Thursday, December 29, 2016

What did Donald Trump do today?

He continued to insist that he had created 8,000 telecommunications jobs out of sheer optimism.

On Wednesday, Trump announced that Sprint and OneWeb were going to be adding 5,000 and 3,000 American jobs respectively, saying the companies told him they were doing this "because of me." His spokesperson, Sean Spicer, repeated that message today, promising more such announcements because companies were "really inspired by the philosophy and agenda and business climate that the president-elect wants to establish in this country."

However, Sprint's decision to restore those jobs had been made in April of 2015, before Trump even entered the presidential race. And both the Sprint and OneWeb jobs are part of an investment drive into the US tech sector by a conglomerate of foreign investors--again, announced before Trump won the election. (Trump also took credit after the fact for that.)

Even counting the 5,000 promised Sprint jobs, under its CEO Masayoshi Son, who acquired the company in 2013 and who Trump has now publicly praised twice, the company has ended thousands of American jobs.

How is this a problem?

  • It's wrong to take credit (twice) for things you didn't do.
  • It's bad if a president is rewarding companies who fire a larger number of American workers and then later promise to rehire a smaller number.