26 May '16    home | previous

Trump the Businessman and Candidate

Among us are good and decent business people. And we have people who made money from the 2007-08 market decline who didn't wish that crisis on the world. But people who buy casinos fall into the category of callous money grubbing – to use a phrase that Senator Elizabeth Warren (Pocahontas, as Trump calls her) used a day or two ago. Casinos redistribute money upward. They make money because the odds favor the House. A few win now and then and this is publicized to attract the many who will not. Maybe Trump has changed since he decided to run for president. People change. But for me his having been in the casino business makes him suspect.

And there was Trump University. That had to be a product of a bloated ego. One doesn't need to attend an expensive seminar to be successful at market trading. One needs to be an independent thinker, a good contrarian and to think for oneself and do one's own research. (I've watch traders make mistakes following consensus thinking while calling themselves contrarians – what I've called the contrarian consensus. I don't know what Trump was teaching at his university, but I doubt it was worth thousands of dollars for hours of so-called instruction. National Review has called it a scam. The New York State Department of Education notified Trump that they were violating the New York Education Law by using the word "university" when in fact Trump University was not actually chartered as one. The student's were Trump's suckers.

Our economic system requires the buyer to beware. Trump has been one of those businessmen that occasionally gets exposed. He's good to his children. He's good with his wife. He can be engaging, friendly and can act presidential for a few minutes. But he doesn't have the kind of mentality that I want to see expressed on television from 2017 to 2021.

Trump appears to believe that his verbal assaults are effective weapons. The assaults worked for him against his rival Republican candidates, but like heads of state losing a great war, he may be fantasizing that it will help him win the general election.

Trump's war against journalists isn't going to help him. The press (other than Fox News perhaps) will continue to come at him hard. Most journalists are honest people trying to be professional and trying to make a living. Some are better than others, but calling them liars or stupid isn't going to deflect the negative image that will weigh on him between now and early November.

Trump to me doesn't look like the winner that some of have thought him to be. I see Trump as a shrewd man but who has not always been shrewd. Who knows? He might win, but as I see it, it's unlikely.

Rather than run for president he could have spent his organizing skills and a little of his money promoting policies aimed at making America great – which would have meant less promotion of himself. Now I see a report by the website Priceonomics (buyer beware?) that bookings at Trump hotels have declined by 59 percent compared to last year. The report adds:

It seems that customers willing to spend $500 a night on a Trump Hotel room may not be fans of Trump the political candidate.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.