The confrontation between Trump and Macy’s department store reached its culmination recently with the decision by Macy’s to eliminate 10,000 jobs from their retail store chain. As reported by Fortune, during Trump’s campaign for president, Macy’s had decided to eliminate Trump’s line of clothing from their stores following some of his more outrageous and offensive statements. In retaliation for this, Trump called for a boycott of Macy’s stores during the Christmas season – which many suggest led directly to these firings.
Despite the incredible conflict of interest, this decision would seem to create between his business interests and his potential future duties as president of the United States, Donald Trump apparently decided that it was more important to launch an attack against a private company that had dared to offend him by dropping his line of clothing.
Macy's cuts 10,000 jobs after Trump-demanded boycott https://t.co/PbsuBS8vLO— Hesiod Theogeny (@Hesiod2k11) January 5, 2017
Trump and Macy’s and American Jobs
As reported by CNN, Trump made the idea that he would bring back jobs to America a central part of his campaign, as can be seen in the rather awkward involvement he has had with the Carrier Corporation and General Motors in recent weeks. In both instances, Trump has claimed that he returned American jobs to our shores or at least protected them.
But in both cases, experts suggest that the tax breaks and other incentives given to such companies are largely being wasted. For example, Carrier Corporation intends to use the savings it will receive from the government to purchase automation equipment for its U.S. plant. In effect, Trump and the government will be subsidizing the replacement of existing human American workers with robotic American workers.
The Impact of Donald Trump
Macy’s department stores – like many brick-and-mortar retailers in the United States – have been experiencing a serious decline in recent years because of the unprecedented competition it has faced from online retailers like Amazon. This was on top of the ordinary problems any business faces during difficult economic times.
Thus, it was a rather courageous decision on the company’s part to turn its back on Donald Trump and reject his clothing line, especially considering the position he might one day hold – i.e. president of the United States – and his well-known penchant for taking revenge against anyone who has wronged him.
The actual statements that so offended Macy’s that they felt it necessary to eliminate the Trump line of clothing from their inventory related to his frequent suggestion that all Mexicans are rapists, drug dealers and criminals. This, of course, is not something that Trump has subsequently retracted to even the smallest degree – and he certainly hasn’t apologized for it.
But following Macy’s decision, Trump, in turn, decided to suggest via Twitter and in speeches that his followers – and it is much more appropriate to call them followers than supporters – should boycott Macy’s until they yielded to his will. The fact that this might, at some point in the future, put thousands of Americans out of work seemed largely irrelevant to Trump, in spite of all of his talk about saving American jobs.
The Trump and Macy’s affair makes it seem highly questionable that Donald Trump will really be able to separate his existing and future business interests from his actions and decisions as president of the United States. On the contrary, it seems clear from this incident and others that have taken place since that Trump might choose to use his position as president in a way that no president before him has ever dared to. Even worse, given that the Republicans will be in full control of the House, Senate, and Supreme Court, there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the horizon who can do anything about such abuses of power.
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]