Donald Trump wants us to believe that since his election he’s created thousands of new jobs. And corporations like Sprint are all too happy to help Trump tell that lie. Why? Because they stand to make an enormous profit from being buddy-buddy with the new President.
On Wednesday, Trump made a big announcement that he had just struck a deal with Sprint to create 5,000 new jobs in the U.S. There’s just one problem. It’s a lie. But Sprint was more than happy to back up the lie because they want approval on a merger deal with T-Mobil, which by the way, would cut thousands of jobs.
According to the New York Times,
“On Wednesday, Mr. Trump said Sprint’s top executive had told him the company would add 5,000 jobs “because of what’s happening and the spirit and the hope.” But it turns out that the jobs are part of a previous commitment by Sprint’s parent company, SoftBank, whose chief executive said at Trump Tower in December that it would invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the United States. And even that promise was part of a $100 billion technology fund that SoftBank announced in October, before the election. In sum, Mr. Trump’s statement was hot air, just like his tweet in which he thanked himself for an increase in a consumer confidence index last month.”
“It’s easy to see why SoftBank and Sprint might want to help Mr. Trump take credit for creating jobs. SoftBank’s chief executive, Masayoshi Son, wants the Department of Justice’s antitrust division and the Federal Communications Commission to allow a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. In 2014 regulators appointed by President Obama made clear to Mr. Son that they would not approve such a transaction because it would cut the number of national wireless companies to three, from four, greatly reducing competition in a concentrated industry. Mr. Son sees a new opening for his deal in Mr. Trump, who has surrounded himself with people who have sided with large telecommunications companies in regulatory debates and have argued against tough antitrust enforcement.”
Despite the fact that Trump railed against crony capitalism and corporate welfare on the campaign trail, what he’s doing now is both of those things.
If Trump’s people push through this Sprint/T-Mobil merger, the long-lasting damage potentially done to the economy will far outweigh the 5,000 new jobs.
And if this deal goes through, thousands of jobs will likely be eliminated as the two companies merge into one.
“It has become abundantly clear that Mr. Trump is easily distracted by shiny objects, especially if they reflect back on him. He’s more interested in boasting about how he personally saved a thousand jobs at Carrier, say, than in policy details that could make a difference in the lives of tens of millions of workers.”
This should be alarming for all of us. But it also should be a wake up call for every person who voted for Trump because they believed his boasts of massive job creation. I say it should be. But unfortunately most Trump voters don’t deal much in reality.
Trump supporters have been scammed. They may not realize it yet. But they soon will.
Featured image via NPR