What some never seem to grasp about capitalism, market economics, free enterprise, is that profits come, mostly, not by exploitation or at people’s expense but by making them better off.
Steve Jobs epitomized this. Not a nice person; but he got rich by providing great products, that we buy because they confer more value than the money paid. He didn’t extract wealth, he created it, not just for himself but for us all.
Donald Trump is a different animal. A predator, not a creator. His billions were made mainly at others’ expense. His casinos, hotels and resorts were basically schemes to get money from investors, which he siphoned off. The businesses were not well run or profitable, partly because Trump looted them, by paying himself exorbitant salaries, consulting fees, rent for use of his helicopter, etc. Thus he walked away with the money and investors lost their shirts. (Now he’s pulling the same scam to make money on his presidential campaign, routing contributors’ cash to himself and his family’s businesses.)
He meanwhile screws his suppliers and contractors on all his construction too, never paying them the amounts owed, forcing them into costly litigation trying to collect. Over three decades Trump was involved in an astonishing 3500 lawsuits.
And, of course, he also used multiple bankruptcies to shirk debts. When a business goes bankrupt, owners are not personally on the hook; so again, Trump walks away with pockets full, leaving others holding the bag. Many were the victims financially ruined. All perfectly legal, he insists. What a disgrace.
Then there was the mis-named Trump University. Supposedly to teach the real estate game. However (unlike Steve Jobs), Trump’s aim was never to provide value for money, but instead to fraudulently extract it from naïve schnooks. He promised lessons from his “hand-picked” experts. A big fat lie. Trump University was staffed by high-pressure salesmen whose real job was to squeeze ever-escalating sums, reaching $35,000, from suckers for the next set of promised higher level seminars.
Trump claims that students’ course evaluations show they were satisfied customers. The evidence reveals they were browbeaten by instructors into signing dishonestly positive evaluations.
He says the judge in the Trump University fraud trial can’t be fair because he’s Mexican. (Actually, Indiana-born; maybe Trump wants a birth certificate.) How racist can you get? And wasn’t Trump also claiming, “Hispanics love me?” Which is it?
Now this so-called “successful businessman” wants to run America with his same methods. Ignorant fools supporting the slimeball creep might be fathomable. Republican bigwigs doing so betray their party and country.
* Besides inheriting a bundle from his dad.