During the campaign Donald Trump made a point of saying he would stop the export of US jobs. He held up in particular the example of a Carrier air conditioner manufacturing plant in Indiana. Its announcement that workers
would be laid off and the plant moved to Mexico was recorded by a worker on a smartphone and went viral.
Last week Carrier announced it had changed its mind and 800 jobs would be retained in Indiana. The press announced Trump did a “victory lap”, visiting the plant to take credit for keeping the jobs.
It soon appeared the State of Indiana (of which Vice President-elect Pence is Governor) had offered Carrier $700 million in tax breaks and other incentives to keep the jobs.
On almost the same day last week it was announced that the US economy had added 170, 000 new jobs in November as part of the ongoing economic recovery. So while Trump and Pence had preserved 800 jobs temporarily through taxpayer subsides, economic policies put in place by President Obama had created over 100 times more permanent jobs without political intimidation or subsidies.
The creation of new jobs and destruction of old is part of economic development and part of how productivity and incomes grow. Clearly the question is what policies the government should put in place to cushion the cost of job losses so that all can benefit equitably, not how to prevent change.
– Warren Clark