I listened to Donald Trump’s victory speech following GOP primary triumphs in five states and was struck by the threats he made against manufacturers who leave this country. Trump said that there will be consequences for manufacturers who shut their plants and move out of the U.S. He went on to say that if he is elected President that Carrier Air Conditioning will not leave Indiana.
It’s an easy thing for him to say. Of course, I understand the appeal. People who work for Carrier or any other manufacturer don’t want to lose their jobs and be thrown into a future wrought with uncertainty. Naturally, people who find themselves at risk of losing their jobs are going to be inclined to support a politician who vows to preserve them.
Indeed, it’s kind of rhetoric I’ve heard from many a socialist politician over the years who have vowed not to allow manufacturers to leave their communities. But it’s a promise I’ve never seen a socialist politician keep and it’s a promise that Trump can’t keep and he knows it. Trump nor anyone else has the legal authority to compel a company to remain on U.S. soil. Like it or not, we cannot have a free market economy without the mobility of capital and investment. Trump has no problem building resorts abroad nor does he have a problem outsourcing to Mexico and China when it comes to his line of clothing. And there’s nothing wrong with Trump building resorts and having clothes manufactured outside the country. But the idea that Trump can invest outside the U.S, but no one else can reeks of dishonesty and disingenuousness.
When it is all said and done, Trump is giving working class people an opiate of false hope. Opiates might make us feel good for awhile, but the good feeling eventually wears off and the pain only gets worse.