CARRIER AND THE SLIPPERY SLOPE

Monday, December 5, 2016
By Paul Martin

James Quinn
TheBurningPlatform.com
December 4, 2016

“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences.”Donald Trump

The reaction to Trump’s deal to keep 1,100 Carrier jobs in Indiana has ranged from outrage to adoration. There are so many layers to this Shakespearean drama that all points of views have some level of credence. I’m torn between the positive and negative aspects of this deal. If you’ve read Bastiat’s The Law and Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, you understand the fallacies involved when government interferes in the free market. Politicians and their fanboys always concentrate on the seen aspects of government intervention, but purposely ignore the unseen consequences.

First, I wholeheartedly agree with Scott Adams’ assessment of Trump’s move as a brilliant, visible, memorable, newsworthy ploy to sway public opinion and sending a message to corporate America that he means business. Trump beat Carrier like a rented mule during the entire presidential campaign for announcing they were closing their plant in Indiana and moving the jobs to a new plant in Mexico. The publicity was so bad, I ended up getting a substantial rebate when I had a Carrier air conditioner installed in the Spring.

I’ve seen Trump worshipers trying to show what a fantastic economic deal this was for Indiana and the country. They are only looking at the scenario of staying versus leaving. The other scenario is what exists today versus what will exist tomorrow. Those 1,100 jobs already exist in Indiana. They are already paying taxes and spending money in Indiana. The taxpayers of Indiana currently have no obligation to Carrier or the employees of Carrier. With this new “fantastic” deal, the employees of Carrier are still employed, but now the the taxpayers of Indiana have a $7 million obligation to Carrier.

This isn’t a zero sum game. The $7 million is taken from the pockets of taxpayers and will not be spent in the greater economy of Indiana. This deal is absolutely a net loss for Indiana versus where they were before the deal. The people of this country are hypocritical when it comes to keeping jobs in the U.S. They want cheap electronics, gadgets, appliances and air conditioners. Therefore, they have been buying cheap foreign made products by the trillions for the last couple decades.

Carrier was moving to Mexico for the low labor and regulatory costs. This would have allowed them to sell the air conditioners made in Mexico at a lower price than if they are made in Indiana. Therefore, the consumers of these products would have spent less money on the air conditioners, leaving excess funds to spend on other products. The purchasers of Carrier air conditioners are not benefiting from this deal.

It is true that if Carrier had sent those jobs to Mexico, there would be a short-term negative economic impact on Indiana. The 1,100 people would have lost their jobs and would have utilized unemployment and probably food stamp benefits. Eventually, most of these people would have obtained employment elsewhere – some at lower paying jobs, some at higher paying jobs. Indiana has an unemployment rate of 4.4%, so there are jobs out there. Another company might be able to buy the existing Carrier plant for a great price, start a new production plant, and hire new employees. This is the unseen part of the picture.

The Rest…HERE

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