Monday, January 16, 2017

The Enterprising Trumps

"When I started my business, I recognized where my strengths were and knew that I didn't have any experience in production and manufacturing."
"I am not a designer. I am an entrepreneur."
Ivanka Trump, entrepreneur extraordinaire

U.S. President-elect (that is sooo wince-inducing) Donald Trump has stated that he intends to bring back to the United States and to the unemployed factory workers in the United States all the jobs that have gone elsewhere. His task will be to convince, bully, entreat, threaten and boost all the manufacturing that once made America a powerhouse. It's still a powerhouse, but not as a result of manufacturing. Basically, American consumers like paying as little as they can get away with for consumer items.

without retribution or consequence, is WRONG! There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies ......

And Donald Trump's daughter is a chick off the old bloke. She talks as good a line as does her father. And then goes about doing whatever it takes to satisfy that American craving for inexpensive products that will turn a nice profit for her. Items made in the United States reflect a higher wage than do items produced say, in Bangladesh, Pakistan or China. China became the world leader in manufacturing because of its low wages. Which served American consumers very nicely.

When Donald Trump wanted something manufactured that would have his iconic name all over it, he turned to the cheapest mode of manufacturing he could find. And this is precisely what his daughter does, as well. Yet the Trump administration will castigate, fine and tax producers that don't take America First seriously enough. He is prepared to belligerently throw his considerable weight around to intimidate, shame and force American manufacturers to stop exporting their labour costs, and to try the same with those who have already done so.

Ideally, American manufacturers, loyal to their nation, should keep their costs down by paying their workers less, giving them fewer benefits, and selling their finished products for a lesser profit. Like, for example, Donald Trump does. Oh, he doesn't do that himself? Well, consider that expectation an opportunity to prove loyalty, then, it'll warm the cockles of one's heart. The Donald's heart warms only to profit. And he sees profit in extolling his non-existent virtues while demanding others be virtuous.

The kind of efficiencies that he approves of for his own businesses require finessing cheap labour to extract top profit. But that's just his nature, his way of doing business, rather inimitable, he feels, since he also feels that he can do no wrong, but everyone else is always wrong, because they're not Donald Trump. And nor are they Ivanka Trump who enjoys the opportunity to be a public figure dressed in her private label, so she can tweet where they're available at a die-for price.

A white polyester blouse made in Indonesia, a steal at $34.99, for example, and you can look like Ivanka Trump. You can get it at Saks Off Fifth in New York. Or a jacket made in Vietnam at Macy's. Hey, at the Trump Tower blue cotton caps embellished with "Trump National Golf Club" made in Bangladesh can be had for $35.00! Cheap apparel with name-recognition, branding cheap offshore products. That's business acumen; no design talents, no manufacturing infrastructure commitment, a middleman course labelled entrepreneurial.

High tariffs are in the cards for those found guilty of moving their production outside the United States. Those who do so, who have done so, are economic slags, pariahs in the American world of patriotism, just ask Donald J. Trump. American citizens who love their bargains, embrace the fact that they plan never, ever to pay full price for anything, would see their expenses rise, rise and continue to rise should he ever succeed in his moral extortion.

According to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, most clothing purchased at Walmart, Macy's and Target are produced out-of-country; 97 percent of apparel, 98 percent of shoes. Away back in the 1980s most American garment manufacturers made the move to China. That was then; now Chinese shoemakers build their own factories where wages are much, much lower than in China: Africa, please move to the front of the line.

B.J. Nickol, president of the All American Clothing Company in Ohio estimates it costs his company $10 to $15 in the manufacture of a polo shirt which he sells for $28 to $38 while employing 15 people, along with subcontractors to cut, sew and ship out his shirts, jeans and sweaters. That same polo shirt, manufactured in Bangladesh for Trump enterprises is double the price at Trump Tower. If Mr. Trump would like to put his money where his mouth is, Mr. Nickol would be glad to accommodate him.

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