Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

 

Trump’s trade war is also a war on American workers — including workers at iconically American companies like Ford.

Ford has already lost $1 billion thanks to Trump’s trade war, NBC News reports. And now the American automaker is looking at thousands of layoffs as part of a reorganization strategy.

The exact number of layoffs is unknown, but is estimated to be about 24,000 workers worldwide, according to a recent analysis from Morgan Stanley.

“Ford has already warned that President Donald Trump’s auto tariffs have impacted the company to the tune of $1 billion, and the president’s trade policies threaten to play havoc with Ford’s ongoing reorganization,” Ford CFO Bob Shanks told NBC News.

The popular Ford Mustang could also be on the chopping block as a direct result of Trump’s trade war with China. The Mustang had been the most popular U.S. car  in China before the country imposed tariffs on American-made vehicles in response to Trump’s tariffs.

Now Ford may have to cut production on its most iconically American car, which would also mean a reduction of U.S. jobs.

Trump’s actions are a striking contrast with what President Obama did to save the American auto industry just a decade ago.

After the 2008 Great Recession, U.S. auto manufacturers were in deep trouble. General Motors (GM) was in the most trouble — but if GM went under, then the ripple effect would have led to “a partial collapse of the supplier industry that would lead to a 50 percent drop in production at Ford and the American-based foreign car plants,” Politifact notes.

In 2012, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said, “If GM and Chrysler would’ve gone into free-fall, they could’ve taken the entire supply base into free-fall also, and taken the U.S. from a recession into a depression.”

President Obama’s actions to save jobs in the auto industry gained bipartisan praise, including from the Economist and even the very conservative Heritage Foundation.

Trump, on the other hand, is wreaking havoc on the auto industry and pushing Ford into cutting production and laying off workers.

Ford is far from the only business to suffer under Trump’s ill-advised trade war. Factories are shutting down and sending jobs to Mexico, companies like Whirlpool and Harley Davidson are seeing huge economic losses, and farmers across the country are struggling.

The trade war is even making recovery from natural disasters more expensive for homeowners in the Carolinas trying to rebuild after Hurricane Florence.

Some economic experts question whether Trump even knows how tariffs work.

But whether or not Trump understands the consequences of his actions, American workers are suffering those consequences every day.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

 

Poll: Most Parents Oppose Rapid School Reopening

Numerous local school systems around the country are plowing ahead with plans to resume in-person instruction despite growing evidence that children are just as capable of spreading the coronavirus as adults.

Classes were set to begin on Monday in Baker County, Florida. Masks for students will be optional, not required. "It looks like it's back to normal this morning, honestly," a local television reporter observed as parents dropped their kids off in the morning. Many students wore no face coverings.

The Trump administration and the GOP have pushed for full reopening of schools for months."Schools in our country should be opened ASAP," Donald Trump tweeted in May. "Much very good information now available."

"SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" he reiterated on July 6.

"The science and data is clear: children can be safe in schools this fall, and they must be in school this fall," demanded Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Aug. 1.

"I believe our schools can, and should rise to the occasion of re-opening for in-person education this fall," agreed Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) two days later.

"The CDC and Academy of Pediatrics agree: We can safely get students back in classrooms," tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) last Tuesday.

But while Scalise, Mike Pence, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have all cited the American Academy of Pediatrics in their arguments for reopening, a new study by the group and the Children's Hospital Association raises red flags about how safe that will be.

Their report found 338,982 reported coronavirus cases in children as of July 30 in the United States. Between July 16 and July 30, the nation saw a 40% increase — 97,078 new infected children.

Last week, a high school student in an Atlanta suburb posted a photo online showing few students wearing masks in a crowded school hallway. Since that time, at least six students and three adult employees in the school have reportedly contracted the coronavirus, and the school temporarily has switched to online classes.

Another Georgia school district has already seen at least 13 students and staff members test positive since reopening a week ago.

A recent study in South Korea found that children aged ten and older spread the coronavirus at the same rates adults do. A separate study in Chicago suggested young kids might also be effective spreaders.

These contradict the false claims made by Trump and his administration that kids have an "amazing" near immunity to COVID-19.

"If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease, so few. They've got stronger, hard to believe, and I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"You got to open the schools. They have a stronger immune system even than you have or I have," he told Barstool Sports on July 23. "It's amazing. You look at the percentage, it's a tiny percentage of one percent. And in that one case, I mean, I looked at a couple of cases. If you have diabetes, if you have, you know, problems with something, but the kids are in great shape." Children have made up nearly nine percent of all cases, even with schools mostly closed.

And DeVos incorrectly said in a July 16 interview, "More and more studies show that kids are actually stoppers of the disease and they don't get it and transmit it themselves."

In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for how schools could operate more safely during the pandemic.

Trump publicly ridiculed the guidelines, dismissing them as "very tough & expensive" and "very impractical."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.