Common Sense: American jobs

I saw a headline last week that read companies are already canceling plans to send jobs abroad. This, of course, is in response to the election of Donald Trump.

Trump has been very clear that he would look poorly on companies that moved US jobs to foreign lands. He has spoken of special tariffs and other disincentives. Business is apparently taking him on his word. Let’s call it the stick.

There also is a carrot. The president’s cabinet appointees are, to a person, pro-business. They promise less regulation, less red tape and, most of all, less taxes.

American businesses, whether they are steel producers or brake line manufacturers, can see an improved business environment in the U.S. just around the corner. And it is commonly accepted that American workers and American products are superior. So it can be a win-win for business and American labor.

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Organized labor is Trump’s ace in the hole over the next four years. Officially, most labor unions supported Hillary Clinton. Yet, Trump won the Rust Belt states in which organized labor has played an important political role for decades.

Union members broke with union leadership. And I suspect many of the leaders themselves did no more than keep a public commitment made long ago to support Hillary, but actually voted for Trump.

This became evident to me during a lunch meeting I was having in early October with several leaders of a major national labor organization. I asked in passing about the election and they were clear that the union was with Hillary, but the members were with Trump. They did not give up how they personally would vote, but their comments were all favorable to Trump and his “Let’s Make America Great Again” theme.

If Trump is successful, and early actions seemed to indicate he will be, in keeping American jobs in America, he could benefit not only with rank-and-file union support, but also with organized support which means money and an improved ground game.

And most important if organized labor goes with Trump, it means they are not going with the Democrat which is a serious handicap for any Democratic candidate.

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Airlines are appropriately being criticized for nickel-and-diming their passengers. I only wish that it was actual nickels and dimes. United now charges for carry-on bags stored overhead in many situations. And it is more than a few dollars. And how about economy plus which is not more than a few extra inches of legroom?

The extra legroom, I am convinced, is no larger than the legroom all economy seats had five years ago. And the “nickels and dimes” for the extra room are anywhere from $55 to $75 a seat each way, real money as far as I am concerned.

Fortunately, the airline industry is highly competitive. As one airline pushes the envelope, another airline comes in and offers a better deal. The problem is that many smaller cities are served by only one or two airlines, so there is no competition and no brakes in many cases.

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I would like to wish my readers and our editor and publisher a safe blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!

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