Earlier this week Carlos Maciel, The Minksys’ Special Correspondent for Vertical Matters, attended the yearly conference for the American Council for Ladder Producers (ACLP), he managed to do a few interviews. Here is what he found out about the institution’s recent letter of support for the Trump presidential campaign.
Carlos Maciel: Here I am with John McClimber (name retracted by individual request), official spokesperson for the ACLP. John, is it true that American ladders producers are supporting the Trump Campaign?
John McClimber: Indeed we are Carlos, we believe some of his proposals will bring the industry some much needed cash flow.
CM: Could you expand on that, what policies do you see as possibly beneficial to you and your peers?
JM: Well namely the wall in the border with Mexico, we believe it will increase demand for our products significantly in the coming years. We need that boost, ever since Mr. Gorbachev tore down his wall business have been declining steadily. People, especially the younger generation don’t use ladders anymore, we think they are too busy playing on their phones.
CM: So as a body the ACLP believes that building a wall between the US and Mexico will increase the demand for ladders? Doesn’t selling ladders to potential illegal immigrants defeat the purpose of the wall to begin with? And furthermore, do you know that a large numbers of people who live illegally in the United States came by plane and overstayed their visas, and that some studies show that the influx back to Mexico is superior to the influx into the United States?
JM: Well, we are only producing and selling the ladders, not telling the customers what to do with them. For all we care they are using them to pick tomatoes…
CM: You don’t need a latter to pick tomatoes, they grow on vines at arms’ reach,
JM: … we are kind of like those glass pipes you often find on gas stations; they are legal to sell, any illegal activity is a responsibility of the customer alone. Furthermore, yes we’ve heard the rumors about all the plane and going back to Mexico stuff but we trust Mr. Trump on this one. If he, a successful businessman believes that a wall will keep people from crossing the border than we see that as a potential business opportunity. The way we see it our increased supply will generate its own increased demand, you know, Econ 101. I for once get very excited whenever he says the wall just got higher, for every ten feet he adds to it I buy another spot in timeshares in around the Gulf of Mexico.
CM: By the Gulf of Mexico to you mean places like Naples and Boca Raton?
JM: No, too many Hispanics in Florida, I’ve got a couple places in Cancun. There the only Hispanics I have to deal with are the ones serving me my Pina Coladas when I go to the clubhouse.
CM: Ok…, well I have to tell you that in reality supply often does not generate its own demand, but let us go on. With this increased production American ladder producers must have to hire more American workers correct? Thus the wall could have some positive employment impacts in the US?
JM: Well no, we moved all of our factories to Mexico after NAFTA was instituted, much cheaper labor over there.
CM: Then there will be positive employment impacts in Mexico, wouldn’t that decrease the local demand for your product?
JM: We discussed that possibility during this meeting. Our solution is to increase the capital intensity of our production. That way we can fire workers, not hire them. The unemployed will them be left at the mercy of Mexico’s struggling social programs and will be likely to look northwards for a better life, we expect many of them to spend their life savings in our products. It is a win-win for us. Plus, Mr. Trump has said that he will make Mexico pay for this roughly $25 billion project by seizing remittances coming into the country. Our research shows us that many Mexican families depend on that money for their subsistence, once it is gone them too should be tempted to buy our new products.
CM: New products?
JM: Yes certainly. We have reached out to Trump Enterprises and secured a license that make our products the only ones that will fit the built-in holders in the wall. Take that escalator industries! We are also doing R&D on possible product bundles, like throwing in a grappling hook with the purchase of two ladders for those immigrants who fell a bit more adventurous.
CM: It seems to me that in many ways you expect the wall and the possible hostile relationship between a Trump presidency and our southern neighbors to actually increase the number of people trying to cross the border. Are you sure your products will be able to meet their demands?
JM: If I may paraphrase the Shan Yu, the villain from Mulan, “when you built that wall you challenged my strength”, I think we are fit for that challenge just like the Huns were ready to defeat the Chinese, just like Trump will finally have us win against China.
CM: But in the movie the Huns are defeated by a teenage girl with no military experience aided by a tiny dragon and a cricket. Plus, about the remittances, it is logical to argue that people will stop sending them once Trump announces that all of that money will be confiscated, which then cuts the funding for the wall. The whole plan seems self-defeating, any concerns about that?
JM: That’s just semantics, you get my point.
CM: Not sure if I do John. Well thank you for your time and inputs.
On that note Carlos decided to approach the booth from the Chinese Steel Manufacturers, the conference major sponsor. He talked Wu Ming, the official envoy.
CM: Mr. Ming, quick question, why is are the Chinese supporting an event like this? Are you not concerned about Trump’s claims that he will change the trade balance between the US and China, among other not so nice things directed at your nation?
Wu Ming: Quite the opposite. You see, the U.S. lacks the productive capacity to supply the steel needed to build the wall, and all these ladders too. They will have to come to us – the World’s largest steel producers and already the main exporter of steel to the U.S. This wall could be a very profitable business opportunity for us. In fact, we have started to lobby the Trump campaign to suggest building a wall in the northern border as well, that’s where the real money is.
Written by Carlos Maciel
Illustration by Heske van Doornen