Who Will Trump Trump’s Ambitions?

Popular Economics Weekly

Thomas Friedman seems to believe the Donald has sewed up a majority of the Republican Primary delegates and will be a formidable foe for Hillary, assuming she is the Democrat’s candidate. But chances are his past will catch up with him as voters begin to think with their head rather than gut instinct that Friedman seems to believe motivates many voters.

“Donald Trump is a walking political science course,” said Friedman in a NYTimes Op-ed. “His meteoric rise is lesson No. 1 on leadership: Most voters do not listen through their ears. They listen through their stomachs. If a leader can connect with them on a gut level, their response is: “Don’t bother me with the details. I trust your instincts.” If a leader can’t connect on a gut level, he or she can’t show them enough particulars. They’ll just keep asking, “Can you show me the details one more time?”

That may be so for many Republican primary voters, but Trump’s suspect past hasn’t yet been investigated. Thinking Repubs have given him a blank check to date, believing that he will flame out of his own accord.

Even Mitt Romney calling him a con artist last week didn’t seem to hurt Trump in Michigan, though Ohio Governor John Kasich was creeping closer with the final tally of delegate votes, in a defacto tie for second place with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

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Graph: Marketwatch

Trump’s sordid business dealings are known to very few. One of his 4 Chapter 11 (business) bankruptcies was for Trump Casinos and Hotels. “For 10 years between 1995 and 2005, Donald Trump ran Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts — and he did it so badly and incompetently that it collapsed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” said Marketwatch’s Brett Arends, who has been tracking his business failures for years. “His stockholders were almost entirely wiped out, losing a staggering 89 percent of their money. The company actually lost money every single year. In total it racked up more than $600 million in net losses over that period,” something no other major casino chain did over that term.”

In total, Donald Trump pocketed $32 million in nine years of running Trump Casinos and Hotels, while his public stockholders lost more than $100 million. But much more damaging are the various class action lawsuits filed again Trump and Trump University, which was a university in name only.

Instead of receiving a quality degree, “as good as any from a university”, said Trump, students received a printed certificate and no degree after spending as much as $36,000 on a weekend course that solicited more money, and were given commonly known real estate websites, such as Zillow, and several worthless property referrals.

These are the words of several plaintiffs suing Trump that a San Diego court has elevated to gangster status. Trump is accused of not only fraud, but racketeering, as if he were running a criminal enterprise.

One of the two San Diego cases has been allowed by the judge to be brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, said Time Magazine’s Steven Brill. “This means that, fairly or unfairly, opponents will be able to say that a large group of everyman voters, many of them elderly, have accused a leading contender for the Oval Office of being a racketeer.”

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The records indicate, for example, that Trump University collected approximately $40 million from its students–who included veterans, retired police officers and teachers–and that Trump personally received approximately $5 million of it, despite his claim, repeated in our interview, that he started Trump University as a charitable venture.

Trump’s own followers may be able to disbelieve the evidence that is being unearthed of his many business failures in a hyper fervid primary season full of hyperbole. But the facts are only now now coming to light. And the picture is revealing.

The evidence is in plain sight. The Donald always comes first, and very few others have profited thereby.

Harlan Green © 2016

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

About populareconomicsblog

Harlan Green is editor/publisher of PopularEconomics.com, and content provider of 3 weekly columns to various blogs--Popular Economics Weekly and The Huffington Post
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