My son-in-law works for a truck manufacturing company. Last year, under the Obama administration, the company cut back on the number of shifts and laid off a fair number of employees because they were not getting orders for their trucks.
My son-in-law said that the company would decide on future workload based on whether Trump was elected president or not.
Over the weekend, my daughter called to tell me that the company was going to mandatory overtime for the next three months because they were now getting more orders. The increase in orders was due completely to whether Trump was elected president or not. The truck manufacturing facility where my son-in-law works is in a strong blue, a strong-Hillary state.
Now we get word that Ford will be investing in three Michigan plants. From Detroit News:
Ford Motor Co. will announce investments in three of its Michigan manufacturing plants Tuesday morning, according to three sources familiar with the automaker’s plans.
The Dearborn-based automaker will announce investments at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Flat Rock Assembly Plant and its Romeo Engine Plant, according to the sources who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. It is unclear how many jobs will be created, or the total dollar amount.
However, one of the sources characterized the investments as “significant.” A promised $700 million investment at the Michigan Assembly Plant was part of the 2015 Ford-United Auto Workers contract.
Tuesday’s investment announcement comes less than two weeks after President Donald Trump pushed auto executives for more U.S. jobs and new manufacturing plants in the U.S. during a stop in Ypsilanti Township. Trump hinted then that a big auto industry announcement was coming last week, though it did not appear to happen. It’s unclear if Ford’s announcement is the same news teased by Trump.Obviously the mainstream press will say that this could not have happened in less than two weeks, that in fact this was in the works for quite some time.
In fact, the decision to go forward was clearly made in light of President Trump's election.
Frankly, I'm getting tired of all this, so in the future, I probably won't go into the back-story to this degree. I track this stuff for my benefit; I understand it. Cupcakes, snowflakes, and fruitcakes won't understand it no matter how often they read about it. I post it for reasons I've mentioned before.
There is a second point, and a much better point to be made. As noted earlier, the truck plant my son-in-law works at was at risk of closing shop due to lack of truck orders. That facility is now considering adding a second shift but are waiting to see if the orders continue to accelerate.
At the same time, we get the Ford announcement.
This is the second point: this suggests to me that after eight years of economic stagnation in thei country, there is a suggestion that we are finally turning the corner. And it is happening despite President Trump not yet getting one thing through Congress. He doesn't even have his full cabinet confirmed yet, and was handed a most humbling and embarrassing defeat by his own party yesterday.
Black Beauty and Chariots
When our oldest / first granddaughter was a toddler I started reading Black Beauty (Anna Sewell) to her. I had never read the book before then and I don't know who picked it out for her. But from the time Arianna was two years old to when she was seven years old, I read that book to her over and over. Early on, I just read a page or two at one sitting, and then gradually started reading a chapter or two at each sitting when she was older. She would read a page; I would read a page.
By the time she was five years old, she often wanted to read more pages at one sitting than I wanted, but I persevered.
If one wants to really know the history of a horse from its first days to its "retirement," this is clearly the book to read. In the process I also learned the names of many different wagons pulled by English horses.
I was reminded of that while reading The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts, by Graham Robb, c. 2013. It's one of my "top-shelf" books and I keep it in a zip-lock bag as I do with all my "top-shelf" books.
Roman chariots? Hardly. It turns out they are "Gaulish chariots." From page 27:
When the Gauls settled in northern Italy in the fourth century BC, their technology amazed the Romans, whose cumbersome conveyances seemed to belong to an earlier stage of history. Faced with the new machines, the Romans borrowed a whole vocabulary of vehicular transport: carros (wagon, carriage); cission (cabriolet); couinnos and essedon (two-wheeled chariots); petruroton (four-wheeled carriage); carbanton (covered carriage); reda (four-wheeled coach). Nearly all the Latin words for wheeled vehicles came from Gaulish.