Trump Must Hate the Little Guy

Financial FAQs

The Republican Party may rue the day they didn’t vet their presumptive candidate for President. The vetting can no longer just be about his overt and premeditated racism, or even his xenophobic wall building. His business practices are finally coming under detailed scrutiny, and what we see is very ugly.

A USA TODAY article catalogues more than 3,500 lawsuits filed for or against Donald Trump over his business career. Many were filed by small business people and firms that Trump refused to pay for work done on his various real estate properties.

The result was that many were driven out of business. It looks like Trump’s main business model was and continues to be preying on those who are least able to defend themselves legally, in order to enrich himself. This smacks of more than predatory business practices.

David Brooks’ latest New York Times Oped this tries to put a handle on his narcissistic behavior. “By one theory, narcissism flows from a developmental disorder called Alexithymia, the inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. Sufferers have no inner voice to understand their own feelings and reflect honestly on their own actions.”

Could this also be defined as sociopathic behavior, since he seems to have no compunction in harming others financially, especially those least able to defend themselves in court?

Psychology Today defines sociopathy as follows; “A sociopath can be defined as a person who has Antisocial Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals.”

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friel family, who says Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

The Friel’s family cabinetry business, founded in the 1940s by Edward’s father, finished its work in 1984 and submitted its final bill to the general contractor for the Trump Organization, the resort’s builder.

Edward’s son, Paul, who was the firm’s accountant, still remembers the amount of that bill more than 30 years later: $83,600. The reason: the money never came. “That began the demise of the Edward J. Friel Company… which has been around since my grandfather,” he said.


Graph: USA Today

This is not to speak of a Florida lawsuit against Trump and his Trump’s Doral golf resort–also embroiled in recent non-payment claims by two different paint firms, with one case settled and the other pending, says USA TODAY. Last month, his company’s refusal to pay one Florida painter more than $30,000 for work at Doral led the Miami Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Cueto (whoops, another Hispanic Judge) to order foreclosure of the resort if the contractor isn’t paid.

Juan Carlos Enriquez, owner of The Paint Spot, in South Florida, has been waiting more than two years to get paid for his work at the Doral. The Paint Spot first filed a lien against Trump’s course, then filed a lawsuit asking a Florida judge to intervene.

“In courtroom testimony, the manager of the general contractor for the Doral renovation admitted that a decision was made not to pay The Paint Spot because Trump “already paid enough,” said USA TODAY. As the construction manager spoke, “Trump’s trial attorneys visibly winced, began breathing heavily, and attempted to make eye contact” with the witness, the judge noted in his ruling.”

It looks like Trump’s attorneys and supporters will continue to wince as more stories of his business practices come out—whatever his personality disorder. Republicans should have definitely vetted him, instead of listening to his hype.

Harlan Green © 2016

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About populareconomicsblog

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