Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump's Carrier deal

The hypocrisy of Republicans is always astounding, isn't it?

And note that there's even more to it than this. Carrier is getting $7 million from Indiana taxpayers, too. In other works, not only is Trump not punishing Carrier for moving jobs to Mexico, as he claimed he would, the company is actually being rewarded.

Given that only 730 of those jobs were saved, that works out to nearly $10,000 per job, paid by Indiana taxpayers. Yeah, any company would go for that, I suspect, Trump or no Trump. But I thought Republicans were against bailouts.

The whole thing is bullshit from beginning to end. Well, you knew that, right? It's Trump. But he's still taking credit for bullshit like this, and it's still helping him politically. My fellow Americans haven't gotten any smarter since the election, either, have they?


jeff725 said...

As goofy as Ross Perot was, he made ONE salient point during his presidential run in 1992. He said "Are we going to start making things again, or are we just going to sit around and play with the money?

Flash-forward to 2016: We're STILL just playing with the money. :(

Back to my John Glenn comment from yesterday: I read an op-ed in London's Daily Telegraph during the presidential campaign about Trump's "Make America Great Again" thing. The Daily Telegraph was of the opinion that America stopped being great when it stopped going to the moon. I think they have a valid point. We stopped "reaching out," for lack of a better term. We started "navel-gazing" as the British would say.

Of course the moon landings were all a hoax, ya know. ;)

Bill Garthright said...

Manufacturing has gone elsewhere because the poor people of the world are willing to work for a lot less money (and they tend to have a lot fewer rights, too).

It's hard for American workers to compete with people who will do the same job for far, far less money. (Oddly enough, corporations don't look overseas for CEOs who'll work for hundreds of millions less in pay and benefits. Strange, huh?)

This isn't all bad. Certainly, it helps those poor people. Our purchases of Chinese products have brought more people into the middle class than there are people in America.

And everyone in America benefits by the low prices of the things they want - and need - to buy. That might not be much of a benefit if you've just lost your job, but it is beneficial. To all of us.

Finally, we went through two world wars last century. Increased trade might - might - provide an important incentive to avoid a third one. Prosperous people have a lot to lose in war. Aggressors aren't usually the people who think they're doing great.

But this is likely to continue until wages in the developing world rise enough to match American wages... or American wages fall to match theirs. That last option is one corporate executives want to see (and only as long as their jobs aren't being outsourced).

But I said it was hard to compete, not impossible. There are alternatives, if we're smart. (So far, we don't seem to be smart, do we?) If we concentrate on education, we can take the high-end jobs. Low-end jobs aren't as valuable, anyway. And note that research and development pays off not just for the people involved, but for everyone.

America can compete. Remember when Japan was kicking our butt in the 1980s? Remember when they were supposedly the unstoppable economic juggernaut, impossible for America to compete against? Obviously, that wasn't true. We just had to step up our game.

Unfortunately, we're doing exactly the opposite. The rest of the world is concentrating on education, while America has decided that we're too 'poor' to educate our children (which, of course, is going to make us even poorer).

Well, given that we don't 'believe' in science anymore, that might not even make much difference, I don't know.

Our infrastructure is crumbling, too, while we keep giving tax cuts to the rich. (Oddly enough, that doesn't seem to help. They just take that extra money and invest it overseas. Or gamble with arcane financial instruments that even they don't understand.)

The Republican Party has convinced America that we're poor and weak, humiliated by bullies on the world beach who kick sand in our faces, and that the fault lies with convenient scapegoats. (That's rather like what the Nazi Party did in 1930s Germany, isn't it? Donald Trump doesn't seem like such a surprise, after all.)

Their solution is tax cuts for the rich, along with more and more money spent on the military, with less and less spent on education, infrastructure, research and development, and anything the rich don't need. (Funny how they won the election and immediately started on destroying Medicare and Social Security, isn't it? I must have missed that in their campaign ads.)

[continued in part two]

Bill Garthright said...

[Part 2]

I don't mind "playing with the money," provided that there are adequate regulations and other safeguards. Banking is valuable, and not just for the bankers.

But we're doing exactly the opposite of what we should be doing, and the recent election has really brought that home. We had a chance to turn this around. Barack Obama spent most of his time just trying to dig us out of the hole the last Republican president dug us into.

But as soon as we get out, we decide to start digging again!

Jeff, I have no optimism left. We could compete, but we're not going to. It's easier to blame scapegoats, I guess. Well, the Nazis are happy. The white supremacists are happy. The religious nuts are happy.

But I'm not happy, and it's hard to see how I'll ever be happy again.

[Wow, I'm really long-winded today - even more than usual. I'll send you to the moon in a separate comment. Heh, heh.]

Bill Garthright said...

The Daily Telegraph was of the opinion that America stopped being great when it stopped going to the moon.

I disagree with the premise, Jeff, but to the extent that we're not great, I'd say that started when the Republican Party began to see political success from their "Southern strategy" of deliberately wooing white racists.

Since that was about the time we stopped going to the Moon, the timing is the same.

But we went to the Moon because we wanted to beat our rival, the Soviet Union, there. Once we 'won' the space race, we were finished. Oh, we continue to explore space, but we haven't found anything out there that's economically useful.

But back then, we were confident that we could compete. These days, after decades of right-wing claims - false claims, obviously - of how poor we are, how helpless, how victimized, we no longer think so.

Today, if China announced a manned mission to Mars, there's no way in hell that we'd compete with them. We'd be so convinced that we'd lose anyway, we wouldn't even try.

Maybe this would have happened anyway, I don't know. But the success of that Southern strategy had a lot of repercussions.

The Republican Party used - and still uses - that political power to give tax cuts to the rich. Thus, they have to convince America that we're just too poor to afford health care, education, a secure social safety net, modern infrastructure, or a bold space program.

They're anti-science, for a number of reasons, so research is no draw, either. And what's the point anyway, when they're all going to be raptured up into Heaven any day now?

Seriously, they prefer primitive superstition over science that tells them the truth, even when it's not what they want to hear. (And certainly, wealthy GOP donors don't want to finance anything that might end the gravy train.)

But the GOP deliberately woos people who are frightened, confused, ignorant, and bigoted. They're not confident people. They're not courageous people. They're not willing to back bold experiments.

Of course, the Democratic Party hasn't been very bold, either. That's been my biggest problem with them. But the GOP's Southern strategy worked so well, for decades, that Democrats were constantly on the defensive.

With the election of Barack Obama, I thought we'd finally turned the corner. Instead, we just peeked around that corner and scurried back, frightened and confused.

It looks like America's time for boldness has ended, Jeff.