, a sold promise to the markets, we're going to deal with essentially the health care problem.
GERARD: We lost 55,000 factories that don't pay taxes anymore. Each one of those workers employed four more workers.
AMANPOUR: David, Leo, Chrystia, Mort, thank you very much indeed, and this is a conversation that will just keep continuing.
We've seen them on the front lines of the protests sweeping the Middle East. But what is next for the women of those revolutions? Will they be as active in shaping the future of their region? And can the prominent role they have played be a spoiler for Islamic militants looking to take advantage of those upheavals? A powerhouse roundtable coming up next. And Tina Brown will be on hand to unveil the new and improved Newsweek magazine.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back, and now we turn to those revolutions rocking the Middle East. There are reports of escalating violence in Libya today. Rebel fighters clashing with Gadhafi loyalists. A lot of uncertainty about how much territory the rebels actually control. It has of course been a truly historic last few weeks in Libya and throughout the Middle East and North African region. Many things have changed, not just governments, but the people themselves, and perhaps especially the women. Their influence could well have a huge impact on what happens next. ABC's Lama Hasan has been in the region throughout and has this report now from Libya.
HASAN: The wave of change sweeping across the Arab world has finally given women a voice. Everywhere I went in the region, I was impressed and surprised by the women I saw. Something changed. A barrier was broken. They felt empowered and determined to bring down regimes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible), we never want (ph) you (ph)!
HASAN: Mothers dragging their children along so they could witness history. Girls who were not shy about mixing with boys, standing shoulder to shoulder with them to fight for their cause.
Here in Libya, with the protests now giving way to the armed rebellion, it's the work being done by Dr. Iman and her sister, Salwa, a lawyer, behind the scenes, that is making a difference in keeping the momentum of this revolution going.
SALWA BUGAIGHIF, LIBYAN POLITICAL ACTIVIST: Everything is not easy. But if there is a will, there is a way. We'll have to go to the end.
HASAN: With no specific role, they deal with whatever is thrown at them. Everything from listening to worried fathers whose sons are fighting on the front line to keeping up with the day to day clashes and casualty numbers, to having meetings about health and educational issues in a new, free eastern Libya.
DR. IMAN BUGAIGHIF, LIBYAN POLITICAL ACTIVIST: It consumes a lot, but it's just amazing that we don't feel the time. We come here from morning and we don't feel tired.
HASAN: It's easy to see how crucial they are to the movement. No sooner are they done with one informal hallway meeting, they're pulled into the next one. Even our cameraman struggles to keep up with them, and they are modest.
I. BUGAIGHIF: We're not the heroes. The heroes are the mothers who are encouraging their children to go and fight for freedom. And they know it may be the last time they will see them.
HASAN: These weren't the first women I'd encountered during the last amazing two months. The revolution has spread like a fever across the Middle East. In Egypt, women, especially young women, have helped lead the uprising, blogging, tweeting, organizing, making their views heard any way they can, for the first time in full partnership with men.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will not give up.
HASAN: 24-year-old Gigi Ibrahim is one of the faces of the Egyptian revolution. An outspoken activist, Ibrahim was shot in the back with a rubber bullet during the protests in Tahrir Square. That didn't stop her.
GIGI IBRAHIM, EGYPTIAN POLITICAL ACTIVIST: I was more determined, I think. This is what helped the revolution. People died for this. Hundreds were willing to die for this to continue and succeed. And this is the price of democracy and freedom.
HASAN: Worried about her safety, her family begged her not to demonstrate.
AZIZA IBRAHIM, GIGI'S SISTER: All my friends, all my family have been calling me because I'm the elder sister to her, oh, my God, don't let her go, don't let her go.
G. IBRAHIM: My aunt now is intervening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): You are a bunch of kids who made a revolution and destroyed the--
G. IBRAHIM: I'm not the Egyptian people--
The swarms of pro-Mubarak supporters are trying to infiltrate Tahrir Square.
HASAN: But Ibrahim was on a mission to change her future and those of others. She worked tirelessly, appearing on every news channel possible, updating followers on Twitter and Facebook, galvanizing other Egyptians.
G. IBRAHIM: I told you this day was coming. You didn't believe me.
HASAN: Rallying them to come out in big numbers to fight for their freedom.
And it worked. Not only did she play a part in changing the regime, she changed perceptions of what it means to be a woman in the Arab world.
