Make America Hate Again?
Answer by Matthew Lee Myers:
I grew up in Atlantic City and have lived in Manhattan. I've had the opportunity to interact with quite a few people who worked with or for Trump. More than anything else, it is my familiarity with Trump as a business owner that has influenced my opposition to his candidacy.To be blunt, when Trump says he will "Make America Great Again", it is laughable for anyone with any familiarity with his business dealings.When Trump says he is one of the best businessmen ever and one of the smartest men on the planet, it is laughable for anyone with any familiarity with his business dealings. He is a rich man, having inherited a quarter of a billion dollars and doing fairly well with it, growing to to somewhere between $3-4 billion. In about 40 years, he has multiplied his wealth by a factor of about 12-16. That's pretty good. A compound interest rate of 7.2 over 40 years would yield a 16x multiplier. So he did a little worse than "average". Though he certainly hasn't done as well as someone like Warren Buffet, who was also worth a quarter of a million in 1974, and is now worth 66 billion. And not as well as someone like Mark Cuban ($3B) who built a similar fortune from nothing. And certainly not as well as Jeff Bezos ($46B), Bill Gates ($80B), or Elon Musk ($13B) who built fortunes that completely eclipse Trump's and started with significantly less. He's done well. But he's far from the richest or most successful.When Trump talks about caring about the middle class, it is laughable for anyone with any familiarity with his business dealings. Whenever Trump was faced with the choice between "America" and "Trump's bank account" he routinely chose his bank account. He pays his hotel workers less than any other in Vegas and refuses to let them organize (currently ignoring a court order to allow them to do so). His construction projects routinely use inferior quality windows made in China rather than slightly (about 10%) more expensive American models. When his Atlantic City casinos were in trouble he raided his employee pensions and healthcare accounts before declaring bankruptcy, screwing not only his employees but also his investors.When he talks about Mexicans coming over to take our jobs, it's laughable for anyone with any familiarity with his business dealings. He routinely brings in workers on temporary work visas so that he can pay them less than American workers, taking not only those jobs from American workers but also driving down wages throughout the industry. Meanwhile his merchandising line was being produced in China and Mexico, despite the fact that they could have been produced in America for only slightly more.When he talks about being able to negotiate and be tough with China and Mexico, it's laughable for anyone with any familiarity with his business dealings. The Riverside South project saw him bailed out by Hong Kong investors who ended up screwing him out of millions. He later sued them and lost. His Trump Ocean Resort in Baja Mexico was a spectacular failure. He fleeced his investors with promises about being able to get it done, but the project collapsed due partly to his inability to deal with the Mexican government. His investors sued him and won. Even friendly nations like the UK have stymied him and won. As recently as the last few months Trump lost his lawsuit to prevent a windfarm from being built off the shore near his golf course in Scotland, despite taking the case all the way to the British supreme court.So I think it's only sensible to distrust his claims. He's had plenty of chances to put ordinary Americans before his own interests, and he hasn't. He's had plenty of chances to keep jobs here in the US, and he hasn't. He's had plenty of chances to stick it to Mexico, or China, or even the UK, and he hasn't been able to pull it off. And he's really only a mediocre businessman. So why would I believe he'd be able to do it now?