Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

We have posted several pieces regarding the Carrier situation.  Thanks to the Tweeter-in-Chief it just got bigger.  It seems after Steelworker Local President Check Jones, who represents the Carrier workers, pointed out that The Donald was to put it politely, not using accurate numbers, to tout his role in preventing some of the layoffs at Carrier.  Twitter Trump was upset by local President Jones using the correect numbers to illustrate what had actually been done and unleashed one of his famous “tweet tiradess” directed at President Jones.

On Thursday, Lawrence O’ Donnell interviewed President Jones and got his side of the story.  The interesting response of Trump supporter such as threatening Mr. JoneImage result for Image, Punch to Trumps and his family with violence makes me wonder how committed these folks are to improving the lives of American workers or if this is the “alt-right” faction rising to the suraface.  This interview makes it clear that President Jones is not intimidated.

Not intimidated to say the least.  This morning Mr. Jones took his response to a new level with his piece I’m the union leader Donald Trump attacked.  I’m tired of being lied to about our jobs…

I’m a union leader in Indianapolis. I represent the Carrier workers whose jobs Donald Trump has pledged to save. And I’m tired of being lied to.

In February, corporate officials came to our plant and announced that they were closing the facility. They would move 1,300 jobs to a plant in Mexico. (Three hundred and fifty positions would remain in Indianapolis, mostly filled by research and development staff.)

Over the next several months, my team and I worked tirelessly to keep Carrier in our city. We came up with $23 million in savings, but the Carrier brass said that wasn’t enough. They could save $65 million by moving to Mexico. We couldn’t match that unless we were willing to cut wages to $5/hour and cut all benefits.

So we started to negotiate a severance package instead — one week of pay for every year of service, a $2,500 lump sum for every employee and free health care for six months.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Trump got involved. He sat down with Carrier leaders. Afterward, he announced that 1,100 jobs would be saved. When I first heard the news, I was optimistic. But I began to get nervous when we couldn’t get any details on the deal. I urged caution, but our members got their hopes up. They thought their jobs had been saved.

When I met with Carrier officials last Thursday, I realized that that wouldn’t be the case. Though Trump said he’d saved 1,100 jobs, he hadn’t. Carrier told us that 550 people would get laid off.

Trump didn’t tell people that, though. When he spoke at our plant, he acted like no one was going to lose their job. People went crazy for him. They thought, because of Trump, I’m going to be able to provide for my family. 

All the while, I’m sitting there, thinking that’s not what the damn numbers say. Trump let people believe that they were going to have a livelihood in that facility. He let people breathe easy. When I told our members the next day, they were devastated.

I was angry, too. So I told a Washington Post reporter the truth — that Trump’s 1,100 number was wrong. When Trump read my comments, he got angry. Last night, he tweeted:


Getting your share of what’s yours would be one way to describe How To Pay For Universal Income from Evonomics…

Lately there’s been renewed discussion of universal income: regular cash payments to everyone, regardless of race, gender or need. Past proponents of the idea include the revolutionary Thomas Paine, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., free-market econ­omist Milton Friedman and President Richard Nixon. Today’s interest has been sparked by the income stagnation experienced by America’s middle class and working poor, and by the per­sist­ent slow growth experienced by our economy.dollar-sign

The idea finds support across America’s ideological spectrum in an era when hardly anything else does. Liberals, or at least some of them, like it as a way to preserve our middle class when jobs no longer pay enough. Conservatives, or at least some of them, like it as a way to reduce depend­ence on our byzan­tine maze of welfare programs.

But universal income is expensive and quickly runs into the stumbling block of how to pay for it. Its wide appeal is checked by an equally wide­spread aver­sion to taxes, especially for the purpose of redistributing income. Fortu­nate­ly there’s another way to pay for it: universal income can come from universal assets, a.k.a. our common wealth.

The wealth we inherit and create together is worth trillions of dollars, yet we presently derive almost no income from it. Our joint inheritance includes invaluable gifts of nature such as our atmosphere, minerals and fresh water, and socially created assets such as our legal and financial infrastructure, without which private corporations couldn’t exist, much less thrive. If our common assets were better managed, they could pay every American, including children, several hundred dollars a month.

Consider, for example, the limited capacity of our atmosphere to absorb pollutants that cause climate change. By charging polluters for using that scarce asset, we can both protect our climate and generate dividends for everyone. Other forms of pollution could be similarly priced. And we could charge market prices for extracting resources like minerals and timber from public lands that are now leased to private firms cheaply in sweetheart deals. Making polluters and extractors pay, without abandon­ing regulation, would provide market-based incentives to respect nature.

And that’s not all. Universal assets include gifts of society as well as nature. An example is our legal and financial infrastructure, without which the private fortunes of billion­aires would be impossible.