G. IBRAHIM: This is an historical moment in the revolution. My sister is here. And that says a lot.
A. IBRAHIM: That's a revolution by itself.
HASAN: For this week, Lama Hasan, ABC News, Benghazi, Libya.
AMANPOUR: And the big question, how much will the newly empowered women of the Middle East shape their emerging democracies? It's something the United States, as well as much of the world, is looking at closely.
Tina Brown, editor in chief of the Daily Beast and Newsweek, is joining us. And she's hosting a women of the world summit this week. Some of the women involved are joining us now. Dr. Nawal el Saadawi, a long-time activist for women's rights in Egypt. Zainab Salbi, the Iraqi founder of Women for Women International. And Sussan Tahmadebi, who has been at the forefront of the struggle for women's rights in Iran.
Ladies, thank you for joining us. Who could fail to be optimistic? When you look at that piece, do you think gains are solidified and set in stone?
SALBI: No. When I look at this piece, I first get emotional to see that women are rising up and joining men in the streets. I also remember history, history where women in the Middle East have rose up before, participated in revolutions against French colonialism in Algeria, against the shah of Iran. So we have that history, but it often gets hijacked at the moment of their victory. We often get sent back home.
AMANPOUR: Well, let's discuss that. Tina Brown, you are also going to show us the new cover of "Newsweek," which we're going to put up. And it is about 150 women who shape the world with Hillary Clinton as the cover.
What can somebody like the U.S. secretary of state and the rest of the global community do to help these women in these revolutions?
BROWN: Well, I think what is interesting right now is that Hillary Clinton, in fact, has actually met her moment, in a sense, because her long-held conviction has always been that women are the leading indicators. That women, if you empower women, you're going to make huge changes in the democracy movement and of course in the GDP of the countries concerned. And she's been pounding that drum for a long time.
So this issue of Newsweek, you see her really in action, what she is doing. We followed her to, for instance, on a trip to Yemen, just a few weeks before the Arab revolution, and saw her conducting a very robust town hall, where people were being encouraged to talk, women were being encouraged to ask about women's rights. And after that meeting, she met with a few of the women who clustered around her and asked them, said, can you help us educate women here? About the country here.
AMANPOUR: So education and helping with civil society and democracy.
BROWN: And also doing away with the barbaric custom, for instance, of child brides. But they did also say, not in such a way as to get us blowback. So it's all about how do you do that without big-footing the whole atmosphere.
AMANPOUR: Well, Nawal, here we are in your country. It has now got a revolution in place. A military committee is still running it. How are women's rights going to be enshrined in Egypt? Not even on the committee to write the constitution.
EL SAADAWI: I look at women's rights as global and local. And we cannot be liberated in Egypt in a country that is not liberated. Our problem is colonialism. I am here in New York, in Washington, and I want to speak to you, Americans, and the government. It's the problem of colonialism.
AMANPOUR: What do you mean by that?
EL SAADAWI: I mean, that, you know, if we are independent, if we're producing our food, then we will be OK. Now 50 percent of the people in Egypt earn under $2 a day because of American neo- colonialism (ph). You see. So women cannot be liberated in a country not liberated. You see?
AMANPOUR: Is that right?
EL SAADAWI: You see, I have to link that. It cannot be -- women's issues are not -- are global issues, local issues, politics, economics. It's everything.
AMANPOUR: No one is talking about the real big picture here.
SALBI: I would say we need to look at what happens to women as an indicator for the direction of a society. Usually we look at what happens to women as a marginal issue on the side. We need to shift that. Women are bellwether for the society. Progress starts with women and violence starts with women. And so rather than not worrying about preservation of women's rights in the constitution or labor laws, for example, which the Middle East still don't have equal rights for women, or education, or employment opportunities. We need to look at that as actually very important indicator for what is going to happen in Egypt or Afghanistan or Iraq or whatever countries that we're talking about.
AMANPOUR: Sussan, everybody is looking at the revolutions and thinking, oh, my goodness. We saw this in Iran 30 years ago. Women were on the streets in Iran, demanding something different than the monarchy. And then a year later after the revolution, they were on the streets again, complaining about being forced to wear the veil. How is this not going to happen in this region and particularly in Iran as well right now?
TAHMASEBI: I think the -- I would have to agree with what Zainab said. But I think the situation now is very different than 30 years ago. And what Nawal said, it is the global context. And we have the opportunity to really amplify women's voices in these countries.
