Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sprint Jobs and Hospital Troubles

Donald Trump is taking credit for a plan by Sprint to bring 5,000 jobs to the United States.  SoftBank, which owns a controlling stake in Sprint, will also be bringing 3,000 jobs to the United States via another company in which they have a major investment interest, OneWeb.  That's 8,000 jobs Donald Trump can take credit for.  But there's a catch!

Unlike the Carrier deal, plans to bring these jobs to the United States predate Donald Trump's election.  So Donald Trump can take credit for these jobs, but he most certainly does not deserve credit for them:

Sprint later said that the jobs were part of a previously announced commitment by Japan’s SoftBank, which owns a controlling stake in the mobile phone carrier, to invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 positions. That announcement, made by Masayoshi Son, the chief executive of SoftBank, followed a meeting with Mr. Trump this month.

SoftBank is also a major investor in OneWeb, a satellite start-up that Mr. Trump said Wednesday would create an additional 3,000 jobs in the United States.

Although Mr. Trump claimed credit for SoftBank’s $50 billion investment in the United States, those plans predated the election, and Mr. Son has owned a controlling stake in Sprint, among other companies, for several years.

A Sprint spokeswoman, Adrienne Norton, said that the 5,000 jobs are part of the 50,000 increase Mr. Son promised, but that the new positions would be financed by the mobile phone carrier. “It will be a combination of newly created jobs and bringing some existing jobs back to the U.S.,” she said.

(emphasis added mine)

When it comes to the Carrier jobs announcement, Donald Trump was showboating, but there was some truth underlying his words - jobs were coming back in response to his actions.  This time around, Donald Trump is purely showboating, and Masayoshi Son of SoftBank is pumping Mr. Trump up, because what good businessman wouldn't pump up the President-elect?

I believe strongly that Mr. Trump should be given credit for what he accomplishes.  I also believe strongly that when he engages in pure bullshit, he should be called on it.

Engadget goes into greater detail on Sprint's rah-rah cheerleader routine here.  It's a short read and you should read it, but here's the crux of the matter:

The most troubling thing here is that Sprint played along, even though, when pressed, it admitted the [job] claims weren't the result of working with Trump.

What else is new in the world of our pending Trump presidency?  Here's a fine article on how hospitals may be screwed due to the potential repeal of Obamacare.  The major points:
  • Hospitals serving poor communities run the risk of insolvency if Obamacare is repealed.
  • Hospitals in wealthier communities will not likely shutter if Obamacare is repealed, but the major gains they've made in improving patients results while simultaneously lowering costs will likely evaporate.
  • Without Obamacare, hospitals will face an approximate shortfall of $290 billion within the next ten years.
  • Hospitals that had once run in the red are now earning money; expect them to run in the red again should Obamacare be repealed.
The article, of course, goes into greater detail, but if you're too busy to read it, the above should suffice.  The poor will get screwed, as they typically do, but even well-off hospitals will become more expensive and less efficient.

I know I promised you the South China Sea saber-rattling today, but this blog is running long yet again and I better save it for tomorrow.  Suffice it to say, along with your Dean Baker and Doug Henwood, you should not neglect your War Nerd.

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