Two hours, President Trump tweeted: "I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S. (Indiana). MAKING PROGRESS - Will know soon!"
Now Briggs, is not tweeting today. It's a holiday, right? Reporters get only six of them a year, so I won't rag on that (especially as I am retired). But Briggs has an attitude that we should write off manufacturing. His pinned tweet (the one that is always on top of his timeline):
The press just wants to write off manufacturing, which it sees through the eyes of a 20th century silent movie about drones mindlessly feeding the assembly line.Most manufacturing jobs aren't being lost to cheap foreign labor. They're being lost to robot labor. https://t.co/sqEwPRgJG1— James Briggs (@JamesEBriggs) November 18, 2016
To be sure, machines (now called the sexier name "robots") will reduce jobs. The last time I was at the Indianapolis Star (OK the only time I was at the Indianapolis Star) it was hot lead. Not cold type, but hot lead. That was 1974. Within a few years, even cold type was obsolete. The newspaper's employment fell. Gone were the typesetters.
So will Carrier's. The question is whether modernizing Carrier's production will cost Indiana a few jobs or all 1,400.
The smugness of Briggs and the college professors he quotes as they rattle on about "robots" shows a disdain for factory work. From Briggs:
Trump's promises might actually be harming at least some manufacturing workers by giving them false hope at a time when they should be planning for the future. Several Carrier employees recently told The New York Times that they voted for Trump because they took seriously his pledge to save their jobs.It's hopeless. Don't be a fool. Get a job at Wal-Mart while you still can. The Mexican Robots come in peace!
This is not inevitable. Reagan slapped a forty-five percent tariff on Japanese motorcycle companies and saved Harley Davidson.
Trump can slap a thirty-five percent tariff on Carrier.
@donsurber things are never possible, until someone does it.— Lem (@Lemang01) November 24, 2016