Trumps ideas around job creation center around saving jobs before they leave or possibly bringing back old manufacturing/ mining jobs to the US. We just witnessed how effective Trump was convincing the Carrier Corporation to not outsource jobs to Mexico or close factories in Indiana and move them south of the border. Further, many of the jobs that Trump talked about during his scorch-the-earth campaign (both figuratively and possibly literally), are obsolete because much of what humans did in these jobs is now automated and their participation is no longer required. Put simply, Trump needs to think outside of his box (which will be extremely difficult but necessary) for him to fulfill one of his major campaign promises of creating new jobs for workers in the financially-devastated American heartland.
To that point, Ross Sorkin suggested a possible strategy in an editorial in today’s NY Times business section. In the opinion piece, Sorkin suggests that Trump model his job creation strategy divined by Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, the electric car company; SolarCity, the solar power provider; and SpaceX, the rocket company.. According to Sorkin, Musk has nearly 35,000 new jobs (most of which are manufacturing jobs) in the past decade. This is an outstanding accomplishment for a single individual entrepreneur. However, instead of naming Musk to advise him on job creation, Trump decided that he was going to rely on the advice of people like Jamie Dimon, of JP Morgan Chase, Robert Iger of Disney and Mary Barra of General Motors all of whom benefitted from President Obama’s government bailout and are not exactly paragons of innovation. LIke Trump, these business leaders represent the old guard that want things to remain the same to help them maintain their power bases, corporate stock prices and large oversized CEO compensation packages (Musk takes $1 dollar a year in salary and has paid as much as $600 million in taxes annually).
Not surprisingly, Musk is a Democrat and despite creating tens of thousand of new American jobs, he is under assault and being vilified by conservative groups. This is because Musk believes in climate change. According to Sorkin:
…Conservative groups and individuals have taken to the internet with a litany of real and fake stories attacking Mr. Musk for the government subsidies Tesla receives, and for his vocal warnings on climate change.
Even worse, Sorkin reported:
Robert E. Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Corporation, the largest privately owned coal company, called Mr. Musk “a fraud” for accepting $2 billion in government subsidies for Tesla.
Yet despite this hateful and untrue assault by Trump supporters, Musk suggested to Sorkin that even though he did not support Trump, that he would be “happy to talk with him” about job creation and climate change.
If I were Mr. Musk, I would not hold my breath.
Until next time….
Good Luck and Good Job Hunting