Days of Change

Economic Populism | December 4, 2016

Sarah Palin is back in the news and Trumpers won’t be happy.

Palin has embraced the warnings about “crony capitalism” and has taken it to heart. Many conservatives bristle at the term because it implies that capitalism is in the wrong when most of the time, it’s the government that enables cronies. In this case, Palin is writing about the promises lame-duck governor Mike Pence made to essentially pay Carrier to keep 1,000 standing around a warehouse getting paid until it eventually closes some time in the future.

It took the better part of the year, but the same people who liked Sarah Palin’s opinion when it came to Trump in January didn’t care for it in December. Luckily, Trump Mania took hold early and many of his supporters had already abandoned Palin because she didn’t run in 2012. At east it took 4 years. Donald Trump might be able to get through one term before the betrayal backlash happens.

Ultimately, Palin made the smart choice in 2016. She chose the candidate who appreciated her support and who had a chance of winning. Allow me to quote myself.

Sarah Palin endorsements are still important. They were very effective in 2010, as Senator Ted Cruz will attest (and Nikki Haley and other Tea Party winners). Her political prognostication is based on two things, how conservative the candidate is and how likely they are to win with just that extra push from Palin.

As Trump got closer to the presidency, the more smart and powerful he became retroactively to his supporters. While many put little stock in a Palin endorsement, it came at a time when Ted Cruz could have picked up enough momentum to be the alternative to Bush / Rubio (even if he might have lost in the end to them).

Palin is also smart about the details of the Carrier deal. Donald Trump messed with the free market. If he offered to give preferential treatment to them in government contracts, he could be wasting millions of taxpayer dollars by not properly bidding with competitors. If he threatened tariffs, customers of Untied Technologies would pay more, either for taxed products or domestic suppliers who could charge more. If he paid them off, everyone will have their hand out soon.

Industrial air conditioning isn’t exactly a buggy whip. One can assume the industry will be around for years to come. However, when the workers are in their 50’s and getting close to retirement, it is a workforce that is hard to retrain for new manufacturing realities (CNC, ERP systems, computer literacy, Kaizen). If Carrier could fire those people and hire their kids, it might be possible to keep those jobs in the US without intervention.

But then, Palin and I have worked for a living. Trump owns buildings with air conditioning, probably manufactured in China.

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