It looks like the incoming Trump Administration may be attempting to keep one of its promises to keep jobs here at home – but at what cost?

Recently, Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies (the multinational corporate megalith that owns and operates Carrier, manufacturer of building climate control equipment), paid a visit to Vice-President elect Mike Pence.  Though he is soon to be Vice President, Pence is currently governor of Indiana, where a Carrier plant contemplating outsourcing is located.

Hayes walked out of that meeting with a sweet deal: $7 million in tax breaks over the next decade for keeping around 1000 manufacturing and 300 research and development jobs in the Hoosier State. It looks great on the surface – but as Senator Bernie Sanders is pointing out, the devil is in the details.

In the short term, this is wonderful news for the Carrier workers and their families who depend on those jobs for their livelihoods. Earlier this year, Hayes announced that he would be closing the Indianapolis plant, where workers earn up to $70,000 a year with overtime, and moving the facility to Mexico, where workers aren’t even paid $20 a day. Now, thanks to the new deal with the State of Indiana, some of those jobs will remain – at least for now.

Trump’s new Administration has indeed saved some American jobs – but the way in which this was done has disturbing implications for the long term health of the U.S. economy and the concept of a living wage.

Sanders accuses Trump of playing softball with Corporate America. During his campaign, “The Donald” pledged a take-no-prisoners, give-no-quarter, show-no-mercy approach, threatening Carrier with a 35% tariff on its products if the parent company followed through on its plans to move manufacturing to Mexico. Now, instead, United Technologies has simply been bribed, to the tune of $7 million in tax cuts (and guess who’s going to have to make up that shortfall?) And even after all of this, 1,000 additional Carrier employees will soon find themselves out of a job.

In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post, Sanders wrote, “After running a campaign pledging to be tough on corporate America, Trump has hypocritically decided to do the exact opposite.”

He added,

“It is not good enough to save some of these jobs. Trump made a promise that he would save all of these jobs, and we cannot rest until an ironclad contract is signed to ensure that all of these workers are able to continue working in Indiana without having their pay or benefits slashed.”

So there it is. As America’s Senator (and one of very few servants of the People remaining in a hopelessly corrupt, self-serving CON-gress) points out, “United Technologies took Trump hostage and won.”

So begins the in-your-face corruption of an Administration that has yet to take power – but is giving us all the middle finger. Boss Tweed and the Tammany Machine of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries is certain to pale in comparison to what’s in store for us over the next 4 to 8 (or more) years.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.