“Companies are not going to leave the United States any more without consequences,” said our President-Elect today at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis as he basked in another well-executed PR stunt.
United Technologies, parent company of Carrier, is still moving 1,300 jobs to Mexico. And there will be consequences… for Indiana taxpayers, who will give up $7 million in tax breaks to overvalued and overextended United Technologies as a reward for not sending as many jobs across the border as it said it would.
What do we call it when you threaten to do something bad unless you get a sack of money?
In essence, United Technologies took Trump hostage and won. And that should send a shock wave of fear through all workers across the country.
Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States. Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives. Even corporations that weren’t thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be re-evaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America [Senator Bernie Sanders, “Carrier Just Showed Corporations How to Beat Donald Trump,” Washington Post, 2016.12.01].
Take Trump hostage, says Senator Sanders? Sounds like fun! Let’s do some math: Trump is willing to give up $7 million (of Indiana’s money) to keep 850 jobs from going to Mexico. (The deal also keeps 300 HQ and engineering jobs in Indiana that Carrier intended to move to North Carolina, which only voted for Trump over Clinton by 3.7 points instead of 18.91 like Indiana—try harder for the Führer next time, North Carolina!) That’s about $8,200 per job. My fellow workers, send President-Elect Trump a letter. Tell him you want $8,200 or you’re moving to Mexico and offshoring your own job. For the cost of a stamp, my wife and I could get over $16,000! (One more key number: temperature in Acapulco tonight as I write is 78°F.)
The Carrier/UT charade proves that Trump will rule by fiat, not by sensible, sustainable policy.Trump believes he alone can make all of our dreams come true just by picking up the phone and asserting his will. But when he asserts that will, he gets played by the corporate blackmailers and must hide his failure in the latest Great Lie. To frost this arrogant cake, Trump makes sure to exclude from his Indianapolis event the local TV reporter, Rafael Sánchez, who broke the Carrier-to-Mexico story and made this whole PR play possible, because sharing credit—even fake credit—with the media is verboten.
Mexico shrugs. The global economy rolls on. And America stumbles with a President-Elect who speaks of consequences but hands out more corporate welfare.