Thursday, February 1, 2018

Kimberly Clark, Harley and Walker! #ItsNotworking

By Jeff Simpson 

Harley Davidson, a staple Wisconsin company since 1903 is starting to change their business model. 

They just announced that they will be closing their Kansas City Assembly plant leaving 800 American workers without a job. 
It is a stunning end to what was at the time a glorious beginning when Harley announced in 1996 that it was putting down roots here.
Kansas City beat out 30 other cities in 10 states in a months-long competition.
Then-Mayor Emanuel Cleaver called it “a once-in-a-century catch for Kansas City.”
It came at an opportune moment. The Kansas City area was then in the midst of a several years of disappointments that would see the area lose the headquarters of the NCAA, the Big 12 athletic conference headquarters and the annual FFA convention.
Winning the Harley plant mitigated the blows somewhat.
But that success did not come cheap. Area leaders said the $85 million to $100 million assembly plant was well worth the initial $6.4 million-incentive package that the state, city and Platte County offered. Those tax credits and other subsidies would over time grow by tens of millions of dollars.
While they say they will be moving production to their York, PA plant, they also had another announcement today.
Harley-Davidson (HOG) is building a new plant in Thailand, reflecting the industry’s push for global sales growth.
The iconic American motorcycle maker was part of President Donald Trump’s focus on U.S. manufacturing in the early days of his administration. Executives visited the White House in February to meet with Trump, who thanked Harley-Davidson “for building things in America.” But even Harley-Davidson had a manufacturing footprint overseas, and the Milwaukee-based company says the facility in Thailand will improve its ability to serve markets where demand is on the rise.  

So much winning!  But Wait there is more --  It is not working just at Harley, Kimberly Clark also informed 5500 American workers that their winter got alot colder and they will not be employed much longer! 

Kimberly-Clark has announced plans to cut 5,000 to 5,550 jobs in an effort to restructure and save money, the company announced Tuesday during the release of its year-end results and 2018 outlook.  The job cuts amount to 12-13 percent of the company's workforce.
Kimberly-Clark also plans to close or sell 10 manufacturing plants and expand production at other plants.
The company anticipates this plan will generate pre-tax savings of $500-$550 million by the end of 2021.
With someone like this touting your products, who needs enemies(Alex prefers to steal vans, so no Harley shirt).   

Whatever Scott Walker and The Donald are doing, it is NOT working.  While we get a chance to change course to one that actually works for WI this November, in the meantime, maybe we should listen to The Detroit News and stop chasing companies with tax dollars!  

There’s a lesson to be learned from Detroit’s failure to make the 20-city short list for Amazon’s “HQ2” project(edit note: both Milwaukee & Madison bid on this and lost also) Let’s not do this any more.
The national frenzy over Amazon’s second headquarters should teach us it’s time to stop being one of 50 states or one of 200-plus cities getting played against each other by giant companies. Rather, let’s opt out of the corporate welfare hustle altogether, stop our politicians and bureaucrats from trying to micromanage the economy and make them put the money back into our communities where it came from in the first place.
Those plans rarely work, anyway. In business, it’s a truism that, “There’s always someone with a lower price.” In economic development, as we saw with Amazon, there’s always some other state or city with a bigger subsidy. We saw this play out in recent history with movie subsidies in Michigan. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars writing checks to Hollywood, but ended up with fewer people employed in the film industry in the state than when we’d started.
Whether we’re building the Batcave, the tallest skyscraper in Detroit, a battery plant or an e-commerce corporate headquarters, this money isn’t free. Governments can only give companies like Amazon free money if they first take it from someplace — or someone — else. But every dollar taxed away from an existing business is a dollar it can’t use to grow. Every dollar we take from a family to fund a corporate project is one they’re not going to be able to spend at an existing local grocery store or restaurant where their neighbors are employed. That’s real money — academic research from the University of Missouri at St. Louis suggests that nationally, “economic development” costs us each individually about $250 a year, close to an average week’s income for a family of four — and it’s coming right out of the economy it’s supposed to be “developing.”

No comments:

Post a Comment