For the few disgruntled fans of “low-energy” Jeb Bush, nicknamed by The Donald may find this ironic.  The Brookings Institution has found another divide exposed by this historic election.  An analysis of the counties won by either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump reflect a High-Output vs Low-Output Economic seperation.

On one hand, more attention to the economic and health challenges of rural and small-city Rustbelt America could be welcome, especially if it focuses on the right things: realism about current economic trends, adjustment to change, improving rural education and skills training, and enhancing linkages to nearby metropolitan centers. However, Trump’s promises to “bring back” the coal economy and “bring back” millions of manufacturing jobs (that now don’t exist thanks to automation) don’t speak wisely to real-world trends in low-output America. They look backwards and speak instead to local frustrations.

On the other hand, our tile map raises doubts that the nation’s core metropolitan economic base will easily secure the investments it needs—investments that has been shown to drive broader prosperity that benefits the entire nation.  Without a doubt, the mostly metropolitan counties of high-output America will need now to make more of their own arrangements, by establishing their own applied R&D centers, developing their own industry-relevant skills pipelines, and deepening local industry clusters. “Bottom up” will now be mandatory.  Yet with that said, big issues loom given the fact that no county can flourish entirely on its own.  How, for example, will high-output America secure the critical, historically federal innovation investments it requires to fuel the dynamism of its local advanced industries and the long supply chains that they support?  How will the heavily federal safety net be maintained?  And will necessary federal infrastructure investments be made in a targeted, efficient way that maximizes return on investment?  Clearly, as my colleague Bruce Katz declares, cities and metropolitan areas are going to need to demand what they need, while taking matters into their own hands as best they can.

In the end, our data makes plain that while cultural resentments played a huge role in this month’s election, so too did a massive economic divide between relatively prosperous high-output counties and struggling lower-out rural ones.  Hashing out a serviceable politics and policy mix to serve that bifurcated reality is going to be a huge challenge.

Talking Points Memo has unearthed this bit of St. Louis history courtesy of The Riverfront Times about Andrew Puzder, the Trump pick for Labor Secretary…

Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump’s choice to lead the U.S. Department of Labor, was accused of domestic abuse by his first wife three decades ago, the Riverfront Times reported Thursday.Image result for Image, Right cross to the chin

In allegations that surfaced during the couple’s 1989 divorce and were reported on by the St. Louis publication at the time, Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Henning charged that her husband hit her, threw her to the ground, and unplugged the phone after she called police during a 1986 altercation.

Henning sought a protective order against Puzder following that incident, alleging in the court document obtained by the Riverfront Times that he “attacked me, choked me, threw me to the floor, hit me in the head, pushed his knee into my chest twisted my ar?m and dr?agged me? ?on the floor, threw me against a wall, tried to stop my call to 911 and kicked me in the back.”

In a separate instance, Henning alleged that Puzder punched her in a car as the couple drove home from dinner one night in 1985.

Police were called to their home in Clayton, Missouri, following the 1986 altercation, and after a shouting match in the late 1970s that devolved into a plate-throwing fight, according to the Riverfront Times.

Let’s hope he treats American workers better than he did the love of his life.

My friend Scott Paul at the Alliance for American Manufacturing has a piece in the New York Times. Scott has been fighting for American manufacturing for many years and is a sutdent of the subject with a deep knowledge of history as well as policy.  The depth of his perspective is apparent in Using Donald Trump’s Tough Talk to Create Jobs...

But its rise to economic pre-eminence was set in motion by nationalists like Alexander Hamilton, who delivered America’s first industrial policy, including plans for tariffs and spending on roads. Henry Clay’s American System, Abraham Lincoln’s land-grant research universities and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal can all be counted as legacies of Hamilton’s vision.Image result for iMAGE, American Jobs

Thanks to these leaders’ pragmatism, the United States became the world’s industrial powerhouse and, spurred by the rise of trade unions, built a prosperous middle class. That provided a foundation for economic and political stability in a rapidly changing world.

But since 2000, the United States has shed almost one-third of its manufacturing jobs, and millions of Americans have been permanently shuffled into work for the service industry. Some jobs vanished because of automation, but many were also lost because of a flood of Chinese imports.

So how can we deal with China?

First, we need to negotiate a new manufacturing deal with China to end its trade war on the United States. We need to reduce Chinese imports and end China’s lingering practice of manipulating its currency to help its businesses.

We are in a surprisingly strong position to make such a deal. China has a big incentive to get along with the United States: America is the destination for nearly one in five Chinese exports, making us a market China can’t afford to lose. American exports to China, meanwhile, account for less than 1 percent of our gross domestic product.

