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Trump Makes It All Personal

December 5, 2016
Plain English Version


Worker at a Chrysler plant.

Worker at a Chrysler plant.

Donald Trump gives his opponents names. He started doing it in the primaries. Senator Ted Cruz became “lying Ted” and Marco Rubio became “little Marco.” In the election, Hillary Clinton became “crooked Hillary.”

By making it me against them, he does not have to have a program. He only needs an enemy.

He wanted all Americans to know the Carrier Company was sending jobs to Mexico. He would save the jobs.

Carrier did not want the attention. No company likes being a target. Carrier agreed to keep some jobs in the US that were going to go to Mexico. They are still sending many jobs to Mexico. Still, Trump declared victory. It is not something you can do with numbers. You need names and faces.

Other companies are going ahead with plans to move production and jobs out of the US. Can you change the economy the way President-elect Trump is doing it? On the face of it, you cannot.

America is a big labor market. An expert said every quarter of the year about 6.7 million jobs are lost. About 7.2 million jobs are created. The number of jobs is not fixed. The loss of jobs and the creation of jobs go on at the same time.

Money flows across borders. For example, money going to China is often reinvested in the US.

For example, China has revenue from its sales around the world. It reinvests much of that money in American assets. We get back more than we send. Many companies are not American or foreign. They are worldwide enterprises.

That does not seem to bother Mr. Trump. Rexnord, another company in Indiana, is moving jobs to Mexico. Trump tweeted out their name. He said, “This is happening all over our country. No more!” If he can stop Rexnord, he will say it is a victory. Some Americans will think he is trying to change the way the world works.

He is not. Companies will do what they have to do to lower costs. It is the way they stay competitive. What Trump can do is disrupt things. That could cost a lot of jobs and raise a lot of prices.

Source: The Wall Street Journal December 4, 2016

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