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December 2, 2016


We don’t yet know the details of what happened to make Carrier renege on sending some of its jobs to Mexico but we do know at least some of how Trump and Pence conspired to keep Indiana jobs of Carrier from going to Mexico (though not all of them), and the issue becomes not in wanting American jobs to stay in America or bring those back that have already gone, which we all favor, but how to bring it about in an open and public manner. It is, after all, taxpayer money that is being spent and taxpayers have a right to know how their funds are being spent, what for, to whom and for what purpose. Trump and Pence are spending other peoples’ money, not their own, and owe the public an open explanation of how and why they are making such an investment on behalf of the public, like, for instance, were there threats made to Carrier’s parent corporation, United Technologies, a major defense contractor which annually chalks up billions of dollars in federal contracts subject to tinkering by the new regime? How long did Carrier promise to stick around? What other inducements than money were involved?

To me giving money to corporations to stay in town or come back to town smacks of bribery and signals to corporate America that all they have to do in the new regime is threaten to send jobs overseas and wait for Trump and Pence to show up with bags of cash to “change their minds” via a new resolution of their corporate boards. The bags of cash in the Carrier case are taxpayer money and yet there are no legislative hearings on its distribution (unless authorized under current law of which I am currently unaware). Presumably such funds are, so far as I know as of now, to be distributed at the sole discretion of the executive branch even though the power to tax and appropriate is exclusively a legislative function.

However, to be fair, there is some fragmentary evidence in this case that there is an existing law in Indiana which authorizes the distribution of money for certain purposes such as luring new companies to come to the state to do business, but I don’t know whether such definition includes keeping jobs in the state. Even if it does, however, whether such a law would authorize the current bribe and other inducements to Carrier or not, bribery as policy has to fail as a cascade of corporate threats to go elsewhere in Indiana and elsewhere will soon exhaust any such funds in all states. Further, after being paid off, how do we know how long such corporate welfare recipients will honor their agreements, or worse, how do we know that they will not form foreign subsidiary corporations to do production elsewhere while they lay off American workers? I for one am sick of corporate boards effectively making government policy to their own advantage and who are now being paid for their efforts; a double whammy to the public interest.

The Carrier template will not work on a federal level payout either (if that’s what Trump has in mind) unless we agree to massive tax increases and/or massive increases in the debt in order to fund budget priorities while simultaneously paying for such corporate welfare-by threat. Such a policy would lead to an America that is not great again but rather an America that is broke again as in the 1930s as such “bribes” themselves become budget priorities in the Trumpworld of Wall Street corporate-minded hedge managers who are in Trump’s cabinet and soon to be in charge of the nation’s money and debt (a scary proposition in and of itself).

Truth be told, I think this is all a part of Trump’s publicity scheme to keep his campaign promise to bring jobs back to America, though as I recently blogged, the great majority of jobs in America did not go to China or Mexico but rather evaporated and are continuing to evaporate with the advent of greatly improved manufacturing technology, robotics and other such efficiencies and are not available to be “brought back.” Trump is talking about yesterday and is proposing solutions for problems that don’t exist while ignoring those that do exist, foremost of which is wage inequality.

He is showboating, and the last time hedge fund managers had any interest in jobs over money, as many who voted for him will soon find out, was never.    GERALD      E


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