Trump can definitely make America great again (but for himself)
Recently a few things have come out about Mr. Trump’s track record that don’t augur well for America if he is to become President:
- When he was pitching the first casinos to investors, he said “It will be the best”. (does it sound like “Make America Great again”?)
- Over time he built three casinos in Atlantic City. None of them logged a single profitable year (between 1997–2002).
- During the time when the Trump casinos were making losses, revenues at other casinos in Atlantic City were rising by ~18%.
- When the casinos eventually went bankrupt, many local small business owners who were suppliers and contractors got the brunt of it. For example Beth Rosser remembers how her father’s business, Triad Building Specialties, ended up getting 30 cents for every dollar owed to them after protracted “renegotiations”.
- Between 1996–98 the company posted combined losses of $148 Million. During those three years of operation, Donald Trump drew a salary and bonus payments amounting to $8 Million.
- A class action law suit has been leveled against Trump University (established ~2005) by disgruntled people who attended its investment seminars.
- One of the employees of Trump University, Mr. Ronald Schnackenberg, has testified in the class action law suit.
- He has testified that “Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”
- The university organized 3-day seminars where attendees were promised to learn Donald Trump’s investment secrets.
- “I can turn anyone into a successful real-estate investor, including you.” was a quote by Mr. Trump used in marketing. (Has a ring of “Make America Great Again”, no?)
- But in fact Mr. Trump “’never’ reviewed any of Trump University’s curricula or programming.”
- The material was developed by a 3rd party vendor that develops material for motivational speakers, and.. ahem.. timeshare rental companies.
- The attendees never heard about his secret sauce for investing from him. They did however get to take photographs with a life-size cutout of him. Groovy!
- There was a sales playbook that was provided to the staff to give them step-by-step instructions to help them master bait-and-switch tactics.
- An example: “Don’t ask people what they THINK about something you’ve said. Instead always ask them how they FEEL about it. People buy emotionally, and justify it logically.”
- Another example: “If they can afford the Gold Elite, don’t allow them to think about doing anything besides the Gold Elite”… How sweet! They must really care about the people they’re trying to help.
- In his testimony Mr. Schnackenberg recounts an experience with a couple. And the man was on disability insurance,
- “”After the hard-sell sales presentation, they were considering purchasing the $35,000 Elite program. I did not feel it was an appropriate program for them because of their precarious financial condition.” Far from being commended by his bosses for his honesty, Schnackenberg said that he was reprimanded. Another salesperson then talked them into buying the $35,000 program after I refused to sell this program to them.”
UPPING THE ANTE:
There seems to be a pattern here. Finding a downtrodden demographic, selling big dreams, running the game for as long as possible, then making off, leaving others holding the bill.
Now with his imminent G.O.P. nomination he seems to be repeating his process, just at a massively larger stage, and with much more dire consequences.
He has identified his demographic — honest, hard working Americans who are disgruntled with their falling wages, with their jobs being eliminated by technology & outsourcing, and with the status quo.
And he has made an incredible promise to them (“Make America Great Again”).
And he has roused their anger because he wants them to FEEL that he is their answer. Not THINK about his track record. Whether he can actually deliver on the problems he is promising to solve.
The cost, of what a Trump presidency will be to an average American, is still unknown. To be fair, it is also unclear how the other candidates will solve the problems that Mr. Trump has touched upon. But what is coming to light based on this new information is that if he does come to power, based on his track record, there is a low probability that he would solve these thorny issues out for the American public. There is a possibility that they will be the ones left holding the bill.
What I am certain about however, is that Mr. Trump will come out on top. Just like every other time. If elected President, I think he will definitely make America great again… But mostly for himself.
- NY Times Article on his Atlantic City Casinos (by Russ Buettner and Charles V. Bagli): http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/nyregion/donald-trump-atlantic-city.html
- New Yorker Article on Trump University (by John Cassidy): http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trump-university-its-worse-than-you-think
- Image of Trump’s illustration (by Mark Reeve): http://www.markreeveillustrator.com/caricatures/