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Thursday, November 24, 2016

President Trump may keep Carrier from moving to Mexico.

Last week, Indianapolis Star business reporter James Briggs mocked President Trump's efforts to keep Carrier from eliminating 1,400 jobs in Indiana by replacing its plant with one in Mexico in 2019. Briggs assured his readers it cannot be done.

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.

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.



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"Trump the Press" skewers media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. I use my deadliest weapon: their own words. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.

10 comments:

  1. "The last time I was at the Indianapolis Star (OK the only time I was at the Indianapolis Star) it was hot lead."

    Geez, Don, in my day you just took a bullwhip to the editor's hide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surf Nazis beware if Don says he's going down to the beach to "hang ten".

      Delete
  2. "The typesetters are gone" - well I remember the soft "ching-ching-ching" of the Linotypes and the reek of molten lead, especially around the Ludlow type casting area.

    Somehow, breathing all that molten lead - and later, formaldehyde in the offset-printing darkroom hasn't kept me from a healthy late-seventies life.

    Robots, be damned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Robot labor, huh?

    But Carrier isn't replacing anyone with robots, it's moving the jobs elsewhere. Where labor is cheaper, not where robots are cheaper.

    And why is labor cheaper? Government-imposed costs. Regulation (EPA, OSHA, blah blah) and, above all, American's horrific tax burden.

    Manufacturing can afford to make things in America if we cut out the payments to government, and pay the people who do the work. Everyone from Milton Friedman to Karl Marx knew this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have been told for generations that "cheap labor" is the reason companies move overseas. It is of course a factor, but massive over-regulation and bureaucratic foot-dragging are mammoth job-killers too. One of our bosses left about 7 or 8 years ago to help start up a state-of-the-art copper mine down in Arizona. They planned to hire over a thousand people early on. They still haven't gotten permission to start.

    An engineer I know has a brother who works for a Japanese company. They wanted to build a modern metal refinery down in Texas. Good luck with that. They finally gave up here and broke ground in Japan within 6 months.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We have been told for generations that "cheap labor" is the reason companies move overseas. It is of course a factor, but massive over-regulation and bureaucratic foot-dragging are mammoth job-killers too. One of our bosses left about 7 or 8 years ago to help start up a state-of-the-art copper mine down in Arizona. They planned to hire over a thousand people early on. They still haven't gotten permission to start.

    An engineer I know has a brother who works for a Japanese company. They wanted to build a modern metal refinery down in Texas. Good luck with that. They finally gave up here and broke ground in Japan within 6 months.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame gave a talk where he coined the term "War On Work". The Left thinks they are doing people a favor by making them unemployed.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm the expensive guy who fixes the robots. I'm thankful I have more opportunity for employment, rather than being replaced by less educated,talented and generally lazy human automatons as I fix mechanical ones.

    ReplyDelete