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Thursday, July 21. 2016
Dynamite essay. Our moral and intellectual superiors in Washington have minimal experience of the real world. Donald Trump Is Right About One Thing: Our Experts Know Nothing:
Donald Trump knows at least two things: how to build buildings and how not to double down when something doesn't work.
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Our government is full of people who make decisions (many they really aren't Constitutionally allowed to make) and pay no price if they get it wrong. Many enter Congress or the Senate after little or no private sector experience. They are very difficult to vote out of office so many end up staying there for life. They pay for their "good ideas" with other people's money. They retire with a generous pension or parlay their "experience" and connections in a cushy job as a lobbyist, an "advisor", or a figurehead. Their exposure to the crap they inflict on the rest of us is minimal. Given that, what else would you expect?
The rest of the private sector is punished when they make a mistake. The people who make too many mistakes end up with nothing. The people who make few are rewarded. That tends to weed out a lot of dead wood.
I'd disagree that Trump actually knows how to build buildings - and more than a few of his tenants, especially in his foreign projects, agree.
OTOH, what little he does know about building is still several orders of magnitude more useful than what Clinton knows.
He also certainly doesn't know not to double down when something doesn't work - or else he wouldn't have had to have the USSC smack him down in an eminent domain case.
In addition, his doubling down when confronted is one of the major tactics that saw him snag the GOP nomination.
Trump is better than Clinton - but that's not a high bar to clear. If he's ever considered to be a 'good president' it will be because the animosity between him and the GOP/DNC may goad the lazy arses in the House and Senate to claw back some of their responsibilities and privileges instead of letting whoever's in the Oval Office make legislation by Executive Order.
I think Trump has had many, many more successes than failures in the real estate realm. All businesses assume risk, all businesses make mistakes.
Look at the skating rink project, the way he and his partner pulled out a miracle save in Las Vegas, and the most recent Old Post Office in D.C. - under schedule, under budget.
Tell me he doesn't know what he is doing:
Trump DOES double down on mistakes. He had four bankruptcies caused by the same thing. One more thing: there is no animosity between Trump and the DNC. The only Democrats he's attacked and will attack are the ones he absolutely can't avoid attacking.
Absolutely true - Trump has been known to continue to press forward in the face of failure, which has alternately caused him to close businesses after over-investing (Trump Air is a good example), and have major successes.
Doubling down on mistakes is a good strategy if you recognize what mistakes were made and know how to adjust for them. It's not clear Trump does, but it's not clear ANY successful entrepreneur does.
At any rate, his success in business does not equate to a knowledge of how the economy works. It only equates to him knowing how to squeeze a buck from someone. After all, his biggest "successes" were mainly derived from renegotiating contracts with smaller firms who couldn't afford to fight back. Atlantic City is littered with small businesses he ripped off legally.
I see him doing the same as a President, skirting the edges of the law and having people infatuated with him "oo" and "ah" as he acts in as outrageous and morally repugnant a fashion as possible.
When I was a young man coming out of college, I liked him, thought he had a good eye for business, etc. He was beginning to make a name for himself and it was paying dividends. Over time, I learned he's just a shyster.
The question of who is better - Clinton or Trump - depends on what you think is important. Clinton will not be good for the economy in general, and it's clear she's willing to break the law to gain power for herself. I expect executive power will increase and the Constitution will slowly erode. She is a lawyer, and will seek to erode it "legally".
Trump will be better for the economy (barely) but his bellicose and intransigent behavior will hurt the US on the world stage, and he doesn't give a damn about the Constitution, so I expect it to be eviscerated further in Obama-like fashion.
Except modern bankruptcy is not necessarily getting out - and in Trump's case he didn't always get out. He merely used bankruptcy as a tool to get a shave and a haircut for all the vendors he owed money to.
I'll bet he also uses the tax code to his advantage when he can.
Ha! Well, I have no issues with that. After all, it's every citizen's right to avoid paying taxes. In fact, we'd all be better off if we had lower taxes (and less government spending).
But his use of eminent domain is another issue. I'm not sure he's ever been successful getting it to work for him - but he doesn't care and will use it with impunity, if necessary. And that's a huge problem.
I agree with you about eminent domain. I'm not sure that even after all the states that passed laws to clamp down on it after the Kelo decision, that it isn't worse. I don't excuse the Donalt for his use of it either.
So do I. And, as a tax preparer, I am regularly giving my clients advice on legit tax-saving strategies. And these aren't high-end clients - think cash-back at H&R Block or near offer. Even if they can't use the strategies now, I want to make certain they know what's out there and how to best manage their money (which includes legally minimizing taxes).
As we used to say at depositions of "expert" witnesses, "X is the unknown factor and a 'spurt' is a drip under pressure." What do you expect? Ideology, the will to power and political narratives predominant, to the exclusion of morality, reason or even reality. Give me two seconds and I'll put on my surprised face.
I'm no Trump biographer and am limited in my knowledge of his biography but even as a casual observer, I noticed when Trump completed the skating rink in NY that Ed Koch's administration was paralyzed over and Doral.
He took over Doral and transformed it into a world championship venue. While a good course for the World Golf championships it was not a great one because current golf equipment demands longer holes.
Trump corrected that, not because it would make him a ton of money but because he loves golf and wants to see the best.
I think he feels the same of America.