Earlier today, President-Elect Donald Trump, together with Japanese businessman Masayoshi Son, CEO of the Softbank Group, jointly announced that Son will be investing a whopping $50 billion in the United States over the next 3 years, creating 50,000 jobs. What a crock.
Why do we say that? Well, because, on the face of it, the $50 billion is a stupendous amount for a single business or person to invest. The lack of specificity is notable, to say the least. Donald Trump has a well-established reputation for exaggeration, for taking credit for things with which he had little or nothing to do and for outright making things up.
Mr. Son’s company may very well be investing $50 billion in US companies over the next few years, but he sure isn’t doing because Mr. Trump asked him or because Trump is going to be President. If anything, all indications are that Mr. Trump is going to destabilize the economy, not to mention world affairs, creating a less, not more attractive environment for domestic investment.
More to the point, consider the ratio between the $50 billion and the 50,000 jobs. Let’s assume, to be kind, that the 50,000 are all the direct effect of the $50 billion invested – that there are no indirect or so-called “ripple effects” from the investment. On the average, Mr. Son will be spending $1 million per job created. That’s breathtaking, unnecessary and ridiculous on a number of levels. One gets the feeling that the numbers they announced were made up on the way to the microphone because they sounded really big.
There are an estimated 25,000 unemployed people in Baltimore and, very rough guess, at least that many more who are under-employed, that is, who have jobs, but aren’t making a living wage, not enough to support themselves and their families. Give Mayor Pugh a small fraction of that $50 billion and, on her worst day, blindfolded with one hand behind her back, she could eliminate unemployment and poverty in the city during just her first term in office.
And, do you know what? If President-Elect Trump gave a poop about America as much as he does about his own self-image and media exposure, he’d give his buddy, Mr. Son, the Mayor’s telephone number and a bus ticket to Baltimore. Tell him to bring his checkbook. She’ll put people to work and give him change back, lots of it, for his $50 billion.
But no, that’s not going to happen, is it?
What do you think?