We're surprised to see women out in the revolutions and on the streets. But the reality is for someone like myself, who lived in Iran and worked in Iran, it's not surprising at all to see it in Iran, to see it in Egypt because women are present. And wherever you are in these countries, there are women who are advocating for women's rights.
And I think one way to do that is that women's movements themselves need to be very vigilant in defending their rights. We need to have regional opportunities to make women's rights an indigenous issue and then global solidarity.
AMANPOUR: Tina, you know, everybody here obviously looks to this not just as a woman's issue, but also sort of a big picture issue of is this going to tamp down the whole idea of extremism, terrorism, is this a big blow to al Qaeda for instance?
BROWN: Well, if as Sussan right said, we have vigilant and the women in these countries have to be supported in every conceivable way. I mean, women like Nawal here have been working with this for you know, 30, 40 years, doing brave acts and speaking out at a time when -- Nawal was jailed for speaking out about feminist ideas and this repressive society. So it's about vigilance, it really is, and about doing everything America can to do it can to support and educate without being clumsy about it, without going in and creating blow back.
Because what happens -- what can happen is that suddenly it's presented that the women's rights are an issue of foreign influence. And once that happens, you know, this nationalistic Islamic fervor starts to take place and the whole issue gets submerged. So it's really, really important fur us to help them in every way we can with the soft power aspect. AMANPOUR: And Nawal, you have been doing this for decades. You have seen in your region how -- just even in Egypt, let's talk about the Muslim Brotherhood. Do you think the Muslim Brotherhood it is an enemy of women in Egypt? And an enemy of real democracy?
EL SAADAWI: We have to look at this problem of religious fundamentalism it's a universal problem.
AMANPOUR: But particularly in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, do you think that they will allow...
EL SAADAWI: No.
AMANPOUR: Women to have full participation?
EL SAADAWI: I'm not afraid. They ask me, are you afraid of Muslim brothers? No. I am afraid of local dictators, you know, the one that will come after Mubarak and global dictators -- disunity.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you to follow that.
EL SAADAWI: I didn't finish my comment. Because we are always concentrating on local dictators who oppress women. We are oppressed by both -- external powers. I am afraid of external powers, that's the point -- it's related to my immigration (ph).
AMANPOUR: Right, but that's kind of what I was talking about. The external idea of oppression and also extremism, fundamentalism and indeed terrorism.
SALBI: Well, it's interesting because religious groups in the Middle East have figured out that using women and utilizing women to promote their issues is a good thing. In Iraq, for example, since 2003 it was religious groups, not secular groups, that incorporated women in their elections and in their parties.
In a way we need to learn, the secular groups need to learn from the religious groups, by really giving the platform for women and promoting women in leadership. We should not take the women's rights for granted issue, because the other side is using it to advance their own cause.
The issue is about family laws at the end of the day. The issue is about mobility and access to resources for women. And usually, that law is traded off. We get free trade, you get family law with religious groups. This time, this is a secular revolution, this is not a religious one. It is actually telling dictators as well as fundamentalists the same thing, we are not going to tolerate this anymore.
So this is the -- it's a really critical point in here of do not bargain women away. Do not bargain them in Afghanistan, do not bargain them in Egypt. And that is really the point.
AMANPOUR: And briefly, you are part of the million signatures campaign. You started that. Where does the situation for women and indeed the whole sort of protest movement, does that have any legs in Iran?
EL SAADAWI: You mean, inside the protesters and in the region? Well, I think...
AMANPOUR: Everybody wants to see this uprising come to Iran. Do you think there is any chance?
EL SAADAWI: Well, women in Iran have been fighting for their rights for 100 years, especially before these recent developments, they have been at the forefront of fighting for their rights and fighting for democracy. And for nearly two years now after the disputed president elections, people have been on the streets and have been fighting at least for their votes initially.
So I think that it's, you know, reflected and the same issues are going on inside of Iran that they are in other places.
AMANPOUR: Thank you all so much. And we'll be watching the women's summit, the Daily Beast Newsweek that's coming up this week. So thanks very much for joining us. And we will be right back.
AMANPOUR: Thank you for watching ABC News. We are always here online at ABCnews.com And we hope you'll watch World News Sunday later this evening. And I'll see you here next week.