When somebody you don’t like does something good, you jump through wormholes and solve crossword puzzles with jigsaw pieces until you make a Rubik’s cube which will then allow you to print out the complete works of William Shakespeare… that’s exactly what someone from the left did.
Alternet.org posted an article titled “Here’s Proof the GOP Tax Cut is Already Wreaking Havoc on American Workers.”
How is money being returned to workers (and the businesses these workers work for) somehow causing havoc?
Alternet takes an interesting approach to reporting the job cuts.
“Though their products appear at every stage of life, from infants to the elderly, thousands of workers at Kimberly-Clark will see their livelihood cut. Makers of brands like Huggies, Kotex, Kleenex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark revealed its restructuring plans on January 23, and shamelessly explained the mass job cuts were made possible because of the GOP tax cut.
As part of its 2018 ‘Global Restructuring Program,’ between 5,000-5,500 people will lose their jobs, which a Kimberly-Clark statement claims is ’12 to 13 percent of current headcount.’ According to their website, there are currently 42,000 employees across 35 countries. The New York Times reported that the lay-offs will have a global impact.
Kimberly-Clark’s CFO, Maria Henry, said during a call on Tuesday, that the GOP tax cut bill’s ‘cash flow benefits’ to the company will assist in paying for the layoffs and that ‘tax savings would also be used to make capital investments and to “allocate significant capital to shareholders”,’ according to the Times.”
That is the gist of the article, it sounds pretty damning! However, there are a few red flags within the article.
Let’s talk about the context that just gets glossed over in this article.
“The GOP tax cut bill’s ‘cash flow benefits’ to the company will assist in paying for the layoffs…” if you don’t understand what I’m getting at, let me explain.
The title would suggest that Kimberly-Clark is laying off employees because they got tax cuts which is a vastly different statement than “The GOP tax cut – will assist in paying for the layoffs,” as one would suggest the decision was made after the tax cuts while the latter would suggest that the tax cut would add ease to the process of laying off employees.
Let’s reference the very article that Emily C. Bell, the author of the Alternet article, cited.
The article from The New York Times is titled “Kimberly-Clark Cutting 5,000 Jobs Amid Pressure on Prices,” which is vastly different than what Alternet would suggest with its title.
In the article published by The New York Times they explain exactly why Kimberly-Clark decided to cut jobs.
“Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies and Kleenex, is laying off about 13 percent of its work force and shedding factories worldwide, amid declining birthrates that are affecting diaper sales and a retail price war that is weighing on profits.
The company said Tuesday that it would cut between 5,000 and 5,500 jobs in an effort to reduce expenses as it faced stiffer competition for consumer staples like tissues, paper towels and wet wipes.”
“The pressures on Kimberly-Clark reflect the upheaval in the retail industry, where a fierce battle among behemoths like Amazon and Wal-Mart is driving down prices, particularly for household items that many consumers treat increasingly as commodities. That competition, in turn, is driving down Kimberly-Clark’s selling prices — which fell more than 1 percent last year.”
“Restructurings typically come with upfront costs for the companies, as they pay workers severance or renegotiate leases. In a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, Kimberly-Clark’s chief financial officer, Maria Henry, said ‘cash flow benefits’ from the Republican tax cut would help fund ‘the restructuring program over the next few years.’ She said the tax savings would also be used to make capital investments and to ‘allocate significant capital to shareholders’.”
If you read the two articles headlines side by side, you’d get two different interpretations. If you read what was actually said in both articles, you’d still get two different contexts.
To further solidify my point about how misleading this article published by Alternet and written by Emily C. Bell is, I will even reference another news source which will actually add even more context to the story.
The Hill published an article titled “Kimberly-Clark to use savings from tax cuts to pay for layoffs,” which would actually work to add a much more positive spin to the Republican Party tax cuts.
“The company said the restructuring initiative, which the company was planning to undertake regardless of the tax law’s passage, will involve reducing its number of employees by about 5,000 to 5,500 people, or 12 to 13 percent of its workforce. Kimberly-Clark also said it plans to close or sell about 10 manufacturing facilities.”
In the poorest attempt possible to demonize the tax cuts, the author took something that was actually good and pushed it in a misleading out-of-context manner.
Without the Republican tax cuts, it is possible that the employees who were getting laid off would either be paid less or even worse, not paid at all.
Let me say this once more, it is a poor attempt at driving a left-wing talking point.
To play devil’s advocate, if you take this story at face value without too much analysis it would be easy for someone left-of-center to blame the layoffs on the free market. The free market allowed competition which lowered prices which lead to thousands of workers being laid off.
At the end of the day, the company is laying off workers due to competition lowering prices and lower birth rates. This is bad for the workers while being great for the consumer. The tax cuts pushed by Donald Trump and the Republicans helped ease the damage done by the layoffs.
* Logan Anderson is an Oregonian, political activist, and free market advocate.
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