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Donald Trump's self-proclaimed business expertise was casually demolished in a sentence

In a Facebook post, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich handily demolishes the narrative that Donald Trump is a good businessman. His story begins with going to buy coffee and noticing a car sporting a Trump bumper sticker. He approaches the driver to ask if he might inquire why he’s supporting Trump. “I know he’s […]

By Melissa McEwan - September 21, 2016
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Donald Trump

In a Facebook post, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich handily demolishes the narrative that Donald Trump is a good businessman. His story begins with going to buy coffee and noticing a car sporting a Trump bumper sticker. He approaches the driver to ask if he might inquire why he’s supporting Trump.

“I know he’s a little bit much,” said the Trump supporter. “But he’s a successful businessman. And we need a successful businessman as president.”

“How do you know he’s a successful businessman?” I asked.

“Because he’s made a fortune.”

“Has he really?” I asked.

“Of course. Forbes magazine says he’s worth four and a half billion.”

“That doesn’t mean he’s been a success,” I said.

“In my book it does,” said the Trump supporter.

“You know, in 1976, when Trump was just starting his career, he said he was worth about $200 million,” I said. “Most of that was from his father.”

“That just proves my point,” said the Trump supporter. “He turned that $200 million into four and a half billion. Brilliant man.”

“But if he had just put that $200 million into an index fund and reinvested the dividends, he’d be worth twelve billion today,” I said.

The Trump supporter went silent.

“And he got about $850 million in tax subsidies, just in New York alone,” I said.

More silence.

“He’s not a businessman,” I said. “He’s a con man. “Hope you enjoy your coffee.”

Trump’s supposedly legendary success as a businessman is not merely meant to be his own defining feature, but it’s also offered as his central qualification for the presidency. Really, his only qualification for the presidency, since he’s never served a day in public office.

And even that, as Reich so casually demonstrates, is a fraud.


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