Today, the profitable H.V.A.C. company, owned by United Technologies Corporation—a federal contractor whose climate, controls, and security division, of which Carrier is a part, reported three billion dollars in operating profit in 2016—is letting go of more than two hundred employees in its second and final wave of Indiana-based layoffs, which began last July.
In total, the company will be laying off more than five hundred employees as it moves manufacturing jobs to Monterrey, Mexico.
.. Donald Trump, who made saving Carrier’s “big, beautiful plant” one of his most repeated campaign promises
It was part of his broader preëlection claim that “A Trump Administration will stop the jobs from leaving America.”
.. “We took him serious,” Elliott said, tearing up as she sat in a booth at Sully’s, “because he did seem to be an entrepreneur. He knew this offshoring shit was gonna go down, and ‘I’m not gonna stand for it’ is the way he made it sound. Hillary never said a word to us or about us. Obama never flew Air Force One to our facility, like he did to one in Elkhart, Indiana, when he was campaigning. I thought, This man is not gonna be anybody’s puppet.”
.. Hundreds of Carrier jobs will remain in Indianapolis, but Elliott and others argue that those jobs—many of them office-based, not on the manufacturing line—were never in jeopardy.
.. . “Just don’t bullshit us. We never thought the office personnel was going anywhere, anyway. They’re not making units. We are. We’re the ones that made the $9.7 billion that they collected.” She went on, “We can understand companies having to go overseas if they’re losing money. We get it. But Carrier is the top A.C.- and furnace-making company in the nation, getting money hand over fist.”
.. It’s not just that I’m a lost paycheck away from homeless now. I will never find a job like this one again.”
.. “I voted for Trump,” he told me. “Financially, I thought he’s a genius. I said, ‘Well, America’s in debt; maybe he can do something and turn the economy around.’ Obviously, it’s not looking that way. Mr. Trump didn’t do his research and made himself look silly in front of the nation when these layoffs and early retirements began.”
.. He mentioned Senator Bernie Sanders .. “In retrospect, I would have voted for him if I could do it again.”
.. After that, his most likely path is to go back to school, he said, “for welding
.. The most pointed denunciation came from Chuck Jones, the former president of United Steel Workers Local 1999, in Indianapolis, who disputed Trump’s initial characterization of the Carrier deal and was targeted by Trump on Twitter as a result. “Trump is a liar and an idiot,” Jones told the crowd, adding, “He’s a con man, pure and simple, who sold us a bag of shit.”
It’s nonsense, of course. Think of the motivation: lots of companies are raising wages at least a bit in the face of tight labor markets; pretending that it’s because of the tax cut is a cheap way to curry favor with an administration that has no hesitation about using regulatory and antitrust decisions to reward friends and punish enemies. It’s basically Carrier all over: make a Trump-friendly splash by declaring that he persuaded you to save jobs, then lay off lots of workers after the cameras have moved on.
.. even if you believe economic analyses that suggest corporate tax cuts are good for wages, it shouldn’t happen right away. Any trickle-down should come about because the tax cuts lead to higher investment, which leads over time to a larger capital stock – and it’s the increase in the capital stock, which may take many years, that leads to the wage rise.
While views of the economy closely correlate with partisanship, this means, all things being equal, that Trump’s overall approval rating should drop four or five points for each 10-point drop in views of his economic performance. Because Trump supporters are largely unconcerned with his personal antics, economic woes — not the Russia scandal or zany tweets — are what would doom Trump in public opinion.
.. The problem for Trump is many of his populist promises are starting to look fraudulent.
- Remember that Carrier plant in Indiana that Trump claimed to have saved? It’s reportedly beginning to lay off 600 people.
- The Boeing plant in South Carolina that Trump visited in February to showcase his fight for manufacturing jobs? Layoffs there, too.
- Trump denounced plans by Ford to move production of the Focus from Michigan to Mexico. Now Ford is moving the work to China instead.manufacturing employment hit a record low last month of 8.47 percent of overall employment. It has long been trending that way and is forecast to continue. Manufacturing wages rose less than the overall private sector... This isn’t primarily because taxes are forcing production overseas. It’s productivity: Manufacturers can produce twice as much in the United States as they did a few decades ago with a third fewer workers... Likewise, coal mining jobs aren’t leaving the country because of regulations, as Trump tells his supporters; the jobs have been lost to market forces in the form of cheap oil and gas... The Congressional Budget Office, led by a Republican appointee, forecast last week that the economy would grow at just a 1.9 percent clip under Trump’s proposed budget, far less than the 3 percent the White House claims.. The CBO also said the Trump budget would leave a $720 billion deficit in a decade, contrary to Trump claims.
So what happens if — and when — Trump’s core backers discover that they’ve been had:
- They’re losing health-care coverage and other benefits,
- while manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back and
- a Trump-ignited trade war is hurting U.S. exports?
Anyone who doesn’t “get” Trump’s appeal is said to live in a “bubble.” This means that a substantial majority of Americans are bubble dwellers, because Trump’s disapproval ratings have been hovering between 54 and 60 percent in Gallup’s most recent surveys.
.. The cost of all this is very high. Our political discussion is being brought down by Trump’s self-involvement, his apparent belief that he can only win if he identifies an enemy to attack, and his refusal to make extended and carefully thought-through arguments about anything of substance. Spectacle drives out problem-solving. Our national attention span, never one of our strongest suits, follows Trump down to a level that, in fairness to children, cannot even be called childlike.
The health-care debate is the obvious example. The Republican Congress spotlights “repealing Obamacare.” But this is simply a slogan. What Trump and his party said they’d create was a better health-care system — “something great,” he enthused.
.. A functioning democracy would grapple in a bipartisan way with how to cover everyone more cost-effectively.
.. Trump will declare anything the GOP pushes through — no matter how many of the people who voted for him lose insurance — a “win.” That is all that matters to him.
.. If there was anything useful about the Trump campaign, it was the extent to which it forced Americans who live in thriving parts of the country to notice how badly other regions are doing and how angry many of the people who live in those beleaguered communities are.
.. But where are the practical remedies to help those workers find better-paying jobs? What they get from Trump are mostly symbols
.. Trump announced that thanks to his intervention, a Carrier plant in Indiana would keep at least 1,100 jobs in the United States. But last month, Carrier announced it was cutting 632 jobs from an Indianapolis factory and moving them to Mexico. It’s not clear what Trump accomplished — or if he cares.
.. employment in the nation’s auto plants is down from a peak of 211,000 last year to 206,000.
.. his budget cuts could cost more than 5 million American workers access to job training, job-search assistance and career-development programs.
.. Nothing should be more important to Trump’s presidency than keeping his commitments to workers in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. But these don’t fascinate the president nearly as much as his vendettas and his role as a cable-news critic.