Corporate Racket: Pretend to Leave Trump's USA

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 12/04/2016 03:39:00 PM
Wave this in front of the dimwit Trump and collect lots of government money.
US President-elect Donald Trump's avowed interest in keeping American jobs Stateside--no matter how misguided they may be--are nonetheless a lucrative opportunity for companies if they play their cards right. In the run-up to the dreadful day he actually takes office, there have already been a number of instances that may set the template for what follows. First, he has (wrongly) claimed credit for keeping jobs Stateside that weren't going anywhere, anyway:
President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday night to say Ford Motor Co. executive chairman William Ford Jr. had called to say the company would not move production of the Lincoln MKC from its Louisville Assembly Plant to Mexico.

Ford, however, said it neither planned to close the Louisville, Ky., plant nor reduce jobs there. The company said it had considered moving Lincoln production to Mexico to increase production of the Ford Escape in Louisville. Trump criticized Ford during the campaign for its decision to move small-car production from Michigan to Mexico. Trump suggested he might impose tariffs on Ford cars assembled in Mexico.
You see, the Ford Escape and the Lincoln MKC are ear-identical sister models. Freeing up capacity in the US production facility by moving the assembly of the less-popular Lincoln MKC to Mexico would have created more opportunities at home. However, the not-so-bright Trump takes it that moving any manufacturing out of the US would be a loss. Again, this sort of simplistic zero-sum thinking is what you'd expect of him. 

Even more interesting has been the planned move by American conglomerate United Technologies  to Mexico via its Carrier air-conditioning subsidiary. In order to keep some of the jobs Stateside, the state of Indiana has forked over $7 million in subsidies:
Trump, who campaigned on promises to keep manufacturing jobs from fleeing the country, claimed credit for a deal in which Indiana state officials agreed to give United Technologies Corp $7 million worth of tax breaks to encourage the company to keep around 1,000 jobs at its Carrier unit in Indianapolis instead of hiring in Mexico.

The agreement was less than a complete victory for Trump, as the air conditioner maker will still send an estimated 1,300 jobs there. The deal does nothing to prevent other employers from shipping work out of state and has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike who call it corporate welfare.

Sanders, who attacked U.S. trade policy in his race against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Trump's deal with Carrier set a "very dangerous precedent" of having taxpayers subsidize multi-billion dollar corporations to "beg them" to keep jobs in the country.
It strikes me that when life gives American manufacturing a lemon of a leader like Trump, you might as well make lemonade. Any announcement concerning sending jobs abroad will be contested on his Twitter feed. Voila! A recipe for corporate handouts on a national scale has been born:
  • STEP 1: Have existing manufacturing or other operations abroad. 
  • STEP 2: Ensure widespread media attention about an impending move so that Donald Trump or his minions like Mike Pence hear about about it. 
  • STEP 3: Wait for Trump or his team to contact you to arrange for financial compensation so that these jobs are "kept"Stateside.
  • STEP 4: Trump tweets about "keeping jobs in America" to impress the stupid while you're laughing all the way to the bank since you probably didn't intend to send jobs abroad anyway.
Trump is a joke, and most of the rest of the decent world probably agrees he's a pretty sick one as well. But hey, I guess American manufacturing firms are better off pretending that you're shipping a bazillion jobs abroad if Trump is willing to call their bluff by paying them so handsomely. 

And no, such idiocy certainly won't make America great again. Quite the opposite, in fact.

UPDATE 1: Even Sarah Palin of all people (sorta) understands this better. Can you believe it?

UPDATE 2: To use Trump's mangled language, I'm bigly unimpressed with the idea that the same sort of "pattern bargaining" not to leave America will likely go on. From his "victory speech" at the abovementioned Carrier plant in Indiana:
[W]e’re going to have a lot of phone calls made to companies when they say they’re thinking about leaving this country, because they’re not leaving this country. They’re not going to leave this country. And the workers are going to keep their jobs. And they can leave from state to state, and they can negotiate good deals with the different states, and all of that. But leaving the country is going to be very, very difficult.
I know a money-making racket for companies when I see one. It's called "Pretend to Make America Great Again by Keeping Jobs Stateside."