There are also precedents for using tariffs to back up negotiations. President Ronald Reagan imposed tariffs on Japanese semiconductors in 1987, and the Obama administration imposed tariffs on some Chinese steel earlier this year.

What else shold be done?

And the new administration should expand the fledgling network of manufacturing research and development institutions established under President Obama. This network, pulling together government, academia and industry, operates like a virtual Bell Labs, producing small-scale innovations that can be widely shared.

Third, tax breaks to manufacturers for capital expenditures could help keep factory jobs in the United States. Companies that want to build factories face high capital costs on Wall Street, largely because it’s easier to turn a quick buck on the latest financial product than to make a long-term investment in a factory. If a government is going to offer tax breaks, it makes sense to direct them to the manufacturing sector, which can support a larger number of well-paying jobs.

Lastly, the Obama administration has embraced some ideas from Germany on promoting apprenticeships and other vocational training in a wider variety of industries than just construction. We’re not Germany, with its high-wage, high-export and stable manufacturing sector, but its model for building a dynamic work force offers lessons for the incoming administration.

What would a world with solid trade policy look like?

Struggling American workers aren’t the only class of people under stress today: Global companies are taking note of Mr. Trump’s stream of threats. And while there is a certain satisfaction from knowing that executives may now feel an unease that many workers have endured for years with the constant threat of losing their livelihoods, this isn’t about score-settling.

This is about a resurgent manufacturing sector that is in the interest of both workers and businesses. Its success will ultimately strengthen America’s middle class, where the bulk of our national wealth once resided. It can again.



This week’s Forward Thinking Radio:

Richard Levick – Communications ExpertForward Thinking

Craig Torres, Economy & Federal Reserve Reporter
Bloomberg News

Judy Feder, Professor, Georgetown University

Dale Maharidge, Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer, Journalism professor, Columbia University

Bryan Gernert, CEO, Resonate

Andy Borowitz describes Trump;s Scary Threat...

President-elect Donald J. Trump drew a line in the sand on Friday as he warned that U.S. companies planning to ship jobs overseas will be slapped with enormous bribes.

“If you think you’re going to get away with sending jobs out of the U.S., think again,” Trump said. “You are about to be bribed, big league.”Image result for Image, Line in the sand

He raised the cautionary example of Carrier Corporation, which this week decided to keep a few hundred jobs in the U.S. in exchange for a seven-million-dollar government incentive. “I warned those boys at Carrier: we can do this the easy way, or the hard way, where you get seven million dollars,” he said. “They backed down so fast—it was terrific.”

Donald Trump’s efffort to save half of the Carrier jobs has gotten a lot of positive publicity.  I must admit it is refreshing to see someone fighting fo keep American jobs in America.  Particularly if it is done on a systemic basis such as a tariff or legislative action and not just showering wealthy companies with more tax breaks.That is why recent congressional action sheds light on which party is actually fighting for American jobs.Image result for Image, Democrats create jobs

The Hill provides the details in Congress strikes deal on water bill with Flint aid.  Water infrastructure is an important topic but the nugget of information relating to American jobs is buried near the end of the article.  It seems The Donald may be fighting for American jobs but the rest of the Republican Party has different priorities…

Democrats were not successful in an attempt to include a so-called “Buy America” provision in the final bill after GOP leadership worked to strip the language from the measure. Democrats wanted to permanently require that American iron and steel products be used in certain drinking water projects.

Why would Republicans strip a “Buy American” provision from a multi-billion dollar infrastructure bill if they cared about Ameircan jobs? They wouldn’t.

Of course, unless you are an enthusiastic consumer of news, subscribe to The Hill, or read this blog you would likely never know what was being done with your tax dollars. DT may be giving away tax dollars to keep a wealthy company from taking middle class jobs out of the country but when it comes to purchasing products and building projects with your tax dollars the GOP isn’t interested in having that done with Americans.  The same Americans that pay taxes and vote in elections.  These are some of the reasons why in my post-election analysis I was surprised that folks that had felt the pain of job loss would vote Republican.  If the GOP wants to truly help create and maintain American jobs they should receive recognition for it but if they are about PR stunts while spending billions on foreign goods that could have been made in America with American workers – I will recognize them and publicize them.

This week’s Democratic Radio:

Joseph Singer

With the appointment of a Treasury Secretary who was heavily involved in the housing bubble disaster, we will hear from Harvard Professor Joseph Singer, whose new book says it all – “No Freedom Without Regulation: The Hidden Lesson of the Subprime Crisis.”redradio

Cathleen Kelly

Cathleen Kelly of the Center for American Progress says global warming is going to lead to global poverty, conflict, instability and terrorism.

John Yarmuth

Coming up, Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth tells Bill Press what the election of Nancy Pelosi to another term as House Democratic leader means for the party.

Jim Hightower

How the conquering Trump makes fakery real

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